Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's Been Done Before

  I finally made it out to Trader Joe’s. Yea-Yea. I know everyone has written about their own great trip, but I found some interesting tidbits I wanted to share. 

   Let me first say that I have never really been a fan of Trader Joe’s. I grew up in California and have been around several of them. I never understood the hype behind the excitement about this chain of stores. I have been to a lot of their stores, even the one in Greenville. “Nothing really special” was my take.

 When they opened a store here in Columbia, I was not super excited to jump in the car with my two little’s and race right over on Opening Day. I was interested to see what they had to offer but not I-have-to-have-it-right-now type of interest. So a few months have gone by and everyone has asked if I have gone yet.

“No, ugh” was my continuous answer.

  Through peer pressure I finally made the trip across town and headed in, with the kids in tow, just before naptime.

  Jesse loves to push the small carts so I was happy to see they had plenty of them to offer. It’s a great addition to any store and I really think more should get them.

  Being that I had both kids, I was not planning on googly-eyeing every item in the store. I had a short list so I could be in and out in a quick minute. I just needed almond milk, cheese, apples, bread and juice.  Easy peasy, right?

  It’s funny what happens when you start reading labels, and your three year old is pushing a cart of his own.

“Mommy, we need watermelon.” Jesse belts out.

“Ok, Sure. We can get a watermelon” says mom as she is deciding that the cheese is good.

  I turn around to see him trying to pick up said watermelon. I phase into an Ally McBeal moment to visualize the stack of watermelon crashing down. Chunks of melon spinning around, people falling, and my kid at the center of it all. Thank god it was too big for him to really even move.

  We made our way to the juices and that’s when a young lady stopped us to ask if we needed help with anything. She proceeded to tell us that if “We bought anything and didn’t like it, we could bring it back”.
  
  WOAH!? Bring it BACK? What a concept.

She went on to say “They encourage trying new things” hence the return policy.

Oh, It was on! I bought some wasabi seaweed, pea chips and a few other random items I would have never picked up before. Needless to say, my small list became a full cart and I headed to checkout.
I easily caved to my set budget and dove into our monthly budget. I figured for the amount of items I was purchasing it would be a little ding that would work out in the long run.

  The items were rung up and I was truly surprised that the cost was way less then I figured it to be. Huh, ok. Maybe it was a fluke.

We headed home.

  The next week I had a friend in town and she wanted to hit traders. So I headed back with her, her two little’s and my two little’s. 

  We had hit a local park after lunch and were surprised by the sprinkler-tower being on. So we were in traders with semi-wet kids. But once again, it was an in-and-out trip.This time I needed a few meals for dinner, snack stuff and drinks.

We got the meals and other items, and then headed to check out.

 Again, way less then I budgeted!  So much though that I am now convinced I can do a good cut of my shopping there and save a ton of money. I mean I bought four supper meals, wine, snacks and other random odds and ends for right at one hundred dollars.

With this type of savings for me, I can buy more local meats and veggies! Now if I could just make it to the farmers markets on a more regular basis. Baby steps, it’s all about baby steps.