9 Realistic and Borderline Frugal Ways to Save Money at Trader Joe’s


Everybody’s got a favorite snack from Trader Joe’s. Whether it’s spicy or sweet, you don’t want to sacrifice your top choice of treats simply because the cost is high! Instead of skipping out on scrumptious food, simply follow these tips to drastically lower your next Trader Joe’s grocery bill:

  1. Surprise! You can use coupons: Many people are unaware that Trader Joe’s accepts manufacturer coupons for name-brand items. While you won’t find coupons for Trader Joe’s-brand cookies, you can clip or print them for things like Annie’s Natural cereals and Lärabars.
  2. Bring a bag: If you live in a city with a disposable bag tax, remembering to bring your own bags to TJ’s can save a few dollars per trip. Some locations also offer shoppers the chance to win grocery gift cards if they bring a reusable shopping bag!
  3. Don’t shop hungry: Going to the store hungry is a recipe for disaster. Everythinglooks good, so you’ll want to buy it all! Trader Joe’s also has free samples, which can tempt you into expensive purchases when you’re famished.
  4. Use the “Fearless Flyer”: Before heading on a TJ’s trip, look through the store’s monthly mailer. This helpful handout lists discounts and specials that can help you choose the cheapest items!
  5. If you don’t like it, return it: Trader Joe’s has a very lenient return policy, so if you’re ever unsatisfied with an item you can bring it back for a full refund. Nothing is worse than spending money on bad/damaged food.
  6. Go for gift cards: The Krazy Koupon Lady recommends buying discounted TJ’s gift cards on gift card resale websites to save a few bucks. They’re not always in stock, though, so don’t count on this savings method for every trip.
  7. Use your credit card’s benefits: If you have a credit card with rewards, points, or a cash-back option, use it when grocery shopping. This can make you money over time if you pay off your balance immediately.
  8. Try before you buy: Bargain Babe recommends utilizing the liberal Trader Joe’s sampling policy when considering a new product. TJ’s employees are allowed to open any nonalcoholic item for customers to taste, so just ask!
  9. Compare prices before your purchase: While many products at Trader Joe’s are a great deal, some items are more expensive than the competition. Make sure to choose Trader Joe’s items that are worth the money, and skip the ones that aren’t. Pay particular attention to meat and certain prepared foods because you may be able to cut costs by buying them elsewhere.


Originally written by Brinton Parker for Popsugar


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5 replies on “9 Realistic and Borderline Frugal Ways to Save Money at Trader Joe’s”

It’s funny how people always say “don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry.”

Well as odd as this may sound, I PREFER to shop when I’m hungry. Not full on starving, but with at least a bit of an appetite because if I don’t, I won’t pick up what I need. For example, I’ve got a store list of about 10-20 items. I hit the store just after I’ve eaten a meal. Since I’m not hungry, NOTHING looks good, so even things on my list go unpurchased because, even though it’s something I want, I’ll skip over it because I’m not hungry at the time. Then I later kick myself in the ass for not picking it up.

Sure, it makes for a little bit of impulse buying, but I’m pretty good at controlling the urge to just grab anything that isn’t nailed down. Which is everything.

If you took the time to write a list you probably should just be an adult and go ahead and buy what is on it instead of wandering around the store and not getting stuff.

Your behavior is that of an irresponsible teenager or a senile old woman.

I”m the same. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that there will be waste. I may not eat all the produce I buy, or the deli meat for lunches or the eggs, etc… but at least I have the staples for when I need them. If I’m not hung, nothing looks good and I’m in the store the next day.

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