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Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

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Trader Joe's is a pretty nice expensive store.

The last time I went to Trader Joe's I purchased some Kara Kara Oranges. I must say those Oranges burnt a hole in my pocket book, costing a whopping .70 something cents each.I spotted a succulent Corn Beef Brisket for about $5.00 and something cents a pound.

Now the Corn Beef sure didn't get a home with me. Tell me why you like shopping at Trader Joe's and what are your favorite products? I am just looking for a little insight as I myself like some of Trader Joe's products. I hope we can have a friendly discussion.

  1. I don't find Trader Joe's to

    be an expensive store.Their prices

    seem to be lower than many of the

    local stores.That price on corned beef

    doesn't strike me as extremely high.I actually

    don't shop at Trader Joes that much

    anymore.What stores are you comparing

    them to?Where do you normally shop?I

    remember when I did shop at Trader

    Joes I liked some of their gummy candies.

    21 Replies
    1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

      The only store I was comparing Trader Joes to at

      the time of my first visit there was Pak n Save.

      Those juicy Kara Kara Oranges were not a good bye.

      Those shredded Collard greens were good.

      1. re: Smiley881

        So why did you buy the oranges, instead of choosing from among the many bargains to be had, or items hard to find elsewhere?

        I buy very few things at TJs, but they are very well priced, like frozen, wild caught fish and shrimp, organic half and half, nuts.

        1. re: mcf

          I just let the Oranges slide because one of my Co-Workers

          let me have a taste of her Succulent Kara Kara Orange.The

          Co-Worker told me she buys those Oranges from Trader Joes,

          so I headed out to get some.Later I went to Pak n Save and

          saw those same oranges for less.The difference was Pak n

          Save had their Kara Kara oranges bagged.Wow sounds

          like you caught the special of the day on that Wild

          caught Catfish.It was just probably on sale because

          it wasn't moving to fast.Stores are always good

          about cutting you a price break on slow moving items.

          1. re: Smiley881

            I don't buy catfish; I buy Alaskan salmon, halibut, cod, etc. They're always cheap and high quality.

            1. re: Smiley881

              Trader Joe's doesn't have sales and doesn't sell catfish that I know of. Their bagged Cara Cara oranges last winter (when they're in season) were quite a good deal. Maybe $3.99 for a bag of 8? I could be wrong about the exact numbers. Most of their products, especially cheeses, are much cheaper than the similar products at places like Whole Foods. Plus, their prepared foods (cookies, sauces, etc) aren't full of artificial crap.

          2. re: Smiley881

            Gosh, were the Kara Kara Oranges a good buy or a "good bye"?

            1. re: Tripeler

              I didn't find the Kara Kara Oranges to be a good buy

              at Trader Joe's.I thought .79 each was quite steep

              for an orange.I would prefer to buy those Oranges bagged.

            2. re: Smiley881

              Pak n Save? That's a New Zealand discount food warehouse chain, according to Wikipedia. Didn't know Trader Joe's had any outlets in New Zealand. Whatever, their products and prices don't compare with discount food warehouses, but with ordinary food stores.

              1. re: John Francis

                The OP claims to live in SoCal. Stockton, CA to be exact.

                Perhaps the NZ chain has expanded recently '-D

                1. re: linguafood

                  I live in Northern CA.Stockton.

                  1. re: Smiley881

                    Oh, my bad. NorCal, of course.

                    So NorCal has a NZ discount chain? Who knew.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      Whats the NZ discount chain?Educate me.

                      1. re: linguafood

                        Apparently there is a Pak n Save box store chain in the US that was acquired by Safeway, but there have been so many mergers and aquisitions it is hard to sort out.

                        1. re: FoodDee

                          I have got to find a pak n Save in Stockton,CA.I have been living in Stockton for almost three months now and still haven't found one.There sure are plenty of Safeways.Lucky bought Safeway but Safeway kept their name.

                          1. re: Smiley881

                            Whoa!
                            Earlier in this post, you state:
                            "Later I went to Pak n Save and

                            saw those same oranges for less."

                            Yet here you say: "I have got to find a pak n Save in Stockton,CA.I have been living in Stockton for almost three months now and still haven't found one".

                            Something is not holding together Smiley 881. You cannot state that you have already been to a store and later claim that you haven't found that store. We will all be waiting to read your explanation.

                            1. re: Sherri

                              Hello Sherri let me see if I can explain this.It sounds like you are referring to the Kara Kara Oranges.Ok here what happened.I went to TJ when I was living in Alameda County.This was the TJ in Alamada,CA.My mom and I picked up some Oranges that were a whopping .79 a piece.I came out the pocket for the oranges.Next we went to Pak n Save in San Leandro,CA.I saw some bagged Kara Kara Oranges for less than I had bought them for at TJ.This was back in feb 2014.Now I am living in Stockton,CA.I miss shopping at Pak n Save.I cant find that store on the locator.I do shop at Safeway.Pak n Save is Safeways warehouse store.

                              1. re: Smiley881

                                Yep, clarity is a wonderful thing.

                                1. re: Smiley881

                                  The closest seems to be in Manteca which is south of Stockton.

                                  1. re: Smiley881

                                    Try looking for the Winco store or the Grocery Outlet in Stockton.

                                    1. re: pamf

                                      I have shopped at Winco.I find Winco to be good for certain things.I haven't been to Grocery Outlet yet.

                2. It's only expensive if the same items are cheaper elsewhere. When you're buying specialty items then it's really a function of your purchasing decisions. Trader Joe's is less expensive than other stores when you're comparing similar items.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: ferret

                    It seems like Trader Joe's shoppers run for Organic fruit/Veg because

                    they are labeled Organic.It was reported on the news that Trader joes

                    is among one of the stores that sell those Fruits/Veg that look like

                    someone took a base ball bat to them.I guess lots of shoppers

                    are seeking Organic Fruit/Veg so they will take them anyway they come.

                    1. re: Smiley881

                      Organic produce is usually less "pretty" than non-organic. No chemicals = no oddly, waxy, tasteless perfection. What difference does it make if they taste great? Personally, I prefer organic.

                      1. re: Smiley881

                        Most of Trader Joe's produce is not organic. Sometimes it is more expensive than supermarket produce, other times not.
                        TJ carries seasonal produce that supermarkets in New England NEVER have, such as the Thomcord grapes, available now, and the Sun Valley heirloom navel oranges, that have a short season.

                        If you consider their prices high, don't shop there.

                        1. re: greygarious

                          Well you don't have to worry about that with me

                          when it comes to the shopping.I just put this post

                          up to get the opinions of Trader Joe's shoppers.Now

                          I might take a stroll through the asile's of Trader Joe's

                          once in a while,but you can bet the farm I am not getting

                          any more wallet burning items of theirs.Now lets see what

                          items would I get?I liked their Salad but that was recalled

                          and I also heard their peanut Butter got a bad rap.Now that

                          leaves me with Coconut Oil.

                          1. re: Smiley881

                            You'd already seen the opinions of other posters on another thread.

                            1. re: Smiley881

                              I'm confused, what exactly was "wallet burning?"

                              "peanut butter got a bad rap"

                              Source? Yes, one of their products was recalled. Show me a store who hasn't had a product recalled.

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                Oh I know many stores have had recalls on their

                                products.I do remember when Trader Joe's had a

                                recall on their Peanut Butter and ready to eat

                                yummy salads.I can remember the first time I purchased

                                a Salad with a delicious looking egg on top from

                                the Trader Joes in Emeryville,CA.Oh well I cant

                                wait to check out the Trader Joes in Stockton,CA.

                      2. Where I am, cara cara oranges went for $1.49 a pound on sale. Two oranges easily make a pound. So 75 cents for a piece of fruit is normal for me (and I'm in California). Food prices in general have gone up and I find Trader Joe's very reasonable. Most items are comparable in pricing or cheaper. At Safeway, corned beef brisket is $5.99. It only goes on sale around St. Patrick's day. Beef prices in general have gone up. I'm finding regular brisket for at least $5.99.

