Have you heard of Trader Joe’s?


Trader Joe’s describes itself as "your neighborhood grocery store" or "your unique grocery store".  Many of the company’s products are environmentally friendly.  Trader Joe’s maintains low prices by having smaller and plainer stores, using plainer packaging, and carrying a smaller variety of products and getting more turnaround on products they do carry, which enables the purchase of larger quantities of perishable items closer to the expiration date at better prices, knowing that they can be sold within shelf-life parameters.  Individual products are also discontinued more often than at larger grocery chains, due to increased costs, poor sales, or to free up space for new items.  Trader Joe’s sells many items from any of several of its own private labels.  (Source)


I’ve been to a TJ’s before, but the Husband has never been.  He was VERY excited and threw almost everything in the cart!  :)  Everything looked so good and was SO inexpensive. This was the first “real” trip to the grocery store since we moved on June 28, and we only spent $100!



Dinner was TJ’s inspired.


Starting with Biryani Curried Rice Dish – an all-natural Indian rice (every ingredient was REAL food) that I heated up by cooking in the wok. 



Roasted broccoli:


Baked tofu (marinated with Poppyseed salad dressing).


And a vegetable samosa.  These weren’t restaurant-quality, but they were still really delicious. 



While shopping earlier, I had a slice of bread with PB.




Got in a speedwork exercise this afternoon!  Honestly, life has been so crazy that it’s been hard to squeeze in long, quality workouts.  The Speedy 5K training plan is motivating me to do as intense of a workout in as short amount of time.  It works!


  • 800 m warm up
  • 4 * 200 meter sprints at7:30 minute per mile pace / 150 m recovery
  • 2,000 meter cool down at 10:00 –10:30 minute per mile


It all amounted to about 2.5 miles in 23:15 minutes, and afterward, I walked the dogs for 0.75 miles.  The Husband went with me, which was really nice!


After my last speedwork sesh, readers commented that I might want to try shorter sprints (0.25 mile instead of 0.5 mile) and a longer warm-up.  It made a HUGE difference in how I felt.  However, I DO need to start building into more speed sprints to achieve my 5K goals.  All in time, I suppose.


Guess what I’m doing?  Laying on my couch facing television with my Husband, all alone in our new place FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME.  It is perfect.  🙂



  • Layla July 5, 2010, 10:17 pm

    TJ’s is awesome, but some things are hit or miss. Don’t ever buy the frozen chicken breasts – ick! The frozen mango halves are great for smoothies (as are the frozen pineapple tidbits). The apple butter is to die for, the frozen chile rellenos are amazing, and the frozen chicken lime burgers are very good. If you can find their amazing pumpkin whoopie pies in the fall, by all means – BUY SOME!! 🙂

    • Steph July 5, 2010, 11:48 pm

      I always loved the chicken breasts in college.. but that’s because I didn’t own an oven.. just a george foreman grill!

    • Penny July 6, 2010, 10:04 pm

      I recommend the Chicken breast marinated in broth. They don’t look freezer burned and when you cook them up they are still quite moist

      • Layla July 6, 2010, 11:45 pm

        Oh, I’ll try it! The frozen breasts were just so gross when I baked them… the ice glaze/whatever they have them was very white and gooey in the pan. Ick.

  • Megan@EatScrapRun July 5, 2010, 10:18 pm

    It must be so nice to be back home after so much traveling. I love love love Trader Joe’s but as you know, there aren’t any in Florida. Hopefully that changes someday!

  • Sarah for Real July 5, 2010, 10:24 pm

    Awe sounds perfect!

    I have heard of and shopped at TJs but after learning more about just how ‘local’ they are, I don’t think I’ll go back. I blogged about it a while back, it is under the Favorites tab on my blog.

    • caitlin July 5, 2010, 10:26 pm

      They phased out China products though! Well, according to Wikipedia…

      • Sarah for Real July 5, 2010, 10:29 pm

        They won’t let that be verified by a third party, we may never know! I do like how they treat employees and that they minimize packaging. 🙂

  • emily July 5, 2010, 10:26 pm

    Gah, I miss TJs so much!!! I highly HIGHLY recommend the TJ’s Sun Butter, it’s amazing.

    • Jill@MySoCalledHealthLife July 5, 2010, 11:36 pm

      Could not agree more!!!! There sun butter rocks my face off!

