The Best and Worst Times to Shop at Trader Joe's (2024)

People love Trader Joe's for items like the Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips, hash browns, chicken soup dumplings, the Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, and every flavor of Joe-Joe's Sandwich Cookies.

TJ's has a loyal following of shoppers because of its unique marketing strategy, store atmosphere, and customer experience. Brand loyalty is important in building a store and customer relationships and Trader Joe's fans can't get enough.

But there are some ins and outs that make the trip to this favorite (and busy) spot. Consider these factors before heading out the door to stock up on your favorite TJ products.

Useful Tips to Keep In Mind When Shopping at Trader Joe's

Plan for Parking

Are you walking or driving?

If you are lucky enough to have a Trader Joe's within walking distance, great! Skip to the next section...

If you are driving, the first part of your trip involves finding a parking space upon your arrival. Have you ever noticed that the parking lot at your Trader Joe's is on the small side? There is a reason. TJ's parking lots are compact to keep costs down. The smaller footprint—for the stores and the parking lots—translates into cheaper prices for consumers. That means more select cheeses, jars of pasta sauce, and boxes of French macarons for the basket.

Consider How You Shop

Are you a person who plans a whole week of food shopping to be done on the weekend or do you make several trips during the week to pick up essential items for menu planning and anything else that needs to be replaced?

Mid-week trips are your best bet to do the shopping for a large grocery haul or even a long(ish) list of items.

What Days Are Best to Go?

Experienced customers will share that the days to shop at TJ's are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. All fresh fruits and vegetables arrive every morning and are restocked every day. The most popular items, which often include some non-refrigerated foods, are often gone by mid-afternoon.

Managers will share that the store has many shoppers doing a trip on Saturday or Sunday. Weekends are a busy time. So plan to go early in the week on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.

In addition to being the best days to go, the hours between 8-10 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are usually the most leisurely times to shop. A bonus for the morning shopper is if you arrive just as they open you have a chance to get first choice at some of TJ's best products.

Also, those helpful employees have plenty of time to offer assistance and answer questions when the store isn't crowded with shoppers.

How to Avoid Crowds

If you want to steer clear of crowded aisles, try to avoid food shopping on the weekends as mentioned above, if you can. According to 2022 data collected by DriveResearch, over half of U.S. consumers polled reported making their weekly grocery trips between Friday and Sunday.

The weekend hours of shopping add up to more customers in the store and this is also the time when the inventory might be limited when you arrive. These two factors combined mean that shoppers are less likely to take the time to browse and compare to explore what the store has to offer on the shelves.

Take Advantage of Special Offers and Low Prices

According to Consumers' Checkbook, the prices at TJ's tend to be 19% lower than most mainstream supermarkets.

Do you need a banana for a dessert recipe but don't need an entire bunch? You can pick up an individual one. Trader Joe's has been selling bananas individually for just $0.19 a piece for over two decades. Our local TJ's is well worth the trip for the price of pork chops, cuts of steak, and organic chicken.

Keep an eye out for manufacturer coupons. Trader Joe's is mostly stocked with private-label products yet the name-brand items they do carry are able to be discounted through outside coupons. These can add up to a good amount of money.

There Is a Return Policy

What if you pick up something that isn't to your satisfaction after all?

Trader Joe's does have a return policy that accepts nearly any item. Any product can be returned to the store with or without a receipt. Returns with a receipt will usually be accepted in exchange for a cash refund and those without a receipt are usually returned for store credit.

Hopefully these tips will help make your next Trader Joe's run that much more seamless. There is nothing better than loading up on all the best—except of course having a pleasant experience while doing so.

The Best and Worst Times to Shop at Trader Joe's (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Zonia Mosciski DO

Last Updated:

Views: 5912

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Zonia Mosciski DO

Birthday: 1996-05-16

Address: Suite 228 919 Deana Ford, Lake Meridithberg, NE 60017-4257

Phone: +2613987384138

Job: Chief Retail Officer

Hobby: Tai chi, Dowsing, Poi, Letterboxing, Watching movies, Video gaming, Singing

Introduction: My name is Zonia Mosciski DO, I am a enchanting, joyous, lovely, successful, hilarious, tender, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.