Trader Joe’s-Heaven on Earth


The happiest place on Earth. No it’s not Disneyland, but rather your local Trader Joe’s. Since switching to Trader Joe’s from a conventional chain grocery store, I have come to the conclusion that Trader Joe’s is the best grocery store on Earth. The closest location to campus is in Mission Valley, near The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, so you can get your fix of all the delicious foods that “TJ’s” has to offer.

Not only can you buy a wide range of products in an easy to navigate store, almost all of their products are very reasonably priced, unlike a conventional store like Ralph’s that needs sales or coupons to provide reasonable prices. I can buy two frozen entree dishes a week that are meant to be shared with two people. I can usually get four meals out of the two entrees for usually just over $6. I can also buy a package of chicken sausages for $3.99 and add a sausage to some pasta for a cheap and delicious meal.

Because of the wide range of items sold in their store, it is easy to develop a list of favorites that customers can continue to enjoy and purchase on a regular basis. For example, I enjoy the dried mangoes, veggie chips, chicken sausages (sundried tomato flavor or pesto flavor) and the frozen bell pepper pasta entree, to keep in my kitchen for easy snacks or meals.

Along the lines of Costco, Trader Joe’s has friendly employees handing out free samples every day in the back corner of the store. This is definitely a tactic that works well with customers, including myself. Usually there is some kind of hot entree to sample with multiple products paired together to inspire customers to create delectable creations. On the other side of the sample bar is a snack product to sample, usually one of their gourmet cheeses with a multi-grain cracker. As an added bonus, there is also a coffee sample of the day to sip on while you make your way around the store.

With the fall season upon us, Trader Joe’s hasn’t missed a beat in creating all of their favorite products, pumpkin style. Pumpkin granola, pumpkin macarons and pumpkin butter are just a few of their fall favorites that are lining the shelves for the next few weeks.

Looking ahead to the Christmas season, be on the lookout for peppermint joe-joe’s, the store’s version of the ultimate peppermint flavored Oreo cookie, along with every other delicious peppermint and cinnamon flavored product that will compliment any chilly December night.