My first visit to Trader Joe’s

In my previous post, I mentioned that a Trader Joe’s store has finally come to Kentucky!

Well, there was no way I was going on opening day or even the weekend because I knew it would be crazy busy. I went today around 4:00 and while the parking lot was crowded and there were plenty of people in the store, it was easy to get around and I didn’t have to wait in line but for a few minutes to check out. I went up and down every aisle and was there less than an hour. Score!

So what did I get?

  • Diet root beer (6-pack)
  • Roasted veggie no cheese pizza
  • Strawberry and peach soy yogurt
  • Non dairy creamer (for Josh)
  • Edamame with red chile and garlic (so excited to try this!)
  • Frozen veg panang curry with rice
  • Chipotle pepper hummus
  • Tempeh
  • Veg soy chorizo
  • Masala veggie burgers (4-pack)
  • Twin pack of sprouted tofu

Now for the really shocking part. How much did all of this cost me? I would have expected much more than $26!!!

Granted, I only got stuff for me this time and didn’t happen to need any produce but I still can’t imagine ever spending more than $50 here in a single trip. I would bet that the same stuff above at Whole Foods or another grocery store would have run me more like $40. I was happy.

A couple of things worth noting: the roasted vegetable pizza was the most expensive thing on my receipt at $4.29. The Amy’s roasted veggie pizza I usually buy which is almost identical is $6.49 and that’s at Kroger where it seems to be the cheapest. On the down side, I didn’t realize it until I got home and drank one that the Hansen’s diet soda contains Splenda. Stevia is the only “artificial” sweetener I like to use but I guess even that has some drawbacks. Still, I won’t buy those diet root beers again.

I wasn’t going to but since I was already there, I decided I might as well stop into the wine shop and see what was up. It was really small but they had a great selection, many “Available only at Trader Joe’s” wines and while they did have an expensive section, most were well under $10. I decided it was time I met this Chuck guy everyone talks about.

I got the two above bottles plus a nifty little Trader Joe’s wine carrying bag for $7. Yep, I guess that’s why they call it Two Buck Chuck. I tried half a glass of Shiraz tonight and it was just as tasty as one I would have paid a lot more than $2.99 for. I foresee some Christmas presents coming ;)

A lot of my friend’s don’t get the hype over TJ’s and think the last thing Louisville needs is another grocery store and another store on Shelbyville Road at that — the place is already known for horrific traffic at certain times of the day. Also, a few friends were turned off by the packaging of produce — many items are already placed in plastic containers or bags. I can see their point, but at the same time, having exactly 1 lb of organic grapes in a container seems like a time and cost-saver to me.

I found a couple of articles about the store to be really interesting. First, The Best and Worst Products at Trader Joe’s  — I need to go back for the falafel and veggie burritos, definitely! Another, a local article entitled Seven Things That Make Trader Joe’s Different, pointed out some things about this store I can really appreciate. No sales, no coupons. You will always know how much everything costs and how much you would spend. I can dig that.

What do you think? Do you have a Trader Joe’s in your area? What do you like/dislike about it?

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About Sarah Frankel

I am 29 years old and a resident of Louisville, Kentucky. I've been married to my husband Josh for 6 years and we have a 5 year old beagle named Suzie. Four years ago, I changed my eating and exercise habits, dropping 70 pounds and gaining an entirely new life. I took up running in September 2007 and became vegan in October 2009. I am constantly striving to improve my life so that I can live it to the fullest! I hope you will join me on my life journey.

Posted on October 31, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I am sooo in love with all of your shopping and wished I had even half of those options. Vegie chorizo…yum!!

  2. I’m still on the fence about TJ’s. I’ve only shopped there one time, maybe six years ago and it was cool, but I’m very skeptical about their business practices. TJ seems very secretive about where their products come from. I also heard a rumor – which could be completely false – that many TJ products have been rejected by the Euro version of the FDA and can be sold in US because our standards aren’t as strict. Also not sure why TJ feels the need to sell brand name items, like Amy’s products, under the TJ name. Why not just sell Amy’s pizzas at 4.29 instead of making them repackage it?

    That being said, I could still be swayed. I just prefer Whole Foods and farmer’s markets.

    • Thanks for your feedback, love the name of your blog! My husband calls our basement the Man Cave, ha ha. Yeah that bothers me too about a lot of “store brand” stuff. It’s the same thing, why can’t you just sell the name brands cheaper and not make something your own? I’m not sure how that works. I definitely prefer Farmers Markets for produce and Whole Foods has a much wider selection of things. But I guess I have been swayed a little bit ;)

  3. Woohooo you finally made it!!! I heart TJ so much =)…I need to make you a list of all my fave things hahaha,

  4. I love Trader Joes! By far one of my favorite stores. I’ve never seen that veggie pizza before, but it looks good, I’ll have to keep my eye out for it next time!

  5. I am with you on TJ’s prices. I am 2 hours away from one at school, but when I return home I stock up on tempeh, which usually runs me $2.89/brick here and is always at least a dollar less at TJ’s. They definitely over-package a lot, but in general the prices are lower, and that is what will keep me coming back. I also recommend the sunflower seed butter, maple syrup, and Prosecco as high-quality bargains!

  6. I love that I can actually afford to purchase something there, as opposed to Whole foods.

  1. Pingback: “Soyrizo” with brown rice and veggies « See Sarah Eat

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