      • Corinne (breathe and savor) July 6, 2010, 4:17 pm

        the roasted flaxseed peanut or almond butter. DELISH!

        • Stina @ Girl Can July 7, 2010, 5:08 pm

          The TJs flaxseed PB is my favorite peanut butter EVER. I seriously don’t know what I would do without it now!

  • Kris July 5, 2010, 10:27 pm

    I love Trader Joe’s. I would beg any FL readers to please please bombard TJ’s with email requests to come to FL! Just go to their website and go the contact tab (or whatever it is). We had them in VA and I go there when I’m visiting in MN. They’d be such a huge hit here in FL! Thanks guys!

    • Kelly July 6, 2010, 2:46 pm

      Yes! Please get TJ’s to FL!! I am moving to Pensacola next month and there is no TJ’s or Whole Foods anywhere close. Hopefully, I can find a local chain that has a good natural foods section.

  • Krista @ Can't Survive on Yarn Alone July 5, 2010, 10:31 pm

    I love TJs. We get a ton of stuff from there incl our frozen fish from there and have never been let down.

  • Nancy July 5, 2010, 10:31 pm

    TJ’s is great! Love the $3 wine also!
    Tell me more about your speedwork. Do you go to a track? I find it hard to maintain a faster pace without feeling like I’m sprinting when not on the treadmill. Any suggestions?

    • caitlin July 5, 2010, 10:45 pm

      I think it’s important to learn how to pace yourself outside if you are interested in racing. So I try to set my pace using my Garmin 305 and then concentrate on maintaining an even rhythm. I’ll look down to verify if I’m speeding up too much or slowing down. It’s definitely a skill but I’m learning!

  • Nicole July 5, 2010, 10:35 pm

    Charlotte has pretty good grocery stores: TJs, EarthFare, Home Economist, & Fresh Market. FYI: there is also an awesome, mostly organic farmers market: Atherton Market 2104 South Blvd.

    • Cindi July 6, 2010, 10:52 am

      I LOOOOOOOOVE Home Economist on South Blvd – they have the BEST cold beer selection in town!!!

  • Anne July 5, 2010, 10:35 pm

    I ADORE Trader Joe’s. We don’t have them in TX, but I’ve shopped there in Ohio and Arizona. I have their reusable shopping bags, and people get excited and think we have one here, but alas we do not!! 🙁

  • Mackenzie @ Whatever, Gatsby July 5, 2010, 10:36 pm

    Oh, oh mygod! TJs is and will always be my first love.

    Pretty much hoping I meet my next boyfriend working in a TJs. That way I can get stuff for free 😉 Mwahaha!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman July 5, 2010, 10:36 pm

    I love Trader Joe’s. They generally don’t have as great of a produce selection as Whole Foods, but for dry goods it’s so inexpensive. So, you MUST try horseradish hummus. It’s beyond good.

    • Steph July 5, 2010, 11:49 pm

      I have to reiterate what Tracey says here.. I have only had one good experience with their produce: D’anjou Pears. Avoid like the plague!

  • HTP Dad July 5, 2010, 10:36 pm

    show us the couch!


    • caitlin July 5, 2010, 10:43 pm

      Once we get the rug and pillows!!! LOL

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite July 5, 2010, 10:38 pm

    Trader Joes’ is one of my favorite stores! So glad your hubby got to enjoy it 🙂

    Enjoy your relaxing evening!

  • Carrie @ TV and Dinners July 5, 2010, 10:41 pm

    I love Trader Joe’s so, so much. It has such great deals on healthy staples like nuts, tofu, frozen fruit and veggies, etc. They have some really tasty nut butters as well.

    Just wait until the first thing you really love gets discontinued. I still mourn the loss of Salsa Especial. *tear*

    • Laine @ Beets, Butter & Moutaintops July 6, 2010, 9:33 am

      Yup, they are notorious for getting rid of things I love. Like the frozen uncooked shrimp in the size I liked.

    • Lynne July 6, 2010, 11:20 am

      Agreed! I’m still unhappy about the Cashew Butter they discontinued…it was the best!

    • Lauren July 6, 2010, 11:26 am

      they still have the salsa especial at my TJ’s! i love it so.

    • Steph July 7, 2010, 12:39 am

      They do that with my French Onion Soup (nom nom), but always end up bringing it back.

