How to Save Money at Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe's is famous for its great prices, but did you know you can save even more than you already are there? Read on a few of our favorite ways to save at TJ's.
Try before you buy. Trader Joe’s offers free samples on everything in the store—even prepackaged foods—except for wine alcoholic beverages, which are available to try in some but not all states. Try before you buy to prevent buyer’s remorse.
Take it back. Trader Joe’s has a stellar return policy—one of the very best. If you’re unhappy with your purchase for any reason, you can return it to the store for a full refund, even if it’s opened or expired. You need a receipt to get the full purchase price; without one, you’ll receive the lowest advertised price and you’ll be given a store credit.
Buy a gift card. You can save between about 5% to 10% percent off the face value of a Trader Joe’s gift card by purchasing it online from places like Gift Card Granny, GiftCards.com, Cardpool, or Raise.
Use coupons. Though Trader Joe’s doesn’t have coupons for its own products, it does actually accept coupons on the name brands it carries, such as Annie’s, Stacy’s, or Lärabar, etc. Try visiting those manufacturers’ websites to look for coupons.
Purchase TJ-brand products. It is rumored that Trader Joe’s private label products are actually produced by the same suppliers who produce the products for its big-name competitors. For instance, its garlic and herb pita chips taste suspiciously similar to Stacy’s Parmesan, Garlic & Herb Pita Chips! Try the house brand, which is generally more affordable: You may find you like those products just as well!
Look out for specials. Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer lists monthly discounts and specials. If you’re looking for cooking inspiration, start there, since everything will be a little bit cheaper to begin with and you’re bound to save a few pennies. You can find the flyer in stores, online, or if you’re on the store’s mailing list, you probably receive it in the email.
BYOB. In cities with a disposable bag tax (in L.A., it’s 10 cents per bag), bringing your own bag will save you some small change, or maybe even a buck or two if you’re doing a big shopping. At many locations, however, if you bring your own bag and you spend more than $25, you’ll be entered into the store’s weekly raffle to win a $25 gift card. Ask the cashier for a raffle ticket when you’re checking out.
Use a cash-back credit card. This tip goes for all grocery stores, but if you use a credit card that offers cash-back rewards, you’ll earn money back every time you shop at Trader Joe’s.
Don’t buy more than you need. Much of Trader Joe’s produce is packaged, which means you won’t have the option of buying just one bulb of garlic or one tomato. If that’s all you need, shop for those items at another story where you can buy them individually and you won’t be wasting money or food.
Shop a couple TJ's shopping essentials below.
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