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Don’t Break Your Piggy Bank To Bring Home The Bacon

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If you’re paleo, I don’t have to tell you eating healthy isn’t cheap.

But there are ways you can save money just by shopping a little smarter…

Today I’d like to talk about Trader Joe’s. The company has more than 450 stores in the U.S., so I really hope there’s one near you!

Unlike Whole Foods Market (aka “Whole Paycheck”) which can give you sticker-shock cruising the aisles, TJ’s keeps their prices relatively low.

(By the way, Trader Joe’s didn’t hand me a grocery bag stuffed with cash to say any of this – I’m just a big fan of saving money!)

paleo-newbie-Trader-Joes-exterior-650x395I normally swing by Trader Joe’s once a week. I buy a lot of my paleo kitchen essentials there and I’ve been really happy with their quality.

And…they’re committed to keeping artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, MSG, trans-fat, and genetically-modified (GMO) ingredients out of their private-label Trader Joe’s brands (which makes up 80% of what they carry) so that’s a real plus.

Pictured up top is a recent – and unusually large haul – from Trader Joe’s. Most of the time I’m out the door with a lot less! 

So for those of you with a TJ’s close by, here are a few tips that can help save you some moola the next time you’re out and about with your shopping list:

Fresh Produce

I’ve noticed the cost of the organic fresh produce is generally less at Trader Joe’s than the non-organic fruits and veggies at my big name grocery store (Safeway in my case). TJ’s selection varies week to week, but if you’re looking for organic fruits and veggies in-season, Trader Joe’s will almost always have them in stock.


Meats

Trader Joe’s free-range organic chicken and grass-fed beef are always very competitively priced. Just compared locally to my Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market and Safeway, TJ’s typically has the lowest poultry and beef prices.


Packaged Foods

TJ’s is also a great place to stock up on your paleo kitchen basics. Cooking paleo is all about efficient meal prepping; if you can shave off some kitchen duty by buying healthy, pre-packaged foods ready to go – then I say go for it!

paleo-newbie-Trader-Joes-Cauliflower-Rice-285x400My favorite new Trader Joe’s find? Frozen Trader Giotto’s Organic Riced Cauliflower! If you’re like me, you can appreciate the convenience of having it ready to go from your freezer to your plate in record time. Plus with their pre-packaged cauli rice, there’s no chopping/blending mess to clean up. And at just $1.99 for a 12-ounce bag, I’d say that’s a win-win!


 Spices

And how about this Trader Joe’s special…the most popular spices are just 2 bucks! When you cook paleo, you quickly realize you’re plowing through your spice rack like never before! TJ’s is a great place to stock up on the essentials.


Frozen Produce

Not only is TJ’s a good deal on fresh produce, they have pretty good deals on the flash frozen stuff as well. When the fresh produce is out of season, I know I can run into Trader Joe’s, dip into the freezer case, and come out with the next best thing at really good prices.


Take Inventory

The next time you’re in Trader Joe’s, just do a good walk through and get a feel for what they carry. Their stores are small and typically carry around 4,000 items (compared to 50,000 for the average supermarket) so it shouldn’t take long. Just make a mental note of what kinds of things they stock. Then the next time you need something you might remember you saw it at Trader Joe’s – and it will probably be priced lower than your local supermarket.


Obviously few of us can afford to shell out the big bucks for a cart full of primo-quality foods on every shopping trip.

That’s why I love Trader Joe’s…great quality and great prices you can always count on.

A trip to TJ’s probably won’t let you check off every single item on your paleo shopping list, but grabbing many of your necessities at lower prices is a really great start 🙂

 

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