I have to say, it is nice to go into a place and not have to turn every can, package, and jar around to check for chemicals, preservatives, and other fillers that mainstream grocery stores love to supply us with. I am currently dairy-free and naturally my options are limited to those products not containing milk. More importantly, I am a mother of two and although I do love cooking – there isn’t always enough time in the day to prepare a healthy meal from scratch. At trader joe’s you can grab a bag, throw it on your stove or in the oven, and have dinner on the table within 5 – 20 minutes.
I enjoy doing what I call ‘recipe hacks’ where I take their pre-made items and spice them up with my own flavors and additions to create a more custom meal. Often times I will roam the store looking for items I have not tried and eavesdropping on customers questions. I like to call myself the unpaid and unannounced employee (update: recently applied and have a scheduled interview WISH ME LUCK), that graciously escorts random customers to their desired product. I am also happy to offer recipe ideas and spark up a conversation mid-aisle with anyone who seems eager to listen. Funny enough, I have so many reusable bags that I can no longer store groceries in my trunk. Needless to say, I am no longer purchasing the newest and coolest bags – instead, I pick the ones I like for each trip and remember to reuse them every time.
Let’s be honest and put things in perspective. I don’t expect you to have the level of attachment that I do to trader joe’s. I don’t expect you to feel like you’ve taken a vacation the second you walk in the door (like I do). I am a mother, after all, and healthy living is my ‘thing’. Groceries play a huge factor in the quality of our lives and I am constantly creating things in the kitchen. I can appreciate the friendly atmosphere, colorful displays, great packaging, and amazing prices more than the average person … but it shouldn’t stop you from exploring a trader joe’s of your own. If nothing at all – grab some fresh food for low prices.