A family that has traveled to over 40 Trader Joe’s stores in 39 states reveals their favorite products

Carter Patterson loves Trader Joe's Italian breadsticks.

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Carter Patterson loves Trader Joe’s Italian breadsticks.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Michelle and Brandon Patterson have visited over 40 Trader Joe’s stores in 39 states with their 5-year-old son, Carter, on an epic road trip across the lower 48 states.

Read more: A family of Trader Joe’s superfans has visited over 40 stores in 4 months on an epic road trip across the US

With as many trips to Trader Joe’s as they’ve made, they likely possess just as much expertise about the products on the shelves as any crew member.

Each member of the Travelin Pattersons shared their top five favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s. Here are 15 products endorsed by these Trader Joe’s superfans.


Lip Balm Virtuoso

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Trader Joe’s lip balm.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “I just apply it one time in the morning and I’m good for the day,” Michelle said. “Since trying that I haven’t gone back to any other brand of Chapstick. If they ever discontinue this I’m going to cry real tears.”


Spa face wash with tea tree oil

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Trader Joe’s face wash.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “I know everyone has different skin types, but this one works very well and gives me a nice squeaky clean feeling on my face,” Michelle said.


Almond Creek sparkling wine

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Almond flavored sparkling wine from Trader Joe’s.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “It is delicious,” Michelle said. “Anytime we’ve gone to any gathering or party, I’ll bring a bottle of that and everybody raves. It’s not overly sweet, just the right amount of bubbles.”


Monteli frozen organic pizza crusts

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Frozen pizza crusts from Trader Joe’s.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “We don’t have to thaw them,” Michelle said. “I can really have dinner done in 10-15 minutes. You put whatever toppings on that you want, throw it in the oven, and take it out. You bake it directly on the rack so you don’t have to mess up a bunch of dishes, too.”


Hatch chile mac and cheese

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Mac and cheese from Trader Joe’s.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “I love that it’s actually grated cheese in there, so you get that stringy cheese when you lift up your fork,” Michelle said. “It just looks very comforting and homemade.”


Chicken tikka masala

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Chicken tikka masala from Trader Joe’s.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “Michelle’s not a fan of Indian food, so it’s nice that I can satisfy that craving on my own without dragging her to an Indian restaurant,” Brandon said.


Coffee Lover’s espresso beans

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Espresso beans from Trader Joe’s.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “They’re only 99 cents for a pack so it definitely has great value,” Brandon said.


Chile lime seasoning blend

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Chile lime seasoning from Trader Joe’s.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “I don’t really like to eat fruit, so Michelle has used this to manipulate me into eating fruit,” Brandon said. “Oranges, watermelon, I’ll sprinkle it on anything. I like putting it in beer, as well. It’s definitely a well-rounded spice.”


Organic cold brew coffee

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Cold brew coffee from Trader Joe’s.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “I really like that when we’ve been out and not returning to the trailer. It beats going into a coffee shop and paying quite a bit more,” Brandon said.


Local beers

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Beer at Trader Joe’s.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “Trader Joe’s will allow you to buy just a single beer,” said Brandon. “It’s cool to be able to try the local beer without dragging my family around to breweries that would eat up our trip, not be very fun for them, and cost a heck of a lot more.”


Organic apple mango fruit sauce crushers

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Applesauce pouches from Trader Joe’s.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “These are very convenient on our travel days because I don’t have to worry about opening a cup of applesauce and trying to hand him a spoon,” Michelle said. “Those have been a real savior for us on the road.”


“This apple walks into a bar” cereal bars

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Cereal bars from Trader Joe’s.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “Apple is definitely Carter’s favorite,” Michelle said. “They’re really nice and easy to just have on hand. I like that we can throw it in our backpack and forget about it. It’s a good hearty and healthy snack.”


Cold brew latte dessert bars

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Cold brew popsicles from Trader Joe’s.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “Carter loves coffee flavored anything,” Michelle said. “[The popsicles] are very smooth and have that coffee flavor. We try to limit it to rewards.”


Peach and mango yogurt cups

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Yogurt cups from Trader Joe’s.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “From a mom standpoint I love the yogurt because it’s a really thick texture so it stays on his spoon,” Michelle said. “He always goes for the mango first and will resort to the peach after.”


Italian breadsticks with olive oil

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Carter posing with his favorite breadsticks.
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Courtesy of Travelin Pattersons

Why they love it: “He calls them cracker sticks,” Michelle said. “He eats them plain, and any time we open a box of them, we can consider it gone.”