SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
Houzz Logo Print
sleevendog

So i walk into TraderJoe's....

...and i didn't walk out! (lol)

I was early for a vet appmnt and sat in the car to kill time and checked where i was on gps. (new vet). I was near Ikea, ("start the car!") funny commercial. Need a couple more round rugs i like by the bed, (dog issues sent one fribee style off the back deck...it was trashed). Just can't stand the store and i get lost, can't follow the rules and arrows and get yelled at trying to cut through....: )

TJ's just .5 miles away as the crow flies, that is 15min in NJ. Still on the way home-ish. (NJ).

Not crowded, nice people, but still not much in my cart. Needed tortillas anyway for easy taco night. But the Bonsai melons were gorgeous and had a tasting in the back so i bought another.

Still not much of interest but good price on pepitas, the fish is always good. So what the heck. I went back through and ended up with a stack of easy prepared foods. Checked labels for crap ingredients. All good. Busy up-coming month so some easy treats sounded good to try. It is soup season so variation in-between might be nice.

Shocking was the bill. 103 with tax. I expected at least 150. At least a dozen meals. extras like lemons, bag of purple sweet potatoes, pate. A pot of mixed herbs, an orchid....

-if you are near one, go get some melons.

Comments (56)

  • annie1992
    5 years ago

    They finally have one in Grand Rapids, about an hour away. I go there 3 or 4 times a year, stock up on nuts and dried fruit, triple ginger gingersnaps for Mother, cheese for Elery, Pound Plus chocolate. Somehow I never leave empty handed, LOL.

    It's small, and crowded, but I like it, it's like a treasure hunt to find something new and different I haven't tried before. Last time it was a tiny little individual sized butternut type squash they called HoneyNut. I looked it up on-line and then saved the seeds, it's not a hybrid apparently. We'll see how it does here in Michigan, it was very good.

    Annie

  • foodonastump
    5 years ago

    I've got TJ's 6, 8, and 13 miles away. Every few years a thread like this will inspire me to give them another shot. I'm about due. The one product I discovered as a result of this forum was the thousand layer crackers. Loved them but they were very expensive, and discontinued by the time I went back for more. :(

  • Related Discussions

    I'm Stalking Trader Joe's.

    Q

    Comments (23)
    How's this for a slap in the face? TJ has a warehouse mere miles from my home but they DO NOT have any plans to open a store here! After repeated begging requests from the populace. It's almost enough to make me want to boycott them but why cut off my nose to spite my face? Currently, the closest store is about 1 hour away. Years ago they said my region would never get a Starbucks or a Williams Sonoma and we did. So maybe someday TJ's will get with the program and open a store here. By then I'll probably be too old to cook.
    ...See More

    Trader Joe's Grand Opening!

    Q

    Comments (22)
    Hey May, after two visits just this morning, I think I already am! Cathy, I hope you will have the opportunity to get over your boycott at some stage. It's so nice to have one so handy. Lars, that's funny, because Friday nights are when DH and I go the grocery store sometimes, and call it date night. It will be interesting to see if that holds true here. I'm not thinking that will be the case though until the newness wears off. I agree completely about the Organic chicken being pricey, although the last one I tried from the Farmer's Market was far more expensive and didn't taste all that great. This was still a savings of 30 percent! I bought one this morning just to try. Since I hardly buy chicken any more at the grocery, an occasional chicken purchase could work for me there. Karen, that is entirely too far to go! Funny the things that thrill us on the Cooking forum, isn't it? Some people just wouldn't believe I could title my personal movie, ''When Grocery Shopping Is Fun!'' Coconut, you'd probably be surprised at how reasonable many of the items are, which is part of the reason people love it so much. I bought a Huge box of Cheerio type cereal for $2.67 if that's any indication. I did buy a jar of Organic Low Sugar Strawberry Preserves this morning, which I expected to taste kind of nasty. I will say I was very pleasantly surprised, so now I can bring on the PB&J! (Peanut Butter is why I needed to go, since I was completely out.) I was very focused on the organic frozen broccoli (also very reasonably priced), since I don't know of any place I can get that. It's lovely to be able to buy the kind of food I want to in my own neighborhood.
    ...See More

    Our Trader Joe's opened today. Yay!!!!!

