The Tradeoff of Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is awesome. They have great food, great prices and a friendly, accommodating staff.

But even though Trader Joe’s has captured a majority of my food shopping dollars recently (mostly owing to the fact that the store is only three blocks from my apartment), they don’t fulfill my every food need.

Look, I love generic Joe’s products as much as the next guy. From chickpeas to chicken, they get the job done. But sometimes you want the comfort of the real thing. Even if the real thing is just clever marketing.

Here are five things I wish I could get at Joe’s:

1. Jif peanut butter

Granted, I haven’t tried Joe’s equivalent but, well… I just don’t want to. I love me some Jif.

2. Tomato sauce

All of Joe’s sauces have preservatives, unlike the snobby, high-end sauces (like this one) to which I’ve become accustomed.

3. Eggo waffles

Sorry, I can’t leggo my Eggos.

4. Ice cream pints

Joe’s has maybe two flavors from Ben & Jerry’s. None from Haagen Dazs. There’s a whole segment of the population that lives on this stuff: they’re called Americans.

5. Cereal

Life, Cheerios, Frosted Mini Wheats – me likey the pretty boxes.


And just to be fair, here are five things I prefer from Joe’s.

1. Pizza dough

It’s good, it’s cheap and it never disappoints. Insert innuendo here.

2. Pita chips

A-frickin’-ddictive. Sea salt is my new favorite salt. A close second: salt.

3. Chocolate truffles

Just get them and I won’t need to explain.

4. Apples and pears

You can’t miss with Joe’s produce, but I’ve been particularly impressed with these fruits.

5. Cheeses

Nowhere as good as DiBruno’s selection or quality, but for the price, it’s a pretty good start.


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