What Are Your Best Tips for Shopping at Trader Joe’s?

published Nov 1, 2013
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Q: I’m new to Trader Joe’s and have been into my local store just once. It doesn’t seem like the place I’d do my regular shopping, but I know TJ has a pretty big fan following, so I thought Kitchn readers would be a good crowd to ask for Trader Joe’s shopping tips. What are the days to find the best prices/sales, favorite products, or items to avoid?

Sent by Cheryl

Editor: Cheryl, I actually do about 75% of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s because I don’t mind giving up the option of choosing between various brands in exchange for generally high-quality products at low prices. The only products there that I’m not crazy about are the milk — I find it sometimes goes off before the expiration date — and the produce, which often seems like it’s been sitting around for awhile.

As for the best days to shop, the pricing remains the same from day to day, so look for the days or times when the store is least crowded. My local store is a war zone from Saturday to Monday, so I try to avoid those days.

Readers, what are your best tips for shopping at Trader Joe’s? Your favorite products? Items you avoid?