Is it worth driving 30 miles to get to Trader Joes?
Seriously? They just opened their second South Florida store and it's nearly 40 miles from us (the first is down in Miami...) Thinking of planning a shopping trip to go to Trader Joes and Whole Foods... (the closest Whole Foods to us is in West Palm. I didn't buy much at WF even when it was only a few miles from us, but I MUST have their store-brand natural shampoo and conditioner.)
I don't drive 40 miles but I do go out of my way every week or so to shop at TJ's and stock up on some things that aren't readily available in regular supermarkets. Some examples:
Tri-tip roast, vacuum sealed
Great frozen seafood assortment at reasonable prices
Flash frozen asparagus spears better than fresh
Frozen pearl onions
Real (not processed) sliced turkey breast
3 buck chuck wine (the 2 buck days are long gone)
Prices for fresh produce are much better than those at local supermarkets and TJ's carries quite a few hard-to-find items like fresh shelled peas and haricots jaune.
I have TJ and Whole Food right across the street from each other, also 30 miles away. Luckily both of our doctors are within 5 or 10 minutes of there so that's always our reward for a medical visit. Just to go there itself, not so likely.
If there are things you already know you love/must have from TJs then yes, totally worth it. However, if you're going to see/try stuff I'd hope to be able to make that a stop on some other trip.
I would drive that distance maybe once a month because TJ has so many unique products and I would stock up. Take something in the car to keep your frozen stuff frozen on that 30-mile trip home as nobody else comes close to TJ for frozen prepared items, frozen vegetables, frozen berries, frozen croissants, frozen everything. And I think they are the only folks still selling a half-gallon of ice cream that is actually a half-gallon. BTW a lot of people seem to think that WF and TJ are the same but they are 'way not--- WholePaycheck is a LOT more expensive than TJ and lacks TJ's creativity in its offerings. You will soon develop your own subjective list of TJ unique items you don't want to do without. Let me start you off by suggesting Truffle Brownie Mix, frozen broccoli flowerets, frozen pearl onions, Sweet Chili Sauce, Garlic Hummos, frozen croissants, and Liebfraumilch (if your Florida TJ will carry wine---wine is such a given at Illinois TJs that I was shocked to learn that Maryland TJs don't carry it).
I can WALK to both Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and still don't go to either that often (I do like both but still don't think they're all that special) so the thought of driving 30 or 40 miles to shop at one is something I can't fathom.