Clean Shopping At Trader Joe’s

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Trader Joe’s is one of my absolute favorite places to shop. I’m there once per week, at least. And while I don’t claim to know all of their clean eating items, I think I’ve got most of them pretty nailed down by this point. I tried to give examples of both organic and non-organic foods.

Please note that the prices listed are current for my Trader Joe’s here in Sonoma County at the time of this writing. Prices will vary greatly by region and with time. Also, this is not an all-inclusive list. This is based on what I have purchased in my own shopping.

Clean Shopping At Trader Joe's

OTHER CLEAN EATING SHOPPING LISTS

ORGANIC PRODUCE

  • BELL PEPPERS, fresh (prices vary)
  • ZUCCHINI, fresh (prices vary)
  • TOMATOES, fresh (prices vary)
  • STRAWBERRIES, in season, fresh (prices vary)
  • BLUEBERRIES, in season, fresh (prices vary)
  • SWEET POTATOES, fresh (prices vary)
  • BROCCOLI, frozen (around $1.50 – 1 lb.)
  • GREEN BEANS, frozen (around $3 – 1 lb)
  • SPINACH, organic OR pesticide free, frozen (around $2)
  • STRAWBERRIES, frozen ($2.79 – 12 oz.)
  • BLUEBERRIES, frozen ($3.99 – 12 oz.)
  • RASPBERRIES, frozen ($2.99 – 12 oz)
  • SPINACH, fresh (prices vary)
  • LETTUCE, fresh (prices vary)
  • ONIONS, raw (prices vary)
  • APPLES, raw (prices vary)
  • PEARS, raw (prices vary)

NON-ORGANIC PRODUCE

Tip: When choosing non-organic, fresh produce, opt for thicker skinned produce so that you peel off most of the pesticides with the peel or skin.

  • AVOCADOS, fresh (prices vary)
  • BANANAS, fresh ($0.19 ea. conventional / $0.29 ea. organic)
  • BROCCOLI, fresh (prices vary)
  • CAULIFLOWER, fresh (prices vary)
  • PINEAPPLE, fresh, whole or cut (prices vary)
  • PINEAPPLE, frozen ($1.79 – 16 oz.)
  • MANGO, frozen ($2.69 – 24 oz.)
  • KALE, frozen ($1.79 – 12 oz.)
  • MUSHROOMS, white ($1.69 and up)
  • MUSHROOMS, crimini ($1.69 and up)
  • GARLIC, fresh (prices vary)
  • JICAMA, fresh (prices vary)
  • ORANGES (prices vary)
  • GRAPEFRUIT (prices vary)
  • MELONS, fresh, in season (prices vary)
  • BELL PEPPERS, mixed, frozen ($1.69 – 16 oz.)
  • BERRY MEDLEY, mixed berries, frozen ($3.29 – 16 oz.)

DAIRY

Tip: Dairy is always better purchased organic. But not everyone can afford it. Buy the best you can afford.

  • YOGURT, organic, store brand ($1.99 – 16 oz.)
  • MILK, full fat, store brand ($3.99 gal – conventional / 5.99 gal organic)
  • COTTAGE CHEESE, low fat, store brand ($3.49 organic – 16 oz. / 1.99 conventional – 16 oz.) – I haven’t been able to find full fat yet.
  • BUTTERMILK, full fat ($1.49  – 1 quart)

POULTRY

Tip: Again, organic is best. But buy the best you can afford.

