Get A Gourmet Stocked Pantry For Less

Behold the secret gourmet food store you need in your life

If someone showed you a rare bottle of oil olive or an exotic jar of salt, you would probably assume it came from a fancy food store like Williams-Sonoma or Whole Foods. But there's another cult gourmet food store out there, and it might surprise you: T.J. Maxx.

Typically, a trip to T.J. Maxx includes browsing the aisles for a new blouse or pair of jeans, but certainly not stocking up on pantry items. But look hard enough, and you'll find nonperishables such as pure vanilla extract, nuts, dried fruit, saffron and other spices, balsamic vinegars, olive oils, mustards, jams, sauces, chocolates, etc. The store's famous "compare at" price tags show that these items are available for half of what you'd pay in a supermarket.

But how does a jar of gourmet bacon jam end up there? According to a recent Bon Appétit article, most of the food items sold at T.J. Maxx are made specifically for the chain. Supplier Braswell Food Company's president, Andy Oliver, explains that T.J. Maxx "wants top quality," and that they are "manufacturing for them."

Pro tip: These items go fast, and there aren't many of them, so grab them while you can. Here are a few more of our favorite secret gourmet good hideaways:

• Ikea: Look for the CHOKLAD LJUS milk chocolate candy bar.

• Bed Bath & Beyond: Look for the pumpkin butter.

• Lord & Taylor: Look for the mixed popcorn and nut tin from Hampton Popcorn.

• Bloomingdale's: Look for the bacon chipotle BBQ sauce from Harry & David.