A NEWBIE'S GUIDE TO TRADER JOE'S


I am one excited girl! I had only been to Trader Joe's once, in Chicago. I loved it so, but alas, we didn’t have one closer than 2 hours away. Blogger after Blogger listed the numerous delicious, healthy, economical and fun finds from there and I’d been keeping a running list! Well, lo and behold, one opened an hour away so mom and I took a day to venture up there last Thursday.

For 3 days I scoured all the blogs for the BEST in Trader Joe buys to add to my accumulating list and I am happy to tell you $174 later, I bought everything on my list and more except I couldn't fund the mini cinnamon churros, lol. It doesn't take much to get this girl excited and Trader Joe's certainly got my food shopping blood flowing with all it's goodnesss. I know this may not totally excite some of you TJ veterans but to my mom and I, what a ball, or should I say, "shopping cart" of FUN!!

I had so much fun seeing what other's got so I thought you might like to see some favorites from my haul.  Here are a some of things I have tried and loved, then some of the things I bought and I am saving my favorite so far for last!


Cinnamon Coffee Cake
I rarely buy store bought cakes but this was delicious with my coffee Saturday morning!  

Tarte D' Alsace Flatbread
Oh my word this was delicious and a serving is only 140 calories, which means I can have half and still be under 300 cals!! 


Coconut Body Butter
Heaven; thick and smooth and I felt like I was on a tropical vaca when I slathered it on out of the shower. 

Fig and Olive Crisps
A great unique flavor especially when you bite into a piece of fig, great with cheese or alone.

Green Yogurt, Non-Fat Vanilla Bean
Easily a very yummy yogurt, love the vanilla bean and so good mixed with my berries

Pinks and Whites Shortbread Cookies
I'm not a fan of sprinkles, but these little things are delicious and soooo cute! Tea Party anyone?

Here are some of the items I bought from my coveted list that I cannot wait to try.
(I wanted the beautiful fresh flowers but had just bought a bunch for my island) 

Honeycrisp Apples

A no brainer at half the price of my local supermarket. Many posts I read said not to buy fresh fruit there but this price was too good to pass up.


Individual Trail Mix Packets
I'll be having a couple boys working this summer who take their lunches, these will be perfect. 

Organic Brown Rice Packets
3 in a box and cheaper than the microwave Uncle Ben's. The only rice I buy is brown.

Pastry Bites
These sound so yummy and a perfect app for company.

Frozen Pineapple Tidbits
Frozen concoctions by the pool anyone?

Organic Riced Cauliflower
Loving this stuff and cheaper here.

Mmmm, I was trying to decided on the frozen chicken, I love buying chicken breast in bulk but not usually frozen or with rib meat so I passed but a great price.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Heard it is creamy and as good as any restaurant, can't wait to try this.

Stacked Eggplant Parmesan
I LOVE eggplant and when the checkout guy told my mom this is AMAZING, I got even more excited to have this.

Sweet Potato Fries
My fam doesn't love these but I do so I'll throw a few of these on the baking sheet for me next time I make their regular fries.

Mandarin Orange Chicken
All the sites I read said this is the BEST item of all at TJ's. My family is Orange Chicken crazy so I got a couple bags and am looking forward to them trying it.

Dark Chocolate Crisps
I wanted the milk chocolate but couldn't find but these are half the price of what I've seen at my stores and such a light little sweet treat.

Honey Wheat Pretzels
Every now and then I get hungry for handful of pretzels and sticks are my favorite.

Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
2 Bags for Mr. Nine and he's a happy man!

Pita Bite Crackers
Will have with hummus of course!

Savory Mini Thin Crackers
My mom opened hers and didn't love, but I'll try in said hummus and various dips.

Fruit Sauce Crushers
Again, nice toss in the boy's lunch boxes item and they love applesauce.

Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
Can't wait to toss this into and on stuff!

Bruschetta
I love it and hear TJ's is so fresh tasting!

Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls
Hear they are better then Pillsbury and my boys love cinnamon rolls, I'll make them when they are all home on a Saturday morn.

