Thursday, November 29, 2012

November Little Black Bag

It's Little Black Bag time!  I skipped October because I couldn't find anything I really wanted.  I know crazy right.  Don't worry though I made up for it by buying two bags this month. 

If you are new to the LBB game here are the basics.  They have two types of bags you can buy.  This is a subscription service but you can skip the month and you won't be charged.  You just have to remember to skip by the 5th of the month.  The first type of bag is $49.95 plus $4.95 shipping and tax (CA & NY) and the second one is $29.95 plush $4.95 shipping and tax (Ca & NY).  On this write up I'm going to talk about the $49.95 bag and I've done a separate blog post for the $29.95 bag. 

For the $49.95 bag you pick out one item to put in your bag from the gallery of at least 200+ items ranging in price from $10-$100+).  The deal is for $49.95 you will receive at least $100 worth of items.  So once you pick out your one item you click "add to bag" and the company picks out 1-3 more items to put in your bag so it's value is at least $100.  Now the catch is you don't get to see what those other items they picked out are until you pay for your bag.  They show you the brand and value so you can look through the gallery to see what the possibilities are.  The items will change depending on the value of the item you pick out.  Once you pick out your item and purchase your bag this is where the twist comes in .  You are not obligated to keep any of the items in your bag you can trade them with other members on the Little Black Bag website for items in their bags.  This goes on for 7 days.  Once the 7 days is over your bag closes and ships. Now if anytime during those 7 days you are happy with your bag and want it sent it to you just click ship my bag and off it goes to your happy little hands. 

The trading part of it sounds more confusing than it actually is.  Say you get a necklace picked out for you that you really don't like.  You can go into the gallery pick something you like and offer to trade it for something in your bag.  You don't actually talk to the people you are trading with it but you just put your trades out there and hope someone else with an open bag accepts.  Tons of trading goes on so don't worry about not being able to trade your items, that rarely happens.    

The good: 

Like to shop? The definitely fills the shopping need.  It feels like you are shopping every time you check the website to look for items to trade with other members. 

The value:  Your bag is guaranteed to be worth at least $100.  My lowest bag was $164 and as high as $400. 

The brands. The brands are well very well known.  Kenneth Cole, Disney, RJ Graziano, R&Em, Gorjana, Sakroots, Jessica Simpson and they are always adding more.  Also they add new products twice a week.       

Multiple treasures:  You can score multiple treasures and use them for gifts at a fraction of the cost. 

Variety. They have handbags, sunglasses, cell phone cases, iPad cases, earrings, wallets, nail polish, home :items, etc.  You will find something you like. 

Skip a month? Don't want a bag with month? then skip it.  The company sends and email on the 1st of every month and you have 5 days to decided if you want to skip or open a bag.  If you forget to skip for some reason they will still charge you for that month.  If you have a open bag during the 5 day time frame that counts as your monthly bag. 

Need a gift? Send them their own little black bag.  You purchase the bag and the company sends the recipient and email saying they received a gift.  Who wouldn't love picking out their own treasures! and what a unique gift.  

Received your items but didn't like it:  LBB will let you return the item for an exchange or refund.  The refund will be prorated based on the number of items in your bag and price paid.  For an exchange you will receive another mystery item in your bag with a value of within $5 of the exchanged item.  I've done the exchange process and it was fairly painless.  I had to pay for the return shipping but once the company received the items they sent an email confirming receipt and I received items in my next bag of similar value.   

The not so good:

The price:  Yes $50 a month is a little pricey but if you break it down by item it's not so bad.  Also you can use it to find gifts or just skip a month.  

Pictures: They show pictures of the items and list the sizes but I would like to see them on a model (real or fake) to see the scale.  I have received a couple of pairs of earrings that were bigger than I thought they were going to be.   

Want more, more more?:  For now you can only open one bag at a time however there is no limit to the number of bag you can open.  

Time: In my opinion you need to really be on top of the emails to get the best deals.  I'm fortunate enough to have a job where I can check my email frequently can really stay of top my trading for the 7 day period.   

