It’s no secret that grocery shopping can quickly become an expensive endeavor. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s is a one-stop spot for serious savings. When combined with their everyday reduced prices and unique brands, these tips make TJ’s a grocery staple.
Whether you are a regular customer or trying it out for the first time, read on to see how to save some serious cash at Trader Joe’s.
1. Sign up for the Fearless Flyer
The Fearless Flyer is a cross between a newsletter and an entertaining booklet, which Trader Joe’s uses to showcase new and seasonal items throughout the year. Subscribing to the Fearless Flyer allows you to preview products so you can be inspired to plan meals or simply laugh at the corny comics featured in the publication. The Fearless Flyer is a must-have for anyone interested in shopping at Trader Joe’s. Get yours by snail mail or email!
2. Buy TJ’s Signature Items
Trader Joe’s is known for their signature line, which features a variety of reasonably priced foods. Shopping their brand is an economical way to purchase weekly staples or discover a new treat. Some of the most popular signature items include the dark chocolate peanut butter cups, Everything But the Bagel seasoning, and their selection of adult beverages (do not overlook the “Two Buck Chuck” bottle of wine).
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3. BYOB: Bring Your Own Bag
Trader Joe’s offers both paper and reusable bags for customers to purchase at checkout. Several cities have attempted to cut down on single-use plastic bags, In Boston, retail locations like Trader Joe’s have to sell their bags for 5 cents.
In these cases, it definitely pays off to purchase or bring reusable bags to save the most on each trip to the store. Bringing bags is better for both the environment and your wallet.
4. Be an Inventory Insider and Know When They get Shipments
Not all Trader Joe’s locations are created equally, so it is important to explore your local store to see which items they typically carry. TJ’s has a loyal customer following, so discovering which day they restock is a helpful way to never miss out on those popular items that sell quickly. Ask a worker when the store receives shipments.
Some of the stores are on the smaller side, so you will want to shop outside of peak hours and days to avoid crowds and empty shelves. Keep in mind that TJ’s will shift stock depending on how well an item is selling, so it never hurts to pick up a few extra nonperishable favorites.
5. Find some Frozen Food Favorites
One of the tastiest ways to save money at Trader Joe’s is to explore the frozen food selection. They stock items that can be incorporated into a dish, cooked as a side, served as a meal, or enjoyed as a treat.
- TJ’s turkey meatballs are a quick and delicious addition to a Sunday dinner, especially for someone on the go. It saves so much time and energy to not have to make the meatballs from scratch.
- Their cauliflower gnocchi is an inexpensive, healthy dinner option to have in the freezer at any given time.
- Trader Joe’s also sells orange chicken, which features a delicious glaze and pairs well with their frozen jasmine rice.
- For customers with a sweet tooth, check out some of their sugar-free frozen desserts. They’re better than you think.
Also See: 7 Hacks to Save Money on Groceries
6. When Buying Produce, Be Picky
While Trader Joe’s products rarely disappoint, their produce can be hit or miss. As with anything, there are exceptions worth checking out. Their bananas and spinach are the best value when it comes to fruit and vegetables. The mini-avocados are the perfect size for one person to eat, and you don’t have to worry about any uneaten portion turning brown. These items are typically inexpensive, fresh, and available in organic for customers who prefer organic produce.
7. Generous Refund Policy
If you’re on the fence about shopping at Trader Joe’s, don’t be. Trying new foods at Trader Joe’s is a no-brainer thanks to their generous refund policy. Customers can bring any product back to the store and receive 100% of their money back. This policy is not only for unopened items — it includes products that have been sampled as well.
TJ’s management team wants shoppers to be satisfied, and employees are happy to help customers find products they will enjoy. So, try a brand that might be unfamiliar to you or one of those interesting items in the Fearless Flyer because you know the store will refund your money if you don’t like it.
When it comes to shopping at Trader Joe’s, it is easy to save money. Their prices are consistently low, so there is no need to wait for sales to stock up. Purchasing their brands is a delicious and economical way for customers to purchase their weekly groceries. Their vibrant store aesthetics, fun newsletter, and enthusiastic employees all contribute to a positive shopping experience. Keep these tips in mind to save the most on every trip to Trader Joe’s.
Only One Thing Can Make Your Trader Joe’s Experience Better: Cash Back from Ibotta
Trader Joe’s doesn’t have sales on their brand name items, and they don’t offer coupons. But, you possess another way to save by earning cash back when you shop there: Ibotta.
When you download the Ibotta app (or get Siri or Google Assistant to do it for you), you’ll discover so many opportunities to earn cash back at Trader Joe’s. Some recent deals included $1 back on fresh meat; $3 back on some of your favorite adult refreshments, plus deals on organic protein bars and yogurt.
Download Ibotta today to claim a $20 welcome bonus and start earning cash back when you shop at Trader Joe’s.
Save Money at Your Other Favorite Stores:
- 5 Amazon Hacks Every Prime Member Should Know
- 9 Target Hacks That are Borderline Genius
- How to Save More Money at Walmart & Walmart.com
- 10+ Things to Always Buy At Dollar Tree (plus what to avoid)
Need Help Saving Money? Check these out next…
- 7 Habits of Women Who Are Never Broke
- 42 Tips to Live Below Your Means
- 9 Dave Ramsey Tips You Need to Never be Poor
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Nicole Muir is in her last year as a Physician Assistant student at Northeastern University in Boston. She also writes for Wooster Media Group LLC.