                        1. i like shopping there because for the foods I eat (which are vastly different from the foods you eat), their product line and the ratios of price:quality and price:quantity are great, the convenience of their stores is great, and the freshness of their offerings is great.

                          i don't buy cured or processed, chemical-laden meat anywhere so
                          their prices on corned beef are irrelevant to me.

                          from trader joe's i buy:
                          organic fruits (fresh and frozen), organic vegetables (fresh and frozen), organic grains, organic sugar, organic chocolate, organic coffee, vitamin supplements, and sometimes spices.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: westsidegal

                            TJ's carries non chemical, uncured corned beef and pastrami.

                            1. re: mcf

                              For those that aren't big fans of Corn Beef like

                              myself.I have a Recipe that just might pull you into

                              the Current.

                          2. I find that Trader Joe's compares favorably to the other supermarkets in my area. Also Trader Joe's does NOT sell any food products from CHINA, does not sell products that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup, or artificial preservatives, etc.

                            2007
                            Trader Joe's made a commitment to eliminate added trans fats from all private label products (along with artificial colors, flavors, preservatives & GMO ingredients... but that's old news by now. (from the Trader Joe's web site)

                            All this at competitive selling prices.

                            27 Replies
                            1. re: ospreycove

                              You might want to check into those goodies that are in

                              your shopping Cart.There was an article on the Internet

                              that stated Trader Joes wasn't exactly living up to what

                              they claim about their product.There was even a tasting

                              test.There is some Wine called Two Buck Chuck that the

                              Customers thought was all that and a bag of chips.Come to

                              find out Two Buck Chuck had been made with synthetic stuff.

                              The tasters picked the good natural wine.

                              1. re: Smiley881

                                I love how you're slamming Two Buck Chuck for synthetic stuff while praising the magical properties of HH on another thread.

                                Have you ever looked at the ingredient list for that crap?

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  don't feed the trolls is what I always say

                                  (or if you must feed them HH, LOL)

                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                    I think that is a very reasonable suggestion, having read the follow-up posts :-D

                                  2. re: linguafood

                                    First off I am not a regular for Trader Joe's shopping.

                                    I can find items priced at way cheaper prices.That was

                                    an Article on the Internet Slamming Two Buck Chuck.Heck

                                    I am not even a Wine Drinker.I could go for a little peach

                                    Brady.

                                    1. re: Smiley881

                                      It seemed important enough to you to post about your TJ shopping experience.

                                      Where I live, TJ's can't sell booze, so I don't really have an opinion about the wine either way (btw, that article was written by another wine producer, AFAIK, so I'd take it with a grain of salt - like most everything you read on the internet).

                                      Not familiar with peach Brady.

                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        May I ask what State you live in? That's hard to

                                        believe that Alcohol isn't sold where you live.I put

                                        the post up to get the opinions of Trader Joes

                                        shoppers.Now I will admit I stand accused of liking

                                        some of Trader Joe's products.I might take a stroll

                                        trough there.For posters to be acting like they own

                                        the store is silly.

                                          1. re: Smiley881

                                            I live in NY; alcohol cannot be sold in groceries, only in state licensed liquor stores.

                                            1. re: Smiley881

                                              Why is that hard to believe? Alcohol is not sold in grocery stores here, and that's the law.

                                              1. re: Smiley881

                                                Hardly any Trader Joes in the Boston area sell alcohol due to local liquor laws.

                                                1. re: Smiley881

                                                  Not in MD either at least within the Baltimore area.

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    you need to slip over the line to va

                                                    1. re: Vidute

                                                      It is so weird when I walk into stores there and there's alcohol :) I remember as a kid growing in va even the WaWa had a pretty good selection. Also no liquor stores open on Sunday in Baltimore.

                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                        howard and anne arundel county liquor stores are open on sundays. much closer that tj's in va. :)

                                                        1. re: Vidute

                                                          Good thing I don't drink :) wine stores that serve are open Sundays so for the last minute football needs most can find something. Thanksgiving to New Year's though...Sundays are a go for all stores;)

                                                  2. re: Smiley881

                                                    The two TJs in Utah cannot sell alcohol. Well, they CAN sell 3.2 beer, but nothing else.

                                                    I like TJs because they have a great variety of quick-to-make items for a solo diner that are better than the trip to Mickey Ds AND I don't have to freeze part of it or eat the same stuff for 3 days. The frozen foods are a saving grace for me. I love the Force Primeval Bars for a quick snack in the morning. I like the variety of nuts and dried fruits that I really don't have access to (I only have a big-box grocer here). I love the cheese choices and the different crackers that I can get to go with them.

                                                2. re: Smiley881

                                                  Trader Joe's wines have not been $2 a bottle in some years now. The Wine Board, as well as this board, have many discussions about Charles Shaw wines, which is the label to which you are referring. They buy surpluses from various other producers, so the quality of their bottles varies a great deal. Those of us who buy this bargain label taste a bottle and decide whether or not we want to drink it. If not, we use it in cooking, or for sangria and other punch.

                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/985088

                                              2. re: Smiley881

                                                Smiley, you seem to have an anti-TJ agenda (and why would that be, I wonder). Godspeed: it's a free country. But, personally, I find TJ to be a source of unique and excellent products I don't see anywhere else, and their staff is invariably courteous and helpful---they stand behind what they sell and cheerfully accept a return--- and their prices compare favorably with other stores (I am in Chicago). Yes, they are more expensive than Aldi's, but they are 'way cheaper than WholeFoods, and a lot more fun. Re TJ's wine, I googled just now and found that it has won awards in 2002, 2007, and 2013, so it seems that wine experts disagree with your assessment.

                                              3. re: ospreycove

                                                thank you ospreycove for telling us about the China issue.
                                                i checked their frozen soybeans out today and, sure enough, unlike 99% of the other stores around, their product did NOT come from China.
                                                bought two bags.

                                                thanks for the heads up.

                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                  Westside,

                                                  Watch out for whole foods frozen veg, many items from China.

                                                  1. re: ospreycove

                                                    thank you.
                                                    when at whole foods i buy the "columbia river organics" brand that they carry.
                                                    grown in washington state.

                                                    i'm rabid about this subject.

                                                    1. re: ospreycove

                                                      Country of origin is printed on bag and most of us here can read.

                                                      1. re: Querencia

                                                        Try to find it on fresh garlic, small shops have torn off sticker showing origin. Printed on packages is more of "Find the hidden phrase" game than proudly displaying that it is from CHINA.

                                                    2. re: westsidegal

                                                      I always buy the edamame in pods as well as "soycuttash" blend from TJs for that very reason- not to mention the fact their edamame is about $3 less than at other stores near me.

                                                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                        there was a time when the soycuttash was organic.
                                                        irritated me when they changed it to conventional.

                                                        it used to be one of the base ingredients i used to make a spicy vegetable soup (sort of a takeoff of a minestrone) along with a few other of the TJ's frozen vegetables.

                                                  2. Might I gently suggest that if you find a product that "... burnt a hole in my pocket book ..." that you buy something else or shop somewhere else. Trader Joe's has a longtime, loyal following; people buy what they need/want there for a variety of reasons. Personally, I augment my 'normal' buying at TJ's for a combination of quality, selection and price.

                                                    1. I don't understand the point of your post. If you thought the Kara Kara oranges were expensive, why did you buy them? They sell other types of oranges too.

                                                      Trader Joes is not a "bargain" store. It's a store offering products under their own label, and that fall into a "healthy food" realm -- no preservative, gluten free, etc. They have excellent prices on things like dried fruit, and nuts. It's the cheapest place for me to buy half and half and milk besides Costco and Smart & Final, and it's hormone free. Their packages salads are perfect for a quick work lunch when I don't have time to pack leftovers. The frozen indian entrees are all amazing (and this is coming from an Indian person!). They have some great cheeses priced well. The bagged lettuces and greens are excellent.

