Whole Foods vs. Trader Joe's? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 43 Old 02-23-2007, 02:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
Ty_and_Ad's_MumMum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Both of these stores are pretty new to our area...
Are they similar in what they carry?
I know Whole Foods can be kind of pricey, is Trader Joe's less expensive?

Thanks in advance!
Ty_and_Ad's_MumMum is offline  
#2 of 43 Old 02-23-2007, 02:56 AM
 
oldermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Trader Joe's is in Pittsburgh now? Excellent!
oldermom is offline  
#3 of 43 Old 02-23-2007, 02:57 AM
 
sue2u's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Valparaiso Indiana
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
TJ's is much cheaper.........but WF's has a bigger selection. I shop 99% at TJ's and go to WF's when I need something specific that TJ's doesn't have. Those are the ONLY grocery stores I go to and have sinced save money on the grocery bill before switching to organic

ETA: They are both over an hour away in Chicago and I still only shop there LOL!
sue2u is offline  
#4 of 43 Old 02-23-2007, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
Ty_and_Ad's_MumMum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldermom View Post
Trader Joe's is in Pittsburgh now? Excellent!
Yeppers!
6343 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
412-363-5748
9 am - 9 pm

Thank you Sue2u!
Ty_and_Ad's_MumMum is offline  
#5 of 43 Old 02-23-2007, 11:19 AM
 
LoveBeads's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,632
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ITA with WF being more expensive and a bigger selection. Also TJ's can be inconsistent - sometimes you fall in love with something they have and then they stop carrying it. I call it "the heartbreak of Trader Joe's" .

However TJ's is my preference. And the staff is so nice there.
LoveBeads is offline  
#6 of 43 Old 02-23-2007, 01:05 PM
 
heartmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In the bat cave with Irishmommy
Posts: 6,262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Whole Foods bought Wild Oats yesterday. So, Trader Joes, Wal Mart Organics, and Kroger Organics seem to be their only competitive now.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
heartmama is offline  
#7 of 43 Old 02-23-2007, 03:42 PM
 
Tracy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: "It's Chinatown, Jake"
Posts: 12,470
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i am resistant to TJ for fresh products and meats. I will be honest I heard they muck around with their freshness stickers. And it kind of makes sense to me because I never understood why the lettuce never came close to lasting as long as it said it would on the label.

but dry goods and jars are fine for me from there.

Check out New Moon on my Astrology Site

http://tracyastrosalon.blogspot.com/

 

Tracy is offline  
#8 of 43 Old 02-23-2007, 03:55 PM
 
TiredX2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: it appears to be a handbasket
Posts: 20,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We shop at Whole Foods a LOT more than Trader Joes.

Trader Joes does not have the selection and they tend to often discontinue items : That said, you should definately check out Trader Joes and buy stuff you *can* buy there--- it tends to be good and cheap!

 

 

TiredX2 is offline  
#9 of 43 Old 02-23-2007, 04:12 PM
Pen
 
Pen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When we do need to go to the store, we go to trader joe's first, then to whole foods. (generally speaking, we don't buy fresh produce at either place so I don't know about that). It does help that trader joe's is closer. I have found that TJ's is cheaper and WF has a wider selection. So if I see wht I'm looking for at TJ's I go ahead and buy it.
Pen is offline  
#10 of 43 Old 02-23-2007, 04:31 PM
 
Mama Bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: S FL
Posts: 2,075
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I shop at WFM for 99% of my groceries. I prefer WF b/c there selection is much greater. TJ is cheaper, but its mostly their own label. I don't like that b/c I don't know where its really from and practically everything is cross-contiminated (issue for us b/c food allergies).
It is worth checking them both out and deciding for yourself. TJ just opened here in Atlanta by me In Dec. I went with a friend who LOVES this place, I wasn't too impressed, but she absolutely loves it.

Christine - mama to my 4 boys
Mama Bear is offline  
#11 of 43 Old 02-26-2007, 02:28 AM
 
Momma2DoubleCuties's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: surrounded in testosterone
Posts: 3,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The quality of food to me is worth the extra money. Canned and jarred foods from TJ's is good but thats it. Their fresh food is not worth the cost, its better to just go to WF and get fresh good wholesome produce.

