Trader Joe’s is known for its already low prices. But I had a thought on one of my frequent shopping trips to my local Trader Joe’s: why have I not purchased marked down and clearance items to save even more? At other stores, oftentimes the butcher will mark down meat and the grocer will fill a shelf with items that are discontinued or near their sell-by date. This is often a great way to save money, especially on items that do not have coupons. Since Trader Joe’s does not release coupons on their store brand, this seemed like a logical way to save a few extra dollars on my regular shopping trips. So I set out on my mission.

On my way to savings

I walked the aisles of my local store, but I was unable to find anything marked down. I found the manager and asked when and where they clearance out older or discontinued items. I was shocked; they don’t! My first reaction was disappointment. I was really looking forward to saving a little extra on their store brand! The manager then explained why they don’t lower prices for quick sales and I not only understood, but it reinforced why I shop at Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s gives back

Trader Joe’s doesn’t mark down or put items on clearance because they have a policy of donating anything that is not good enough to sell, but is still safe for consumption. What I love most is that their donations aren’t done on a national level by a corporate office. Each location has a donations coordinator that does all donations locally. This means that they are involved in the local community donating to schools, non-profit organizations, food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens. Last year alone Trader Joe’s donated more than $260 million worth of food product to food banks! It is nice to know that they are working in our community to help provide relief as well as reduce waste. So while I may not save an extra dollar on my favorite cut of meat, I am glad to know that it will go to someone in need.

What? No Markdowns or Clearance at Trader Joe's?