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Trader Joe's

Privately owned & operated grocery store chain with 300 stores in 25 states, featuring upscale and organic fare

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Trader Joe's: Quality Food at Reasonable Prices

  • Mar 7, 2009
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I'm a big fan of Trader Joe's grocery stores, although I can''t shop there exclusively because they don't have the, er, bad, unhealthy junk food I like. For example, Pepsi. Hey, a girl occasionally needs some Cool Ranch Doritos and Oreos in her life.

Mostly when I go I buy prepared and frozen dishes, because they are fantastic here. Trader Joe's doesn't stock much, if anything, that's not high quality food. (And by this I mean no high fructose corn syrup or additives or things you can't pronounce. Mercifully, the ingredients lists are short.) It's a good way of making sure I get mostly healthy things for my family to eat, when  I don't have time to go around regular grocery stores reading every single ingredient list and calculating the amount of toxins it's okay to put in my child. 

Granted, when you walk in you may not recognize some of the brands, and you may be hesitant to try the Trader Joe's in-store branded foods. But actually, they're really good. There's very little here that I've gotten that I've regretted. Their frozen fish selection is good, the freshness of the fruit is decent and the frozen foods they stock, whether a Trader Joe's brand or ethnic tastes, have usually become favorites. I also like the already-cooked grilled chicken, cheeses and other items in the refrigerated sections. I admit I normally skip the cereals and buy regular brands from normal grocery stores, but there are some great items in the snack aisles(crackers, cookies, that sort of thing) that I've come to find irresistible. Naturally they carry the same items as most small-ish grocery stores--produce, dairy, breads, juices, pet food, snack food and pantry items from spaghetti sauce and soups to dried fruit, but a lot of it is earth-friendly, natural and organic.

By the way, that's not to say everything here is good for you, of course--they do have salty potato chips and chocolate and sugary snacks. But it does make it easier to find things that fit your dietary needs. And this store is friendly to vegetarians, vegans and the gluten-free. 

And did I mention the very nice wine and spirits section Trader Joe's has? It's a great place to buy Prosecco and other favorite alcohols because they're cheap and good. Also, don't resist the temptation to buy the sweets in the front of the store by the cash register, they're great as well.

I hate grocery shopping in general, but Trader Joe's makes it easier. It's not too big, they offer child-size carts for kids (thus making this the only grocery store my son wants to go to) and the prices are much better than say, Whole Foods. I spend less here, and I feel greener (at least in my area I believe Trader Joe's was the first to stock and offer cheap reusable shopping bags). I like discovering new foods through the samples offered in the back of the store. The service is very friendly. It feels like a small-town store--I even meet friends there on occasion. In a place the size of the Chicago suburbs, that's something. So I'd recommend this place to anyone.

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January 12, 2010
I love Trader Joes cause they stock new and unusal products that I can try out and not feel guilty about it since its so reasonably priced. Its also an awesome place to buy gifts, especially when the recipient doesn't have their TJ's yet.
January 12, 2010
LOVE TJ'S! Their prices alone make every trip worthwhile. I love that I can get, for example, a bag of pasta and a jar of sauce for $4-5 and live off that for 2-3 days! Or 5 bananas for $1?!! Amazing!!