Aimee Blessed Momma to 4 amazing boys, P ~ 9 H ~ 7 J ~ 4 and B ~ 1.  Happily married to D Living my almost dream life on an urban homestead, hoping for our forever land to find us soon!

Momma2DoubleCuties is offline  
#12 of 43 Old 02-26-2007, 03:32 AM
 
delicious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: a country i can be proud of.
Posts: 3,960
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
they are totally two different places for me. i dont shop at whole foods normally, cause it isnt close, i try to go to new seasons, which is a grocery store here that has local and organic stuff. but anyways. its comparable to WF.

trader joes is good for super cheap luna bars, wine, beer and snacky type stuff. jarred pasta sauce, etc. the thing is though you still have to watch their stuff for hfcs and pho's and stuff. but its good to go there if you are going to have people over.

we get a produce box, but for bulk items, any other produce or dairy we need, i usually go to new seasons. also, supplements. i don't feel good about tj's supplements but i am not sure why.
delicious is offline  
#13 of 43 Old 02-26-2007, 11:18 AM
 
Arduinna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 32,629
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
bwhahahaha as if Walmart is some sort of competition to Whole Foods, now that is funny.

I don't think you can really compare trader jows to WF either. Trader Joes does not have selection (especially consistant selection) that WF has.
Arduinna is offline  
#14 of 43 Old 02-26-2007, 01:17 PM
 
udonandbroth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: just outside of Philly
Posts: 533
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we go to trader joes for stuff like organic pb, nuts, pasta, jam- it's much cheaper but we can't really do a weekly shopping from TJs. Whole foods has staples, espically for people who cook from scratch. Tjs has a lot of convience foods (which is fun sometimes) if you're into that. Some produce, like organic avacadoes and oranges are cheaper, too. You'll just have to look and see.
udonandbroth is offline  
#15 of 43 Old 02-26-2007, 01:21 PM
 
amyb15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 214
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Trader Joe's has a lot of organic food which is VERY healthy for you. A bit pricier, but it's great for your body!
amyb15 is offline  
#16 of 43 Old 02-26-2007, 01:38 PM
 
frog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: where footprints dance in the snow
Posts: 9,229
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Typically, we don't shop at either.

If we did, though, Whole Foods is where we'd go if we wanted to cook something, and Trader Joe's is where we'd go if we didn't.
frog is offline  
#17 of 43 Old 02-26-2007, 01:44 PM
 
Isaac'sMa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DH got sick on some meat that I bought at TJ's once, so we no longer buy anything fresh there (no meat, veggies, dairy, etc). It's great for dry goods and canned goods, though and I think the prices are a little cheaper than WF. TJ's is more out of the way than WF for us so we end up at WF more often anyway.
Isaac'sMa is offline  
#18 of 43 Old 02-26-2007, 06:42 PM
 
healthymomof3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I shop at both places and the farmer's market, plus another local health food store. I like selection I do all my regular shopping at TJ's first and then what I cannot get, I go to WF's for.
healthymomof3 is offline  
#19 of 43 Old 02-26-2007, 06:43 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 399
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here in the northern Chicago suburbs, I don't like shopping at our Whole Foods, compared to the WFs in other cities we have lived in. A majority of the shoppers are snobby elitests, who huff because a shopping cart with a child is in their way. Rush, rush, rush! How dare I talk about the fruits with my toddler daughter while their Lexus SUV is parked in a handicap spot? The TJs is smaller and has less of a selection, but I like the pace so much more. We pretty much do our shopping in three places now, since the regular grocery store has a growing organic section. Certain items we get at TJs, WFs, and the grocery.
CherieBerry is offline  
#20 of 43 Old 03-05-2007, 11:57 AM
 
melamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: planet earth
Posts: 1,705
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I feel like they're sort of complementary. I go to WF once or twice a week, but I only need to go to TJ maybe once a month. I really never buy their produce--it all seems so over packaged. I now co-op my dairy, but never would have gotten milk or eggs from them because I couldn't tell how fast it moved.
Really that's the core of it for me, TJ's had more of the dry goods type of stuff, canned and processed stuff.
I always end up with lots of pantry and freezer stuff from TJ's.
And chocolate. They have an incredibly large selection of chocolate and sweets.
melamama is offline  
#21 of 43 Old 03-05-2007, 12:19 PM
 
mirlee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: next to the snoring bear
Posts: 3,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I shop both plus our local grocery store. TJs does have some pretty awesome prices on many things that are cheaper than what the exact same items is being sold for at WF. I will buy my dairy and eggs there. Their brand of yogurt is identical to Stoneyfield Farms. It tastes so much the same and has the same inner lid seal that I tend to believe they are made at the same plant but at a huge price difference.

