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This is Why Trader Joe's is So Cheap

Trader Joe's has long been a haven for those seeking affordable eats, but the way they keep their prices so low might surprise you.

The phrase "cheap food" doesn't always inspire confidence; it conjures images of greasy dollar menus, packaged food full of sodium and trans fat, and candy bars scooped up at the supermarket checkout.

However, since Trader Joe's was founded in 1958, the company has been fighting back against the pervasive myth that good food can't be cheap and cheap food can't be good.

While many companies are able to offer low prices by opting for warehouse-like stores, paying workers next to nothing, and outsourcing their operations to countries with cheaper labor, Trader Joe's is routinely lauded for both its customer service and its treatment of employees, earning top spots on Forbes's Best Employers list year after year.

Even better for health-conscious consumers, Trader Joe's products are made without artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, trans fats, and GMOs, with fresh fruits and vegetables, hormone-free dairy products, grass-fed meat, and healthy carbs lining their shelves, all at affordable prices.

So, what's the secret behind their low prices?

They Buy Direct

Farm Stand

Instead of paying middlemen, Trader Joe's purchases most of their food directly from suppliers, enabling the chain to keep their products wallet-friendly. They also contract companies as soon as they know they want an item to get the best price possible before competition drives the cost up.

They Limit Advertising

Trader Joes sign

You won't see Trader Joe's shelling out millions of bucks on an ad during the Super Bowl. In fact, you might never see advertising for the company at all. Thanks to the brand's low prices and employee-friendly culture, word of mouth has been a huge factor in their success.

They Buy in Bulk

Bulk food

Consumers aren't the only ones who buy in bulk to keep their shopping trips budget-friendly. Trader Joe's purchases in massive quantities from suppliers, enabling them to get the best price for every product.

They're Not Afraid of Change

Woman shopping

Instead of relying on certain staple products, regardless of how they're selling, Trader Joe's isn't afraid to try new things. When a product isn't well-received, Trader Joe's puts something new in its place, keeping their selection fresh and exciting for consumers.


Just because you're getting a bargain when you shop at Trader Joe's doesn't mean you're shortchanging your health. The chain is committed to keeping customers happy and healthy, even when they're on a tight budget. Before you make your next grocery run, make sure to keep our 46 Best Supermarket Shopping Tips Ever handy to get the most bang for your buck!


Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah
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