Also, I am a vegetarian and I am always pleased with their selection of soy meat products - Yves brand soy meat, Yves lunchmeat, and even Light Life's sausages! Oh yeah, they have soy cheese too :P
January 12, 2010
Only +4? *clutches chest* Kidding :P I agree with every thing you had to say, and I actually think that their addition of not-so-healthy foods is a positive thing. If it was strictly a health food type of place, I would freak out in there. By the way, did you know that there's actually a wine and spirits expert there to help you out? My guy always teaches and shows me something new every time I go there! Thanks for sharing, Helen :)
December 02, 2009
I live off Trader Joe's cookies, and they have plenty of cheesy poofs and pub cheese that make you think you're eating unhealthy junk food (you probably are!) but it's from Trader Joe's, so it can't be bad, right? Also, the little 3-packs of chocolate bars are a great deal, especially the dark chocolate.
April 06, 2009
Great call on the Prosecco. Couldn't agree more.
March 09, 2009
agreed, Trader Joes rocks. also major props for giving away samples, a helpful policy that the big supermarkets could learn from.
March 07, 2009
I did not know that, but it makes sense. Alcohol rules in various states always seem different. Thanks for letting me know.
March 07, 2009
I'm with you on their alcohol. But did you know in some states, like Washington, they don't sell hard alcohol, just beer and wine? When my friend was visiting me down here and saw the selection at Trader Joe's she almost fainted. It's always fun shopping there, and yeah, even though they don't sell much junk food, it's still fun to pop into and see what you can find.
More Trader Joe's reviews
review by . December 13, 2008
Trader Joe's
As the headline states, yes, there's a reason why my friends call me a Trader Ho.  It's because, well, I am.  I'm a ho for Trader Joe's, and I'm not afraid to admit it (I'm also a Cost-Ho, but you can read about that in another review!).      First of all, I love how organized their store is and how they mostly only sell their own line of food products.  This takes the hassle out of having to compare different brands and prices.  Their foods are fresh, mostly …
review by . March 23, 2011
Let me just start by apologizing to all devout-Trader Joe's shoppers. I know, I've been there.      In fact, I started shopping there more than 20 years. Very friendly employees, fun & colorful packaging, easy to handle and perfect for bachelor/ettes & college students, loooow prices, and kitchy titles on self-branded items.      But my boyfriend & I no longer patron them. This is why: Processed foods from far away places (talk about 1500 …
review by . February 25, 2011
A great choice if you want food without a lot of crap in it but don't want to pay crazy prices. Also, great selection of fairly priced wines. Love the honey moon, velvet moon...any of the moons!
review by . August 01, 2008
Trader Joe's Baskets
Seriously though, it's like my little oasis.  A truly happy place.  My kid gets a balloon... I get amazing selection of what is basically a curated grocery experience, crazily low prices (without any coupons or weird club cards) and a wide array of healthy options -- from organic, to vegan, to just plain yummy.  Feels like that small neighborhood market my mom took us to as kids, when we lived in this little hippie enclave in the midwest.      It really comes …
review by . April 27, 2011
Trader Joes had great, affordable quality products. There is no question about it. They also have a seemingly great, straightforward return policy: if you don't like it, we will take it back, no questions asked.      I recently bought some chewyble "great tasting" omega 3 supplements, Sea Gummies, to increased my vitamin intake. Please, do not buy them unless you enjoy the taste of sugar coated fishes. They were pretty bad. I decided that I could not eat them. I …
review by . February 27, 2010
I was first introduced to Trader Joe's when I was attending college in California, but it probably wasn't until I moved to New York that I realized how much I loved that little grocery store. When they opened their first store in Manhattan off of Union Square, it was clear they had severely underestimated how much value people placed on their brand and their products. With many Californians living in New York City the store is always bustling, and there are typically two long check out lines …
Quick Tip by . March 18, 2011
Wonderful food at great prices with amazing staff. What more could you ask for. Oh, and try the peppermint Joe Joes at Christmas time!
review by . August 05, 2010
One of the Best Grocers
   I don't have a Trader Joe's near me, and that is the only reason I don't give them 5 stars. It would be nice if they had an online store too.      Otherwise, I love their products and philosophy. Great tasting, wholesome food at affordable prices. Their Red Pepper (and Eggplant) spread (formerly Pinjur) is to die for. Trader Joe's gathers tasty treats from across the globe and puts them under one roof. Their stores and marketing have an old-timey …
Quick Tip by . February 28, 2011
Here in Louisville we are being told a Trader Joe's is coming soon. With all of the great things I've read about it on here I'm looking forward to it.
Quick Tip by . January 07, 2011
posted in Grist
Gotta love Trader's! Though it's always annoyingly congested inside this grocery store, I still go for the unique food products and cheap variety of wine. Their layout is convenient and easy to navigate (so helpful when you want to get in and out!) and I've always found their staff to be very friendly. A must-go for healthy food.
About the reviewer
Helen Lee Reid ()
Ranked #382
I am a part-time freelance writer and full-time mother living in the Chicago suburbs. My life is fairly boring by hipster standards, as it consists mainly of avoiding the grocery store, cleaning up after … more
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Trader Joe's is a privately held chain of specialty grocery stores headquartered in Monrovia, California. As of December 2008, Trader Joe's has a total of 315 stores. Its stores are located most densely in Southern California, but the grocery company has locations in 24 other states and Washington, D.C. Trader Joe's was founded by Joe Coulombe and is currently owned by a family trust set up by German billionaire Theo Albrecht, one of the two brothers behind the German supermarket chain Aldi. Trader Joe's stores usually have a South Seas (often seen as Hawaiian) theme.


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Food, Shopping, Trader Joes, Vegan, Organic, Health Food, Grocery Stores, Vegan Food Retailers, Wine Retailers, Gluten Free Retailers, Organic Food Retailers


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