It's addicting.  'Nuff said

These are all the treasures in my $50 bag.  I got a great backpack, a purse, a pair of earrings and two hair styling items from Pureology. 

This is a close up of the Koret purse. It has black sequins but it's not overly flashy.  The purse itself is small so it's definitely not an everyday purse, at least not for me. 

I love this Nila Anthony backpack.  I love the green color and all the little pockets on it.   

Nila Anthony Stripe Backpack. Value = $86.00

Koret Black Shimmer & Shine Shoulder Bag. Value = $58.00

Jardin Filigree Earrings. Value = $28.00

Pureology Colour Stylist Control Twist Wax. Value = $9.00

Pureology Colour  Stylist Silk Bodifier. Value = $9.00

The total value of my LBB is $190.00 or $166.00 if you don't count the referral item since that is an extra.  I started my bag with a Koret tote valued at $78.  I received a necklace valued at $45 and a headband valued at $10 and a referral item, a necklace (thanks Christelle V.!) valued at $24 with a total value of $157.00.  I ended up trading away everything.  I really liked the purse I picked out but the more I thought about it I knew I wouldn't use it that much so off it went.  The Pureology items were bonus items and I traded for those because they have value and Pureology products are awesome!  I liked the way the earrings looked on the website but in person they were a little big.  I really wish LBB would get better pictures on their website for size comparison.  It's no problem to return and I'll get a replacement item in my next bag.

Verdict: I love Little Black Bag

**I pay for these subscriptions myself and am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Little Black Bag

November BarkBox

A few months ago I signed our dog Riley up for her very own subscription box called BarkBox.  Human loves treasures and I know dogs love treasures so why not a box for them?  BarkBox is based out of New York and every month they will send your pooch a box of goodies for their very own. The cost of this service is $17.50 to $29 a month.  All plans include shipping.  Monthly is $29.00, 3 months is $66.00 ($22 a month) and 6 months is $105 ($17.50 a month).  You tell them what size dog you have (small & cute under 20lbs, just right 20-50lbs or  big & bold over 50lbs.) and they send items for that type of dog.  The company also donates 10% of their profits to a shelter every month.  How awesome is that!  

The Good: 

Pets - Lots of people have dogs and it can be hard to figure out what products work.  This is a great way to try stuff out without spending a ton of money.  

Donation - 10% doesn't sound like much but it all adds up. The shelters can use all the help they can get.  
Semi-customized - your 10lb. Chihuahua won't be receiving a toy larger than it's whole body.  (Although I know lots of Chihuahua's that like to think they are bigger than they are and would love the challenge)
Need a gift - It's like a shower gift for someone with a new fur baby.  How cool is that.  Congrats on your new bundle of fur, here's 3 months of goodies to get you started.  

Pricing options: I like that they have different pricing structures.  $29 is kind of a lot per month but $105 for 6 months is much more reasonable or even the option of $66 for 3 months. 

Dog like surprises? - Dogs usually love surprises. Everything is a surprise to them.  They can join in the surprise fun with you when you open their box cause you won't know what you get until it gets to you.  

The not so good:

Skip a month. This is not an option

Dog doesn't like it? This may happen.  My dog is an older gal and doesn't too much play anymore so she isn't interested in the toys.  They customize the boxes for dog size but I wish there were a way to customize it for age.  I would rather have more treats than a toy.  Anyway I'm thinking of donating them to the SPCA near my house.  I'm sure they could use it.  Give me an good reason to clean out my linen closet - they also take old towels to use in the cat dens.    

Funny Side note: 
I found this under the FAQ section of the BarkBox website:

Question: If I cancel in the middle of my subscription, will I still get all of my boxes?
Answer: You will definitely receive all of the boxes from your subscription, but don't be surprised by an rebellious brown smelly "presents" left on the living room floor when your dog learns of a BarkBox cancellation. ; )

Well played Barkbox, well played...

This months box was packed with all kinds of treasures.  

