I Heart Trader Joe’s

Frozen tamales, gourmet pesto, artisan cheeses & a grand selection of pasta, which would make any Italian grandmother smile & pinch your cheek in joy. That’s Trader Joe’s. Saturdays are my big grocery-shopping day.

I wake up early on Saturday morning & drive to Trader Joe’s. I love picking out my tomatoes, olive oil, grinding the coffee & even trying some new foods out. I recently discovered some fabulous humus dips & fried chicken batter made from almonds.

The big appeal of Trader Joe’s are the prices. Everything is less expensive than regular supermarkets. Here in Southern California, Trader Joe’s are plentiful. However, back in New York, there were only a few. Of course, there is an art of buying groceries in New York City.

Generic is the one word, which could make my bank account smile. Everything from cheese to toilet paper, were purchased generic. However, generic grew boring. There was a huge Trader Joe’s at Union Square. However, the lines were infamous for being long at almost all hours of the day. When I lived in NYC, it was the only Trader Joe’s in Manhattan.

On my first few visits, I wondered around the market. By the time, I found all my precious groceries; the line to check out had circled the whole store. It went by fast for the vastness. However, I didn’t like standing in line at all.

One day, I took the bus from my office on 53rd & Fifth to Union Square. I was half asleep & craving my Trader Joe’s goodies. Therefore, I strategized a cleaver plan to survive the enormous lines at high speeds.

I entered the market & pulled out a cart. Put some blueberries & spinach in my cart. Then I stood in line. As people stood behind me, the line progressed. I stuffed my cart with prosciutto, mozzarella, soymilk & pita bread. If there was a section of the market that the line didn’t touch, I would quickly run to that aisle get my stuff & stand back in line. This routine went on through my whole market experience.

I made it to the check out counter, saving time & collecting all my groceries without loosing my place in line. The experience was pretty fun & people were good sports about holding my spot, while I grabbed all the needed goodies.

If you come to New York City, visit a supermarket. Not only is it a window into our everyday routine, but also a very unique experience. Whole Foods, for example has lines that guarantee you’ll be out in a very short amount of time. Their 14th street location has panoramic views of Union Square & delicious Indian food at the hot bar. Also, Dean & Deluca & Zabar’s are gourmet heaven. They are more expensive than Trader Joes, but equally delicious.

I love going to the market, especially Trader Joe’s. Although, I no longer have to plot out my check out line strategy, the market is still fun for me. I’m a foodie & nothing gives more excitement than finding a new brand of Indian curry or a twist on a carrot cake recipe. It truly fulfills both my savory & sweet tooth.

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  1. Rae Girona

     /  August 1, 2012

    Love this one! And…what about the music at Trader Joes? Especially the oldies…twice while shopping I have listened to my hubby’s hits…Rocking in the Jungle and Babalu’s Wedding Day!!!!
    You got to love TJ!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I have some friends visiting New York at the moment – I’ll tell them to check out Trader Joes – it sounds fantastic!

  3. The one on 6th Avenue is much more palatable. Union Square is a nightmare! Love me some TJs 🙂

  4. Trader Joe’s is awesome! When I am visiting family in California I love to stop by and check out their selection of specialty foods.

  5. Hello! I love Trader Joe’s too! When I travel to California I always go to Trader Joe’s to shop a variety of marvellous things. Thanks for stopping by my blog “Exploring the world: photography, travel, art” and liking my posts.
    Kind greetings,

  6. Trader Joe’s is amazing! Sadly we don’t have Trader Joe’s here in Canada so I have to stock up every time I travel south of the 49th. The one in Santa Barbara is my favourite.


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