Why Canadians Love Trader Joe's
Here in Vancouver, organic products are very expensive. Sometimes organic products are as much as 3 or 4 times more expensive than their non-organic equivalent. Compared to Canada, organic products and products in general at Trader Joe's, are about half the price. If you purchased $200 worth of organic and healthy groceries in Canada, you could probably get the same thing down at Trader Joe's for around $100. That is HUGE! Take organic butter for instance. Half a pound of organic butter may sell for $6 or $7. Compare this to the one pound organic block of butter at Trader Joe's for just $4.79. It's twice as much and it's cheaper. The same thing with regular butter. One pound of regular butter sells for around $5-6 here but only $2.76 at Trader Joe's. We don't even have to compare organics to organics. Organic milk at Trader Joe's is cheaper than regular (non-organic) milk here ($2.99 compared to $3.69). Now, that is just nuts! Since the dollar here is at par with the US dollar, that makes Trader Joe's an even bigger bargain. Our dollar has been this strong for many years now.
As a family, we have been eating more and more organic and healthy foods. We have also been eating more vegan foods and vegan products are also very expensive here in Canada. Tofurky, which is a vegan sausage, can be purchased for $6 or more here. At Trader Joe's the same one sells for just $2.99. Frozen tempeh at Whole Foods costs $3.99. At Trader Joe's it's $1.69. The one we had from Whole Foods didn't taste very good either. Cheese is really cheap too. A chub of soy cheese was only $2.79. Regular cheese is about 50% the price we pay here. In fact, I found cheap Canadian brie cheese at Trader Joe's! Now, why in the world is Canadian cheese cheaper in the US than in Canada?? That is totally wrong man. Sausage and deli meats are also great buys. I bought a 227 gram stick of Italian sausage for $3.99 at Trader Joe's. I saw a similar 300 gram Italian sausage advertised on sale at Thrifty Foods for $8.99. Ouch.
Trader Joe's is like Whole Foods but at a discount. I actually came across a nice article about Trader Joe's while I was looking for some links. Organics, no preservatives, no artificial additives, gourmet, and in general everything is just healthier at Trader Joe's compared to regular supermarkets. Not only are you getting healthier, cheaper food but their products also tastes great! Soy yogurt down there tastes really good. It actually tastes similar to the soy yogurt you can find in France. We have tried a few brands of soy yogurt in Vancouver but none of them impressed us. Oh and have you tried Trader Joe's fresh pineapple juice? At $3.99, it's about the same price as an orange Tropicana when it's on sale but it's probably the best pineapple juice I have tasted.
|Trader Joe's in Portland|
The following are some other great buys, in case you want to stock up like we did :)
- Fresh breads
- Various dark chocolate/nut treats $2.99-4.29
- Organic coconut oil $5.99
- Cracker snacks
- Carton unsweetened coconut milk $1.99
- Carton almond chocolate milk $1.69
- Baking cocoa $2.29
- Bag of sundried tomatoes $1.99
- Honey organic raw fair trade $5.99 (really good)
- Organic apple cider vinegar $2.49
- Carton organic red pepper & tomato soup $2.79 (yummy & great for emergencies)
- Whole wheat flour $2.99
- Frozen wood-oven pizzas $3.99-4.99
Do you shop regularly at Trader Joe's? Did I miss anything? If you are a veteran shopper there, what would you recommend for a newbie like me?
candy cane jo jo's during the holidays! you can also get super cheap organic turkeyReplyDelete
I live in a border town in eastern BC. We never get charged for "food" items. We have also never been charged for non-food items when they are all bought together as long as it is within $100 or so. We only ever go over for a couple hours. If you are only gone a couple hours and are bringing back more pricey non-food items they may be charging you for that as well as all your goods. It's not a clear process that's for sure and all depends on who you get as a border guard - at least it is for us! We live in a small town and it is never a problem bringing back groceries on a day trip. We frequent Walmart and Safeway as it is only an hour away. We're about to make our first TJs trip (in Spokane, about 2 hours away) and I'm super excited!!!!ReplyDelete
Yay! How did it go? Did you love it? :)Delete
Having the Nexus pass makes border crossing a snap. When the lines are hours long, the most the Nexus wait is around 20 minutes but usually far less. Coming back across you can verbally declare the amount of your items. We usually state "$x in groceries" to which they reply "any alcohol or tobacco?". When we say no, they wave us on through.ReplyDelete
Trader Joes builds its reputation on what their customers like. So nothing they sell tastes bad, looks bad or is bad. And their customer base, while feverently loyal, will not tolerate anything out of the ordinary. So trust that their products are all pretty good to excellent.
Pick up their weekly flyer. It contains product reviews, recipes, customer feedback and more.
Oh, don't bother bringing back wine or alcohol no matter how cheap and enticing. That will get you caught everytime.
As for Point Roberts - that crossing isn't busy so they always inspect things because they have nothing else to do! :)
Nexus pass is definitely awesome if you go over often. I hear it's quite a bargain to get too.Delete
Thanks for your comment! :)
Must have been written a long time ago...Canadian $ is nowhere near par now. I have had a Nexus card for years and it does make a difference in time but I think it's just wrong to spend my money outside Canada, anyway.ReplyDelete
Having said that, I must admit I spend a bit at Trader Joe's.