Have you heard of the hedonism treadmill? We’ve got a grocery store hedonism treadmill going on in my neighborhood. First, we only had the basic Giant food–to be fair it was clean and bright and had more variety than any grocery store our parents and grandparents had ever shopped in–but we heard tell of this amazing grocery store out of New York called Wegmans. The first Wegmans to open in our county need police to direct traffic, that’s how crazy we were for a grocery store with all the regular stuff, plus an amazing prepared foods section and babysitting! The next Wegmans to open up in our area ditched the babysitting area, but put in a bar, and since all my kids were in school by then, I thought that was a great idea. It didn’t take long, however, to grow tired of all those options. You know, Wegmans was great and all, but, well, it was just so big! If only a smaller grocery with great organic foods and a top-notch prepared foods section would open. Our prayers were answered by a brand-spanking new Whole Foods, with a pub! Apparently the grocers’ marketing teams know our area! It was awesome and a glass of wine before shopping helps those Whole Foods’ price go down, but, you know, maybe what we really needed was a grocery store with convenience foods and organics, but cheaper. Next stop on the food store hedonism treadmill was Trader Joe’s. While our new TJs does not have a bar, it does have ample parking.

I thought I’d share some of my new-found faves from Trader Joe’s

I made the honey roasted pumpkin ravioli and it was amazing! I prepared according to the package directions and served it with melted butter and some jarred pesto (from Wegmans). One package served two of us.

The Tapas Sampler has 3 varieties of cheese in just-right amounts and a great price of $9.99. I’d be hard-pressed to get three different cheeses for that price anywhere else. When I want to serve two or three varieties of cheese, I have to buy bigger blocks which substantially raises the price and often, there is leftover cheese that goes to waste.

The wine is really priced well and there are a lot of tasting notes on the shelf which helps me to navigate through unfamiliar wines. On opening day, they had a wine tasting and some really mellow customers waiting in crazy-long lines.

In the frozen food aisle, the macarons are ridiculously inexpensive and unbelievably tasty! A box of 12 in a variety of flavors in $4.99! I like to keep a box on hand just in case. I keep buying them because I’ve eaten them “just in case” the football game is on, or it’s not.  The Taste of Alscace flatbread and a glass of wine can save any day when you walk in late and starving.

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