Well, 2020 sure has been quite the year, huh? It has been a whirlwind for all of us and doesn’t seem to have any end date in sight. So while we may be hoping for 2021 to arrive, we still have to live through 2020. That being said a lot of people on Instagram said they were interested in learning more about my experience this week at Trader Joe’s. So here’s How to Navigate Trader Joe’s in 2020 & my grocery haul for the week (errrr 3 weeks). I hope you find it helpful!
Going to the grocery store can be stressful for people in general, now add a pandemic and suddenly it feels crippling and brand new. I get it, even I was a little nervous the first time I went out, but it’s not bad if you set your expectations and go out with an open mind. Now this isn’t a post to tell you to go out all the time, remember STAY AT HOME as much as able. But, we all need food so it’s likely that sometime in the near future you will have to go grab some reserves.
I have had such an amazing experience at Trader Joe’s (I’ve been 2 times in the past 6-7 weeks) and it makes me not want to go anywhere else. To be honest. I shop at the Trader Joe’s located in Albany, NY so while my experience is probably similar to what yours will be like, know that different states have different rules right now.
PSA: Remember to be kind to the employees, they have to be out in this every day and they probably don’t get thanked enough. So, smile behind those masks and don’t get upset if something isn’t in stock or your trip doesn’t go as planned. We are all going through this together and we’re all a little nervous and scared.
Alright, I know that when I needed to go to the grocery store I was a little hesitant. Luckily I know someone who works at Trader Joe’s (hey Renee!) and she gave me some pointers and calmed my nerves. I’m hoping that this post (or this video) can also help calm yours. Trader Joe’s is not sponsoring me (dang!) so know that these are all my own experiences and beliefs. Okay, here are my top tips on how to navigate Trader Joe’s in 2020:
While I know we all have hectic schedules, I’d suggest carving out a bit more time than usual. This will allow you to wait without expectations of getting done fast. It allows you to wait and not be annoyed that things aren’t going as planned. The parking lots may or may not be crowded AND you may or may not have a line, so plan your day accordingly. I find middle of the day or evening has been best for me, but it will just depend in your area.
I have waited in line both times I have gone to Trader Joe’s. The first time I waited maybe 5-10 minutes and the second time maybe around 20 minutes. I, honestly, just stood with my phone and messaged my friends 🙂 It goes pretty fast, just make sure you adhere to the 6 foot rule to be respectful to others in line.
I know I know, we are desperately trying to be environmentally friendly with our reusable bags, but for the time being it is safer for the workers if we use their paper bags. So you can go in mostly empty handed. Honestly, I’ve been putting my ID and credit cards in a small baggie and just bringing that and my phone with me to limit the things that I need to clean once home.
In NY State we have to wear a mask, and honestly, it’s not such a bad idea. That way if you accidentally choke on your own spit (who doesn’t do that) you can have yourself covered. I wear one of these but there are so many options.
I know this should go without saying but I have ran into so many angry humans! It’s free to be nice and kind, so just do it. Recognize that everyone is going through sh*t right now and we all could use some niceness and kindness in our lives, period.
While you are not limited on how much time you have to shop, they are only letting a small number of shoppers in at a time ( I think around 30). Remember when you were waiting in line? Yeah, now others are waiting outside for YOU to be done shopping. Go with a list, shop with a little pep in your step and ask for help finding things if you can’t. It has been easier to shop fast in my opinion because there are less people in the store so clear paths for everyone to get what they want.
I know you may need that Cauliflower Gnocchi while 2 other shoppers do too, but if the aisle already has a few people in it, go into another aisle and come back. I had to do this a few times and you know what? When I went back there was NO ONE there. Patience and common sense my friends.
Get to the check out and the Trader Joe’s employees do the rest. You may have to stand up against the other check out line to give them space. They will check out your haul and pack it all up for you. All you have to do is pay and go on your merry way, hooray!
Speaking of an amazing grocery haul, let’s discuss what I got the last time I went. While I love fresh produce, I’ve been buying limited quality as it doesn’t last as long as our haul needs to. So I’ve been relying on a lot of refrigerated, frozen and shelf-stable goods to get us through this pandemic.
Okay okay, if you haven’t heard yet, I FINALLY started my YouTube channel & I have a video all about how to navigate Trader Joe’s in 2020. My goal for this year was to do more video. I had a rough start to the year so that goal got sidelined but I am back to it and hope that I can provide you with some amazing video content.
Subscribe here and comment below with what you’d like to see more of!
Ps. Please go subscribe on YouTube! Once I have 100 subscribers I can create a custom URL which would be rad, so go click that red button, THANK YOU!.
I MAY BE COMPENSATED THROUGH AFFILIATE LINKS IN THIS POST AND ON THIS SITE. HOWEVER, ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. COMPENSATION HELPS WITH ANY EXPENSES NEEDED TO KEEP THIS BLOG GOING.