As grocery stores go, Trade Joe’s is a relatively small chain. It currently has just around 500 stores across the country. But for folks who shop there, Trader Joe’s is their number one grocery destination. They offer a wide variety of fresh produce, cheeses, meats, wine and frozen dishes all under the Trade Joe’s brand. If you’re a Trader Joe’s aficionado, then you’ll want to fire up these tips to be more out of your next trip to TJs:

Stock Up

The items on the Trader Joe’s shelves fall into two categories: Regular and seasonal. With either of those items there is no guarantee it will be there the next time you stop by. That means if you find something you really like, then stock up. Take the Costco approach and buy in bulk!

Try the Samples

Depending on when you show up at Trade Joe’s you’ll usually find a sample station going. Regardless of what they’re offering, try a sample. You never know what you’re going to discover. If there is a new product without a sample, then ask a clerk if they’ve tried it. You’re not going to like everything you buy at Trader Joe’s and you’ll be better off any time you sample or get a recommendation.

Mix Up the Goodies

As wide as the variety of items are in Trader Joe’s it won’t be the same number of items, you’ll find in a typical grocery store. That’s actually a good thing because it allows you to be focused and consider the “mix up.” There are plenty of frozen goods that would go great with a sauce that can all be tossed in a salad. Three items, instant dinner.

Go Early

Savvy Trader Joe’s shoppers know that the early bird gets the cauliflower gnocchi. If you’re there just after opening, then you’ll find that there aren’t as many crowds and everything has been stocked to perfection. Weekends and evenings tend to be a bit of a “madhouse.”

Take Time with the Wines

Anyone who tries Trader Joe’s wines are surprised by the robust flavors and robust prices. What you want to look out for are bottles marked as “Trader Joe’s Exclusive” or “Trade Joe’s Reserve.” Best of all there are no complicated sales prices. What you see is what it costs and that’s always a good deal.