About six months ago a Trader Joe's opened about three miles from my house. Everytime I drive by I have wanted to stop. I first heard about TJs from my sister who lives in Portland, Or. and loves the store, but it wasn't something we had here. I never stopped because I was either in a hurry or had all four kids with me and I wanted the opportunity to just browse.
Today DH ended up staying home from work. He has had a fever for the last few days and this morning he just gave into it and decided to be home and be miserable. Late this morning he felt well enough to let me go out with just MB and K so they could pick some gifts to take to a b-day party this weekend. While we were out I thought it was the perfect opportunity to stop and check out the store and see if it is worth putting on my grocery store list.
I was so surprised by the prices. For a store that specializes in healthy, organic, free-trade foods the prices were so good - especially on the staples which is what I buy. They had the cheapest price for a gallon of milk in the area, beating out my warehouse store which is generally the best. And, the milk while not organic is hormone-free. The egg prices were better than any of the grocery stores. Bread products were cheap considering it was high-quality name-brand. And the non-organic produce was in-line with the grocery stores (although I try to get my produce from farmer's markets it is good to know).
Since I had my own (hand-crocheted) grocery bag with me, I was even entered into their monthly $50 grocery drawing.
This is definitely going to add this store to my bi-weekly, payday shopping trip. I can't afford to buy all my groceries there but it is well worth it for breads and dairy products.
I came home and checked out their website and one of their links is a pdf file listing everyone of their foods that is gluten free, pages and pages of grocery items one can buy with no gluten.
Now I just need the Aldi's to get built a little bit closer to us and I would be in grocery heaven. Right now my 'grocery store' list looks a little bit like this:
Warehouse store - payday trips for formula, meats and pastas
Aldi's - once a month or when we start to run short on canned goods/boxed goods
Local grocery store (1) - within walking distance, good for picking up basic groceries other stores don't carry at any better prices, often find good meat deals as manager's specials. This tends to be our default store when we run out of things
Local grocery store (2) - sometimes has really good loss leaders, otherwise prices run a little high for me
Farmer's Market(s) - weekly, still trying to figure which one I want to be my primary as we have a choice of three
...and just added...
TJs - bi-weekly/payday - dairy & breads