Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Trader Joe’s: My Newfound Friend

Recently a new health food store opened up in Omaha and caused quite the hubbub.  Apparently it is just the ticket for many people!  I waited out what sounded like hoards of people for the opportunity to peruse the shelves for myself.  And I’m glad I did.  I took my sweet time strolling through the aisles, looking for just the right finds for us.   

I. Was. Impressed.  Not only did Trader Joe’s have an amazing assortment of produce, healthy grains, meats and treats, but they were at decent prices!!  Unbelievable.  I’m pretty used to paying up the yin yang for specialty foods (Jake’s not my first gluten-free pal, along with other food issue friends).  I mean, check out your friendly neighborhood Walmart’s price on gluten-free products, good readers.  NOT CHEAP.  And organic produce is right up there on the cost scale, too.  But not so at Joe’s.  YAY!!!!

The only drawback I saw was that the store was pretty teeny.  But it packs a big punch.  So I got over that pretty quick.  I had hoped for a larger gluten-free section for this gluten-free newbie girl.  But next time I’ll just have handy their gluten-free buyer’s guide (available to print from their website, just like Whole Foods) before I go in so I know what to look for, rather than just relying on great big “GLUTEN FREE” signs on products or my limited knowledge of secret “gluten” ingredients.

Here are my favorite Trader Joe’s finds from what is bound to be the first of many, many trips:

-2 (frozen) vacuum-sealed Ahi tuna steaks for under $4.  INCREDIBLE!!!!!

-HUGE avocadoes for $1.29 each.  Sure, I can get shriveled, over-ripe, tiny black avocadoes at Walmart for $.99 each now, but seriously – there’s no comparison on size vs. value here, people.  (To be fair, Aldi had avocadoes for $.29 each last time I was there, but they do tend to go bad quite quickly.)

-16 oz. box of quinoa for about $3.  This is almost half Walmart’s price.

-several gluten-free soup options, including beef stock (beef broth/stock is usually not gluten-free), that were more reasonably priced than anything Walmart offers

Oh, so much more.  I took one tiny little grocery bag in with me and it was stuffed to the gills when I came out.  Silly me.  I should have known I would find more treasures than I was prepared for. 

I’ve heard mixed reviews on Trader Joe’s from family and friends.  Frankly, I’m baffled by that.  Perhaps I went at a really good time on a really good day?  I don’t know, but I’m definitely going back. 


  1. My only problem with Trader Joe's in Indy is it's a 45 minute drive on a good traffic day. With a toddles who hates the car, that makes it darn near impossible to conquer :(

    But... you have inspired me to try again. When the ice melts :)

  2. Yay for inspiring someone!!! And it's not a store I'll go to every day either, though it's closer for me than for you apparently and I don't have a toddler, of course. :-)

  3. Lincoln just added a Trader Joe's. I did a quick dash in and haven't been back. My favorite find was frozen mango chunks. We are big mango fans and the bag was probably the size of 4 mangoes for like $3. And they tasted like fresh mango when thawed!