Valentine's Day

These Are the Most Valentines-y Groceries at Trader Joe’s

updated May 24, 2019
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My heart exploded when I spotted my local Trader Joe’s Valentine’s Day offerings out in the wild. It might be kind of cheesy, but any excuse to eat copious amounts of chocolate all day (by yourself?) is my kind of holiday. I filled up my basket with literally every single thing on the display and had a sweet little party with some of my coworkers (for less than $35!).

Here’s what I tried and what I thought of each thing.

(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

1. Sparkling French Lemonade, $3

This was made in France, so that means it’s basically Champagne. It’s a little sweet (okay, a lot sweet), so I suggest cutting it with regular sparkling water (TJ’s sells that too, obvi), or mixing very strong cocktails with it. If you’re having a Valentine’s celebration with your kids, this is a fun, festive drink that will make them feel fancy too.

(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

2. Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes, $4 for four

Don’t turn your nose up at these cupcakes just because they say “gluten-free.” The moist (do you love that word?) chocolate cake is the best part. Associate Food Editor Kelli Foster points out that “gluten-free desserts have come a long way,” so it shouldn’t be surprising that these are so good. But it is! Make these even more festive by adding your own decorations from your sprinkle collection. (Come on, we know you have one.)

(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

3. Chocolate Mousse Cake, $4

I’m going to be honest here: This decadent cake tastes a little bit like a Ho-Ho. (Not like that’s a bad thing.) This cake is tiny but still way too big to share with just your sweetie. A tiny sliver will suffice. Also, when I first cut into the hard chocolate shell, the heart literally broke. A metaphor?

(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

4. Rhubarb & Strawberry Soda, $3.50 for four

If you’re a fan of watermelon Jolly Ranchers, this soda is for you. It’s very sweet, though, and another contender to be mixed with plain seltzer or into a cocktail (try it with gin and club soda!). For what it’s worth, Kelli told me she’s partial to the lemon elderflower version of this fancy soda because the flavors are way more natural and balanced.

(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

5. Cocoa Truffles, $3

The cocoa powder dusting is extremely bitter, but considering that you’re getting a half a pound of truffles for less than five bucks, what do you expect? Once you get past the coating, the inside melts in your mouth — just like a fancy truffle should.

(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

6. Valentine Cards, $1

We’re suckers for puns around here, and this cute card is helping us spread the love this Valentine’s Day. Plus, it’s only a dollar. I can’t say the same for most other greeting cards these days!

(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

7. Rose Oil Hand Cream, $5

Full disclosure: Rose-scented things usually give me migraines because the floral scent is just too strong, but considering the fact that TJ’s makes my favorite hand cream of all time, I decided to give it a go. The rose scent is super subtle and pleasant, so I was pleased.

(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

8. Rose Facial Oil, $6

Instead of picking up a dozen roses this Valentine’s Day, might we suggest this one-ounce rose facial oil instead? TJ’s is breaking into the budget beauty space and I’m into it. It’s the perfect present — especially in these dry, wintery months.

(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

9. Belgian Chocolate Hearts, $1.50

Most assorted chocolate boxes strike me with fear — God forbid I choose the one filled with Roman nougat — but these chocolate hearts are as tame as they come. Pretty on the outside and predictable on the inside, you’re going to want to eat all seven by yourself.