I also love the TJ brand of meatless meatballs and their cereal bars. Be careful at TJs though and read the allergy information if you are a vegetarian or vegan. I went to buy soup that a colleague was in love with only to find out that it was made in a plant that processes fish! Um, with my fish allergy, that is a no go. I love their cookies. They always have a great price on avocados, bananas, bagged salad, and I love their cocktail tomoatoes. TJ shopping actually cuts my grocery bill and I am still able to buy the healthy things we like. I also end up with more freezer stuff from TJS than anywhere else. Any meat that is purchased for dh is always purchased at Whole Foods.
mirlee is offline  
#22 of 43 Old 03-05-2007, 12:36 PM
 
kewb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I shop at both. It really depends on what I need. Trader Joe's is cheaper. I rotate between Trader Joe's & Shoprite with a sprinkling of Costco and Whole Foods.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
kewb is offline  
#23 of 43 Old 03-05-2007, 05:55 PM
 
boobybunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,361
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
whole foods is not REALLY a good thing.

Shop your local health foods store, the one that does not truck stuff all over the country.
boobybunny is offline  
#24 of 43 Old 03-15-2007, 04:37 PM
 
MamaEli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We just had a TJs open here in the Triangle area of NC. Whole Foods has been around for a while...it was WellSpring. Anyway, I was SO not impressed with TJ--except for the "three buck chuck" their private label wine. I will be going back for that. Some of the stuff was cheap, but the produce, dairy, and all prepackaged meat was not great and low selection. WF has so many more choices, and I think you can still get good stuff there if you're careful for your budget. I think I can trust the stuff better, too. Like, there were so many non-organic choices mixed in with the selection...it just didn't do it for me. Except for the Wine! So, I shop at one of our local grocery stores (Lowe's), and supplement at WF for the things I can't get there.
MamaEli is offline  
#25 of 43 Old 03-17-2007, 11:07 PM
 
shanagirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 524
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do most of my shopping at WF because of the variety and they are so stringent on quality (which is part of the price issue--my sister works there and they throw a lot of stuff out). However, I used TJ like a 7-11-- for organic milk, etc., staples when we are out because it's closer. We have been surprised, however, to discover that TJ's organic chicken is out of this world. None of their other meat has impressed me at all but this chicken is amazing. It's a whole chicken, we roast it at home. Not sure if their supplier is that same throughout the US-- I am in the Chicago area.
CherieBerie- I'd love to know which northern suburb you shop in! Is it Evanston?
shanagirl is offline  
#26 of 43 Old 03-18-2007, 09:49 AM
 
tboroson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Honalee
Posts: 6,340
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't shop WF anymore because it's too far away from me and too danged expensive, and I'm really unimpressed with their selection of organic produce. If my small, locally owned health food store can manage to provide a large selection of exclusively organic produce, why can't WF, with their national distribution network and their market power? Further, for all they talk about buying locally, I've never seen local meats in there. I know there are a *lot* of local farms providing pastured meat here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. A whole lot. I've bought from a number of them directly. My local hfs carries almost exclusively local meat, and most of it's pastured - and most of it's far less expensive than anything WF carries.

I do hit Trader Joe's once in a while. They're much closer to me than WF, so I get tempted in even though I feel guilty about it.

I find that fresh stuff at TJs is really suspect. I've had their cheeses go moldy on me within a couple of days more than once. My girls are utterly addicted to their organic hummus, it's the only brand they'll eat now that they've tried it. Four times now, I've had it ferment and bulge the package within a day or two. They're great about taking returns, really great, but since I'm in there kind of randomly, I rarely remember to bring these things along with me to return. The fruits and vegetables are so-so on freshness. Anything you can touch and smell is usually ok - loose apples, bananas, avocados. But, most of their produce is under plastic. I don't trust that right off the top because I can't smell it, but also, experience tells me that a lot of TJs produce is not very fresh. So, when it comes to produce, I mostly use them for cheap avocados and bananas. I think the produce is fresher at the TJs I've shopped at in Arizona, and I've been told that other west coast TJs are better as well, so maybe it's just a Pennsylvania thing? Are TJs all corporate owned or franchised?

