Trader Joe's Holiday Guide for 2016 has everything you need to host your next holiday party—with flair and a budget consciousness. We've picked the tastiest steals and smartest gifts that TJ's has to offer to create your ultimate party shopping list.
Our beloved Trader Joe’s has done it again. They have come through with a much needed dose of sanity-saving just in time.
I say this after one of my coworkers recently pulled me aside to let me in on her little hostessing secret: the Fearless Flyer Holiday Guide. This year’s holiday edition is loaded with TJ awesomeness, so much that an entire holiday party can be planned and seamlessly executed using just that promotional flyer. I now understand why they call it Fearless... once I had it in my hands, all of the holiday entertaining anxiety literally left my body.
Yes, you could plan and go to various other grocery stores to grab certain deals, but trust me you won’t come out doing it at a lower a cost, while also setting yourself up for serious time and effort savings. Trader Joe’s offers tasts food, beverages, festive decor, and little gifts that your guests will be wowed with. Basically, it's a one-stop spot to grab trendy, quality items without breaking the bank. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about low-effort, low-budget ways to be fabulous. Work smarter, not harder when you can (especially during the holiday season).
Here’s how to use the Fearless Flyer Holiday Guide for saving big while hosting a show-stopping holiday party.
Deck the halls
Buy candles, a wreath, and oranges for garland for under $20
- Pillar candles: available in 3x6 ($3.99) and 3x3 ($2.99)
Grab one in each size to add to your serving table. A scattering of candles captures that classic Christmas twinkle and give off a warm, sophisticated vibe.
- Wreath: $9.99
TJ wreaths are gorgeously green, made from Fraser Fir boughs. Fraser Firs last considerably longer than other greenery, which makes this even more of a steal.
- Navel Oranges: 4lbs for $2.99
Dehydrate Navel orange slices for a colorful, fantastically scented garland.
Break out the appetizers
Choose a few, depending on your budget, for a seriously scrumptious spread.
- Cheese Assortment: 2 cheeses with crackers for $17.47
Try the Brie Stuffed with Garlic and Herbs ($8.99/ lb.) and Fromage Pave ($4.99/ 7 oz.) with TJ’s Cracker Assortment ($3.49). The assortment includes flavors like the Vegetable and Wheat Entertainer Crackers, Original, and Pepper & Poppy Seed Water Crackers. That’s four sleeves of crackers and cheese options for your guests. Everybody loves options.
- Nut Mix: get cocoa almonds and pistachios to make your own custom mix for $11.98
Cocoa Glazed Almonds are just sweet enough to satisfy a craving, but way more snack-able than candy. Pair them with Pistachio Nutmeats (just pistachio nuts without the shell) for a creamy touch and a pop of green. The best part? They are only $5.99 each.
- Chips: grab some festive shapes for $1.99
O Tannenbaum Crispy Potato Snacks are crispy chips in the shape of evergreen trees. How can you get more festive than tree-shaped chips? These ring in at just $1.99 per bag. Pair them with your choice of dip or serve them solo.
- Popcorn Tin: pick up a large, 4-compartment tin for $9.99
Yep. TJ’s keeps it classic with the iconic divided popcorn tub. But their holiday popcorn sampler includes a few twists, like Olive Oil Popcorn, White Cheddar Popcorn, Kettle Corn, and Caramel & Cheddar Popcorn. With plenty of tasty choices, your guests are sure to find a favorite flavor.
- Bacon-Wrapped Dates: a great frozen section find for $5.99
Goat cheese-stuffed dates were wrapped in bacon, put in a box, delivered to your nearest Trader Joe’s, and are now awaiting your pick up. These little bites ar are salty-sweet, proven crowd pleaser. And while they aren't difficult to make yourself, anyone who's done so knows that when you're in a time crunch... these little bites can be a little finicky and messy to prepare.
- Mini Brie en Croute: another excellent frozen section find for $4.99
Babyb bites of Brie cheese wrapped in puff pastry: the epitome of fantastic finger food. Putting out a platter of these bites along with some appropriate accompaniments, like grapes, slided apple, nuts, and jam, is a cost-efficient way to do Brie for your group.
