It isn’t easy being a college student for a plethora of reasons, but finding great food that’s also affordable might be one of the most difficult things. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s has made it easier for college students to find healthy food that doesn’t totally drain the bank account. If you’re in search of a place where you’ll feel at ease during your next shopping trip, this is it.
1. It’s WAY cheaper than Whole Foods
As we all know, in order to be healthy in America you have to pay a steep price for organic products. Thankfully, we have Trader Joe’s. Even compared to regular grocery store prices, they measure up fairly. Whole Foods has some quality items but when you’re living the college life, it’s hard to keep up, so it’s good to know that there’s a grocery store out there that’s completely health conscious no matter what kind of budget you’re on. Trader Joe’s doesn’t even need to have sales or coupons because they provide low prices every day.
2. Their employees are the best
My first time going to Trader Joe’s, I went with my roommate because we were shopping for the big storm that was gonna hit NY. We went on Tuesday thinking that the place would be empty, but it was completely packed. The lines were long but we managed to make it out in just an hour because the staff was efficient enough to keep things going. Our cashier was bagging groceries at the speed of light. The staff’s performance is a true reflection of how much Trader Joe’s as a company cares.
3. Their products make you excited to learn how to cook
A lot of young people come into college not knowing how to cook and get overwhelmed when they have to buy actual groceries instead of junk food. So once you realize that ordering Chinese takeout every night isn’t an option, Trader Joe’s has a variety of items waiting to be bought that will make your meals special.
On top of that, they showcase their international foods and seasonings in an inclusive way, so you don’t have to walk to the limited “ethnic” section of the store because everything is placed together.
4. Speaking of variety…
Even if you’re not looking for things to cook for a full meal, Trader Joe’s has some really interesting snacks that you probably wouldn’t even think to look for. When I go, I usually get the mango chips and the kale chips, two items with tons of flavor that blew me away. Like the rest of their snacks, they have unique tastes to them and are all in all really good for you unless you decide to pick up the cookie butter.
If you’re not sure that you’ll like something you can ask an employee to try it and they’ll open it up right in the store. If you didn’t like what you bought, you can simply ask one of their employees to return it for FREE!
5. It’s healthier than the dining hall
Many college campuses have ‘a la carté’ style or buffet style in their dining halls, which is cool. Students get to manage what they eat and how much they eat, without the feeling of being judged by everyone else which is part of the reason why the ‘Freshman 15‘ is such an epidemic amongst incoming college students and could last longer than intended.
Students have unlimited access to junk food whenever they want so advertising a healthier lifestyle is key. Luckily, Trader Joe’s has a bunch of pre-made salads and frozen meals to choose from and it’s never just one kind of cuisine.
6. The decor
Trader Joe’s farmer’s market/Hawaiian beach theme is a total attention grabber. It’s vibrant, fun and down to earth and makes grocery shopping less like a chore and more like an adventure. Every Trader Joe’s store has an in-house artist who brings their own personal style to the chalkboard, making each store slightly different from their others. Maybe one of their signs will inspire you to make some art of your own.
7. Great place for vegetarians and vegans
That moment when your family is sitting around the table and someone offers to serve you a meat dish and you have to politely refuse. You start to feel the death stares of your burger eating, egg scrambling, fried chicken lovin’ family as they try to grasp a life without meat. But this change is great because college is all about self-exploration and becoming independent-minded. Lots of college students are switching to a no-meat diet.
College campuses are still getting used to the increasing amount of vegan/vegetarian students and are trying to expand their dining options to accommodate all diets. In the meantime, Trader Joe’s has a bunch of delicious vegan/vegetarian options to choose from.