The $3 Trader Joe’s Item I Buy for Everyone I Know

updated Jul 16, 2020
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The perfect go-to gift—one that’s sure to please just about anyone and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg—is pretty hard to find. But there’s one thing at Trader Joe’s which I buy for everyone I know, and I’ll keep doing it until I die.

I’m talking about succulents, those delightful diminutive plants that everyone’s crazy about these days. They’re cute and they are easy to care for. Here are just a few reasons they are one of my favorite things to give others:

These little cuties are a major bang for the buck. The mini ones are $2.99 at my local store, and the slightly larger ones are under $10). For that price, they make great, inexpensive, and cheerful birthday presents for co-workers, hosts/hostess gifts—and even quick thank yous.

As gifts (and plants) go, they are pretty small and aren’t a major space or time commitment. The giftee can stick their new green friend on a windowsill, or on their desk at work, nbd. It’s not like you’re giving them a full-grown ficus, or a puppy.

I can also grab them while I’m doing my regular grocery store shopping and errands. I’m one of those people who cringes when I have to make an extra stop to get one item, so I really truly appreciate being able to easily knock this task off my to-do list without a lot of extra effort.

Right around this time of year, Trader Joe’s gets into the spirit of the season and sells small succulents in skull-shaped planters, a Day of the Dead-inspired version for $4-5. A quick call to my local Trader Joe’s confirmed they should be arriving in a couple of weeks.

Of course, while you’re there, you can always try some proplifting for your own houseplant collection at home.