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Trader Joe's

Is it a very expensive place to shop like Whole Foods?

Do they have decent stuff there or is it just the name that brings customers in?

How are their meats and produce, is it mostly organic and very expensive?

Do they have regular stuff like any supermarket or just mostly special stuff like in a food coop?


by Anonymousreply 5910/30/2014

Trader Joe's is MUCH, MUCH cheaper than Whole Foods. Prepared foods are rather salty, but nice. Produce isn't bad, don't buy their meats.

by Anonymousreply 105/02/2013

Poor people shop at Trader Joes.

by Anonymousreply 205/02/2013

Trader Joe's is like the bargain Whole Foods. When I'm in a healthier mood, I always choose TJ over WF. In addition to the cheaper prices, the CEO of WF is that GOP d-bag who was all over the news during the healthcare debates.

And R1 nailed it. Never had a problem with their produce, but I've bought meats from them exactly two times, both with terrible results.

by Anonymousreply 305/02/2013

Yes, I'm (fairly) poor, and I can afford a huge amount of high-quality food at Trader Joe's. Thank goodness we have one here.

by Anonymousreply 405/02/2013

I like them. But they don't have a wide selection of many things, so I only shop there on occasion. They have a lot of random stuff - I love their smoked trout in cans, which you don't see much elsewhere.

by Anonymousreply 505/02/2013

They have some really awesome Indian frozen food dishes, which if you're like me and love Indian food but have no Indian restaurants nearby, its the next best thing.

by Anonymousreply 605/02/2013

[bold] The Best and Worst Products at Trader Joe's [/bold]

by Anonymousreply 705/02/2013

I remember how excited everyone was when Trader Joe's opened in our city. I though it would answer all my food and budge needs in one stop. I was quickly disillusioned.

[bold]The BAD: [/bold] Their vegetable produce is NOT as good as Whole Foods and/or not organic and definitely NOT local (unless your in CA of course). But if you don't mind that, then go for it.

Canned veggies, beans, are way over priced. There are no bulk grains (at least not in any I've been to.)

Frozen fish, depending on where you are.. not as good. Meats- not as good.

Their paper products are a joke. This must be where they make up the money. Do people actually buy 4 roll pack of toilet paper for twice the cost they could get an 8 pk in a regular store- only for the cool package??? and 3$ for one small box of tissues because of the illustrations on the box?

[bold]Good: [/bold] The TJ brand wines are drinkable and cheap but the regular brands are overpriced.

Their frozen and packaged goods are pretty tasty and [i]maybe[/i] some are a little bit healthier than your average supermarket stuff but don't kid yourself, it's still processed which means a lot of salt, palm oil and fats.

I like their pizza doughs. A lot.

They have good specialty items that are great for parties.. hummus, spreads, crackers, etc. That kind of stuff is always good.

I like their boxed soups and buy tons in bulk.

by Anonymousreply 805/02/2013

Thank you all for the helpful information. I'll have to give TJs a try. It sounds like if you shop carefully you can do well there. I will pass on meat and produce and I don't use or buy too many pre made processed items from anywhere. Too expensive and too many bad things in them.

by Anonymousreply 905/02/2013

I like their eggs, which are usually cheaper than super markets, and a lot fresher. Also, they sell Kerry Gold butter, which is cheaper there than at most other places. They have canned coffee beans, which are a pretty good deal. A can of Sumatra is $5.99, which is a great deal even though it isn't quite a pound.

They have the best frozen puff pastry - made with real butter - but it seems to be a seasonal thing as I can never find it except around the holidays.

Earlier this year, they had Brussels sprouts, still on the stalk. They were very fresh and delicious.

by Anonymousreply 1005/02/2013

Trader Joe has English Breakfast teabags, 48 for $1.99, which are my favorite for making ice tea.

They sell St. Andre for $9.99/lb. (same as Whole Foods, but considerably less than two locals: $14.99 and $13.49).