  • M July 5, 2010, 10:42 pm

    Yes love more pics of your newly purchased apartment stuff…and of the apt! 😉

  • Run Sarah July 5, 2010, 10:43 pm

    I visit TJs every time I go down to the US! I love how cheap everything is. Enjoy your evening with the hubs!

  • Jackie (Peaces of Earth) July 5, 2010, 10:44 pm

    Trader Joe’s is AMAZING! I’m so glad that your life is finally settling down. It must feel so good!

  • Mindy July 5, 2010, 10:45 pm

    Love, love, love TJs. I don’t have one near me (the closest is two hours away), but you can be sure that every time I’m nearby, I make a trip! A TJs stop in Chicago is literally the only reason I’m driving to HLS instead of taking the train!!

  • Kath July 5, 2010, 10:46 pm

    I will totally run fast with you next week!!

  • Lauren (Clean Eats in the Dirty South) July 5, 2010, 10:51 pm

    LOVE trader joe’s!! there’s one too close to my house… it needs to be farther away so i stop buying food there! try their meatless meatballs 🙂

  • Camille July 5, 2010, 10:52 pm

    TJs rocks my world! It is my favorite shopping destination, hands down!

  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete July 5, 2010, 10:56 pm

    love, love, love Trader Joes!! I’m so addicted right now since there is one in Albuquerque! My sis is so lucky that she gets to shop there all the time!

  • faith @ gracefulfitness July 5, 2010, 10:57 pm

    I LOVE TJ’s. When I was researching places around N.C. and V.A. to move to I included a search for the closest T.J’s! Not that it was a deciding factor but it helps!
    My latest score was a quart of unsweetened cranberry juice for $3.99 where it’s usually $8!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) July 5, 2010, 11:02 pm

    oooh I wish we had a TJs in Australia!

  • Maria (realfitmama) July 5, 2010, 11:03 pm

    I am in love with TJ’s and do almost ALL of my shopping there! I first found it while living in Portland, OR almost 8 years ago and when we moved to STL was bummed that all I had was Whole Foods. Don’t get me wrong, I love Whole Foods, but DO NOT love Whole Foods prices. TJ’s takes care of that problem for me and when one was built here about 5 years ago I was in heaven all over again!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople July 5, 2010, 11:08 pm

    I’m glad that Portland has TJ’s. I just wish there was one a lot closer to me. But New Seasons has to be my favorite health food store!

  • Cait July 5, 2010, 11:12 pm

    Trader Joe’s is the best!! Try the vegetable panang curry (in the frozen section) – it’s awesome. My friends and I have Trader Joe’s dinner parties (all food and beverage comes from TJ’s). OH – also, try the vinho verde!!

    • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 6, 2010, 11:43 am

      The vegetable panang curry is seriously – SERIOUSLY – restaurant quality!!!

    • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 6, 2010, 11:43 am

      The vegetable panang curry is seriously – SERIOUSLY – restaurant quality!!!

    • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 6, 2010, 11:44 am

      The vegetable panang curry is seriously – SERIOUSLY – restaurant quality!!! Sadly, we haven’t seen it lately! Hope it comes back to our TJ’s! (In Ventura, CA)

  • Natalie July 5, 2010, 11:19 pm

    I want a trader Joe’s SOO SOO bad! I have heard wonderful things about it but there are none close to us : ( Looks delicious though!

  • Kalli@fitandfortysomething July 5, 2010, 11:19 pm

    So glad you enjoyed tj’s and that now you are relaxing in your new home! Enjoy- you too deserve it 🙂

  • Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) July 5, 2010, 11:19 pm

    Oh, I’ve heard of trader joe’s but we don’t have one here so I’ve never been. Hopefully we’ll be taking a day trip up to Cincinnati sometime to visit Trader Joe’s AND Ikea (I’ve never been there either!) I’ve only heard great things about both places =)

  • Kate July 5, 2010, 11:19 pm

    Trader Joe’s is great for cheap, fun food. However, they make a lot of money off creating an illusion of being “eco-friendly” and labor-friendly for self-indulgent consumers who want to feel good about themselves when they shop but who don’t want to deal with the price or effort of actually procuring food in an ethical way. (Which is pretty damn hard to do in the US-no judgment here, I shop there too. I just don’t feel good about myself for doing so.)

