Is Trader Joe’s Really Expensive? | Closer Look at the Costs

Wherever you are living in the United States, you have probably been to Trader Joe’s at least once or just saw it while passing by.

There are many chain grocery stores in the United States, and they have the option to put different prices depending on their business model.

That’s why people could be quite picky when choosing which grocery store to go to.

Trader Joe’s is an American grocery store chain with their headquarters in California. They were founded in 1958 as Pronto Markets but later changed to Trader Joe’s in 1967.

The popular grocery store chain has over 560 stores across the United States, with a revenue of $16.5 billion for 2020.

There are some controversies about the prices of Trader Joe’s, whether they are more expensive than others or not. It’s a viable question, and this is what we will try to answer in this article.

We will compare Trader Joe’s prices with others and take a look at the factors affecting the prices and the satisfaction of customers.

Is Trader Joe's Expensive
Is Trader Joe’s Expensive?

The Quality of Trader Joe’s Goods

The good thing about Trader Joe’s and why they are able to keep their prices low is that there is no middleman in most of their products.

They offer their own range of foods which they produce themselves. This allows them to skip the middleman, buy straight from the producer, and sell it in their stores.

Another thing this lack of middleman bring is that they can offer exclusive foods and products that are hard to find at other stores.

They can offer both sides of the world without giving up on the quality.

Comparison of Prices

The easiest way to see if Trader Joe’s is expensive or cheaper than other stores is to make a direct comparison with similar grocery stores.

It’s not easy to compare most of their products with all other grocery stores, so comparing the average prices of generalized products could be a better choice. Here is a small comparison:

ItemsTrader Joe’s Average PricesAverage Prices for All Other Stores
Overall Prices$81$100
Produce Prices$82$100
Meat Prices$84$100

As you can see, Trader Joe’s is about 15% to 20% cheaper than the average prices of all other stores.

However, this might not give you the exact picture because some higher prices grocery stores are also counted in this average.

Here is also a small comparison with certain products between Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop.

ProductTrader Joe’sStop & Shop
Baby spinach, 6oz$1.99$3.99
Head of cauliflower, each$2.99$3.49
Red bell pepper, each$1.29$2.29
Banana, each$0.19$0.41
Beefsteak tomato, each$1.29$1.40
Hass avocado, each$1.49$1.99
Honey O’s, 13.5oz$2.29$7.19
Organic unsweetened soy beverage, 32 oz$1.99$4.19
Roasted red pepper hummus, 10oz$3.49$4.99
Cream cheese, 8oz$1.69$2.89
Greek nonfat yogurt, 32oz$5.49$5.79
Organic 2% milk, half gallon$3.79$5.69
Half and half, 1 quart$2.69$5.19
Unsweetened applesauce, 24oz$1.99$3.19
Creamy salted peanut butter, 16oz$2.29$2.59
Organic low sodium chicken broth, 32oz$1.99$3.19
Solid white albacore tuna in olive oil, 5oz$2.29$2.59
Garbanzo beans, 15oz$0.89$1.19
Black beans, 15oz$0.89$1.19
Grade A 100% maple syrup, 8oz$4.49$9.69
Clover honey, 12oz$3.99$6.29
Spaghetti, 16oz$0.99$1.49
Unbleached all-purpose flour, 5lbs$2.99$3.69
Frozen peas, 16oz$1.59$3.49
Chopped frozen spinach, 16oz$1.49$3.49
Large brown eggs, 1 dozen$3.29$4.19
15% lean ground beef, 16oz$5.99$5.49
Fresh Atlantic salmon, 16oz$9.99$14.99
Ground turkey, 16oz$3.99$5.49
Natural whole chicken/pound$3.99$3.99
Plain bagels, 6-piece, 18oz$1.99$4.39
English muffins, 6-piece 12oz$1.99$1.99
Flour tortillas, 8-piece, 15.5oz$2.99$2.09
French vanilla ice cream, half gallon$6.49$3

As you can see, here Trader Joe’s is extremely cheaper than the competitor we compared it with.

Trader Joe’s is certainly less expensive than the typical grocery store, but you might have to endure a longer wait at the checkout to make the most of their lower prices.

We can say that the first table is also correct, but the differences could vary a lot based on the product and the specific grocery store you are comparing it with.

Is Trader Joes Cheaper Than Walmart?

In terms of organic produce, Trader Joe’s offers lower prices compared to Walmart.

However, when considering the prices of all types of produce, Walmart is generally cheaper than Trader Joe’s.

So, while Trader Joe’s is more affordable for organic items, Walmart wins in terms of overall produce prices.

What About Aldi?

Aldi is generally considered to be cheaper than Trader Joe’s. Aldi often offers lower prices for various items, including cheese, produce, eggs, and certain meats, making it a more budget-friendly option for shoppers.

Additionally, Aldi’s overall cost tends to be lower compared to Trader Joe’s, making it a preferred choice for those looking for cost-effective grocery shopping.

Trader Joes’s Vs. Whole Foods Cheaper Comparison

Whole Foods is more expensive than Trader Joe’s.

While it may offer a range of products at competitive prices compared to local options, it doesn’t match the cost-effectiveness of Trader Joe’s, which tends to provide lower prices for various items.

Customer Reviews and Satisfaction with Trader Joe’s Prices

Customer Reviews on Trader's Joe

There are conflicting reviews about Trader Joe’s and the overall satisfaction of the grocery store chain.

Even though they provide quality products at a lower price, some reviews state that they weren’t happy with the product they bought.

Some reports also state that certain products are not the best when it comes to quality.

Regarding the prices of the products, there aren’t many complaints that they are expensive.

However, the important thing to remember is the weight of products might differ from other stores, which might be lower than others.

When the weight is lower, the price is also lower, leading to the impression that Trader Joe’s is cheaper than it is.

Is Trader Joe’s Budget-Friendly?

Yes, Trader Joe’s is considered to be budget-friendly. People who are mindful of their expenses have found that shopping at Trader Joe’s is more affordable compared to many other grocery stores in their area.

The store offers a variety of budget-friendly items, including favorites like gyoza and fancy cheese, making it a popular choice for those looking to save money on their grocery bills.

So, if you’re on a budget, Trader Joe’s can be a great option to get good deals on your groceries.

Are they Healthy Along With Budget-friendly?

According to EatThis, Trader Joe’s is known for producing high-quality foods, but even they have some products that dietitians consider unhealthy.


Trader Joe’s is one of the biggest grocery store chains in the United States, with over 500 stores.

Most people use Trader Joe’s on a daily basis, and you might wonder if you are paying more for the same products compared to other grocery stores.

As the reports suggest, this is not the case because Trader Joe’s products are overall cheaper than most grocery stores.

The quality of their products is generally good, but certain products, like the items in the produce section, seem like it’s not the best according to some reviews.

People do not seem to have any problem with the pricing of Trader Joe’s, as most think it’s cheap overall. That’s why we can say that Trader Joe’s is not expensive.

Here Is What Reddit users Has To Say


How expensive is Trader Joe's?

Trader Joe’s generally offers cheaper products than its competitors.

So, we can easily say that Trader Joe’s is not expensive and even cheaper than most competitors in certain products.

Is Trader Joe's the best option?

Depending on what you are exactly looking for, we can say that Trader Joe’s is a good option and could even be the best in certain products.

Is Trader Joe's quality?

Trader Joe’s offers both different brands and their own brand at quite a lower price.

You can choose between qualities, but Trader Joe’s own products are also quite quality.


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