FRUIT BARS

Love that these have no yucky stuff added and another perfect lunch box item or quick breakfast grab and go. 


Roasted Garlic Hummus
Lots of dip going on with my new cracker and veggies of course.

Mozzarella Log
The fact that this fresh mozzarella is pre-sliced, big Caprese Salad win!!

White Stilton Cheese w/Apricots
Yum, Yum, Yum!

PB Cups and Praline Pecans
Sweet treats for Mr. and I.

Chunky Guacamole
I love this is made with greek yogurt and way lower in calories. Hope its good.

SOYAKI
Love the name and my two favorite sauces mixed, can't wait to try in stir-fry.

A Moscato D'Asti
Ahhh great price and cannot wait to open this.


AND THE FAVORITE WINNER SO FAR?
SEA SALT BUTTERSCOTCH CARAMELS
PURE HEAVEN in Candy Balls of sweet/soft/chocolatey/butter/ sea salt goodness!


So, on this particular shopping day, winds were about 30mph. Mom and I had the hardest time corralling the shopping carts, but she did it even while holding her Ghost Chips the whole time, lol 


Mr. Nine LOVED the Ghost Chips!!


Ok Peeps, tell me; if you are a Trader Joe's shopper, what are your favorite finds there? Tell me what I should add to my next list that has already begun. And if not, were do you love to shop for unique and yummy food items?


56 comments:

  1. So exciting that you have a Trader Joe's relatively close now! I have a post with my favorites coming next week haha! That guacamole is my VERY favorite. I will seriously eat the entire package myself haha! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Happy Monday, Andrea!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

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  2. Welcome to the Trader Joe's life!! We always get that Soyaki and those are my favorite yogurts to get!! I have to say their flower selection is what always surprises me - during peonies season last year they had the best ones!! xo, Biana-BlovedBoston

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  3. I am dying!!! We went to TJ's Saturday night because our date nights are that exciting - anyhow, we don't get there often because it's a good half hour away. I bought a few things - the Everything But The Bagel seasoning and the orange chicken. I also got a frozen superfoods blend, tulips, and oj - big spender, lol! I do plan to go back when I'm hosting a party because they do have lots of fun food for entertaining. Those sprinkle cookies and the cake you bought have my sweet tooth's attention!
    Nice to see your sweet mom too, God bless y'all - such a beautiful relationship!
    xo,
    Kellyann

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  4. Our closest Trader Joes is a good couple of hours away too. I wish we had one closer. It looks like you got a ton of great stuff! Have a great day! <3

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  5. As soon as I saw this post in my sidebar, I had to click over immediately! Girl, this post is going to go viral!! Trader Joe's is such a fun place to shop and you never know what new goodies you'll find. I've never tried the coffee cake! You listed lots of my faves like the orange chicken, no guilt guac, pastry bites, fruit bars, and more. Can't wait to try some of the things you pinned.

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  6. Oh how I love TJ's! So many great picks, and you need to add Cookie Butter, their almond sparkling wine, salsa verde, and the dark chocolate version of those peanut butter cups. Stick them in the fridge for an even better treat. YUM <3
    Green Fashionista

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  7. We are not near a Trader Joe's either but when Riley was in college I use to pop in. They had an olive tapenade and some pita bread that was a favorite of mine. Yum! Now I'm hungry. Happy Monday!

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  8. Cookie butter and those tubs of cookies. We have one two hours away but I make the trip to buffalo ever so often!!

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  9. Woo hoo! The nearest Trader Joe's for us is about 30 minutes away. I go periodically and love to take a list of recommendations. Thanks for these yummy ideas. Garlic hummus? Yes please!

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  10. I was so excited when they opened one up down the street a few years ago!! So many of these are staples I get too! You will love that bagel seasoning! Those pita crisps are my jam and so are the pink & whites!

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  11. The Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole is one of my must-buys from Trader Joe's! Other things that I love are the frozen Indian meals. They're as easy as a TV dinner but so much better tasting and better for you! You can also get frozen naan to heat-up and have with the frozen meals!

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  12. My favorite is the everything bagel seasoning and I also like the chili lime seasoning. I buy apples there a lot - I didn't know their produce isn't supposed to be great!