  • CHICKEN BREASTS, boneless, skinless ($6.99 per pound, organic / $2.49 per pound conventional)
  • TURKEY, conventional, ground, lean ($2.99 per pound conventional / $5.49 per pound kosher)
  • EGGSorganic ($4.49 per dozen)
  • EGGSconventional ($1.99 + per dozen)

PORK

  • PORK, conventional, boneless chops ($4.99 per pound)

SEAFOOD

  • SALMON, wild caught (prices vary)
  • TROUT, wild caught (prices vary)
  • DOVER SOLE, wild caught (prices vary)
  • SHRIMP, large, pre-cooked, frozen ($7.99 per pound – prices vary for other sizes and can go up to $14.99 per pound)
  • TUNA, canned in water ($1.69 per can – red label)

NUTS AND NUT BUTTERS

  • ALMONDS, raw or roasted ( around $5)
  • WALNUTS, pieces or halves (around $7.50)
  • PECANS (around $5)
  • PISTACHIOS (around $6)
  • PEANUT BUTTER, conventional or organic ($2.79 – $5.79 depending on type)
  • ALMOND BUTTER, organic ($5.99 – 16 oz.)

GRAINS

  • OATS, steel cut ($3.29 – 30 oz.)
  • PASTA, whole wheat, organic ($1.39 – 1 lb)
  • PASTA, brown rice, organic ($1.99 – 1 lb.)
  • COUSCOUS, whole wheat ($1.99 per box)
  • BROWN RICE ($2.99 per bag)
  • QUINOA ($3.99 – $4.99 depending on type)
  • BREAD, California Protein variety, store brand ($2.99 per loaf)

PANTRY ITEMS

  • CHICKEN BROTH ($1.99 per carton – 32 oz.)
  • COCONUT MILK, light, ($0.99 – 14 fl oz. can)
  • REFRIED BEANS, fat free (blue label – $0.99 can – 15 oz.)
  • CANNED BEANS ($1.19 – $1.99 depending on beans – 15 oz.)
  • TOMATO SAUCE ($1.49 – 15 oz. can)
  • TOMATOES, diced ($1.00 – 15 oz. can)
  • COCONUT OIL – ($5.99 – 16 fl. oz. jar)
  • OLIVE OIL  ($3.49 – 16.9 fl. oz. bottle)

SNACKS

  • PURE BARS, chocolate brownie bar ($1.49 per bar)
  • LARA BARS, apple, peanut butter or cherry (other flavors there are not clean – $1.29 per bar)
  • AK MAK CRACKERS, whole wheat ($1.69 per box )

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51 Comments

  1. Thanks for the list! My nearest Trader Joe’s is 45 minutes away, so this will make my next sojourn less overwhelming. 🙂

  2. I’m new to this blog as of this week (love your *practical* tips, lists, and recipes that actually are easy to follow)! I’ve been pinning your recipes like mad and am now a member of your Facebook community, too–not a creeper, I promise! 🙂 Thanks for taking the intimidation factor out of clean eating!

  3. Jeni Potter Scott says:

    Thanks for you post! We are getting a Trader Joe’s that will open this month! I’m really excited. I’ve heard so much about them. I’m glad to have another option to shop at besides Whole Foods.

  4. graciouspantry says:

    Their marinara and salsa is the cleanest you’ll find. Yes. Personally, I stopped buying them because of the soy content (if we’re talking about the same one). But if you don’t mind the soy, then sure! Good stuff!

  5. Marge Teilhaber says:

    My new favorite item at Trader Joe is Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce. 9-ounce jar is $2.49 and is perfection when anything needs a little zing. Ingred: mustard seed, distilled vinegar, garlic, water, soybean oil, mustard flour, eggs, spices (allspice, turmeric), salt, lemon juice. 1 teaspoon = 10 calories, 1g fat, 55mg sodium, 0g sugar. They should make this in larger jars!

  6. Kacy Sexton says:

    I live so close to a trader joes and always forget about it somehow. Thanks for the list and the reminder!

  7. Heading there this Saturday for a refill on nuts! I love their low sodium roasted almonds! I’m curious to try the pasta you recommended. Will there be a shopping list for Wegmans!?

    1. graciouspantry says:

      I don’t have a Wegmans here, so no. But I am doing other stores, so maybe there will be some similarities that will help.

  8. Debbie Robbins says:

    Trader Joe’s has the BEST Egg White salad EVER!!! Love Trader Joes!
    AND Costco!!