    Q

    Comments (14)
    I've been twice now to the one that opened up an hour away from me. They are going to open one 5 minutes from my office (about 15 min from my house) on SEPTEMBER 15!!! Yeah baby. Two things I discovered that are fabulous are their cinnamon raisin bread and the carrot juice. The cinnamon raisin bread is full of cinnamon and sliced thick so one slice is practically a meal. I bought one loaf the first time I was there and I got one slice out of it. It got eaten by the other two members of my household in seconds flat. The next time I went I bought four loaves and marked one loaf as MINE. There is still some of that loaf left but the other three have been decimated. The carrot juice is not something I would normally have thought to try but they were giving samples and it was delicious. It is a combination of carrot and some fruit juices with no added sugar but it is very sweet and refreshing. I can't wait to buy more in Sept. Oh and their sweet potato chips. And their sweet potato flavored corn chips. Yum. Once they open the one near my work, I'll be spending some lunch hours shopping there. How convenient! We have plenty of fridge/freezer space at work so I can buy anything and just store it at work till the end of the day. I can't WAIT! Between TJ's, Central Market, Phonecia and Penzey's I am set!
    ...See More

    What do you like at Trader Joe's?

    Q

    Comments (289)
    Yesterday I finally made it up to Trader Joe's. I went armed with a list compiled from the huge thread here of TJ favorites. Of the five or six "must haves" on my list, they were out of three---Rosemary ham, cooked lentils and scallion pancakes. I did get a tarte d'alsace for DH, organic tomato and roasted red pepper soup, and orange champagne vinegar from my list. I also purchased chicken and apple sausages, which we will have for dinner tonight with pasta, various crackers and other items. I forgot my cold food carrier so I bought one of their zippered, insulated totes which I will definitely use a lot for other purposes. When the checker asked why I was buying it and I told her I lived pretty far away and had never been there before, I became an instant celebrity. She rang a bell, welcomed me to the store, gave me a beachy patterned carryall for my groceries, a bag of plantain chips which she said was her favorite TJ snack, and a bouquet of flowers! We've tried the plantain chips and have sampled the roast beef, olive and fig crackers, some other kind of round pale yellow seasoned cracker., hummus and various other foods. They were all good except for the "organic vine ripened tomatoes," which were as hard as rocks, mealy, and did not taste anything like a tomato, and the plantain chips, which taste like I imagine chicken feed would taste. We've yet to try most of the things I bought, but except from the lovely warm welcome I was underwhelmed by the experience. On the up side, I now feel a bit less like I am missing out on a great culinary treasure trove living so far from civilization and I see that nothing can touch the home grown produce I am so lucky to be able to buy from pickup trucks that park around the courthouse on Saturdays. If anything we've bought proves a must have for me I will enlist my daughter to pick it up and bring it down, but I won't be making any more special trips.
    ...See More
  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Foas, i'm notorious for walking in and walking out. The lines and the over-packaging...they even cut the leek tops off, (i like the tops for stock). They even cut the radish from their leaves....The cut was discoloring.

    Annie, i bought HoneyNut at the farmers market. Saved the seeds also. I found it compact with dense flesh and delicious. Not watery.

    The tortillas were fine. Held up to my salsa, bbq chicken, avocado,..held up to cast iron heating, flexible, tender.

  • writersblock (9b/10a)
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Our nearest TJs is about an an hour and a half away from me and there just aren't enough TJs down in S FL, so it can be frustrating. I went down yesterday and no frozen naan, no almond meal, no--well you get the idea. They're always sold out of everything interesting and most staples, although they usually do have nice flowers. Orchids aren't worth it when you live where I do, but I did snag a bonsai melon.

    We were supposed to get a TJs up here during the first real estate Frenzy, but then the crash came and it became one of those bizzare LA Fitness+Dunkin Donuts outfits instead. Sigh.

