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By Zee Krstic/Cooking Light
February 23, 2019
Trader Joe's store exterior
ARDMORE, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES - 2014/07/12: Trader Joe's store exterior. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
John Greim—LightRocket via Getty Images

I used to be one of those people who dropped upwards of $6 on a single greeting card in pharmacies only to watch them be immediately disposed of at holidays, birthdays, and special occasions—a true heartache. That was until I stumbled upon a neatly tucked-away display near the floral section in my local Trader Joe's with a custom calligraphy sign that says ".99 cents" (which any TJ's fan would immediately check out, because, duh).

Turns out, Trader Joe's has been slaying the greeting card game for quite some time now thanks to a unique partnership with "a small greeting card producer." According to their March 2018 Fearless Flyer, Trader Joe's works with artists to create stunningly beautiful (and simple—no cheesy music box or glitter explosions) cards that are unique to each store.

One of my colleagues recently came across Valentine's Day cards while scouring for the best V-Day treats at Trader Joe's last week. In the past, I've frequently purchased birthday cards from Trader Joe's, but they also create greeting cards for anniversaries, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, and I've also seen general "Congratulations" cards that could work for a multitude of special occasions.

“We work with a small greeting card producer who works directly with the artists who design the cards. This bureaucracy-free process keeps costs really low, which is how we’re able to offer such a terrific everyday price on our cards,” Trader Joe's website reads. Apparently, their cards will never be sold anywhere but a Trader Joe's—meaning you won't be able to score one of their designs at Papyrus or Paper Source, for example.

And I'm not the only one who knows about Trader Joe's greeting card stash: Last summer, another colleague gave me a Trader Joe's card that is not only the most adorable thing I've ever received—but it also contains an actual recipe for lemon pie! I proudly display the card on my desk, so the whole Cooking Light squad can see it.

The retailer says that more than 17 million greeting cards were purchased last year alone, which has to do with more than just the price point. Whether you prefer a simple blank card or one of the custom options for holidays and special occasions, you'll find yourself adding this .99 cent find to the list of healthy essentials you'll pick up every time you head to Trader Joe's.