Those are the two things that get me in the store. I don't buy produce there, but sometimes I get meat, eggs, canned tomatoes, and canned beans.

by Anonymousreply 1105/02/2013

What's annoying is how a food you really like at TJ's will suddenly disappear. You don't know if it's out of stock, if it's been withdrawn for a while or if it's totally discontinued.

by Anonymousreply 1205/02/2013

Very nice imported wines at reasonable prices. The selection is comparable to Cost Plus imports but much less expensive.

Eggs, dairy, pastas, some of the prepared frozen meals, and cereals are all fine. Olive oil, too. You can find nuts of all kinds at prices lower than the grocery store. Protein bars are also cheaper than the grocery. I like some of their chips and snack foods; they seem less salty than the regular grocery store offerings.

by Anonymousreply 1305/02/2013

I love the sea salt and pepper rice crisps

by Anonymousreply 1405/02/2013

I only buy organic eggs from them. Also organic butter and sour cream. Great price and quality. They sell whipping cream that is pasteurized but not ultra-pasteurized (a process that adds shelf life but degrades the quality of the cream). I buy all of my almond milk and refrigerated coconut milk there.

Their cheeses are excellent, as are their sausages. I buy a lot of their bagged salad mixes. Love their Mediterranean hummus and I also like their salsas.

I always check out their produce section. I don't rely on them, but I sometimes find great deals on high quality produce. (They had beautiful organic avocadoes last week.) I've also gotten some great berries and heirloom tomatoes.

I don't buy nuts anywhere else. Their dried fruits are the best I've found. They have a better selection of maple syrup than any other store in my city, and their prices are good.

I've been very happy with all of the chocolate I've bought there.

I buy all of my fruit juices at TJ's.

I'm totally addicted to their frozen Belgian waffles. I make good Belgian waffles, but it's rare to find a frozen product that's as good as what I make. I like their ice cream too.

Their frozen chocolate croissants will be included in my last meal, if I'm given the opportunity.

As an earlier post said, their all butter frozen puff pastry is as good as Dufour's at a fraction of the price. I look for it during the holidays and stock up.

Their frozen organic broccoli is wonderful, but they tend to run out. I also like other frozen organic veggies and fruits, but avoid the brussels sprouts.

I love their Belgian chocolate pudding, so rich and dark a spoonful is a major treat. I swear it's chocolate heroin.

My TJ's hosts a farmer's market in their parking lot on the weekends and that makes me value them even more.

by Anonymousreply 1505/02/2013

I forgot to mention that I love their olive tapanade and roasted eggplant in a jar. They're the sort of items, the random stuff like someone above mentioned, that you come across at TJ.

by Anonymousreply 1605/02/2013

TJ's is the only store where I'm surprised at how little my groceries cost.

by Anonymousreply 1705/02/2013

You sound fat, R 15

by Anonymousreply 1805/02/2013

R16 is R13.

by Anonymousreply 1905/02/2013

You sound like a half-wit, R18.

by Anonymousreply 2005/02/2013

At least R15 sounds interesting, R18.

by Anonymousreply 2105/02/2013

Cheeses are good. Are they an artisanal purveyor like Neal's Yard or Cowgirl Creamery? Of course not but they do provide exceptional value in what they do regularly stock from around the world. The New Zealand sharp grass fed cheddar is the staple in our house. They also have a limited time spotlight cheese every month which is always worth trying. In the regular supermarket I'm too spoiled to buy rubbery Kraft cheddar anymore.

by Anonymousreply 2205/02/2013

I wish we had a Trader Joe's.

by Anonymousreply 2305/02/2013

I like their pesto, tapenade, salsa, almond butter, satay peanut sauce, and several other products in jars. Their boxed risotto is pretty good. I also like their bottled water with lime. It's a place for me to stock up on items like those but I don't use it for weekly shopping.

by Anonymousreply 2405/02/2013

I use the lavendar salt scrub and the tea tree body wash. The chip selection is great and cheap enough to buy an interesting bag just to try it. I LOVE the chili flavored dried pineaple.

by Anonymousreply 2505/02/2013

I love Trader Joes, can't imagine not having one nearby. They aren't really a full grocery store and not everything is top notch but as others have said some of the items they carry are terrific and at a great price.