Contents of the Bark Box with retail price: 

Bionic gel chew toy - Value = $19.89

5 oz. bag of Fruitables skinny mini pumpkin & mango dog treat. Value = $8.99

Acadia Antlers. Value = $10.00

1 cup of Mr. Barksmiths smoothies for dogs in pumpkin flavor. Value = $1.33 (6 pk. $7.99)

Mr. Chewy $10 gift card. - no minimum purchase

$10 off Rover dog sitting service. 

One month subscription for DogTV. Value = $5.99-$9.99/month

The total value of this box is $56.20-60.20.  What a great value and great items!  I had no idea anything like dogtv even existed.  Several years ago I had a little dog and I felt bad when I would leave her home alone so I would leave animal planet on for her.  I don't know if she liked it or not but I felt better about it.  Now there's an actual channel for dogs.  I found it cool that the treats were pumpkin flavor in keeping with the season.   

Verdict:  This is great box for the fur babies.

***Those who follow my blog may notice that there were no pictures of Riley enjoying her BarkBox treasures.  It is with heavy broken hearts that we have to announce that Riley completed her journey of life on November 5th, 2012.  Riley had been with us for almost 12 years and her health issues became too much for her to bear.  We made the decision, with the assistance from our vet to end her pain and let her run free at The Rainbow Bridge.  Riley spent her last days in comfort with us and her nursemaid Gracie by her side. We will miss her very much. 

This will be my last posting/review on BarkBox.  I still have some boxes coming to me free because of my wonderful readers who used my referral link.  We decided that Riley's spirit will continue to bring joy to people through donations and gifts.  We plan on donating and or gifting the items from her remaining boxes to friends, family, local animal shelters or rescue groups.

I am sharing these pictures because I thought it was so cute that Gracie kept Riley company during her hospice.  It's almost as if Gracie knew Riley wasn't feeling well and wanted to comfort and help her through this difficult time. Riley was a very loving and care free dog.     

Gracie keeping Riley company. 

Nap time for Riley and Gracie. 

  Here is one of my favorite pictures of Riley.  The boyfriend made himself a little ice cream cookie creation and Riley thought it looked fantastic!  Much to Riley's dismay and not for lack of effort on her part she didn't get any of this treat.  She got plenty of her own dog treats though including her frosty paws which is a frozen treat made especially for dogs.    

** I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for BarkBox.  I purchase these subscriptions myself. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November Ali's Bling Box

I heard about Ali's Bling Box through Totsy.  Totsy is a website that offers discounted deals much like Groupon or Living Social.  The deal was for 2 months of Ali's Bling Box for $30 and I had a coupon through Totsy for $7.95 off which made my deal $22 or $11 per month.  You know I'm always eager to try out new subscription boxes so I quickly signed up.   

I read the details of the box on the Ali's Bling Box website and it said the price of the box is $30 a month w/shipping included and you will receive about $60-$100+ worth of loot each month.  There were some pictures of past boxes and they looked great, there were also some really good reviews of the boxes from customers. 

The good:

Value. The promise of at least double the value is always fantastic!

Need a gift? You can gift 1, 3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions

The not so good:

The price. $30 is a lot to risk but if it's good stuff then it's well worth it. 

The quality. I wasn't too impressed with the quality of the items - more on that below. 

This is a little letter that came in the box.  It's a little information about the items inside and why they were chosen. 

These are the jewelry items included in my box.

This is the scarf that was included in the box. 

Pink Flower stretchy cocktail ring. - This is cool if you like these type of rings which I do.  I've also been told they make great ponytail holders.   

Silver tone cuff style bangle. - This feels very cheap and I can tell the coloring is going to flake off. 

Pink plastic bib necklace. - Seriously this is really light weight plastic like something I would find at the $5 store or in a child's dress up set. 

Gray hoop earrings. - These are ok but I think they are plastic also.  I don't mind this so much since they look ok and I don't like heavy earrings. 

Black and White scarf. - This is really soft and I like the colors.  It has more ruffles than I would like normally but I'm ok with that. 

