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HORNED_GODDESS's Photo HORNED_GODDESS Posts: 358
8/3/12 11:43 A

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I do Whole Foods a lot because it's close, but the prices are nuts compared to Trader Joe's. I like getting my cheese from TJ's and I also like their frozen selection. I get a lot of fruit and bulk stuff from WF.

I don't buy that much produce from each because we have a local CSA.

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HOPEFULHIPPO's Photo HOPEFULHIPPO Posts: 6,429
5/23/12 4:59 P

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How's Nugget? I just shopped there last week and they are supposed to be local within 100 miles (granted in California, that does include Mexico, but okay)

Anyone else heard of them or have opinions?

Trader Joe's I've heard mixed reviews. People buying bad produce and whatnot. Kind of nervous about that. Whole Foods seem pretty good too.

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GREENBUILDER's Photo GREENBUILDER SparkPoints: (23,168)
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4/4/12 7:13 A

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Trader Joes, but not for fresh produce. Most of their produce comes from Mexico or Chile.
Luckily I have a local organic farm for fruits and produce.

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LINDAM.1 SparkPoints: (46,430)
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3/21/12 4:19 P

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My local Farmers market goes all year and they are closer than Whole foods. Then I know it is local. Weekly changes in what is available, keeps me eating a variety. Saves the environment and local farmers.

PINKHAIREDMOM's Photo PINKHAIREDMOM Posts: 164
3/13/12 6:50 P

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Trader Joes was my life saver when my younger daughter was diagnosed with multiple food allergies. Whole foods is ok, but SO expensive that I drive 45 minutes to get to Trader Joes and come out $$$ ahead. I'm lucky though, we have 5 acres and are concentrating on growing/raising more of our own food and there are alot of great farmer's markets starting up.

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SLUCZAK SparkPoints: (274)
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2/26/12 5:18 P

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I sure love Trader Joe's because of the prices. Depending on where you live, Meijer carries a large selection of Meijer brand organic products. I supplement my Trader Joes & Meijer trips with a organic fruit and vegetable box from Door to Door Organics.

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NITAINMN's Photo NITAINMN Posts: 7,584
1/31/12 7:53 P

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We recently moved to Rochester, MN from metro NY area and boy! do I miss organic and health food stores! We finally got a Trader Joe's in our city after writing every month for over a year at their website!! Its packed.....however, I still miss health food stores or Whole Foods store for healthy organic local fruits and vegetables. TJ's only has California grown organic just like our other supermarkets. Summer time, atleast some of the supermarkets carry local produce and we do have Farmers market. Mind you, wtih that said, I do love TJ's and their price is unbeatable!

Samasta Loka Sukhino Bhavantu" - Sanskrit translates to "Let all the worlds be happy!"

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MERRYROBYN's Photo MERRYROBYN Posts: 315
1/1/12 6:44 P

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I've been a loyal shopper at Trader Joe's since 1994. Their selection has really grown, but they don't have everything we want.

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LINDAM.1 SparkPoints: (46,430)
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12/5/11 5:10 P

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TJ's turkey meat balls,have a place in my freezer. Spinish I like to get just how much I want, it comes in a bag at TJ's. Whole foods is nice for produce selection and geographically closer,grown. Whole foods is something I need to feel flush to a visit.

NITROX1's Photo NITROX1 SparkPoints: (2,457)
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11/27/11 11:09 A

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I wish I had the option to choose between the two. Neither stores have a presence in my city. We do have a nice little local food co-op, and they try to keep local and organic foods available with decent prices. I love Trader Joes, an make certain to visit if I'm in Vegas or Minneapolis seeing my kids/grandkids. Sadly, around here TJ's means Taco Johns, not Trader Joe's. emoticon

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FRAGILEWRITER's Photo FRAGILEWRITER SparkPoints: (5,132)
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10/10/11 9:51 A

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Here in Toronto there has been quite a flap about the local Whole Foods. Someone resigned and wrote an open letter that is full of the usual complaints that an underpaid, undervalued employee might have
but,...
he also asserted that Whole Foods doesn't bother to actually check to see if every product is what it claims to be, such as organic, fair trade, local, or what ever.
I believe an investigation is underway.

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IDAHOGIRL777's Photo IDAHOGIRL777 Posts: 20
8/29/11 10:45 A

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Trader Joes no doubt better place to shop, but you'll have to supplement if you are following a recipe, no spices,etc. Going to Whole Foods is like a field trip to another galaxy. It takes me forever to navigate and compare prices, brands etc. then I get all caught up in the natural beauty isles.... I got charged for the wrong melon once it was 8.00, but the thought of going back there was unbearable. And I don't know if it's only me but most employees there seem unhappy

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BHOLTS1's Photo BHOLTS1 Posts: 199
8/10/11 8:05 P

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I love Trader Joe's!!! I lived in New York and used to shop at the one in Union Square. They have a Whole Foods there as well and while I love Whole Foods, eating organic and natural doesn't have to be SO expensive. Trader Joe's offers the same products but for less! As a poor, struggling, student and theatre artist, I wanted to have an organic lifestyle but at less of a cost.

