Trader Joe’s Experts Reveal One Shopping Tip You Might Not Know About

published Jul 1, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Apparently, free samples at Trader Joe’s aren’t limited to the ones you see on the trays, they’re only limited by your appetite (and conscience).

In a Food & Wine interview of the grocery chain’s biggest fans, it was revealed that customers can actually try everything in the store, including products that are currently not being served at the sample stations. All you have to do is ask. “The employees will let you sample almost any product,” said Natasha Fischer of the Trader Joe’s List blog.

If you weren’t aware of this sampling policy before, this is huge, especially for picky eaters. Imagine being able to try that Crispy Crunchy Okra or Pickle Popcorn before buying the entire bag. You’ll not only save a few bucks but you’ll also save yourself from buyers’ regret.

Fischer added that it’s this level of customer service that makes Trader Joe’s a cult favorite. “…They will go out of their way to help you find anything in the store, recommend their favorite products or help you pick out ingredients for a meal.”

But as accommodating as TJ’s might be, don’t forget that you’re at a grocery, and not at a buffet. You don’t want to be like that person who had taken so many free samples, he was accused of shoplifting. Yes, that actually happened.

Other recently discovered Trader Joe’s hacks include this smart shelf tip found on TikTok (another one you should be sure not to take advantage of!), and why the grocer’s floral section is so good.