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gugy

Trader Joe's and Costco options

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Hi,

I am starting my Whole30 this Monday and I shop often at TJs and Costco in San Diego.

Can you guys give me some insight of what you can buy at these two places that is compliant with Whole30?

Also is the Rotisserie at Costco OK?

I appreciate any feedback and very excite to start the new lifestyle.

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The rotisserie wasn't compliant the last I checked. My costco carries a ton of organic veggies, organic chickens and ground beef. They also have wild planet tutorial with is in bpa free cans and the Tunas own juices. Same with trader Joes. Both great options for paleo on the cheap, just buy whole foods and not stuff with ingredients

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It's super hard to find rotisserie chicken that is truly compliant. I have heard that WF sells a "naked" rotisserie chicken that is truly just chicken, but I just don't trust them, so I roast 1-2 chickens a week and eat them all week long. I used to buy costco rotisserie chickens occasionally until I looked at the label. Ick!! They do carry organic chickens and organic eggs that I buy when I just can't budget for the pastured chickens and their eggs at other stores. I also love their avocados. I think you get 5 really good ones for $4.99. I've also bought their tri tip and their prime grade sirloins ($4.99 lb here in Portland) and they are both lean and delish, but not grass fed. Costco has grass fed ground beef and buffalo and so does Trader Joes. My mom swears the Pacific Beach TJ has grass fed steaks, but she's 86 and I think she saw the angus logo and thought that meant grass fed. :) LOVE the wild white frozen shrimp at TJ. I've tried others, but theirs is so firm and sweet! It's $13.99 lb...eek. :)

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Having easy to prepare foods is key to staying compliant on a Whole30. Trader Joe's has so many good things. These are some of my go-to items from there...

  • TJ's has compliant canned sardines, tuna, and chicken for convenient no cook options to keep in your pantry.
  • Frozen green beans - huge bag for 1.99. Frozen leeks and frozen tri-color peppers make meal prep easier if you are short on time.
  • Healthy Eight Veggie Mix (in produce section) can make salads more interesting. I just grab and handful of the chopped veggies to add a quick and simple crunch to my salad.
  • They also have a compliant marinara that is decent and cheap. It's on a lower shelf with a green label and has olive oil instead of canola and it contains zero sugar. Quick and easy meal to have a bowl of spinach, kale, cauliflower or cabbage topped with ground beef and some marinara. No excuses that I'm too busy to cook because takes no time to make a meal like that!
  • TJ's also has compliant prosciutto.
  • My store also carries Applegate Farms Roast Beef which is nice and easy to have in lettuce wraps with a little mustard and mayo or avocado/guacamole.
  • I keep frozen shrimp and the TJ's seafood blend (shrimp, scallops and calamari) on hand for stir fry or as a yummy addition to a coconut curry soup (a little broth, some coconut milk, a little curry paste, and whatever protein and veggies I have as leftovers).
  • Turkey burgers (only ingredients are turkey, kosher salt and rosemary extract) come in package of 4 for 2.99.
  • I like the light coconut milk for my coffee. I know it is watered down, but the consistency is good for coffee or adding a splash to a soup.
  • The bagged avocadoes are a good price. 75 cents each if I recall correctly, but those aren't the organic ones.
  • Sometimes they have great bags of small apples. Pink Lady is my favorite, but lately they have been out and I get gala instead. I like the smaller size for me and my kids.
  • Update - Forgot to add that I like the big container of TJ's mild salsa. Tastes fresh and makes a quick addition to a taco or fajita salad. Also good with scrambled eggs. A little of the TJ's Jalapeno Pepper Hot Sauce can add a kick if I want it.

Have fun shopping! I always do... :)

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That is a FANTASTIC list of foods from Trader Joe's ! I went way overboard on food spending my first week (at Whole Foods). I was just so excited to get started and try a ton of new things, but I know that to make this feasible for the long term, I need to find some simpler and more budget-friendly options. Those all sound great.

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Wow

Thank you very much for all the replies!

Yeah I can go to WF but its so expensive that I rather figure out options at Costco and TJs.

Anyway this is a valuable resource and if we can gather more info that would be great.

Again I appreciate the information!

Tomorrow is my first day so I hope I can go through the whole thing...:-)

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Wow

Thank you very much for all the replies!

Yeah I can go to WF but its so expensive that I rather figure out options at Costco and TJs.

Anyway this is a valuable resource and if we can gather more info that would be great.

Again I appreciate the information!

Tomorrow is my first day so I hope I can go through the whole thing...:-)

If budget is an issue, don't feel you can only do this with grass fed beef and pastured chickens and all organic everything. Just do what your budget allows and everything at TJ is high quality and Costco pretty much is too. Just stay away from that rotisserie case. :) Their chickens even have sugar and starch injected. They do have some decently priced Omega 3 eggs and Organic eggs at Costco.

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Well budget is not a huge issue but going to WF is an eye opening of how inflated and expensive things are there. I love TJs and Costco can be great as well.

Also Sprouts I's a great source.

Just trying to avoiding having to go to WF all the time and saving it for must have things I can find anywhere else.

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Well budget is not a huge issue but going to WF is an eye opening of how inflated and expensive things are there. I love TJs and Costco can be great as well.

Also Sprouts I's a great source.

Just trying to avoiding having to go to WF all the time and saving it for must have things I can find anywhere else.

I absolutely agree. I end up going to 4 different places depending on what I need and what expense I have coming up. :)

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I absolutely agree. I end up going to 4 different places depending on what I need and what expense I have coming up. :)

Me too!!!