Furthermore, TJs is *not* a health food store. They are a specialty food store. They have no compunction about selling foods with hfcs, phos, artificial ingredients, preservatives, etc. They claim that their private label stuff has no artificial ingredients, but I've found vanillin in a number of their candies. So, you have to be a careful label reader there.

It also bugs me that they will trial a name brand product for a while, and if it's popular, they will start selling it private label. In most cases, it seems utterly identical, which seems to indicate they're contracting private label foods from the same manufacturer who was making the name brand product. Not a bad thing... except that the manufacturer gets less money for it that way, presumably. Or does the distributer get cut out only, which isn't so bad? I wish they'd be more upfront about that. In any case, I do wish they'd reveal their manufacturers so we can shop ethically. I do boycott a lot of big manufacturers.

Basically, TJs is good for a few novelty things, and occasionally for cheap stuff. I think I could, if I didn't care about freshness or the whole manufacturer ethics thing, do all our shopping there, and it would be primarily organic. But, between all those issues and the fact that I *do* try to stay primarily local for our food, we really only go in there for a few things (and other than the avocados, bananas and hummus, it's mostly guilt things - candy and crackers )

I greatly prefer to shop at local health food stores. My local hfs carries exclusively organic produce, plus a lot of local dairy and meat products, including raw milk and meat from truly pastured animals (and I've literally met these farmers). They carry a lot of local produce in season. They are always seeking out more local providers for food. They don't carry anything with hfcs or phos, or anything artificial. And, they know me by name
tboroson is offline  
#27 of 43 Old 03-18-2007, 11:04 AM
 
**guest**'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: surrounded by water
Posts: 1,710
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by boobybunny View Post

Shop your local health foods store, the one that does not truck stuff all over the country.
Unfortunately, I don't have a local hfs. Wish there was one.

We have a local Organic Farm which I can sometimes find stuff in summer and autumn but most of their produce is disgusting.
**guest** is offline  
#28 of 43 Old 03-18-2007, 11:30 AM
 
Penelope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: West Papio Creek Trail
Posts: 12,401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We don't have a WF near us, so it's more a choice between the local grocery (ok) the closeish Super Target (also only ok) and TJ's (which I really love.) I've never been in WF and not spent much more than I planned - it feels very spendy to me. Which is ok, but not ideal for me weekly, so it's probably better that it's not really an option.

I've always had great luck with TJ's produce and other fresh items, except once for some avacados. (Which, IIRC, I took a picture of so I could take the photo in instead of rotten food for my refund, and I was new to the digital camera, and instead of emailing a charming picture of ds painting the closet doors with tempra paint to various members of my family... I sent a picture of overripe avacados.

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
Penelope is offline  
#29 of 43 Old 03-19-2007, 01:31 PM
 
Kokopelli-mana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 653
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do 90% of my shopping at TJ but need to fill in fresh meats and other staples from WF or A&P. I just love TJ!

Mama of 10yo dd, 7 yo ds, and 22 month old ds. No VAX, Anti-Circ, Lactivist, EC, UCB x 2. 

Kokopelli-mana is offline  
#30 of 43 Old 03-19-2007, 02:00 PM
 
polyhymnia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Greater Seattle area
Posts: 2,581
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by boobybunny View Post
whole foods is not REALLY a good thing.

Shop your local health foods store, the one that does not truck stuff all over the country.
Actually, a friend of mine works in the meat dept at our local WF and all of their meat/chicken comes locally - no more than one state away. That seems quite reasonable to me. It certainly isn't the same as a far the next town over, but as there aren't any farms the next town over (we are in a major metropolitan area) I figure it's the next best thing.

jog.gif:bikenew.gif// knit.gif:reading.gif:notes2.gif // cat.gif:cat.gif 

Our precious baby girl is coming to turn our world upside down in January 2014!

polyhymnia is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off