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  13. What a score, girl!! It's fun to try items and products that you normally can't get, so I can see why you were so stoked!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  14. I buy a lof the same items! Those fruit bars, the brown rice, and that yogurt are frequent purchases. We have a store in our neighborhood and it is great. But I also feel like I go there way too much haha. Thanks for sharing and I hope that you have a great day!! :-)

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  15. I love Trader Joe's! We got one here about a year ago, and I feel like I am still learning. I have tried most but not all of this. Need to get that flatbread ASAP, and I just heard about the orange chicken so that is also on my list.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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  16. I would literally need to clean out my fridge & cabinets to go there &stock up on stuff... & then my bank account would be cleaned out ;)

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  17. I love love love TJ's!!! Ours is about 45 minutes from my house, so I don't get to go as often as I like...but I have a running list on my phone of things to get when I go. Next time you are there, grab some frozen gnocchi!! SO GOOD! There is also an arugla and procuitto flatbread that is killer. I love their goat cheese with those fig crackers you got. I added a few things to my list next time to try that I haven't had yet :) Glad you guys finally got one!

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  18. The nearest Trader Joes is 2 hours from my house. I wish they had one closer. I go to one every time I'm in Minneapolis or Chicago. I LOVE their candy. And I bought one of those pizzas last time, it was so good I ate the entire pizza myself in one sitting!

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  19. Go big or go home! I'd say you went BIG!!! I think I told you've I've got pics to do one of these posts too and good news, I've got some stuff you didn't get/see. The cauliflower rice is a staple in my house and we love the Rosemary and raisin version of the fig crackers you got. The orange chicken is what I got when I did Erin and Benny's little dinner for them to make. TJ's has become one of my favs!!! Welcome to the We ❤️Trader Joe's club!!! (there's one in Nashville too, we can lay in supplies there😉) Happy Monday cutie!!! XOXO

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  20. I love a good trip to TJ's! It is exciting! You ladies did really well! I get bummed when I find something I love and it's not there the next time I go. I'm always finding new things to try though so I don't get too bummed. I've also noticed that some parts of the country get products that we don't (like the eggplant hummus--I've never found it at my stores). You picked up some great products, some of my faves!! Enjoy!

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  21. We go to Trader Joe's probably twice a week--I feel like it's my second home! So many good picks!! Steven and I LOVE that breakfast trek mix--we always have it in our pantry to grab and go!

    Rosy Outlook

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  22. I love Trader Joe's! I buy a bunch of snacks for my kids there!

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  23. Ugh...I so wish we had a Trader Joe's in our city. I want ALL of this, especially the Everything But The Bagel Seasoning.

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  24. Thank you for the reminder to be ever-so-thankful that I live in the middle of where Trader Joe's began, here in S. California. I discovered Trader Joe's during a massive supermarket strike in 2003 and 2004, when me and a whole lot of other people tried out a variety of 'new' markets in order to avoid crossing picket lines. What a disaster for the supermarket industry that turned out to be here, because many people like me fell immediately in love with Trader Joes, and never went back.

    Now, some 14 years later, I can't even imagine life without a beloved Trader Joe's nearby. And it's not just the food items, which as you now know are awesome, it's the people that work there. They are friendly and wonderful, and make shopping there an altogether awesome experience.

    And just wait until the holidays! There is an expression Trader Joe devotees use, which is, 'Friends don't let friends go into Trader Joe's alone at the holidays!' Seriously, I'm not kidding . . . you're going to die come about October at all the deliciousness awaiting. Not to mention their 99 cent chocolate nativity calendars. Yep, you read that right!

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  25. I am adding some of these awesome finds to my TJ list! I live off their cheese section.... So many great finds and so affordable!

    Brittany :)
    www.kingdomofsequins.com

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  26. We have a Trader Joe's nearby, but I never go there because it has a tiny parking lot and it's a nightmare to get in and out. My favorite store is called Central Market and they have the most unique, fun things!

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  27. I've only been to TJ's a couple of times. I wish I lived closer to one...or maybe it's a good thing I don't??

