Saving the best for last, who doesn’t love a bargain on a decent bottle of wine? True to its nickname, Trader Joe’s famous (or is it infamous?) “Two-Buck Chuck” lineup of wines first graced store shelves in 2002 with a low, low price of just $1.99 per 750ml bottle.
To set the scene for you, winemaker Charles Shaw found itself in financial dire straits in the late 1990s and was acquired by Bronco Wines, a subsidiary of boxed-wine giant Franzia. The decision was made to start selling Charles Shaw at ultra-discounted prices exclusively at Trader Joe’s and the rest is history. In 2023, Two-Buck Chuck is now more like Four-Buck Chuck (prices vary by local market), but it’s still a pretty solid deal, especially the Red Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon.
If you’re not exactly a wine connoisseur, TJs also has many value-oriented private-label beers and spirits on offer, including its Trader Joe’s Kentucky Bourbon, which is reportedly made by the well-known distillery Buffalo Trace. In the beer aisle, you’ll find some fair-to-middling IPAs and Mexican lagers, but the real standouts are the seasonal selections like Tiramisu Pastry Stout and Howling Gourds Pumpkin Ale, all value-priced. Okay, now we’re both hungry and dying to pop a beer.