Now I'm back home in New Orleans, and WISH WISH WISH we had a Trader Joe's here. I can only shop at Whole Foods because minus small specialty shops, thats really the only place to by organic! They completely have the monopoly. I think Trader Joe's should look into it!

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ATRANSFORMATION's Photo ATRANSFORMATION Posts: 9,324
8/9/11 4:18 A

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I love both of them! And am lucky to have each of them within a few miles of my home.

Trader Joe's has great prices on dairy, juice, olive oil, and processed foods like crackers and cereals. Also "goodies" are great there! However, I find their produce lacking and have purchased rancid nuts (at more than one store here in CA) so I am selective as to what I buy there.

Whole Foods has such a great variety of specialty items and their "fast food" is amazing. Yes, they are expensive, but the quality of their local produce here is worth the price.

BUT, the best of all in my opinion is Henry's and Wild Oats (which have both merged with Sprouts) Unfortuately, I have to stock up on things when I visit my folks, because neither is in my area, but one is due to open soon (about 10 miles from here). I will sure shop there when I am in the area! LOTS of organic and local everything!

~~~Kathy~~~

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If the only prayer you ever say is "thank you" that shall suffice. ~~~~~~ Meister Eckhart


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ETERNALMOTHER's Photo ETERNALMOTHER Posts: 2,923
7/2/11 7:01 P

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I don't know much about Trader Joe's as we don't have one here. The odd natural grocery store we have here is Sunflower. It has both organic and convention next to each other and they don't distinguish between them well enough. I like our Whole Foods but agree that many things are overpriced.

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AVENS18's Photo AVENS18 Posts: 190
6/27/11 8:47 A

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I like them both. I am a cherry picker when it comes to grocery shopping though.

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6/26/11 12:38 A

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OMG...I'm continually running around to different places to "fill in the gaps" and I'm in the NNJ/NYC area...Trader Joe's doesn't carry enough organic stuff in my opinion and lots of their shelves are full of mostly snack foods; Whole Foods is awesome for their grass fed beef, but I have to cut off my arm and leg to pay for it; thank the gods my local Shop Rite and A+P carries lots of organic produce, chicken and buffalo; Wegman's is awesome for grass fed meats at really cheap prices and hard to find organic produce such as beets, escarole and radishes (but they're out in the burbs); now if only I didn't have to make extra trips for my all natural gum, organic popping corn and spicy pepitas...

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BHOLTS1's Photo BHOLTS1 Posts: 199
6/21/11 11:30 P

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Trader Joe's hands down. Whole Foods is GREAT but they are just over-priced and make natural and organic difficult and expensive. if ONLY we had a Trader Joes in NEW ORLEANS!

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CEDARBARK1's Photo CEDARBARK1 SparkPoints: (2,485)
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6/8/11 8:27 P

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I've never been to a Whole Foods, I have to go out of my way to get to one. But those near me who have call it "Whole Wallet". On the other hand, TJ's has good prices on many of their items.

Picked up organic cukes and some goat cheese after work today.



Got rid of the ticker cuz my scale decided to flatter me unduly. I haven't re-gained, just got a better, honest, scale.

Just because you steam it, doesn't mean you can't add herbs and spices. (A gripe at those insipid restaurant "healthy choice" menu selections.)



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JAMES731's Photo JAMES731 SparkPoints: (7,656)
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5/18/11 4:21 P

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I have been and fough the urge to shop at both. i have a very strong opinion about the collective of stores that are supporting my own belief structure. All in all, I find myself shopping more at TJ, however.

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JASONMRCDD's Photo JASONMRCDD SparkPoints: (7,667)
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5/18/11 4:18 P

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Well, not on the original discussion, but if anyone lives in the San Diego area (or really anywhere in SoCal is worth the drive) you MUST check out Jimbos. They have a strict set of rules that all products must meet. If somethign doesn't meet thier criteria, they do no carry it. (They will make an exception for products that do not meet their nutritional guides, but are from responsible companies if there is enoguh customer demand (i.e. Hansen's Sodas) but they put a warning tag on the shelf. Their produce section is huge and varried. Their meat counter is mind blowing and they also have a fresh food deli where you can get sandwiches, salads and other organic and tasty treats. You can google them and if you are close enough check them out; you will not be sorry.

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THE_FAE's Photo THE_FAE Posts: 172
3/25/11 8:17 A

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if i had a trader joe's here i'd be all about it. great prices. i do shop at wfm, but be sure to support the local/regional vendors when you can because the 365 is wfm line and undercuts the local regional vendors.

imo, if you have both, then shop for pricing where the price is best, but purchase the local when possible.

I make natural soaps, botanical perfumes & body care for a living. I also am the pack leader to 4 dogs, 1 cat & an assortment of humans.

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CARTER4414's Photo CARTER4414 SparkPoints: (19,293)
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3/24/11 1:37 P

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Whole Foods is sort of new in town so I haven't had too many chances to visit there, but Trader Joe's is where I shop (for things that the CSA doesn't have).

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ORGANIC_LIVING Posts: 128
