Lazy Girl’s Trader Joe’s Haul

When you only have one or two days off every week, weekends become a careful balancing act. On the one hand, weekends should be fun! But after spending time on friends/going out/hobbies/etc. you realize that it’s almost Monday again. That means groceries, laundry, cleaning, and trying to get your life together in preparation for another 5-6 days of work has to happen. Oh and catching up on sleep would be nice too. Sometimes you have the energy and time to power out cooking and prepping everything from scratch. Other times, you might need a shortcut or two. When I know I’m going to be short on time, I’m not afraid to admit that cooking Natalie gets a little lazy. That’s where Trader Joe’s comes in. I’m going to share my grocery haul from this week, and a few ideas for super quick and easy meals that won’t empty your wallet. These may not be the #cleaneats #fitfam #macrofriendly options for someone on a specific diet plan, but I do my best to incorporate some nutrient dense foods and lots of veggies. 

Produce:

  • Cucumber
  • Spaghetti Squash- perfect smaller size
  • Onion
  • Raspberries
  • Limes
  • Green Onions
  • Grape Tomatoes 
  • Riced Cauliflower- cheaper than most other places and time saving 
  • Butternut Squash Zig Zags- aka pretend french fries
  • Pre-Trimmed Green Beans- ready to cook
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Small Honeycrisp Apples- good for snacks
  • Shredded Carrots- easy to throw on salads or in other recipes
  • Southwest Salad- sometimes cheaper than buying all salad components separately 

Frozen Food:

  • Fully Cooked Falafel- super quick to heat up
  • Grilled Chicken Strips- the cashier commented that this is the best value on chicken in the whole store, even compared to raw 
  • Frozen Peas- easy to throw into anything to add more veg
  • Chocolate Filled Crepes- I haven’t tried these before and crepes are easy enough to make from scratch, but I figured I’d just try these out and see how they were
  • Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese- I have a Hatch Chile obsession it’s fine
  • Thai Sweet Chili Veggie Burgers- I haven’t tried these before but they were higher protein/lower carb than the other veggie burgers so I thought they’d be worth a shot. I’ve been trying to sub in some plant-based protein sources when I can.
  • Chopped Spinach- also an easy way to add in some more vitamins

Everything Else:

  • Iced Tea
  • Naan
  • Honey Crisp Apple Cider
  • Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Sesame Oil
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Tzatziki 
  • Gyro Slices
  • Extra Lean Ground Beef
  • Fruit Leather 

Made it out for less than $85! Most of this stuff can be mixed and matched to make a bunch of different meals. I try to buy things that are multi-purpose in order to reduce the cost of food as well as preparation time and food waste. Here are some ideas that require very minimal cooking if any at all:

  • Gyro Sandwiches 
    • Gyro Meat
    • Tzatziki
    • Onion
    • Cucumber
    • Tomato
    • Lettuce 
    • Naan
    • Falafel on side
  • Cauliflower Veggie Fried Rice
    • Riced Cauliflower
    • Sesame Oil
    • Peas
    • Carrots
    • Spinach
    • Green Onion 
    • Add from fridge/pantry: soy sauce, garlic, and egg
  • Burger Bowl
    • Veggie burger patty
    • Lettuce
    • Tomato
    • Butternut Squash Zig Zags 
    • Green Beans
  • Spaghetti Squash Marinara
    • Ground Beef
    • Spaghetti Squash
    • Spinach
    • Marinara Sauce
  • Salad
    • Blue Cheese Dressing
    • Butter Lettuce
    • Chicken Strips
    • Tomatoes
    • Cucumber
    • Onion 

What’re your favorite Trader Joe’s finds? It can be pretty hard to go wrong and I know there are definitely some gems that I haven’t tried yet. Hopefully these tips have provided some inspiration for cheap, easy meals! 

Please follow and like us:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *