Trader Joe’s Shopping List: 55 Best Things to Buy {with printable list!}

With 1,000’s of products at Trader Joe’s, it’s sometimes hard to know what to buy! Today I am sharing my Trader Joe’s shopping list of must-have items that are on my list nearly every single week! These are my absolute favorite Trader Joe’s items!

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Pinterest Pin that shows a few things on a Trader Joe's Shopping list.

Note: I didn’t include fresh produce because that varies from week to week depending on the menu. But I will usually ALWAYS pick up fresh fruit and a salad kit of some sort (the Dill Pickle one is my personal fave if you’re a pickle fan!)

You can download the entire printable Trader Joe’s shopping list here!


Aren’t snacks THE most important TJ’s food group?! Here are the ones that are on my list almost every week:

  • Chili and Lime Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips: These are the #1 most popular item at Trader Joe’s! With good reason–they’re addicting!
  • White Cheddar Corn Puffs: It’s a pretty light 140-calorie afternoon snack and great for the kid’s lunches.
  • Coconut Date Bars: I bought these on a whim a few months ago and have been addicted ever since! It’s like a healthy brownie and the perfect snack!
  • Tortilla Chips: I prefer either the rounds or the Truly White Corn Tortilla Chips that have a hint of lime.
  • Dried fruit: This makes a great, healthy snack. I switch it up, but usually end up with mangoes, the juicy mandarins, coconut strips, and a bag of freeze-dried fruit.
  • Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers: So freaking good–these chips are addicting and aren’t too salty, just super flavorful.
Trader Joe's must have snacks to buy.

Frozen Foods

Ok, I lied, it’s not snacks that are the holy grail of TJ’s….it’s the frozen section! There are some MAJOR gems here!

  • Mac and Cheese: The one in the RED, single-serve box! It’s so good I served it for Christmas dinner one year, no lie!!!! (kind of embarrassing, but whatever).
  • Orange Chicken: I love having two packages of this in the fridge at all times for an SOS dinner!
  • Chicken Tikki Masala: The single-serving chicken tikki masala and butter chicken were voted TJ’s best-frozen food in the customer’s choice awards.
  • Chimichurri Rice: Just add a protein to this dish and it makes the most delicious meal! My favorite is this Peri Peri Chicken and Rice!
  • Frozen Jasmine Rice/Mexican Rice: Being part Asian my mom will never let me live down that I buy microwaveable rice…but now I have her hooked! The Mexican rice is great for burritos and burrito bowls!
  • Hash Browns: These are a staple breakfast food at our house! Pro tip: Use them as a base for avocado toast!
  • Birds Nests: This is another dark horse you might not think of, but they are insanely good! If you like veggie tempura, you will LOVE these.
  • Frozen Fruit: For the most part, their frozen fruit is pretty affordable compared to the “regular” grocery store. I love the frozen cherries for shakes and smoothies.
  • Shrimp: I like buying the Wild Caught Argentinean Red Shrimp (raw).
  • Mini Pancakes: There isn’t a quicker breakfast than heating up some of the mini pancakes–so good!
  • French Fries and Tater Tots: Necessary for a quick little side dish!
  • Mashed Potatoes: Perfect taters in a pinch!
  • Garlic & Ginger Cubes: OMG. Life-changing is all I have to say. One little frozen cube is about a clove of minced garlic. The taste is SO, SO much better than the jarred stuff!!!
A collage of 6 different Trader Joe's frozen food items.
More Trader Joe's freezer essentials.


Sky’s the limit when it comes to the Trader Joe’s cheese case! You can make the most kick-butt cheese board with TJ’s cheese. But here are the cheeses that are regularly on my list:

  • Unexpected Cheddar: This is the #1 cheese at my house and it’s on every charcuterie board I’ve ever made! It’s perfectly balanced with the perfect amount of sharpness.
  • Swiss or Provolone slices: The TJ’s cheese slices are so good! They make the best ham and Swiss/provolone sandwiches for lunch.
  • Shredded 3-Cheese Blend: Every week I buy a package of the shredded 3-cheese blend. I love to grate my own, but sometimes this comes in soooo handy!
Trader Joe's shopping list, best cheese to buy.


I typically buy chicken breasts and thighs in bulk at Costco but the other stuff is all Trader Joe’s!

  • Chicken Shawarma: This pre-marinated meat is so flavorful! Great to pair with tzatziki for wraps and bowls! My favorite way to cook it is in the air fryer.
  • Salmon: Their fresh wild-caught salmon can’t be beat! I also don’t shy away from wild-caught frozen salmon, either!
  • Fish Nuggets: Air fry these to perfection. They are so good, even my kids will eat fish! Perfect for crunchy fish tacos!
  • Meatballs: The frozen Italian-style meatballs are the best. I will buy the turkey ones in a pinch or if I want to cut some calories but they aren’t quite as good.
  • Shaved Beef: LIFE SAVING for easy weeknight meals. This super thinly shaved beef cooks up so quickly and is perfect for fajitas and stir-fries.
  • Cooked Sausage: The ones I buy every week are the Apple & Chardonnay and the Spicy Italian.
  • Smoked Pulled Chicken: I have to get this every week. The smokey flavor is to die for and it’s perfect for BBQ sandwiches or salads.
Must haves at Trader Joes - meats.


I really need to do a whole post on JUST the best TJ’s sauce and dips! There are too many to list here but these are the staples you will see in my kitchen at all times:

  • Peri Peri Sauce: If you like spice, you NEED this in your life! You can put in on anything but I like marinating chicken in it and making this Peri Peri Chicken and Rice.
  • Jalapeno Sauce: Again, good on ANYTHING but especially perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, and on top of scrambled eggs.
  • Crunchy Chili Onion: If this ever goes away, I will be in huge trouble! Check out my 12 favorite ways to use this amazing sauce in this post.
  • Guacasalsa: This is tomotillo salsa + guacamole. So yummy!
  • Carolina BBQ Sauce: This is seasonal (summer’ish) so when you see it, grab a few.
  • Organic Hummus: This is the one I like the best. It’s super smooth and creamy and it’s not overly garlicky.
Pictures of must have Trader Joe's sauces.


Trader Joe’s is home to some bomb-dot-com sweet treats:

  • Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: This was also on the customer favorites list! They are addicting!
  • Hold the Cone: I call these “guilt-free” because there are less than 100 calories in one cone. Not bad if you need just “a little something” sweet after dinner.
  • Ice Cream: TJ’s ice cream flavors are so good! I usually opt for a seasonal flavor to mix it up.
  • Jo Jo Sandwich Cookies: A weekly staple for the kid’s lunches.
  • Gluten-free Muffins: No one has a gluten allergy at my house but I still buy these because they are so amazing. I think we’ve tried all the flavors and they’re awesome, but strawberry and cinnamon coffee cake are our faves.
  • Kringle (any flavor): I debated putting this on the list because I don’t buy it every week, but I WANT TO. It is so darn good.
Must have Trader Joe's sweets.


I buy ALL of my spices at TJ’s because they are super affordable–I feel like they have to be losing money on these!!! I love that they come in glass bottles, too! Here are some of my favorites:

Photos of Trader Joe's must have spices.

Other Goodies I Always Have On Hand

If you peeked into my kitchen, here are a few more things I always have on hand!

  • Organic Creamy Tomato Soup
  • Tomato Paste (squeeze tube, lasts forever)
  • Cracked Wheat Bread
  • Thai Wheat Noodles
  • Pizza Crust (rectangle from the bread section). So good for making this pizza!
  • Black Beans
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Almond Butter
  • Ravioli (fresh from the cold section)
  • Flowers
  • Seasonal Hand Soaps
  • Spray Hand Sanitizer
Items that are on my Trader Joe's Shopping list ever week.

You can download the entire printable Trader Joe’s shopping list here!

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