8/23/10 1:35 P

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I would have to say Whole Foods, because it's the only natural food market chain nearest me (I live less than an hour and a half from the one in Baton Rouge). However if there was a Trader Joes within that same distance from my home, then I would shop there, too.

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JECKIE's Photo JECKIE Posts: 9,714
8/19/10 10:51 A

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I've seen this argument around the 'web' a lot lately. I'd never even considered it a comparison. Up here (New England), Trader Joe's is a tiny store with no selection and NO fresh anything. All packaged stuff or frozen. I work across the street from one and NEVER go in there.

I love Whole Foods, especially since ours has a LOT of local options this time of year (and it's great for a pick up lunch when I forget to pack mine).

Jeckie (aka. Sarah) - Lowell, MA - EST
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I have no "goal weight". MY goal is to be as healthy, strong and active as I can be. This isn't about my relationship with the scale but my relationship with the world.

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TAMARASART's Photo TAMARASART SparkPoints: (52,284)
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7/8/10 2:08 P

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Trader Joe's for their Hummus only - We are lucky enough in the Twin Cities area to have an abundance of co-ops and farmer's markets so we don't have to rely on Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Aldi or any of our other super markets that truck food in from all over the county.
Valley Natural Foods is the Co-op that I belong to in Burnsville.

Tamara


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SWIM_2_SLIM's Photo SWIM_2_SLIM SparkPoints: (46,069)
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6/6/10 6:58 P

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Iggy, I was very disappointed when I went to Whole Foods cause all their produce came from so far away in other countries. I walked out of the store with nothing and never went back.

Jean

Yes you can! Believe in your vision. Believe in your goals. Believe in your plan. More than anything else, believe in yourself.

D - Decide on an action plan.
E - Every thing is possible if you believe and work at it.
C - Consider your choices carefully.
I - Invite others to join you on your quest to become healthy.
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GETTO140's Photo GETTO140 SparkPoints: (114,553)
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6/6/10 9:30 A

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We don't have either of these....so I vote for Wegman's!

I can do it!!


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IGGYPUP's Photo IGGYPUP Posts: 134
6/6/10 9:01 A

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Neither of these are less than a 25 minute drive for me, but given the option, I'll drive a Whole Foods first. Trader Joe's may have better prices, but I thought the point of this group was organic, ethical and local!! Trader Joe's offers very little fresh produce and almost none at the store I go to is organic. What they do have is driven thousands of miles to get to your store. Whole Foods' overall quality is much higher. They strive to support sustainable agriculture and ethically raised meats and offer local options when they can. They post information so that you know where it came from. I can get milk and eggs from local farms at Whole Foods and you won't find that at TJ's.
All that being said, I have alot of options to shop directly at farmstands and farmer's markets, so that is always my first choice. The grower's should get the profits, not a big corporation.

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JUSTBIRDY's Photo JUSTBIRDY SparkPoints: (72,518)
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6/2/10 1:43 A

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I go to Trader Joe's the most, when I'm not shopping at the "Birdy-mart".

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MOM2XAN's Photo MOM2XAN Posts: 120
4/5/10 9:18 A

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The thing about Aldi's is that they're not afraid to have stores in urban areas. I think that supporting stores that have made urban areas food desserts is definitely NOT ethical or crunchy. I'm willing to shop at a market that is willing to invest in my community over one that is only in the wealthiest suburbs. And then, of course, how much fuel would I be wasting getting out there? If one is truly interested in eating ethically, it goes way beyond the ingredients & must take into account that those of us who are dedicated to living in urban areas don't have access to fresh, whole foods without a great deal of effort. I'm lucky in that I have excellent financial means & can travel by car to suburban supermarkets for their fancy, organic, processed products. When you need to rely on public transportation or traveling by foot, it's a whole 'nother story. It's easy to say that it doesn't matter because it's not about you, but it's not sustainable, local or ethical in any way.

Mark Winne's "Closing the Food Gap," is an excellent read for people who have never realized that ethical, local eating is more than just a personal (often selfish) "health" endeavor. It's really a social justice issue. It's one that strikes a deep chord for many, many SOLE folks.

Laura


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RBRINK21's Photo RBRINK21 Posts: 2,475
4/3/10 10:17 A

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Lately I've been paying attention to the ingredients in Trader Joe's more processed foods. I've been pleasantly surprised that I know every single ingredient on the list, nothing artificial or toxic. A good example is their Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips. They are so freaking yummy but don't contain all the crap that regular grocery store chips have.

`Rachel`


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TEDDYBEARFRIEND's Photo TEDDYBEARFRIEND Posts: 223
4/3/10 12:25 A

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I love, Love, LOve, LOVe, LOVE Trader Joes!! They have wonderful products (though I have to be certain to check their calorie/fat counts.) However, I cannot speak highly enough for Whole Foods produce! I have never seen a wrinkly tomato or dried out whatever there. There's only two in town where I live and neither are close to home but I am heading out to one tomorrow to pick up asparagus and salad fixings for Easter Sunday. I think it's worth the trip.