                                                      If you compare product prices at TJs to your every day grocery store, some things will cost more and some will cost less. It also depends on where you live, and whether the item you bought is in season. I can buy a pineapple on sale for $2 at my local produce market, but for $3.29, I can buy a container of cut up pineapple from TJs. All the work is done for me, and there's no waste. A container of cut up pineapple of roughly the same size at the regular grocery store is $4.99.

                                                      We try to eat healthy, and limit our preservative and hormone/chemical intake. TJs is great for someone like me who is shopping for a family, doesn't eat many processed foods, and likes healthy snacks.

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: boogiebaby

                                                        Good point. TJ's packaged-food inventory is, on the whole, healthier than that of the typical supermarket. From the OP's other posts, it is clear that his/her tastes run to highly-processed, highly-salted foods. As such, TJ's would not be an appealing shopping venue for the OP.

                                                        1. re: boogiebaby

                                                          I bought the Oranges because that is what I went to Trader joe's

                                                          for.My Co-Worker told me that is where she got her oranges.When I

                                                          went to Safeway then I saw the oranges for less.

                                                          1. re: Smiley881

                                                            Smiley, you seem to have a love/hate relationship with grocery stores. In another post, you wrote: "...I am a little tired of getting raped by Safeway ..." as you railed against their prices yet here you say the specialty oranges cost less at Safeway. Another post of yours re: Safeway "... those Highway Robbery prices ...". No store is going to have the lowest prices on every single item, every single day. Good shoppers learn what items cost and buy accordingly. Since you mention receiving Jane's Crazy salt at a food bank, perhaps there is a food education program there that could help you make these decisions. Good luck, I wish you all the best.

                                                            1. re: Smiley881

                                                              Wait a minute, I'm confused (forgive me, this is a confusing thread). Didn't you originally say that you saw the oranges for less at Pak n Save, not Safeway?

                                                              1. re: Tante

                                                                Yes that is correct.Pak n save is Safeway.Pak n Save is
                                                                Safeway Warehouse store that carries some food items for
                                                                less.I think some posters may be getting confused by the
                                                                thread because I stated I am a Nutritionist.Just because
                                                                I am a Nutritionist doesn't mean I don't eat sweets and other.I have the education that doesn't mean ones food choices match it.I will look for healthy products at TJ.
                                                                Can we all have some fun discussion?

                                                                1. re: Smiley881

                                                                  Thanks for clarifying, I have neither of these stores in my area.
                                                                  As for your being a nutritionist, and I'm really not trying to be judgmental, it's hard for me to believe that a nutritionist would dump excess sugar on fruit, and not know that "regular" tea as in Lipton's would be black tea. Or the question about the white pomegranate tea. While I submit that we're all here to learn, that's a pretty hard jump for me.

                                                                  1. re: Tante

                                                                    The anything goes fruit Salad that I made.The fruit wasn't sweet so sprinkling it with a little white sugar and mixing a powered sugar glaze with lemon juice really helped.I had Bananas in the Salad and the lemon keeps the Bananas from turning brown.My family ate that salad in no time.Now my mom put some sugar on some cut up Strawberries.The sugar already made them sweet enough my head can be a witness to that.

                                                                    1. re: Tante

                                                                      Nutritionist isn't a regulated term/licensed profession. Someone who works at GNC can call themselves a nutritionist.

                                                            2. I go to Trader Joe's to SAVE money. The things I get there are far less expensive than the 'name brand' versions I'd get at a supermarket.

                                                              But if you go to TJ's and buy all luxury items, sure, it's expensive. And their produce is typically pretty pricey.

                                                              1. Laughs.........you do know how to stir up a hornets nest of righteous citizens! Attacking TJ is like ...well not the Pope.but certainly Mom's apple pie. Br prepared to be pelted with overripe organically grown tomatoes

                                                                Do I shop there......yes...infrequently.........some things are ok buys, some cheap, some not. Some interesting stuff that is hard to find elsewhere.......sort of like your oranges, I guess, although I seldom buy produce there.

                                                                Their sauces are often good, some frozen stuff interesting. Cheeses that you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else and that taste really good.

                                                                Is it the altar of "all good things"? To some perhaps; not to me.

                                                                I also will indulge in a Mickey's $1 special.......but I like a decent meal out as well, preferably not too frou-frou.

                                                                1. I regularly save money at Trader Joes. The canned tomatoes, salsa, dry pasta, dried fruit, and Greek yogurt, for instance, are all cheaper than at my regular store. TJ's isn't like Whole Foods - but neither is it a replacement for your regular supermarket. It just lacks too many staples for that, even if the meat and produce departments weren't afterthoughts.

                                                                  It's more analogous to an Asian or Russian market that you go to for those things it specializes in, as an addition to your regular shopping, not a replacement. When people leave with lighter wallets, it's not - at least not in the parts of the country I've lived - because they're paying more for what they could have gotten at another store. It's because they're buying things they CAN'T get at another store. That's one reason TJ's distinguishes itself with so many snacks and desserts you won't see elsewhere, after all.

                                                                  That said, by no means is 70 cents an unusual price for a Cara Cara orange. Citrus in general has been a lot more expensive in the last, what, six or seven years, since that one bad winter that decimated the crops. If you're comparing the price of the Cara Caras to regular navels, well, don't. It's not as bad as comparing apples and oranges, but it's something along those lines.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: okaycheckitout

                                                                    The business model for trader joes (imho) is :
                                                                    1. good value
                                                                    2.relatively healthy
                                                                    3. varied choices (all in one location)
                                                                    They are not the lowest price on all or maybe most items-but they offer fair value and a wide selection of items in a one-stop shopping atmosphere and usually it is possible to find interesting choices(even if they do tend to drop some popular ones).But for price alone,selective shopping is the only way to get the lowest prices i.e multiple stores

                                                                    1. re: 51rich

                                                                      Very good post 51rich.I love Trader Joes Vanilla flavored

                                                                      frosted Corn Flakes.I was introduced to this product at

                                                                      the Food Bank.My family and I just moved to Stockton,CA.

                                                                      So I thought I would get a jump from the Food Bank while I

                                                                      am new in Town.The Food Bank has been very good at introducing

                                                                      me to foods and supplying people with healthy fruits

                                                                      and Veg. I will add to my Grocery list.

                                                                  2. I'm a total cheapy McCheapskate and I find Trader Joe's to be THE place to find unique foodie items and generally excellent values, in quantities that normal families and singles can actually use.

                                                                    One example: their olive oils are *much* less expensive than chain grocery stores and are beat in unit price only by someplace like Costco, which makes you buy, say, 2 gallons of extra virgin oil at one time. TJ jarred pasta sauces are inexpensive and high quality with little added sugar and little of that crap that thickens sauces artificially. Last spring I purchased an enormous brussel sprout stalk that yielded the equivalent of 3-4 1b. bags from the grocery, for 2.99 or so. And $5/lb for high quality corned beef is at the higher end for uncooked corned beef but not unreasonable if it's high quality. (If that was the deli meat price, $5/lb is insanely cheap for 2014!)

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: donw9876

                                                                      In November/December for the past 2 years, they've sold stalks of Brussels sprouts for $3.49. I heard that they were reduced later in the season but that the stalks were smaller. The larger ones I bought yielded almost a gallon of sprouts each, not to mention that the "marrow" of the steamed stalks tastes like rutabaga, which I enjoy.

                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                        My brother came home with a bag of Brussel Sprouts.

                                                                        I cant stand that veg.Once I tried to help them out

                                                                        by seasoning them with some Garlic Salt.I am on the

                                                                        band Wagon for Trader Joe's shreaded Collard Greens.

                                                                        1. re: Smiley881

                                                                          I'm having the collard greens for dinner in about 5 minutes :)

                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                            Ok I will be right over.Have my dinner plate set.

                                                                            I have to stop by the Trader Joe's in Stockton,CA.

                                                                            to grab me a bag of those Shreaded Collard Greens.

                                                                            I like to Put Okra in my greens along with a little

                                                                            crushed Red Pepper.

