Local Luxury for Less in Cumberland County

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.J. -

Limited budget? No worries, check out our rundown of local bargains.

Want to create a fabulous life on a budget? Do you have modern tastes, yet a modest bank account? Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. Quite often, it’s the simple day-to-day experiences that can enhance our mindset and elevate our outlook.

The good news is our local region is rich in budget-friendly resources, making it easy to indulge. Don’t let a tight budget cramp your style. You can lavish yourself with luxury for less. This certainly isn’t a comprehensive guide but here’s my ultra-secret guide for living well in Cumberland County.

ALDI is a cool little pared-down grocery store, well-organized, clean, and packed with bargains. You’ll find organic, gourmet, and gluten-free options; a quick, no-hassle shopping experience, and a double money-back guarantee on all their products.

My top pick for affordable luxury at Aldi? Without a doubt, it’s their award-winning chocolate. They sell a ton of it and it gets rave reviews by both customers and connoisseurs.

Most of Aldi’s fine chocolate is crafted in Germany, Belgium, and Austria in the European tradition. This explains its exquisitely smooth texture. Try both Choceur, their main offering, and Moser Roth, the luxury line. Their sweet selection reads like epicurean poetry—Belgian cocoa-dusted truffles, milk chocolate hazelnut, dark chocolate-covered sea salt caramels, chocolate pomegranate, and the list goes on. Smooth, creamy, peanut butter cups that rival Reese’s, but unwrapped—how’s that for luxury?

Aldi, 2651 S Delsea Drive, Vineland, 1-855-955-2534.

 

PICCOLO CAFÉ: Nothing can perk up your perspective like a perfect cup of coffee. We won’t argue the value of a quick Wawa coffee, especially since they’ve been really upping their gourmet game with specialty coffees lately. Locals love Starbucks, too, especially if they need a recharge from mall shopping.

If what you really want is to sip cappuccino on an Italian vacation, Piccolo Café is the perfect compromise. Nestled in East Vineland, Piccolo spoils customers with a cozy, casual ambiance usually reserved for more cosmopolitan areas. For just a few dollars, you can snuggle down in their leather couch, savor a handmade coffee, and indulge in decadent caramel brownies. They also offer amazing Italian gelato, smoothies, and small-batch juices. The café transports their guests to a relaxing retreat, far from the cares of everyday hustle and bustle. I always leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. The few extra minutes it takes to check out this haven is worth it.

Piccolo Café, 3569 E Landis Ave., Vineland, 856-563-0009.

 

LIDL: The newest discount grocer in the region, Lidl, has a modern, airy feel and a European vibe. The German retailer specializes in fresh fruit and vegetables, a curated product selection, and their own private brand. The dazzling superstar of Lidl, however, is the showcase of fresh blooms lining the front of the store.

Flowers can boost mood, encourage relaxation, and spark creativity. Need another reason to treat yourself to this lush indulgence? A 2005 Rutgers University study revealed immediate and long-term effects of plants and flowers on emotional reactions, social behaviors, and even memory.

With their affordable price point, Lidl is shifting the perception that flowers are only for special occasions. My recent visit revealed dozens of shoppers perusing the selection, and many were buying. Lidl runs weekly specials on their floral selection and marks the plants down after holidays. Amaryllis, orchids, miniature roses, and tiny pots of succulents lined the shelves, basking in the natural light from the soaring glass windows. Lidl’s top-quality blooms and rock-bottom prices make fresh flowers an accessible and easy way to bask in everyday luxury.

Lidl, 1107 W Landis Ave., Vineland, 1-844-747-5435.

 

SANTORI’S PRODUCE & DELI: I’ve always associated fresh produce with a good life. Santori’s has been my absolute favorite produce spot for years. They have the best prices on exotic fruit like mangos, guavas, and avocado, as well as locally grown items like strawberries and Jersey tomatoes. For a special luxe experience, I love to buy an extra sharp block of cheese and pair it with Santori’s purple grapes. There’s just something divine about the taste that makes me feel so refined. I can literally stuff my cart with freshness for $30 and dine on luxury for days. Summer is the best time to hit up this family-owned gem, when they’re overflowing with South Jersey’s bounty.

With their low prices, you can afford to try everything. Get there right after work, because they close at 6 p.m. Make sure you have a someone to share your finds with—their fruit and veggies don’t last forever. Santori’s has a tendency to sell right at the peak of freshness, so eat up!

Santori’s Produce & Deli, 868 N Main Rd., Vineland, 856-563-1221.

 

BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY: Accessorizing with costume jewelry is one of the best styling tricks for looking good without breaking the bank. It’s all about finding pieces that balance quality and cost. The best bargain spot for sparkling statement jewelry is Burlington Coat Factory. You can get a lot of bling for your buck in this place. Some of the pieces are completely over-the-top, but there are plenty of classy, elegant pieces to be found, too. Look for accessories with clean, bright finishes and stones that are clear and radiant.

An upscale fashion tip is to wear a simple base and top it off with a striking, dynamic accessory. It’s a technique of the world’s most iconic fashion figures. I’ve worn the same plain black dress to several fancy affairs, business meetings, and parties, only switching out my accessories from Burlington. At each event, I received compliments and felt extra dressy and on-point, which was a complete confidence-booster. I accidentally spilled my fashion secret to the VP of Operations after she commented on the faceted necklace I got on clearance—for $3. A secret like this is too good to keep!

Burlington Coat Factory, Cumberland Mall, 3848 S Delsea Drive, #300, Vineland, 856-825-0272.

 

ROSS DRESS FOR LESS: The two things I love about Ross are their fantastic hours (they stay open until 10 p.m. or later) and their hit-or-miss bargains. The Millville location recently lost some square-footage due to ShopRite’s expansion of their home-delivery department, but it hasn’t affected the volume of merchandise or flow of the store. The stand-out department for affordable luxury is their “Home Accents” section, which features picture frames, china, ceramic ware, and crystal. Giving your home an elegant feel is easy when you remember to shop with your five senses. Ross’s candles are super cheap and can transport you to a tropical island, a cozy fireplace, or a summer garden.

Fluffy, luxurious pillows, silken sheets, and the softest comforters can create an opulent bedroom. Look for natural fabrics, high thread counts, and interesting textures. Another inexpensive way to dress up a room is with a fantastic rug—soft chenille for the bath, outdoor sisal mats for your patio, and thick, sumptuous rugs for your bedroom. Out of all the local spots, I feel like theirs are the most affordable for the quality. Ross is definitely a no-frills, treasure-hunting kind of place. They don’t have a ton of inventory, and there are rarely multiples. If you see something you like, grab it.

Ross Dress for Less, 2128 N 2nd St., Millville, 856-293-8720.

 

FINAL WORD: Remember, wealth isn’t just about money. Enjoy that gourmet coffee with a friend. Take your kids to the fruit market to explore earth’s gifts. Immerse yourself in the scent and splendor of fresh flowers. Take time to savor the moment, and you’ll feel rich—no matter how much money you have in the bank.

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