Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Product Reviews

Coupons and samples have allowed our family to try tons of new products each year either for free or is very inexpensive.  Here are some of the products we have recently tried.

1. Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel Fresh Clean Scent- I received a sample in the mail and to my surprise, these things have worked for us so far and they smell good. One stamp of gel inside your bowl is supposed to last a week but it has lasted us much longer and has kept the bowl clean.  We will continue to use this product as long as we have a coupon for it.

2. Suave Kids Shampoo - We purchased this item using a coupon and only had the chance to use it in the last month because of our shampoo rotation.  This items says tear free but it really is not.  Last week, it got in my youngest son's eyes a few times and just burned them like crazy.  Of course after the second time this happened, we ceased using this item for my youngest and gave it to my oldest.  I would not purchase this item again since it does not work for our youngest.

3. EnviroKidz Organic Gorilla Munch Cereal - We tried this on a recommendation from a friend because the ingredients are so simple (organic corn meal, organic evaporated cane juice and sea salt) and not rocket science.  We really enjoy this cereal and will continue to purchase this item in the future.  Purchased at Trader Joe's.

4. Fage 2% Greek Yogurt - We tried this on a recommendation from a friend who introduced us to organic foods and because I had a coupon for it.  My kids and I really enjoy it with a little bit of honey and will continue to purchase this item as long as we have coupons for them.

5. Oikos Greek Yogurt - We tried this on a recommendation from a friend and we had a coupon for it.  We love the one with honey and will continue to enjoy this product in our future.  

6. Danimals Smoothie - My youngest son tried this product after seeing it by the yogurts and he loves it!

7. Baby Bel Cheese - My eldest son tried this and loves it!

8. Apple & Eve Fruitables with 1/3 less sugar - Saw these on clearance at the commissary and had to try them.  Our youngest really likes it!

9. Odwalla beverages - We tried a few different ones (pomegranate, strawberry, blueberry, etc...) and loved them.  It is a healthier alternative to sugary drinks.  We purchased these with a coupon at the commissary.

10. Yoplait Smoothies - We have tried both varieties and our kids enjoy them.  We will continue to enjoy them in the future.  We purchased these with coupons at the commissary.

11. Pringles Super Stackers - We have tried different varieties and the ones we purchased, we have enjoyed. Looking forward to trying other varieties in the future.  We purchased these with coupons at the commissary.

12. Marcal Napkins - We love these durable napkins and will continue to use them in the future.  We purchased these with coupons at the commissary.

13. Bounty Basic - We tried these and they are not even worth the money we paid for them.  Useless.  We purchased these from Alice.com with an online coupon.  Love Alice.com but not this product.

14. Keurig Cafe Mocha - My husband tried these and loves them!  We purchased these at the PA Dutch Market in Annapolis, MD.

15. International Delights Sweet Buttercream Liquid Coffee Creamer - Got my own bottle after trying this at a friend's house.  Absolutely delicious and I will continue to enjoy it in the future.  We purchased this on sale at a local grocery store.

16. Barilla Tortellini Three Cheese - A coupon fairy left me a coupon on the shelf at the commissary to get these for half off.  We love these!

17. Ronzoni Smart Start Pastas - Tried these because we had coupons for them.  At first we did not like them but we soon got used to the taste and now we can't even tell the difference.  We purchased these at the commissary.

18. Herbal Essense Pear Shampoo - I used this and loved it!  It really does make your scalp tingle and it smells good.  We will continue to purchase this in in future.  We purchased this at Walmart with a coupon.

19. Aussie Shampoo - This shampoo smells and works well.  We love it!  We purchased this at AAFES with a coupon.

20. Cascade All in One packs - We tried these before and they seemed to work well.  We recently tried them again and they are leaving my pots white on the outside.  I do not like these at all.  Purchased these on sale with a coupon at the commissary.

21. Gillette Body & Facial Wash - My husband and son love these!  Will continue to purchase in the future with coupons.  Purchased this at Target with a coupon.

