Everybody's got a favorite snack from Trader Joe's. Whether it's spicy or sweet, you don't want to sacrifice your top choice of treats simply because the cost is high! Instead of skipping out on scrumptious food, simply follow these tips to drastically lower your next Trader Joe's grocery bill:
- Surprise! You can use coupons: Many people are unaware that Trader Joe's accepts manufacturer coupons for name-brand items. While you won't find coupons for Trader Joe's-brand cookies, you can clip or print them for things like Annie's Natural products and Lärabars.
- Bring a bag: If you live in a city with a disposable bag tax, remembering to bring your own bags to TJ's can save a few dollars per trip. Some locations also offer shoppers the chance to win grocery gift cards if they bring a reusable shopping bag!
- Don't shop hungry: Going to the store hungry is a recipe for disaster. Everything looks good, so you'll want to buy it all! Trader Joe's also has free samples, which can tempt you into expensive purchases when you're famished.
- Use the "Fearless Flyer": Before heading on a TJ's trip, look through the store's monthly mailer. This helpful handout lists discounts and specials that can help you choose the cheapest items!
- If you don't like it, return it: Trader Joe's has a very lenient return policy, so if you're ever unsatisfied with an item you can bring it back for a full refund. Nothing is worse than spending money on bad/damaged food.
- Go for gift cards: The Krazy Coupon Lady recommends buying discounted TJ's gift cards on gift card resale websites to save a few bucks. They're not always in stock, though, so don't count on this savings method for every trip.
- Use your credit card's benefits: If you have a credit card with rewards, points, or a cash-back option, use it when grocery shopping. This can make you money over time if you pay off your balance immediately.
- Try before you buy: Bargain Babe recommends utilizing the liberal Trader Joe's sampling policy when considering a new product. TJ's employees are allowed to open any nonalcoholic item for customers to taste, so just ask!
- Compare prices before your purchase: While many products at Trader Joe's are a great deal, some items are more expensive than the competition. Make sure to choose Trader Joe's items that are worth the money, and skip the ones that aren't. Pay particular attention to meat and certain prepared foods because you may be able to cut costs by buying them elsewhere.
— Additional reporting by Haley Lyndes