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Apr 9, 2014 12:31 PM

Sahadi's vs. Trader Joe's: bulk prices

So we recently started shopping at Sahadi's (I'm obsessed), and my first discovery upon trying it out was how cheap the bulk nuts and dry goods are there. Up until that point we had been buying most of that stuff at Trader Joe's, supplementing from Whole Foods or Union Market for the fancier stuff that TJs didn't carry.

I've tried to do some informal comparisons of the prices at the two places, and from what I can tell thus far it seems like Sahadi's is cheaper on pretty much everything bulk. My question is, has anyone else looked into this and discovered any ingredients that are actually cheaper at Trader Joe's? I will have to keep doing my own research as well but wanted to see if anyone had any insights that I can take with me on my next shop...thanks in advance!

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  1. nope. sahadi's is as inexpensive as it gets, for just about everything.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rose water

      That's what I thought. So hard to get out of the mindset of getting all of that stuff at TJ's, since I've been doing that for years. The best part is how close they are to each other (and my apartment), so I can start at Sahadi's and then move to TJ's to supplement anything Sahadi's doesn't have.

    2. If the prices are comparable I will always choose the local shop every single time.

      1. I love Sahadi's. I love their bulk section too. if I lived closer it would be a place I shop several times a week.

        If I have any quibble with it, it's that sometimes I only want 1 or 2 bulk things. But when I get there and get my number, I'm like 42 numbers away and the wait will be quite long.

        I do sort of wish they made it a little easier for people who just want to pick up a half quart of olives and be on their way... Sort of like their coffee section.

        3 Replies
        1. re: egit

          getting yelled at for trying to fill your own olive container is a sahadis first timer right-of-passage.

          in the context of this thread ill say its not like TJs has an express lane and i often go elsewhere even though i know im paying more . . . to avoid the stress of that line (i know it moves quickly but it stresses me out).

          1. re: egit

            Side note, we tried their coffee and were not at all impressed. It was practically undrinkable -- I think we got some sort of house blend, not sure if the other varieties are better. It was certainly cheap, but not worth it for the quality. Am I missing something?

            1. re: arielleeve

              Hmm. I usually get their Italian or French roasts, and I'm happy enough with them. I suppose true coffee geeks would say you can hide bad beans with a darker roast. But I tend to like darker roasted coffee.

          2. Just to add to the mix, I find the prices for a few bulk items at Perelandra (the health food store on Remsen just off of Court Sreet) to be better than Trader Joe's and maybe even Sahadi's. And, if you care about such things, they're organic to boot.

            The items I buy at Perelandra are:

            -- Chia Seeds (definitely cheaper than Trader Joe's, I don't think it's available at Sahadi's)

            -- Oatmeal (old fashioned, not quick oat)

            -- Steel cut oats (Definitely much cheaper than Trader Joe's)

            -- Raisins (how can you have a toddler without having raisins?)

            8 Replies
            1. re: Peter

              I suspect if you are buying oatmeal or raisins, or nuts for that matter, the prices at costco are better than either. Im not going to say their nuts are reliably as fresh as Sahadi's but they are serviceable. I just got a big bag of Italian farro there last week at a fraction of the cost elsewhere and items like quinoa are also avaialble.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Wait... hang on. I don't mean to thread-jack, but did you get the farro at costco or at Sahadi's?

                I looked for it at Sahadi's just last week and I didn't see any.

                1. re: egit

                  When I was at Sahadi's most recently, I only saw instant cook Farro. Not regular. I never end up buying farro because I can only ever find it in fancy bags, never bulk. I've seen a farro bulk bin at Whole Foods on the L.E.S, but it's empty every time I check. I haven't yet tried Fairway.

                  1. re: arielleeve

                    Fairway definitely has it in their bulk section. Last time I was there about 2-3 weeks ago I got some. I should have gotten more because it's nice not to pay $12/lb or whatever it is at Union Markup or Whole Paycheck.

                    Since I don't have a car, a trip to Fairway is a rare event for me.

                  2. re: egit

                    Farro is NOT available at Sahadi but IS available in bulk at Perelandra. And again, the price is great. Something like $2.79 or $3.79 a pound. I don't recall exactly but I do recall it being a fraction of the price of the only farro they sold at Whole Foods, which was a fancy bagged variety at over $10/lb.

                    1. re: Peter

                      It's been a while since I was last at Sahadi's but I've definitely bought farro there. In the bags with the lentils and things right when you walk in the door.

                    2. re: egit

                      costco. Its hard to believe Sahadi does not have packaged farro on their shelves in the packaged version but Ive never looked for it there.

                  3. re: Peter

                    IIRC, Perelandra's bulk bins are in a refrigerated room and you can help yourself. That's a definite plus IMO.

                  4. Wait, so does Sahadi's have cashew halves and pieces for less than $4.99/lb? I find that to be the best deal on nuts at TJ's. That item was gone from TJ's for a while, but fortunately it came back.

                    I don't get over to downtown Brooklyn as often as I'd like, but for cheaper cashew pieces, I'd make a special detour. Also, the ones at TJ's are not always quite as fresh as I'd like, though quite serviceable. Maybe Sahadi's has better ones?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ike

                      Last time I went to the two places, I did a more thorough comparison. Trader Joe's seemed to be cheaper on every single nut and most dried fruits, the exception being peanuts which were .50 less per pound at Sahadi's than at TJ's. I was pretty surprised, because I usually end up spending a lot less at Sahadi's, but I think it's because being bulk I end up buying less of a product at a time. That said, I go through nuts quickly (store them in freezer) so I don't mind buying a larger quantity to save some money. I also will say, I find the Trader Joe's nuts to be better than the ones at Sahadi's. I find the Sahadi's ones to have a lot of loose crumbs at the bottom of the bag, and they just don't taste as fresh as what's at TJ's.