Shopped at Trader Joe’s

The Mr. and I recently broke with our usual routine and went grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. I used to shop at Trader Joe’s frequently, but ever since my food spending face lift, I haven’t shopped there as much. My perception is that my money doesn’t go as far at Trader Joe’s because I end up buying prepared, packaged food rather than whole ingredients.

That said, I was pleasantly surprised with this last trip to TJs. We spent $103 which is within our weekly food budget and is actually less than what we sometimes spend at the regular grocery store. I realized Trader Joe’s has better prices on a few key items, namely organic milk and eggs.

I also stocked up on my favorite shaving cream and we bought two pepper grinders. At $1.99 a piece, the price is way better than what we find at our usual grocery store.

We also love their edamame, chicken burritos, and they have excellent prices on honey.

I’m reconsidering our usual grocery routine. I think a combination of Trader Joe’s and a larger grocery store for produce, poultry, and fish might actually save us money and allow us to buy more organic items with the budget we’ve set for ourselves.

How about you? Do you shop at Trader Joe’s? If so, which products are your favorites in terms of quality and price?

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9 Responses to Shopped at Trader Joe’s

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I so wish we had a Trader Joe’s! We have Whole Foods, which is similar, but I think it’s more expensive. The only organic product I buy is organic milk (because it lasts longer) so shopping at Whole Foods is a waste of money. I wish I had more money in my food budget to shop there more often. They have the most amazing things!

  2. Lindsay says:

    We have Whole Foods too, but we actually call it Whole Paycheck because it is so expensive. I have to stay away from that store for sure!

    Trader Joe’s is no where near as expensive as Whole Foods. They only carry their own line of products, so no name brands. And they don’t have a full produce or meat section. It’s too bad there isn’t one in your area 😦

  3. carmen says:

    We do about half our grocery shopping at Trader Joes. For us, it’s the closet grocery store so that’s a good perk! Usually we exclusively get our coffee, granola bars, ketchup, pasta & sauce, chips & salsa, yogurt there, because they’re definitely the best prices. Unfortunately though the produce section at ours is pretty crummy and everything seems to spoil really quickly!

  4. Amanda says:

    We split our grocery shopping between Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods. Ralph’s is where we get the most stuff (their frequent shopper card gives some decent discounts). Trader Joe’s is where we get Tofurkey lunch meat, shredded carrots, and cookies (their fake Oreo Joe-Joe’s are vegan). Whole Foods is where I get my supplements, our non-dairy cheese, and our rice milk. During the week, I pick up occasional produce items from the small Mexican grocery around the corner. I’m wanting to try the farmer’s market next week to see what they’ve got.

  5. MM says:

    My Trader Joes is about a 45 minute drive from my home–so I only get there occasionally, generally when I have other things to do in that neck of the woods. As it turns out, my best friend and I were just there on Sunday! Since I get there so infrequently, I stock up on the things I can only get there.

    I absolutely love their orange blossom honey hand soap, and as it doesn’t go bad, I can easily stock up on that. I also have found that their oat bran is priced more reasonably than I can find locally. and I just bought some organic flax meal there, but it is not Trader Joe’s brand.

    I’ll have to check out how their price (on the flax)compares to The Most Fabulous Grocery Store in the World: Wegman’s! Produce is always fresh, prices are very competitive, and the store is very attractive to shop in. Picture Whole Foods but about twice the size.

    If I were shopping for more than just myself, I could probably do better on some things at our local farmers market (things are shipped in–it’s not local produce), but I shop for one, so I figure that what I save on gas and time is worth any little extra I might spend.

    Lindsay, I know you are familiar with Wegman’s–now that you shop on a budget, what’s your take on the store? Oh, btw, the meat/seafood department always has organic and wild products. Farm raised fish is done with sustainable practices.

    Sorry, folks, didn’t mean to sound like a commercial. I’d love to have a Trader Joes closer to me–It would complement my regular shopping!! MM

    • Lindsay says:

      Regarding Wegmans… I imagine they do have good prices compared to grocery stores in Portland. Groceries here are expensive. I think I have to pay between $100-$125 for what you can probably get for $75 in your area. I’m not sure how Wegmans compares to other places in your area.

  6. Kathleen says:

    I just took a look this past week at where I went, and realized that I shop all over the place!
    Trader Joe’s has most of what we need for the week and they have the best packaged items that I can use sparingly and quickly on the nights that I’m teaching or we have to run out for the evening. Stop N Shop is where I have to rely on produce and specific items that we like, such as the Amy’s line of burritos. Still have to go to Whole Foods for their bulk section – nuts, beans, and most of my baking ingredients. Target has our best prices on everything else: cleaning supplies, basic medicines, paper products (which aren’t used very often to begin with as we’ve switch to cloth for most things).

    It’s a lot of running around, but I enjoy it, and all of the stores are within 5 miles of our place, so it’s not too bad.

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