I’ve pretty much shopped them all, on the East Coast, that is! There are very few I haven’t stepped foot in, minus the non-chain ones.
Hands Down, my favorite…
The closest TJ’s to my house is about 40 minutes away, which is worth the once a month trip. When gas prices soared, I opted for a closer option.
I get to shop there when visiting all my children. All of them shop there too! They got me started 😉 Plus, when I visit my Dad or Daughter, there is one I can stop at on my way home. My cooler stays in the trunk, need I say?
I like Costco and BJ’s, but now that I’m only buying for two, the quantities are too much. Living in my smaller house, with no extra frig, greatly diminishes what I can purchase at warehouse stores.
For the last 35+ years, I’ve lived with an extra frig in the basement or garage. I never had to think about how much I was buying. Now, I have to monitor myself; change comes slow.
Aldi comes in second, because it is far more accessible. Trader Joe’s and Aldi are similar. Their floor space is compact and they carry a lot of their own brand. If you are a shopper who wants 20 kinds of canned corn, these stores will frustrate you!
They both carry just about everything, but often in just one brand, so shelf space is well used. I passed some things over the first few times, but I’m used to it now.
Trader Joe’s has a much larger selection than Aldi. They don’t have that aisle of non-grocery items, which is fine by me. Their freezer and refrigerated section are much bigger. Their own brand is fabulous. I can’t recall not liking anything. Also, if you have diet concerns: gluten-free, dairy free, etc., you will find lots of options!
One of my top favs…
At the front of every store is a happy place! Plants and flowers line the pathway like petals on a wedding aisle! The selection is unbelievable for such a small space and seasonal. It looks different every time I go, in the very best way. If you need fresh flowers or plants, it will not disappoint!
Prices compete with Aldi and are cheaper than bigger chain groceries.
Produce is high quality and abundant. I have my cart half full by the time I leave the produce section. It’s usually right after the flowers as you walk in. Fruits and vegetables catch my eye … causing me to eat a larger variety than when I shop at other stores. The compact nature of the items puts more possibilities in eyesight, benefiting me. I see things I haven’t had in a while and/or want to try, spurring on my menu. Items plop onto the week’s lineup on the spot; not my normal grocery experience.
Have I mentioned I really don’t like grocery shopping? I’ve tired of it over the years! Trader Joe’s puts a pep in my step; gives me a want to. I can’t explain it, it just happens!
Their seasonal items are plentiful and a delightful change to the “same old, same old”. In the fall, it is pumpkin headquarters!! Yum!! During the holidays, lots of appetizers arrive in the frozen section. You can host an entire party from one aisle! Some appetizers are year round, but plan a trip for the holidays if a store is not near you.
Trader Joe’s is not everywhere and maybe that is part of the appeal. Large population centers/cities will have one or more, but you won’t find them in smaller towns. They have a formula and it works for them. Their stores are busy, but not obnoxiously so. I have found if you head there in the afternoon, it seems slower.
Their customer service is stellar! They’ll open all the registers if need be! I have rarely been in a line longer than two people in front of me, even with a full store! There is NO self checkout! They have the nicest employees!
Yesterday, as I was checking out, a large storm blew in with a pelting downpour! As the cashier was bagging my groceries, he said, “It’s okay Mam, just go hang out in the flowers till the rain lessens. It’ll make you happy!” What a pleasant thought! He didn’t have to say anything to me, but he communicated care, concern, and thoughtfulness in those few words!
I’m telling you, it’s hard to find something wrong with this place!
Here are a few of my favorite products:
What’s your favorite grocery store?
Have you tried Trader Joe’s?
Here’s a few more pics if you’ve never been there:
“Take some time to hang out among the plants and flowers this week. It’ll make you happy!”
Thank you kind Trader Joe’s man!
Trader Joe’s Happy,