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  28. Gosh, I wish we had one here! The closest one to us is about two hours away. And don't forget the TWo Buck Chuck! (Charles Shaw wine!) It's only $2.99 a bottle and it is SOOOO GOOD.

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  29. These all look so tasty! My in-laws are in LOVE with those fruit bars, especially the seasonal ones in fall!

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  30. I LOVE TJ's! You got some great stuff! My other must haves that you did not get: Umami paste, garlic salt grinder, truffled marcona alminds, Island Soyaki, Cilantro chicken wontons and gyoza dipping sauce with them, frozen turkey meatballs, whole bean coffee, unexpected cheddar. okay I'll stop now! So glad you and your momma enjoyed!

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  31. I think the closet one to us in in Jackson, MS and that's 2 hours away so too far for me. I always hear such great things about their items and looks like you made quite the hauling. Happy week trying out all your new "eats."

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  32. This makes me SO HAPPY, haha! In fact, I am sharing some of my favorites on the blog tomorrow! Their cinnamon roasted almonds are amazing, as is their roasted vegetable pizza. For some reason that reduced guilt gauc gave me a stomach ache, but my mom really likes it. Their peppered turkey bacon is really good, as are their chicken sausages. Since I am a dark chocolate fan, I LOVE their dark chocolate peanut butter cups, so I can imagine you will love the milk chocolate kind. Those are my nightly sweet fix. Seriously feel like I could go on and on, haha!

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    Replies
    1. And that wine is a staple at any family gathering on my mom's side. We get multiple bottles, haha!

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  33. What a fun day trip with your Mom! TJ's really has some amazing and unique goods. I haven't shopped there in almost a year but you picked up some of my favorite things like the spinach dip. I'm a big fan of their cheeses and wines too. I'm thinking I need to make my way over to the TJ's in my area which is about a 45 min drive. Enjoy all the yummy food you picked up! Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis

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  34. I have never, ever been to a Trader Joe's. I should look it up and see if there is one in the area because you found some awesome looking goodies! I could really go for some of that cinnamon coffee cake right about now!!!!

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  35. There is not a trader Joes close to me. The closet one is in Charlotte about 45 minutes away. SHUCKS! I hear my daughter talk about it all the time. I need to go check it out. I fell in love with your haul! One thing I heard they have that I love is "Half popped popcorn" Its a bag of the crunchy alomst popped corn that you find in the bottom of a popcorn bowl! love them!
    Lisa

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  36. Add to your list: Le Ferme Julien Rose (sorry I cannot type an accent, ugh), dark chocolate covered espresso beans, baked peas, vegan pesto, two buck chuck Cabernet, Vitamin C body wash. :) And the orange chicken is killer. Aldi & TJ's are the same company now too so a lot of the stuff is the same! xo

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  37. We don't have one close either- but I have bought some of the things like the bagel seasoning online- YUM! I love it on cucumbers for a snack :) Those shortbread cookies and well EVERYTHING else looks so good- I want a drink in the sun with some pineapple in it and YOU close by for some fun convo. Hope you have a great week, xo!

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  38. Looks like you got a lot of great items! We have a Trader Joe's near us, but I have only been a couple of times!
    xo,
    Jacqueline
    Stylin In St. Louis

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  39. So many wonderful items here. I'll take all the guacamole.

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  40. I love all of their crackers!! Too bad I'm so lazy and don't drive the extra few miles to visit the store...I always seem to just go to the closet grocery store by the house! My Mom and sisters swear by TJ and never shop anywhere else! So glad there is one closer to you now!

