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Tips For A Successful Shopping Trip At Trader Joe's

Let me give you some context: I have a love/hate relationship with Trader Joe's. On one hand, I love the fact that they have fun snacks, decent prices, and a variety of gluten free options. On the other hand, the parking lots are usually atrocious and people turn into virtual zombies who are incapable of making decisions once they put their hands on a shopping cart.

So, in attempt to help remedy this unfortunate situation, I've compiled a list of tips to ensure that everyone has a successful shopping trip to TJ's.

  1. Be very careful in the parking lot. There's a good chance there will be other cars driving, as well as people walking. Driving above 10-15 MPH is probably unsafe. I once witnessed a woman, driving at least 25-30 miles per hour, clip the tail end of a car while driving down one of the lanes. It was a big mess AND she sped away from the scene. Remember: It's a parking lot, not a NASCAR track.

  2. Don't park like a jerk. There are two lines. Your car goes in between them. Not diagonally, not sideways, not up on a curb, not straddling the lanes. In. Between. The. Lines.

  3. Don't stand and hold long, personal conversations in front of displays. You came to TJ's with a friend. I get it. You need emotional support. Hell, I do, too! Since you're with your friend, it's highly likely that you'll be able to vent about your ungrateful kids during the drive home. The three people standing behind you trying to grab a bag of romaine lettuce could not possibly care less about your drama and need you to get the hell out of the way so they can get home to make their salads.

  4. Kids are not good at maneuvering shopping carts. I know you think it'll keep them busy and out of trouble. The truth of the matter is they will crash into displays, slam into other shoppers, and run over feet. It's not a good idea and it hurts.

  5. Commit to the aisle you've chosen. No. It's not okay to decide mid-aisle that you're in the wrong spot and try to turn around. U-turns only cause more traffic and the aisles are too darn small. Walk to the end of the aisle and start fresh with a new one once you get there.

  6. Leaving your shopping cart sideways in the middle of an aisle is rude. We all forget to grab something every now and then. Unless what you forgot is within 2 feet of where you're currently standing, you should not be abandoning your cart in the middle of the aisle so you can "quickly run" and grab something 20 feet away. Especially when there's 10 other people with their carts in the aisle with you. And come on, it's Trader Joe's. You know you'll get distracted by something else that looks "fun" that you missed during your first pass. Too bad. Refer to item number 5 and keep it moving.

  7. Make decisions quickly. It's a bag of avocados, not a car. Put it in your cart or don't. It's that simple.

  8. Put things back where you found them. This doesn't just apply to Trader Joe's. It applies to all grocery stores. If you decide that you no longer want the bouquet of tulips that you picked up near the entrance, don't stick them with the bread, on the opposite side of the store, after you've been shopping for 45 minutes and have already stressed out half of the people in the establishment.

  9. Leave the store after you pay. Was there a memo about lingering in the narrow space between the store windows and the registers? Is this what the cool kids are doing? I don't like it and neither should you.

  10. Return your cart. Nowadays, there are an abundance of cart return areas in parking lots. Please, stop leaving carts in random places. We're all in a rush, but all it takes is 30 seconds...1 minute, TOPS.

  11. Take a look at the circular before you get to the store. The company shows all of their new, interesting, and fun food in a circular that can be found on their website. If you check it out before hand, you can get excited and distracted then and know what you're looking for when you walk into the store! Novel idea, right? No. It's a grocery store. Grocery stores have circulars. Look into it.

Do you have any other tips you'd like to share? Feel free to leave them in the comment section!

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