Last year I stopped shopping at our local grocery store, Giant Eagle, because it was so expensive. I could never get out of there for under $100, which seemed ridiculous for one week of meals for just me, not including my husband.
I tried Aldi’s but didn’t like it. I was concerned that most of the produce wasn’t refrigerated, and, sure enough, all of the produce I bought (including long-lasting items like garlic) went bad within a day or two. I haven’t been back since.
Trader Joe’s is the perfect answer. It’s so much cheaper than Giant Eagle–my standard weekly haul is now between $60-$70, compared to $100+ at Giant Eagle. They have a great selection of organic produce (though I’m trying to buy more produce locally from farmer’s markets) and also have a lot of vegan options. Their vegan cream cheese is the best I’ve tasted. Recently I’ve found some low-Points foods that fit great with Weight Watchers. Here’s what I’m loving now.
Sweet and Spicy Mango Vinaigrette
This dressing is amazing! It’s slightly sweet, a little spicy, and has a great cilantro taste. I like it over mixed organic greens and baby kale and also over their coleslaw mix. It’s 2 points for 2 tablespoons, less than the 3 points for 2 tablespoons that are in the Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette that I also love.
Vegetable Masala Burgers
I usually don’t buy veggie burgers because they’re so easy to make. But I love Trader Joe’s Indian food so was curious to try this. So good! These taste less like a veggie burger and more like an appetizer you’d get at an Indian restaurant. That makes them great to eat plain—no bun or even sauce needed. They’re 4 points per burger.
Whole Wheat Flatbread
These flatbreads are 2 points a piece and are great for mini pizzas. I’ve been making mini pizzas a lot with TJ’s fat-free pizza sauce (1 point for ¼ cup), veggies, sundried tomatoes, and a little of TJ’s soy mozzarella cheese (1 point for 1 oz. and melts great).
Reduced-Carb Whole Wheat Tortilla
These small tortillas—1 point a piece—are soft and rather flimsy. The trick is to toast them a little in a hot pan. They firm up and are tastier when cooked a little. I eat these nearly every day, filling them with some combination of hummus or beans and veggies.
Sauerkraut with Pickled Persian Cucumbers
If you like sauerkraut and pickles, you will love this! It’s in the refrigerated section (by the hummus) and is really tasty. And 0 points!
Splurge: Pretzel Bagels
My all-time favorite thing at TJ’s is their pretzel bagels. A single bagel is 7 points, so I often have half, toasted, with TJ’s vegan cream cheese. It’s a bit of a splurge at 5 points (3 for half a bagel and 2 for 1 tablespoon cream cheese), but I plan it into my daily points so that I can have it a few times a week because I love it so much.
Bonus: What NOT to Eat!
One of my TJ’s favorites is off-limits right now: Scandinavian Swimmers. These are TJ’s version of Swedish Fish, a huge weakness of mine. When I learned that a single Scandinavian Swimmer is 1 point, I swore them off. I’m not able to have just a few of these, and I could easily eat my entire daily points allotment of 30 in a single sitting. It’s funny, because I’m able to have a tiny amount of other candy and snacks and be satisfied, but not this. I will reserve these for a truly deserved treat in the future.
Are you a Trader Joe’s fan? What else should I try?
Have a great weekend!