  9. graciouspantry says:

    I’ve never tried it myself. It says it’s 100% lactose based, so I’m not sure if that’s from the plant or from another source. I’ll have to ask next time I go.

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  11. graciouspantry says:

    Some of them add sugar and other ingredients. Not all their flavors are clean.

  12. Danyalle Friday says:

    Thanks! I love TJ’s!! I will be sure to pick up the Ak Mak Crackers next time I go.

  13. graciouspantry says:

    I believe their lemon and key lime are also clean, but you’d have to read the ingredients to be sure.

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  15. I like the great shopping lists to simplify thinking about grocery shopping. It there an equivalent to Trader Joe’s in Canada I wonder?

  16. I love the list. Thank you. You put so much efforts to get it all out to us.

  17. Any thoughts on Omega-3 eggs vs. organic at Trader Joe’s? I like thinking that my kids are getting those essential fatty acids. Are they just as “clean” as organic?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      I always opt for organic. If you read the print on the box, the Omega-3 eggs say that the feed source is soy. And with it not being organic, there is a good chance that it is GMO soy. But I guess it all depends on where you stand on the GMO topic. I avoid them like the plague.

  18. Love, love, love Trader Joe’s! This is going to help immensely when I shop for my newly inspired clean eating lifestyle.

  19. Single Mom in the South says:

    Would love to see more of these… they are so helpful for price comparisons!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      I’ll do my best! 🙂

  20. Actually, the prices won’t vary at all, as Trader Joe’s pricing is nationwide! Living in NYC, that is an amazing deal for us here! 🙂

  21. You are a life saver for this. Thank you so much for taking the time to make these lists. I was honestly about to throw the towel in. THANK YOU!!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Noodle – My pleasure!

  22. I have been eating CLEAN for years without knowing it was the latest rage! I recently axed most cheese from my diet (sad lip, indeed). My question is about Food for Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 bread (no salt). I have considered this my clean bread for years and I do not see it on your Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s list. Am I missing something?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lauren – I have not seen that brand at my Trader Joe’s, so I really can’t say. If you’d like to post the ingredients, I could tell you. But I just haven’t seen it there.

  23. I’m just curious. All of your shopping list show low fat milk, cottage cheese and nonfat yogurt but your beginner list says to go with full fat milk and cottage cheese. Which is the better option (especially if you want to lose weight) and is nonfat plain Greek yogurt ok or should I opt for full fat? Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Erin – My apologies. I don’t always get around to updating things as fast as I should. Full fat and organic is the better choice.

  24. Stargazer says:

    Your illustration of a chalkboard with a Trader Joe’s list (top of the page) has the word “pistachios” misspelled.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stargazer – Ha! It sure does! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

  25. I’m curious, trying to learn this better for myself, how can I know if canned fish is clean? I saw you said Their tuna is clean, is their sardines that are in spring water? I’d appreciate your input! Thank you 🙂 love your blog it’s helped my family switch to clean eating 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Keeley – It all comes down to what’s in the ingredient list. I haven’t looked at their sardines, so I’m not sure.

  26. Hi Tiffany,

    I notice TJ’s salsa is not on your clean list due to soy. I was hoping it would appear on your list as I love it, but, in its place, what do you recommend?

    Thank you.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lori – I haven’t had the opportunity to look. But I will the next time I’m at the store.

  27. Hi Tiffany,

    You may have covered this elsewhere, but why isn’t soy “clean?” What kinds of ingredients could you substitute for soy products (I’m a fan of the occasional tofu)?

    Thanks!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Alysse – Fermented soy is the best kind if you are going to eat it. But many people avoid it because it affects hormone levels (estrogen) and is also a GMO (genetically modified). If you choose to use it, opt for organic so you at least bypass the GMO aspect.