Grab a cozy drink
Let your guests use your personal coffee mugs to serve any of these warming sips—that way you won’t have to buy disposable cups and your party benefits from the cozy feel.
- Peppermint Hot Chocolate: $4.99 per 8-oz canister
Smooth chocolate and refreshing peppermint meet for a delicious cup of cocoa. Just mix this drink blend with water, or milk for a richer result.
- Wintery Blend Coffee: 14-oz can for $7.99
If you're throwing a brunch gathering, you'll definitely want this medium-dark roast coffee sprinkled with holiday spices like cinnamon. It’s pre-ground to ensure that each cup equally spiced.
- Winter Wassail: 64 oz for $3.99
Wassail is a traditional winter drink that features a blend of apple, lemon, and black current, spiced with ginger, orange, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Serve this ultra-festive treat warm.
If you want have an option for cocktails using these warming beverages, turn your Wintery Blend coffee Irish with the addition of whiskey or mix your Wassail with red wine. Try Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Brew for $2.99 per 750ml bottle, and use it to make Moscow Mules or a ginger and bourbon cocktail with your ginger beer, favorite bourbon, and naval oranges.
...and another with alcohol
- Art of the Still spirits: available for $13.99 and up, depending on where you live
Choose from organic vodka or gin. A 750-ml bottle is under $17, no matter what state you’re shopping in and the perfect start to all of your holiday bartending.
- TJ’s 2013 Grand Reserve Meritage Napa Valley: TJ’s special red wine, $12.99 (price may vary depending on location)
This wine is made with a blend of multiple grapes and was aged in oak barrels for warm holiday woody notes. It’s full-bodied and dry with light acidity and heavy fruitiness. This is a good red both for experienced drinkers and newer palates.
- G. Chevalier Sauternes: a white wine pick for $9.99
This wine is complex and delicately sweet with floral notes. It gets its sweet flavor from over-ripened grapes, which have a higher concentration of sugar. It’s definitely best served as an evening treat.
Don’t Forget the Desserts
- Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit: good-humored fun for $5.99
Each box has 10 cookies and different colored icing with bags with decorating tips. This sweet treat also doubles as a fun activity for your guests.
- Crunchy Truffle Trio: 12 truffles for $2.99
This combo pack delivers 3 varieties of TJ truffles: Crunchy Speculoos, Caramelized Coconut, and Caramelized Pecan. Put them out on a pretty dish and bring on the crispy layers of flavor.
- Cinnamon Roll Wreath: a fun freezer find for $4.99 (makes 9 rolls)
The dough proofs on your kitchen counter overnight or through the day. All you have to do is watch it transform from a ring of dough to a party-ready platter of cinnamon rolls.
- Macarons des Fetes: an elegant freezer find giving you 12 for $4.99
Macarons are a light bite that feel really special. This variety pack provides 2 of each signature holiday flavor: Chocolate Peppermint, Chocolate Raspberry, Four Spice Caramel, Pear Cinnamon, Gingerbread, and Cappuccino.
- Crispy Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies: pay $2.99 for a 10-oz tub
These 2-bite cookies are are great for those who just want a little treat, as well as for those who wanna grab a handful.
Give your guests little parting gifts
Obviously, it's not necessary to give your guests a gift—but if you're feeling it, here are a couple of options everyone will appreciate.
- Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream Trio: $7.99 for 3 creams
These hand creams are 20% shea butter and each contains one of the following oils: olive oil, argan oil, or kukui Nut oil. If you open the package and give each guest one lotion as a "thanks-for-coming" gift, that’s about $2.66 per gift.
- Head to Toe Balm: $3.99 per tin
This soothing balm is good for lips, elbows, legs, feet, and even hair and beards. The mild fragrance is a created using orange, lavender, and eucalyptus oils.
Now that you have everything you possibly need for the party, you can head home to relax. If you forgot something... Well. Let's be real. If you forgot something, you can just grab it at your usual Trader Joe's trip tomorrow.