Trader Joe’s is a fantastic place to find healthy, high-quality food at a reasonable price.
At the store, you can find a diverse range of products, making it the ideal place to do your weekly, or daily grocery shopping.
In fact, Trader Joe’s was voted America’s favorite grocery store in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and it sells twice as much per square foot as Whole Foods!
While, the prices at Trader Joe’s are already pretty reasonable, there are things that you can do to save even more money when you shop there.
Take a look at our list of tips on how to save money at Trader Joe’s.
What will I learn?
1. Trader Joe’s Has Coupons: Use ’em!
Most people don’t realize that Trader Joe’s actually does accept coupons.
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While the store doesn’t take coupons for items sold under the Trader Joe’s label, it does accept them for the name brands that it carries, like Annie’s and Kashi.
So, before your next trip to Trader Joe’s check to see if there are any coupons available.
While your local newspaper can have some great deals, one of the best places to find coupons is online.
Check out the following sites:
Another great way to source coupons is to visit the manufacturers’ websites directly. Think about the brands you like that are available at Trader Joe’s, then visit their sites to look for coupons.
2. Take Advantage of the Wine
If you drink wine often or you’re having a party, then consider buying it from Trader Joe’s.
They have a selection of budget-friendly wines that taste great too. Many of them are priced under ten or even five dollars.
One of its most famous wines, the Charles Shaw wine, which is also known as the “Two Buck Chuck”, costs just $2! And, it is apparently just as good as wine from more expensive brands.
So, if you buy wine frequently, you can save yourself a small fortune by buying it from Trader Joe’s instead.
3. Check for Discounted Trader Joe’s Gift Cards Online
Did you know that you can get gift cards for Trader Joe’s and pay less than face value for them?
While you’d never be able to get $10 cash for less than $10, amazingly, you can pay less than $10 for a $10 gift card.
For example, you could get a $10 Trader Joe’s gift card for 25% off of the gift card’s face value – meaning you can get ten bucks worth of stuff at the store, but only spend $8.50 on the gift card!
So, you might be wondering: “Where can I find these discount gift cards?”
Well, we have a whole, in-depth post dedicated to discount gift cards that you can check out.
But, these are great sites to get you started:
We also have an in-depth post on where to find discounted gift cards, so check it out here.
While these sites don’t always have gift cards available for Trader’s Joes it’s worth taking a look, as the inventory on these platforms always fluctuates.
Most discount gift card sites let you set up alerts that notify you by email when more gift cards for your desired retailer become available – which is pretty handy!
4. Try It Before You Buy It
If you’re like most people, then you’ve probably bought something that you haven’t tried before from the store before, and then ended up hating it. So, you’ve essentially wasted your money.
Fortunately, Trader Joe’s has this really handy policy that allows customers to try anything in the store, for free! Employees can open any container, excluding alcohol, to let customers try products.
So, you should always try it before you buy it. All, you need to do is choose a product you want to try and then ask an employee to try it.
When you test out something before you buy it, it prevents you from wasting your money on products you don’t like.
5. Purchase Certain Items Elsewhere
Don’t assume that Trader Joe’s is always the cheapest store.
While a lot of items are generally cheaper at TJ’s than they are elsewhere, like wine, for example, other items, like the frozen fruit and organic milk, can actually cost you more than they would elsewhere.
So, always make sure that you shop selectively and purchase certain items elsewhere.
It’s a good idea to keep a price book. In this book, keep a list of the items that you buy frequently, along with the price of each item at different stores. Then, you can compare them across multiple stores.
Keeping a price book makes it so much easier for you to keep track of which store offers the best price on each item – it’s easy to forget which stores offer the best deal on certain items otherwise.
6. Take Advantage of the Lenient Returns Policy
Did you know that Trader Joe’s has one of the most lenient return policies?
Trader Joe’s allows you to return anything that you purchased at the store. And, the best part – it doesn’t matter if the item is open or how long ago you bought it. As long as you have a receipt for it, you can return it!
So, if you have an item that you didn’t like or use, then even if it’s been sitting in the back of a cabinet or fridge for a while, you can still return it and get your money back.
If you don’t have a receipt for your purchase, then you might still be able to get store credit.
7. Look out for Giveaways
Did you know that Trader Joe’s frequently runs giveaways for its customers?
You can win anything from gift cards to cash prizes. Often, you might have to do something, like spend a certain amount or bring your own bag to the store in order to enter the giveaway.
While you don’t always win, it’s always worth looking out to see what giveaways and contests are available from the store.
After all, who doesn’t want a gift card or some prize money that will pay for their next shopping trip?
8. Read the Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer
Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer is a great place to find discounts, coupons, specials and other great money-saving deals.
So, before you make your next purchase at the store, make sure that you check out this flyer.
It’s a monthly flyer that you can find online and instore, and if you sign up for it you can receive it via email.
Reading this flyer is a great way to take advantage of additional savings at the store.
9. Purchase TJ-Brand Products
Apparently, many of the Trader Joe’s own brand products are actually produced by the same manufacturers that produce the products for its big-name competitors.
The only exception is that TJ’s own brand products are much cheaper.
For example, two TJ own brand items that are supposed to be incredibly similar to the competition’s products include:
- Trader Joe’s Garlic and Herb Pita Chips, which are supposed to be the same pita chips as those found in the Garlic and Herb Pita Chips from big brand Stacy’s Parmesan.
- TJ’s Organic White Shells and Cheese Macaroni & Cheese, which is apparently the same as Annie’s Organic Shells & White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese.
So, try Trader Joe’s own brand products, which are generally more affordable, rather than products from their big-brand equivalents. It saves you so much money over the course of the year.
Most of them taste the same as products from name-brands anyway!
10. Check out the Frozen Meals
Some people argue that you should stay away from pre-made meals because it’s cheaper to make meals yourself.
While that can be the case, when you’re in a rush or you’ve just had a hard day and don’t feel like cooking, pre-made meals are a godsend!
And, one of the best places you can purchase them is at Trader Joe’s. Most frozen meals at Trader Joe’s are at least a couple of dollars cheaper than they are elsewhere.
So, if you’re looking for something quick for dinner, Trader Joe’s is definitely the place to go!
If you want to stock up your kitchen with quality, healthy food, that’s not too pricey, then Trader Joe’s is the ideal place to shop.
And, if you follow our useful tips, then you’ll save even more during your next visit!