I think the appeal of it sometimes confuses people at first but then you get addicted to a lot of their products.

Like one poster mentioned the most annoying thing is they will randomly either not have a product for a while or just stop carrying it all together. Can be frustrating.

by Anonymousreply 2605/02/2013

Wow, thanks again, everyone. I'm getting hungry just reading all the goodies they have. I'm going to save up before I go there. Even though the prices are good there are so many things I want to try.

by Anonymousreply 2705/02/2013

Why do TJ threads always turn into shopping lists? Bore me.

by Anonymousreply 2805/02/2013

I don't go out of my way to shop at Trader Joe's. But, if it's on the way, I'll certainly stop by. You have to be very careful, as their prices can be pretty stiff. I always pick up some two-buck-chuck. Nice wine.

by Anonymousreply 2905/02/2013

R28, Oh Great Wise One, please enlighten us about how we can tell someone about our favorite Trader Joe's products without listing the products.

Or perhaps your being bored is a sign we're already doing it right.

Maybe it would be a good idea for you to skip the TJ threads.

by Anonymousreply 3005/02/2013

Most of their products are made by familiar brand names and then have the Trader Joe's label slapped on them, but of course they don't want you to know that. For example I was told their yogurt is made by Stonyfield Farms.

by Anonymousreply 3105/02/2013

TJ's just discontinued my favorite salad, the Chinese chicken salad and I'm surprised at how hard I'm taking it. The reduced fat one is full of green onions and that's all you can taste. They also got rid of the chicken enchiladas verde because they said they weren't selling well, but they were sold out enough that I'd buy them two at a time.

They've been expanding the amount of produce that isn't already packaged, which I like. I think their ground beef and turkey is good. For some reason every steak I've tried from there has been really poor quality. I only cook to medium rare and we had to saw through the last one I bought, so I've decided it's worth the money to buy elsewhere.

It's a great place to go to stock up on party nibbles.

by Anonymousreply 3205/02/2013

Low prices are the best thing about TJ's.

by Anonymousreply 3305/02/2013

Why do posters like R28 believe the rest of us are here to entertain them?

by Anonymousreply 3405/02/2013

I don't know how anyone eats their frozen meals. They are either nauseating (literally) and/or just plain weird tasting. Nothing is ever just plain good. It's either too salty, or the flavors are off balance (too much onion, too bland, not enough whatever). I've tried their Italian, their Indian, their Thai, everything. It's all bad.

I understand the appeal of buying a lot of the TJ brand nuts and dried fruits and things like that. The raving about their pre-packaged meals, which comprise at least 50% of the store? I don't get it.

by Anonymousreply 3505/02/2013

I'm not surprised that R32 has had poor quality steak from there. The frozen fish I've purchased from there has been inedible, way too strong of a "fishy" taste. I think their quality control is off the mark.

by Anonymousreply 3605/02/2013

Why don't people like their meats? The butcher at mine is pretty good. Maybe you're not getting yours cut correctly?

by Anonymousreply 3705/03/2013

Their Cowboy Caviar is pretty good but can taste like nail polish. Their toothpaste and lube are pretty good but their toilet paper sucks.

by Anonymousreply 3805/03/2013

Their tissues suck, too. I'll get real Kleenex at Kroger going forward. Other than that, I bless the day they opened in my town.

by Anonymousreply 3905/03/2013

They have a tiny personal care section, with all -natural products such as deodorants with no harsh chemicals (no anti-perspirants, nothing with aluminum and thus nothing that really works). But they do sell big bottles of Dr Bronner castile soap.