    Regarding the social aspects of TJ’s, sure they may treat their employees relatively well, but they also propagate the craze of pre-prepared, pre-sliced food. Which, unfortunately, is sliced and diced by industrial food workers who deal with conditions that aren’t that much better than those working in chicken plants in the south. Vegetable production can be as inhumane as meat production, so everyone out there who is a vegan or vegetarian for ethical reasons should take note. Also, it is absolutely not a leader in honesty or transparency about where their products come from and until recently even sold highly threatened fish species on their shelves.

    Anyways, I shop there occasionally, but I am under no illusion that I’m performing some grand social or environmental deed when I do so.

    • caitlin July 6, 2010, 8:54 am

      Thanks for this comment!! I appreciated it.

    • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 6, 2010, 11:47 am

      Thank you! I had absolutely no idea. The illusion is very strong, there. And it’s good to pay attention to the amount of pre-sliced packaged food, and that the convenience is not necessarily worth the real price. Thanks for reminding us!

    • Lauren July 6, 2010, 1:24 pm

      wow, I had no idea. I’ll have to research this more, thanks for bringing it up.

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) July 5, 2010, 11:34 pm

    I LOVE TJ’s. In fact I live about 1/2 a mile from one and walk to it almost every day 🙂 I refer to it as paradise. I even did a presentation on them. Okay I should stop now…

    • Julie @SavvyEats July 6, 2010, 11:47 am

      At school, I walked to TJ’s ALL the time because it was so close! Sadly, there isn’t one anywhere near Ithaca 🙁

  • Steph July 5, 2010, 11:47 pm

    I love TJs.. the only major thing I wish they would change is the fact that their fish is caught using bad fishing practices. I believe they are also still using GMO products.
    With that said, my favourite things there are the Onion Soup (frozen), Roasted Salsa, Juices (although lead has been found in their apple juice, recently), tamales, frozen fruits and dark chocolate caramels 😉

  • Amy B (Second City Randomness) July 5, 2010, 11:53 pm

    Oh you are going to love being so close to TJ’s! I go at least once or twice a week… this might be borderline obsession…

  • ida July 6, 2010, 12:02 am

    I can’t believe you didn’t have Tjs in FL!! They have some great stuff for sure- the indian veggie burgers are my favorite find so far.
    It must be sooo nice to finally be home and feeling settled in.

  • meg c. July 6, 2010, 12:04 am

    congrats on settling into your new place!
    tips about tj’s – the produce isn’t very good. things i’ve noticed are a GREAT deal at tj’s – eggs, egg whites, yogurt, cheese, cereal, chips, frozen items, peanut butter.

  • Casey @ Insatiably Healthy July 6, 2010, 12:15 am

    TJ’s is just the best! I always get their cheeses, horseradish hummus, roasted corn, and pb pretzels. They have a bunch of items that are “knock offs” of other items you would find in whole foods, like gardein. I love their selection of different faux meat, like their soy chorizo.

    Your fridge looks massive! It looks like it could fit you in it with room to spare. Glad to hear y’all are starting to settle after all of the moving craziness

  • Natalie @ cinnamonbums July 6, 2010, 12:16 am

    hahah i love your husband’s reaction to trader joe’s. growing up in california and having TJ’s be THE place to get all our goods/groceries, i definitely took it for granted until i moved to the east coast for school and realized they were very scarce out there. the one in lower manhattan is absolutely crazy – like half the size of the ones in california but three times as many people.. and the one near my school in cambridge, ma – i have to run a mile to get there! but totally worth it. because TJs = love. im waiting to buy out their stock of winter blend coffee, which is only seasonal!! TJ’s has some really cool special products!

  • Mama Pea July 6, 2010, 12:25 am

    Your life will never be the same. Nor would you ever want it to be.

  • Chelsey July 6, 2010, 12:44 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE trader joe’s – I can assure you your life will be complete from now on. 🙂

  • jenny (green food diaries) July 6, 2010, 2:22 am

    trader joes needs to come to canada.

  • Kaz July 6, 2010, 2:35 am

    What I would give for a TJ’s out here! My favorite store, without a doubt.

