I remember the first time I walked into a Trader Joes.
Overwhelmed is an understatement to say the least. I walked out of there with three oversized bags, almost breaking at the seams, with an extra $120 on my credit card bill. Worth it? Probably. Could I have definitely done it better? Absolutely.
That first trip was a while ago, and since then, I think I’ve mastered my craft. When you drive past a Trader Joes, don’t cave just to “see what they have”. This type of grocery trip needs preparation and sometimes back-up.
Trader Joes has plenty of awesome deals and vegan products that you never would have thought of. But you need to pick and choose what you purchase from this grocer. My first tip of advice, do your research, which you are already half way there if you’ve read this far.
First, if you only eat organic produce, Trader Joes is your place for fruits and veggies. However, if you are okay with some non-organic produce, they are much cheaper at other stores like Wal-Mart. Also, most of the produce comes pre-packaged, so you don’t have as much freedom as you would at a typical Acme.
Check for coupons! Most of the prices are pretty reasonable, but some can break the bank. Try searching All Natural Savings before you make your trip!
Make the frozen section your friend. Not only are these meals quick and healthy dinners, but who doesn’t blankly stare into their freezer every now and then looking for inspiration? Plus, according to Business Insider, most of the brands they carry are up to $2 cheaper at Trader Joes! Win!
Avoid the frozen fruit, it tends to be much more expensive here. Aim to visit on a week-day when it’s less crowded. Don’t go on an empty stomach and make sure to check the Fearless Flyer before you go!