22. Franks Red Hot Sauce - My husband tried this one and he says it tastes ok.  He still prefers his Tabasco over this one.  Purchased at Target with a coupon.

23. Franks Buffalo Wings Sauce - My husband tried these at a friends party and says that he likes it.  

24. Spam 25% less salt - We tried these and cannot tell the difference between this and the original, so it is a definite keeper!  Mom purchased it.

25. Ortho Weed-B-Gone - We tried these because it said it would kill the weeds and not the lawn.  The day after I sprayed our weeds, there were brown spots on our lawn.  I don't think this product works very well and will not purchase it again in the future.  Purchased at AAFES.

26. Kiwi Fresh Force Shoe Refresher - My oldest son uses this and it seems to keep odors away, so this one is another keeper!  Purchased at the AAFES uniform shop.

27. Puffs Plus Lotion - I received a free sample from Vocalpoint for Puffs Plus Lotion To Go.  These facial tissues work well and the fact that it has lotion in it is great!

28. Cottonelle Toilet Tissue - Tried these because we had a coupon for it and were running low.  Will never buy these again.  Leftover tissue on our behinds and it seemed to clog our toilets.  Purchased at the commissary.

29. Trader Joe's Lobster Bisque - Absolutely delicious!  My eldest and I love it!  My husband had a reaction to it and my youngest doesn't like it.  Tastes great with pasta or by itself.

30. Reese Select Clusters - Had to try them when they were on clearance at the commissary.  These are really sweet.  If I have a sweet tooth, I have one of these and I'm done.  Yes, it's that sweet!  I would not purchase again in the future.

31. Mr. Clean Multi Surface Cleaner - Tried these from Walmart because I had a coupon for it.  It leaves streaks on windows and mirrors.  However, seems to clean well on other surfaces.  I would not purchase this item again.

32. Coffee Mate Vanilla Caramel Sugar Free Powdered Sugar Creamer - Tried this when I saw it on clearance at the commissary.  Tastes ok.  Nothing I would purchase again in the future.

33. Costco Kirkland Toilet Tissue - Very durable and inexpensive.  We love these!

34. Dagoba Chocolate Bars - First tried these at Mom's Organic Market.  We thought it was ok for dark chocolate.  Purchased another one at the commissary.  We like it but are not too crazy about dark chocolate. We hope they come out with milk chocolate variations in the future.

35. Kashi Tasty Little Cereal Bars - We tried the strawberry one from the commissary with a coupon.  I like it but my kids are not into it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hot Topic New Rewards Program

Hot Topic has a new frequent buyers program that replaces their old card. It is now an actual point card called HT+1 Your friend with benefits. Just signed up while I was down at their store last night and came home to complete my registration online. Got 10 free points just for signing up.
Details here:http://www.hottopic.com/hottopic/member/Login.jsp

Recent Great Deals

Here are some of the recent great deals that we will or have been able to take advantage of.

1. JcPenney $10 off any purchase using coupon code 4BESTMOM. I got a firming brief that was on sale for $12.99 (reg. $22), $9.01 savings with sale minus $10 coupon code=$2.99+$5.95 s/h=$9.48 (total savings $19.01). I have been looking for one of these and just was not willing to pay the high prices for one.

2. Aeropostale $10 off $10 printable coupon for a free item priced at $10 and under. They had mens cargo shorts on sale for $20, used the $10 coupon on this and got it for $10 + tax. $20 for their cargo shorts was almost unheard of and to get it for $10+ tax was a rare deal.

3. Beyond the Rack body shaper for $20. Used my $10 credit that you get when you sign up toward this purchase. I had been looking for one of these for awhile and had not found one at a price I was willing to pay until I found this one. Took awhile to arrive at my door but I am very pleased with it and it even came with an extra pair of clear straps. Yay me!

4. YaySave freshwater pearl set of 10 bracelet set for $19.99 (Mother's Day Special pricing). Used my $10 online gift card that I earned using my swagbucks points toward this purchase. I also earned another 500 points for taking advantage of this deal and they were delivered yesterday, yay! They are beautiful!

