Today I am mixing it up a little with Friday’s Favorite Things and going to share the reasons Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places. Despite the clang of the bells ringing, the overly loud music, and the constant food recalls I cannot seem to keep away. I did not even know there was a Trader Joe’s in Austin because I was so busy getting settled. It is located about 20 minutes from our apartment, but yesterday we were low on produce and a few specialty items so I decided to go for it. Whole Foods would have had these items too, but buying all of my groceries there is too expensive. During a recent drive home from a job interview I spied one out of the corner of my eye.
During my trip yesterday I snapped some pics and pondered what it is I like so darn much!
Personality! Trader Joe’s has a sense of humor and originality that is always on full display from outside the curb to inside the store through their promotion and signage. There is something homey about the way they create a feeling of personalization. This store which was way bigger than I am used to had awesome signs supporting Texas and their commitment to food quality. They also had some signs and decorations just for show. I also love all of the herbs and flowers even though I rarely buy them. It is all in the presentation folks!
The store is also very organized no matter what the size. It is easy to navigate and I can be in and out in 15 minutes if there are no lines.
In addition to the signs, I am simply lured in by all of the food items have the matching Trader Joe’s label.
They do carry a few brands, of course, but they are a select few. Most items are their own. Perhaps it is my quest for coordination that pulls me in. One of my personal quirks is that I love everything to match so I feel like Joe totally gets me.
I know some of you may be wondering about my food quality reference. Trader Joe’s is committed to avoiding all of the below ingredients:
However, Trader Joe’s experiences quite a few recalls on their products regularly. In all honestly, their nut butters are often a huge issue. I could not find my almond butter when I was there yesterday, and I am assuming there was a recall on it. However, I find that by and large Trader Joe’s advocates quality food, meats and produce. I respect that they are quick to announce if there are any issues via the news and signs at the cash register. In the signs, they always urge you to not eat the items and to get a full refund by bringing in your receipt. They also pull them from the shelves immediately.
As with any processed foods, make sure to read the labels. Even I am not naive enough to assume everything at Trader Joe’s is healthy simply because it is sold there. Read this article by The Food Babe to learn which foods you should avoid.
Their prices are pretty darn amazing. The Trader Joe philosophy is that quality food should be affordable for everyone. Scott and I eat through a ton of fresh vegetables and fruit in a week. I have found some of the prices for organic produce to be very expensive at our local food store. For some reason zucchini and peppers are very pricey. Maybe it is this whole land-locked state thing? I am not sure. I bought everything below yesterday for $79.12. Not too shabby! I walked out the door with Wild Caught Salmon, Grass-Fed Beef, Brown Rice Tortillas, Goat Cheese Crumbles, Coconut Oil and Grass-Fed Cheese along with a ton of fruit and veggies so I considered it worth the extra drive.
Sometimes you just have to jump and take that leap of faith that Trader Joe’s will be safe. I am just kidding of course, but as always read your labels to be on the sure side and know what you are buying. We all have the responsibility to take care of our own health.
Have a happy and healthy weekend everyone! See you Monday.
Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on Trader Joe’s? Love it or hate it?