As many of you know from following this blog or knowing me, I have tried to do low carb on and off for years due to diabetes running in my family – oh, and I’m fluffy and want to lose weight, too. However, I recently started following more of a Keto approach (back in December) and am paying very close attention to what ingredients are in my food. It is truly amazing when you start looking at what they put in our food how much junk we put in our bodies. I always “thought” I was eating healthy, but even things such as cheese or frozen vegetables can have added hidden ingredients.
Some of these things they put in our food, particularly the processed foods, have been studied and shown to cause health issues. Some of the things I am trying to avoid:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Many of the sugar substitutes – personally I go ahead with Splenda but I mix with erythritol. Many use Stevia or monk fruit instead.
- Caffeine – I’m not giving this up but limited
- Nitrates – even natural ones such as celery salt
- MSG – it makes me really sick
- Anything with added wheat, sugar, or milk
Watch out! Those food manufacturers are quite sneaky. They have renamed high fructose corn syrup as fructose or fructose syrup. It is the exact same thing and still has all the health concerns. If you stop and think about what they’re doing to us and our children, you’ll probably get as angry about it as I have.
So, you’re probably thinking that doesn’t leave much and you would be right that it does not leave a lot of processed food. But, that is kind of the point. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s has great prices on the things I do eat and I can often get their organic produce and items for the same price I’d paid for non-organic at the regular grocery store.
What to Get that Is Keto at Trader Joe’s
Here are the top items on my list. Your costs may vary, but on my last trip, I spent under $50:
- Produce – You’ll love how fresh it is and organic choices. Today, I bought green beans and spinach. I didn’t buy it because I had some already from Kroger, but the jicama was $1 cheaper than what I paid.
- Cheese – The cheese selection! If you are a cheese lover like me, then you’ll adore their cheeses. I also love that the ingredients on most of them are so limited and not filled with bad things. I bought one today that tastes like buffalo sauce. it was pretty spicy but great. I also got some Swiss cheese slices.
- Everything But the Bagel Seasoning – You can’t find this anywhere else. It is perfect for making keto bagels. Here is one recipe I use:
- Cauliflower rice
- Almond flour – large bag and good price
- Nuts – Nuts are expensive! Trade Joe’s has a great selection of different choices and the prices are a couple of bucks cheaper than the grocery store most of the time. The BEST price on nuts is usually at Sam’s or Costco, but if you want a special kind or a smaller bag, then this is the way to go.
- Ground Turkey – good price and hormone free varieties
- Coconut Milk – cheapest I’ve seen it
- Cashew Butter – this is a great alternative to peanut butter. I can only find it where it doesn’t have a bunch of added sugar at the health food store, and it is over $6/jar there. It was $3.99 today at Trader Joe’s.
- Kerrygold – If you buy in bulk, you can get is slightly cheaper at Costco, but this is the cheapest price I’ve seen for single packs. It was a penny cheaper than even the local Walmart price.
I’m sure if you step foot inside of Trader Joe’s that you’ll find many more items you want to buy. However, part of staying on a budget is resisting that urge. My advice is to make a list of the 10 things you want. Go around the store and gather those first. Add them up in your mind (if it is $3.69, round up to $4.00, for example). If you have money left in your budget, you can then go back around the store (it’s small) and choose some items you want to try.
I like to refer to Trader Joe’s as an upscale Aldi’s, but since our local Aldi’s redid their stores, that isn’t 100% accurate as a description. It is just a pleasant store. They have fresh cut flowers in the front, so that adds to the atmosphere. I hope you enjoy your trip to Trader Joe’s. If you find a Keto item you can’t live without, let me know!