I hope this helps! :-) ~ Molly D. San Diego, CA



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GRYFFINSONG's Photo GRYFFINSONG Posts: 1,875
3/31/10 6:13 P

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I have a Mom's Organic right around the corner. I went for the first time today, buying ingredients for an organic nut bread. It was awesome, but this bread sure will be expensive!!!

There's a Trader Joe's about a half hour away, but I haven't checked it out yet. I don't know where the nearest Whole Foods is.

I just moved to Maryland after a thirty year absence, so I don't know where anything is anymore!



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PATTK1220's Photo PATTK1220 SparkPoints: (66,428)
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3/26/10 10:31 P

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There are a few Aldi's where I live. I wouldn't consider shopping there even though they're cheap because I don't think their foods come from sources I want to eat. Trader Joe's has lots of great stuff, but I haven't bought into their hype. I do , however, spend a fair amount of my grocery budget at Whole Foods. I am also very fortunate to live in an area with many coops, so Whole Foods is not the only healthy option.

Edited by: PATTK1220 at: 3/26/2010 (22:32)
Patt in Minneapolis
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ARTIELLE's Photo ARTIELLE Posts: 409
3/16/10 6:02 P

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I live in Eastern Ky where not many people care about what they eat, only how cheap they can get it. I have to drive 2 hours to Lexington to shop at Whole Foods. All we have here is Walmart Super Center and a local grocery that is as expensive as the Whole Foods Market, but does not offer much organic. You all are truly blessed.

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SWIM_2_SLIM's Photo SWIM_2_SLIM SparkPoints: (46,069)
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11/16/09 9:26 P

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Wow, I didn't know that they were owned by the same parent company. Interesting...

Jean

Yes you can! Believe in your vision. Believe in your goals. Believe in your plan. More than anything else, believe in yourself.

D - Decide on an action plan.
E - Every thing is possible if you believe and work at it.
C - Consider your choices carefully.
I - Invite others to join you on your quest to become healthy.
S - Savor the feeling of each victory, big or small.
I - Invaluable lessons sometimes hurt, but are necessary for growth.
O - Optimism o


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MOM2XAN's Photo MOM2XAN Posts: 120
11/16/09 12:55 P

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Also, just an FYI... Aldi's & Trader Joe's is owned by the same company. I've shopped both often enough to know that many of the branded things are exactly the same. So, you know, there's that.

I was in a WF once. I spent 50% more than I would have at my local supermarket chain. I don't eat any of their specialty items (fake soy meats, box meals, etc.) so their extra variety doesn't interest me.

Thankfully, we have so many locally owned options and year-round markets here that I can avoid the supermarket almost as much as I'd like to, which is 100%. ;-)

Laura


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CECHANDLER's Photo CECHANDLER Posts: 499
10/18/09 10:36 P

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Luckily the Fred Meyer's in our neighborhood (Hawthorne, Portland, OR) just remodeled and is now an LED certified store with TONS of organic produce and meats, and lots of local stuff to. So, if I'm not going to the Farmer's markets, I go there. Or New Seasons, but they are very high priced (except for the organic chicken, which is very reasonable).

I know now that I know nothing.


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GHECHR's Photo GHECHR Posts: 231
10/12/09 11:16 A

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I can see what you mean about checking labels at Sunflower. They have a lot of "natural" products which, as far as I can tell, is a meaningless distinction. But, I find that I have to check products a lot regardless of where I go. TJ's and Whole Foods also stock conventional items and "natural" products alongside the organic selections.

A journey of 1000 miles beings with just one step.

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CAPRIUS21's Photo CAPRIUS21 Posts: 1
10/11/09 3:19 P

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Indeed, a great thread to read on a topic I've often wrestled with myself! Although, my quandary is more between Sunflower and Trader Joes. Sunflower is definiatly more affordable, and offers a lot of bulk items that my family uses and are especially handy to add to my daughter's lunchbox. But, I find that, as an earlier post pointed out, you have to really watch what you are buying sometimes from Sunflower. Although they advertise themselves as the type of place where items are mostly organic/natural/"crunchy", I find when I read the lables, often this is really not the case. I find it very frustrating. Trader Joes seems to offer a more trustworthy selection, but they are more expensive, and for me further away as well. I do have a Whole Foods in my town, but it is even further.... too far for me.

I also think it's interesting that other posters refer to the phoenomena of grocery bought produce at the Farmer's Market. My husband and I were stunned a few weeks ago when we went to Costco and found a box of produce exactly like the one we had seen earlier that day at the farmer's market. That is one booth I won't be purchasing from again!


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KRISTALSHYT's Photo KRISTALSHYT Posts: 262
10/11/09 12:54 P

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I've never seen anywhere near Whole Foods' selection of produce at my local Trader Joes. I also noticed the prices at both here are pretty much the same, so I rarely go to Trader Joes. It may be just how it is in my area though.

We have a little local market called Nature's here, and while I like it, it's still more expensive than Whole Foods, but I still like to go there sometimes as they have some bulk items that aren't available at Whole Foods.

"I asked myself was I content with the world that I once cherished? Did it bring me to this darkened place to contemplate my perfect future?" - VNV Nation