  • Wei-Wei July 6, 2010, 2:41 am

    Yay for settling in well! I think TJ’s would be the perfect introduction to any new place – I feel so bad living in China, reading about all the praise sung about Whole Foods and TJ’s… D:


  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs July 6, 2010, 2:48 am

    Wow..Trader Joe’s sounds amazing! I researched it and I think there’s one right near the hotel at the HLS (:P) – I know where I’ll be!!
    I hope you enjoyed your evening 🙂

  • Julia @ Brit Bride July 6, 2010, 5:12 am

    Ahh enjoy your downtime!


  • Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) July 6, 2010, 5:37 am

    Yes! My favorite not-super-healthy offerings there are the honey sesame sticks (painfully addictive) and the Cats cookies. Highly recommend both 🙂 great snacks. And the naan bread with their hummus… and the cornbread… and the prepackaged gnocchi… okay I´m done.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is July 6, 2010, 6:31 am

    I love TJs! I don’t know how we survived before it. 🙂

  • Katherine July 6, 2010, 6:54 am

    I love that place! I am always so proud when I can walk away with a low number on the receipt and a bag full of groceries. Their frozen fruit is really affordable.

  • Stephanie July 6, 2010, 7:24 am

    there are a few things that i like going to TJs for but definitely not their meat (not a prob for you haha) and not their fruit/veg either… they have good wines & cheeses & jarred/canned goods though!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) July 6, 2010, 7:29 am

    Trader Joes is one of my favorite grocery stops. It’s way cheaper than Whole Foods (for most things) and has the best whole wheat sourdough bread and almond butter. I stock up whenever I go. 😀

  • Michele July 6, 2010, 7:31 am

    Oh, TJ’s, how I miss thee so!!! When I lived in Ohio, I went TJ’s at least twice per month. But I moved to Arkansas in January… a land void of TJ’s. Say it’s not so!!! We do have Whole Foods and a place called Fresh Market that I just recently explored (but way too expensive). Now, when I visit Ohio, I stock up on things from TJ’s… most importantly, raw creamy unsalted almond butter!

    I’ve been to one of the Charlotte TJ’s… the one sort of in a little mall with the entrance inside a parking garage. It was a very nice one.

    • Morgan July 6, 2010, 9:58 pm

      Fresh Market is AWESOME-for things like Fish and some meats. They also have a great Cajun Krab (imitation) Dip. SO. GOOD. Especially on their garlic bread things. And, of course, their bread is awesome.

  • Deanna@milestorun July 6, 2010, 7:43 am

    I have never been to TJ’s (we don’t have any locally), but have heard so many good things about it from running blogs. Looks like a fantastic place to shop.

    Loved the advice you got about your sprints. I might try the same thing. I just ran a 4th of July 5K and I would love to be faster.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Babycakes July 6, 2010, 7:46 am

    TJs are everywhere here (Boston area). In fact there is one in walking distance from my house. LOVE it!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday July 6, 2010, 8:17 am

    Welcome home!

  • Kelly July 6, 2010, 8:35 am

    I adore Trader Joes!! We just stopped there this weekend. It sucks though, because it’s about a half an hour away from where we live… so we can only get there once every other month to stock up on pantry items and WINE. Their wine is so good and cheap!!

  • Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries July 6, 2010, 8:39 am

    I don’t have any Trader Joe’s near me!! So unfair. There are a ton in the city (Boston), but none for the suburbia folk! Glad you’re home. You must be thrilled!

    • Corinne (breathe and savor) July 6, 2010, 4:22 pm

      how far are you from framingham or shrewsbury? those are two ‘out of boston’ locations… i think there is one in andover ma too

      • Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries July 6, 2010, 6:10 pm

        Not really…I’m down in Taunton. I COULD go to Framingham as a “fun” trip, but it definitely couldn’t be my normal shopping. Thanks for the advice though!

        • Stephanie July 7, 2010, 11:43 am

          There’s one in Warwick now. I’m in Attleboro (though I work in downtown Boston), and the Warwick one is pretty easy to get to.

  • Sarah July 6, 2010, 8:52 am

    Trader Joes has amazing vegetable samosa veggie burgers!! And their premade pizzas in the refrigerator section… my roommates and I buy so many at a time and then stick them in the freezer until we’re ready to eat them. So good, and so easy. It’s also an awesome place to get big bags of organic spinach, and fruits like watermelon or cateloupe… but I agree with people that it’s more “miss” than “hit” on most fruits and some veggies (other than basics like broc and baby carrots).

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) July 6, 2010, 8:56 am

    i squealed the first time I went to a trader joes! Even though one isn’t near me, everytime I’m on vacation I make sure I go to one to stock up on goods!

