An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide of How to Shop at TJs
Grab anything you want. My favorites include:
- Persian cucumbers
- Mirepoix–This classic combination of diced onions, celery and carrots is a foundation for many dishes. Apologies to my Food Hero Michael Pollan (I know sometimes you just have to stop and chop the onions)…but I need convenience during the week! Find it in the refrigerated section near the bagged lettuce.
- Chopped onions
- Chopped mix of onions/shallots/garlic
- Cruciferous Crunch Collection
- Fully cooked lentils
- Bagged salad greens
- Chopped broccoli, cauliflower, or the two mixed together
- Prewashed green beans/French beans
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts
- Shelled Edamame
- Cut fruit (try to buy seasonal and grown near your time zone)
- Baby Yukon Gold, fingerling and Teeny Tiny potatoes
- Cubed butternut squash
- Chicken tenderloins – I make easy chicken tenders at least twice a week, sometimes plain, sometimes breaded, sometimes in a sauce, and sometimes as part of a slow-cooker meal. I PROMISE that you can cook these in the same time as it takes to heat the pre-breaded chicken shapes (dinosaurs, Mickey, alphabet letters) in the toaster oven.
- Cut-up chicken parts, bone-in, skin on
- Seasoned ground turkey
- Hamburger patties/turkey patties
- Fresh fish—My neighbor Robin is a great cook and recommends this easy salmon recipe: Rub olive oil, salt and pepper on top and bottom of a fresh salmon fillet. Put on foil-lined baking sheet. Cook in upper third of oven pre-heated to 425 degrees, about 14 minutes.
GRAB AND GO SANDWICHES/SALADS/REFRIGERATED FULLY COOKED
- I know this category is hugely popular at TJs, but it’s honestly a category I tend to skip. I have tried many of the items and personally do not love the tastes. If you have favorites, by all means continue to buy them. My advice would be to avoid those with extra-long ingredient lists.
- Cereal—all are fine. I like Gorilla Munch, Joe’s Os, Puffins. Mix Gorilla Munch with Joe’s Os for easy kid snack
- Par-baked baby baguettes and par-baked rosemary rolls (YUM)
- Love all the tortillas—heat in skillet or on griddle for best results
- Granola bars–My local regular grocery store sells more than 50 (50!!!) versions of granola bars. TJs has about 10 at last count. HOWEVER…they are pretty much low fiber and “filler foods,” not the best. I think they are all pretty much equal. I don’t highly recommend them but they’re fine for what they are.
- The TJs cheese selection is impressive, and there are many varieties at reasonable cost. The authentic Parmesan is a fraction of the cost of regular grocery stores. Light Havarti and Light Jarlsberg slices are tasty, lower in sodium, great if you are watching calories but want cheese in your life
- Hummus—many flavor options, my favorite is the TJs Tuscan White Bean Hummus
- Crumbled feta
- Mini marinated mozzarella bites (put on toothpicks with basil and cherry/yellow tomatoes and drizzle with balsamic glaze)
- Prepared refrigerated tahini (make hummus with it using canned garbanzos, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, tahini, olive oil, blend all in food processor or high-powered blender)
- Shaved Parmesan
- I’m all for almost everything in this category. Great selection, lots of organic options but at reasonable prices. No fake colors, sprinkles or cookie toppings on their yogurt, hooray!
- Dorot Frozen Garlic – This little product has changed my life and I will weep if it is ever discontinued. Just pop a little frozen puree of garlic out right into a hot pan. 1 square = 1 minced clove.
- Frozen cooked rice—brown, white and blends
- Frozen cooked quinoa (expensive—only 2 bags per package)
- Shredded potatoes
- Frozen veggies and veggie blends-all great
- Frozen Melodious Blend (garbanzos/lentils/tomatoes/olive oil)
- Frozen oatmeal, and frozen oatmeal/quinoa blend (both very lightly sweetened)
- Frozen pizza crust (comes in flat box, also pick up the refrigerated pizza sauce in plastic tub)
- Chicken Gyoza Potstickers
- Many great options here, with easy to follow directions.
COOKIES, CRACKERS, SWEETS (usually located on the top of the frozen foods)
- Cat cookies, schoolbook cookies, animal crackers
- Woven Triscuit-like crackers
- I have to mention my favorite dark chocolate PB cups…so amazing
- Unsweetened Big and Chunky Applesauce
- Applesauce cups
- Valhrona 1 ounce chocolate bars
- 100 calorie mini chocolate bars
- General Tsao Stir Fry Sauce*
- All oils/vinegars
- Green salsa verde (my friend Amy G likes to mix with chopped cooked chicken and rice for a white chicken chili…add some cannellini beans too)
- Jar of marinated artichokes*
- Roasted red pepper vegetable spread
- Traditional marinara sauce
- Low-sodium chicken broth
- Boxed tomato and tomato/red pepper soup
- Canned low-sodium minestrone soup
- Canned organic lentil vegetable soup
- Balsamic glaze
- One of my favorite sections of the store! All of the 50% less salt roasted nutsGo Raw and Omega Trek mix, either large bags or individually packaged (avoid the Greek Yogurt Breakfast mix)
- All raw nuts, seeds, dried fruit (my kids love the salted shelled sunflower seeds)
- Wasabi Wow Trail Mix
- Rosemary Marcona almonds
- Kind bars, Pure Organic bars and Larabars
- Fruit strips in various flavors (note sometimes found at checkout counter)—great lunchbox treat
- TJs is famous for delicious and healthy nut butters. Go crazy.
- Fun food – Cookie Butter
- Olive oil popcorn in the bright green bag (great snack for kids especially those who have constipation issues…love to give kids a bedtime snack of cut fruit and olive oil popcorn)
- 100% organic corn tortilla chips
- Fun food—PB pretzels, honey wheat pretzel sticks, pumpernickel pretzels (all yummy but not the healthiest)