What I Bought For the Week at Trader Joe’s

What I Bought For the Week at Trader Joe’s August 15, 2010
Blurry photo of the Actual Trader Joe's in my neighborhood

Yesterday, in “I Dare You To Stay Awake Reading This,” I mentioned my plans to go grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. I was trying to be boring. But instead of thinking it was boring, some of you expressed an interest in knowing what I bought there.

Maybe I’ve been doing this blog thing all wrong. Maybe I should try out a period of being like George Costanza in that one episode, where he decided to do the opposite of everything his instincts told him to do. I always try to blog about something interesting; maybe instead I should blog about boring stuff.

Cool! This should be easy.

Well, then, here’s what I brought at Trader Joe’s yesterday:

jar o’ organic peanut butter

organic french roast coffee (which I ground in their machine there)

bag of dried mangoes

bag of grilled eggplant and zucchini (frozen)

square of Israeli feta cheese

two frozen “Handcrafted Cheese & Green Chile Tamales”

tub of hummus

pita bread

slice of “Old Amsterdam” gouda cheese

two bags of “Southern Blend” greens (that we steam and eat with yams and fish)

four cubes organic unsalted butter

bottle of organic olive oil (you know, I didn’t realize I buy so much organic stuff)

two little boxes of organic blueberries

three jars of three-cheese Italian pasta sauce

bag of frozen organic spinach

four tubs of organic lowfat yogurt

box of frozen channa masala

two large Hass avocados

two things of organic strawberries

bag of Basmati rice

two bags organic fusilli pasta

two bags fresh brussels sprouts

bag of premium walnut halves

two “Cannelloni Tre Formaggio” (frozen entree thing)

two bags organic baby lettuce

a hothouse cucumber

one bag egg pappardelle pasta (big flat long noodles)

one box organic rolled oats

five beefsteak tomatoes

two boxes peaches (best fruit EVER; the peaches are unbelievable this year)

honeydew melon

frozen organic French green beans

slice of triple-cream brie

tub o’ lowfat cottage cheese

two orange bell peppers

bag of assorted baby potatoes

bottle of Chandon champagne

So. Bored yet?!

I wasn’t going off a shopping list or anything; I rarely do. I just cruise through the store real fast, snagging stuff off the shelves. And this what I came home with yesterday.

So. If nothing else, Cat and I aren’t likely to starve to death this week.

For about a year before we moved to San Diego some thirteen years ago, I worked at the Trader Joe’s in Bakersfield. Not a pleasant job, by a very long shot.

But that’s stuff I can bore you with later! Or not! I can’t tell!


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  • you forgot to get taffy.


    New Belgian fat tire ale.


    was the peanut butter smooth or crunchy?


  • PS

    the Hollandaise is really good.

  • Melissa

    Champagne is NEVER boring…

  • A

    Just out of curiosity, are you two vegetarian? I didn't notice any meat products, but I could have overlooked something.

  • Joe

    This could lead to recipes which would take you in yet another direction.

  • Tanager

    Now, if you'd be willing to blog about the contents of your medicine cabinet or nightstand drawer (assuming you have one; not everyone does) I'd see more potential excitement. Everyone wants to know if someone keeps laxatives or Fleet's hidden away somewhere, just so they can get a giggle – and be reminded they're not the only ones whose real life isn't like a magazine cover or movie hero's 😉

  • Well, here's a little bit about my bed stand: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2009/01/16/the-books-on-my-b

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Wow. This, more than any other post, proves it: You really are a liberal elitist. 🙂


  • Hey, man. I'm not your typical liberal elitist. I'm a liberal elitist from Southern California.

    Yeah, baby!

    But, a pretty broke one. One of the mondo-key reasons I shop at TJ's is for their low prices.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Great… now you're using the word "mondo". I've gotta back to the "real" America (where, by the way, things are a lot less expensive than in Southern California; I'd bet your "broke"-ness would make you (upper?-)middle-class in little ol' Marion, IN).

  • Matthew Tweedell

    *gotta get

  • Ace

    You forgot the jars of giant olives. THEY ARE THE BEST OLIVES IN THE WORLD. I think they are called "queen olives" or something. I don't even like olives and I can eat my way through a whole jar of those in a week (and pickle my insides with all the salt as a bonus).

    Also the chicken vindaloo in the freezer section. It's vindalooicious.

  • I brought the olives you're talking about last week. I don't think I've been without those in my house for fifteen years.

    Vindalooicious! Love it!

