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    My 92-Year-Old Grandma Showed Me Her Favorite Things To Buy At Trader Joe's

    Listen to your elders.

    For anyone who has read my posts on BuzzFeed, you'll know that I am a Trader Joe's fiend. But what you don't know is that my love for Trader Joe's was never a choice. It was instilled in me by my 92-year-old grandmother, Leonora.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    We call her Lenny for short, and she's dangerously stylish, sharp as a tack, a pool of knowledge, and incredibly entertaining. My grandfather, her husband of 71 years, passed away last January, so on nights when she's not joining us for Sunday Chinese dinners or trips to the local deli, she cooks for herself. She lives across the street from a Trader Joe's, and she's become a very loyal customer. She's also quite opinionated.

    So over the weekend, my grandma came into the city and we took a trip to Trader Joe's together so that she could give me the lay of the land.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    So here is everything you need to know about shopping at Trader Joe's β€” what to buy, what to skip, and what to keep in mind β€” according to my Grandma Lenny.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    She did warn me that I wasn't allowed to publish anything on "my blog" before she could read it and approve it.

    Before we begin, it's essential that you hear my grandma's adorable voice so that you can imagine her narrating this post. Here is the toast she gave at my wedding from memory, roasting me the entire time. My friends are now urging Netflix to feature her in a series.

    View this video on YouTube

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    NOW BACK TO SHOPPING! At first, my grandma wasn't planning on doing her grocery shopping. She just wanted to show me her favorite products. Still, she grabbed a cart and headed for the produce aisle. "This makes it easier to walk around the store," she told me. She's a resourceful woman.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    Once she had a cart, I knew we weren't leaving this place empty handed.

    "The chopped salad kits are wonderful," grandma said. She couldn't decide on a single favorite as she loves them all. But she would not suggest the California rolls. "I bought your father the sushi here once and he wouldn't eat it," she told me. Oh, just try the sushi, dad πŸ™„

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    My grandma loves that Trader Joe's makes it easy to shop and cook as a single person. "I can buy one tomato or one sweet potato instead of a big bunch and it wont go to waste," she told me. I, too, love that about Trader Joe's.

    My grandma's absolute favorite thing at Trader Joe's is the BBQ-cut salmon. She told me she usually marinates it in apricot sauce then cook it in the oven for five minutes. I'm a bit skeptical of this recipe, but I can attest to the fact that the BBQ-cut salmon is excellent.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    From there, we made our way to the snack aisle. I asked my grandma if she's ever tried the peanut butter stuffed pretzels, one of my favorite snacks. Her response: "No we don't buy that crap." But she does love the dunkers, the biscotti-like cookies she dips in coffee.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    Lenny keeps kosher, so she doesn't eat a ton of the frozen food at Trader Joe's, however she said she hears everything frozen is delicious. "The people rave about the orange chicken," she said. Amen, Grandma, that stuff is good.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    "My sister loves the frozen mac 'n' cheese," she told me. "It's the perfect size for one and it's better than all those fancy big name brands."

    Before we left the frozen aisle, we took a quick stop to eat some mini mint ice cream sandwiches. P.S. They are great!

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    "Another shopper once told me the coffee ice cream is the best, and it is," Lenny said. "You talk to one another while you shop here and you're never lonely," she added.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    Before we started shopping, my grandma said her favorite things about Trader Joe's are the affordable prices and the employees. "The help will always tell you if they've tried something delicious. Ask them and they'll tell you," she encouraged me.

    One employee overheard that my grandma couldn't find her favorite soup, the tomato feta, and without asking she grabbed a tub of the soup from the back and delivered it to us. She also printed out a complete list of Trader Joe's kosher foods so my grandma could see all the foods she could try 😍.

    Then we made it to the free samples station where "the help" was giving out samples of hot apple cider. Grandma was unimpressed. "That one's a loser," she declared, tossing her sample cup in the trash.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    In the dessert aisle, she's a big fan of the Danishes and, of course, the rugelach. "You must always make sure to look at the expiration date," she told me very seriously. "This one is fresh."

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    Pro tip from Grandma Lenny: Heat up your rugelach in the microwave before serving.

    Despite our intention to not buy anything, by this point, we'd accumulated quite a cartful and grandma was slinging around $100 bills. She was tossing food into her cart left and right telling me I had to bring it home for dinner.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    Grandma: "Have you tried this apricot cherry cranberry goat cheese?"

    Me: "That one isn't my favorite."

    Grandma: "I'm not waiting on line unless we have a full cart. How bad can it be? You'll take it home if I put it in the cart?"

    Finally, we had finished our shopping and it was time to pay. "Where on earth could you get all this for $59?" Grandma asked me, beaming. Admittedly, we both love a good bargain. She also assured me that if I need to return anything we bought, Trader Joe's will gladly take it back without question.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    Done with our shopping, we waited for our Uber to arrive. Grandma's final criticism: "They could really used some benches outside!" She's not wrong.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    In the comments below, let my grandma know if she should try anything else from Trader Joe's. If you want any life advice, you can ask that below too, and I'll get back to you with her responses.