When I lived in Southern California, we had a lovely Saturday routine. My husband would make a double batch of pancake or waffles with the kids while I would do our weekly shopping. First, I would go to the farmer’s market, then I would go to Trader Joe’s and if there was anything I still needed I would go to the local grocery stores. This system allowed me to buy healthy food for the less. It was also very relaxing to shop on my own and come home to a homemade breakfast. I knew that I had it good, but didn’t realize how good until we moved to Southern Maryland. The closest farmer’s market was 30 miles away and the closest Trader Joe’s was an hour and a half away in D.C. When we moved to Tidewater Virginia, we were blessed with local farmer’s markets, but the drive to a Trader Joe’s was even further. Whenever my husband had to go to D.C. for work I would pack an ice-chest and take the kids for a field trip. My husband’s first meeting at the Pentagon was usually held at 8:00 a.m. and while the kids and I waited for the museums to open at 10:00 a.m., we would go shop at Trader Joe’s.
So why do I like Trader Joes so much that I would include it in our D.C. visits? They have low, every day prices on healthy food. Some of their every day prices are comparable or less than other stores “loss leaders”.
During the winter I buy frozen organic vegetables and fruit:
1 lb. Organic Green Beans $1.79
1 lb. Organic chopped spinach $1.99
1 lb. Organic Peas $1.99
1 lb. Organic Corn $1.69
12 oz. Organic Raspberries $2.99
12 oz. Artichokes $2.29
I buy frozen fish:
BL/SL White Ruffy $4.99 lb.
Ahi tuna Steaks $4.99 lb.
Mahi Mahi fillets $4.99 lb.
Tilapia $5.29 lb.
I buy some packaged items:
1 liter (33.8 oz) Extra Virgina Olive Oil $5.49
32 oz. Free-Range, Organic Broths $1.99
20 oz. Midnight Moo Organic Chocolate Sauce $2.99
11.75 oz. Organic Blue Agave $2.99
18 oz. Organic Fruit Spread $3.49 – $3.99
I also buy Gluten Free Products:
1 lb. Organic Brown Rice Pasta $1.99
Food For Life Gluten-Free Bread $3.99
When I did the Food Stamp Challenge with The Nonconsumer Advocate, I discovered that Trader Joe’s accepts coupons. I am often able to find a Barbara’s coupon that I can use to buy Cinnamon Puffins. Trader Joes price for Puffins is similar to other stores, BUT their box is 4 oz. larger (this is where a price book comes in handy!). Even when I don’t have a coupon, TJ’s Puffins are a better deal.
15 oz. Barbara’s Cinnamon Puffins $3.79
What do you like to buy at Trader Joe’s?