I would just very quickly like to make a public service announcement about Trader Joes.
“Wait a minute.. I thought they were really expensive!”
At home, I always considered TJ’s to be a little bit pricey and a little bit hippy. Everything was organic and expensive but they had really amazing frozen food and h’orderves selection that my mom would sometimes go to for family gatherings. I probably visited about once every 4 months. When TJ’s was coming to Rochester for the first time, people discussed the pros and cons, asking what it could possibly bring or how it could survive against the giant Wegmans we all loved so much…
Now being in D.C. I noticed that both my roommates went to TJ’s frequently and came back with a stock pile of easy meals, new recipes and fresh produce. This goes back to the “Wait a minute.. I thought they were really expensive!” quote, because I thought so too! We’re all living on new grad salaries and food shopping is usually an expensive prospect let alone going for organic and locally grown produce. I can worry about that when I’m older with cash to burn, right?
Well here is the surprising part… I stopped after work last week at the TJ’s in Bethesda and bought a TON of AMAZING things for.. $25? Seriously I’m talking dinner for 2 weeks and so far everything has been delicious.
Here are my two things that I must share:
1. Butternut Squash Triangoli
You know those Bertolli packages of Ravioli? 8.8 oz for.. $5? I love them, they’re so easy with a quick water boil but that’s probably more than I should be spending on a nightly meal (I’d rather save my money for things like travel… Mel weekend anyone!?)
Introducing Trader Giottos (haha see what they did there?) Butternut Squash Triangoli!
Way cheaper than at Safeway, you simply mix with some Balsamic Brown Butter from a recipe like here and you have yourself a perfect fall dinner in about.. 9 minutes? Yes please.
2. Brownie Truffle Baking Mix
Its called a baking mix because you can make brownies OR cookies out of it. I’ve been splitting the box into 1/3’s and making about 8 cookies at a time. Just need butter, an egg and these are out of this world — take that Betty Crocker!
Basically, if you’re in a city please re-consider Trader Joes for some of your basic needs. I wouldn’t suggest getting all produce there but check out their online flyer before heading over and you’ll be happily surprised with the deals you find and things that are *gasp* good for you!