Riley Heruska
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For some, grocery shopping is a complete hassle and just another expense that has to be paid every week. For others (*cough cough* me), stocking the pantry and meal planning is an enjoyable activity. I love nothing more than attempting that new Pinterest recipe I saved, even if half of my attempts turn out terribly. I’m especially addicted to baking treats, even if swimsuit season is begging me to quit. I’m no professional, but I love trying new things and wandering grocery store aisles in search of  fresh ideas.

When a Trader Joe’s popped up at El Dorado in McKinney, I was immediately intrigued. My mother kept ranting and raving about the items she bought there, so after much urging on her part, I headed in to check out the wares myself.

After one trip, I was hooked. That’s what Trader Joe’s does: They offer you little samples and original products, and before you know it, you’re making desperate weekly runs because you ran out of Cookie Butter Cream Cheese or some other equally addicting snack. Personally, I can’t go more than a few days without their almond butter. With 19 locations around Texas and more to come soon, you might just have one in your vicinity. Thank goodness, right?

Trust me, this isn’t a sales pitch. It’s a personal recommendation, from me to you, that you start doing some of your shopping at Trader Joe’s, and here’s why.

Healthy Food That Doesn’t Cost an Arm and a Leg

Sure, we’d all love to be able to afford food from fancy health food stores, but sometimes shelling out the big bucks for organic fruit isn’t an option. What’s awesome about Trader Joe’s is that their food is often healthier than the average product at another grocery store, but they don’t charge you as much as a gourmet shop. You can shop for low-sugar, organic, free-range, etc. without feeling guilty without examining every price tag.

Reasonably-Priced Fresh Flowers

Maybe this is just a point that really appeals to me, but I love having fresh flowers on the table. Whether you’re looking to buy flowers for that special someone or for decorating purposes, there is always a lovely section of fresh plants at the store’s entrance. I’ve even purchased some succulents there. Once again, the best part of the whole deal is the price. Some stores might charge $15 for a bouquet, but Trader Joe’s rarely charges more than $9. 

Ready-to-Eat Meals and Frozen Dishes

Even though I should be taking the time to make my own meals, I often partake in pre-made entrees while at home or at work. Trader Joe’s makes it pretty easy to do so guilt-free with a wide-range of prepared dishes, from fresh sushi to unique salads and bowls. I’m a fan of their frozen meals, as well, from specialty macaroni and cheeses to Asian meals that come in a bag. Suddenly, meal planning seems easier than ever before. I’ve stopped going to fast food chains on my lunch break, opting instead for a $4 Spicy California Roll that I bought in advance.

If I haven’t already persuaded you to join me in my Trader Joe’s addiction, then at least there will be more delicious goodies for those of us already in love. If you, like I was, are intrigued by this growing chain of specialty grocery stores, then take this article as your cue to finally check it out.

To find the nearest Trader Joe's, you can visit 


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