Trader Joe's-love 'em or hate 'em? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 07-22-2002, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a real love/hate relationship with this place. Some of their products/foods can be so great, others really, really suck! Their prices on some things are fantastic, then I try it when I get home & the taste isn't quite "right"--(ie-their soy milk, pasta sauce, stews, etc.) And I get ticked that their private label foods have so many bad things in them--i.e. sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. I also want to investigate where they stand on free trade--how do they get some of these low prices?
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#2 of 22 Old 07-22-2002, 04:25 PM
 
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I don't love or hate Trader Joes. I think they are great place to get certain things at good prices. But I rarely go there as I don't need one more store to shop at. So I usually pay a little more and just get it at Wild Oats. I'm too lazy I guess.
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#3 of 22 Old 07-22-2002, 05:40 PM
 
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I love'em, though I still definitely read the labels. I don't buy everything there, but can get most of my grocery list there each week. Unfortunately, I do find that I have to go to atleast 2 stores to get all the shopping done, and sometimes 3.
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#4 of 22 Old 07-22-2002, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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MarieK-me too, me too--would so love to have one stop shopping. I have to go to three stores also!

Arduinna--you're so lucky to have a Wild Oats near you--I miss having something like that nearby!
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#5 of 22 Old 07-22-2002, 06:52 PM
 
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I wish they carried more vegan options and consistently. I hate finding a great product there only find they don't carry it that often.

I already shop at so many stores, that I only go to Trader Joe's when I'm in my mall, because there's one in the mall, which is convenient. I usually buy my vegan cream cheese there cuz Whole Foods won't carry it. And they have some yummy vegan snacks and candies and organic sodas that I can't get elsewhere.

But their breads are almost always non-vegan and their frozen foods are not vegan either.

I've never bought produce there because it always has bugs on it.
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#6 of 22 Old 07-22-2002, 07:02 PM
 
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BUGS! Yuck! I don't buy their produce just 'cuz it's so darned expensive!
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#7 of 22 Old 07-23-2002, 12:52 AM
 
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I miss having a trader joe's near me - they have great prices. I agree though, it is definately not a one-stop-shop.

That also really ticked me off how they are always running out of things.

Some of our T.J.'s favorites: Organic Orange juice (the best OJ ever, according to dh), frozen bean & veggie burritos, cereal, dried fruit, bagged spinach, frozen organic raspberries, pasta, sun-dried tomatoes (my co-op never has them ).
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#8 of 22 Old 07-23-2002, 10:53 AM
 
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I make special trips to TJ's just for their incredible prices on organic tampons - $2.79 a box! My kids love their veggie bootie snacks and their tea is yummy and cheap. They also sometimes carry King Arthur flour (the only kind I use) at a really good price. I also get all of my tea tree oil there - very cheap. They happen to be right next to the best dollar store on earth, so we end up over there fairly often.
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#9 of 22 Old 07-23-2002, 06:48 PM
 
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I love 'em and really miss having one nearby. I think like any store, there are some good deals and some not. I like their selection of cereals, gourmet cheeses, as well as one particular type of veggie burger that they sell there that I haven't been able to find anywhere else.

Edited to add that their customer service is excellent. My mom, who lives 5 minutes from Trader Joe's, has been shipping me jars of their Apple-Strawberry Sauce for awhile now. Once, I received a jar from her that had opened during shipping due to an insufficient seal. Well, I told her about it, and she told them about it, and they gave her a full refund on that jar. I thought that was pretty cool
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#10 of 22 Old 07-23-2002, 08:10 PM
 
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OMG! I love Trader Joe's, it has been hard living in an area where there is not one for oh, a state or two, for the past 18-plus months. When at school in VT, I used to go to one in NH on a semi-regular basis - the tea is great and so cheap, Tom's toothpaste is fantastically priced, as is Kiss My Face shave lotion. Cereals are good and cheap (how can you beat $1.99 for Kashi just for friends). Sulfer free sun dried tomatoes for $1.49! Their chips and tortilla chips are great. Their jarred organic salsa also really good. Honey Nutty Seedy Crunchies are one of my personal addictions, as are their chocolate dipped, almond biscotti. I am traveling to New England for a wedding in August, and I am literally planning part of my visiting around a stop at TJ's for some non perishables to pack into my suitcase (sun drieds, some tea, promised SO that I'd bring him some turkey jerky, etc.)!

We will probably (hopefully!!) relocate around this time next year and I truly will be thrilled if we move to a place near a TJ's!

I'd add to this that I was among the countless, countless people who wrote and otherwise encouraged TJ's to get the GMO ingredients out of their house brands, and I am so thrilled that they are pledging to try to do this.

Love 'em!
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#11 of 22 Old 07-23-2002, 11:20 PM
 
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I forgot about the salsa!!!!

