Top 5: Best Trader Joe's Products, Spring 2019
Over the last few years, Greg and I have tried to reduce the amount of money that we spend on groceries. We have compared prices and selections at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Marc’s, Trader Joe’s and Aldi. The two standouts are Trader Joe’s and Aldi. Both stores save you money, because their prices are often 30%-40% lower than the larger grocery stores. They also save you time, because they are smaller and have less brands to chose from. It took some time to transition from larger grocery chains that have everything you could possibly want and more (furniture, grills, workout clothes, etc.) to smaller limited selection stores. Once we began to trust the quality of the brands on offer and knew what products each store had, it became easier to create grocery lists that did not require a trip to Kroger. Also, Aldi delivers!
We are also trying reduce the amount of waste that we put into the environment. I am not saying that we are going zero waste, but we are doing our part to limit the burden we have on the planet. Little changes like reusing plastic bags, reducing the amount of paper towels we use or eliminating dryer sheets can have an impact. Also they are easy to adopt, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Here are a few items we thought would be fun to review!
What are your favorite Trader Joe’s products?
#5 Watermelon Juice, $3.99, 3 WW Freestyle points.
This was an impulse buy! I actually said out loud, “sparkling watermelon juice, yes please” and put it in my cart. The flavor is a cross between fresh watermelon and a watermelon Jolly Rancher. I think that it might be because of the citric acid which gives it a slight lemon taste? I found the juice to be light and refreshing. I also thought it would make a great base for a summer cocktail. The picture on their site shows the juice in a glass with slices of watermelon and mint. This picture is misleading because the actual color is orange and not pink like you would expect. There is no added sugar and the ingredients list is short; Watermelon juice, carbon dioxide, citric acid and ascorbic acid.
I would buy this again and even try to make a cocktail recipe with it. Stock up now, I have read from other bloggers that the supply is limited.
#4 Waxed Cotton Food Wraps, $8.99
Using plastic wrap and plastic bags at home is starting to make me feel so guilty (along with straws, single use coffee cups, weed killer, doggie poo bags, ahhhhh too many things). One step at a time, right? I’ve seen wax covered clothes on Etsy and thought, if they are cute enough, I might use them? How cute are these wraps from Trader Joe’s? You get three reusable clothes that you can clean with soapy cold water.
They are quit stiff. The packaging tells you to warm them between your hand to soften them. This worked a little bit. You do not get the tight seal that you would expect from plastic wrap, but then again, they are not plastic wrap. I wrapped some left over tofu in the medium cloth and it was not dried out two days later. I wrapped an onion in the small cloth and it seemed to look the same as if I had used a plastic bag?
I will need to keep using them to determine if they will replace plastic in our home. My only concern is that (and this is lazy, I know) it’s is hard to know what veggies you have wrapped up and I will have to remove the cloth to look inside?
#3 Wool Dryer Balls, $5.49
These wool dryer balls are right up my alley! I do not use scented dryer sheets or scented laundry detergent. When I first graduated from graduate school and moved to St. Louis, I got hives. The hives lasted for so long, they became a chronic autoimmune disorder. I started to eliminate tons of things that could trigger hives. I stopped using scented detergents, I cleaned my house constantly, I had to avoid the rain (truly this caused hives on my face and scalp). I still get a hive or two every once in a while for no particular reason (I have one on my arm as I write this), so I have never gone back to using detergents with scents.
I was so exited to find these dryer balls, because they are a natural way to soften your clothes and reduce static. I have only used them once and my review is that I no longer need to buy dryer sheets! One less item to buy, consume and throw away. Score!
#2 Peony Blossom Foaming Hand Soap, $2.99
I do use scented hand soap. It’s my one scent indulgence. Trader Joe’s Peony Blossom Foaming Hand Soap is light and smells amazing. Our office is about to run out of our usual Mrs. Meyer’s and who doesn’t like a new soap? Also, peonies are my favorite flower. You can send a bouquet to our office, care of Jodi Boatman, 4290 Indianola Ave, Suite 201, Columbus, Ohio 43214. Thanks!
#1 Pop-Up Sponges, $7.99
I have looked at these sponges for years and considered buying them for a long time. My reservation has always been that they do not have a scouring side. After using them however, I think they are great! The fact that there are 12 sponges in a package that only takes up as much room as one regular sponge is a selling point. Our kitchen is small and we need to alway think about the space something will take up. Once you add water to the dry flat sponge it puffs up and becomes soft. They are not too big or small.
I have used them for a few days and so far I haven’t noticed any funky smells or bits flaking off. I have read that they can be put in the microwave for a minute to kill bacteria or run though the dishwasher. I have also read that they are compostable. So instead of throwing them out, you could cut them up and add them to your backyard compost. I will have to try this to see if they really break down over time?