                                                                        2. re: greygarious

                                                                          Oops! I meant kohlrabi, not rutabaga

                                                                        3. re: donw9876

                                                                          I don't know where your Costco is, but I buy EVOO at mine in single glass bottles barely qt sized.

                                                                        4. Here's a start http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/984340 as well as many others like that of products people like. I'm a recent TJs convert but now I love the place and do 50-80% of my shopping there. The prices are better for most of my staple items than any other grocery store, great return policy, friendly employees, good quality product.s

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                            There is a really nice Trader Joe store in Alamda,CA.

                                                                            I just moved to Stockton,CA.I need to check out the

                                                                            Trader Joes in Stockton,CA.

                                                                          2. I shop everyplace from dollar stores (for food!) to Nieman Marcus. Here's a newsflash for anyone who doesn't already know this: You MUST be an informed consumer if you want to avoid purchasing the Brooklyn Bridge at a bargain price! That applies to EVERYTHING! Trader Joe's or a garage sale, if you don't know the market you can get burned.

                                                                            As for my personal experience with Trader Joe's? I'm a happy camper. I think it's a little strange to indite the whole chain based on a single experience.

                                                                            1. Does Trader Joe's carry Candy?I don't remember.I was wondering

                                                                              if they carry Kit Kat Green Tea mini candy Bars.I had my first

                                                                              taste of those bars and ended up with a whole box of them.I wonder

                                                                              how much would a case cost me at Trader Joe's.I am ready to fork

                                                                              over the mula.

                                                                              32 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                They do not carry Kit Kat, they do carry candy.

                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                  Ah rats I suppose I can count those Health
                                                                                  Candy Bars out too.I love Health for the Toffee.
                                                                                  My brother bought me Health Candy bars to keep me
                                                                                  from nibbling off the Candy Toffee Bits in the bag.
                                                                                  Those Toffee bits are used to top the Better than
                                                                                  anything Cake.Now that is the best cake.I bet Trader
                                                                                  Joes Carries most of the Ingredients that cake takes.

                                                                                  1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                    They carry quite a bit of chocolate "impulse buys" bars of chocolate, that again neither the best or worst but fair value (my father loved the 3paks of dark chocolate)-by the registers.They also have choco covered raisins,nuts etc...Again all very tempting and good value.Btw the frozen chocolate ganache cake is a favorite.The 3 paks by the registers are nice to have around also

                                                                                    1. re: 51rich

                                                                                      I haven't had Chocolate covered Raisins in a long time.

                                                                                      1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                        funny thing is raisinets are still about as good as it gets for chocolate covered raisins.Somehow "better chocolate" doesn't seem to work for raisins-or perhaps it is like pizza,whatever you grew up with is best

                                                                                        1. re: 51rich

                                                                                          There are several types of Chocolate-covered Raisins with very good quality chocolate. Seek them out in places were specialty chocolates are sold. This is also where you can find the most amazingly good Peanut Butter Cups.

                                                                                    2. re: Smiley881

                                                                                      You aren't likely to find name brands like Kit Kat and Heath and Kellogg and Stouffer at TJ. That's the point, actually.

                                                                                      1. re: Querencia

                                                                                        any name brands in which i would be interested would not be at the level of Kit Kat, Heath, Kellogg, and Stouffer.

                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                          Those brands don't equate to TJ Teas.I don't eat
                                                                                          Kellogg products.I like the Green Tea Kit Kat for
                                                                                          the health property of the Green Tea.

                                                                                          1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                            The amount of real green tea in a Green Tea Kit Kat would be practically nil, if any is actually used. There would be far more green food colouring.

                                                                                            1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                              Didn't you comment yesterday that you were finishing a box of Frosted Flakes?

                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                My mom beat me to the punch.I guess I am going to
                                                                                                have to add that frosted flakes Cereal to my TJ
                                                                                                Shopping list.

                                                                                                1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                  My point being that you said you don't eat Kellogg products, but apparently you do (FYI Frosted Flakes are a Kellogg product).

                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                    I don't purchase Kellogg products,but every now and then I dibble in and out.There are products that Consumers sometimes don't realize are from the same Company,but here is the kicker if I find out then I toss the product out on its fanny.Thx for the info.

                                                                                            2. re: westsidegal

                                                                                              they do have Ritter Sports, probably the most "name brand" candy bar they carry

                                                                                              1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                However, the TJ Packaged candies, such as the tiny peanut butter cups and the chocolate-covered raspberry jelly bars, are really, really fabulous. Keeping from eating all of them after you open a package is great training for self-control.

                                                                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                  That's funny, I found the choco raspberry jelly bars to be completely tasteless. To each his own, I guess.

                                                                                                  1. re: Alfred G

                                                                                                    I was equally disappointed with their PB&J candy bar.

                                                                                      2. re: Smiley881

                                                                                        They carry their own brands and a few imported brands. Some candy, mostly chocolate, but not Kit Kat.

                                                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                                                          I'm gonna toss this out to see if it raises any screams of anguish from any dedicated TJ's cult members among us? I do shop at TJ's, but when it comes to grocery stores, I live in Plano, Texas, a Dallas suburb, and TJ's is still a relatively new kid on the block.

                                                                                          I think of TJ's as a world class purveyor of knock off "gourmet delights." For example, around the holidays last year (or was it two years ago?) for around five bucks they offered a nicely packaged box of 12 Parisian style macarons in 6 flavors. I've had "the real McCoy," which run about $30.00 a dozen, plus tax and shipping, and I've had TJ's knock offs. If you mixed the two on a fancy doillied plate for an upscale crowd at a sidewalk cafe along the Champs Elysees, I don't think anyone would know the difference.

                                                                                          In other words, to my way of thinking, TJ's offers its customers a reasonable way to live BEYOND their means. And I truly wish they'd offer the French macarons year round! And it wouldn't hurt my feeling if they came up with some fresh beluga caviar for around ten bucks a pound either!

                                                                                          As my mother used to lecture me when I was a kid, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride!" <sigh> Giddiyup TJ's!!!

                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                            Now thats a good one.You will have me going
                                                                                            to bed laughing in my sleep about that one.
                                                                                            Yep good ol Knock offs.

                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                              In New England, I've noticed macarons in the frozen section for months now.

                                                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                At TJ's? The one time I bought them they were in a "cookie box" on the shelf and when I asked about them the next trip, the reply was, "Next year." If they're simply in the freezer now, be still my heart!

                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                  I see them in the freezer all the time too.

                                                                                                2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                  Yes, they're always in my store, too.

                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                    Then I'm in BIG trouble! '-) Thanks!

                                                                                                3. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                  That is still why tj's works it really is it's own business model-
                                                                                                  It is not a supermarket
                                                                                                  It is not a bargain basement
                                                                                                  It is not a gourmet shop
                                                                                                  It really is a portion of each and as such does not have direct competitor-As you said-their buyers have done much of the advanced scouting-You can expect (anymore often than not) get a very fairly priced knock-off
                                                                                                  Overall,i feel "safe" in trying their selections,and if not their return policy definitely ensures satisfaction
                                                                                                  Of course i could still wish for..........

                                                                                                  1. re: 51rich

                                                                                                    I just couldn't stop eating those Xmas Cookies from TJ.I just have to get my hands on a bag of those shredded Collards.

                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                      I have heard TJ described as "a gourmet store for cheapskates". I know for a fact that their frozen Apple Blossoms, Chocolate Lava Cakes, and Mochi Ice Cream are sold for twice the price at other stores.

                                                                                                      1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                        Did you say Apple Blossoms?I am sure that dessert will be at the top of the Grocery list.TJ is a specialty Store.

                                                                                                    2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                      I know you all have been sinking your chops into

                                                                                                      to some nice sweet Trader Joe's Watermelons.How

                                                                                                      much are the Watermelons per pound?I guess you

                                                                                                      all say why don't I put the peddle to the metal

                                                                                                      and check out the prices for myself.Its time for

                                                                                                      me to to make Watermelon slushe's.With these record

                                                                                                      breaking temperatures where I am I could use a Slush.