    ETA I would like to know more about those bonsai melons. There doesn't seem to be any info on the web other than scary Ali Express pics of blue- and fuschia-fleshed watermelons. I'm assuming it's just a small Tuscan melon, but I'd like to know if it's a hybrid or not.

  • party_music50
    5 years ago

    The HoneyNut squash sounds interesting. I looked it up -- I'm surprised it's OP. Good save on the seeds! I saw a price of $5.25 / pkt. :)



  • season55
    5 years ago

    I am gluten free so I just get like ten loaves of there gluten free bread and freeze it. I take out a loaf or two when I need to make sandwiches, garlic bread, etc..

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    5 years ago

    I don't find many things I want to buy from TJ's.

    I go there just for their free coffee and samples.


    dcarch

  • colleenoz
    5 years ago

    Ikea should do mail order if you still want that rug :-)

  • annie1992
    5 years ago

    I've never been to an Ikea, Elery refuses to ever enter the place again, he went there once with his daughter and DIL and says it's a big circle full of baby strollers, LOL.

    Sleevendog, I'd never seen those small squashes here and was also suprised when I looked on line and found it was OP, not a hybrid.

    Party_music, I liked it a lot too, it was sweet, not watery, much like my favorite Waltham Butternut but in a more convenient size. My Mother will LOVE it, just right for her. It should grow here, we'll see....

    Season, my oldest daughter is also gluten free, being diagnosed as celiac, so I do pick up their gluten free bread. There's never more than a loaf or two there, though, so no stocking up on freezer bread. The other thing they always seem to be out of is cookie butter. I gave up and just buy Biscoff for the kids at the local Meijer. I also used to buy their red pepper dip/spread until I realized that it was actually just Ajvar, which I buy for about $2 a jar less at the Mediterranean grocery, available in mild and hot. I get the mild, LOL. I did make it once, but sweet red peppers are really expensive here, even in the summer, so I get a couple of jars a year and that's enough.

    dcarch, Elery likes the free coffee too. Since we live an hour away, it's hard to get frozen things home, even in a cooler, so I tend to not buy those, although there are a couple of things I'd like to try. They have edamame that's shelled, for some reason every store here has edamame in the shell, and I don't like it enough to shell it.

    Annie



  • cookncarpenter
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I have three TJ's within 5 miles, and 7 or 8 more within 10 miles (So Cal)..still, I'll only stop in one a few times a year, typically for some fun snacky type items.

    Honestly, I just don't see what the attraction is, their selection of mostly pre-packaged "meals" seems to be mainly directed toward a young single or couple on the go.

    ...as far as prices, perhaps it's regional and due to our extremely competitive SoCal market, but I've not found their prices are any lower, and often higher for many daily staple grocery items.

  • Olychick
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Annie, another feature of TJ's frozen edamame is that it's organic and grown in the USA. Every other brand of organic I find (and most non-organic, too) comes from China. I can find one GMO certified brand, shelled, that is usa grown, but not organic.

  • eld6161
    5 years ago

    You get to know your favorites. They do have things that I don't see in my usual grocery store. Interesting flavored crackers, frozen dinner, cookies.

    It's simply a nice supplement to where you usually shop.

    But, i have to agree on the prices. I'm not one to check pricing, just look at the total. I too feel I walk out with a lot of items for the money that I have spent.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    5 years ago

    Maybe it is a regional thing but TJ's prices on most goods are significantly lower than I would find at the grocery store - eggs, butter, bread, coffee, most fresh produce. In fact, this discussion has come up a number of times with my family and friends that frequent the store and we always wonder how they manage to undercut the big guys.

  • writersblock (9b/10a)
    5 years ago

    I suspect it depends on how competitive grocery shopping is in your area. Around here it's only Publix, so prices are very high and always getting higher, while in areas where they have competition Publix has much better pricing.

    But for me, for something like a bag of shredded cheese, TJs price is less than half what I pay for a bag at Publix and not only that, the bag is 50% larger, too.

  • season55
    5 years ago

    There gluten free bread is good, right Annie? I love it. I also always eat there frozen hash brown patties. I'm too lazy to make homemade hashbrowns are wait for thirty minutes for them to get crispy on the stove.

