My Trader Joe’s Winter 2020 Must-Buys
Hi! I hope you are enjoying the holiday season so far. Spending so much more time around the house this year has made our holiday decor and seasonal treats from Elfie (our elf on the shelf) feel all the more special. I feel like we are getting a chance to savor it all a little more and not feel the typical holday rush.
I’ve updated my list of most-loved winter products from Trader Joe’s for you today. They have brought back many of my favorites from years past and added some fun, festive, and tasty new products. I’m sure that I’ve missed a few gems, but I’ve had fun taste-testing items that catch my attention and reporting back to you the ones that will continue to bring me back to my neighborhood store.
Trader Joe’s Non-Edible Favorites
Ivy Wreath Plant with Lights
I have a notorious black thumb when it comes to potted plants. Miraculously, the first Ivy Wreath Plant with Lights I bought at Trader Joe’s has managed to thrive on my kitchen island for a few years . Ivy isn’t specific to the holiday season like a poinsettia, so I keep it on display year-round. I add the strand of fairy lights during December to make it a little more festive. It makes a lovely hostess, neighbor or housewarming gift. These tend to go quickly. I went back to buy more last year and they were gone within a week. A similar ivy hoop topiary retail’s for $84.00 at one of my favorite home decor spots.
Personally, I love to use the simple and classic Centerpiece Wreath to hang on each of my front windows. A small, clear Command hook is easy to apply to my windows and remove without incident. In the past my wreathes have lasted the entire season without browning. They are $6.99 a piece.
White Pine Moisturizing Hand Soap & Lotion
After one whiff of this wintery White Pine Moisturizing Hand Soap & Lotion at a friends house I knew I had to buy a set to have next to my own kitchen sink. I’m using hand lotion more than ever right now due to all the extra hand washing and antibacterial gel use. My only complaint is that I wish I had the option to buy soap and lotion without the caddy to use for refills or that all of TJ’s seasonal soaps and lotions could fit in the caddy for year round use. Trader Joe’s, are you taking notes?
Favorite Trader Joe’s Winter Treats from Year’s Past
Trader Joe’s has the market cornered on how to combine peppermint and chocolate in the most delicious ways. This time of year the sweet treats are my favorite seasonal items by far.
Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s Ice Cream
MmmMmmMmmm!!! Our family discovered the delicious Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s Ice Cream a few years ago and we were crestfallen when it didn’t return the following year. We couldn’t have been happier to spot it again last year. I stockpiled several pints in case it sells out quickly. I love serving this for dessert on Christmas with a slice of the chocolate peppermint loaf below. It is $2.99 a pint.
Chocolate Peppermint Loaf & Baking Mix
The Chocolate Peppermint Loaf & Baking Mix is back again this year. The loaf I baked was moist and made the entire house smell divine. This would be excellent warm out of the oven with a scoop of Candy Cane Joe Joe’s Ice cream served on top the next time you host a holiday dinner party. Check out the Trade Joe’s website for their Peppermint S’more’s Cake.
Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe’s
The Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe’s was the first seasonal item to capture my tastebuds years ago. The crisp cookie, rich chocolate coating and peppermint crumbles fulfill all my chocolate cravings. If you are a fan of William Sonoma’s peppermint bark, you should definitely give this much less expensive ($3.99), yet equally delicious peppermint and chocolate treat a try.
Hot Cocoa Snowmen
Last winter I spotted a woman walking out of Trader Joe’s with her arms full of Hot Cocoa Snowmen. As we passed each other she exclaimed ” YES, I was able buy the snowmen!” I congratulated her and she explained that she had already been to four other locations searching for Hot Cocoa Smowmen. I couldn’t leave without picking up a couple for myself after my encounter. According to the directions you should “warm up a mug of milk and place the Hot Cocoa Snowman directly on top. He’ll bob and tip, like he’s enjoying a cozy bath… until he starts to melt. The white chocolate shell decorated with an orange nose, black hat, and black eyes will slowly give way to the surprise insides, which are filled with mini marshmallows and milk chocolate drops.” These are too cute not to mention here. I have a feeling they will sell out quickly. again I think a Hot Cocoa Snowman would make a great addition to a stocking or you might suggest to your Elf on the Shelf that he drop a couple off as a fun winter treat to sip during your next family holiday movie marathon.
New (to me) Winter Must-Buys
It’s fun to visit Trader Joe’s at the beginning of each new season to see what new concoctions they have sourced for their customers. Their new products always tempt me to stray from my list and leave with a much fuller cart than planned. Here are the items I added to my cart this year that were a huge hit at my house…
Gingerbread Cream Liqueur
I’m still mourning the loss of my beloved Starbucks gingerbread latte, but Trader Joe’s knew just what would perk me up. This Gingerbread Cream Liqueur (made with vodka) can be served by itself over ice, made into a milkshake or added to coffee. I like mine shaken over ice, poured into a martini glass and sprinkled with cinnamon. Add one of the cookie mug hangers (below) to the edge of your glass for an extra festive touch.
Cookie Mug Hangers
How cute are these Cookie Mug Hangers? I think they make the most adorable garnish to a mug of hot cocoa or your Gingerbread Creme cocktail. They taste great too! It reminded me a bit of the crunchy circus cookies from my childhood with a big dose of holiday spice.
Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar
You know what I big fan I am of the OG Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe’s. This year Trader Joe’s took it a step further and created the Candy Cane Joe-Joes Dark Chocolate Bar. These would make a great addition to a holiday gift basket or as a stocking stuffer. Just a square (or 3) from each bar will conquer your chocolate craving and allow you to tuck away the rest for later.
In case you are looking for something healthier…
Several years ago Trader Joe’s had a Harvest Blend Salad Kit that I adored. It has since disappeared from the shelves. This year Trader Joes introduced The Harvest Apple Salad Kit. It is a spring mix with cheddar cheese, apple cinnamon chips and pecans with an apple vinaigrette. Although the focus of the new harvest salad is more apple than pumpkin. I think fans of the original will also enjoy this easy to prepare salad kit.
I chatted with my checker this week and they informed me that a few more seasonal products are due to arrive in the next week, but most are already on the shelves, and some have even sold out and will not be restocked. I would recommend snatching up anything that sounds good now and buying multiples if you think you will want more later.