  • lisasfoods July 6, 2010, 9:03 am

    Trader Joe’s is pretty great, and they have certain products that I love and almost always pick up there. (Like their sunflower seed butter, citrus shampoo and conditioner, and fair trade chocolate. And their cheeses are so inexpensive!)

    The only trouble I have there is that most of their products are processed. The small amount of fresh foods they offer is limiting, so I find myself only going to TJ’s every few months to stock up on some favorite items.

  • kirsten July 6, 2010, 9:29 am

    For the most part, I love TJ’s but as some other commenters mentioned I do not like their produce, especially the fruit. My favorite thing from there is their frozen brown rice! It tastes great and is so easy when I am making lunch to take to work.

  • Nikky July 6, 2010, 9:32 am

    Just a small tip: Trader Joe’s is owned by the same company that owns the Aldi stores, which at least around here are SUPER cheap stores of the “bring your own bag or use a box” type. Not all the stuff is the same, but a lot of the cereals and things like that at Trader Joes you can buy at Aldi for around $1.50 a box.

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place July 6, 2010, 9:38 am

    I had no idea trader joe’s was inexpensive! I always thought it was wayyy pricey like whole foods. Are the prices better than WF?

    • caitlin July 6, 2010, 10:56 am

      everything is better priced than WF!

      • Morgan July 6, 2010, 10:00 pm

        In NYC, WF is the cheapest (aside from TJ’s). TJ’s is always too picked over and crowded for any type of shopping.

  • Rachel S July 6, 2010, 10:18 am

    Love TJ’s Mediterranean hummus, pumpkin butter(in the fall of course), and I second everyone else on the sunflower seed butter…amazing stuff!

  • Erin July 6, 2010, 10:19 am

    I must be an anomaly who doesn’t understand the Trader Joe’s love. I have one that shares a parking lot with my gym (1.5 miles from my house) and I hardly ever go there. They don’t carry enough selection and I don’t think their prices are THAT much cheaper than any other grocery store in my area. There’s no way I could do all my grocery shopping there and I’m one of those people who hates to go to multiple places for groceries. All that said, the apples they carry taste way better than the ones at my regular grocery store.

  • Effie July 6, 2010, 10:26 am

    They also have really inexpensive wine and it’s usually really good too.

  • Candy July 6, 2010, 10:36 am

    Is it selfish of me that I love the fact that you moved to my area in NC??!! I can’t wait to try all the things you post on your blog…which I LOVE! Thanks Caitlin.

    • caitlin July 6, 2010, 10:56 am

      hehe no. where do you live?

      • Candy July 7, 2010, 10:18 am

        About 20 minutes north of Charlotte. I’m emabarrassed to say, we haven’t explored it as much as I would like (we moved here from NY four years ago). I’m excited to see the city through your adventures.
        Have you checked out any upcoming races? Rock & Run 5k looks fun…comes with a concert. 🙂

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing July 6, 2010, 10:38 am

    I am not the biggest fan of Trader Joes…
    Where I live in DC, TJs is the only grocery store nearby. None of us have cars since we live and work downtown so for grocery shopping we’re pretty forced to shop there! It is always INSANELY busy and running low on most everything. Often you can only buy produce prepackaged which means that I always end up with 3 of something when I only want 1 and often at least one piece is rotting. I just wish they’d offer less packaged foods of all kinds and more fresh options!

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter July 6, 2010, 10:40 am

    I LOVE TJ’S! This post made me smile so much. I always wondered how they kept their prices so low.

    Yayy for being in your new house. Rest up Caitlin!

  • Jessie (Bites and Pieces) July 6, 2010, 11:00 am

    TJ’s is the best! I SO wish there was one in Florida. My life would be complete!

  • LadyLara July 6, 2010, 11:12 am

    Aghh I’m obsessed with TJ’s. I work a block from one so I load up my backpack and bike it home, probably twice a week. At one point I was the mayor on foursquare (pats self on back).

    The catch for me is to remind myself prepackaged junk is still probably junk, so I try to limit the fun snacks. Because they are everywhere!

  • Lisa (I'm an Okie) July 6, 2010, 11:12 am

    I wish we had a Trader Joe’s. Boring. We dont even have a Whole Foods yet, but will be getting that within the year!

