Let me quickly define what I mean by "health bargains". I'm looking for:
No added sugar
Save sugar for dessert - sugar shouldn't be in your snacks, beverages, meals etc < Speaking as a recovering sugar-addict who believed the only reason to drink coffee was for the sugar and baked as an excuse to eat more sugar!
No unhealthy fats
Unhealthy fats are rancid so they're treated with solvents to mask the odor. Common examples are: canola, corn, soy, vegetable oil, and trans-fats/partially hydrogenated oils (most brands are already phasing out trans-fats… but check what they replaced it with!)
No artificial flavor, colors or preservatives of course
Should have a relatively short ingredient list with words I understand
And if it's at Trader Joe's, it's likely a bargain!
Items with the "dog bone" icon are all products I give to my dogs.
* Please note all these prices and products are from the Trader Joe's in Monterey, CA. Your store may be different.
Kerrygold grass-fed butter
$3.19 for 8oz block
If you're new to my site and think putting butter on a list of "health" items is pretty bold or eh, stupid... just know that my philosophy is real food is where it's at. Harvard seems to agree too, butter is back!
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
My favorite cooking oil. Handles high heat well, it's packed in glass and organic. Yay!
Organic Riced Cauliflower (frozen)
Cauliflower is not one of my husband's favorites but he can't tell the difference between this and rice! It definitely tastes like cauliflower to me, but I like it anyway!
I make stir-fry with it or serve with steak or chicken.
Chomps - Beef or Turkey Sticks
Quick snack when I'm in a hurry. Made from grass-fed beef or free-range turkey.
Sauerkraut (Raw & Fermented)
I never liked sauerkraut as a kid. I now realize that's because they made it with vinegar instead of letting it ferment in a salty brine which is the REAL way to enjoy sauerkraut!
This is sold in the refrigerator section because it's raw and fermented which means it's full of probiotics and flavor.
The Trader Joe's brand is one of my favorites. I add it to everything, even salad!
Goat's Milk Creamy Cheese
Worth every penny! This super flavorful, rich, creamy goat cheese easily makes the bland crackers I put it on the perfect delivery device (I get Mary's Gone Crackers from Costco).
Goat's milk/cheese is often well tolerated even by those who can't normally handle dairy from cows. And since goats aren't raised in confined-feedlots either, they're still eating and living in a more happy and natural habitat. Thus the products they produce are better for us too!
$3.99 for 4
This is a given, right!
I don't bother buying organic avocados, they're on the clean 15 list (produce items that are "safe" to buy non-organic).
Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon (seasonal)
Wild, Alaskan salmon is the only kind I'll eat! These beautiful fillets come vacuum packed! I season and bake it in the oven at 400 for about 12 minutes. Dinner's ready!
Pre-Cut Organic Cruciferous Vegetables and Prepped Greens
Varies $1.69-2.99 8-12oz
Two of my favorites are the broccoli slaw and the shredded cabbage. I cant find these anywhere else!
They also have washed and chopped tuscan (dino) kale, spinach and romaine lettuces too.
I love the prepped veggie section when I have a busy week or not sure what to make for dinner. Open the bag, sautee, done!
Gerolsteiner Sparkling Water
This is my favorite sparkling water because of its naturally occurring high mineral content. Something missing from many bottled water and will leave you more thirsty (ie LaCroix)!
Organic Ginger Turmeric Tea
$2.49 20 tea bags
I love this tea on a cold day or any day I want to feel extra healthy! It has a nice spicy orange flavor. It already has black pepper in it but feel free to add some whole milk since both help turmeric absorb (both pepper and fats that is, not necessarily milk).
Many Organic Meats!
Organic Ground Turkey $5.69 16oz
Pastured Lamb Loin $11.49 16oz
Grass Fed Rib Eye Beef $13.49 each
Grass Fed Top Sirloin Beef $7.49 each
Organic Chicken or Beef Bone Broth
Nutrition for inside and out! Bone broth is great for your intestinal lining and your skin because of the collagen and minerals it provides.
Add it to soups, casseroles, when cooking cabbage or just sip on it's own.
Broccoli Floret "chips" $2.99 1.4oz
Broccoli chips are one of my favorite go-to snacks when I am looking for something sweet! It stops my sweet cravings in their tracks.
While they're not organic, I can justify it because all my other produce generally is.
My dogs love them too!
Note: TJ’s has kale chips but they have a touch of sugar in them so I get Brad’s from Costco.
Great Lakes Collagen from Grass-fed beef
Yes this is collagen just like you'd get from the bone broth but it's powdered form. I put it in coffee (just a little) to help with minor joint pain from running, great for skin, hair and nails too.
Add it to your dog's food too, for their own joint health!
Note: I used to give this one to my dogs but due to beef allergies they now take the porcine one instead. I buy it from Amazon by the same brand.
Sardines - with Skin & bones, packed in water
I add these to my dogs' food in the morning. I portion one can into 4 servings. My husband and I also like to snack on these every once and while. Though admittedly I need some really crunch crackers with mine! My husband will just eat them from the can!
Get the kind with water instead of olive oil. The oil used will not be of good quality anyway. And these are from the cold waters of Canada so they likely have more omega-3 (because they need to be fattier to survive the cold waters) and less contaminants. Some other brands come from Vietnam.
These are a favorite snack when I need a little starchy, crunchy saltiness.
Speaking of starch, I also like plantains because of their inulin fiber which helps feed good bacteria.
These are made with sunflower oil too, which is not my favorite because it’s high omega 6 content. I would prefer it was coconut oil but at least it's not a rancid oil like I mentioned in the intro.
Ok yes, more dairy, more cheese. I was on keto for over a year, what do you expect!
While dairy isn’t for everyone these make the cut because they're super tasty and easy to grab on the go. They may not be organic but they're from Italy which means they're at least not given the growth hormone rBGH. And when given as dog treats they're a much better and cheaper alternative than the $10 bag at the pet store!
Organic Banana Chips
I buy these pretty much just as dog treats. And sometimes I munch on a few when handing them out.
I wouldn't normally give something to my dogs with added sugar but it's not that much added (bananas have their own sugars to start).
They're used to getting freeze-dried turkey hearts and dehydrated lamb tripe so this is definitely a treat!
And there you have it folks! I could have easily added another 19 healthy items but these are mostly my standard items that I often buy here and wanted to showcase.
Stay tuned because I'll also post the top unhealthy items from Trader Joe's!