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5 Under $5: Vegan-Friendly Winter Items from Trader Joe’s That You’ll Love

Get your hands on these winning winter picks at TJ’s this season … and no, they’re not just peppermint and hot cocoa!

Vegan winter finds at Trader Joe's
Winter is deliciously good at Trader Joe's

Looking for some vegan Trader Joe’s goodies? While there are always plenty of options, sometimes you have to think twice about heading to TJs.

That’s because unless you show up right as the doors open (or close), going to Trader Joe’s can be a rather hellish experience — insanely crowded parking lots, tiny store aisles and general pandemonium trying to get around … and get that free mini cup of coffee in the corner.

But despite the sometimes nightmarish scene, Trader Joe’s is a dream for finding fun, useful items at prices that won’t leave you broke. And now that winter has arrived, it’s time to stock up on some of the best unexpectedly vegan-friendly finds that will warm you up all winter long.

1. Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Scented Soy Candle

Trader Joe's Gingerbread Candle
This sweet gingerbread-scented candle smells good enough to eat

When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than cuddling up under a warm blanket and feeling cozy with a sweet-smelling candle wafting through the air. That’s where Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Scented Candle enters the picture.

Made with a natural soy wax blend and lead-free cotton wick, this candle not only comes in a travel-friendly tin, but it will give your place the sweetest aroma of warm gingerbread, nutmeg, cinnamon and a hint of caramel that smells good enough to eat.

FYI: If you prefer a much stronger not-so edible scent, try the Cedar Balsam — it’ll make your apartment smell like freshly cut pine.

PRICE $3.99

2. Trader Joe’s Twinkling Trees Sugar Cookies

Trader Joe's twinkling trees cookies a
Trader Joe’s twinkling trees cookies are not too sweet and perfect for dipping

Winter just got a whole lot sweeter thanks to these sprinkle-covered sugar cookies that are a Christmas version of the Shimmering Pumpkin Sugar Cookies for Halloween we loved so much.

With the same consistency of shortbread, these deliciously buttery sugar cookies are dense but dissolve perfectly in a cup of tea or hot cocoa. Plus, they’re not too sweet and have no eggs or butter, so they’re vegan friendly!

The pumpkin shaped version sold out fast, so we advise to stock up on these and give them away as Christmas gifts. Your friends and family will thank you.

PRICE: $3.99

3. Trader Joe’s Mini Marshmallows

Trader Joe's vegan mini marshmallows
These mini morsels are a tasty delight no matter how you eat them

Who needs chestnuts roasting on an open fire when you can have mini marshmallows melting in cup of hot cocoa? After searching far and wide for gelatin-free mini marshmallows, we finally found these at Trader Joe’s, which also happen to be gluten-free — and they’re half the price of the sold-out ones at Whole Foods!

Spongy but far from mushy, these tiny treats have a subtle vanilla flavor and taste great as a snack right out of the bag or floating atop a cup of hot chocolate.

PRICE: $2.49

4. Trader Joe’s Vegan Banana Bread

Trader Joe's vegan banana bread
This shiz is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s: Photo courtesy of Trader Joe’s

Kudos to Trader Joe’s for offering a vegan version of this banana bread that really takes the cake. While there are plenty of other baked goods we’d love for them to veganize, Trader Joe’s Vegan Banana Bread is an insanely delish step in the right direction.

There is an aroma and flavor of banana and the texture is extremely moist and thick, while the bits of walnut add a nice crunchy contrast. Take off the plastic wrap, tie it up in parchment paper and give it to your non-vegan friends — they’ll think it’s homemade.

PRICE: $3.99

5. Trader Joe’s Ginger Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream

Save your skin with Trader Joe's ginger-iffic hand cream
Save your skin: Photo courtesy of Trader Joe’s

Winter’s cold air wreaks havoc on our skin, but Trader Joe’s Ginger Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream is a good one to add to your hydrating arsenal. Made with real ginger root extract and other skin-softening ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil and vitamin E, this hand cream might feel a little greasy, but it’s also rather soothing.

The ginger fragrance isn’t overpowering and there’s a hint of citrus as well. A way more affordable option to L’Occitane’s similar-looking lotion tubes, this three-ounce version is perfect to keep in your bag during holiday travel.

PRICE: $4.99

What are YOUR favorite Trader Joe’s finds? Add your own story with our easy submission form!

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Written by Mar Yvette

Mar Yvette is an on-air host, lifestyle expert, writer and editor with 10+ years of experience working with some of the world’s most recognized media companies.