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Is Trader Joe’s Cheaper Than Tom Thumb? (Explained)

Is Trader Joe’s Cheaper Than Tom Thumb

Trader Joe’s and Tom Thumb are both supermarket giants that are known for stocking groceries and daily essentials at affordable prices. Trader Joe’s focuses more on foodstuff and edibles whereas Tom Thumb also has a good variety of other items such as personal care products and cleaning supplies

It goes without saying that the cost of grocery items is one of the major deciding factors that influence where a customer shops. Not only do you want to stay within your budget, but you also want to get the most value for your money without buying sub-standard products.

Trader Joe’s offers lower prices than Tom Thumb, however, Tom Thumb has a greater variety of groceries to choose from.

Comparison of Prices at Trader Joe’s and Tom Thumb

When it comes to prices, both stores offer products at competitive prices and each has its pros and cons. However, customer reviews indicate that most found shopping at Trader Joe’s more economical than at Tom Thumb.

For example, a recent survey found that Trader Joe’s products generally cost around 19% less than other grocery stores in the area, and most customers were highly satisfied with the quality as well. 

Let’s look specifically at how Trader Joe’s prices compare to Tom Thumb’s. A loaf of white sliced bread at Tom Thumb costs around $3.79 (20 oz) whereas at Trader Joe’s it costs only about $1.99 (22 oz).

Looking at eggs, a dozen large brown eggs will set you back around $5.99 at Tom Thumb compared to $4.49 at Trader Joe’s. On average, grocery items and fresh fruits and vegetables at Tom Thumb are slightly more expensive than at Trader Joe’s.

However, it should also be kept in mind that prices vary according to the location of the store as well as during the sale period and season etc. Trader Joe’s also has a limited selection of products as compared to Tom Thumb, which has a large variety of all types of produce and grocery items.

Comparison of Savings Opportunities at Trader Joe’s and Tom Thumb

When it comes to discounts and saving opportunities, Tom Thumb outshines Trader Joe’s in this regard. At Tom Thumb, customers can avail a lot of discounts, freebies, and perks by signing up for their free loyalty program called ‘Tom Thumb for U™’.

Some of the benefits listed on their website include:

  • A welcome discount for online orders for new customers who sign up to become a part of this program ($5 off on orders of $25 or more)
  • Personalized deals and coupons every week on all eligible purchases from Tom Thumb
  • A reward system through which you can get discounts on grocery items and gas (every $1 spent earns 1 point, and after 100 points you get redeemable rewards)
  • Members get gifts on birthdays and the opportunity to avail a free item every month

On the other hand, Trader Joe’s does not have a loyalty program or members-only discounts in place. They have a strict no-discount policy as they believe it goes against their values and company motto.

Their stance is that since they focus on providing fresh everyday products at very affordable prices, the customer is getting value for their money without getting into any marketing gimmicks such as sales and coupons, etc. 

Although Trader Joe’s anti-discount policy might be disappointing for some, there is something to be said for their company values as well as their focus on an open, honest relationship with the customer.

Tips for Finding Affordable Groceries

Finding the best quality products at the lowest prices is every shopper’s goal―including you. That’s why we have compiled a list of the top tips for finding affordable groceries and maximizing your savings. Let’s get into it!

  1. Compare the costs of different grocery stores in your area and go for the one that offers products at the most affordable prices without compromising on quality.
  2. Get things in bulk especially when they’re on sale. Apart from items that have a long shelf-life, buying meat in bulk can also help you significantly lower expenditure.
  3. Buy your groceries online to avail offers specific to online orders and lower the chances of impulse buying.
  4. Plan ahead and make a clear list of all the groceries you need for the next couple of weeks. Resist the temptation to add items that are costly but offer little nutrition and instead focus on getting healthier alternatives. Don’t stray from your shopping list!
  5. Buy fruits and vegetables in limited quantities so that you get only the amount you can finish easily before they go bad. Nothing hurts more than throwing away rotten fruits and vegetables that cost a fortune!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Trader Joe’s as Cheap as Walmart?

According to surveys Trader Joe’s is actually more expensive than Walmart when it comes to grocery items.

Is Trader Joe’s Cheaper than Central Market?

Customer reviews have indicated that Trader Joe’s has more affordable products as compared to Central Market.

Why is Trader Joe’s Expensive?

Some customers might find Trader Joe’s to be more expensive than, say, Walmart because it stocks higher quality products as well as unique food items that are hard to come by elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, most customers felt that Trader Joe’s offered products at a lower price point as compared to Tom Thumb which was validated by a comparison of common grocery items at both stores.

However, it should also be mentioned that Trader Joe’s offers a limited variety of products as compared to Tom Thumb, and gives no discounts.

If you want to cut down on costs while grocery shopping, the main points you should target are first of all finding the cheapest grocery store near you with quality products by comparing the prices at different stores. Next, adopt healthy shopping habits such as making a clear list of the needed items and getting those only. Shop during sales and buy in bulk to save even more!


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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