  • andy99mich
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Trader Joe's makes everything... apparently their own oyster crackers, even! ;-) And great trail mixes. Almost nobody beats the prices. With a family of 4 (including a picky child), that's greatly appreciated. :D They've been around S. Michigan for a long time, it's always pretty busy as well.

  • plllog
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    TJ's has good prices even in competitive markets. They were created as a place for educated and sophisticated, but not wealthy, people like schoolteachers to indulge in tastes from near and far, and they still keep to that philosophy. They keep costs down by house branding almost everything, and also you will find differences in ingredients between theirs and the maker's own, which may be price savings as well. I know that was the culprit when they changed the vitamin C chewables from dextrose (nice) to sucrose (way too hard and sweet). They will also quickly discontinue a product if it gets too expensive to stock or sell.

    It takes awhile to learn what to get there, and you have to be willing to try things. They're somewhere between a convenience store and a gourmet shop, not a full grocery. I was shocked to see parsnips this year at Thanksgiving time. Not something they'd usually have, but that one expects to see at any supermarket.

    Only a small portion of what I buy there is premade, but I do shop there nearly every week. I like their organic bananas and persian cucumbers, Power to the Greens (bagged mixed greens), blue lake green beans, English peas, etc. They also have the best non-white breads in my area. They're highly inauthentic, but I like the flour and corn tortillas. Also the whole wheat lavosh. Etc. My brother is a milk snob, but will drink theirs, and they always have buttermilk, which the big chains do not. Best dried fruit and nuts.

    I did recently figure out something though. I was shocked and appalled by the insistence here that something dire would happen to ripe tomatoes if refrigerated, since I do it all the time, and they're fine. But I learned never to buy tomatoes at TJ's. Many of them look like the same tomatoes from the same growers that I'd get elsewhere, but they'd be like plastic, even without me ever getting them cold, instead of tomato-y. I finally figured out that THAT must be what you all were talking about. Some kind of thing that happens before you even get them. Also, TJ's block cheeses should be rewrapped immediately. They have a tendency to go moldy fast.

  • CindyMac
    5 years ago

    We enjoyed those honey nut squash too. They were a little pricey, but very good!

    I shop TJ's about once a week. Have a list of things I buy there on a regular basis.

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Any cheese i bought went off within a week last year. (TraderJoes)

    I do have the best local market that is our main weekly market. Fairway.

    Killer over the top best quality hands down leaps and bounds above no other.

    Hey, by the way .;;; just went into my pantry. What TF. A gift of a cute twine tussy mussy of onions and shallots i hung in the kitchen for two weeks then put in the pantry a bit cooler 55. Still firm and great .

    Four onions i bought just a few days ago from TJoes.. A rotting mass of carp.

    My onion/garlic basket is fine and fresh.

    Not a fan of bad old produce.

    On the left of this pic is shallots and onions from the week before Christmas. Fresh and still firm. A lovely gift. (i hung it in the kitchen then put it in the pantry where the temps are a cool 55. )

    This morning . TraderJoes rotting onions bought this past wednesday. Old Carp. pissed. rotting just a few days.

  • Lars
    5 years ago

    Onions store better when kept cool, and so in the summer, I store them in the fridge. In the winter, I store them in a wire basket in the kitchen, where it is not cool, but they seem to store better at this time of year.

    I have not bought TJ's corn tortillas, but their flour tortilla are the best, second only to home-made. However, since they are made without preservatives (which is why they taste so much better), they go bad quickly if not refrigerated, and I often store them in Foodsaver bags with waxed paper between them, so that they will not get stuck together. More often, I just buy regular grocery store flour tortillas (as I make burritos quite often), and those will last in the fridge for quite some time without having to use Foodsaver vacuum sealed bags.

    I pretty much always repackage all cheese after I buy it, except for cheddar, as I go through that quickly (in my burritos), and I buy Foodsaver rolls in quantity so that I will always have plenty on hand.

