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Aug 14, 2014 10:52 PM

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!


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: 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

                            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.

                1. 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.

                            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


                                    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: 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;)

                                                  1. 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.


                                              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


                                                  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.