6 Genius Ways to Save Money When Shopping at Trader Joe's

There may not be Trader Joe’s coupons, but there are several ways you can save even more money.

There are endless reasons why customers are willing to wait in line for hours at Trader Joe's. The top one is obviously all snack foods, nut butter, and freezer-aisle finds, but shortly thereafter is the fact that most of our favorite products are highly affordable. The prices are so reasonable that Trader Joe's coupons are a rarity.

That being said, what if we told you there were a few simple steps to scoring even better deals on your groceries from TJ's? Try them next time you restock your supply of Everything but the Bagel Seasoning or Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

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Check the Fearless Flyer

Think of this handy little newspaper as Trader Joe's greatest hits of the month. The Fearless Flyer highlights featured products, the latest deals, and limited-edition items aisle-by-aisle. Find it online or in-store and give it a scan to see what's on sale. You can also use it to create your shopping list ahead of time—digital meal planning is one of the best ways to avoid a cart full of impulse purchases and random ingredients that could get wasted.

02 of 06

Sample Items Before You Buy

Trader Joe's maintains a strong "if you'd like to try something, just ask" policy. Their rationale is that they'd rather you find out whether or not you like a product before you buy it. This can help you save big—because how many times have you gone home with cauliflower pizza crust or pre-made sushi rolls only to taste them and reel? Next time you're eyeing to try the pickled beets or apple cider drinking vinegar, just flag down a Crew member and ask.

03 of 06

Bring Your Own Bag

It's a little-known secret that Trader Joe's offers major incentives to shoppers that BTOB (bring their own bag). Certain locations will enter tote-toting customers that spend over $25 into a raffle to win a $25 gift card to the store. To find out if your local TJ's participates, simply ask your cashier or a Crew member at the service desk.

04 of 06

Buy Bananas, Specialty Cheeses, Wine, and Frozen Foods

These are a few food categories that you'll save the most money on when you buy them at TJ's versus other grocery stores. Trader Joe's is known, for instance, for keeping the price of its bananas the same since the 1970s—you can still find them for just 19 cents a pop, which is cheaper than everywhere else.

The freezer aisle is packed with extremely affordable meals, like chicken gyoza potstickers. And don't skip the specialty cheese and wine sections. The selection of high-quality cheeses is stellar and comes without the crazy markup of other gourmet grocers—and who doesn't love a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck or other wines under $10 a bottle?

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Skip the Pre-Cut Produce

Unlike the aisles above, Trader Joe's produce section is packed with pricey bagged salads and pre-cut fruits and veggies. This means you're paying a surcharge for the cost of processing and packaging versus the quality or quantity of your produce. It also means you don't always have the option of only purchasing a single onion if they only offer bags that hold a dozen of them. If you're looking to cut costs, don't shell out for pre-cut or bagged produce.

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Take Advantage of the Return Policy (Respectfully)

Don't eat the cost of something you're unhappy with. Similar to its try-before-you-buy mentality, TJ's has an extremely generous return policy. If you accidentally take home a mushy melon or hate the taste of the Omega Trex Mix, they'll issue you a refund—no questions asked.

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