4 Insider Secrets That Can Save You Money at Trader Joe's

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  • Trader Joe's offers a range of products at competitive prices.
  • There are certain steps you can take to eke out even more savings. 
  • Check out the sales flyer, return items you don't like, and steer clear of pre-cut produce and non-Trader Joe's branded products. 

It pays to take advantage of these.

If you're a fan of Trader Joe's, you probably like the fact that the supermarket chain's prices are quite competitive. Shopping at Trader Joe's regularly will often result in a lower credit card tab than you'll end up with at another grocery store. And the fact that Trader Joe's doesn't make you clip coupons or swipe a shopper's card to take advantage of its low prices is a good thing, too (because we all know how easy it is to forget our coupons at home).

But if you really want to take your Trader Joe's savings to the next level, there are ways you can do that. All you have to do is follow these tips.

1. Read the Fearless Flyer before you shop

Trader Joe's frequently puts out a circular known as its Fearless Flyer. That flyer contains a list of new products as well as their prices, so reading it ahead of time can make your shopping more efficient. It can also help you budget more easily for groceries so you don't wind up overspending. It's available on the Trader Joe's website. 

2. Return items you aren't satisfied with

If there's one thing Trader Joe's is known for, it's great customer service. In fact, one of the reasons Trader Joe's doesn't offer grocery delivery (whereas many other supermarket chains do) is that it feels that the in-store experience is so important.

To this end, Trader Joe's tends to have a very generous return policy. So if you end up buying something you aren't happy with, don't hesitate to take it back. 

First of all, if it's a freshness or quality issue, you can pretty much bet on getting a full refund. And even if something just didn't meet your expectations, you might still get refunded even if there's technically nothing wrong with the item at hand. 

3. Skip the non-Trader Joe's products

Most of the products you'll find at Trader Joe's are made by Trader Joe's and have that label on them. But occasionally, you'll find products that aren't produced by Trader Joe's itself. Those are items you may want to skip, as you probably won't get the same great deal as you will with Trader Joe's branded products. 

4. Steer clear of prepared produce

Your local Trader Joe's may have a well-stocked produce section that contains a mix of standard and prepared produce items. For example, you might find whole mangoes available for purchase as well as pre-cut mango. 

Buying cut-up-fruit and vegetables can end up saving you a lot of time in the kitchen. But you'll generally pay a lot more for pre-cut produce -- at Trader Joe's and pretty much any supermarket -- than you will for standard produce that hasn't been touched. So if you're looking to save more money in the course of your shopping, don't buy prepared or pre-cut produce items.

Shopping at Trader Joe's can help you stock up on groceries at a reasonable price point. But be sure to employ these key tips if you want to enjoy added savings. 

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