  • Carly (Swim, Run, Om) July 6, 2010, 11:17 am

    I miss Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. We do have a Fresh Market nearby, which I haven’t been to yet. Maybe in a week or so! (It’s about 45 minutes away, so I have to plan my trips there accordingly.)

  • Heather July 6, 2010, 11:28 am

    we dont have TJ’s here.

    I love speedwork, good job!

  • Cathy July 6, 2010, 11:39 am

    I agree, the produce at TJs generally sucks (except for those D’anjou pears and the yellow nectarines) and the ketchup tastes terrible, but everything else in the store is uhhhmazinggg.

    • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 6, 2010, 11:48 am

      That’s hilarious, because I always rave about the organic ketchup. I love it because it never has gross water buildup. I wonder if I have weird ketchup taste buds. 🙂

      • Suzanne July 6, 2010, 3:40 pm

        I think the ketchup is fantastic too. So does my husband. In fact, he told me that’s where we have to buy it from now on because it’s so much better. I agree.

  • Tammy July 6, 2010, 11:50 am

    I’ve never been, but some of the stuff I’ve heard (aka favorite items of friends) sound good. My friend Kristen and I refer to Whole Foods as “Whole Paycheck”….obviously, because they are way overpriced. Once in a while, if they have a good sale or coupons, it’s decent….but I go once a month MAYBE, just to get much loved items I can’t find anywhere else.

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) July 6, 2010, 11:54 am

    I was in Trader Joe’s once in NY and the line-up was SO long! It was probably a half an hour wait, and there was no way I was going to wait that long when there was things to do and see in NY!!!! I hope I get to go to a TJs again in a less busy city.

  • Lisa July 6, 2010, 12:13 pm

    I’m a huge TJ’s fan. I buy the bulk of my frozen and prepackaged foods there because the veggies and fruit aren’t good deals. The wine is good. And I try to buy one thing that I’ve never tried before at each visit. Last time it was quinoa and I loved it!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 6, 2010, 12:30 pm

    I wish we had TJs here in Canada!

  • Cat July 6, 2010, 12:36 pm

    I agree with all the comments about the not so savory parts of TJs. The pre-packaged produce weirds me out because it’s wasteful and leaves you with extras you may not use. I also like all the snacks and prepackages entrees but they are way overly processed and a lot of them pack a caloric punch. I live in San Francisco, so I have 3 within a few miles of me and these days I only go there every other month or so to grab nut butters, canned soup (love the lentil and veggie chili) and maybe wine. I’d rather KNOW that I’m spending my money locally on my food, but sometimes the prices at TJs are too good to pass up! Esp. on nut butters!

    Also, I worked at Trader Joe’s for about 6 months! It was when I first graduated college and newly living in San Francisco (about 6 years ago). I wouldn’t say that I felt like I was treated particularly well — their scheduling practices were odd so I was pretty much working 15 hours a week for about $10/hour. They have “full-timers” which are basically managers and EVERYONE else is a “part-timer”, which gives them the power to drastically cut hours willy-nilly and to get on their insurance you had to jump through some serious hoops. I don’t really feel like I was there long enough to have a solid opinion, but I did make friends who still work there and love it and are very well taken care of. Though the full-timers also have to deal with some pretty crazy work schedules and are required to be willing to move to another store at a moments notice.

  • OurDogBuffy July 6, 2010, 12:49 pm

    I LOVE TJ’s! (and Whole Foods and The Fresh Market!) We have a Martin’s now too instead of our beloved local grocery store, Ukrop’s but we’re coping. I still like TJ and WF and FM better anyway!

  • Katherine July 6, 2010, 1:23 pm

    I love Trader Joes. When I first moved to California I was shopping at Ralphs (which is affiliated with Kroger) and when I switched to TJ’s I saved so much money. One gripe is that you can’t buy loose onions etc at my TJ which is annoying but I’ve started buying all my produce at farmers markets which has helped a lot. I love traders, but sometime I really just want one onion, not a whole bag.

  • Sarah W. July 6, 2010, 1:45 pm

    I like TJ’s for their cheap beer/wine (we live in VA), snacks, processed cheese spread (hubby’s must have), and some other random simmer sauces, frozen brown rice, frozen oatmeal, etc.

    I HATE their produce section b/c of the execessive pkging and the stuff doesnt last more than 3 days.

