Today, we decided to visit our closest Trader Joe's grocery store. It is 12 miles away in West Hartford, CT and only minutes away from where we attend church in New Britain. We had already done our grocery shopping for the week, but I wanted to at least see what they had to offer and at what prices they offered it. We had been to Trader Joe's on occasion, but never with The Maker's Diet in mind. This time around, I was looking specifically for grass-fed beef, free range chicken, and anything that featured sprouted grains.
My mission was quite a success! Trader Joe's has a selection of beef that is labeled as free range but not specifically grass-fed. They also have one offering that is grass-fed though it is only offered as ground beef. I didn't look too closely at the free range beef prices as I am mostly interested in the grass-fed option. They sell this in 1 pound packages at $5.99 each. Sure, this is more expensive than other options, but as long as I keep it to an occasional 'indulgence' and reasonable portion sizes, I should be fine with the expense.
I was also pleased to find that that have a decent selection of free range chicken, though I was a little less than pleased by the prices. I am not used to chicken being more expensive than beef! Sadly, the free range chicken will be more of an indulgence than beef due to the expense. I will probably buy some once in a while.
One of the more pleasing discoveries was that Trader Joe's carries Ezekiel 4:9 bread and they sell it for $3.99 per loaf - that's $1.70 less than what It's Only Natural sells it for. They have both the regular and the cinnamon raisin varieties, but they did not have any of the Genesis 1:29 bread. I am not sure if this is simply an issue of it being out of stock or if they just don't carry it, but I am happy with the Ezekiel 4:9 bread.
Trader Joe's - at least our 'local' one - is not quite as complete as other grocery stores. For instance, they do not have a full service deli. As such, we will not be able to rely solely on Trader Joe's for all of our food needs. Overall, though, we were quite happy with what we found. It was interesting to discover that quite a few of the options were actually less expensive than what we normally buy. I found frozen, organic raspberries like I buy at Stop & Shop to add to yogurt. Trader Joe's had them for about $2.30 less for the same quantity. I just wish that they were a lot closer - though 12 miles doesn't seem like a great distance, it is not terribly convenient. We can easily go shopping after church on Sunday given that we are already nearby, but one thing that turned me off was that the store was really crowded. I felt like I was in the way of other customers. I have to admit, though, that even in the chaos the employees were very cheerful and helpful.