The place: Trader Joe’s, 4101 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 922-5727.
The goods: Sarasota became the envy of many a Florida foodie when Trader Joe’s, a quirky food and wine market with a big following out West, opened right here at home.
The drill: The house-branded items are where the bargains are, and there are lots of them. I recently loaded up three big reusable bags with goodies and checked out for a measly $70.48. Here’s a Good Deal sampler: Charles Shaw California Sauvignon Blanc, $2.99 (this is TJ’s famous Three Buck Chuck); fresh “Trader Giotto’s” tortellini stuffed with spinach, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan, $1.99 in the refrigerated aisle; and TJ’s red and white Belgian endive in the produce department, three perfect little endives for $2.69.