Monday, October 13, 2014

First Impression and Haul: Trader Joe's #ColoradoSprings

Happy Monday!  This is an exciting post for me!   For the last few weeks, I have been holding a humble countdown to the opening of Trader Joe's in Colorado Springs.  I live about 20 minutes away from the store, but since it is the only one around I am considering it a local store for me.

If you have been a reader of this blog for a while then you know that I have been DYING to visit a Trader Joe's.  I have shared my passion for the store so much that on a Foodie Pen Pal box sweet girl Kim, sent me a package from the TJ New York city store.  Check out that post here! 

For those who do not know what a Trader Joe's is (since I am now an expert lol,) here's a little info from their website...

A few of you gave me item recommendations over Instagram. Unfortunately, the store was so busy that I was not able to do much browsing around.  No worries, the store is here to stay.  I am sure I will get to those items soon :-).  Thanks you so much for your suggestions!  

First Impression of Trader Joe's...   "It goes without saying... overcrowded, insane, nuts, crazy."  Keep in mind, I did go to their opening.  The store was smaller than I was expecting.  I did not get to see any of their pre-made salads or other fresh food selections.  I did see tons of prepackaged & frozen "healthier" junk food items, as well as a good selection of organic items.

I have to say, their fresh produce and stevia was a bit overpriced in comparison to WholeFoods and Sprouts.  However, the hummus, different spreads, can goods, snacks, salad dressings, nut butters, dried fruits, nuts, vegan and vegetarian selections were much cheaper than those found at other health food stores.  I will definitely go back for those selections.

Will I stop going to WholeFoods and Sprouts?  No.   
Will I include Trader Joe's on my weekly grocery shopping stop?  Yes.

Anyway I asked if you guys were interested in seeing what I hauled on Friday, some of you said yes, so here it is! 
 When we walked in they greeted us with a reusable grocery bag, they were handing these to every person at the store.  I am now the proud owner of three of these little babies since Kim was kind enough to send me one of those too!  Score! 
 They were also handing out their Fearless Flyer, which contained an explanation of all their in season featured products with pricing and a little background on each item.  It was the perfect read to keep us excited while waiting on line.  Clever!

Let's get to what I hauled!

Produce aisle...
As I mentioned above, I found that their produce department was a bit over priced.  I get my produce from my local Farmer's Market.  I picked up a pomegranate, bananas, grape tomatoes and ginger.  If you are curious, none of these items are organic.

I am a fan of Tejava Black Tea and Coconut water.  Tejava was priced at $1.49 a bottle and the coconut water I believe was $1.99 for the 32 oz container.  I heard everyone raving about their Orange Juice, so I had to get it. 

Spreads and can goods...

I was out of my Ezekiel Brown Rice tortillas and I decided to go for the sprouted ones since they were $2.99. Wow, this was a good deal!  I also picked up organic pumpkin puree, pumpkin butter, an olive tapenade spread, a red pepper spread, pumpkin pie spice, organic black beans and the hubby wanted to try their peanut butter cups so, naturally, we got those too!

Hubby is a big fan of box Pacific brand box soups, he loves taking these to work.  He picked up a pretty good selection to try.  He wanted me to tell you:  He loves them!

Protein, fat and dressings...
We were all out of hummus and this hummus quartet looked like a good way to try out the TJ brand, we love them!  I also picked up a packet of their chicken-less strips and beef-less grounds to try, these were much cheaper than the brand I normally get.   We were out of coconut oil spray and the TJ brand was too good to pass up at $2.99 a bottle.  Also, someone recommended their Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette and sounded like something we needed to try. ;o)

Now, to get to the recommendations from Instagram friends...  So far I have only tried the Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Tea, which is scrumptious.  If you are looking for a fall tea, I highly recommend this one.  Also, the dark chocolate with toffee pieces, OMG!! Dangerously delicious, so so good :-)  However, those dried cranberries were nasty :-(   Are these meant to be for decoration? lol.  Perhaps  as a topping to a sweet treat, anyway, not a fan...

Ooooh, I also picked up fresh flowers which were $3.99.
If you are curious, my bill came up to $85.00 dollars.  I think the excitement took the best of me and I pretty much forgot about the list I made of the items I was dying to pick up.  As I mentioned before, there was just no way to take my time and explore.  It was INSANE!

Hope you found this helpful!
What are your favorite TJ items?  Share them below!


  1. You're making me so jealous! I love trader joes and we don't have one near me right now. There's supposed to be one coming this fall, but when I lived near one that's the only place I shopped.

    1. I used to feel the same.. This will serve as an incentive for you to visit when it opens in your area ;))

  2. YAY Trader Joes! I couldn't keep up with my clean eating without it!! We are actually moving away from our t.j's this year and I'm going to be crushed. I will have to practice hoarding my favorite products everytime I go!

    1. So sad, I would be crushed too... Take advantage of it now Susan ;o(

  3. Trader Joe's is the weekly must-stop for our family. Love the stuff, fair prices, and such a friendly atmosphere! Aside from their fare they got me into bringing my own recycle bags. Love that! :)

  4. There isn't a Trader Joe's that close so I hardly ever get a chance to go.

    1. So sorry to hear, I waited forever to finally have access to one... Hopefully you'll get one around your area soon ;o)


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