    I generally hit up wegmans for my actual weekly groceries and hit up TJ’s in between once or twice a month for hubby’s snacks/beer/wine.

    they also have a good deal on 4 avocados!

  • eatingRD July 6, 2010, 2:12 pm

    I think the consensus is a love for TJ’s and I’m on that wagon for sure. Everything is really reasonable, especially when I don’t get the pre-prepared meals which can be hard to avoid! I love their nut selections and always get great produce. Just wish they had kale and wallaby yogurt.

  • Catherine July 6, 2010, 2:40 pm

    I love TJ’s I know they aren’t perfect, but I do think that for the most part they attempt to do the very best they can to offer local produce, and keep the packaging to a minimum. I know they’re great to their employees, and everything is so affordable! I haven’t had any problems with their produce, so far, but I know sometimes the selection leaves a bit to be desired.

  • Heather July 6, 2010, 3:28 pm

    I like TJ’s, they always have something new and different to try out, and I love variety!

  • Amanda July 6, 2010, 4:09 pm

    I would LOVE to have a Trader Joe’s near me, but the few that I’ve been to (always while traveling) have some great items, but is never a one-stop shopping experience for me. They have some great items and some great buys, but they’re just not as complete as, say, Whole Foods or some other larger health food store, or even certain chains (like Publix, Sweetbay, or Hy-Vee). It really just depends.

  • charise July 6, 2010, 4:29 pm

    TJ’s is part of my weekly shopping trip – I try to do most of our shopping at the farmer’s market and a local grocery store, but then stop there and WF’s for a few staples. I agree the meat and fresh produce aren’t great, but in general, the dry goods/nonperishables, frozen produce, and some of the frozen snacks/meals are tasty, a good deal, and convenient. Also, the cheese!

    I know it is not local and not always ethical, but in general the products are at least more “natural” than the equivalents at the regular grocery for things I can’t get at the farmer’s market.

    Plus, most of us are obviously working on budgets too, and TJ’s can help with that when we are spending more money on our remaining local/organic/ethical food purchases!

  • Samantha July 6, 2010, 5:17 pm

    I miss TJ’s so bad! When we lived in Ann Arbor we were 5 miles from TJ’s and Whole Foods. Now we have rarely fresh, slim pickin’s produce. But I guess when it’s getting shipped in from halfway around the world…LOL

    My kids loved the chocolate covered edamame!

  • Lora July 6, 2010, 5:57 pm

    I’m surrounded by Trader Joe’s in Phoenix, and am a big fan of their Veggie Masala burgers. My kids love shopping there too, with their mini shopping carts, balloons and stickers.

    But I definitely stick to my local co-op for produce.

  • Kristin@MissOnMyOwn July 6, 2010, 6:13 pm

    I do like some things at trader Joe’s but their foods are really high in sodium. Take a look!

  • Rebecca @ How the Cookie's Crumble July 6, 2010, 6:25 pm

    I love TJ’s. I do a majority of my grocery shopping there and then head to chain store for a few random things. I can’t remember what life was like pre-TJ’s!

  • Julie @ pickley pear July 6, 2010, 8:33 pm

    Trader joes is the best!! There are two close to me, but I don’t go nearly as often as I should. Enjoy your time in the new place with the hubby!!

  • Daisy July 6, 2010, 11:17 pm

    my all time favorite thing about TJs?! The cheap wine and the mix-n-match aka create your own 6 packs. I know not all TJs sell booze – I live in Boston and the one on Boylston st doesn’t sell it, but the Brookline location does! love.

    • Britney July 7, 2010, 6:13 am

      I usually go to the TJ’s in Brookline (I sometimes take dance classes down the street and TJ’s is my motivation to go to dance class!) but I believe the store on Memorial Drive in Cambridge also sells booze.

  • Beverly July 8, 2010, 11:11 am

    Hi Caitlin! I don’t post often, but I LOVE Trader Joe’s, so I couldn’t help myself. 🙂 Their wine is great for the price. And in the fall they put out their pumpkin butter, and it’s delicious! Amazing on toast and waffles.

  • Erin July 9, 2010, 6:59 pm

    I love Trader Joe’s and the “commercial” makes me laugh every time.

  • Marianne July 11, 2010, 8:26 pm

    You have GOT to try Trader Joe’s Quinoa Wheat Bread!!! TO. DIE. FOR.

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