The afternoon lull at work hit hard today. Coffee was in order. I immediately reached for Café Bustelo's Espresso Coffee. At $2.69 for 10 oz., this literal brick of coffee is a God-send.
Rewind to college days, I remember my mom had added this to my going-away goodies one semester (thank you, Ma). I wasn't sure what to expect, but the coffee I had at my apartment just wasn't cutting it, so I broke open the Bustelo. Now, I love dark coffee and bold flavor. My tub of generic grounds were lackluster on the weekends, and I struggled to get my ass to work. When I brewed Café Bustelo, my taste buds were dancing and singing! I went to repurchase this at my local Aldi store, and the price tag gave me life. With each cup, I was raised from the dead and got through every work shift seamlessly thereafter - graduation and beyond.
The scent of this espresso is incredible. As soon as you open the vacuum-sealed bag, the aroma rises into the air and warms your coffee-loving soul.
This coffee brand has truly engrained itself into my family. We are all addicts. My dad makes a cup of Moka using this espresso every day. Literally. Every 2pm, he's out in the kitchen brewing a cup.
So, if you are looking to brighten your day, have energy, and increase your credit score - keep an eye out for the bright yellow packaging and grab this on your next Aldi trip. You won't regret it! It's a steal. 6 out of 5 tote bags.
Lacura = Luxury
Among the fresh produce and household items, Aldi carries their own line of skincare products under the brand name Lacura. Most Lacura products are dupes of well-known beauty brands such as L'Oreal or, in this case, Neutrogena - all selling for a fraction of the cost. We LOVE to hear it. I've tried their face masks and lip balms. No complaints so far. This foaming gel cleanser made in Luxembourg is $3.99 and labeled with all the same promises: dermatologist tested, not tested on animals, and cleanses a multitude of sins. Not to mention, it's soap, paraben, oil, and alcohol-free. AND comedogenic and hypoallergenic to boot.
Into the cart it went!
I haven't tried the Neutrogena version. I will say the ingredients list differs a bit. It doesn't claim to be paraben-free like Lacura, but Lacura ingredients list is longer. Neutrogena is more expensive and usually sells around $7.
Lacura's Foaming Gel Cleanser has a thick gel consistency that only slightly foams up with application. The scent reminds me of baby powder, but in a good way. It's not over-powering. I wouldn't recommend if you don't like fragrance in your skincare products since the scent lingers a bit. The cleanser quickly and gently removes face makeup. It loosens mascara but doesn't entirely erase it. On my skin, it's not the most hydrating, but I do feel fresh and clean. No trace of face makeup. I use a moisturizer afterwards. (Cetaphil's iconic cleanser claims the hydration prize for me.)
Makeup wipes tug on my skin, and I've been looking for a way to gently wash off my makeup. This is a solid 4 tote bags out of 5.
So you've never been to Aldi? There are a few unique elements about the store, but don't let that discourage you from shopping there. Here are my 5 tips for the Aldi beginner:
I was first introduced to Aldi years back by my Grandmother ranting and raving about her favorite place to shop in Pennsylvania. My mom and I took her there for an outing. Like most Americans, I was confused by the store structure, so I didn't fully understand or appreciate the concept. I enjoyed the experience, but admittedly never stepped in one again.
Fast-forward to college, an Aldi location had just been added to our town's portfolio of stores. One afternoon, my best friend took me along for a grocery adventure. I needed to shop as well. With her as my guide, I went around the store and filled my cart.
Then it came time to check out, I anxiously waited in line, already experiencing cognitive dissonance for most of the items in my cart - internally dreading how much money I was about to drop. I distinctly remember thinking, "That's got to be well over $100, maybe even $200." Of course, every time I have this conversation with myself, I rationalize food because we all need to eat. It's a need not a want.
When my total amounted way below $100, I was gobsmacked. What a great feeling! I left the store a changed human. I was bitten by the Aldi bug.
In May, I graduated from college during pandemic and started my career in the same month. I then moved out on my own in July to a new town with a new used car. Immediately, my lifestyle was frantic and budgeted. I struggled to get my feet under me. It's scary being on your own and wondering how you'll be able to afford yourself. I first went the safe way with groceries (if you know what I mean). Needless to say, I didn't enjoy the experience, the prices, or the quality. I decided to broaden my horizon to surrounding stores and discovered an Aldi very close by my neighborhood. Best. Decision. Ever.
Aldi played a huge role in my life those first few months. I had never bought groceries to support my entire existence. I had a food plan at college and then lived with my family before that. Combined with the fact that I am the most indecisive shopper, this was a pretty daunting task. But Aldi provided fewer selections, fresh foods, and fantastic prices. With each new week, I gained confidence and looked forward to my Aldi flyer.
23 years-old. Passionate about affordable groceries. Young and broke. Queen of winging it. My recipes are for the busy, the lazy, and the tired. I'm all of the above. New posts weekly!