Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

Favorite Posts: January 2015

How is the first month of the year already over?? I guess getting back to my normal routine after Christmas made it go by fast. It was also a pretty calm month in the Pinkerton household, other than Derek working a lot during his internal medicine rotation. Things will pick up for us a bit in February. We’re meeting up with friends for the Super Bowl, and we’ll be celebrating my 25th birthday next week. Derek has 4 more weeks of internal medicine, specifically with nephrology, at UNC. I’ll be busy at work prepping for our annual social work retreat in March. It’ll be a busy month!

But first, here are my favorite posts from January 2015:

New Year, New Goals

The Impeded Stream

I Bet I’m Ice Cream {Fun Friday}

Meal Plan: An Ode to Trader Joe’s

Medicaid Expansion in NC {Social Justice Issue}



Meal Plan: An Ode to Trader Joe’s

Hello there! Hope you had a great weekend! I was one of those lucky people who had a 3-day weekend. Don’t worry, the universe balanced itself out, and I’m working this Saturday. I really can’t complain since I don’t have to work weekends very often, but I’m a bit nervous about being the only social worker in the hospital. :/

In an unfortunate twist of fate, I’m working on Derek’s only Saturday off this month. He’s on his internal medicine rotation right now which means long hours (65-70 hours/week), intense studying, and only one day off each week. Bleh. With both of us working a lot this week, meal planning was crucial. I needed easy, quick, preferably healthy meals for the week. On crazy weeks like this, Trader Joe’s is a life saver.

Like my previous meal plan posts, I included the meals that I plan for each day this week. I’m also highlighting the time-saving Trader Joe’s products that I enjoy.

Meal Plan- Week of 1/18/15

Sunday: Jambalaya + Salad

Monday: Rotisserie Chicken + Broccoli + Roasted Potatoes


Roasted Potatoes with Roasted Peppers & Onions. Source.

Tuesday: Steak and Asparagus Stir Fry + Brown Rice

Wednesday: Curry Chicken + Green Beans + Naan


My “curry chicken” is the easiest meal ever. Step 1: Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in pan. Step 2: Dump simmer sauce on top of chicken. Step 3: Cover and cook on medium for 10 minutes. Voila! Source.


This is one of my absolute favorite TJ’s products. It’s SO delicious, especially the garlic version. Source.

Thursday: Taco Salad

Friday: Dinner Out

Saturday: Chile Lime Chicken Burgers + Sweet Potato Frites + Salad

Trader Joes chili lime burgers

These burgers have a simple ingredients list, and they pair perfectly with avocado or pepper jack cheese. Nom. Source.


Because sweet potatoes are the best potatoes. Source.


4 Bridges Training {Week 5} + Meal Plan

Another week of training down! I can’t believe how fast time is flying. The race on October 19th will be here before I know it.  I completed all of the runs for Week 4, but I didn’t do any strength training or cross training last week. Whomp, whomp. I’m definitely more of a cardio person when it comes to exercising, whereas Derek prefers strength training. I’m hoping he can help get me motivated to complete my strength and cross training this week. Maybe I’ll get him out for a run this week too.

If you’re interested in my training posts/meal plans from previous weeks please see the following links: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4. On to week 5!

4 Bridges Half-Marathon Training – Week 5

Monday: Strength + stretch

Tuesday: 4 miles

Wednesday: 2 miles

Thursday: 4 miles + strength

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Cross-train for 40 minutes

Sunday: 6 miles

Meal Plan- Week of 8/25/14

Monday: Trader Joe’s Curry Simmer Sauce Chicken + Naan + Green Beans

Tuesday: Quinoa “Fried” Rice

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

Thursday: Chicken Fajitas + Black Beans

Friday: Dinner Out

Saturday: Beef Kabobs + Brown Rice

Sunday: Leftovers/Wing It

Happy Birthday Derek! {Fun Friday}

Happy Friday! We made it! And it’s not just any Friday here at the Pinkerton household; it’s Derek’s birthday! Happy 24th birthday to my amazing husband! I’m so excited to celebrate with him and our friends this weekend. I also cannot wait to give Derek his present.

