Is there anything better in the cold winter months than cozying up under a soft blanket with a warm cup of hot chocolate? Not really. But to take it to the next level, try doing it with friends and offering up a fun and festive hot cocoa bar. Your family and friends can have a warm mug of creamy cocoa fixed up with all their favorite toppings.
But before you send out the invitations to your friends, it’s a good idea to hit the stores for some supplies. With prices skyrocketing this holiday season, we’ve been doing our best to find you the best deals on everyday essentials for things. We’ve compared carts on other holiday favorites like Christmas cookies, pumpkin pie, and now a hot cocoa bar! See our cart comparison below to find out where to shop for the best deals on hot chocolate bar ingredients. Grab a mug, relax, and — most importantly — don’t overspend and keep your hot cocoa bar cost low.
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What do you put in a hot cocoa station?
As you set up your hot cocoa bar, think about things that pair well with chocolate. Marshmallows are a given and a very popular favorite, but don’t be afraid to think outside the mug. We love the idea of minty candy canes and a little coarse salt to pair with the sweetness. Or try a pinch of cinnamon to warm everything up. Plus, what doesn’t get better with a huge plop of whipped cream on top?
Below, you’ll find a basic list of things to put in a hot cocoa station. Our list can be used as a starting off point, and you can feel free to customize it to your (and your guests’) tastes. There were some store brands that had the lowest prices across the board. So if you did want to change up the menu, you can likely still count on them to have the lowest prices.
Here’s where to find the cheapest hot cocoa bar ingredients.
Looking at products from several of the most popular and most affordable stores in the nation, it’s pretty clear that some store brands are absolutely killing the price game this holiday. The winner here for the lowest hot cocoa bar cost is Aldi, with a cart full for $25.60. They had the overall best price on marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate chips, and cinnamon. Runner up — and an extremely close second place — is Walmart and their Great Value brand. They took the prize in cheapest hot cocoa mix and candy canes and came out only $0.20 more than Aldi. You’ll definitely want to take that into account when choosing your store to shop. With gas prices as high as grocery prices, shop the closest store to you between the two.
Target came in third place and over $10 higher at $37.38. Their hot cocoa mix and cinnamon stick pricing knocked them out of the running. That being said, they had comparable prices on candy canes and chocolate chips. Publix prices were great on milk and coarse sea salt, but everything else put them about $1 over Target’s prices. Trader Joe’s offers up some unique ingredients for a hot cocoa bar, but their prices were over $30 more than Aldi for all of these ingredients.
Related: Shop these 20 Nostalgic Vintage Santa Mugs for your hot cocoa bar!
Save on all your hot cocoa bar needs.
Along with serving up some delicious hot chocolate, pump up the festive with cute mugs, Christmasy decor, cozy blankets, and serve-ware. Here are some of our top picks to host an epic hot cocoa bar this holiday season.