Trader Joes

We finally got a Trader Joe’s in Winston Salem.  I’ve been wanting to go there for a while after hearing great things about it, but the closest one was in Charlotte.

I’ve written on this blog before about Organic and Whole Foods and the debate about whether they are “better” or “healthier” etc, but one thing that is not debatable is they are more expensive.  Anything with Organic/Natural/etc on the label carries a heavy premium.

Trader Joe’s is a lot like Aldi’s in that a lot of their products are private label, and they only carry a limited amount of name brand stuff.   Because of that their stuff is cheaper.  Whether or not the organic is “better” I don’t mind buying it if it’s the same price or cheaper.

I was killing time before a company dinner in the same shopping center, so I didn’t have a whole lot of time, but I glanced around at a couple of things stood out to me, one was frozen organic sweet corn (frozen corn has become my veggie of choice) for 1.99 a bag.  Which is similar in price to the Lowes Food brand I’ve been buying.  Some of the produce prices looked good as well, like a 2 pound bag of apples for 2.99.  1.50$ a pound is great for apples of any description, much less organic honeycrisps. The bananas were priced individually, and I’d have to do some math to see what kind of deal 19 cents each is… but I guess if they weight about a half pound each, then 38 cents a pound is about on par with other stores.  The organic bananas were slightly higher, maybe 24 cents each, but still cheap (as bananas always are).

I ended up buying a couple things to take home.  I got a box of TJ’s brand “golden crackers” which have no artificial colors or preservatives.. and surprisingly are cheaper than Ritz.  I got a small hunk of cheese to go with those crackers, which wasn’t too bad, pretty normal cheese price, 4.49 a pound.  I also go two bottles of Charles Shaw wine, the famous “two-buck Chuck”, (which now costs 2.99, but still a steal).  I learned on the website the Trader Joe’s labeled wines (they have more than just Chuck) are wines from large scale wineries who either have extra, or a contract falls through or other things happen and they need to offload some wine (or juice) without having their name on it, so this is actually GOOD wine, but since it’s “no-name”.. it’s cheap.  It’s not just “cheap wine”.  I look forward to trying them.

Hopefully I’ll get to explore more when I go back.  I may get turned on a little bit more to this wholesome stuff if I don’t have to go bankrupt on it.


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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.