5 Tips for Savvy Shopping at Trader Joe’s

October 8, 2014

Anyone who has shopped at Trader Joe’s knows that it is a great place to find some unique eats and good wine. But did you know that you can find some great deals there as well? If you follow these five tips, you can be on your way to shopping smart at Trader Joe’s!

Tip 1 – Stock Your Bar

Most shoppers are aware of the famous “Two-Buck Chuck,” or Charles Shaw wine, that is sold exclusively at Trader Joe’s (that got its nickname from being priced at only $ 2/bottle but is now sold for $ 2.49 to $ 3.49 per bottle nationally). This super-value brand of wine is not only a great price but a winner at various wine competitions each year.TJ3

But even if you want to stray from the popular “Two-Buck-Chuck,” you will find some great deals on other wines at Trader Joe’s. My favorite summer wine – Espiral Vinho Verde – costs only $ 4.49/bottle and the chardonnay I keep on hand for my mother’s visits is $ 3.99/bottle.

Even beer drinkers can find a bargain deal on a tasty brew at Trader Joe’s. My husband is fond of the store-brand Josephsbrau beers which run $ 5.99/six-pack of bottles. If he’s looking for something to bring camping or drink while watching football, Simpler Times lager is the preferred choice at $ 3.99 for a six-pack of cans.

Tip 2 – Shop for Greeting Cards and Flowers

When I need to bring a hostess gift or flowers for my kids’ teachers, I always hit up Trader Joe’s. They have an impressive selection of flowers at very reasonable prices. A mixed bouquet will cost $ 3.99 – $ 7.99 and a bouquet of roses is $ 9.99. My daughter had a dance performance and I wanted to avoid the bouquets that the dance studio was selling (with prices starting at $ 30 – yikes!). I headed over to Trader Joe’s and picked up a big bouquet of sunflowers that were only $ 5.99 and the six-year-old loved them!

Trader Joe’s also has a great selection of greeting cards that cost only 99 cents! I like to keep a stock of these on-hand for last-minute thank you notes or condolence cards.

Tip 3 – If You Don’t Like It, Return It

Trader Joe’s purchases come with a very liberal return policy which allows shoppers to return any item, even opened and expired items, to the store for a full refund with no questions asked. This allows you to try out any of the products without risk. One time I purchased a box of the Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches (which I HIGHLY recommend, they are addictive) and the box which should have contained four ice cream sandwiches only contained three. My store was more than happy to refund my purchase price when I brought the box back. Amazing!

Tip 4 – Don’t Forget Your CouponsTJ2

It is a little-known fact that Trader Joe’s does accept coupons! Oh happy day! While you won’t find coupons on any of the store brand items, you are more than welcome to use coupons on any other item in the store, excluding alcohol.

Tip 5 – Entertain on a Budget

I love to serve a charcuterie plate when I have guests over. Trader Joe’s is my go-to spot for finding cheeses, crackers, nuts, bread and dips – all at great prices. And it is not just your typical cheddar and cashews that you can find there – unique eats such as their Pesto Gouda, Toscano Cheese with Black Pepper and Marcona Almonds with Rosemary are sure to impress any guest.

If you follow these five tips, Trader Joe’s can be a great place to shop without breaking the bank!

Featured Image Credit, Image 1 Credit, Image 2 Credit

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