Their Pineapple salsa is THE BEST! I miss it so much!
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#12 of 22 Old 07-24-2002, 11:34 PM
 
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Mmmm, I wish I could go more often, not one convenient though. Dh and I spent thanksgiving alone for the first time last year, so we bought a bunch of fun stuff at TJ's! Love love love their bean taquitos!

I shop at Wild Oats, which took over a local store, and now it is not as good - a more corporate feel and I still can't get everything there I need. grrr.
Once I went there and had forgotten the diaper bag - of course ds chose that moment to have a HUGE bm! I ran in and grabbed the "natural" disposables (normally use cloth) and wipes and headed to the bathroom - the saleslady stopped me and said I had to buy it first. I told her it was an emergency, and I was going to do my grocery shopping too. I still had to go buy it. Like I'm gonna run out of the store with diapers under one arm and a 20 # 5 mo old under the other! I think if it was the former store, I wouldn't have been hassled. I understand her end, sort of... but it still pissed me off. I'm glad I didn't have to strip him to a diaper afterward since I was sure he was going to get the poo all over him.

Sorry to rant off topic...
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#13 of 22 Old 07-24-2002, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, how I miss the Flatbush Food Co-op in Brooklyn. But I guess I'm just too picky--there are many things I like at Joe's--i.e.--the "Tempted" granola mix and their mushroom turnover thingies!!!
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#14 of 22 Old 07-25-2002, 06:47 PM
 
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Trader Joe's lover here. We used to have one 5 min. away, now it's an hour and a half, but we go there about once a month and stock up--soy milk, rice dream, organic oj ($3 for a half gallon, not from concentrate--I buy 3 or 4 and freeze them), organic baby carrots, cereal, free range buffalo burgers, organic yogurt and cottage cheese, prenatal vitamins (they have Rainbow Light Prenatal One), lots more. Not crazy about their bread, though, but love a lot of their products.
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#15 of 22 Old 07-25-2002, 10:32 PM
 
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If they'd let me I'd stand there all day sniffing their corn tortillas...
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#16 of 22 Old 07-27-2002, 02:54 AM
 
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oh, i LOVE it too. it's my main store...that and the farmer's market. we buy almost everything there. dh even used to work there in the pre=child days. their prices are great!

btw, they get the prices by buying brand name products and putting their label on it.
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#17 of 22 Old 07-31-2002, 03:57 AM
 
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Is Wild Oats the same as Henry's Marketplace?

I am a big TJ's fan. They are so reasonably priced, and I love their organic coffee. I also buy mint meringues there (yum) and some of the organic produce. Their candles are also great, and burn for hours (the apple ones pong though- go for vanilla).
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#18 of 22 Old 07-31-2002, 08:58 AM
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I like Trader Joe's to just look around in and see if I can find any deals.
We don't go often because it is 45 minutes away.
We go to Fresh Fields and Essene in Philly every other week.
I really can't stand the local healthfood store here! But, there is a nice Organic Stand at the farmers market here.
And there is this place called buy right liquidators that sells outdated nonparishables.
Like ORGANIC cereal for .75 to 1.25 a box.
They had soy milk, almond, oat, and rice milk for .50!!!
Organic corn chips for .25 each!
Organic Santa Cruz juices for .50.
Newmann's organic cookies .50
We have never spent over $20 there & we always get a full cart of food.
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#19 of 22 Old 08-01-2002, 10:19 PM
 
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Bad TJ karma
Went to TJ twice - each time ended up with products way past the
expiration date. Buyer beware!
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#20 of 22 Old 08-01-2002, 11:07 PM
 
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Trader Joe's has the best prices on soymilk-50 cents cheaper a box than Fresh Fields/Whole foods-I go there just to stock up on that-I buy 2 or three cases at a time. Great deals on frozen berries and mango. Also Desert Essence Face Wash is only $5 and it's $10 at Fresh Fields! They don't have everything, but it's definately worth going once a month or so.
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#21 of 22 Old 08-04-2002, 03:02 AM
 
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I love TJ's. I don't do produce shopping there and anything I don't get on my shopping list I get at our local co-op. I am spoiled because they are in the same plaza.
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#22 of 22 Old 08-04-2002, 08:51 PM
 
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I like Trader Joe's, but agree that it is not a one-stop-shop. Most of the stuff is not vegan so that limits me, but they do have great prices on Tofutti Cuties and frozen veggies. Also jarred olives and peppers are good.

However, the primary reason we make teh 15 minute drive into yuppie-ville (where our only TJ is located) is for the GREAT deals on cleaning products. Our TJ's carries Dessert Essence, Kiss My Face, EcoSaver, Seventh Generation, and a slew of other products that I love for CHEAP.
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