Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

According to Wikipedia, As of October 31, 2023, Trader Joe’s had 564 stores across 42 states in the United States with stores being added regularly. Most locations average between 10,000 and 15,000 sq ft. California has the largest number of stores with 193 open in the state. The chain’s busiest location is its 72nd & Broadway store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The smallest Trader Joe’s location is in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts on Boylston St.

Each location is designed to represent its respective area, with staff members creating murals along store walls to represent the surrounding neighborhood.

As of February 2024, Trader Joe’s has 19 locations in New Jersey.

Trader Joe’s gets my business at least once a month. I discovered Trader Joe’s well over a decade ago when I was visiting my mom back home on Long Island.
She took me to the one on Jericho Turnpike in East Northport. That location has since moved a couple of miles up the turnpike to Commack.

OMG!! I have never seen so many unusual finds in one store.

They sell wine in that Long Island location! At the time, people referred to the wine selections as the “Two Buck Chuck.”

Why Was It Referred To as “Two Buck Chuck?”

Charles Shaw is an American brand of bargain-priced wine produced in California. The  variety of wines were introduced at Trader Joe’s in California in 2002 at the price of 1.99 per bottle, earning the wines the nickname “Two Buck Chuck.”

Bottles of wine for just $2.00. I took a chance and purchased a couple of bottles. They weren’t bad. I’m no expert wine connoisseur, but for $2.00 it served its purpose.


In 2024, only 2 New Jersey Trader Joe’s locations sell alcohol. The Trader Joe’s in Princeton sells beer, wine, and liquor. The Westfield store sells beer and wine Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and spirits Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The days of the “Two Buck Chuck” are in the past. Although still inexpensive, you can grab a bottle at the current price of $3.99.

Trader Joe's Chocolate Coconut Almonds

I shopped til I dropped. I schlepped an overfilled cart of goods back to my mom’s house and then had to repack everything for my trek back to New Jersey.

I purchased a bunch of those inexpensive insulated bags, then drove 2 hours to Manchester, New Jersey where I lived at the time.

Then, I strategically rearranged my refrigerator, freezer, pantry, and linen closet to fit hundreds of dollars of food, spices, toiletries and other cool finds.

When I returned to work the following Monday, I shared my enthusiasm with my co-workers, and discovered via Doug “The Promo Rat” that there was a Trader Joe’s in Westfield.

In recent years, Trader Joe’s opened a couple of stores not far from where I live and work. They have a store in Shrewsbury in Monmouth County and a store in Brick, N.J. in Ocean County.

I’m constantly finding new items on display, lots of them only for a limited time. Then there are the seasonal items. If I find things that are only available for a single season, I buy several.

Let’s take run through my current favorite items at my local Trader Joe’s.


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