If you’re lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s within walking or driving distance from home, chances wander through its aisles at least once a week to pick up some of their great name brand products. Perhaps you even do all of your grocery shopping at the store. Trader Joe’s offers exclusive products that are well worth going the extra mile, but know that not everything in the store is the best deal for your wallet. Here are some high-quality products at great prices you should buy at Trader Joe’s, and the one you should skip.
16. Buy: Flowers
Trader Joe’s has a gorgeous floral department filled with tasteful and surprisingly very affordable, bouquets, arrangements, and even potted plants. More often than not, you can walk out with a beautiful bouquet for under $10.
15. Buy: Bananas
While most grocery stores sell bananas by the pound, Trader Joe’s sells theirs per banana. This peculiar approach means that you really can save a lot of money depending on how many you buy. Actually, no matter how much you love bananas, your most likely to save since they only price their bananas at 19 cents each.
14. Buy: Cheese
Trader Joe’s has a wide and interesting selection of gourmet cheeses at very affordable prices. So, for a killer cheese board for a fraction of the price or just enjoy high-quality cheeses for less than $5, Trader Joe’s the place.
13. Buy: Handmade flour tortillas
Forget about their store-bought tortillas. Trader Joe’s underrated handmade flour tortillas is a peculiar find that tastes like the real thing.
12. Buy: Organic produce
Organic is not for every budget. In fact and sadly, very little people can afford to skip pesticides. If you are looking to cut or remove chemicals from your diet as much as possible without breaking the bank, Trader Joe’s is a good pick. Their organic produce is more affordable than at the other grocery stores.
11. Buy: Pizza dough
Their name brand refrigerated, ready-made dough is another unexpected must. Even Blogger Gaby Dalkin from What’s Gaby Cooking is a fan. The secret to taking your pizza night up a notch could be hiding at Trader Joe’s.
10. Buy: Coffee
Their fresh coffee bean selection is varied and very high-quality. For any coffee fanatic, their price-value ratio is extremely interesting.
9. Buy: Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend
It is on everyone’s lips in the foodie community for a good reason. It is one of Trader Joe’s exclusive treasure finds. If you know of it, you’re already sold, and if you don’t, just give it a try. You won’t regret it.
8. Don’t buy: Riced cauliflower and broccoli
Sure, these premade packages are more convenient. But processing your rice or broccoli really isn’t that time consuming (and you can do a big batch and freeze it) and it is a lot cheaper!
7. Don’t buy: Spiralized carrots
Carrots are cheap. These aren’t. Spiralizing costs nothing AND making your own is fresher. So unless you don’t mind spending a lot more to compensate for your laziness, skip them.
6. Don’t buy: Mexican-style roasted corn
If you can’t boil an egg and are dying for tasty corn, get it, it is delicious. But if you’ve got a minute to get cooking, make your own. Roast some plain old corn in the oven is not difficult and it will be much cheaper to make it yourself.
5. Don’t buy: Natural detergents
Going natural is always a good thing. But getting yours at Trader Joe’s, really isn’t your best bet price-wise. Head to Walmart instead if you are looking to save money.
4. Don’t buy: Bagged salad kits
They look great and they taste great. Yet, there is nothing easier to make than salad. Get all the ingredients and make your own. It will be cheaper and you will even have leftovers for another meal… Or three.
3. Don’t buy: Almond butter
Almond butter has become almost as popular as peanut butter. And while Trader Joe’s packaging will look cute in your pantry, the price is just not worth it.
2. Don’t buy: Frozen fruit
They do have a great variety of sometimes hard to find frozen fruits. But their small packages do nothing to help you save money on something that can last a long time. Buy yours in bulk instead.
1. Don’t buy: Milk
In terms of cow’s milk, Trader Joe’s selection is quite limited and a bit pricey. You would be better off getting yours somewhere else.