All great brands have a strong personality, and that’s especially true of Trader Joe’s. A trip to the famous grocery store often feels like visiting a friendly and helpful companion who wants to guide you towards delicious meals at affordable costs.
So how you do get the best bang for your buck on your next Trader Joe’s run?
Here’s 11 ways to save money the next time you find yourself at the store.
Get a Copy of the Fearless Flyer
Ah, traditional marketing! For most companies, a printed newsletter may seem like an antiquated thing of the past. But for Trader Joe’s, it’s an essential part of their brand strategy.
Eight times a year, the folks at TJ’s publish The Fearless Flyer. The Victorian-style newsletter keeps customers in the loop with seasonal food items, and also highlights the Trader Joe’s classics that are an especially good price.
Pass By the Produce
Need produce? This is ONE place at Trader Joe’s that can send out the danger signals to your wallet. Most of the produce here is priced by pieces and not by weight. So you often end up buying more than you would want in a package, and spending more than you would’ve liked. If you want to save money at Trader Joe’s, keep this in mind when you’re buying fresh veggies – or simply skip the section all together.
Save on Beer and Wine
Ah, the famous Two-Buck Chuck! You can snag a bottle of wine at Trader Joe’s for just $2.99. If you want better quality, you can still find wines for a very affordable price – many of which are just a couple dollars more expense than the Charles Shaw wine.
More of a beer person? TJ’s also offers affordable prices on craft beer.
Enter Money-Saving Contests
Trader Joe’s has money-saving contests that also foster a great community. If you head to their website, you’ll find things like the Strut Your Stuffed Recipe Contest and the Customer Choice Award eagerly awaiting your participation. If you win, you’ll get gift cards to the store.
Sample, Sample, Sample!
What’s a trip to the grocery store without being able to sample the food items?! A boring one. One of the best things about Trader Joe’s is their sampling station, which lets customers taste a bite of the seasonal products that the store has on sale. It’s a great way to get familiar with the products and enjoy a “try before you buy” mentality.
Get Acquainted with Their Return Policy
The Trader Joe’s return policy brings all customers the peace of mind they seek when they’re shopping for products. It’s super generous, and essentially says that you can return anything for a full refund. Whether it’s opened or not – no questions asked.
Bring a Reusable Bag
You can buy a bag at the Trader Joe’s register if necessary. But a great shopping hack is to bring your own. If you spend more than $25 at the store and have a reusable bag with you, you can enter the trader Joe’s raffle and win a $25 gift card.
Look for Coupons by the Manufacturers
Trader Joe’s doesn’t really believe in the world “sale,” because they want their customers to be saving money every day. So don’t expect any store coupons or promotions. However, you can use coupons from manufacturers on non-private-label items.
Have you ever gone to a friend’s house only to find their freezer stuffed to the brim with Trader Joe’s frozen meals that you never knew existed? That’s one of the greatest delights of a trip to the grocery store – their frozen section is brimming with colorful variety! And it isn’t just the prepared meals customers love – it’s the wide selection of frozen veggies that tend to be affordable. Most of these products are private label, which means they won’t break the bank.
If you’ve got a hankering for cheese, Trader Joe’s is the ultimate companion. It sounds weird… But this is the one place that you actually want to go artisan. Their traditional cheeses veer on the more expensive side. But their specialty cheeses are much more affordable than at competitor stores.
What can you expect? Imported cheeses from France, Italy, and Ireland, along with domestic specialties all sit side by side in one of Trader Joe’s most heavenly sections.
Stock up on Non-Perishables
If anyone’s ever recommended that you add Trader Joe’s to your list of regular grocery store runs, this would be one of the reasons why. Their pantry items tend to be cheaper than they are at other mainstay supermarkets. These include items pasta, hot sauce, and nut butter (of which they have many delicious varieties).
It can feel daunting to buy all of these products at once, but over time your bank account will thank you tremendously!
Buy From the Product-Label Trader Joe’s Brand
Of course, you can save money at Trader Joe’s by simply buying their private-label products. These items are almost always cheaper than everything else in the store, and many of them are brand name products that have been repackaged with the private label.
Data Source: businessinsider.com, oregonlive.com