                                                                                                  2. Who all likes Bell Peppers?Add these ingredients to

                                                                                                    your shopping list for these must try Philly Cheese Steak Bell Peppers

                                                                                                    www.quickneasyrecipes.net/philly-chee...

                                                                                                    1. New Products at Trader Joes.Those Concord

                                                                                                      Grapes look pretty good.Those Grapes are on

                                                                                                      the petite side.If those Grapes are Organic

                                                                                                      I get the sale price is $3.99 lb.

                                                                                                      www.traderjoes.com/digin/category/Wha...

                                                                                                      Good morning everybody.Its 2:00am in CA.

                                                                                                      I am just getting ready to visit dream land.

                                                                                                      Boy I tell ya I am so sleepy until I don't

                                                                                                      need to Count Sheep.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                        They are not Concord grapes. They are not the size of Concord grapes, either.

                                                                                                      2. This Sunday I made a wonderful fruit Salad.I used Bananas,Blueberries
                                                                                                        and Nectarie's.I mixed some powdered sugar with water and Lemon juice and poured it over the Salad.I sprinkled some sugar into the salad.This fruit salad makes a wonderful ice cream topping.Next time your in Trader Joe's grab the fruits of your choice for this Salad and enjoy.

                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                          You sure do eat a lot of sugary stuff.

                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                            The amount of sugar on the Salad doesn't add up to be that much.Just sprinkle a little bit of white sugar on the Salad.Then mix water and lemon into 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
                                                                                                            Now if the fruit in the Salad is sweet enough then you may not need anymore sugar.The added powdered sugar mixed with
                                                                                                            a little water and a teaspoon of Lemon juice is a nice addition.

                                                                                                            1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                              The fruit *is* a sugar serving.

                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                I had some fruit that had to move really quickly,so you could call this any thing goes fruit Salad.I had an great amount of fruit and had to make an emergency salad.Regular sugar was sprinkled on the top.I tasted the fruit the next morning.I added the powdered sugar glaze topping since that gives the Salad a nice touch. I wasn't going to add the glaze if the Salad was sweet enough.

                                                                                                                1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                  Aren't you concerned about diabetes?

                                                                                                                  1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                    lol!your post reminds me of the when I stand in line behind someone at a juice/smoothie joint while they order a fruit shake because it is "healthy". I cant stop myself from asking them if they know how many sugars are in an extra-large fruit smoothie. YIKES!!! They always looked stunned when they read the nutritional info.

                                                                                                                    1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                      I have a pretty good diet.I keep the carb in take
                                                                                                                      low.I do love sweets,my head keeps me in check about the sugar intake.I am sure I can find some good low carb snacks and things at TJ.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                        Kit Kats, fruit salad loaded in sugar, asking about coconut sugar...confused

                                                                                                          2. At the risk of showing my age, I have been a TJ shopper since 1970's...I think there were three or four stores. They have changed substantially since those days...more prepared foods, fewer unique limited bargains. That being said, their general quality remains pretty high but since I don't buy many prepared foods I find that many of the ones I sample are too sweet or too salty...just don't have that fast food palate. I like their wines and cheeses for the most part. Their meat is a bit pricy but considering the quality, within reason. Do like their sauces, mayo and mustards.

                                                                                                            1. I buy two items at Trader Joes: The red peppers stuffed with brown rice and ground turkey (which I stopped buying a few years ago, when I realized that the ground turkey was that pink slime). They have since changed to really good ground turkey. It's a terrific quick meal. The other must-have is the Dorot Frozen garlic cubes. This product has changed my life. I has completely replaced fresh garlic in my kitchen. Fabulous product!

                                                                                                              16 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                Ooooh! That frozen garlic sounds like it could be a game changer! I got soooo sick of reaching for my "fresh" heads of garlic only to have them turn into a handful of "paper" and withered cloves that a couple of weeks ago I bought a BIG container of diced garlic at Sam's Club that has to be refrigerated after opening. It's okay for cooking (as in applying heat) but it sucks for things like hummous, tzatziki, and salsas. I'll look for the frozen garlic next trip to TJ's and hope it still has that fresh bite. Thanks!

                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                  Or grate and freeze in ice cube trays. Should be the same thing for less $.

                                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                    Or zip locks. Now to find some FRESH garlic... Farmers market? <sigh>

                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                      I have got to remember to add a clove of Garlic to my shopping list.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                        You buy garlic by the clove???? How very very strange!

                                                                                                                    2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                      Fabu idea! I was possessed by unknown forces when at the FM and bought a big batch of lovely purple hard neck garlic. I have no place cool to keep roots. I've tried every dark corner of my condo, and though it feels cool enough to me, roots seems to find the environment perfect for holding spouting parties. "Betcha I can sprout faster than you," says Garlic. "Nuh-uh," responds Onion. "Let's race!" they exclaim in unison. And so it goes. Two weeks tops before sprouting begins. And yes, I separate alliums from other roots.

                                                                                                                      Thanks.

                                                                                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                        Supposedly, keeping an apple in with your potatoes prevents the spud-sprout problem. If you have no other options, it might be worth trying it on the alliums.

                                                                                                                    3. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                      I might add some frozen garlic to my TJ shopping list.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                        That frozen Garlic sounds right up my alley.The fresh Garlic spoils to fast.I will look for that Garlic at TJ.

                                                                                                                      2. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                        Well now I could go for the frozen Garlic Cubes.
                                                                                                                        You mentioned the ground Turkey that was used for
                                                                                                                        the stuffed Bell Peppers had that disgusting pink
                                                                                                                        slime?Yuck.I am glad TJ corrected that problem.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                          They also have frozen basil cubes

                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                            I wonder of those would be good in a Martini?

                                                                                                                            1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                              This is a link that shows the measurement of product in each cube (one cube of basil = 1 tsp, which I would think is a lot in a martini glass). http://www.mydorot.com

                                                                                                                              Of course, now I am on the lookout for all the other products shown on the page...

                                                                                                                          2. Hey has anyone happened to notice the price on a can of Yellow Fin Tuna in oil at TJ?Oh boy if I keep this up I am going to have to start paying for price checkers.

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                              It's less expensive than other stores for the same quality tuna.

                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                I like to compare prices.Is the cost of TJ Yellow Fin Tuna cost less than $2.50 a can?

                                                                                                                                1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                  If it is packed in Olive Oil it costs more.....Anywhere, "packed in oil" label, is just cheap grade vegetable oil. Not very good for your health.Pick Packed in Olive oil or just skip it, is my thinking. Opt for canned salmon it is better than Tuna leess Mercury, more Omega3 oil.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                    Maybe I will add the canned Salmon to my grocery list.
                                                                                                                                    I just must try that Yellow Fin Tuna in oil also.I will look for Tuna packed in Olive oil.Thanks for the tips for my shopping trip to TJ.

                                                                                                                            2. Has anyone ever bought Swordfish from TJ?What kinds of fresh fish does TJ carry?I haven't had Trout in a long time.

                                                                                                                              16 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                Yes I've bought the frozen swordfish. My store carries some fresh fish- haddock, tilapia, farm raised salmon, scallops.

                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                  I read TJ told Green peace that they were going to stop carrying fish that were an endangered species.Swordfish was on the list.I love Scallops.I am going to make some Bacon Wrapped Scallops.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                    I guess not. Swordfish is still in the case at least in MD.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                  from HUFFPOST-HEALTHY LIVING

                                                                                                                                  Maybe Swordfish is not the BEST thing to consume!!!!!

                                                                                                                                  According to the report, about 70 percent of seafood contain relatively "low levels of mercury" and can be eaten regularly. Cod, salmon, haddock, herring and sardines, for example, are considered "low mercury fish." Shrimp are also said to have low mercury levels. (Conversely, SWORDFISH, tuna and lobster are said to have "mercury concentrations that commonly exceed safe levels.")

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                    That wasn't the discussion. Yes swordfish has mercury, we were discussing a completely separate issue of swordfish but thanks for that health alert :)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                      Well I just thought I would add that into the discussion
                                                                                                                                      since I had read an article on that.It is my thread.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                        Fldhky's wasn't replying to you.

