Secrets 16 Trader Joe's Secrets Most People Don't Know About  

Brian Gilmore
381 votes 133 voters 12.8k views 16 items

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Even longtime Trader Joe's shoppers want to learn every way they can make their grocery shopping experience as efficient (and as cheap) as possible. As TJ's fans know, the store specializes in high-quality products at lower prices than most chain grocery stores. These Trader Joe's secrets will show you even more ways to maximize your next errand run.

This guide on how to shop at Trader Joe's includes some little-known Trader Joe's hacks that give some helpful tips. For instance, do you know the best times to go grocery shopping? Hint: mid-week is your best bet for avoiding the crowd. And when it comes to saving some extra cash, it's all about clipping coupons and checking out the store's flyers.

Trader Joe's is an upper middle class dream. The deals are fair, the employees are nice, and they even have a bunch of funny in-store signs. If Trader Joe's isn't already your grocery store of choice, it just might be soon.

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Get Your Fancy Cheese At TJ’s

Get Your Fancy Cheese At TJ’s is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 16 Trader Joe's Secrets Most People Don't Know About
Photo: Pinterest

Outside of a cheesemonger, Trader Joe's might have the best selection of cheeses you can find. Even Bon Appetit sings its praises, lauding its "convenience, the quality to price ratio, and even the evil-genius novelty."

Here, you'll find everything from cheddar and parmesan to more exotic options like jalapeño and honey chevre, aged gouda, and hard manchego.

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You Can Return Anything

You Can Return Anything is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 16 Trader Joe's Secrets Most People Don't Know About
Photo: animakitty/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Trader Joe's has one of the friendliest, no-questions-asked return policies of any store you can think of. You can even return products you've already partially consumed, for no reason other than you didn't like the taste.

It seems insane at first, but it actually makes business sense. It encourages shoppers to buy more - after all, they can always return something they don't like. It also helps the company tweak the products consumers really aren't responding to. The return policy is a win-win.

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You Can Use Manufacturers' Coupons

You Can Use Manufacturers'... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 16 Trader Joe's Secrets Most People Don't Know About
Photo: Chris Potter/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

You might think that Trader Joe's, with its mostly proprietary brands, won't accept manufacturers' coupons. But they do, so you can bring in those clippings to save even more cash on name-brand products.

The only tricky part is knowing which non-proprietary brands are carried at Trader Joe's. Your best bets are alcoholic beverages, some organic products like mac 'n' cheese, and sodas.

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Bring A Reusable Bag

Bring A Reusable Bag is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 16 Trader Joe's Secrets Most People Don't Know About
Photo: Leslie Anneliese/via Pinterest

Trader Joe's actually rewards you for bringing a reusable bag with you. Stores hand out perks like discounts, gift cards, or even more reusable bags. A few TJ's locations will even enter you into a raffle to win more goodies.