    I don't go to TJ's as often as I used to, but I used to live walking distance from one. Now the nearest one is 1.5 miles away, but there are quite a few within 5 miles, and none of those are as crowded as the one closest to me. Lately I've been shopping at Bristol Farms instead for similar items. My favorite things at TJ's are often things that I should not be buying, such as cookies, candy, and ice cream. They do have the best prices on Brie type cheeses and usually have French cheeses that I do not generally find in other markets, except Bristol Farms, Gelson's, and other higher end markets.

  • sushipup1
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Trader Joe's does not "make" anything. Like Costco, they contract with manufacturers to produce items under their label.

  • cookncarpenter
    5 years ago

    I agree with sleevendog, I also find TJ's produce is old at the store... won't buy it

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I go to card stores not to buy greeting cards, but to read the funny ones for entertainment.

    Same when I go to a TJ's. Besides free coffee, they have funny creative food labels.

    The Emperor's New Cloves (for garlic).

    Boneless, free range bananas, $0.25

    dcarch

  • season55
    5 years ago

    Hana the bananas really made me laugh, dcarch!

  • plllog
    5 years ago

    Sleevendog, All of TJ's products seem to be closer to "use now" than from other stores, but at least near me, the whole vegetables don't generally have issues (unlike the recent cut cantaloupe that was off though there were no signs of it). Some of the difference from other stores may be a lack of disinfectant sprays and other behind the scenes manipulations. BUT TJ's are great about refunds. Circle the onions on your receipt and put it in your wallet or similar place, so next time you're near the vet you can take it in. You don't need to prove the onions. Just show your receipt. I do tend to prefer the loose veg to bagged because sometimes you can't see the beginnings of that kind of problem.

  • annie1992
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    season, I've never eaten the gluten free bread but my daughter likes it a lot better than the frozen Udi's, which is the only option available around here unless I bake it myself. Thanks to Nancyinnc, I use her recipe. And, like you, I seldom make homemade hash browns, I just don't want to deal with it in the morning, so I just bake extra potatoes and cut them into a pan for American fries. Dinner is something else, but if I'm grating potatoes I'm probably making latkes (which are really hash browns too, kind of...)

    Olychick, thanks for that information. I seldom buy edamame because I'm not going to deal with the shells. (shrug) I'll have to buy a couple of bags next time I go to TJ's.

    That squash was an anomaly, I seldom buy produce at TJs. Potatoes and onions and butternut squash are all in my winter storage, but that damnable ground hog did a job on the pumpkins and squash this year, so I had to buy one! Here my onions are still fine, it's the Red Pontiac potatoes that are beginning to sprout. And my produce splurge this week will be at Aldi, they have avocados for 65 cents each. Yes, I know they are from Mexico. (sigh) But they freeze pretty well if I mash 'em up, and then I can make "uckymoldy" (Madison's translation of guacamole, LOL) whenever I feel inclined.

    sleevendog, nothing smells worse than rotten onions either. I'd definitely be getting a refund.

    Annie

  • season55
    5 years ago

    Yeah, Udi's is the available option close by for me. Also Rudi's which is basically the same thing.

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Annie, check your local grocery organic food section closely. Even if the selection is small, the same brand of edamame that has been around forever has been stocking shelled for a while now. (the packaging looks identical)

    I find the labeling a bit corny. Good marketing i suppose as it makes one feel they are getting 'healthy' hippie food. But it is mostly junk. Not all. Selective shopping it would easily supply a family with picky kids.

    Most shoppers were zippy in and out...had their lists and stocked up. Fried rice in a bag was emptied by just a few people. I see the appeal especially for the younger crowd or those with teens. Just about everyone had a few melons.

    As mentioned they don't make anything. They contract out in bulk and pay cash. Buy surplus maybe. Run out. Buy again. Sometimes a seasonal one-off. Keeps the hunt, we seem to have been born with, interesting.

    I still need a visit to Ikea. On a weekday it is pretty empty. As long as i 'pin' where i parked, lol. They use a outside delivery third party type delivery system. Too complicated. And $$ at least in NY.

    #1 pup has Lyme. She has always tested but low numbers. Seems more serious now so i'll be in the neighborhood for treatment options....with that onion receipt.

