5 Little Luxuries (for $7 or Less!) to Pick Up at Trader Joe’s This Holiday Season
A few years ago, I learned a phrase that completely changed how I experience the shift into dark winter days. Scandinavians apparently go into the season prepared to adopt a so-called “positive wintertime mindset”. As a native Floridian (who grew up thinking winter was only two weeks long), this has often eluded me in colder places I’ve lived.
Sprinkling in a handful of little luxuries is one thing that’s really helped me feel a lift and embrace adopting a more positive wintertime mindset. You know what? It really does work — especially when Future Me sees these delightful buys displayed around my kitchen.
One of the easiest places to pick up a few of those day-brighteners? Trader Joe’s, of course. And no, they’re not all chocolate (okay, two of them are; I’m only human). Regardless of how you typically get through the winter (binge-watching bad holiday movies is top of my list), I have a sneaky feeling picking up a few of these on your next TJ’s run will make any day a whole lot lighter.
1. Raclette, $6.99 for 8.8 ounces
In the winter months, Raclette cheese, to me, morphs from a noun into a verb. Here it is used in a sentence: Did you roast potatoes for dinner but they’re missing something? Just Raclette it. If you’re less-than-familiar with this sleek package of cheese that pops up at Trader Joe’s when the weather gets cold, let me introduce you!
Named after the French word that means “to scrape,” Raclette is a ripe and dreamy cheese that’s typically heated up over a grill and then scraped into rich, creamy sheets onto all sorts of things, like root vegetables, sausages, cured meats, and pickles. Think of it as a reversed fondue of sorts. It’s a hit at dinner parties on those nights you need a “Oh, this ol’ thing?” level of effortless fanciness (all you’re doing is serving up straight-up melty Alpine cheese). It also makes for one of the most deluxe-feeling solo dinners possible, when you want something a bit more substantial than a typical snack plate.
2. Pomegranate Castile Hand Soap, $3.99 for 8 ounces
I love trying all the fancy soaps and candles in restaurant bathrooms, but I’m just never going to pay Fancy Soap and Candle Prices. So when I saw that Trader Joe’s rolled out its own variety of Fancy Restaurant Bathroom soap (complete with an apothecary-inspired-looking bottle), I got my grubby hands on one with haste.
Traditionally made with olive oil, castile soap traditionally hails from Spain and is one of my favorite kinds of soaps to keep both in the shower and around the house as an all-purpose cleaner that’s not super harsh. This particular castile soap is made with both olive and coconut oil and has a punchy yet wintry pomegranate scent that I deeply wish Trader Joe’s would make into a body spray. Can Trader Joe’s enter its Bath and Body Works era already? I’m ready for it.
3. Eight Dripless Candles, $4.49 for 8 candles
Speaking of Fancy Restaurant Bathroom Soap and Candles, I always pick up the Trader Joe’s taper candles that come back in time for Hanukkah each winter. Festive and functional (they’re self-extinguishing and dripless), these candles are also a fraction of the price of those trendy taper candles I’m always seeing at Shoppy Shop”-type stores.
Especially when it gets so dark so early, I like to up the “hygge” factor in my place by creating different cozied-up light sources, without having to babysit melting candles. Plus, it instantly allows me to cosplay that I’m Jo from Little Women, which is always kind of my goal, TBH.
4. Petit Fours Mousse Cakes, $4.99 for 7 ounces
The mousse cakes at Trader Joe’s are one of the most legendary magical re-appearing acts at Trader Joe’s. Why is that? Well, you never have to wait too long for these rich, fudgy bites to emerge in a different form, right when you least expect it. Depending on what time of year it is, the Trader Joe’s mousse cakes come in the shape of springtime eggs and flowers, gift boxes, hearts, or little oranges, pumpkins, and raspberries.
Their latest form? Party-perfect little petit fours that look straight out of a patisserie. Best of all, these mousse cakes come in three flavors (dark chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate-coffee). I’d suggest you get a few so that you don’t run out of your favorite too quickly.
5. Boozy Little Chocolate Truffles, $6.99 for 7.4 ounces
In my family, we love to gather around a new-to-us (or just plain bizarre) snack to share during Christmas. In some unfortunate cases, this often meant someone (me) being fed all the less palatable Jellybean flavors, but more often than not it meant breaking open something surprising and delicious like a new box of chocolates or, nowadays, Trader Joe’s Boozy Little Chocolate Truffles.
If you, too, love a bit of chocolate-box surprise with your sweets, this is the one for you — each of these chocolate boozy truffles are all treats, no tricks, and filled with a cheeky touch of gin, prosecco, rum, or whisky (FYI: the whole box is 5% ABV). They’re as fun to eat as they are adorably tiny, and make for such a special and sweet end to any holiday cocktail’s swizzle stick.
What little luxuries are you picking up at Trader Joe’s this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below.