The excitement in my town when a new Trader Joe’s opened its doors seemed unprecedented, and with all the hype I was excited to try it out myself. I had no idea what I was getting into. I expected to see brands I knew from other health-oriented stores—instead, I found Trader Joe’s, Trader Jose’s and Trader Ming’s products. This was a whole new ball game!

Step outside your usual brands

While this was, at first, overwhelming (I can’t say I didn’t consider turning around and going to my usual grocery store), I’m too stubborn to give up that quickly. I picked out things that I knew were ‘safe’ and on the perimeter of the store: fruits and vegetables, a gallon of milk, eggs and cheese. Then I ventured inward and started up the first aisle. I had to ask myself, are Trader Ming’s wontons good? Are the all-natural Joe-Joe’s as good as Oreos? Just as I was wondering this, a crew member, A.K.A. employee, asked if he could help me and mentioned how good the Joe-Joe’s are. He sensed my hesitation and when I said I had never tried them, he didn’t think twice to open a box and offer me a cookie to try—they were delicious!

Ask to sample

So do you have to linger in the middle of the store looking confused and wait for a crew member to take pity on you? Thankfully no! Trader Joe’s allows its crew members to open any product in the store for you to try. If you aren’t quite sure if you or your family will like the gluten-free, vegan snickerdoodles, just ask for a sample!

Try the wine

Want to try the wine? It varies from store to store, but my local Trader Joe’s offers samples five days a week. They even pair the wines with cheese samples. Also check out the Trader Joe’s “Guide to Wine” to find exactly what you’re looking for.



Learn Joanie and Heather’s new way to organize coupons here!

Sample Before You Buy to Save at Trader Joe's