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Bartering at Trader Joe’s

Big Pumpkin

I am always disappointed that Trader Joe’s does not let you actually trade for items. It seems to be a great deception in regards to their name, just like Dress Barn isn’t really housed in a Barn and Burlington Coat Factory isn’t an actual factory.

It would be rather exciting to walk into Trader Joe’s and bargain with the cashier. “I will give you this never-used souvenir coffee mug from San Francisco for two boxes of blueberry oatmeal. What do you say?” What do you think I’d have to exchange for the huge pumpkin pictured above that was in the lobby of the Ann Arbor store?


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Nina • November 10, 2009 at 10:33 am

That’s a big pumpkin!!


Suzanne • November 10, 2009 at 11:20 am

Years ago I lived right by that store and had enough free time to browse, and find something interesting, and go home and prepare it. I miss those days.


Courtney • November 10, 2009 at 12:45 pm

I’ve been reading your site for awhile – and I read your book – your posts ALWAYS make me laugh – and I’ve often wondered the same thing about Trader Joes. Was it once a trading store? Was Joe one who traded? Is his ultimate dream to have a store where indeed people trade? Whatever the case, I’ll take the prices any day!

I’m also in Indy – one of things I love the most is when you talk about places around town I actually know what you’re talking about! I’m attempting to train for the mini this May – and have 70+ pounds to lose in the meantime. Day by day – I’m a work in progress!

Thanks for your humor!


KefirGirl • November 10, 2009 at 12:54 pm

maybe an hour’s worth of mopping?


Jen • November 10, 2009 at 1:53 pm

I always thought Dress Barn was the worst idea ever for the name of a women’s clothing store. Why would I buy my clothes in a place I cows live? Do the cows get fancy dresses too?


Camevil • November 10, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Yeah, I bet his real name isn’t even Joe, either.


Carole • November 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Now here’s barter for you:

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Mary • November 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Hey, Hallowe’en’s over – I say they should pay *you* to take it!


boots • November 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm

I’ve got it: tell the manager you’re a local artist and want to carve the faces of all the store employees into the pumpkin, but first you need to take the pumpkin home to “prepare” it. Give them a fake name and contact info. Take the pumpkin home and never return to the store. No barter required!


Brandi • November 11, 2009 at 6:03 am

Your posts are always so funny!! Today I am de-lurking to invite you to check out my blog for a chance to win my give-away! So come see me, and keep up your awesome writing!!!


Karen • November 11, 2009 at 12:34 pm

For the record, Dress Barns back in the early 80s were done up in a barn motif. And yes, they did have fancy dresses for cows…it’s where I got my senior prom dress. :)

(First time poster, long time luker and reader of Half-Assed. You are quite a lady Ms. Fulda!)


Dyan • November 11, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Did you get some of the pumpkin pancake batter mix? I did and it was INCREDIBLE!!!!

Buy some before it goes away for the season. Seriously.


MG • November 11, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I’m still hoping for a Trader Joe’s here at all, barter or no barter. I hear they are awesome!

Made an really good pumpkin curry soup the other day that was a dump and heat quick dinner type of recipe. Didn’t make it up, just found it. :) Are you ever looking for tried and tasty recipes?


janis • November 11, 2009 at 8:51 pm

The cashier at TJ’s gave me a boquet of flowers once because I saw a lady behind me with just one item and let her go ahead of me. I thought that was pretty cool.


tabby • November 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I used to live down by that store in Ann Arbor. And I totally agree about the names of certain stores. Cracks me up! :)


possum • November 14, 2009 at 12:19 am

I was disapointed that Burlington Coat Factory had more that coats the only time I went to one. Yes, as a college student I still felt let down by a company. *L* However, eight years or so later I still have the coat I bought there.


Carbzilla • November 21, 2009 at 11:18 am

OMG – thank God I wasn’t drinking coffee when I read this or I would have a freshly-sprayed coffee monitor! Freakin’ HILARIOUS!

I can tell you that I discovered TJ’s in California in 1989, and they’ve NEVER traded but they’ve always made the finest tortillas anywhere! (The tortillas and I had a big love affair for many months before I found Weight Watchers).

You slay me!


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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