by Anonymousreply 4005/03/2013

Many of the things I have purchased there and liked are not available again, just a one time thing. They used to sell a ginger marmalade that was insane. Their fresh naan used to be good, soft naan. Now it is different and I no longer like it. Have found several nut butters I like but again, something different is on the shelf my next trip, this is also true of the chocolate.

by Anonymousreply 4105/03/2013

TJs has staples, alcoholic beverages, and international foods. I've found it's far cheaper than Whole Foods.

by Anonymousreply 4205/03/2013

The staples at office max are better and cheaper

by Anonymousreply 4305/03/2013

Love the bedtime tea and the new ginger pear white tea.

Best frozen green beans. I can't eat any others.

Dubliner and other cheeses I like FAR cheaper than anywhere else.

Agree that the frozen meals are salt licks, but there is a lot to like about TJ's.

Main reason I go there- pleasant and helpful employees.

by Anonymousreply 4405/03/2013

[quote] What's annoying is how a food you really like at TJ's will suddenly disappear. You don't know if it's out of stock, if it's been withdrawn for a while or if it's totally discontinued.

Yeah, I hate that about them. There's a few favorites that the BF and I have liked that just disappear. They usually claim "low sales" but I think it's something else.

TJ's is like Aldi's (and yes I know there's an ownership connection somewhere) - they contract with someone to make their items and then put their name on the finished product. So when things are discontinued they probably had a falling out with their supplier.

by Anonymousreply 4505/03/2013

[quote] Why do TJ threads always turn into shopping lists? Bore me.

Cue the story of R28 and his hot hookup, blowing a hung hipster in the TJ's bathroom.

by Anonymousreply 4605/03/2013

Don't forget the 19 cent bananas!

by Anonymousreply 4705/03/2013

I love TJ's and do most of my shopping there. They have great coffee, tea and vegetarian options at decent prices and an excellent selection of wine/liquor. Even their face moisturizers and soaps are great. If I were filthy rich, I'd still shop at TJ's regularly.

by Anonymousreply 4805/03/2013

[quote]Why do TJ threads always turn into shopping lists? Bore me.

What else are they going to turn into, Precious?

I apologize if someone is holding you hostage in this thread. If that's the case you should call 911 immediately.

by Anonymousreply 4905/05/2013

It's Aldi's for rich people.

by Anonymousreply 5005/05/2013

R50 It's getting that way. Their prices have really gone up. The price of their coffee has doubled in the past 5 years. They have been out of sea scallops for 2 months or so. They were @ $11 a pound the last time I bought them. They have them now for $18.

by Anonymousreply 5105/05/2013


by Anonymousreply 5205/06/2013

i have loved every thing i got there. meat included.

i don't think shopping there is cheap though.

by Anonymousreply 5307/30/2013

Anyone else obsessed with the crab stuffed flounder good so cheap

by Anonymousreply 5410/29/2014

sum ting wong, R54...

by Anonymousreply 5510/29/2014

I'm surprised SNL hasn't done on a skit about Trader Joe's. Their employees are…eclectic. At least the ones I've been to.

by Anonymousreply 5610/29/2014

I got the October flyer, and about the only things that didn't have some kind of pumpkin motif were the tampons...

by Anonymousreply 5710/29/2014

[quote]So when things are discontinued they probably had a falling out with their supplier.

That may happen but they also actively look to change up their merchandise. One way they're different in selection from regular grocery chains is that they stock to satisfy customer taste trends instead of stocking to promote what the manufacturers want them to push. They edit their stock with precision to keep the selection interesting.

by Anonymousreply 5810/29/2014

Do not buy the prepared food, it is loaded with sugar.

Even the turkey meatballs have sugar.

The other day I sampled the Risotto made with pumpkin and I almost spit it out. It was revoltingly sweet.

Ingredients: SUGAR

It is in almost everything and most of it is GMO beet sugar.

by Anonymousreply 5910/30/2014
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