In total I received a total of 5 items in my Bling Box.  There is no way these items are worth $60.  If I had to place a value on this box I would say it's worth $30-$35 depending on where you shop.  The highest value item is the scarf in my opinion.  I was really expecting better quality item from the information I read on the website.  For me it was worth the $11 I paid but I would be upset if I paid the full price of $30.  I'll be curious to see what's in store for next month.  

Verdict: Not impressed. 

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Ali's Bling Box.  I purchase these subscriptions myself.   

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cravebox Knorr Ultimate Thanksgiving Box

Cravebox has changed they way they send out their boxes.  They no longer offer a subscription service and limited edition boxes.  Now they just offer Craveboxes and this is how it works.  If you sign up for on their website to be notified when a box becomes available they will send you an email.  You submit your entry and if picked they send you out a box.  They will tell you the price of the box in advance but you don't get to know what's in the box, just the theme of the box. 

This box offered is the Knorr Ultimate Thanksgiving Box and they price was $14.00.  This box came before Thanksgiving, (although I personally had to work so that wasn't such a big deal for me) I'm just late on posting this. 

The good: 

Themed Boxes: While you don't know what exactly is coming in your box you know the general theme and the price it will be.  

The price: I don't think  I've ever paid more than $14.00 and the value (with the exception of 1 box) was always great.  

The not so good: 

I can't think of anything. 

Look at all these goodies.  I was super excited about this box. Also note everything in this box is full sized!

Contents of box with retail price listed: **Note all products are full size

Del Monte Favorite Recipes cookbook. Value = $3.00

Knorr 4 pack Homestyle Reduced Sodium Chicken Stock. Value = $3.99

Free Can of Pillsbury Grands. Value = $2.65

2 cans of Del Monte Whole Green Beans. Value = $1.99

2 packets of McCormick's Turkey Gravy Mix. Value = $1.69

7 oz. bag Brookside smooth dark chocolate covered pomegranates. Value = $3.99 - These are really good but of course I love almost anything dark chocolate. 

1 tub of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations. Value = $2.89

1 packet of frosting creations starter. Value = $0.99

$35 voucher for Folded Words by Walgreens. Can be used toward gift cards, tags, stationary, etc. - I ended up ordering some really cute personalized stationary for Christmas gifts.  

The total value of the Cooking Light box is $56.19.  The only thing I wasn't too exited about was the canned green beans only because I don't like canned green beans.  I've been wanting to try the frosting mix because I keep seeing advertising for it and I wanted to know what's so special about it.  The chicken stock will come in handy for all the holiday cooking coming up.  The voucher is also super cool especially since you can use it on things other than cards.  This is a great box! 
Verdict: Craveboxes are fun and filled with treasures.  

I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Cravebox.  I purchase these boxes myself.     

Monday, November 26, 2012

November Birchbox

Birchbox is a monthly subscription service for beauty items like makeup, skincare, fragrance, etc.  Each month you will receive 4-5 generously sized samples and sometimes full size beauty products.  The cost of this service is $10 w/shipping included.  They also have a yearly subscription which is $110 for the year bringing the cost down to $9.16 a month.

Each months Birchbox has a theme.  This month the theme is give.  Also this month Birchbox is supporting The Art of Elysium, a non-profit that encourages actors, artists, designers, and musicians to dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling various medical conditions.
The good:

The brands.  You will receive items from Benefit, Stila, Pur, Essie, Kerastase, Tarte, etc. 

The price.  For $10 you can give yourself a little beauty treat.    

Like surprises?  You don't know what's in your box until you receive it.  When you sign up you take a little quiz and the items in the box are supposed to be customized to you.  I have seen pictures of other peoples boxes and they do receive different items.   

Discounts: They have a system where you earn points for referrals and things you buy.  The points allow you to receive discounts on future full size purchases from their shop.  They offer free shipping on items from the monthly box and a $5 flat shipping rate for items that don't qualify for free shipping.  This is a nice feature because if you want to order several different brands you get free or $5 shipping for everything. 

Need a gift? You can gift a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription or you can purchase a gift card in any amount.  There also have a nice option with the gift subscriptions where you can choose to have the 1st box shipped you for giving and subsequent boxes will be shipped directly to the recipient.  Great birthday/holiday gift!

