By Natalie Notaro
It’s just another Sunday. You go to the refrigerator to make breakfast, but only to the gut-wrenching realization that you are once again, out of food. Going to the grocery store can be overwhelming, and it is a chore that few college students enjoy partaking in. Instead of blowing off groceries and ordering Chinese takeout (again), stop by a different grocery store that you aren’t used to, like Trader Joe’s, for a fun and cheap grocery shopping experience.
Friendly customer service and aesthetically pleasing interior aside, Trader Joe’s sells unique and delicious food at very reasonable prices. This store is different from a Shoprite in that the food they sell is an all exclusive Trader Joe’s brand. This means that you can’t get their food anywhere else.
Some delicious and exclusive options at Trader Joe’s include their infamous Cookie Butter, Chocolate Lava Gnocchi, Everything but the Bagel dip, along with a wide variety of yummy meals. I normally gravitate towards the frozen foods section (cooking is not exactly my forte), where I am provided with so many diverse options.
Some classic frozen meals I recommend are the Chicken Burrito Bowls, their Chicken Spring Rolls, and the all Veggie frozen pizza. This frozen food is all of very high quality. I was eating a Chicken Burrito bowl and my friend asked to try it, and she could’ve sworn that she was eating something from Chipotle.
The best part of Trader Joe’s? Not only are you walking away with tasty treats, you are also saving a ton of money. A trip to ShopRite, for just the bare essentials, could cost me around $70. This is as ridiculous as it is unnecessary. When I go to Trader Joe’s, I walk away with two huge cardboard boxes of food for the same price.
You would think that with such unique and high quality food, that the prices at this place would be astronomical. However, the exact opposite proves to be true, especially with freezer items. One frozen meal is typically no more than $5, unless it is a seafood item, which typically runs a little pricier.
Staple grocery list items such as milk, bread and eggs are also cheaper at Trader Joe’s. Eggs at Trader Joe’s typically don’t go over $1.50, similar to the milk and eggs. Trader Joe’s also has a wide variety of bagels, six per bag, which are around $2.00.
Trader Joe’s makes me thoroughly excited to grocery shop (as sad as it sounds). My one complaint is the line to get in, which only further proves the popularity of the establishment. The store is always playing really fun music, and the staff is all dressed up in Hawaiian shirts. The store is not as huge as ShopRite or Stop & Shop, so it is easy to navigate through. The store is very conscientious of following Covid-19 guidelines, and only lets a certain amount of customers in at once.
There are so many different options when it comes to grocery shopping, allowing you to stray from the same old routine. Aside from Trader Joe’s, there is also Aldi’s, a grocery store owned by the same company. As we begin to enter into adult life, our chores can become dreadful. So switch it up and try something new! Add some spice to your routine.
Overall, if you want to save a few bucks while also making the dreaded grocery shopping experience a little more fun, I recommend going to Trader Joe’s the next time you’re out of food on a Sunday.