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I agree, Sunflower is my new favorite for some things. Only negative is that they ALWAYS seem to have really long lines. The store where I shop posts photos of the farmer from whom certain produce is purchased. It seems as if they try to get locally grown stuff which is awesome!

Terje
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GHECHR's Photo GHECHR Posts: 231
10/10/09 12:44 P

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We have 2 Sunflower Markets where I live, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I used to go to Trader Joe's a lot more but since Sunflower opened up, I tend to go there. TJ's does not have a lot of fruit and veg here and I frequently needed to supplement with trip to another store. Sunflower, on the other hand, has A LOT of organic produce and products. They also have a fresh meat/fish counter, unlike TJs. Sunflower has moved into #1 status for me!

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Is Sunflower Farmers Market a nation-wide thing or is it only in Colorado? They have excellent organic produce and their prices are awesome. They are not strict about refusing to carry stuff with artificial coloring and preservatives like Whole Foods is though, so one must be careful of sulfur dioxide in the dried fruits department and artificial preservatives and colors in other places but they to offer an affordable alternative to the other shopping options.

Terje
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POLKA DOT JERSEY RECIPIENT!

2011 Goals:
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3. lose my last ten pounds by June 1st
4. maintain my weight for the rest of 2011
5. Train for my 60-mile walk
6. Eliminate my quilt UFOs by actually finishing everything I have started


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RUSTLEOFSWING's Photo RUSTLEOFSWING Posts: 42
9/21/09 1:19 P

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Personally, I love TJ's! There is one within walking distance from my apartment and I am on a budget, so it's more affordable for me to go there.

I'm also a huge fan of apples and for some reason TJ's is the only place where I can get non-mealy apples 100% of the time! And that means a lot to me.

Their pre-made foods are also delicious and good for when I'm feeling lazy. If you cut the portion in half a lot of times it isn't too much calorie-wise either. My boyfriend is in love with Trader Joe's since he can't cook to save his life. He practically lives off of their pizzas.

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RUSTLEOFSWING's Photo RUSTLEOFSWING Posts: 42
9/21/09 1:16 P

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Personally, I love TJ's! There is one within walking distance from my apartment and I am on a budget, so it's more affordable for me to go there.

I'm also a huge fan of apples and for some reason TJ's is the only place where I can get non-mealy apples 100% of the time! And that means a lot to me.

Their pre-made foods are also delicious and good for when I'm feeling lazy. If you cut the portion in half a lot of times it isn't too much calorie-wise either. My boyfriend is in love with Trader Joe's since he can't cook to save his life. He practically lives off of their pizzas.

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I did not like the fact that so much stuff was shipped in from so far away. That really kept me from buying my produce there. It disappointed me really...

Jean

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RBRINK21's Photo RBRINK21 Posts: 2,475
8/14/09 8:30 P

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If you read all the way down michaelbluejay's page you'll see a link for his footnotes that he references. His information is gathered from many reputable sources including Forbes, New York Times, former Whole Foods employees, Mother Jones, etc. I would have to disagree that his information isn't well researched.

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KATKITTY78's Photo KATKITTY78 Posts: 80
8/14/09 8:10 P

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This has been a very interesting thread to read.

I have been an avid shopper at both Trader Joes and Whole Foods in the past. I currently do almost all of my shopping at Whole Foods. Last year I even started working for them.

I don't think that you should base your decision to shop there on the information given in the web page for michaelbluejay. I think he needs to do a little more research before he post "information".

As part of our training...we are asked to comparison shop our store with others. TJ's, Smiths, Albertsons and even the dreaded Walmart. Not only were we asked to check prices, but quality and what the product contains. I do support our local farmers here in New Mexico, when the farmers markets are open. But, I also know that I can find local products at my store. If you want produce that is normally out of season....sometimes you have to ship it in.

I also know how much we do for our community. As a store, individual store, we donate to our local schools, recycle, compost, donate our time to several different local organizations and promote local artist & farmers.

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Where I live, there is a Trader Joe's but not a Whole Foods. I prefer Whole Food's to trader joe's (more variety and more organic products), but the closest whole foods is 3 hours from here.

As for produce, I found a CSA a while back on localharvest.org. The farm is literally just 4 miles from my home, and delivers to me each Wednesday. I can make substitutions, add on additional product, and even order local grass-fed beef.

PS: Just got back from Chicago, where I visited the 3rd largest WHOLE FOODS in the world. It was spectacular! The biggest one is in London, the second largest in Austin, TX, and the Lincoln Park/Kingsbury Whole Foods in Chicago ranks 3rd largest. I even had a massage there in between shopping!

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I wish that were the case here. I was disgusted when I heard people were selling produce from the grocery store and produce shipped from other countries. Now I'm leary when shopping at the farmers market which I have always done to fill in the gaps from my CSA shares.

Terje
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2011 Goals:
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3. lose my last ten pounds by June 1st