                                                                                                                                        PS: It's *everybody's* thread now.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                      I know NJ lobsters have high mercury in the tomale, not Maine, so much, IIRC. Does depend on the waters and also the age and size of the fish.

                                                                                                                                      We used to eat sword a lot, but mercury and overfishing made that a thing of the past.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                        Same here, occasionally, on long fishing trips, we hook a sword but it is always released, for just the reasons that you do not eat it.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                          Foods I have loved and lost... <sigh> Not much that is more damaging to the planet than human beans! :-(

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                Can you share the foods that you have loved and
                                                                                                                                                lost?

                                                                                                                                              2. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                                That Swordfish is a dangerous catch.If you mess with
                                                                                                                                                that fish he will show you his stuff.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                              Thx for the helpful info Ospreycove.I can't wait to go to TJ to pick up a couple of cans of that Yellow Fin Tuna in oil.I have been looking for Tuna in Oil.I better watch the Mercury content.

                                                                                                                                          1. Does anybody buy TJ Coconut Sugar?It sounds like a healthy
                                                                                                                                            alternative to regular sugar.

                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                              Nope but it's not necessarily healthier. Marginally better than regular sugar since it contains trace nutrients and has a slightly lower GI but still loaded with fructose and mostly empty calories.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                It's not healthy, and if lower GI is due to fructose, it can be worse for you than white table sugar.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                  My father use to buy Fructose Sugar.I switched from regular sugar to Fructose,when I tried to switch back to regular sugar I got the worse headaches.I guess I should stay away from that Coconut Sugar containing Fructose.I guess I can cross that off of my list of things to get at TJs.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                    Regular sugar is sucrose = glucose and fructose

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                  it is not any healthier than regular sugar, andi have heard rumors that it is significantly more damaging to the enviroment than regular sugar.

                                                                                                                                                3. Has anyone had TJ Refried Beans with Salsa?

                                                                                                                                                  1. How is everyone this morning?I am sitting her enjoying a nice
                                                                                                                                                    cup of TJ Organic Camomile Herb Tea.Gosh I almost forgot I had it.
                                                                                                                                                    Well that this tea will be on my shopping list for TJ.I can't wait to see the TJ in Stockton,CA.

                                                                                                                                                    1. I know the TJ lovers will hate me for this, but I think shopping at TJ (and claiming to like their stuff) is a status symbol. Kind of like shopping at Whole Foods,etc. I go to TJ for weird things I can't find at my regular grocery store, but taste wise my regular grocery store is much better (even if it is a whopping .39 more). TJ taste bland and on many occasions I've found expired products (weird dried potato chip things my daughter wanted to try).

                                                                                                                                                      As for their chocolate that is "so good"...ugggh. It taste like wax. And I'm not a chocolate snob or someone with a Hershey bar palate. The milk chocolate pound plus bar is good for casual eating, but I would never bake with it.

                                                                                                                                                      IMO, it's a people with no defined food budgets trying to show how cool they can be by being frugal (and buying prepackaged meals....).

                                                                                                                                                      Also, the TJ produce goes bad almost the second I leave the store.

                                                                                                                                                      27 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tepidmonkie

                                                                                                                                                        Before I become a regular, my impression of TJs shoppers was completely opposite - people that eat microwave, frozen foods and don't want or know how to cook (this was due to my exposure to people who use TJs solely for this purpose). I did get the sense that they thought they were cool but not sure I thought they were.

                                                                                                                                                        Yes, the produce can be hit or miss but I've pretty good success with certain selections.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                          Does TJ have alot of TV Dinners?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                            They have a lot of frozen meals

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                              Yes. Try some of the frozen Indian or pasta meals or pizzas.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                              From what I've read I do believe my local TJ's (the only experience I have with them) is a smaller store. But my honest assessment is fairly similar to what you describe. I really don't understand the appeal outside the wide variety of fairly unique frozen foods. Mine has -0- fresh or non frozen seasood and their meat and poultry section is fairly limited as well. The pricing on their produce is just not competitive in this area. I have nothing against them but I completely fail to see the vast draw or following the brand has.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                Awww, jr... maybe you're just not crunchy enough?

                                                                                                                                                                I think my local TJ's (Shrewsbury NJ) is same as yours, and I don't find much. There are some good frozen meals, but the Indian stores in Edison have better for my tastes. I do get a few things regularly -- e.g. golden goddess salad dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                The Westfield NJ store has wine and I find worthwhile when in that area.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                  Crunchy? Lol..........

                                                                                                                                                                  You are correct that is my local TJ's and I did lie, I will go there for fresh cut flowers, (when stopping at the Staples next door). Their prices on fresh cut flowrs are very good.

                                                                                                                                                                  Perhaps I'll check their prices on dairy and nuts next time I'm there since both fldhky and Lingua are suggesting, but again I really don't see this cult-ish following. (I've had their TJ's raisin bran it was pretty good!!)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                    I don't see a cultish following either. I must already be brain-washed.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                      You have drank the TJ's cool-aid (more like coffee-aid, it is free coffee they are always giving away isnt it??) Lingua, you will do as The Trader tells you!

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                  I felt the same way but my opinion has changed. I don't eat unique frozen foods from any store so that's not why I go to TJs. They have great prices on eggs, heavy cream, nuts, cheese, certain vegetables that make it worth a trip for me. Not everyone shops there for prepared foods.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                    Yah, I'm pretty much a scratch cook, so most of the frozen dinners/prepared meals from the refrigerated sections don't appeal to me. BUT the prices for dairy products - *especially* cheeses (!!) and indeed, certain vegetables are worth the detour.

                                                                                                                                                                    Plus our TJ's is very near Wegmans, so if I'm there already it's no biggie.

                                                                                                                                                                    There are also a few frozen appetizers that are really quite good for something that is mass-produced - the mushroom turnovers come to mind, the veggie bird's nests, the spanakopita, the mini cilantro chicken wontons.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                    TJ is a specialty store.Sometimes you can find products at TJ that you might have a rough time finding at other stores.Like for instance Tuna in Oil.I never see Tuna in Oil,and when I found out from some nice posters on this thread that TJ carried Tuna in oil I was over the moon.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                      Tuna packed in oil is a decidedly *non-specialty* product that's pretty much available anywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                        I have a hard time finding Tuna packed in Oil.
                                                                                                                                                                        S-Mart advertised some on sale last week.Safeway
                                                                                                                                                                        never has it.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                          My local big box grocery carries at least 4-5 brands, both with the commercial tuna as well as in the "international" sections.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                      jrvedivici - it took me a little while to find the stuff I was interested in but now that I’ve been shopping TJ’s for a few years I’ve found quite a few items I like - that it seems I can’t generally get elsewhere. Most of my ideas of new items to try come from people discussing it on the regular monthly CH thread. I don’t want to eat the same stuff day-after-day, year-after-year which is part of why I love TJ’s.

                                                                                                                                                                      When I make my occasional TJ’s trip I have an ongoing, continually-changing/updated shopping list in my phone so I don’t forget things I might want to buy. For you, I cut out the frozen items I like (there are many) so this part of my list is comparatively short.

                                                                                                                                                                      You may or may not have any interest in the stuff I LIKE, but this is why I like TJ’s as most of these items are not the same quality or taste, or are just not available in general at my regular grocery store options. Just an example in response to your comments. Of course I don’t care whether you shop at Trader Joe’s or not.

