8 things you should buy at Trader Joe's and 8 you shouldn't

If you're lucky enough to have a Trader Joe's close to home, you probably know how many great buys you can pick up while meandering through the store. They have products you just can't find anywhere else, plus they often have great deals on high-quality products. Still, there are some things you should definitely buy at Trader Joe's and others you just shouldn't. Read on to find out more.

Do buy: Flowers

If you've ever wandered into a Trader Joe's, you've likely noticed the gorgeous floral department, chock full with beautiful and, more importantly, affordable, bouquets, arrangements, and even potted plants. According to PureWow, you should always swing by Trader Joe's for your floral needs — the arrangements are often under $10 and they'll last longer than you'd think. Your kitchen table needs a little brightening up.

Do buy: Cheese

Cheese is another product you absolutely should buy at Trader Joe's. The grocery chain has a wide selection of high-quality gourmet cheeses, most of which are, you guessed it, very affordable for what they are. According to The Penny Hoarder, buying cheese at Trader Joe's is a good idea because since their cheesemongers often cut cheese wheels into small enough chunks, you just may be able to score the cheese of your dreams for less than $5. Talk about bargain shopping.

Do buy: Organic produce

If you're watching your spending, but also watching what you eat, you should definitely add an abundance of organic fruits and vegetables to your cart when you shop at Trader Joe's. According to Kiplinger, the organic produce offerings at Trader Joe's are more affordable than at the other grocery stores you may frequent. Take advantage.

Do buy: Truly Handmade flour tortillas

According to Bon Appetit's senior web editor, Alex Beggs, the Truly Handmade flour tortillas Trader Joe's carries are one of the most underrated offerings at the store. He says they really do taste homemade, a major score when comparing them to many of the other store-bought tortillas on the market. These tortillas are a worthwhile find.

Do buy: Bananas

While many other grocery stores sell bananas by the pound, Trader Joe's sells them per banana, meaning you really can save a lot of money if you only eat bananas on occasion. According to The Penny Hoarder, Trader Joe's only prices their bananas at 19 cents each, which is a total bargain. If you only buy a few bananas at a time, make sure you get them at Trader Joe's.

Do buy: Pizza dough

The secret to my Friday night pizza is the refrigerated, ready-made dough that's sold alongside fresh pizza sauce and all the fixings at Trader Joe's. Blogger Gaby Dalkin, the writer behind the popular blog, What's Gaby Cooking, also recommends buying your pizza dough at Trader Joe's. Take it from me, it's a lifesaver when you're just getting home from work, it's been a long week, and you didn't have the foresight to prep a homemade dough ahead of time. That Trader Joe's dough will save you every time.

Do buy: Coffee

I was so intimidated to grind my coffee at Trader Joe's before buying it, which kept me from buying my coffee at Trader Joe's for far too long. I'm glad I finally summoned the courage, because the coffee offerings are varied and very high-quality. Additionally, as The Penny Hoarder noted, while it might be a little pricier than the cheapest offering at another store, if you care about sourcing and quality, the prices at Trader Joe's are amazingly fair.

Do buy: Organic spinach

If you eat a lot of greens, you may already know that Trader Joe's is the place to go when it comes to many organic greens, not just organic spinach. According to Kiplinger, however, a six-ounce package of organic spinach came in at almost $2 less than at other, comparable stores and about $1.29 less than the five-ounce offering at Walmart. Getting your fill of healthy, leafy greens doesn't have to break the bank.

Don't buy: Almond butter

Almond butter is, perhaps, more popular than ever, but if you eat it and buy it regularly, you might want to buy it someplace else. According to Kiplinger, almond butter at Trader Joe's is more expensive than some of the brands sold at other stores. Almond butter can already be a pricey item, so you likely want to get the best deal possible.

Don't buy: Frozen fruit

I'm definitely guilty of buying frozen fruit at Trader Joe's, especially because the retail giant has lots of tasty offerings I love to add to my breakfast smoothies like frozen figs and it a cherries and berries mix. But, as Kiplinger noted, it's not all that cost-effective to purchase your frozen fruit at Trader Joe's because since the packages are small, you're paying nearly three times as much per ounce as you would for frozen fruit at another store. Not good.

Don't buy: Riced cauliflower and broccoli

When you buy riced cauliflower and broccoli at Trader Joe's, what you're really paying for is the convenience of it all. That being said, as Delish noted, it's not actually that much work to either grate it or, even easier, cut it into florets, dump it into a food processor, and give it a whirl to rice it quickly. While it might not make or break your grocery budget, it's likely not worth the extra money. Both broccoli and cauliflower are otherwise relatively affordable, so unless there's a reason you just have to buy it pre-done, skip it.

Don't buy: Milk

According to PureWow, if you drink regular cow's milk, you shouldn't buy it at Trader Joe's. The options are more limited, especially when you compare those offerings with that of the organic and alternative milk varieties, and a bit pricey. Since you're likely going to go to another store for some items, you may as well just add milk to that "not Trader Joe's" list.

Don't buy: Spiralized carrots

Like with the riced cauliflower and broccoli, what you're really paying a premium for is the convenience of not having to spiralize your own veggies at home. The problem, as Delish pointed out, is that regular old carrots are typically pretty cheap, meaning you have to really, really want those pre-spiralized carrot noodles in order to pay so much for them at Trader Joe's. Another strike against them? The homemade version will taste fresher.

Don't buy: Natural detergents

While you might think a natural detergent would be a good thing to buy at Trader Joe's, according to Kiplinger, it's really not your best bet because it's pricier than at other stores. Natural detergents of comparable sizes were cheaper at Walmart and, in some cases, far larger containers of natural detergents were nearly the same price. If you're looking to get the most for your money, you might want to get your natural detergents somewhere else.

Don't buy: Mexican-style roasted corn

Sure, the Mexican-style roasted corn you can buy in the frozen veggies aisle at Trader Joe's is delicious, but it's not hard at all to roast some plain old corn in your own home oven yourself. As Delish noted, it's way, way cheaper to make Mexican street corn, even off the cob, at home. There's absolutely no need to buy the pre-made side dish at the store.

Don't buy: Bagged salad kits

Even though you might be seriously tempted to pick up these bagged salad kits from time to time, they're usually far more expensive than is necessary. According to Delish, it really will save you a ton if you put in the effort to hack your own version of the Trader Joe's pre-made bagged salads, which means you'll have more money to buy all the things that you absolutely should get while you're there.