Best Gourmet Groceries On A Tight Budget (2002)

Trader Joe's

Imagine being in a grocery store check-out line with a cart chock-full of fancy-schmancy foods: a chunk of French cheese, a bag of exotic baby greens, some imported olive oil, a fresh slab of herb focaccia, Belgian chocolates and an assortment of attractively packaged, luxurious and completely unessential items, like sea salt body scrub and almond-scented soap. Now imagine the clerk ringing up everything and telling you the total. Is it a ridiculous amount of money? Do you choke and reach for the plastic? Well, maybe if you envisioned yourself in a typically pricey gourmet store. But if you were thinking of shopping at Trader Joe's, the tally is surely more manageable . . . maybe even cheap enough to imagine throwing in a bottle of Merlot and a bouquet of calla lilies, too!


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