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Roadtrip! What Trader Joe's and Costco items would make it into your car?

Heading towards Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, and Glacier National. We won't be stopping for meals during the day while we are covering long distances.

Please help give me ideas for snacks and portable items to tide us from breakfast to dinner on the days we are driving.

Because it is vacation, both healthy and not-so-healthy recommendations are appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Lucky you! We did a roadtrip to Rushmore a few years ago and it was fantastic!

    I'd suggest the usual suspects from TJs...trail mix, cereal bars. Their sweet/salty nuts and lime chile nuts are just crack to me so I'd consider them vacation-worthy.

    Speculoos spread and graham crackers, make little sandwiches before you leave. Or the Nutella knockoff/graham crackers

    Assuming you have a cooler, Hansen's or the TJ vintage sodas, the speculoos bars, yogurts, fresh OJ, string cheese.

    1. Costco housemade granola, good selection of dried fruits, nuts and their Kirkland Kettle Chips if you want to be bad.

      1. Crunchmaster (GF) Multi-seed Original Crackers
        Almond butter (or cashew butter if I can find it)
        Black licorice
        TJ Fruit Jellies-candy (if they still make this--they are like those Sunkist Fruit Gems) OR Vanilla Merigues

        1 Reply
        1. TJs:
          Veggie Straws
          Organic apple slices
          Fiberful fruit bars
          Kettle corn
          Mini peanut butter cups

          Pub Mix
          Chocolate chip cookies from the bakery side

          1. Trader Joe's Falafel Chips are unreasonably good. Road trip-tested: always on the trip from TJ's to home. I think I need to go to TJ's *right now*

            1. I would have at least three varieties of TJ's trek mix with me . . . and I would eat too much at a time too.

              1. Protein! My TJS has neat little snack packs of salami and cheese I always take with me on my air trips.

                I also love their Rosemary marcona almonds, I create my own mix of Rosemary Marcona Almonds, Dried turkish apricots and cubes of their dark chocolate bars (The ones that come in the 3 pack)

                Baggies of sugar snap peas! Sweet, Crunch, no dip required and keep your hands dry and clean! :)


                1 Reply
                1. re: Dommy

                  I agree with Dommy that protein would be a consideration to take, esp. if you have a cooler with you...recommend Applegate Farms nitrite free deli meats (roasted turkey breast is excellent) and simply roll each slice up.

                  Everything Crackers
                  Milk Chocolate covered Pretzels
                  Social Snackers (similar to Captain Wafers - butter crackers)
                  Ridge Cut Potato Chips with Carmelized Onion Dip (Dip found in refrigerator section)
                  Gummy Bears - made with all natural fruit and vegetable juices
                  South Carolina Peaches - sweet and juicy
                  Carrot Sticks, Pita Chips and Mediterranean Hummus
                  Greek Yogurt (personally can vouch for the Strawberry flavor)

                  Breakfast Idea:
                  Cinnamon Roll Bread paired with Marscarpone Cheese (excellent together - the marscarpone cheese is a bit sweeter than regular cream cheese)

                2. I would take coconut water (available at either place) Kettle corn (both places have this) and some bananas from TJ's. The Costco bananas are almost always too green. A four pound box of grapes from Costco would be good if you have a cooler. The grapes I've gotten lately have been delicious, sweet and crisp.
                  My Costco (montgomeryville pa) has those cake pops like they sell at Starbucks. Might be nice if you have a big cooler. Luckily I hate sprinkles so I have managed to resist the cake pops so far, but they look very appealing

                  1. Recently tried TJ's Rosemary Raisin crackers and polished off the box in 20 mins. Just the right crunch and really excellent car food.

                    Costco when they have fresh figs, I load up.

                    1. From Costco, large bags of jerky, cashews, cheese, french bread, salami and some good wines. Lunch and munchies well covered.

                      1. Rolled Oats and Choc Chip Fiberfull Granola Bars- delicious and healthy (!)

                        1. A nice boneless roast, (beef, chix, or pork), triple wrap it in H.D. aluminum foil, place it on the exhaust manifold in the engine compartment; when you stop for the night a succulent, tender and juicy roast will await you.

                          1. TJs:

                            Pretzel crisps (dark chocolate are the best but all are good)
                            Plaintain chips
                            Trail mix
                            Seasame crackers + hummus
                            Big box of cherries or grapes
                            Lemon ginger cookies
                            chocolate covered nuts
                            Dried fruit strips
                            candied ginger

                            1. sweet and spicy pecans from tj's are a must.

                              1. Water and cashews for sure from costco. If you have a cooler I'd do either chips and salsa or pita chips and hummus. The chips and hummus would be a lot more friendly if eating in the car on the go of course. Not sure how many people will be with you, but their rotisserie chicken salad is really good too and could make a great in the car lunch with crackers. Heck, even one of their rotisserie chickens would be great to take, but I'd make sure to cut it up the night before you leave.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Rick

                                  I dunno if Costco water could beat TJ's half-liter bottles for 17 cents. And for snacks, the TJ's honey pretzel sticks are totally addictive. (And they can be dipped into Speculoos cookie butter! Or TJ's pub cheeses.)

                                2. How many days in the car?

                                  Beef Jerky
                                  Case of Water
                                  Baked goods
                                  Gas (while you stop for gas you might as well pick up a $1.50 hot dog with a free drink).


                                  1. A little messy, but TJs herbed popcorn--very unique.

                                    1. From Costco
                                      Dried Young Coconut or Mango
                                      San Pelligrino
                                      Medjool dates
                                      The tub of individually packaged madeilines are surprisingly good. But if they don't have those then the biscotti or the Just Desserts brownie bites.
                                      The tray assorted Italian meats, prosciutto and friends.
                                      Kirkland trail mix
                                      The bag of baby bell cheeses
                                      I think they have the tray of fresh figs this time of year
                                      Fruit Leather
                                      The box of 50 [or 30] bags of lay's stuff cause kids don't really like to share a bag. Or sunchips or veggie.
                                      The box of peanut, almond, cashew packages or just the big jar of mixed nuts but the individual packages are convenient for different tastes and not whining about the picking out the good stuff.