                                                                                                                                                                      Meats (fresh):
                                                                                                                                                                      Korean chicken sausage
                                                                                                                                                                      Uncured chicken, nitrate-free hot dogs
                                                                                                                                                                      Smoked Fresh Turkey Kielbasa
                                                                                                                                                                      Ham - spiral-sliced, uncured

                                                                                                                                                                      Cheeses/Fresh/Refrigerated:
                                                                                                                                                                      Raw sauerkraut
                                                                                                                                                                      Handmade Tamales (large pack of 10) only at XMAS
                                                                                                                                                                      Honey Tangerine juice
                                                                                                                                                                      Cilantro jalapeno hummus
                                                                                                                                                                      Goats milk creamy cheese
                                                                                                                                                                      Himmel Bla (blue cheese)
                                                                                                                                                                      Burrata (mozz cheese stuffed with cream)
                                                                                                                                                                      Double-cream Gouda
                                                                                                                                                                      Toscano Cheese soaked in Syrah
                                                                                                                                                                      Melkbus Gouda
                                                                                                                                                                      1000 Day Gouda
                                                                                                                                                                      Unexpected Cheddar
                                                                                                                                                                      Cambozola cheese
                                                                                                                                                                      Le Delice de Bourgogne triple cream soft cheese
                                                                                                                                                                      3-year "Artisan Reserve" extra-sharp cheddar
                                                                                                                                                                      Goat cheese
                                                                                                                                                                      Red Leicester

                                                                                                                                                                      Snacks/Condiments/Grocery:
                                                                                                                                                                      Cashew butter
                                                                                                                                                                      Artichoke hearts in can
                                                                                                                                                                      Steak sauce
                                                                                                                                                                      Carolina gold BBQ sauce
                                                                                                                                                                      Pomegranate vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                      Pane Guttiau "music paper" crackers
                                                                                                                                                                      Garlic salt grinder
                                                                                                                                                                      Salsa Verde
                                                                                                                                                                      Salsa Authentica
                                                                                                                                                                      Toasted seaweed snacks
                                                                                                                                                                      Tortelini w/pesto filling (dried)
                                                                                                                                                                      Thai chili paste (dry, with lemongrass)
                                                                                                                                                                      Instant hot cereal - Multigrain triple berry
                                                                                                                                                                      Spicy Seaweed Ramen soup
                                                                                                                                                                      Dijon Mustard (with white wine)
                                                                                                                                                                      +4 mustard set (for gifts, avail. during holidays)
                                                                                                                                                                      Rice Orzo Pilaf Mix
                                                                                                                                                                      Quinoa Black Bean Chips
                                                                                                                                                                      Corn & Chile tomato-less salsa
                                                                                                                                                                      Mixed berry scone mix
                                                                                                                                                                      Olive oil - California Estate
                                                                                                                                                                      Pita Chip crackers (plain better than wheat)
                                                                                                                                                                      Cashews 50% less salt (bag)
                                                                                                                                                                      Salt & Pepper pistachios
                                                                                                                                                                      Smoked Sardines
                                                                                                                                                                      TJ's Real Mayonnaise
                                                                                                                                                                      Red pepper spread
                                                                                                                                                                      Kalamata olive extra-virgin oil
                                                                                                                                                                      Felafal chips
                                                                                                                                                                      Brown jasmine rice
                                                                                                                                                                      Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil
                                                                                                                                                                      Brioche toasts (crackers like Melba)
                                                                                                                                                                      Canned corn

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Dave B

                                                                                                                                                                        That's interesting you like and purchase so many
                                                                                                                                                                        food items for TJ.I cant wait to get my TJ list
                                                                                                                                                                        going.I have to save room for Safeway ol greedy
                                                                                                                                                                        belly.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dave B

                                                                                                                                                                          Dave, it makes me sad that several of those items have been discontinued.. Such is TJs! Since I find myself agreeing with many of the items on your list, might I suggest you try the frozen artichoke hearts and frozen haricot verts? Although they are frozen, they are minimally processed and a wonderful value.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                            ohmy,

                                                                                                                                                                            We must share a similar enthusiam for TJ's! Since I omitted the frozen portion of my TJ's list you wouldn't know but the frozen artichoke hearts are a regular purchase. It has about 25 items on it including the tamales and the garlic and basil cubes. Thanks for the tip on the haricot verts. I've gandered at the package in the past but haven't tried them yet.

                                                                                                                                                                            I realize some of my 'list' has discontinued items on it. I keep them there in case I get into a discussion with an employee and can ask about them... just in case they have some inside scoop about a returning product. I figure it doesn't hurt to give them feedback that there is an interest in the now missing product :(

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dave B

                                                                                                                                                                              Great list . . . thanks for the insight.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tepidmonkie

                                                                                                                                                                        Your experience of TJ's is totally opposite of mine but you are right that those of us who shop there regularly have a low opinion of people who dismiss it. They are very good about immediately pulling outdated items they've overlooked when it's pointed out to them. I've seen proportionately more outdated and spoiling items in major chain supermarkets than at any of the 3 TJ stores in my orbit.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tepidmonkie

                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, didn't know I was being cool; I thought I just liked the quality of the products, (not all), and the pricees. The wine selection, (NOT CHAS. SHAW) is very good for the price. Wow!! I am now COOL too!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tepidmonkie

                                                                                                                                                                            You are, of course, entitled to your (interesting) characterization of millions of shoppers who are - for one reason or another - happy to shop at TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                            That doesn't mean you are correct, nor does it mean that any of these happy TJ shoppers give a shit.

                                                                                                                                                                            I really don't understand why anyone would care where anyone else does their shopping.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tepidmonkie

                                                                                                                                                                              why would you bake with anything less than valrhona?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                Thx I will take the Valrhona Carmel Candy Bar.I have some bars of white chocolate in the freezer now.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. What are your favorite Teas at TJ?I purchased some Organic
                                                                                                                                                                              Camomile Herb Tea.I think I will have a cup this morning and
                                                                                                                                                                              add it to my shopping list on the next shopping trip.

                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                I really like the white pomegranate tea. Many others like the Yogi ginger tea.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                  Say what!White Pomegranate tea?Pomegranates are red.Is the inside of the Pomegranate being used?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                    It's a "white tea" (as in white, green, black tea varieties) with pomegranate

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                      I am trying to imagine what Black Tea taste like.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Well the only way to know is to grab a box at TJ.Who all likes Black Tea?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                        Black tea is "regular" tea. English breakfast, Earl Grey, Lipton are all black teas.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cookie monster

                                                                                                                                                                                          No kidding Lipton is black Tea?It doesn't look
                                                                                                                                                                                          black to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Does TJ sell two hole chickens in the pack?Boy have I got some good dinner ideas for those chickens.

                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                    Two chicken in one pack? They sell one chicken in one pack.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, some of their chickens have two holes, some not.

                                                                                                                                                                                      By the way, have you ever actually been in a TJ?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: puzzler

                                                                                                                                                                                        As a matter of fact yes I have been to TJ.The last time I went I picked up some of my favorite shreaded Collard greens some Kara Kara Oranges and some Organic Camomile and herb tea.I wasn't looking for Chickens at that time.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                        I hesitate to ask.....but what the hell is a Two hole Chicken? Did you mean Whole?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                            yes Whole chicken.Please excuse the typo.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I cant wait until my next shopping trip to TJ.I run a $20-30 budget while shopping there.I have to save the rest for ol greedy Safeway.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. A note pertaining to the statement about Trader Joes Frosted Flakes.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Nowhere on the Cereal box did it say that these Corn Flakes were a product of Kellogs.The Cereal is a product of Germany.Please lets have food discussion fun not a battle ground about diets and what Company is making products under another Company.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                              Smiley,
                                                                                                                                                                                              If the frosted flakes are a product of Germany, does it state on the label if the sugar is made from sugar cane grown in Germany? I hope it is not Chinese or Russian sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                                                                                The label doesn't state where the Sugar Cane is grown.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Thx FooDee Manteca is a ways from Stockton.I feel like I am living out in the boondocks.

