Trader Joe’s to the Rescue

Maybe I’ll be an expert meal planner someday, but ever since we got back from a last-minute family vacation a couple weeks ago, it’s been hard to get back on track. We both dove head-first into work and emails as soon as we walked in the door and never quite made it to the grocery store for a full-on shop. I typically stock the pantry with easy staples like canned beans and soups, but it was slim pickings! We also found ourselves slipping back into our old habits of eating out pretty regularly. Enter, convenience foods from one of my favorite grocery stores, Trader Joe’s.

I like to limit the amount of pre-packaged, pre-chopped foods for cost purposes, but sometimes it’s just easier to have on hand. Would you rather spend a little extra for convenience foods you can easily pair together, or feel overwhelmed that you have no time and resort to cereal or even the drive-through?

Pair a hearty can of minestrone soup with a side salad and a slice of toast. Use pre-cooked chicken breast for chicken salad sandwiches, dice and throw into an omelet, veggie hash, or pair with some rice and veg for dinner. There’s so much you can make with as little as 4 ingredients. Check out what I bought below!

Trader Joes Haul

Dairy Products

  • Butter spread
  • Cream cheese (for bagels)
  • Vanilla yogurt (for dessert)
  • 2% Greek Yogurt (for my dog and for quick breakfasts)
  • Swiss cheese slices (sandwiches)

Meat, Poultry, Fish

  • Frozen tilapia fillets (breaded with pank0)
  • Roast chicken breast (pre-cooked)
  • Beef sirloin (for stew)
  • Turkey deli meat (sandwiches)
  • Low-sodium salami (impulse, I like cured meats on occasion)
  • Breakfast chicken sausages (chopped up in omelettes)
  • Jumbo eggs (for anything!)


  • Clementines (grab n’ go, add to cranberry sauce)
  • Bananas
  • Diced sweet potatoes (I’ll add these to the stew)
  • Baby carrots
  • Broccoli kale slaw (SO good, new favorite)
  • Bagged spinach
  • Frozen broccoli florets (I always buy a bag for a quick side)
  • Fresh cranberries (For sauce! I like to add to oats, yogurt, or for chicken)
  • Ready-to-eat, pomegranate arils (Expensive compared to whole pomegranate, but I wanted them)

Bread & Bread-Like Things

  • Soft 10-grain bread
  • Harvest bagels (great stats on these!)
  • Frozen blueberry waffles
  • Frozen almond croissants (these are so GOOD for a Sunday treat, leave out overnight to “proof”, bake in the morning)
  • Mini biscotti (I have these with tea at night)

Soup (it’s own category)

  • Minestrone
  • Lentil (best ever!)
  • Creamy Tomato Soup (use as a base for stew or quick bowl for lunch)
  • Chicken Noodle (Jason’s favorite)


What’s your favorite go-to recipe that’s quick and simple?

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