  • Susan Golian

    They now have pimento cheese – try a spoonful of it on top of a hot steak or hot baked potato…mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  • typoqueen

    I'm so impressed! All that nutrition, practically all of the "super foods", and not much of it qualifies as fast food. Even the orange bell peppers are packed with more vitamins than any of the other colors. And that was just off-the-cuff, snag-it shopping? Someone has taught you well. You don't happen to live next door to Dr. Oz, do you? And the best part is that most of these items are ingredients of the bigger picture; like salads, pasta dishes, and down and dirty vegetables. Things that have to be PREPARED and that's the part that you say YOU do. Amazing! Would you consider authoring a cookbook in your signature style?

    Now THAT would be a best-seller!

  • typoqueen

    Should have said "ANOTHER best-seller".

  • DR

    Oh I want those now, I'm fresh out.

  • Ummmmm … okay.

    Maybe I do have time to fit blogging back into my schedule, if this is a legitimate post.

    Wow … And, no, your groceries don't prove that you're a liberal elitist. Weirdo, maybe, but not liberal elitist.

    Then again, you live in Southern California. We all knew something had to be off.

    Well, you've inspired me. I just tossed a post up about today's little shopping excursion.

  • Jeremy

    Oof. Just reading that list makes me crave a bacon cheeseburger.

  • Hah! The taffy is wonderful, but I'm intensely enamored of my fillings; I'm afraid I don't much care for the Fat Tire ale; and smooth.

  • Tomorrow is my/our 29th wedding anniversary, so … champagne!

  • This is such a huge story; I should tell it sometime. Because, really, I don't think I've bored you guys QUITE ENOUGH!!!

  • Yeah, that is the fun part. I go shopping, see what's good there, come home, and … start winging it. Fun!

  • thanks i can sleep now. lol

  • You have no idea how much I want to write a cookbook. I want to write one that's for … well, guys, basically. Who shop at normal, chain grocery stores. And basically aren't into cooking.

  • Would that you should have! (Thank you, though. You're very kind.)

  • I read it! It was very zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Split it with me?

  • I LOVE to grocery shop so reading your post was quite interesting to me, like peeking in someone else's basket while in the checkout line. I'm nosy that way.

  • denver

    Wow you guys eat so healthy! So I'm thinking if you ever write that cookbook and you need taste testers for your recipes… one blog post and you'll have a pile of us at your door. Whatever comes from a grocery list like that must be noms. 😀

  • Mark Lattimore

    Israeli feta? That just took the term "international cuisine" to a whole new level.

  • I tried writing a recipe once. Then I realized that I don't measure when cooking most things.

    I make a darned good baked ziti, chili, beef stew, etc.. But I can't really tell you in detail how to make it. The best suggestion I had for one person once is to watch me and try to pick it up along the way.

  • Indeed it was. I fell asleep while writing it, I think.

  • i make a yummy stroganoff, lasagna, enchilada pie, chili, beef stew, eggs Benedict and tacos

    we should all write a cookbook…..

    Swami John Shore and his followers….cook!

  • Tanager

    Books, schmooks. We want to know if there’s a [delete] [delete] or pair of [delete] in those drawers.

    And by “we” I mean “I.” Probably. Maybe.

  • Well, if you can’t commit to wanting to know, how can I commit to telling you?

  • 37 comments. On your shopping list.

    Some things are too mysterious for the mere mortal mind to comprehend.

    And it's worth telling that my last sentence would have been more funny if I'd left it as spellcheck auto-corrected, that being "some thongs are too mysterious…."

  • JB

    wow. Put's my Trader Joe's list to shame. Everytime I go in, I forget to bring my recyclable bags, so I always wind up buying a couple more. I think I now own about a dozen.

    Agreed on the olives!! I always have those in my fridge…along with a bag of sugar snap peas, and their bleu cheese pecan dip. Yum.

  • Ace

    Sounds like me and my wok – throw stuff in, something tasty comes out at the end, magically. 😀

  • Diana A.

    No, you haven't. Do tell!

  • Diana A.

    Good for you! Congratulations!

  • Richard Lubbers

    Happy Anniversary, John and Cat!

  • First of all, I was super excited to read a shopping list from Trader Joe’s. We don’t have them here, so I live vicariously through food bloggers telling me about their Trader Joe’s goodies. Yeah, I’m kind of lame like that. I also live vicariously through Californians bragging about the perfect weather (ie today’s post) they enjoy year around as I’m sweating inside b/c I’m afraid of the electricity bill I’ll get if I really try to cool down my home in these over 100 temps. Second of all, you could totally shop for me! All of that food sounds delicious. So glad you and Cat won’t be starving or smoldering this week. That’s it, I’m moving to Cali.