4. maintain my weight for the rest of 2011
5. Train for my 60-mile walk
6. Eliminate my quilt UFOs by actually finishing everything I have started


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RBRINK21's Photo RBRINK21 Posts: 2,475
7/30/09 4:17 P

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In California the farmer's markets are certified and to sell at a certified market the farmers are required to grow what they sell. They can't sell someone else's produce. And they are all required to post where the produce was grown.

`Rachel`


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Failing to plan is planning to fail.

dogislandfarm.com


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TERJEGOLD's Photo TERJEGOLD SparkPoints: (169,015)
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7/30/09 10:46 A

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On the Farmers' Market thing, do ask the farmers where their produce comes from. I recently discovered some of the venders at our Farmers' Market sell from out of state or country (one was selling limes) and they even sometimes sell produce they have purchased from grocery stores! Seriously!

So get to know the farmers you trade with. We have a localvore market here where home garden farmers and local farmers can come and sell their produce. LOVE that concept! They are checked out for location and for organic practices compliance. Most of our Farmers Markets are not that way, though.

Terje
Captain- Crazy CAMO Crew

POLKA DOT JERSEY RECIPIENT!

2011 Goals:
1. gym class 4+ x/week
2. run/walk 40+ miles/week
3. lose my last ten pounds by June 1st
4. maintain my weight for the rest of 2011
5. Train for my 60-mile walk
6. Eliminate my quilt UFOs by actually finishing everything I have started


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RBRINK21's Photo RBRINK21 Posts: 2,475
7/29/09 12:16 P

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I would like to mention though that farmers I've talked to say that Whole Foods is a complete nightmare to deal with. I've heard the exact opposite from farmers that deal with Trader Joe's - most saying they are great to work with.

I guess I really don't buy their whole "philosophy" because while they tout one thing, many times, they do the opposite. One example is that they like to say they support local farms, and yet they rarely offer local produce. I live in California where the vast majority of the country's produce is grown and yet, almost all of our Whole Food's produce is from Chili, Mexico and Argentina. Here's a link with more information:

michaelbluejay.com/misc/wholefoods.h
tm
l


Right now I buy all my produce at the Farmer's Market. That way I know what I'm getting is fresh, local, and supporting small family farms. Not to mention it's a lot cheaper than both TJs and WFs. When I can't get it at the farmer's market I'll buy from Trader Joe's because really the only difference between Whole Foods and TJs is the price IMO.

Sorry, I didn't mean to rant about Whole Foods. They aren't all evil, but I think it's important to educate ourselves on where we get our food.

Edited by: RBRINK21 at: 7/29/2009 (12:19)
`Rachel`


When you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

dogislandfarm.com


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7/29/09 10:51 A

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In my opinion, though I love both stores, from the standpoint of "quality" fresh ingredients, there is no comparison. I know that some people seem to think that WF is overpriced I believe, I would rather cut back on what I consider non-essentials.

In other words, I bike, not drive, I have a pay as you go cell phone (as 2 examples of choices my husband and I have made) but I shop at Whole Foods for their service, products and their philosophy.

This is my opinion and I am sorry if it sounds like I am pontificating, but I feel very strongly about this!

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7/13/09 6:12 P

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This has been a tremendous and very timely subject for me. I have been doing my homework with the locations of both these stores plus our local our local co-op. The reason why it has taken me awhile to go is because they are all at least 1 hour from my home. I plan to hit all of them to do my homework by marking down prices in a notebook, from each store for the various products that I am looking for. I will buy a little from each store and check them out for quality and taste. I'm sure the co-op will be the best priced, but will they have everything that I want? I do not buy fancy things. Just plain, useful items that do not cost much. I'm trying to scale it down more and more to get costs even lower with just buying a house. My co-op even said that they give a 10% discount for food stamp users. That is really remarkable!

Jean

Yes you can! Believe in your vision. Believe in your goals. Believe in your plan. More than anything else, believe in yourself.

D - Decide on an action plan.
E - Every thing is possible if you believe and work at it.
C - Consider your choices carefully.
I - Invite others to join you on your quest to become healthy.
S - Savor the feeling of each victory, big or small.
I - Invaluable lessons sometimes hurt, but are necessary for growth.
O - Optimism o


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ADOPTMOM1 Posts: 8,660
7/7/09 9:11 A

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then hopefully the rest of the chain will move that way too.

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RBRINK21's Photo RBRINK21 Posts: 2,475
7/6/09 8:11 P

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Well, the one thing about those plastic trays/clamshells that TJs uses for their produce is that it's actually compostable PLA, not plastic. Ours, here in CA is moving away from prepackaged produce anyways.

`Rachel`


When you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

dogislandfarm.com


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7/6/09 8:04 P

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WF and TJ's both have the same number of pros/cons for me, and i do shop at both monthly. Trader Joe's (as mentioned) is waaaay less expensive, but i really don't like how a lot of there produce is packaged (wrapped in saran wrap). but i definitely stick to TJs for frozen fruits and veggies, canned and jarred products, fake meats, yogurt, cheese, etc. Whole Foods is where i get most of my produce.