  • foodonastump
    5 years ago

    Sleevendog - Fairway is my go-to also. Just got back. Couldn't find any decent broccoli around Christmas but overall good quality and selection. I like running into the less common stuff, like sour oranges, when in season.


  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I agree foas. Being our local grocery i have no need to shop elsewhere. The Cheese Monger is exceptional. And the slice counter with many smoked cured salmon choices. Cut by hand to order. Salami from all over the world cut paper thin. Even an 1/8th a lb is no problem.

    We sampled a dozen cheeses before deciding on two for the holidays. He suggested taking pics to keep track of what we like. Both we have enjoyed the aging process as they change over a few weeks. Still good and in their store packaging.

    Open 7am to 11 pm. A 30 dollar off a hundred gift card they sent a week between the holidays was a good time to stock up on a couple vinegars i like. I have usually just ACider not interested in flavored ones.

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Anyone visiting NYC, the flagship Harlem-UpperEastSide store is a real gem.

  • Olychick
    5 years ago

    I always have good luck returning things to TJ's, not that I have had to much. One time they had a featured French cheese that was awful. Not just not my taste, not spoiled, but just bad. I bought two packages and had opened one and tossed it. I took the other and my receipt and they refunded for both, with the comment that they'd had a lot of returns - and they wouldn't be getting it again. One time recently I bought a bunch of Alstromeria and the next day they were totally wilted in the vase. The bunch before that had lasted 3 weeks. I just took a picture of them (which I probably wouldn't have needed) and they gave me my money back. Now I only buy those if I can tell they are really fresh.

    I love their organic lemons in a bag, never spoiled in my experience, as well as the organic bagged avocados. They are hard as a rock, but I put in the refer and pull them out one at a time to ripen and they are great. I don't care for their bagged organic yams, tho. They never seem to cook soft when baked, so I skip those now. The organic baby broccoli is always fresh, as are the organic Persian cucumbers. I also like their rainbow carrots (organic) this time of year when our local farmer's market is done with theirs. The kids love eating purple and yellow carrots and they are quite tasty. I splurged on a package of organic fresh raspberries this week, because they were grown in the USA. I skip the Mexican or South American grown stuff (except the cukes).

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    5 years ago

    Those honeynut squash were awesome, but I haven't seen any @ the TJs here since around Thanksgiving. I split them in half & baked them w/ butter & rosemary, served w/ salt & pepper. I looked it up & it's supposed to be an open pollinated variety, so I saved some seeds to grow out as an experiment.

    I do save money buying stuff there - I buy organic & it's always @ least a dollar less there, sometimes more & the organic meats are much less than anywhere else around here. I really do not buy any of their prepared foods, just staples. I did buy a package of Italian cookies for Christmas, & they were just so-so, compared to my own baking, IMO.

    If I can get there during the week, shelves are full & the traffic is lighter. On the weekends it's usually c-r-a-z-y & many things may be sold out. One thing I hear & say most often in that store is "I'm sorry" because it's so crowded. I just consider that part of the Trader Joe's experience = J

  • jakkom
    5 years ago

    Trader Joe's aims at busy working couples, with a couple of young kids. It was how they targeted Boomers, then the Gen Xers and now the Millennials. Unlike sibling Aldi they do not and never were envisioned as a full-service supermarket, aiming specifically for the smaller-scale specialty grocery market which is mostly composed of local independents.

    The Albrecht family is currently in the throes of a nasty succession battle. The U.S. is currently the only country where the Aldi's and TJ's are beginning to compete (one brother owns Aldi's, the other owns TJ's). Aldi's has traditionally been more in the Wal-Mart space but is now shifting to the upscale specialty end where TJ's is situated.

  • writersblock (9b/10a)
    5 years ago

    We do have an Aldi here, but I wouldn't say that it's a full-service grocery, either, since one also can't be sure there of finding a particular item. Like TJs they have excellent prices on what they do have, but just because you saw it once is no guarantee they'll have it again next time.

    At least so far, there's nothing remotely upscale/specialty about ours.

