Are These 12 Items Worth Buying at Trader Joe’s? Maybe, Maybe Not

If you know, you know: Trader Joe’s is a goldmine of unique groceries that have won the hearts of many loyal shoppers.

If you’re visiting Trader Joe’s for the first time, here’s a guide to help you save money and uncover the hidden gems that are worth adding to your shopping list.

1: Frozen Foods

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Many of Trader Joe’s frozen products are reasonably priced compared to mainstream supermarkets. Best of all? You’ll find interesting choices that aren’t as common in other stores, such as roasted cauliflower ravioli and frozen jasmine rice.

2: Cheese Please 

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With dairy prices increasing 15% over a one-year period, many consumers are used to shelling out extra money to buy cheese. If you consider yourself part of this category, try heading to Trader Joe’s to see if you can snag a better deal. You can often even get lower prices on party snack packages, including cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives.

3: Who Needs Peanut Butter?

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If you’re tired of peanut butter sandwiches, Trader Joe’s makes almond butter sandwiches a relatively affordable reality. Taking it one step further, nuts and dried fruit in general is often cheaper at Trader Joe’s compared to other supermarket competitors.

4: Skip the Produce 

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Trader Joe’s has a bit of a reputation for bad produce, with some shoppers citing that their fruits and vegetables rot faster than average. Part of the reason is that Trader Joe’s wraps some of its produce in plastic, although they’re working on this; in 2019, they reduced their plastic-wrapped produce use by 2.5 million pounds.

5: Pick and Choose

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Your wallet might be better off purchasing meat and bakery items at a different grocery store. However, if you’re in the market for delicious and affordable dips and spreads, Trader Joe’s could have your back. Best of all? You can use those dips and spreads to supplement the often budget-friendly convenience foods they sell.

6: Wine About It 

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Wine lovers, listen up. Trader Joe’s could be your new favorite spot for cheap wine. The trick to savings is choosing from the Trader Joe’s wine brand.

7: Odds and Ends

Person writing in a notebook.
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Trader Joe’s has limitations, which new shoppers will realize as soon as they see the store’s relatively small size. A great way to save both time and money at Trader Joe’s once you get a feel for their prices is to make a Trader Joe’s-geared shopping list. Single households may find that they get a better deal on purchases at Trader Joe’s than at larger supermarkets, where items may expire before they can eat them.

8: Fearless Flyer

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Fearless Flyer is Trader Joe’s free subscription offering the latest news about Trader Joe’s products and recipe recommendations. They’ll send the Fearless Flyer straight to your inbox. We recommend signing up to see great deals, but keep this warning in mind: You could end up buying more than you intended with all the great options!

9: Carb Lovers

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Although the price of Trader Joe’s bakery goods can be hit or miss, their bread tends to be priced on par or cheaper than major supermarkets. Top that off with excellent flavor and texture, and in our eyes, they beat many supermarket breads on the market.

10: A Taste of the Mediterranean

Green olives.
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There’s nothing like the real thing in Italy. But if you’re planning to make an Italian meal, you might be able to save significant money by purchasing olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and the like at Trader Joe’s.

11: Pizza Party 

Cheese pizza.
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If you don’t mind putting in a little elbow grease to create a pizza from (almost) scratch, purchasing Trader Joe’s pizza dough is often more economical than many options at other supermarkets. Best of all? The dough has an ultra-fresh taste to it.

12: Saving on Coffee 

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Coffee lovers, rejoice. Trader Joe’s could make getting your first hit of caffeine in the morning both tasty and affordable. So, if you’re trying to kick your expensive Starbucks habit, hitting up the Trader Joe’s coffee aisle could be a great place to start.

Stay Strong

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It’s easy to overspend at Trader Joe’s because of all their unique items. Our recommendation? Make a list of the things you truly need, and include a budget for impulse purchases when you inevitably stumble upon something new you want to try.

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