All the talk about coupons and sales surrounding grocery store shopping brought me to write this post. While I can appreciate cutting coupons to save money at the store, we have found the alternative to coupon shopping; Trader Joe’s. We used to shop at the big chain grocery stores, but the minute we discovered Trader Joe’s a few years ago, we rarely step foot inside a “normal” grocery store. The prices at TJ’s are much much lower than those at the big stores; so much so that our average weekly grocery bill at TJ’s is about $40 less than it would be at a bigger store. Add that up over the course of a year and it is a huge amount of savings.
TJ’s carries almost everything that we need; the only thing we need from another store is fruits and vegetables. This is not to say that TJ’s doesn’t sell these things, its just that sometimes I dont need 4 apples or 5 onions or a bag of green peppers. Sometimes I just need 1 of each or whatever. So for those items we go to Whole Foods or Wild Oats to get fresh, local, organic food that we can feel good about eating.
A lot of people have the misconception that Trader Joe’s is full of a bunch of hippies and they only sell weird food like Tofu and the like, but this could not be further from the truth. They have everything. It took me a long time to convince my mom that it was OK for her to shop there; in fact I had to take her to one in person in order for her to say “Wow, this place is cool.”. And coming from my mom, that is not a normal sentence. She really enjoys finding new things there every time she goes. Plus, she can get her staple products like milk, juice, cereal, etc at much lower prices than the big store.
I went grocery shopping yesterday there and this is what I paid for a few products, and if you compare what you pay for them at a “regular” store, you will see that they are much cheaper:
Organic Yogurt – $.89 each
Orange Juice – $1.99
Bag of chips – $.99
Milk- $2.99 half gallon
Corn Flakes – $1.99 (actually taste better than name brand version)
Cheerios – $1.99
Organic Free Range Chicken, 2 breasts – $6.99
Frozen Pizza – $2.99
Organic Bagels – $1.99
Minestrone Soup – $.99
So, if you do have a Trader Joe’s near you, do not fear it…it could save you a lot of money on your grocery bill every week, even if you do want to buy smaller amounts of fruits and veggies at another store so you can get what you want instead of how they have packaged it. Happy Shopping!