I’ve been an off- and on-customer of Trader Joe’s for years. The main reason I don’t frequent that grocery store as often as I like is the insane parking lot that every store in my area seems to have. The stores’ lots are just not large enough for it’s popularity making it an obstacle course to park. However, I think I’ve found a hidden gem as new stores are popping up in many neighborhoods near my home, and one of them has a larger parking lot!
Trader Joe’s has been around since 1967 starting out in Pasadena, California. When I was a kid in the early ’80’s, there was one in my neighborhood that my parents would frequent for inexpensive wines and spirits. They slowly grew during the 1980’s and ’90’s, but their popularity really hit it’s peak this millennium with the opening of stores across the nation (including Arizona and the mid-west.) I became a regular shopper in the late ’90’s as there was one within walking distance from my apartment and I didn’t have to fight the parking lot traffic to shop there.
However, once I moved out of that apartment, it just was too much of a hassle finding parking. But…I think I’ve found one I can actually shop and park at!
What’s so great about Trader Joe’s that makes me want to shop there more frequently?
- Their prices. Two large bags of groceries at TJ’s (affectionately known in these parts) can be under $50. At my local grocery store the same items would be closer to $80.
- The quality of their food. Much of their food is organic and isn’t over priced for the quality.
- Great frozen food choices. I’m not much of a cook, so when I’m hungry and Mr. LH isn’t (which is quite often) I can quickly heat up a TJ’s frozen meal that’s healthy and delicious.
- Prepackaged salads. I like salads but if I buy the ingredients and make them myself, the extra stuff often goes bad before I can eat it all. Purchasing smaller, pre-made salads makes more sense. TJ’s has a great variety to choose from.
- Two buck chuck! I’m not much of a wine drinker, but we keep a decent stock of the stuff in our pantry for company. I love TJ’s wine selection and you can’t beat the prices.
It also helps that Trader Joe’s is known for treating their employee’s quite well and more like a family. I’ve never seen a grumpy checker at TJ’s and I can’t say the same at my local chain grocery store (those people really don’t like their jobs based on their facial expressions!)
Are you familiar with Trader Joe’s? Shopped there recently?