How to Buy Brand Name Foods for Less

Photo Credit: misterbigidea via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: misterbigidea via Compfight cc

The easiest way to save money on brand name groceries isn’t to clip coupons or stock up on sales. Simply go to Trader Joe’s and you’ll save a ton of money! It’s definitely my favorite store to go because of it’s small store charm. I know that it’s a huge chain with a lot of stores across the country, but it always feels like its a neighborhood grocer. Their stores are kept small and personal to distinguish them from the sterile and much larger stores. The employees are 90% of the time cheery and most of them seem to really love working there. Many of their products are brand name items packaged into a Trader Joe’s container and sold at a much lower price! I love Trader Joe’s! I can save a ton of money buying unique items and it’s just so much more fun to shop at.

Lower costs overall
Shopping at TJ’s will lower your grocery bill without having to clip coupons or wait for sales. Their prices are always low! They don’t advertise so they don’t need the revenue and charge higher prices. Even their recycled toilet paper is cheaper than normal toilet paper! The bad thing about shopping at TJ’s is that you get more tempted to buy all the yummy treats they have available. That might bring your grocery bill up if everything looks too tasty to pass up!

Hidden brand name items
They’ve made deals with brand name companies to package their food with TJ’s branding and sell it for less! Sometimes its not exactly the same but TJ’s makes a pretty good similar product. Joe O’s for example are Cheerios and their pita chips are Stacey’s Pita Chips! There are a ton of items that are simply re-branded and then sold for a cheaper price! I’d say that’s pretty awesome for me! Generic brands and copies don’t always taste the same as brand name ones do but TJ’s can save me money and still taste good.

Small store feel with custom signage
Stores are kept small and all the signage is hand drawn by an artist!!! I see a potential part time job for myself in the future! The store itself is decorated in a way that it feels like a home carpenter put it together. Using wood instead of metal and plastic throughout makes it feel a lot warmer and homier. People who shop at TJ’s feel like its their own neighborhood store.

Small store, big crowds, small parking lots
Worst part about shopping here is that everyone loves it! Since stores are small the parking lots are small and it gets pretty crowded. Shopping during busy times can be a pretty daunting ordeal. You’re constantly dodging carts and people who are walking wide-eyed not looking in the direction they are moving. It can be even worse than Costco. At Costco people are usually slowed down by the huge carts they are pushing around. At TJ’s its a mix of people using carts or baskets. Course if you get run over at Costco it hurts a lot more. Plus it happens a lot more often too! Last time I was there the guy behind me bumped his cart into me. Then he bumped his cart into my husband. Two bumps means I gave him a  dirty look afterwards!

Pricey meat selection and questionable bakery items
The two things I don’t usually buy too much of at TJ’s are fresh meat and bakery items. The meat is priced decently high and they don’t have a great selection. Bakery items you have to be careful of because they get moldy fast or are already moldy at times!

Overpackaged produce

The one thing I wish TJ’s didn’t do is to pack all their veggies in cellophane and plastic. It makes it very convenient to grab but then its more waste!


Going shopping at TJ’s is an adventure! I just have to look around the entire store to see what’s new and to make sure I didn’t miss out on anything good. My husband is much better than I am but I tend to slip things into the basket last minute. Love my Trader Joe’s!

Are you a Trader Joe’s fan? What’s your favorite item there?

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