Advent calendars have become a big deal over the past few years. In fact, they’ve become such a big deal at Aldi that the grocery store declared the first Wednesday each November as National Advent Calendar Day.
On that day, the German grocer rolls out an eye-popping array of specialty calendars to help you count down the days in December leading to Christmas Day. Each calendar has a series of doors with a small treat behind each door, and you open one door a day until Christmas. Aldi sells Advent calendars covering a range of tastes and special interests, from wine and cheese calendars to coffee calendars to beer calendars. They also sell cat treat and dog treat calendars, craft calendars, Advent calendar candles, and even their own version of Elf on a Shelf. Aldi also sells three different kinds of chocolate Advent calendars: a low-priced one, a mid-priced one, and a higher-priced one.
But what about Aldi’s cousin, Trader Joe’s? Does Trader Joe’s sell Advent calendars?
Yes, in fact. Trader Joe’s does sell a few Advent calendars of their own. However, they sell a much smaller variety of Advent calendars, and they introduce them with a lot less fanfare. My local TJ’s has chocolate Advent calendars and Advent calendars for dogs and cats.
Trader Joe’s states in their most recent Fearless Flyer that they’ve been selling chocolate Advent calendars since at least the 1990s. They introduce new whimsical designs every year. There were several chocolate Advent calendar designs to choose from this year, and I picked one with a Feliz Navidad theme.
The Trader Joe’s 24 Days of Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar contains 1.76 ounces of chocolate and cost $0.99 at the time of publication, which comes out to about 4 cents per chocolate. The TJ’s chocolate Advent calendar is cheaper than the cheapest Aldi chocolate Advent calendar, which is $1.49 for 2.65 ounces this year (or 6 cents per chocolate). You get larger chocolates in the Aldi calendar, but ultimately, both the Trader Joe’s and Aldi chocolate calendars cost the same per ounce: 56 cents per ounce. With the holidays being a time when we can easily overindulge in treats, I can see the benefits of enjoying a calendar with smaller pieces of chocolate like the TJ’s one.
The Trader Joe’s calendar is a product of Canada. It should be stored in a cool, dry place.
Ingredients are milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, unsweetened chocolate, whole milk powder, nonfat dry milk, soy lecithin [emulsifier], and natural vanilla flavor).
If you’re watching out for allergens, this contains milk and soy.
There is one serving per package, and the entire package of 24 pieces (50 grams) has 270 calories, 15 grams of total fat (19% DV), 9 grams of saturated fat (45% DV), 5 mg of cholesterol (2% DV), 20 mg of sodium (1% DV), 31 grams of total carbohydrates (11% DV), 1 gram of dietary fiber (4% DV), 26 grams of added sugars (52% DV), and 3 grams of protein.
The chocolates in this calendar are cute, coming in different shapes each day, including a train, a stocking, a house, a wreath, an angel, a Santa hat, a cupcake, a teddy bear, a star, a Santa face for Christmas Day, and more.
It’s good-tasting milk chocolate, too, that melts in your mouth and has plenty of cocoa flavor.
The back of the calendar even has a recipe for homemade Mexican hot chocolate.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- whipped cream, as desired
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips. Add milk, cocoa powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Whisk until warmed, but do not boil.
- Divide into two mugs. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with more cinnamon.
The Trader Joe’s 24 Days of Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar is one of the cheaper chocolate Advent calendars we’ve seen (costing even less overall than the cheapest Aldi chocolate Advent calendar). It comes in several whimsical holiday designs and contains 24 milk chocolate pieces behind 24 cardstock doors: one piece for each day in December through Christmas Eve. If you want a cute, basic chocolate Advent calendar, you can’t go wrong with this one.