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I'm a single woman in my 40s who walks to Trader Joe's a few times a week. Here are 11 things I love to get every time.

basket at trader joe's filled with food
I walk to Trader Joe's a few times a week and shop for just myself with one canvas tote bag.Jamie Allison Sanders
  • I walk to Trader Joe's 2-3 times per week. I shop for one and always bring a single tote to fill up.

  • Everything but the Bagel-seasoned smoked salmon is so good that I never leave the store without it.

  • I also love the chain's fig cookies, dried mango, and Villa Italia blood-orange soda.

The cheese party tray is my go-to for a quick pick-me-up.

trader joe's cheese tray
I love eating cheese from the tray during lunch.Jamie Allison Sanders

I tend to work through lunch a lot, so I need something I can quickly grab. This pack's four cheeses are perfect for a protein-fueled pick-me-up without any hassle.

I love this tray because it has four different cheeses that all taste delicious. It comes with Swiss, colby jack, mild cheddar, and pepper jack. I also love that the cheeses come presliced, so it's beyond easy to eat.

I typically will pull out one of each cheese and put it on a plate with some crackers. Voila! An easy meal I can munch on while I work.

 

Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel crackers are seasoned to perfection.

trader joe's everything but the bagel crackers on shelf
I've never found a more delicious cracker.Jamie Allison Sanders

Most crackers I've tried over the years are just, well, pretty blah. Even the ones that are supposed to have flavor fall flat for me.

But these bite-sized crackers are spiced to perfection with Trader Joe's signature Everything but the Bagel sesame seasoning. The seasoning adds a burst of flavor to every bite and makes me keep coming back for more.

They're the ideal complement to the cheese party tray, and I also love spreading jams and jellies on them. Plus, they last in my pantry for at least a couple of months.

There are only 250 calories in an entire box of Trader Joe's steamed chicken soup dumplings.

trader joe's steamed chicken soup dumplings
Trader Joe's steamed chicken soup dumplings are a great appetizer.Jamie Allison Sanders

When one of my friends was moving out of Los Angeles a couple years ago, she had me raid her refrigerator and freezer. I happened upon a box of Trader Joe's steamed chicken soup dumplings, and as soon as I tried them, they became a total game-changer.

The entire box of six contains a total of 250 calories — about 42 calories per dumpling. They also only take two minutes to prepare in the microwave.

I love eating these on my own for a little precursor to dinner or heating up a few boxes of them as an appetizer for friends. I always keep a few boxes of them in my freezer. I haven't met someone who didn't fall in love with them yet.

Villa Italia blood-orange soda instantly makes me feel like I'm relaxing in the Italian countryside.

trader joe's blood orange soda
I always have a bottle of Villa Italia blood-orange soda in my fridge.Jamie Allison Sanders

I happened upon this blood-orange soda during a weekend Trader Joe's run with a friend. We were curious, so we each grabbed a bottle and headed to our respective homes. Cue us texting each other later in the day, exclaiming over how sweet and refreshing it was.

This soda is fizzy and flavorful. It's similar to a San Pellegrino blood-orange soda, but I actually think it's even better. I have to actively stop myself from drinking the entire bottle in a single day.

Trader Joe's caramelized-onion dip is the stuff of legend.

Trader joe's carmelized onion dip in front of display
The vegan version of TJ's caramelized-onion dip is also great.Jamie Allison Sanders

This onion dip from Trader Joe's is a staple of my snack regimen. It's rich, savory, and excellent with everything from crudité to chips.

I definitely always have it on hand at home, and it's a must-have whenever friends and I take picnics to summer nights at the Hollywood Bowl. There's just something about eating it under the stars that makes it taste even better.

Trader Joe's even makes a vegan version of this dip. I've tried it, and it tastes exactly like the original.

These milk-chocolate-covered peanut-butter pretzels are the perfect mix of salty and sweet.

trader joe's milk chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels on shelf
Trader Joe's milk-chocolate-covered peanut-butter pretzels cover all of my craving bases.Jamie Allison Sanders

Trader Joe's has a lot of mouthwatering treats to choose from, but these milk-chocolate-covered peanut-butter pretzels take the cake — or the pretzel, as it were.

Whenever I wander down the frozen-foods aisle and look at all the treats lining the tops of the cases, my eyes land on this unassuming little bag. And, more often than not, I end up taking that bag home with me.

Pop one in your mouth for a burst of intensely decadent flavor. It's the perfect mix of salty and sweet, and such a unique take on the classic chocolate-covered pretzel.

I just have to keep myself from eating the entire bag in one sitting.

I love including Trader Joe's turkey summer sausage on my charcuterie boards.

trader joe's turkey summer sausage in a hand
A few slices of Trader Joe's turkey summer sausage fill me up for hours.Jamie Allison Sanders

Truth be told, I've never been a huge fan of most meats found on cheese and charcuterie boards. I can take or leave prosciutto, and many salamis just don't taste right to me.

But when it comes to this turkey summer sausage, I buy it in spades. You can always find at least one in my fridge's meat drawer. It's got just the right amount of spice for a little pizzazz in every bite.

I love to combine a few slices with my cheese tray and Everything but the Bagel crackers at lunch, or include it on a charcuterie board at get-togethers as a non-pork option.

 

The chain's fig cookies are chewy, luscious, and the best dupe of Fig Newtons I've found.

trader joe's fig cookies on shelf
I try to eat two fig cookies at a time.Jamie Allison Sanders

I loved Fig Newtons as a kid. I love them as an adult, too, but I have to say, these Trader Joe's fig cookies give them a serious run for their money.

The soft-baked exterior surrounds a rich center of gooey fig filling that feels almost sinfully indulgent.

It would be easy to eat an entire sleeve of these in one sitting, but I force myself to stop at two cookies at a time.

I'm a sucker for this smoked salmon covered in Trader Joe's signature Everything but the Bagel seasoning.

Everything but the bagel salmon at trader joe's
It's incredibly difficult not to devour the entire package of salmon in one go.Jamie Allison Sanders

A dear friend first told me about this smoked salmon and said I absolutely had to try it — and she was right. Similar to the crackers I love, this salmon is covered in Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel seasoning.

Before you try it, you may not even be a fan of smoked salmon, or think there's much difference from one to the next. But I guarantee that one bite of this salmon and there's no going back to any other kind, ever.

I love eating it on its own, or with a bagel on the weekends. And at only $6, it's a total steal compared to other smoked-salmon varieties.

 

I love a lot of different dried fruits, but Trader Joe's soft and juicy mango is the best I've tried.

trader joe's soft and juicy mango on shelf
The mango is definitely sweet and juicy.Jamie Allison Sanders

I love fresh fruit, but I also adore snacking on dried fruit in the midafternoon. This soft and juicy mango is better than any other dried fruit I've tried.

It is sweet and juicy. Many other dried fruits just feel almost too difficult to eat because of their harder texture, but this one begs to be consumed with its chewy exterior.

A single package will last me through about four servings.

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