it IS hard for me to avoid all the treats at Trader Joe's! geez, those chocolate-covered peanut butter-filled pretzels are soooo hard to pass up!

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ADOPTMOM1 Posts: 8,660
6/30/09 9:29 P

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I don't drink beer but I buy a selection of bottles for my stepdad at least once a year for some holiday. He loves them.

Tami

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RBRINK21's Photo RBRINK21 Posts: 2,475
6/24/09 9:25 A

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Those Fruit Floes are awesome! They are so chunked up with fruit it's ridiculous (except the lime ones, but they are good too). Oh, and stay away from the graham crackers! They are just too dangerous! LOL.

`Rachel`


When you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

dogislandfarm.com


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LILYGIRL83's Photo LILYGIRL83 Posts: 124
6/24/09 6:29 A

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I'll just second what everyone else has said. Basically, *if* TJ's carries it, it will be less expensive than WF's. They don't carry everything, but they do carry most of the basics, and a lot of organic options. They also are carrying an increasing number of vegan products, if you look for those (but be advised, the soy cheese is *not* vegan). I only go to WF's infrequently for stuff that I can't find in my garden, CSA, TJ's, Costco, and my local HFS. And to browse the aisles, lol.

Their produce is kind of hit or miss, but if you like bagged salads they have a great selection for great prices. They also carry fresh basil and bananas at ridiculously good prices. Their frozen veggies are great (the sweet corn is fabulous) as are their frozen berries. I love their organic European style plain yogurt. If you eat cheese they have a really decent selection. Until I started making most all of our bread products I bought all my bread from TJ's (still get the occasional loaf of French bread). Their dry pasta is delicious and cheaper than anywhere else. They have all the basic (and quite a few non-basic) condiments for really great prices, and a lot of them are available organic. If you like wine their selection is very good and for great prices. (Am I sounding like a broken record yet?!) Oh, and I *love* their "fruit floes" popsicles for a treat, just fruit and sugar (an maybe some water in the lime). No artificial colors, flavors, HFCS, or preservatives in the store. Generally speaking, TJ's is not going to have 15 different variations on the same thing, but what they do have is usually very good and budget friendly. Most of the store is in the TJ's brand, which is one of the ways they can keep their prices so low. If you eat fish you should be aware that they scored dead last in a Greenpeace sustainability review (hey I love them, but they do have their downfalls).

As others have mentioned though, they have some highly addictive treats, buyer beware!



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SUPERFIT5's Photo SUPERFIT5 Posts: 1,686
6/23/09 6:25 P

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Oh you're right, Tami. They sell lots of little goodies that are very tasty and very dangerous. emoticon I'll have to check out their indian sauces per your suggestion. It's nice to have that sort of stuff on hand when you want to do "fast food." emoticon emoticon

And their wine selection is nice and cheap. emoticon

Lisa



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6/23/09 2:38 P

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Yes, even their things like protein powder are rebrands. TJ's protein powder is from Designer Whey.

You DO have to be careful though. TJ's has many things that can suck you in and turn you into an instant addict. Chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels and candy cane trader joe's Oh's aren't good for the diet no matter what. LOL

OTOH, they have some great products. One of my staples is the jarred simmer sauces. I love the korma and the masala sauces. Ok, my homemade veggie korma and chicken tikka masala is a little better, but the simmer sauces don't dirty up the kitchen or take half a day to make!

Tami

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ERINCOTT's Photo ERINCOTT Posts: 4
6/23/09 2:26 P

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Awesome, you guys answered my question exactly how I was hoping. This week's grocery trip will definitely start at Trader Joe's, I think it's worth the time to give it a chance :) Thanks!

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RBRINK21's Photo RBRINK21 Posts: 2,475
6/23/09 10:52 A

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As a side note about the "generic/store brand" foods that TJs sells. Most of that food comes from brand name suppliers. My fiance's ex-sister-in-law works for Brown Cow/Stonyfield yogurt and said that they sell their yogurt at TJs to sell as TJ's store brand. Brown Cow/Stonyfield is really good stuff.

Also, a lot of their other dairy products (in California at least) come from Clover/Stornetta Farms. They are a family owned/operated dairy that doesn't use any hormones and has American Humane certification from the American Humane Association. Actually, they were the first dairy to receive this certification.

TJs also no longer sells any products from China.



Edited by: RBRINK21 at: 6/23/2009 (10:53)
`Rachel`


When you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

dogislandfarm.com


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ADOPTMOM1 Posts: 8,660
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I LOVE trader Joes. Can't afford to do much shopping at whole foods. For an example, I just bough a large bottle of TJ's organic (and corn free) ketchup last week. It was $1.79. The same size bottle at WF is $4.69. I pick up a few things at WF but not too much.

Tami

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6/22/09 9:59 P

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We shop at WF and TJ as well and find TJ prices to be generally lower. At WF we pick up items we can't find at TJ like GT's kombucha (cheaper by the case), organic beets and kale (when we can't find them at the Farmer's Market), unsweetened shredded coconut, Harvest Bay Coconut Oil, Organic Valley soy milks, O'Soy yogurts and fresh deli sliced Applegate turkey.

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SUPERFIT5's Photo SUPERFIT5 Posts: 1,686
6/22/09 5:03 P