The not so good:

Skip a month?  Currently there is no option to skip a month only cancel. 

My Birchbox Treasures!

Contents of box with retail price listed.

.06 vial of Atelier Rose Anonyme Cologne. Value = $4.55 (1 oz. bottle $75.00)

.1 oz. Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector. Value = $5.80 (1 oz. $58.00)

1 oz. Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture & Volume Spray. Value = $7.33 (1.5 oz. $11.00)

.05 oz. Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminzer. Value = $6.66 (try me set of 3 $20.00)

$15 off Chromatic Gallerie shoes - price is $88.00 a pair

Lifestyle Extra

1 Chuao Chocolatier Potato Chip. Value = $1.14 (7 pack $7.95)  - yummy!  I went to Birchbox to order some but they are sold out. 

The total value of this box is $25.48.  I can't think of anything in this box I wouldn't use, besides the coupon.  Some months Birchbox is ok and then there are months like this that just hit the mark for things I like and will use. 

The verdict: These boxes are hit and miss for me but this particular one was great. 

**I pay for these boxes myself and am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Birchbox

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November Bulu Box

Bulu Box is a monthly sample box that contains 4-5 premium vitamin and supplement nutrition samples.  These samples are for both men and women.  The cost of the service is $10 a month or $110 a year ($10 savings) which brings it down to $9.16 a month. This is a great way to try supplements and health type foods without spending a ton of money.  

The good: 

New products: Nutritional products can be overwhelming and expensive to try.  This allows you to try new products for a low price.  

Samples sizes: The sizes are really decent.  I received multiples of a few items which will allow me to try it a couple of times. 

Information: They include a card with the product information on it. 

Access to products: There are links to purchase the products on the Bulu website

The not so good:

Skip a month: No can do, you will have to cancel. 

Bulu treasures!

Contents of box.  Retail price listed in parenthesis.

30 ct. bag of FRS Pineapple Mango energy chews. Value = $19.49 - These don't taste very good and I'm not sure they work either. 

2 pkts - enough for one serving Almased protein powder. Value = $4.00 (10 servings $39.95)

1 Crystal Essence Lavender & White Tea Towelette. Value = $.50 (6 pk. $2.99) - I've used these before, they work fine but I prefer using the crystal spray. 

2 CocoaWell True Energy supplement capsules.  Value = $0.93 (60 capsules $27.99)

sample size bag Turkey Perky Jerky. Value = $0.50 (1oz. bag $2.99) - The boyfriend said this was good but he didn't share with me. 

The total value of my Bulu box is $25.42.  I'm sensing a theme with the energy supplements I'm seeing in all the boxes.  Could it be people know with the holidays coming we need all the help we can get?  I thought the Almased powder was interesting, why would the packet contain a half serving?  Then I thought well made I only want a little bit of a protein drink and it started making some sense.  I'll give it a try but someone commented that it tasted chalky to them.     

Verdict: I'm really enjoying my Bulu boxes.  They send a nice variety of products to try.     

**I am not any type sponsor paid or unpaid for Bulu Box.  I purchase these subscriptions myself. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

November PopSugar Must Have Box

The PopSugar Must Have Box is simply awesome!  They had a rocky start with their very first box but every one since then has been awesome!  The price of the box is $35 a month w/shipping included.  They also have 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions and each one saves you a little bit of money.  The products in the last 2 boxes have been just fantastic!  PopSugar advertises that you will receive full size and premium items worth over $100 (based on the manufacturer MSRP at the time acquired by Sugar) - they don't lie!  This box contains a variety of products.  The booklet they has a sections with product information on each item which is super cool. 

I want to say thanks to Jessica R, Rachel J and Lindsey S. for using my referral link.  I received this months box free because of them.  You guys are awesome!

The good: 

Products: Full size products as promised and a nice variety of beauty, home etc.  

Pricing structure: They have monthly, 3, 6 and yearly subscriptions.  Each one (except monthly) saves you a little bit of money.  