5. My hubby got tickets to the CPOA Baltimore Orioles game night at a discount.

6. I recently received my Paypal $5.00 deposited into my paypal from redeeming my swagbucks points.

7. Free Kindle for PC application and free Kindle for PC Amazon downloadable books online.

8. Buy one, get one free pretzel coupon for signing up at Auntie Anne's online. Purchased 2 pepperoni pretzels ($3 savings) and got my frequent buyer card stamped for the one that I purchased.

9. Tropicana Rewards - bogo free Fandango movie ticket.

10. All You magazine's free 5x7 flipbook from Snapfish (just saved $9.98). Just paid shipping and tax for a total of $2.11. This will make a great gift! I received this in the mail the other day and the quality is excellent as usual and will make a wonderful gift.

11. Home Depot's Garden Club bogo free tree. We purchased a pear tree and an Okame Blossoming Cherry tree ($19.97 savings). One for our front and one for our back yard. It is a too good to pass up deal.

12. Baskin Robbins 31 cent scoop night is on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 (5-10pm) to honor the National Fallen Firefighter foundation. We did NOT end up going to this.

13. CVS free 4x6 magnet deal, create and use promo code FREE4MOM ($6.99 savings).

14. Shutterfly create 3 free 5x7 cards for Mother's Day and use promo code CARDS4MOM to get them for $1 + tax shipped to you, my total $1.01.

15. Buy.com has the Visual Land V-Touch for $39.99 mp3/mp4/camera/video player w/sd expansion slot. List price $199 for a savings of $160 with free shipping. This would be a great substitute for the iTouch.
See deal here: http://www.buy.com/retail/department.asp?loc=111&adid=17653

1. My good friend Maryanne saved $20 with the coupons that I shared with her. I'm so very proud of her! Keep up the great work!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Points & Frequent Buyer's Programs - Making your purchases work for you

I have found that memberships to points programs can be very rewarding.
I am a member of various points programs including:
1. Pampers Gifts to Grow - Points are accumulated to redeem online.
2. Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards - Points are accumulated to redeem online.
3. Mypoints.com - I have redeemed points for various gift cards.
4. Swagbucks.com - I have redeemed points for 2 gift cards.
5. Visa points program - I have redeemed points for various gift cards.
6. Tropicana Rewards - I have redeemed points for buy one, get one (bogo) free Tropicana 50 juices.  I have also redeemed point for bogo free movie ticket.
7. Mycokerewards - I have redeemed points for various photo printing services, coupons for bogo free items and entering a few of their sweepstakes.
8. AERewards - Points are accumulated to receive discount/reward coupons in the mail.
9. Ace Rewards - Points are accumulated to receive discount/reward coupons in the mail.
10. Hallmark Gold Crown Rewards - Points are accumulated to receive discount/reward coupons in the mail.
11. Office Depot Worklife Rewards - Points are accumulated to receive discount/reward coupons in the mail.
12. Staples Rewards - Points are accumulated to receive discount/reward coupons in the mail.
13. Children's Place "Place Perks" - Points are accumulated to receive discount/reward coupons in the mail.
14. Best Buy Reward Zone - Points are accumulated to receive discount/reward coupons in the mail.
15. Rainforest Cafe Safari Club - Points are accumulated to receive discount/reward coupons in the mail.
16. TGI Friday's - Points are accumulated to receive discount/reward coupons in the mail.
17. Famous Footwear - Points are accumulated to receive discount/reward coupons in the mail.
18. National Consumer Panel - Points are accumulated when purchased household items are scanned and transmitted via a telephone and surveys are completed online.  Points are accumulated to receive discount/reward coupons in the mail.  Occasionally they will send items such as bottle openers, etc... through the mail.
19. Regal Movie Theater - Earn 1 credit for every dollar spent, reward details here:  http://rcc.regalcinemas.com/CrownClub/appmanager/rcc/CrownClub?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=REWARDSSCHEDULE
20. Ledo's Pizza - Points are accumulated to receive discount/reward coupons in the mail.

