I live in a neighborhood where a Trader Joe's isn't too far away. I've only been there twice to pick up something specific a friend had recommended, so I've never really gotten a good impression of the store. Although it seems to me they sell healthier and more organic foods that most grocery stores.
Does anyone on here shop there regularly? What do you like/dislike about it? (Selection, prices, etc.?)
Trader Joes is an off shoot of ALDI did you know that - The premise of their purchasing is bulk, bulk, bulk - they buy a bit of everything, but alot of it - It then gets dispersed accordingly. What I despise about the store is regularly I can't find what I go there for. I like the reliabilty of going and finding what I need. I go there for only a handful of things, bagged organic apples ( astounding price and perfect size) sliced sandwich cheese, bulk nuts, soup stock, inexpensive wine for cooking, and the occasional cocoa almonds. I find their bottled products, sauces and jams etc all have sugar in them, breads have HFCS, the pasta - low grade, Milk last wek was .40 more than whole foods - wow. It's a hit or miss store - when you hit - it's a good thing, when you miss it's a bummer
I, unlike Karen, absolutely LOVE Trader Joe's. The closest one for me is about and hour and 15 mins away. I go there about every 6 weeks and stock up. For people with children, like myself, eating organic and all natural can become quite costly...but Trader Joe's gives me hope!!! Then again, I used to shop at ALDI too. Ha!
The think I like most about TJ's is the attitude of the employee's. They all are so joyous and seem to really enjoy what they're doing. There's an atmosphere of helpfulness and caring and teamwork. I was hooked from my very first visit.
Reasonable prices on organics? Really? That makes me very happy, and now I'm going to make a special trip there before heading to my usual grocery store. At the major chain grocery stores, the healthier and organic food is so expensive! I love Puffin's cereal, for example, but I just won't buy it unless its on sale....although everything from Cherrios on up is more expensive these days!
hi Kristen, I just love trader joes and have been shopping there for years. I used to buy half my groceries there because of the high quality of the products, the natural wholeness of many of the products, and the very competitive and reasonable prices. For example, I by raw almond butter there for around $5-6, when most health food stores charge $8-11. I can't recommend this store enough. When you get a chance, check out my blog where I have a whole posting on Trader Joes. http://www.RealNutritionToday.com
I've experienced what Karen talks about at times, but honestly for me that is about 2-3% of the time. They sell fair trade whole bean coffee for nearly $4.00/lb cheaper than anywhere else. They also typically carry high quality meats like Niman Ranch at 15-20% cheaper on average (at tj's, $4.99 - the same bacon at whole foods is $5.99 here); Milk is also on average cheaper in my experience, but I only buy whole milk so I'm not sure about low fat versions. Nuts - good quality, and cheaper. Wine is hit and miss on quality, and if you buy 6 bottles at Whole Foods you get a 10% discount, so you just have to shop wisely. Cheeses? Much cheaper for the same product - St. Andre's triple cream brie is a great example. Their frozen fish is also a good deal, as are many of desserts. Cereal is also much cheaper for the exact same product as Whole Foods - typically 20%.
That said, their pre-prepared fresh meals (lunch-type salads, etc.) are often a little overpriced in my opinion, as well as a few other random items.
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