    Shauna

    www.lipglossandlace.net

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  41. Chunky guac? Oh gosh! Yum! We have several TJ's around here, but it is about 30 minutes away. I used to go every other week when I was working, but haven't been since! Which is surprising, you'd think I'd have more time to head out there? I think I just used to love picking stuff up for lunch at work. I need to go again soon, because the kids love going with me! I always love trying their samples, too. I love their boxed soup mixes, yogurt, fruit bars, etc. I am going to pin this to look at before I go again. Now you have me hungry!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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  42. Girl you made a haul, I fell in love with Trader Joes a few years ago, then came Sprouts and now I have 2 awesome places to shop, but I find myself at Sprouts on a weekly shopping destination, the vegetables are always fresh and the prices are amazing. And they always have fantastic sales.
    Have a wonderful week!!
    Karren~

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  43. Oh Mrs N, what are you doing to me? I'm desperate to put my hair in a cute plait, rip my jeans, and come shopping in Trader Joe's with you and your mum. Oh and first hop on a long-haul or two. But that's how much you've tempted me with those pics. It all looks so yummy and fun and it must be worth all my effort just so that I get to hang out with you guys and eat those goodies! Hugs my plaited cutie, x

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  44. I wish Trader Joe's would build a new store on the west side of Indy or in Greenwood. The one we go to is not all that far, especially if we tie in a Costco run. People drive from Terre Haute to shop there. We buy sweet chili sauce, chile and lime seasoning, onion salt, used to buy bourbon vanilla until Alana bought her dad a kit and he made his own. We also buy the apples (if they have organic), Persian cucumbers, sheep cheese, goat cheese, tart cherry juice, organic chicken treats for the dogs, and English breakfast tea. They have a lovely orange blossom hand soap. We always buy a chocolate wand at the checkout. The Urban Farmer likes raspberry and I get the coffee one. They also have wonderful gingersnaps if you like them and chocolate lace cookies. The Midnight Moo is a very good chocolate sauce. Are you ready to make another TJ run? The most interesting grocery we have ever been in is Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, OH (close to Cincinnati). It is enormous and one of a kind. Dorothy Lane Market in Dayton is very chi-chi and has lots of goodies. The Urban Farmer and I are foodies...can you tell? ha! xoxo

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  45. So many great finds!! We just went to Trader Joe's over the weekend and had the Orange Chicken for dinner last night :) It's sooo good! Sierra~Beautifully Candid

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  46. The only store Mr. will willing go to to shop for groceries. He loves it there, haha. So glad you picked up a bag of the Orange Chicken so yummy, make sure you put it in the oven and NOT try to pan cook it (doesn't come out and mostly just burns), also don't use all the sauce they give you, too much. Those peanut butter cups...holy moly, you're in for a treat, so good that you'll probably eat them all in one sitting, hehe. I really like the frozen fried rice, it's a good quick lunch or dinner. Get the chicken one, the veggie only one isn't as good. So many things...so good. Yay...so did you bring a cooler bag with you?

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  47. Thank you for sharing this.... we have a TJ close by, but we rarely shop there; having this list will help!

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  48. I had a Trader Joe's snacks post slated for this week too! Just posted today and we have a few things the same, but now I have even more to try. Thanks for the tips! Here are mine: https://ishalc611.blogspot.com/2018/04/trader-joes-snacks-reviewed-and.html#more

    The Japanese Fried Rice is my number one favorite food from TJ's.

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  49. I feel like everyone else around me has a Trader Joe's within a reasonable driving distance (and it's not like Baltimore and Annapolis are in the middle of nowhere). Unfortunately, I'm still going to have to wait to enjoy these goodies. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

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  50. Our nearest Trader Joe's is a good hour or so away too and I rarely ever make it there though I do love their hummus!

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  51. I have been making my list of Trader Joe's favs to do a post too! Thankfully they are totally different than yours!! A few that come to mind are the regular and decaf TJ coffee, the pound plus chocolate almond bar and the pack of 8 sponges. That's all I'll give away till I do my post! I saw lots of things in this post I want to try now!!

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  52. Great post and great items! I love them all and I found some I need to try. My fav are the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies in the bags in the bakery. So good! Sharing! Thank you for sharing on Merry Monday! Hope to see ya next week!
    Kim

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  53. The closest Trader Joe's is south of the border in WA. I never miss a chance to visit when we get down that way....and I will be looking at this post before I go next time! I love so many things at Trader Joe's but always come home with several bars of their lavender soap. I use it in the bath and just set it in the linen closet - nothing beats that wonderful scent and it lasts and lasts.

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