Frequent Buyer's Programs can also be very rewarding if you frequent places more often then others.
1. Rita's Italian Ice -  Buy 10 treats, get one free.  Offers a card for frequent purchases.
2. Jewelry Service Center Watch Battery Club (Walmart in Glen Burnie & Arundel Mills) - Buy 4 watch batteries at regular price, get one free.  Offers a card for frequent purchases.
3. K.J. Watch & Jewelry Repair (Marley Station Mall, MD) - Buy 6 batteries, get one free.  Offers a card for frequent purchases.
4. AAFES combo card (Fort Meade, MD) - Buy 8 combo meals, get one free.  Offers a card for frequent purchases.
5. Harry & David - When your purchases reach $150, you will receive a complimentary 8 oz. box of chocolate truffles.  When your purchases total $300, you will receive 20% off your next purchase.  Offers a card for frequent purchases.
6. Reel Time Movie Card (Fort Meade, MD) - Get a stamp for every 9 admission or combo purchases, get a free medium popcorn with medium drink combo.
7. Auntie Anne's - Pretzel Perk

Thursday, April 8, 2010


What is Vocalpoint you may ask?  Who is Vocalpoint for?

Since becoming a Vocalpoint member, my family and I have been able to try so many new products either with the samples they send us or using coupons and then we often like sharing if the product worked for our family or not.  Vocalpoint sends out samples and coupons to try new products and gives you a few coupons to share with family and friends to spread the word of these new products.  Vocalpoint is for everyone who likes trying new products, sharing new products with friends and letting people know about it either on Vocalpoint message boards or on your own blog.  To learn more about Vocalpoint, go here:http://www.vocalpoint.com//about.html and to become a member, go here:http://www.vocalpoint.com//registration.html

Thank you Vocalpoint for allowing us to participate in your wonderful program.

The other day we received a sample and coupons for us and to share for Puffs To Go plus lotion.  We will be trying it out this weekend. 

The allergies are acting up and we have already gotten out the new boxes of facial tissue in our house.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

More Garden

Today we planted the rest of our garden. We planted some jalapeno peppers, tomatillos and beef steak tomatoes, from seeds of course.

Last year, our entire crop was all planted from seeds. This year, we planted most of our garden from seeds and some of it (yellow onions, garlic and strawberries) from seedlings/starter plants. We are keeping an eye on our garden to see how long it will take to grow or start sprouting. Our winesap apple tree is flowering pretty good now, so we are hoping that this year it will produce a little more fruit for our family to enjoy.

The onion starters are starting to get the greens pop out from the top and there are some small garlic plants from the garlic seeds. The small garlic is soooo cute. Everything else looks good, so we will keep an eye on it.

We have been noticing recently that a squirrel has been getting into our garden. He has been quietly reaaranging things but we just went through everything and regrouped whatever was out of place.

So far so good and we are looking forward to reaping the rewards from working hard in our garden this year. Whatever extras we may have will either be frozen for future use, shared with family and friends or shared via our local freecycle group.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Green Onions

I bought a bunch of green onions two weeks ago and they are still producing for us. You see after we got them home, we cut the bunch down to the start of the dark green part and stuck the bottoms in a planter with potting soil in them and watered them. The first batch of regrown green onion was cut this week and frozen for future use. The second batch will be cut this weekend and the process will continue. I plan on getting as much out of this one bunch of green onions as I possibly can. Why should we have to keep purchasing green onions every time we need them in a recipe (like we have done over and over in the past)? Each time it gets too long and we do not use them right away, it will be frozen for future use. However, we just found some fresh noodles at the asian market yesterday that looks like saimin (I hope it is) and we will probably use the green onions in that this time around. I hope it is delicious!

Just another way to stretch our dollars the smart way.

Update: The green onions died off. I wonder if I watered them too much. Anyways, I will pick up another bunch next time I go grocery shopping and repeat this method.