FYI - You can buy anything by the case at Whole Foods and get a 10% discount. I just bought a case of Gingerade Kombucha this afternoon. 12 bottles/case and it brought the price down to $3.14 each instead of $3.49. Not a big savings, but every little bit helps. They give the discount for mixed cases too. And i picked up some really nice apples for $1.29/lb and a Naked Rotisserie Chicken for $5.99 (I'm not in the middle of a Whole30 and didn't have dinner ready so I am not sure if it is 100% compliant or not).

Once you get to know the store and take advantage of their specials, Whole Foods actually has some pretty reasonable prices on some things. My Whole Foods had a Smart Shopper Workshop yesterday to "learn how to find the best deals in the store and stretch your grocery dollars". Like the FB page to get updates on big sales like the Friday Specials. Unfortunately most deals you just have to learn about when you go in the store, but they post signs with specials and there is generally a good produce deal as you walk in the store. That's why I bought my apples there today. And the in store coupons are good for multiple purchases. I bought some Clif Bar Ropes for my kids that were on sale for $2.50 and the flyer had a $1 off coupon so I got six in a box for $1.50. That was a great deal and I bought several boxes a few weeks ago.

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slw600- your mom might be right! I just came from my local TJ's and in the freezer case right next to the grass fed ground beef was a nice stack of grass fed angus steaks. Almost as pricey as the shrimp you like, but nice for a treat!

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slw600- your mom might be right! I just came from my local TJ's and in the freezer case right next to the grass fed ground beef was a nice stack of grass fed angus steaks. Almost as pricey as the shrimp you like, but nice for a treat!

Oh my...I never thought about looking in the freezer. Moms are so often right. :) Now that you say this, I vaguely can picture frozen steaks at TJ..I've just never looked at them.

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Just went to TJ's and Sprouts this morning.

Yeah, if you read the labels and take the time there are definitely lots of options out there.

For me I guess the biggest challenge will be learn how to cook, since my wife always did that. :-)

Just starting the Whole30. So far ok, little hungry after breakfast but I'll stick to it.

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The more I shop the more I learn. I'm in San Diego and I've compared Sprouts to Whole Foods and I have found plenty of things at WF that are less expensive than Sprouts. The organic produce section of Sprouts is really not the best either.

Speaking of sales WF has Coconut Aminos on sale this week for $4.99/bottle! :)

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ohmygoodness I could go on and on and on about what I buy for Whole30 at these places! Costco sells bulk packs of Wholly Guacamole 100 calorie packs. I am obsessed with these, they are compliant, and a great dip when salsa gets old and hummus isn't an option. Costco is also the only place I've found with compliant chicken stock. They sell it in packages of 6 quarts. It's great. If you like fruit snacks, they sell Stretch Island Fruit Co. fruit leather- only ingredient is fruit and can satisfy a candy craving.

As for TJ's, well, I could do their marketing for them. Their organic produce is often only 50 cents to a dollar more than conventional, love their bagged salads and kale, and they now have a pack of Power Greens with chard that will be great to sautee. Their brand of roast beef is delish and compliant. The organic/conventional frozen vegetables are a real bargain (the Grilled Asparagus is my favorite), and if you go conventional with your meat, the bags of frozen chicken are great.

Their Garlic Herb chicken sausages are their only flavor of sausage that is compliant, but they're yummy. Their packs of organic ground beef aren't grass fed but are a great value for organic. They now sell cage-free liquid egg whites, perfect for when I make egg casseroles to eat throughout the week. They sell fire-roasted red/yellow peppers that are great to nibble on (just avoid the pack of only red- they contain brown sugar), as well as compliant tomato sauces (previously mentioned).

The nut/dried fruit aisle is overwhelming! I can go overboard with nuts, so I buy the single-serve packs of dry-roasted, unsalted, raw almonds. Perfect for when I'm on the go. A lot of their dried fruit is compliant as well, but of course read your labels. If you can handle it (and be wise- they taste like candy/gummy bears/heaven while on Whole30, so you might lose your mind), the New Zealand apple rings and Dried Flattened Banana are so good you'll cry.

I love their Beet/Purple carrot juice, raw almond butter, bags of sweet potatoes, amazing prices on organic tomatoes, good variety of compliant tea (yes, tea often has soy lecithin in it!), salsas (again, read labels- soybean oil!), pure apple sauce, and spices. Their prices on spice can't be beat.

Ok I did indeed go on and on, but these places are amazing for Whole30! I work across from a Whole Foods, which helps to fill in any gaps.

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My TJ's has packs of 80/20 (or maybe it's 85/15) organic, grassfed ground beef for 7.99 per lb. It is over in the fresh raw meat case. I think i've seen it advertised in their circular, so I would assume it's available just about everywhere? Cheaper than I can get at WF and I've had good luck with it.

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My TJ's has packs of 80/20 (or maybe it's 85/15) organic, grassfed ground beef for 7.99 per lb. It is over in the fresh raw meat case. I think i've seen it advertised in their circular, so I would assume it's available just about everywhere? Cheaper than I can get at WF and I've had good luck with it.

$7.99?? Last I looked it was $6.49 and the frozen GF beef was $5.99. Either they went up or ATL is really that much more expensive. :( My farmer went up on his prices, too. It's $6.50/lb for ground beef.

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Laura, maybe it was 6.49/lb and I have it mixed up (I'm actually in Marietta as well). I'll doublecheck next time I am there (I always pick up some when I go by there). I just know it is cheaper than the GF beef at WF, and also the two kinds available at Publix.

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Laura, maybe it was 6.49/lb and I have it mixed up (I'm actually in Marietta as well). I'll doublecheck next time I am there (I always pick up some when I go by there). I just know it is cheaper than the GF beef at WF, and also the two kinds available at Publix.

I think it is at least $7.99 at WF. Have you seen the post in Friends and Family about an ATL W9 meetup?? :)

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