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Here's How Much You Can Save on 10 Essentials at Trader Joe's

The Ascent 11/28/2022 Christy Bieber
A woman comparing prices on an item while grocery shopping. © Getty Images A woman comparing prices on an item while grocery shopping.

Trader Joe's has many products that fans love. But will you charge more or less on your credit cards if you buy groceries at Trader Joe's versus other popular competitors? This is an important question to answer.

The good news is, Trader Joe's products are often less expensive than the amount you'd likely pay if you bought your groceries at other big-name stores. In fact, the list below shows just how much you can save on some household essentials.

You'll never guess how much less expensive Trader Joe's is for these 10 products

To see if Trader Joe's is really a deal or not, it's helpful to compare how much the boutique grocery store charges for commonly purchased items.

Recently, a CNET article revealed the math on this, checking the prices on some common grocery staples at Trader Joe's versus Stop & Shop. Here's how the costs stacked up on 10 key items.

Item Trader Joe's Stop & Shop
1 banana $0.19 $0.41
10 ounces classic potato chips $2.49 $5.29
Cream cheese $1.69 $2.89
½ gallon organic 2% milk $3.79 $5.69
Quart of half and half $2.69 $5.19
16 ounces creamy salted peanut butter $2.99 $2.59
32 ounces organic low sodium chicken broth $1.99 $3.19
16 ounces spaghetti $0.99 $1.49
1 pound all natural whole chicken $3.99 $3.99

As you can see, many of these items are substantially cheaper at Trader Joe's, and none cost more at the competitor store.

That doesn't mean Trader Joe's is always cheaper on every item, though. The head-to-head comparison did reveal that a pound of 15% lean ground beef was around $0.50 cheaper at Stop & Shop ($5.49 versus $5.99). Chicken was also priced the same at both stores.

Still, for the vast majority of commonly purchased items, Trader Joe's provided the better bargain.

Should you shop at Trader Joe's?

If you are lucky enough to have a Trader Joe's near you, you may want to consider getting at least some of your grocery items there. The store is not only known for its low prices, but Trader Joe's also offers samples, a generous return policy, and great customer service.

Of course, there are potential pitfalls to shopping there. One issue is that it can be tempting to overspend -- especially because Trader Joe's does have many food samples, as well as unique seasonal products. You could end up finding yourself impulse-buying items that you don't really need and going over your grocery budget.

Trader Joe's also doesn't offer coupons on its private-label brands, although the retail locations do accept manufacturer coupons for name-brand products they carry. In some cases, this could mean that when other grocery stores put items on sale or issue special coupons for them, they could end up cheaper.

If you want to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck, it can be helpful to compare prices yourself on a few staples to see which ones really do cost less at Trader Joe's. And, when you go shopping, be sure to stick to a list so impulse purchases don't negate any savings that Trader Joe's cheaper prices can provide.

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