                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                                There seem to be other discount groceries in the area -
                                                                                                                                                                                                Food 4 less and Smart & Final to name a couple. There is also a Costco if you want to go the membership route.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FoodDee

                                                                                                                                                                                                  There is a really nice Smart&Final on Hammer Lane in Stockton,CA.Across from it is a Food 4 Less.I didn't know Food 4 less had their own Chinese Express Restaurants.I was thinking about getting a Costco Membership.Costco is alright for somethings but you don't really get any variety.Do you live in Stockton?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                                    No I don't - just good at looking stuff up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FoodDee

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I took a look in S-Mart grocery store on March Ln.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pretty nice store.I had a problem with the size of
                                                                                                                                                                                                      those bone in chuck Roast.Those must be single person roast.That Roast would shrink up so fast once cooked until I wouldn't recognize it.Does TJ sell 7 bone Chuck Roast?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am going to check out TJ in Stockton,CA.Next week. Is TJ owned by Safeway?Probably not since one poster mention TJ started in Germany.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I have this strange taste for Sardines.I read Sardines can be served with eggs.I said what the heck.Why I have never known anything but eating Sardines on some crackers straight from the can.My shopping cart maybe filled up with Sardines,Yellow Fin Tuna in Olive oil and those shreaded collard greens.TJ sure nows how to suck me in like a current.

                                                                                                                                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also good mashed with avocado and pickled onions

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thx for the idea fldhkybnva.I should try the mashed Avocado on and pickled onions on the Sardines.I have only eaten Avocado one way and that is in dip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                      There is a wonderful thread titled the 7 things
                                                                                                                                                                                                      to do with canned Sardines.That thread is loaded with wonderful creative ideas that keep me a hankering for more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This thread is like a bad accident -- I can't help but keep looking at it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Smiley881, I think perhaps you don't understand how the Chow boards work. This isn't a chat board, where you come to ask people how their morning is. This is a message board for Chowhounds to discuss food related things. It's for serious foodies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think the reason that people are getting frustrated is because you keep posting things that don't make sense and/or you keep posting the same things over and over again. You started this thread to complain that Trader Joes oranges are too expensive, yet you bought them anyway. If you want to know if Trader Joes sells sardines, go there or call them. If you want to know what meat they carry, go there and see what they have. All Trader Joes carry different items in the sense that they have regional providers for products. I saw someone's TJs carries fresh haddock -- mine doesn't. You keep posting over and over and over again that you live in Stockton, CA. We know -- you've mentioned it about 10 times on this thread alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you want to have a serious conversation about food, restaurants, cookware, etc, then by all means, please stay and contribute to the conversation. But if you want to say "good morning, I'm drinking tea" and discuss Sizzler, koolaid and fruit cups (which are listed as your favorites in your profile), then you may be better off looking for a more casual food related board instead of this one where people are very serious about food matters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Trader Joes isn't for everyone. If it doesn't fit your lifestyle and the way you eat (and it sounds like it doesn't), then it may not be the right place for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                                                                                                                        When I mentioned I lived in Stockton,CA.The last time I believe I was responding to a poster.Now if you didn't like the response then I dont know what to say.I am mentioning foods that are related to TJ.If you find this thread displeasing then there are other threads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just don't expect anyone to keep responding to non sequiturs and non-questions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Including this post I'm replying to, you've mentioned that you are in Stockton, CA 11 times. So it was 10 times when I posted my post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, I counted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                                                                                                                              My mention of Stockton of of the times was clarifying something to one of the posters.The other time I was talking about Grocery stores.If it is not a reply to you then don't worry about it.I try to keep topics refreshed on this thread.I don't want topics of TJ getting stale.I think alot of posters are use to the OP never refreshing topics.The post just gets old and abandoned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                                                You refresh this thread with your diary posts, this is not your diary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Except that's exactly how it's being used, and I was taught it's wrong to read someone else's diary.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Time to unclick the gold star, no?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But it's so entertaining. Like boogiebaby said "a bad accident."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This thread talks about Products at TJ.Posters don't know anymore about me than what I tell them.Now my focus is on TJ.Others insist on beating a dead horse.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Some posters must be searching for a diary or else they would stick to the subject of food.If you cannot have a peaceful discussion please leave.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one who is utterly confused yet grossly fascinated!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Agreed! I thought I might be the only one. Thank you, boogiebaby, for voicing my thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Has anyone had TJ Wheat Crisp baked Wheat Crackers?I was
                                                                                                                                                                                                            just introduced to these yummy tidbits today.I have to admit I couldn't stop eating them.These crackers will make a good night snack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Boy Chowhound has some really good sounding recipes.I am ready to pick a recipe from the hat and fill my TJ shopping cart up with the ingredients to do some good cooking.Take a look at my blog and recipe picks.Please leave a comment if interested.Tell me what recipes you are going to stake out the Ingredients for on your next trip to TJ.chowhound.chow.com/boards/94chowhound.chow.com/boards/94chowhound.chow.com/boards/94

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Here in NY, I'd say there is as much tuna packed in oil as in water. Imported ones, and also all the major brands like Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea and etc. Maybe it's different where you are?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It seems as if Tuna packed in Oil is a rare at certain stores like
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Safeway and some others.Stores like Safeway use to carry Tuna in Oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a lot.Now I see Tuna packed in water.I am anxious to grab some cans of different kinds of Tuna at TJ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I sure hope Tuna goes well with these three boxes of TJ Brand Wheat crackers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. What are your favorite Cereals from TJ?One of my favorites is the Frosted Flakes.I saw some good looking Granola cereal with fruit.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Has anyone tried TJ Black Mango Tea?I am going to put that tea on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    my shopping list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. This past monday I finally went on a shopping trip to TJ.I picked up a delicious looking PineApple to make PineApple shakes.I also picked up two cans of Tuna.One can was YellowFin Tuna in Olive Oil.The other was Albacore Tuna in Water.I also picked up two cans of Smoked Trout along with a can of Halibut.Now does anyone have any knowledge about the kind of Canola Oil that the Smoked Trout and Halibut Fillet is packed in?I hope its not hydrogenated oil.Ah rats no shreaded Collard Greens.Oh well I have to catch those on the next shopping trip.I also purchased some Black Mango Tea.I can't wait to try a cup of that.The weather is rather warm for tea right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Does it say hydrogenated? If no, then it's not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The ingredients on the can didn't say it was either or.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Does anyone have any suggestions for cooking these Mushrooms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I purchased?I really don't want to end up with instant Mushroom soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If it does not say "hydrogenated canola oil" then it is not hydrogenated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Saute them, serve them with chicken or steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I really found the smoked Trout to be delicious.I sauteed the Trout and served it with Steak,Broccoli
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and Potato Salad.I am going to have to take tips from you more often.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really think fldhkybriva meant for you to saute the mushrooms to serve with the steak. Glad you enjoyed the trout but that sounds weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FoodDee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That Smoked Trout was really to die for.I sauteed the trout by its self.Then I sauteed the Mushrooms to serve on top of the Steak.I am certainly riding on the TJ train now.I can't wait until my next shopping trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You mean the smoked trout in the blue tin? There is no need to sauté it-- or cook it at all...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was thinking the one packaged in plastic near the smoked salmon and cheeses. I was wondering myself why someone would sauté it......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I got the tip to Saute the trout from a poster.The poster told me the Saute trout went well with Steak or Chicken.It sounded like the poster just wanted the trout hot along with the rest of the dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Smiley881

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No! The poster told you to saute the mushrooms to serve with steak or chicken after you asked "Does anyone have any suggestions for cooking these Mushrooms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I purchased?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. There are a Safeway and Trader Joes with in a block of each other near where I live. Generally shop at Safeway because of the sales but I love those getting semifreddi's super garlic croutons from Tader Joes. They have more organic produce options then Safeway and a great selection of prepared foods that makes eating good simple :D A and natural foods and not burn as big of hole in my wallet compared to say Whole Foods. With that said, why compare to Trader Joes to Pak n Save? If someones looking for great prices, I recommend The grocery outlet. Always there when I need to buy in bulk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: amerofculinary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There is a TJ in the same shopping Center as Safeway.This Safeway I shop at has a huge selection of Organic Vegetables.I haven't seen a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Safeway with such a large selection of Organics before.I was trying to keep from drowning with the price of $3.75 lb for Organic grapes.I just chose the regular grapes for $1.99 lb which was more like it.TJ was the star of the show for the Pineapple.I checked the gorgeous fruit out for firmness and said ok you have officially found a home.My stomach is waiting for you.