Referrals: The offer a generous referral program.  Refer 2 people get a month free.  5 people 3 months free and 10 people is 6 months free.  

The not so good:

The price: $35 is a little high for a monthly box but you do get some really cool stuff with a value of way more than $35

Skip a month: There is no option to skip, only cancel. 

Contents of box with retail price:

Must Have Fashion
Gorgana Parker Wrap Bracelet. Value = $55.00 - This is really pretty and all boxed up for gift giving should I want to give it up. 

Must Have Beauty
Mor Lip Macarons lip gloss in french vanilla. Value = $10.00

Must Have Home
Set of 6 Snow & Graham Thank You Notes. Value = $15.00

Must Have Food
Set of 3 .5 oz. La Boite Spice Mixes w/recipes  Value = $2.73/ea. (2.75 oz. jar $15.00)

Must Have Food
18 oz. bog of Stonewall Kitchen Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Mix. Value = $9.95

Must Have Fitness
Mandy Ingber's Yogalosophy DVD. Value = $14.98

Special Extras 

One credit for a Stylemint t-shirt. Value = $29.99

$30 gift certificate for Canvaspop - you can get an 8x10 canvas rolled with no frame for $30

The total value of this month's box is $173.11.  Once again this box is full of great stuff!  I love cooking so for me the spices are terrific.  I've been wanting to try Stylemint tee's because I know a lot of people that like them.  Also they are part of the mint brands (jewelmint, homemint, intimint, etc). I buy Stonewall Kitchen products frequently and I just happen to have a doughnut pan so I see homemade doughnuts in my future. 

Verdict: PopSugar is a definite must have!  I broke down and ordered their limited luxury box.  It was $100 but I'm hopeful that it is going to be awesome!

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for PopSugar.  I purchase these subscriptions myself. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

November KLUTCHclub Box

KLUTCHClub is a monthly subscription service that focuses on health & fitness.  KLUTCHClub ships their boxes out on the 15th of every month.  They advertise that the boxes contain over $50 worth of products or services such as snacks, new workouts or body care regimens to try.  KLUTCHClub offers two types subscriptions, one for women and one for men.  KLUTCHClub allows you to sign up monthly, quarterly or yearly.  The monthly price is $18 a month, quarterly is $51.00 or $17 a month and the yearly is $192 or $16 a month.  Shipping is included in all of these prices. 

***KLUTCHclub is having a black Friday deal.  Use code BLACK20 to get 20% off a yearly subscription.  This brings the price down to $172.80 for 12 months of KLUTCHclub, this breaks down to $14.40 a month.  

The good:

Healthy: This box is totally dedicated to health and fitness. If you're just starting to get active this is a fun way to try new products or fitness regimens. 

Need a gift: Have a health nut friend or want to encourage someone? Send them a month, 3 month or yearly subscription.

Information: They send a little info card on the products included in the box. 

The not so good:

Skip a month: No skipping a month option. 

KLUTCHClub Women's box. 

Contents of box with retail price listed. 

2 oz. bag of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts. Value = $2.99

8 oz. bottle of Wyman's Blueberry juice. Value = $1.24

2 Amino Vital Endurance packets in mandarin orange flavor. Value = $2.00/ea (20 serving canister $39.99)

5 oz. Nature's Gate Pomegranate Sunflower Cleansing Bar. Value = $3.79

3 packets of Shakeology protein shakes mixes in chocolate. Value = $5.00/ea. (24 packets $119.95) - I mixed this with 8 oz.  unsweetened almond coconut milk and it was SUPER thick.  I don't know if that was due to the coconut milk or the shake mix.  The bonus was that it tasted delicious!

3 single servings of Green Tea Hawaii packets. Value = $1.17/ea (60 ct. $69.95)

1 single serving packet of Green Tea Hawaii coffee. Value = $1.17 - These are good and add a little flavor to my water. 

