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Sep 19, 2012 02:14 PM

have any BC'ers been to Trader Joe's lately - what do you have to bring back over the border from TJ's?

i went in early Sept to the location in BLI - which is such a nice clean and friendly TJ"s ---- all those Canadians there.

Are there as many at the Spokane WA location? I don't know. I've never been to that fairly new one.

I also often go to TJ's in PDX (i see a lot of people on this board go to PDX)
and also several in CA

i have certain stand-by products ---
*Cat Cookies for People (someone up here actually thought i was giving their cat chocolate crackers!)
*TJs pesto --- it's a handy pantry stand-by and better than any reasonably priced normal supermarket option up here. PLus, I don't often have enuf fresh basil in summer to make my own.
*Mesquite almonds - a bit salty but i'm a bbq flavour person
*TJ's canned alaska pink salmon - no skin, no bones - a bit salty, not much diff than what we get in stores here - tho no queezy skin/bone factor
*TJ's wild rice mix - it's just something different on a boring dinner nite.
*TJ"s laundry soap - it is probably made in Canada but it's about 20 dollars here and 12 dollars there. Lavender liquid in something like a 3 or 4 liter size.
*TJ's liquid hand soap in the bergamot flavor
*TJ's cuban style beans in a can
*various TJ's salsas ---- there is a low-salt one that is pretty good --- and the corn one too.

i also impulse buy some things that i regret later - like the "light brie" ... that was bad!

I realize there is an entire list of TJ's YAY, NAY and MEH but i think that for those of us who don't have a TJ's nearby - and esp when an international border is involved, we have certain "just have to have" or "ask our friend to buy it for us" products.

i am curious

ps - i also buy some of the cake mixes (check out the "lite" brownies) and the vanilla cake mix, i use orange-scented olive oil for the fat requirement - people think i'm something else - or maybe they are being kind! no really, the vanilla bean cake mix is very handy. At xmas they come out with a cranberry orange quick bread - that's good too.

and then we divert from here to the other Pac NW products we just have to have from south of the border (like Krustez Snickerdoodle mix - avail only at certain safeway or is it albertsons --- and diet rite splenda cola from target or albertsons in BLI, WA.

EDIT - maybe i should have continued this past thread - i remembered it afterwards

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  1. Don't forget the TJ's homage store on West Broadway in the old wood oven bakery space. It's still going strong and they have a nice, small selection (although obviously pricier than if you shopped across the line there is still good value).
    Talk to the guy running it and he will take suggestions on things to bring in.

    I buy the California apricots among other things.

    1 Reply
    1. re: eatrustic

      We don't go to TJ on dedicated mission. It's always on way back from Fairhaven, or REI, or Burlington, Anacortes, etc. But even those trips are often on a whim too.

      God Bless the Nexus Lanes !! ;-)

    2. We always buy Calbee's Snapea Crisps from TJ's:

      As it's $1.49/bag, vs. about $5-6 up here [rolls eyes].

      I always buy their banana bread mix, cornbread mix and mac & cheese ........ I've not tasted better from kits up here for the same price or higher.

      Of course we buy the $3.49 merlots and chardonnays for cooking wine :-)

      Otherwise it's totally impulsive, random buying of whatever picks our fancy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LotusRapper

        oh yes, those "candied snap peas" ; ) are dangerous!

        now i have seen those up here in BC too ---- i think maybe at our neighborhood IGA Marketplace.

        (i say as I am just now experimenting with some TJ's Guacamole from the fridge section - it would be OK en route to a pot luck snack party - i wouldn't make a trip to buy it - but going, going gone - too late now!)

        and isn't that true about the random impulsive spending --- i feel like one of those contestants on the Price Is Right or those vintage game shows where you won X minutes to race thru the market and grab as much as you could!

        two buck chuck et al. faithful team they are.

        why are their baskets so small at TJs?

        PS --- take your own bags to shop in bellingham - anywhere in BLI -- you pay per bag now -- which is an admirable initiative on behalf of city or county - i don't know the jurisdiction. I didn't mind taking my own.

      2. SO is often in WA state and I usually put in a request for the following:
        - Frozen falafel
        - butter (TJ's organic unsalted, and Kerry Gold)
        - jalapeno-cilantro humus
        - triple ginger cookies
        - butter almond thins
        - salted caramel sauce
        - any new (to us) and nifty cookies (last trip netted some wonderful chocolate lacey cookies)

        If I go along, then the impulse buying gets pretty out of hand.

        I had him pick up some speculoos cookie butter recently - bleah. I liked the concept in theory but in practice, way too sweet and stodgy for me. I take its' a good example of the type but that type isn't to my taste at all it turns out (though I love speculoos cookies).

        2 Replies
        1. re: kinnickinnik

          have you tried the LEMON thins? (cookies) - they are good
          speaking of USA cookies - i am a big fan of Pepperidge Farm CHESSMAN cookies (i know about milanos too ; ) ---- during holidays they make holiday xmas patters - the rest of the year, they are the figures off a chessboard. I don't know where to buy them up here in Canada ---- you always see the Pepperidge Farm goldfish in about half a doz diff incarnations but none of hte cookies -
          and the brandy-snap type w/ macadamiia nut --- dark or light choc
          i melted a whole bag of them in my car earlier this month --- oh darn, have to keep those at home and eat them ourselve now!

          1. re: Georgia Strait

            Ooh no, not yet. We do often get the Lemon Heart cookies though - love those too.

        2. Love going to Trader Joes. We usually bring back their hummus, cheese (they have quite a selection to pick from, favs are Supreme Brie and burrata), heirloom tomatoes, salted plantain chips, frozon croissants, truffle brownie mix (i know this is so easy to make at home but their brand is absolutely sinfully delicious), and of course wine. I'm not a fan of the two buck chuck but they have a very good selection of wine under $10.

          1. We lived in California for 12 years before moving back to Canada, so I head to BLI for my TJ fix every month or so. On the shopping list:
            - TJ Joe-Joe cookies (like Oreos, but better)
            - TJ's version of Ritz Bits sandwich crackers
            - frozen naan bread
            - nuts and dried fruit
            - cheese cheese cheese
            - large whole wheat tortillas/wraps
            - Just Avocado packs
            - filled pastas
            - Kerry Gold butter
            - TJ cereal bars
            - frozen edamame

            No cheap wine - the duty charges are just too high.