I personally think a lot of people overuse the word “blessed” but here in Little Rock, we are #blessed with great grocery stores. Last October, Little Rock opened a Trader Joe’s and I’ve been discovering new products ever since. I’d only been in Trader Joe’s a few times before and thought it was cool, but it wasn’t really on my radar of fun places. That changed after the first time I went shopping there.
Trader Joe’s is a grocery store chain that started in California in the 1960’s. Their private label groceries help to cut out the middle men and provide value to the customers. There are Instagram accounts and blogs dedicated to their products and they’ve reached cult like status. Ever heard of Everything But the Bagel Seasoning? That’s a TJ’s original and inspired a thousand copycats. The store offers so much that it can be a little overwhelming for a first time shopper. In the past few months, I’ve discovered some products that I love and keep on hand all of the time.
Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. There’s a reason people love this…it tastes phenomenal. It contains a combination of sesame seeds, minced garlic, minced onion, sea salt, black sesame seeds and poppy seeds. I use it instead of salt on steamed veggies, baked potatoes, or eggs. My new favorite thing is the take a piece of salami, spread a little cream cheese on it, and top it with this seasoning. Yum! People are selling it on Amazon for up to $15 a bottle, but it’s $1.99 at Trader Joe’s.
Chili Lime Seasoning. I love anything with a spicy/sweet combo and this hits the spot. I use it in place of salt on the things mentioned above but I really like it on pineapple or popcorn too. I mostly use it on eggs in the morning. There’s a million copycats of this as well- you can probably find a similar one at Walmart. Again, this is only $1.99.
Lime & Thai Chili Cashews. A friend recommended these to me and I’m addicted. These are $7.99 for a 16 ounce bag so it’s not any more expensive than other cashews. I like these for a quick snack. They have a little heat, so if you don’t like spice, you probably won’t be fond of these.
Multi Purpose Cleaner- Cedarwood and Sage. I just got this yesterday but used it to clean the house this morning and it’s my new favorite. I was looking for floor cleaner and couldn’t find one. I looked at this, realized it wasn’t floor cleaner, and put it back. My husband pointed out it was only $2.99 for 34 ounces and put it in our basket. He’s a smart man. I love the smell of cedarwood and I really like the way this works. I used it to clean the granite in our kitchen and bathrooms, the tile in the shower, and even wiped down the microwave with it. It cut right through the hairspray grime in the bathroom so I was impressed.
Ultra Hydrating Moisturizing Gel. The story behind this product is that a Trader Joe’s Buyer didn’t want to pay $50 for her moisturizer and knew Trader Joes could do better. It’s really hard to find a hydrating moisturizer for my oily skin but so far, this seems to work. It’s only $8.99 for a 2.5 ounce tub. In comparison, Clinique Moisture Surge is $39.50 for a 1.7 ounce. I used to work at a Clinique counter and I feel that this is really comparable. I don’t love the smell of it but it doesn’t have any added fragrance so I’ll deal with it.
Those are just some of the things I love from Trader Joe’s. I really want to try their Everything but the Elote Seasoning. I’ve also really liked their plantain chips, hummus, and their seasonal Turkey Gobbler Wrap. It’s a wrap with all the great Thanksgiving leftovers- turkey, cranberries, cream cheese, stuffing..I’m sure you could make your own but it’s so much easier to just grab it premade. This is not my normal healthy food so I don’t eat them a lot. It’s really just a fun and inexpensive place to shop. If you’re looking for snack food, you’ll be in heaven. I’ve heard their Joe-Joes cookies are even better than Oreos. I’m not a huge fan of Oreos (unless they’re mixed with cream cheese and dunked in almond bark) so I’ll have get them when my stepkids visit and get their reactions. I did think their meat was a expensive, but we don’t normally buy meat there so I wasn’t too concerned with it. I’ve also gotten Deuce some treats from Trader Joes, but had to throw them away. He has a weird allergy to some products and gets ear infections so we can only give him specific treats.
In addition to Trader Joes, we went to Local Lime yesterday. I think that’s my favorite Little Rock restaurant at the moment. My brother and his fiance gave us a giftcard for Christmas so we went and treated ourselves. They were switching from their winter to spring cocktails and the bartender was kind enough to mix up a new cocktail for me to try. It was mixture of blueberry, tarragon and mezcal. I don’t know the name of it, but I’d definitely get it again. I’m trying to convince my mom to visit soon so we can go there since she loves Mexican food. I just saw an advertisement for Rock City Margarita Festival so we’re thinking about attending that in May. I’m getting excited for a weekend away with my college friends and their husbands in April and in just a few weeks, we’re headed up to Iowa for our granddaughter’s first birthday. I’ve already started present shopping! While we’re there, we are also staying in Des Moines for a night to see our friends. It’s fun when we can take a trip to see a lot of people at once. This spring is giving us a lot to look forward to! Have a great day everyone!
** I am not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own**