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I'd like to second what a lot of folks have posted here about TJs. Their selection is much smaller than WF but the products that they offer are great (they make particularly good condiments for instance) and the prices are much better than Whole Foods. Whole Foods has fallen to my lowest tier store because I think their prices are so high. It's a beautiful store though. No two ways about it! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Edited by: SUPERFIT5 at: 6/22/2009 (17:04)
Lisa



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I shop at both and buy different things at both places. My TJ's shopping list usually includes food items like these. I think TJ's does a lot of things well and offers better prices on certain items, so I go there first. Then I get other things at Whole Foods (especially dairy, bulk foods). Here's what I buy at TJ's:

fresh salsa
Ezekial sprouted grain bread
nuts
organic dried fruit
organic tofu (both plain and baked/flavored)
preamade whole wheat pizza dough
cereals
organic instant oatmeal
organic produce (avocados, carrots, salad mixes, bananas, apples)
maple syrup
organic olive oil
organic whole wheat or brown rice pasta
canned organic beans/chickpeas
organic pasta sauce
frozen naan
frozen organic veggies (broccoli, corn, peas)
frozen foods (burritos, vegetable medleys, artichokes)
organic corn chips
body soap, dish washer detergent, dish soap

When I go to Whole Foods, I usually go to fill in the gaps for things TJ's doesn't have (or doesn't do as well).
-organic produce (berries, grapes, etc.)
- salad dressings
-honey
-bulk foods (TJ's has none)
- organic dairy products (yogurt, cheese, milk)
-organic local eggs
etc.

The stores are very different. TJ's doesn't carry all the main organic/natural brands--many of their things are "generic/store" branded, which is fine. But there are certain brands that I trust and want to support, like Organic Valley. Independent rating cards of TJ's dairy and soymilk have been poor, too. And their produce selection is very small, but the prices are great.

Hope that helps!

Nicole



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RBRINK21's Photo RBRINK21 Posts: 2,475
6/22/09 4:13 P

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We shop exclusively at Trader Joes - well besides the farmer's market. When we first started shopping there it definitely required a "fill in the gaps" trip to a larger store, but the more we shopped there and learned/memorized what they had, the less fill in the gaps trips we needed to make. Now we go to a grocery store *maybe* once every 3 months to pick up something random. I don't even like going into them now because there is just TOO MUCH stuff and I get overwhelmed. Trader Joe's is very streamlined in terms of what they offer.

Also, they are EXTREMELY cost effective. It's about 1/3 of the cost of the same food at Whole Foods and about 1/2 the cost of the same food at other grocery stores.

`Rachel`


When you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

dogislandfarm.com


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LISBETH04's Photo LISBETH04 Posts: 258
6/22/09 4:13 P

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In my experience, different locations carry different items (there are two locations near my house: one carries the veggie burgers I like, the other has the coconut sorbet I like but not both at the same location!)

Overall, TJ's produce is decent but not as wide of a selection as WF, fish and chicken aren't usually organic (at least at my location), but I can typically find all the packaged goods I need there.

TJ's prices are usually better than WF's.

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TERJEGOLD's Photo TERJEGOLD SparkPoints: (169,015)
Fitness Minutes: (170,575)
Posts: 24,827
6/22/09 4:02 P

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Wow! That brings back wonderful memories of meeting monthly in a church to do our collective co-op order then gather the following week to divide up the delivery. Good times, good friends and great foods.

Terje
Captain- Crazy CAMO Crew

POLKA DOT JERSEY RECIPIENT!

2011 Goals:
1. gym class 4+ x/week
2. run/walk 40+ miles/week
3. lose my last ten pounds by June 1st
4. maintain my weight for the rest of 2011
5. Train for my 60-mile walk
6. Eliminate my quilt UFOs by actually finishing everything I have started


 current weight: 116.4 
 
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SARAHGMD Posts: 834
6/22/09 3:55 P

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Is there a local Co-op?
That's where I usually go, but that's partially because there isn't a TJs or WF in town.

 current weight: 173.0 
 
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TERJEGOLD's Photo TERJEGOLD SparkPoints: (169,015)
Fitness Minutes: (170,575)
Posts: 24,827
6/22/09 3:51 P

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I've never shopped at Trader Joe's because they are not in my state but, from what I hear, they are rather similar. My sister likes them a bit better than WF but I am not certain of her reasons. What if you did your shopping at TJ one week to check them out and see if they meet your needs?

Terje
Captain- Crazy CAMO Crew

POLKA DOT JERSEY RECIPIENT!

2011 Goals:
1. gym class 4+ x/week
2. run/walk 40+ miles/week
3. lose my last ten pounds by June 1st
4. maintain my weight for the rest of 2011
5. Train for my 60-mile walk
6. Eliminate my quilt UFOs by actually finishing everything I have started


 current weight: 116.4 
 
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ERINCOTT's Photo ERINCOTT Posts: 4
6/22/09 3:44 P

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I'm a pretty loyal shopper of Whole Foods right now, but I'm starting to feel a little disenfranchised with the whole experience. We have a Trader Joe's that is about the same distance away as our closest Whole Foods and I'm considering giving them a try for our weekly grocery trip. My only concern is that we are limited by time and money and I don't want to waste a trip to TJ just to have to make a trip to WF to fill in the gaps. We eat mostly produce, fish, and chicken, but also need a decent selection of packaged goods. Does TJ have a good selection of all of these things or do they focus more on one or the other? Any input would be fantastic, thanks!

Personal Rewards
15 lbs: Get my nose pierced
30 lbs: Go zip lining at Old Man's Cave/Hocking Hills
40 lbs: TBA
50lbs: TBA
56 lbs (goal weight): Go on a REAL camping trip. California, hear I come!


 Pounds lost: 15.5 
 
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