Thursday, November 29, 2007

Anatomy of a $25 Grocery trip.

Honestly, I do know how to shop for more bang for my buck, let alone at Trader Joe’s, but I still thought this was a good trip, especially since it included specialty items.

November 056

Kalamata Olive Oil (Greek) $7.99
Organic firm tofu $1
Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese $1.99
Trader Joe's Semi Sweet chocolate chips $1.69
Bananas 19 cents each
Trader Joe's Mildly Spiced burritos $2.19
Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs $3.69
One can of whole, salted plum tomatoes $1.19
One can of whole, unsalted plum tomatoes $1.19
Candy Cane effin Joe Joes $2.49
Organic tomato paste 89 cents
Black Olives 99 cents

…and totalling just above $26.

During the colder months when the farmer’s market is closed, I tend to shop more at Trader Joe’s and Limbo, for bulk herbs and produce which is next door to the SE 39th location. I had cauliflower and green food at home, or this trip would have included spinach and carrots. I’m not big on purchasing that many vegetables from Trader Joe’s, with the whole cling-wrap extra packaging business, but it does happen. My specialty/pricey purchases during this trip are obviously the olive oil – I buy from Trader Joe’s because they try to stock only non-gmo products, and this olive oil is from Greece. I’m sorry, California, but I want my olive oil from Europe. Maybe Australia, but it’s been a while for that. I picked up the meatballs for fun. I’ve only had veggie meatballs once before, at Bye & Bye, and they were pretty good with marinara on a crusty baguette. I don’t plan on buying these again anytime soon, but I would like to try making them, finally. I don’t think I’d had meatballs at all since I was 8! Remember the Campbells alphabet soup? I still could only eat these fauxes when baked crispy.

Anyway, I like to buy my tofu locally as well, but the TJ’s $1 organic price tag is irresistible when I’m there. I don’t think their tofu is really fresh tasting like the stuff I buy in bulk at my coop, but it’s still tofu. I used half in my recent tofu scramble, and half with the pumpkin seed crusted tofu on my lat post. The burritos are for Thomas, I'm just not a wild frozen food fan.

The Peppermint Joe Joe’s….well I am hiding those in my freezer. This was my first time buying them, and they’re even better than Mint Newman O’s. Believe it.


Taylor said...

I, literally, just got back from TJ's with a $24.92 receipt:

laundry detergent
1/2 gallon Ricedream
soy and flax clusters cereal
flour tortillas
10 grain bread
quart of plain yogurt
2 bags of dried cherries

The cherries and detergent were almost 1/2 of the ticket.

Anonymous said...

Waaaah! I just want to cry. I wish we had TJ's. :-(

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess !

Have you tried Bryanna's neatball recipe? It's on her blog, I believe and I love them. Very easy to make, too!

Julie from Julie's Kind Kitchen said...

Those minty jo jos are the best! I always wondered if those burritos are good-does Thomas get them regularly?

oh, and did you just stick the whole box of jo jos in the fridge? i gotta store up before they run out!

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

yr a good shopper. i can't leave a place without spending over 30 bucks.

Barbara said...

The 39th TJ's is my local one as well. I love shopping there. If I need anything else, I just zoom over to the Sellwood New Seasons and I get just about everything I need.


Liz² said...

tofutti cream cheese is only $2? neat! I always assumed it would be more (maybe in a non TJ store it would be more, I've just never seen it to know). also, kickass haul!

veganfabluous said...

I am going to TJ's today and will pick up some of that tofu! I always spend nearly $2 on tofu at Fred Meyer! My TJ staples are:

Olive Oil
Raw Cashews
Dried Mangos
Almond Milk
Vegetable Broth

I tend to spend right around $26 each time too.

Anonymous said...

i also spent 25 bucks at tj's yesterday!!!!

no, i didn't.

but i heart you and your tj/limbo ways, and one day i will have to join you cause limbo is hype hype like the farm! spiiiiices!


sarah said...

Since I work at TJs (not in Portland), I'm enjoying the TJ-love. Working there makes being vegan a little too convenient...

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Taylor - I like their grainy breads too - especially the prices. I haven't bought the cherries, but do like to buy cranberries there, which are fortunately pretty cheap.

Vivacious - I wish you did too!

Gaia - hello! I haven't tried that - thanks. I just checked out the balls recipe and it looks like just the ticket! really versatile, too.

Barbara - that's so similar to my winter shopping routine! I go to the Division New Season's, and add People's into the mix as well.

Liz2 - I will admit it's the hydrogenated one, but at least it's the only hydrogenated product going into my body in a long time.

Megan - Go, tofu, go!

Michelle - one day!

Anonymous said...

When I moved from Boston I was SO missing TJs, and they recently came to my state. I have to is not at all what I remembered! I think their prices have gone WAY up, and other than the tofu, I feel like cannot find any good deals there. I was so upset--I think the Bostons TJs are better! Or maybe I am just remembering it better than it was...?


jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Courtney -

I know what you mean! Although Boston's TJs were my first, too, I think prices in general have just been going up and up and up there (well and everywhere). The tofu is the only thing I've seen actually come *down* in price.
The whole tomato cans recently went up from 89 cents to $1.19 and I still have to kick myself into buying them, I'm so cheap! It's like I think if I hold off, they'll lower the price again for me..

I liked the downtown TJ's and remember applying for a job before it opened - but it was annoying with the slow escalators, you know? I preferred to the Coolidge Corner - my boyfriend worked in the area and we're pick up groceries there and lug them across town...

Christine said...

I looooove nate's "meat"balls, they are the only commercial ones I will eat. My bf who doesn't like real meat meatballs even likes them. Yum!

Sadly, I don't have a TJ's nearby, though there are rumors. Those candy cane jo jo's look right up my alley :)

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