A first-timer's guide to exploring Trader Joe's (PHOTOS)

Jun 21 2022, 6:44 pm

This is a first-person experiential piece written by a Daily Hive staff member.


I’ve heard the cheers for years and now that we can cross the border more easily into the US — I decided to make my first EVER trip to Trader Joe’s.

Before I left, I asked some friends on Instagram for their recommendations — and they did not disappoint. From cookies to spices to chicken… I was armed with a pretty extensive list.

We spent the night at Tulalip Resort Casino in Washington State and stopped at the Trader Joe’s Bellingham location on Monday afternoon. I could not believe how busy it was! We circled the block several times before we found a parking spot.

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Inside the Trader Joe’s in Bellingham/Daily Hive

So, what did I buy? Here are the five products I would for sure buy again.

Speculoos Cookie Butter

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Daily Hive

I’ve heard people talk about this for years and am so glad I grabbed this. I tried it on a piece of toast — so good. I would definitely buy this again.

Strawberry Shortcake Sandwich Cookies

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Daily Hive

This was a bit of a spontaneous purchase. They have the perfect amount of crunch in the cookies and aren’t overly sweet.

Olive Tapenade

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Daily Hive

As someone who LOVES olives, this is by far my favourite purchase. I have put it on a bagel and dipped pita chips. Honestly, SO good and I would grab more than one next time.

Mandarin Orange Chicken

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Daily Hive

The Trader Ming’s Mandarin Orange Chicken is constantly rated among the most popular items and for good reason. You can pop it in the over or the air fryer for extra crispiness. I found I didn’t need to use all the sauce.

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets

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Daily Hive

I may have had to cut the top off of this picture because I opened these right away. A lot of people suggested the peanut butter cups, but I thought I’d give these a shot. They are a delicious snack and I would definitely pick up some more on my next trip.

Honourable Mentions

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Cheese: I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shoutout to the cheese section at the Bellingham location. I picked up a block of cheddar for $2.69 US. Even with the conversion, it was a great deal. I would for sure stock up next time as there were so many different options.

Alcohol: We were only in the US for about 24 hours, so I didn’t grab any liquor, but if I was there longer, I definitely would try some of the cheap booze. I mean, you can’t go wrong with Two Buck Chuck.

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Daily Hive

Final thoughts

I only bought a fraction of the items that were suggested to me and I will definitely go back to Trader Joe’s. There are so many products I still want to try. And let’s be honest, it’s kind of fun to broaden your horizons and shop for items you can’t buy in Canada.

Next time I will be grabbing my top five items, plus the peanut butter cups, lots more cheese and some spices.

Do you have any must-buy items? Let us know in the comments!

Amanda WawrykAmanda Wawryk

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