The Costco and Trader Joe's Effect

By Megan McDonald September 12, 2012

Well, you knew they were coming. Some of you mapped out your first experiences with the new stores according to crowd control, and it seems almost all of us have now “drank the Kool-Aid,” so to speak. While Costco was not as overwhelmingly exciting for me, I did find some pretty good deals--and, yes, Trader Joe’s blew me away. (You can see a peek at some more Trader Joe's products in our editors' blog here.)


I have decided to post a list of things I like best for all you shoppers, from the food and wine perspective mostly. 



Irish butter and Irish cheddar cheese. Kerrygold is more expensive, but why would you put cream and some sour cream in your mashed potatoes and not follow it with a big hunk of Irish butter--and the best there is, at that?


Veal scallopini. Pounded and individually packed at $10.49 a pound


Organic ground beef. One-third of the price of others.


Sabra hummus singles (box of 16). Perfect snacks for school or office.


Duckhorn Decoy. $18.69 a bottle


Veuve Cliquot. $43 and change. Best price I've found in town for my favorite champagne.


Trader Joe’s:

Oh yeah, baby, this was the one I was waiting for!


Much better than the Trader Joe’s in Naples, this store features a Sarasota version of the good stuff--even the prices on the organic items will blow you away! All of their Trader Joe's trademark  items contain no artificial coloring and flavoring, and the organic products are priced sooooo much better than a lot of organic-focused stores. However, not everything is organic at Trader Joe's--but quite frankly, other than most produce, I prefer just hormone-free and all-natural.


Steak tips and lamb tips. They make me miss that Boston staple that is usually served with steak fries and salad all on the same plate--a perfect football game day meal.


Chocolate covered edamame. Did you know Edamame snacks are supposed to be beige--not glow-in-the-dark green like most places?


The entire frozen section. I dare you to try the mac and cheese and not go buy a case. The turkey burgers get a thumbs up from me, and the ethnic section is pretty impressive.


Coconut oil. Schmear it on your face- schmear it on a cake, just schmear--it is the new big thing. 


Trader Joe’s: You had me at hello.
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