Side note: I am the absolute worst about presents. If the present is for me, I do everything I can to find out what it is, and if the present is for someone else, it’s hard for me to keep it a surprise. I pride myself on being thoughtful about gifts, and I get more way more excited about giving them than receiving them. I’ve threatened to give Derek his gift all week, and he keeps making me wait until his actual birthday. What a party pooper.

Now let’s kick off what I’m sure will be a fun-filled weekend with some images, videos, and stories that made me smile or laugh this week . . .

Earlier this week I sent out a Facebook event invite to let people know that we’re going bowling for Derek’s birthday. In the process of putting it together, I found the perfect E-card for the invite:


Since Derek is turning 24, I feel the need to share the video below. One of my friends from grad school showed this in our adult development class, and it cracked me up. Enjoy!

The line about Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s is so true.

I’m a little late to the party with this next video, but it is quite funny. It’s a little long and slow at the beginning, but it gets better and better as it goes on.

Who is champ?

To wrap things up I’ll share a clip from one of my other favorite TV shows- New Girl.  I can’t wait for the fall TV premiers that start in September!

I feel like every household should have its own douchebag jar. 🙂

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Weekly Meal Plan and Grocery Shopping

First things first, I was supposed to start work on Monday. As I expected, my start date was delayed due to HR processing. I will now be starting on June 2nd, and I’m really excited about having two additional weeks off. I’ve been in higher education for 6 years, so I’m thankful for a bit of a break before entering the “real world.”


Ron Swanson would be pleased with my delayed start date.

The extra time off is giving me more time to figure out what I want this blog to be. I know that I will continue with day-to-day life updates, occasional meal plan posts, recipe reviews, workout recaps, and fun Fridays. I want to create more consistency with these existing items and start to incorporate more posts about mental health and social justice issues in health. Be on the lookout for some changes over the next couple weeks.

Anyway, on to my weekly meal plan and what I buy at the grocery store!

Meal Plan and Grocery Shopping 5/20-5/26

Screenshot 2014-05-20 13.45.42

The first step in my meal planning process is checking out the fridge and pantry. I throw out anything that’s not good anymore. Hopefully it’s not much because I hate wasting food. Then I see what I already have on hand and make sure the meals I choose include those foods. For example, I had a bunch of asparagus in the fridge, so I decided to try the steak and asparagus stir-fry. (By the way, we ate it on Tuesday, and it was delicious!! Look for the recipe tomorrow.)


All of my produce came from Trader Joe’s this week.

Before I go to the store, I create my grocery list using SayMmm. SayMmm automatically populates a list based on the recipes I put in my meal plan. I delete what I already have at home and additional items such as snacks, toiletries, and paper products that weren’t included. Check out my post about how to meal plan online for more information.


I usually buy meat from Kroger, but this bag of Trader Joe’s frozen chicken breast was only $7!

This week I shopped at Trader Joe’s and Kroger.


Frozen rice is such a great time saver, and it’s slightly less expensive than the pouches. The frozen fruit is great for smoothies!

I tend to buy meat, dairy, and canned products at Kroger instead of Trader Joe’s due to the price difference with those items.


I am obsessed with the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip from Trader Joe’s. Nom!

It is a large amount of food for us since we weren’t home for over a week, and I’m trying to keep more healthy snacks around.


My dairy products are all from Kroger. I am somewhat lactose intolerant, and Kroger’s CARBmaster cultured dairy blend sits better with my stomach than most yogurt.

The total between the two places was about $85.


Canned goods and condiments. Try adding the chili garlic sauce to hummus for an extra kick.

I also purchased some non-food items such as shampoo and paper towels, which aren’t pictured.

I think I’m a weirdo, but I really enjoy meal planning and grocery shopping. It’s like a game to me. I think I’m going to track my spending and work on ways to reduce our grocery bill.

Reader Question: Do you have any tips or tricks to make meal planning and grocery shopping faster or less expensive?


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