  28. Your website is so much fun! I found it through another blog. We’re trying the “clean eating” meal plan on eMeals and it’s been interesting so far! I’m trying to convert all our food to clean eating, especially as my 8-month-old son is starting to eat more foods (and soon foods we eat!) I make him food from locally sourced produce or organic produce and buy some organic baby food pouches but I read the ingredients list carefully. Doing the best I can! I love Trader Joes (and I love in all your posts you write to do the best you can do–with what you can afford! That’s so important!) 🙂 Thank you so much. I can’t wait to keep reading your site!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sara – Thank you so much!! I’m so happy you’re finding my site useful! Welcome! 😀

  29. Wow, you have that much organic produce at your TJ’s? I’m jealous. Here in Chicago (not a small town!) there’s hardly any. Berriees. Bagged greens, maybe. Can’t think of anything else. I don’t really look at their produce much because it doesn’t seem to be much cheaper than my regular grocery store. But I love shopping there for the dry goods.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jo – Ya, the one in my area carries a lot of organic produce. I guess it’s a supply and demand thing.

  30. tina hudgins says:

    Hi Tiffany, Thank you for your blog! I always have a battle with weight. I have hypothyroid., not excuse. Will i use so much sweetners ant artifical foods and too much sugar. In with the bad I eat the good too. I have a niece that eats clean now so thats what I am doing now. We will see. She says corn tortillas are really bad for you. Corn period. I always use the good seasons salad dressing in packett and make my own with the canola oil and water with packett. Not anymore. But I made up a while ago the Dr Oz alternative. It was 1/3 cup olive oil 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 2 tsp dijon mustard did not like so trying yours. The other thing is i feel i should only get non gmo? Im glad I found you when was looking for salad dressing:) Thanks Tina

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tina – My pleasure! Corn is tough. At it’s best and purist, it’s technically clean. But corn is used to fatten cattle. So if you are trying to lose weight…
      Aside from that, it’s very difficult in many places to find non-gmo corn. So depending on the stores you have available to you, it may be best to avoid it all together.

  31. I just started to eat clean (which means I am finally learning to cook!) and my friend has been raving about your site! I actually went to TJ’s today for the first time since “going clean” and only now just found this amazing list! I have to say it was a bit daunting to look at the ingredients (even at TJ’s) and see so many “alkali added” or other “processing” terms. I must have looked ridiculous to those around me as I read every ingredient on every item I picked up… Next time, I will know what to get!! Thank you so much!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stacey – Don’t worry about other people. The first few months, you will be reading a LOT of labels. That’s just the reality. And even when you automatically know what to buy, you still want to check those labels on occasion because companies tend to change ingredients every so often. So it’s something you need to get comfortable with. And yes, they have a lot of processed foods. But they also have a lot of clean stuff. You’re doing great! Welcome to my site! 😀

  32. Katie @ My Daily Crumbs says:

    This is AWESOME! I’ve spent the better part on an hour checking out all of your grocery lists. A “pricebook” is something I’ve always wanted to put together, both for my readers and for my own sanity, but I kept trying to make to more complicated than it needs to be! Your simple lists are fantastic, and I’m very happy to have come across them!

    ~Katie @ My Daily Crumbs

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Katie – Thanks so much! I’m glad you found them useful! 😀

  33. This is an awesome site, thanks! To Jo in Chicago. The difference in produce region. In January we (Chicagoans) cannot expect as many fresh fruits. I believe the author lives in Sonoma County.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Shari – That’s correct. 🙂

  34. Jane Quigly says:

    I shop at Trader Joe’s but was not aware they carry Ak-mak crackers. I eat these instead of bread. Here are the other things they do the best:

    raw slivered almonds
    thompson raisins (sun dried!)
    toasted unsalted sunflower seeds
    quick cook steel cut oats

    Here’s what they don’t do well (in my opinion):

    Fresh produce

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jane – I have noticed that the produce varies greatly by store. Having lived in several areas with these stores, I can tell you the area makes a huge difference!!

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