The 11 Best Non-Food Items You Should Buy at Trader Joe's

We know you're there for the Speculoos Spread, but you won't want to miss out on these little (inedible) luxuries either. 

Trader Joe's Essentials
Photo: Trader Joe's

Trader Joe’s, the quirky Hawaiian-themed grocery store owned by German discount chain Aldi, is famous for their no-label assortment of snacks, frozen meals, wine, meats, cheeses, and more. The brand has a cult-like following to their small-scale supermarket. Fans are willing to drive hundreds of miles to the nearest store to stock up. Some pay double, even triple, the retail price of a popular product through resellers like Amazon and eBay so they can get their TJ’s fix.

But if all you know of Trader Joe’s is their Truffle Marcona Almonds, Peanut Butter Blondies, Watermelon Jerky, or Cauliflower Gnocchi, you’re missing out on a world of beauty, home, and cleaning goods. Next time you’re in the store, spend a bit of time in the non-edible aisles before you pick up a bottle of Two Buck Chuck and hit the register. There’s a lot to love.

Ultra-Moisturizing Hand Cream

This nourishing lotion ($4.99) has been a favorite of TJ devotees since it first hit the shelves in 2015. The brand has made a few small-batch options in that time, like Ginger and Rose, but the classic cream is most popular, thanks to its intensely nourishing ingredients like hemp seed oil, shea butter, and coconut oil. Plus, the tube is the perfect size for keeping in a purse, bag, or desk drawer for those moments your skin could use a drink.

Liquid Dish Soap, Citrus Scent

Generic dish soaps rarely have the grease-cutting, film-blasting impact of more expensive brands, but the Trader Joe’s Liquid Dish Soaps ($2.99) prove all those concerns wrong. A large bottle (25 ounces) of the plant-based soap is free of artificial colors and overwhelming fragrances, but it’s strong enough to cut through any mess you make in the kitchen. The Citrus Scent is invigorating, and the soap is USDA Certified Biobased, which means 87 percent of the ingredients come from renewable biological sources.

Super Soft Bathroom Tissue

All of TJ’s paper products, paper towels included, are worth a look, especially if you’re exasperated at the rising costs of most big brands. The toilet paper is a particular steal at $3.99 for eight rolls. The material feels high quality and durable, not scratchy and irritating like so many cheap alternatives.

Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo & Conditioner

If you don’t buy this hair-cleaning set for yourself, consider keeping a bottle of each in the guest room for your visiting friends and family. The Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo and Conditioner ($3.99 each) are made with peppermint, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil for a wash and rinse that’s exciting to your nose as well as refreshing your scalp. If you love the way this line works, they also sell a body wash and bar soap.

Trader Jacques French Liquid Soap for Hand & Body in Orange Blossom Honey

Expensive hand soaps are a treat for visiting guests (yourself, too, of course), but it’s frequently difficult to justify buying a bottle that’s ten, sometimes 20 dollars more than the most basic option at the store. With the Trader Jacques French Liquid Soap, you get the subtle but sweet scents of a floral honey with the skin-healing hydration of a soap three or four times its cost—and no one has to know it was only $3.99.

Coconut Body Butter

The Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter has a big collection of fans, which makes this one of the brand’s most popular non-edible food options. (The $5.49 price tag doesn’t hurt, either.) Launched in 2012, you might struggle to find the hydrating lotion in winter months, when dry skin drives everyone to buy the brand’s body butter by the bucket. The thick, smooth cream leaves behind no oily residue but plenty of soft, fresh skin. In the fall, look for limited edition Pumpkin Body Butter.


You can’t miss the floral section of your neighborhood Trader Joe’s. It will either greet you when you walk through the door, or the aroma will waft its way to you while you shop. Substantial, centerpiece-worthy bunches start at $3.99; you can get a dozen roses for less than a dollar per stem. Need a bigger number for an event or special occasion? Some stores can facilitate special orders.

Preserve Toothbrush

These tooth cleaners are made with 100 percent recycled #5 plastic (the kind that’s in your yogurt cups) and new nylon bristles that are soft and safe for all sorts of teeth. Unlike other products on this list, the Preserve toothbrush ($2.99) isn’t exclusive to Trader Joe’s—you can buy it online and in stores like Whole Foods—but it is one of the very few non-TJ items the store carries, which means they think it’s something special.

Spray Sunscreen

Surprising many outside the avid TJ fanbase, Trader Joe’s Spray Sunscreen ranks at the top of Consumer Reports’ list of best sunscreens with a perfect 100 out of 100 score. SPF rated 50+, it provides supreme skin protection from the sun’s damaging rays with a light, refreshing citrus scent. Plus, compared to similar products, this one’s a real bargain at just $5.99 for the five-ounce bottle.

Shea Butter & Coconut Oil Hair Mask

You might not have the time for a professional hair masque, but you’ll make space in your schedule when you see the price of Trader Joe’s Shea Butter & Coconut Oil Hair Mask ($3.99). Frizzy, fried hair gets a drink of rich, nourishing hydration with botanical-infused ingredients like coconut oil, shea oil, and argan oil. Floral extracts like blackberry and açai make it enjoyable for your nose, too. It’s safe to use once a week, so maybe buy an extra bottle while you’re there.

Greeting Cards

There’s no harm in keeping a stash of cards in your desk drawer for a quick thank you, fast hello, or the occasional condolence. At just 99 cents each, Trader Joe’s array of cards serve as beautifully illustrated sentiments that are a joy to behold and a delight to receive.

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