  • annie1992
    5 years ago

    sleevendog, I do hope your pup is treated and doesn't have further health problems, I know how hard it is to have a sick pet. (sigh) They become so important to us....

    The town that I live near is Big Rapids, population 10, 433. The median family income is $24,480, due to the fact that we are home to Ferris State University so a large part of that population is college students who live on campus and work at the various fast food chains that surround the college.

    My grocery store options consist of WalMart and Meijer, (both small store versions of those chains), Aldi and Save A Lot. Needless to say, none have a large organic stock of anything, or even organic sections at all. They mostly cater to the college students with large beer and chip sections, frozen convenience items and ramen noodles. Go figure.

    So, if I were more organized I'd drive to Grand Rapids once every month or so, hit the Mediterranean Market, Penzey's, Trader Joe's, Fresh Thyme, Lee's Korean Grocery and stop at Koeze's for Cream Nut Peanut Butter and licorice bridge mix on the way home. I'm just not that organized, though and it's 100 miles round trip, more if I make several stops on opposite sides of town, so I don't do it very often.

    Annie

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Annie, #1 pup is running around in the snow like no issues. Even the Alternative Vets, holistic and 'organic', suggest going with full antibiotics for Lyme. So we will do that. Ordel, the new vet is also an Emergency vet that treated them when they both got porcupined last summer. Hundreds of tiny quills all over their snouts. No pain. They just looked like they had sucked on a dozen lemons, lol. Puckered. Oddly very well behaved for a few hours. : )

    So the sweet potatoes with a cute TJ

    name are horrid and puckered and rotting on the surfaces....my other roasties are from the Thursday before X-mas. Even the brussels. Nice to have produce that is fresh and lasts. TJ sweet potato is so old i had to cut off the skin and more skin...then just tossed it.

  • annie1992
    5 years ago

    I think the vet made a good call on that, sleevendog. If Lyme causes the same problems that it does in humans, it's best to treat aggressively, I think.

    I had blue potatoes today too, but mine were from my cold storage and were beginning to sprout a bit so I have to use those up.

    I have some sweet potatoes that I bought at Meijer when they went on sale at Thanksgiving that are still fine, and that makes me a bit suspicious too, not a slip sprouting on them so I wonder what they treated them with.

    That sweet potato is one pitiful looking specimen...

    Annie

  • Aprile
    5 years ago

    My Greyhound has Lyme he was treated with a 30 day antibiotic course and then was tested again. He does now have a lot of joint stiffness which we treat with anti inflammatory medications. He also goes to treadmill treatment once a week. They put him in a tank of water on a treadmill for 30 mins then he gets a massage.

    My other dog had knee problems the knee would dislocate and we would have to pop it in. Many many er visits because poor puppy would scream and we couldn't get it back in place. They suggest knee surgery to the tune of $5000. We decided to give the treadmill therapy a try because hey what could we lose by trying it. Either it would work or it wouldn't and she'd have to have the surgery. She is sensitive and I was afraid the pain and recovery would be too hard on her. It worked!! 4 years later no knee surgeries and no more popping out of place. When the Greyhound goes he is stiff and sore but comes home a new dog! It lasts almost the full week. Hoping as time goes on he will not need it as much.

    As far as Trader Joe's I like Trader Joe's for obscure things you can't find other places or they do have some really good things like Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter pretzels. I can buy them anywhere but they are not as good as the ones from Trader Joe's.

    I now live an hour away from Trader Joe's so have to make plans to go there instead of a spur of the moment thing. I have not been to the one here in Florida yet. I had spoke to Mustangs about meeting her there sometime. My life got busy and I never got a chance to set it up but I would one day still like to meet her there but I no longer see her much on these forums.

  • plllog
    5 years ago

    Annie, You're plenty enough busy without needing new projects, but a lot of colleges are really buying into eat local and seasonal, farm to table, sustainable, organic and all the rest, driven by student demand. If you felt the urge, you could talk to them at your local college about it, and maybe organize some of the local commercial farmers. Move those kids from greasy fast food and cheap beer to fast vegan and craft beer. :)

  • jakkom
    5 years ago

    >>At least so far, there's nothing remotely upscale/specialty about ours [Aldi's).>>

    The makeover is being carried out in the European stores first. The U.S. is still a relatively small piece of their overall business.

