Saturday, July 25, 2009

Trader Joes: Frugal Friend or Foe?

I used to shop at Trader Joe's more often. It isn't very close to my house, and I haven't been there in a very long time. My kids and husband really like the chili-lime chicken burgers and the buffalo burgers. I did so well on my Publix trip this week, only spending about $44, so I thought I would pick up some things that my family had been asking for.

Trader Joe's does accept coupons for name-brand items that they sell. The thing is, most of their products are house brands, for which there are no coupons. They have reasonably priced food, but no real knock-out sales. The store is really full of lots of organic, all-natural, and "healthy" type fare. I also find the store to be full of tempting, interesting fare, such as dark chocolate covered edamame. (I didn't buy it this trip because I know I don't control myself very well when eating it. LOL!)

So, instead of going in to buy two things, one box of chicken burgers and one box of buffalo burgers, I troll the aisles with my son and casually pick up $55 worth of merchandise!! Well, this has been a good lesson for me. I will have some nice and interesting things to add to my menus over the next couple of weeks, but if you want to stick to a strict budget, be careful in TJ's!

Do you shop at Trader Joe's? Do you find it easy to stick within a budget?

4 apples
3 lbs. organic cherries ($1.99/lb, and they are delicious!)
2 lbs. raisins
2 boxes chili-lime chicken burgers
2 boxes buffalo burgers
3 bags tortilla chips
frozen salmon
frozen shrimp
Z-bar for my son (not shown)

Total: $55.53, including tax


  1. Glad you reminded me of TJ.

    It has been awhile since I've been to TJ. However, I use to go in there just for their teas. We have regular afternoon tea times- (a cup of tea with 2 cookies) so I'm always keeping an assortment of teas. Last time I was there they still had a good price on their store brand teas and their teas are very taste too. Especially the raspberry tea, my kids love that one.

    I'll have to try the burgers you mentioned. I'm always looking to keep an emergency meal in the deep freeze, plus my hubby likes to grill out on Sundays so he is always looking for something to grill.


  2. Hi Melody,
    We grill out most weekends, too, sometimes even in winter!


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