10 Little-Known Trader Joe's Perks That Will Make You Love The Store Even More
10 out of 10 experts agree that Trader Joe's is the place to shop. They've got it all — fresh produce, pre-made meals, delicious little desserts, even skincare products. But I'd bet there are still a few Trader Joe's perks you're not aware of and seriously missing out on. I know, I know — you didn't think it could get any better. I assure you it does.
Over the years, Joe's has become the go-to for affordably priced and healthy food items and more. Their year-round products are totally #todiefor, their seasonal products are even better, and the Trader Joe's staff is impossibly upbeat. (And in case you were wondering, yes, they're genuinely that happy.) They've got this cool Hawaiian theme going on, and don't even get me started on the so-good-I-can't-believe-they're-not-potato-chips plantain chips. Get. In. My. Mouth.
Never forget this important fact of life, though: Trader Joe's is like an onion; and if you've only experienced it at surface level, there are many more layers underneath so beautiful, they'll make you cry. Next time you feel the urge to make a TJ's run, don't forget about these important and totally awesome perks that will make your shopping trip even more fantastic.
1. Wine Galore
Joe loves wine. In particular, Joe loves delicious but incredibly affordable wine, and the store has perfected the art of offering cheap-o vino; but wait — it gets better. Depending on where you live and the laws there, your location might have a whole designated wine and beer tasting area, like a couple locations in the Bay Area do.
Even if the locations in your neighborhood don't have entire sampling areas, they might still have wine tastings, like some Joe's in Las Vegas do. Vegas, baby!
Free samples, for the win.
2. They'll Open Up Any Food And Let You Try It
You know how you're not supposed to go grocery shopping hungry because you'll end up buying a bunch of stuff you don't need? In the case of Trader Joe's, go hungry. Joe is a generous guy, and he'll let you sample anything in the store, including alcohol (depending on local laws)! Now, don't take advantage of him; just know that if you're not convinced Cookie Butter is for you (it is), ask a friendly team member to crack open a jar so you can have a little nibble.
P.S. Here's a little known secret: If you head over around closing time, the staff will be trying to get rid of everything that was opened for sampling and never finished, meaning more snacks for you!
3. The Fearless Flyer
Is it a flyer? Is it a newsletter? Is it a comic book? The Fearless Flyer is that and more. It's available online and in print eight times a year, and I can confirm it makes excellent bathroom reading material. It offers a shopping list, seasonal and featured products, and cartoons. Forget all the other crummy newsletters that clog your inbox and you always end up unsubscribing from. This one is really special — promise.
4. Joe Doesn't Need Sales, Because He Already Offers The Best Prices
Don't take this perk lightly, friends. There's a reason why Trader Joe's doesn't have sales and discounts: it's because he already offers the cheapest possible prices, all day, every day.
5. Their Return Policy Will Make Your Heart Sing
No receipt needed, no questions asked. If you want to return something, return it for a full refund, plain and simple. Maybe the Mandarin chicken wasn't your jam. Maybe the apple you bought has a giant bruise on it. Joe just wants you to be happy, so you can bring your item to the front counter and return it without any employees giving you the side-eye. They won't even ask for an explanation.
6. There's No Annoying PA System
Have you ever wondered why all of the registers have bells on them? Of course you have. Instead of someone blabbing on the PA and ruining your Joe's shopping trip, employees communicate with the bells. One ring means they need another register open, two means the cashier needs assistance, three means a manager is needed for something important.
7. Joe Will Entertain Your Wee Ones While You Shop
Every location has a stuffed animal hiding somewhere, and it's the kids' job to walk around and look for it. If they do, they get a treat. Also, your life will be about four kajillion times better because you won't have to shop with screaming children.
8. There Will *Always* Be Someone Available To Help You
Don't you hate when you're at a store and can't find a single soul to answer your questions? That'll never happen at Joe's, because they overstaff their stores so that there are always plenty of people around to help. Customer service comes first; so you'll never spend time wandering around looking for an employee, or trying to get a guy's attention while he's busy stickering products in the dairy section.
9. Almost Everything They Sell Is The Trader Joe's Brand
When we say everything, we mean eight out of 10 products. This helps keep costs low, because Joe buys directly from suppliers whenever possible, and that eliminates certain fees. In other words, you get a better deal.
10. Shop With Your Own Bag And You Might Be Rewarded
Check with your location first to make sure they participate; but at many locations, if you use your own shopping bag and spend at least $25, they'll enter you into their weekly raffle for a change to win a $25 gift card! Low prices and regular raffles? Sign. Me. Up.