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Twenty-five to thirty years ago, in SoCal, TJ's would definitely save one money over Ralph, Vons, etc. on certain items. By far the best prices on frozen fish (and better quality -- but I am not comparing to buying fresh at the docks, mind!), dried fruit/nuts, wines, cheese, chicken sausage (a rarity then), jarred condiments, cookies and chocolates and crackers. I adored the Crystal Geyser brand pink lemonade and key lime drinks (never seen anywhere else but no longer made, sadly -- I would even pack several bottles in my luggage when returning from a visit after I moved to the Midwest). At that time their baked goods were good but not awesome and a more limited selection, but increasing steadily. There were many things that I would put in the junk category, like the European cookies and chocolate, that they carried that just weren't available in mainstream stores and were also less expensive than the standard US brands. Those were my indulgences! I had to drive about 10 miles to get to one, so it was always a planned trip to stock up.

    I was so excited when TJ's opened here about 8 years after we had left SoCal. But, the price differential really is not so great anymore -- in fact the big local chains are highly competitive -- many of the once unique items can be found in many stores. Many of my favorite items were gone (I learned that the west coast and east coast stores have some differences) and I find the fruits/veggies actually more costly so I don't buy there. I drop in every 3 months or less now, or maybe a quick stop if I go past and am craving their tart d'Alsace.

    We do have a tradition of buying a selection of their frozen appetizers/munchies for our Christmas tree decorating.... mini quiches, mini samosas, that sort of thing, and usually find them quite tasty.

    Yep, Aldi far from upscale here either, and I buy my haricots verts and organic greens there (same product, different package) for less than at TJs.

  • annie1992
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    plllog, there are already TWO craft beer places in town. One does BBQ and one is a Greek restaurant/American diner, LOL. The Greek place also brews a pretty good root beer. There's a small farm market, but on McDonald's wages the students pretty much cannot afford too much there, although you can get some grassfed beef, lamb and one place has bread from a woodfired oven. That costs $8 a loaf! The beef is about $15 a pound. In addition, the students are mostly gone during the summer, which is peak farmer's market season. So, a farmer who wants to do such a thing would have to get a local restaurant or some businesses to buy into the theme, or there would be few/no summer sales.

    There is one local restaurant, Blue Cow, which tries to use somewhat locally sourced items, and I've thought about seeing if the ladies that run the bed and breakfast are interested in fresh organic produce, eggs, maybe meat.

    I've also considered raising hops for those local breweries or planting chestnut trees, as the current demand is outpacing supply. By the time they began producing in any volume, though, the demand would probably be gone, LOL.

    Annie

  • sarah_socal
    5 years ago

    We love TJ's cinnamon raisin bread! They also have great prices on booze. I also get great flowers they most of the time.

    I have never been a huge fan of their breads but like their organic flour tortillas.

    We don't have Aldi's here but I have been and find TJ's to be more upscale.

    Seems people find their favorite items and go for those . . .

  • writersblock (9b/10a)
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thanks for the further info on Aldi, jakkom. I'll be interested to see how it turns out. I was in several Aldi stores in France in 2015, but I guess they hadn't started the changes there yet.

  • Ellie RK
    5 years ago

    I started learning to cook a few months ago and Fairway is also my go to. But I have to drive to Brooklyn to go. Whole Paycheck aka Wholefoods is a few blocks away and I wind up using them a lot, mostly for fish and and their prepared food department. They do Indian pretty well.

    @Sleevendog - I think we live near each other.

  • donnamarienj
    5 years ago

    I go a few times a year. Just love to browse...

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    5 years ago

    Wishing they carried their organic tortillas here. I had them in CA & they're so good!

  • season55
    5 years ago

    Also there gluten free waffle and pancake mix is like, the best thing in the world!!! I always make pancake muffins with it, by preparing the mix, spooning it into a muffin tin, topping it with chocolate chips and baking it. It's so delicous!