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How I Became a "Trader Hoe" This Year

He was a Trader Joe, He said “See You Later Joe!”

This past year, I found love in a form that I had never found it in before. What is that love? My deep and true love for Trader Joe’s.

This past August for my senior year of college, I moved into an off campus house with seven other girls. There is so much freedom and we basically can do whatever we want. However, with that freedom comes a lot more adulting and responsibility.

My groceries and Target runs are no longer supplied by the “rents.” It’s all up to me and my wallet. Therefore, I am a lot more frugal and a lot less wasteful when I go shopping (No offense, mom and dad). I’m pretty sure all my housemates are in that same boat.

Once all eight of us were settled in, our one fridge and two mini fridges (we have one mini fridge dedicated strictly to spiked seltzers and beers #college) were filled to capacity. I started to notice a lot of things with Trader Joe’s packaging. At that point, I was a Trader Joe’s virgin.

Instagram: @hoez4traderjoez

The closest one to me at home is over 20 minutes away, with other grocery stores a lot closer. However, there is one only about 10 minutes away at school. I had seen snapchat stories of the long lines but never understood the hype, I always thought Trader Joe’s was just any old grocery store.

Then, my housemate introduced me to their chips and two different dips (the Buffalo Chicken and Avocado Tzatziki dips, if you were wondering). My life was then forever changed.

“I like Trader Joe’s because they could literally inject the Buffalo Chicken Dip into my veins” said Mickey, 21.

Me too, Mickey. Me freaking too.

Instagram: @hoez4traderjoez

After this religious experience, I decided to join my housemates on their next Trader Joe’s trip. I honestly don’t know how I had never gone before. Trader Joe’s has so much variety, so many fun snacks and dips. If you’re like me and still a beginner in the kitchen, there are lots of awesome frozen dinners to pick from. I’ve also found a few delicious ones that aren’t too high in calories either! The produce selection is great too. I even started using their skincare products! The best part is, none of it is super expensive either. Honestly, Trader Joe’s is like Disney for people who are balling on a budget but still value quality products.

How is that possible you ask? Well, according to Trader Joe’s website, “We keep our costs low because every penny we save is a penny you save.”

Trader Joe’s makes most of their items themselves so they can save us money. Not only that, but all of their stuff happens to SLAP. I am a huge supporter of that & now often refer to myself as a term I learned from Mud’s Fashion Vertical Editor, Mackenzie Maher, “a Trader Hoe.”

I know I am not the only one. I even have receipts.

“It is high quality for a reasonable price. They have unique flavors and items. (For example, the bomb Buffalo Style Chicken Poppers). Also, it’s largely organic!” said Elizabeth, 21.

Instagram: @hoez4traderjoez

Mud Instagram Content Creator Hope Lecours shops at T.J.’s for a lot of reasons. “I’m OBSESSED with their floral options. Literally love. You can buy such unique plants there. Also, I became friends with a cashier once because he said ‘hi queen’ to me. It is just so warm and nice there.”

Why have us college kids living in our off campus homes all become Trader Hoes? I think Joe fills a void. It makes being at school feel more like home. It sure as heck beats dining hall food. Trader Joe’s allows us to have fresh food and a home cooked meal when we can’t have that favorite recipe of our Mom’s. Also, it allows us to create new traditions too. My friends and I have had countless (and sometimes themed) potluck dinners using items and recipes from Tik Tok and Trader Joe’s. Then, we’ve brought them home to our families.

Trader Joe’s is so much more than just a grocery store. Without sounding too culty, it is honestly a way of life.

Instagram: @hoez4traderjoez


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