Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's is great. I mean that, its the most fun I've ever had in a grocery store. I am a bargain hound. price per weight. the whole nine. I would truck over to some Japanese food store to pick up edamame beans (soy beans) for 2.99 a bag. Trader's got 'em for 1.49. A whole bag! Cheaper than the japanese! Ok. Soy Milk. Love it. won't pay for it. 3.99 a gallon, at my nearest place. 2.49 over at the trader. And regular milk is about the same price, but its organic. There are unreal things being put into dairy cows these days. Organic milk is really expensive. You can get a gallon of milk, for the same price as in the store. But its organic. Actually thats probably the sneaker deal right there. And I like to make homemade pizza (I first worked at, then ran a pizzeria to pay my way through college.) The secret to a good pizza is the cheese usually. The Mozarella. The best. And like, 2.99 a bag! Get out of here! Organic health food at a comparable price to partially hydrogenated cheapo-generics. Dont get me started. And oatmeal. Like, you get fresh oats? For less than a generic steamroller pounded box of oatmeal. The basic thing I am trying to convey is the prices are under control. I do get their brand, at the store. But its great. There's not everything at the store, but alot.

And while I am at at the atmosphere is great. Instead of loaded up candy and carbonated drinks and really obnoxious magazines at the checkout counter, there are pictures of kids who won the scavenger hunt. Its this game the kids can play when they're in the store. I plea the fifth on travelling with the elves, but I am sure for a good mom or dad, nothing is more annoying than kids bringing up these ripoff sugar-chow 30 percent-marked-up hand grenades into your shopping cart. Its equally annoying to have mom and dad sit there and bicker with elves while they claim this stuff is great. They saw it on TV.

So, they hide this little stuffed turtle somewhere in the place. And the kids can play scavenger hunt. It gets them to look carefully at what they are seeing, and also quite frankly to look past some of the obvious stuff.

Lets see. Fresh cut flowers? They got 'em. Lots of nice things. The only thing I would change, to tell the truth, is the wines. I know this sounds funny coming from me when one of my best friends is or was the wine critic for CNN, but the reality is that about a sixth or eighth of the entire store is dedicated to wine. I only buy wine, really to age it. I have some good stuff. Been collecting Chilean wine. So I know the prices and the types they are stocked are pretty good but... honestly ... I could do with more items in place of the wines. I really don't drink. So thats my bias. I consider the wine section deadweight, because for a store with prices like this. I just want them to carry more things. And also they are carrying some kind of "sugar free" gum at the front of the store thats "made from chicle, from the rain forest". Bah. Its just sugarfree chiclets in another package. Hmm... what else... oh. Right. They're not above the obvious tricks. For example, they put the free food place where they give you samples to try things out.. waayy in the back.

So when you show up with your lobster bib, and fork and knife to eat up the free samples, you have to walk past everything in the aisles and not buy anything. But its still good. Probably better if you bring your own silverware, but if you just stack those little cups up that they give you , you can get enough.

Yes. I was kidding. I never wear a lobster bib.