1.76 can of Psssssst Dry Shampoo. Value = $3.50

1 GNU Bar w/discount code to purchase 5 GNU bars for $7.95 w/free shipping. Value = $1.99

Acacia Strength Tone Lengthen Workout Sampler CD (1 hr long). I would value this at $10.00

$50 Gift Card for Juil footwear- prices start at $125.00

The total value of this box is $46.02.  I didn't include the Juil gift card since it requires an additional out of pocket expense.  I've very happy with the products in this box.  I've decided I really need to focus and lose some weight (just in time for all the holiday goodies, great timing right?) so the supplements and proteing powders will be great to try.  I have a bottle of dry shampoo that I have yet to try but I recently read that it's great for putting on the roots of bangs and keeping them off your forehead.   

Verdict: This box never fails to disappoint. If you into fitness type stuff or know someone who is I highly recommend this box. - I think this would make a great gift for someone who has expressed interest starting an exercise program or changing to a generally healthier diet. 

I am an affiliate for KLUTCHClub.  This means I earn a 20% cash commission if someone signs up for a subscription using my link. This does not affect my opinions in any way.  I purchases these subscription boxes myself. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

November Goodies Box

I don't remember how I discovered Goodies Co. but I'm sure glad I did!  Goodies Co. is a monthly subscription company that sends out 5-8 trial sized food products for $7 a month w/shipping included.  Yep just $7 for this tasty little box!  Goodies Co. is a Wal-Mart brand which I thought was interesting.  I'm not sure how long Goodies Co. has been active but I think this is only their 2nd or 3rd month.          

The good:

Price: $7 is a very reasonable price to pay for a box of snacks to try.

Points: If you write a quick review on their website you can earn points for rewards.  I'm not sure what the rewards are yet though. 

The not so good:

Skip: No option to skip a month at this time. 

This months theme is Entertaining Made Simple.  Look at all these yummies treats!

Contents of box with retail price listed from goodies website:

1 Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea Bag. Value = $0.17 (20 for $3.49) - very good but it could have been more pumpkiny for me - but I love pumpkin. 

2.2 oz. American Vintage Wine Biscuits White Wine, Shallot & Cayenne. Value = $2.75 (4.5 oz. $5.49)

1.75 container (serves 2) Flourless Bliss Pumpkin Souffle Mix. Value = $2.40 (5 servings $5.99)

.7 oz/1 Tbs. Lotus Bakeries Smooth Biscoff Spread. Value = $0.26 (jar w/27servings $6.99)

1 Alter Eco Dark Quinoa Bar. Value = $4.00

1 oz. bag of Bobbysue's Nuts Original Nuts. Value = $1.25 (8 oz. jar $10.00)

1 oz. bag Oogie's Gourmet Popcorn White Cheddar. Value = $0.60 (5 oz. bag $3.00) - I really wanted to try these but the boyfriend got to it first.  I picked up the empty bag and he said "oh yeah, those were good"

Goodies's Co. Farmers Market Bag for being one of the first subscribers. 

The total value of my first Goodies Co. Box is $11.43.  What a great box of goodies for $7.00!  I can't wait to try the pumpkin souffle and wine biscuits!  I'm also very excited about the dark chocolate bar because I love me some dark chocolate.  The market bag is very cute and I'll put it with all my other grocery bags.   

Verdict: This box is great!  I can't wait to see next months goodies!

** I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Goodies Co. I purchases these subscriptions myself. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November Yumvelope

Yumvelope is a food/snack monthly subscription service.  Each month you receive a large USPS envelope filled with goodies.  The cost for this service is $21 plus $3.00 shipping or you can sign up for a month for a flat $21.00.  If you like what you get then you can sign up for 6 months for $126.00 w/shipping included and a bonus shipment (I'm guess that means an extra month free).  With your payment they promise to all natural hand picked delicious items in each envelope.    

The good:

Variety: There is a good variety of items.  A couple of the products I received I've tried before and like so I was glad I received them.  

Discounts: The try and send a promo code for each product so you can order your favorite products at a discounted price.  

Size: They send full size products which is always nice.  

The not so good:

Value vs. Price: This seems to fluctuate from month to month.  Lately it's been in the higher range. 

Contents of box with retail price listed.  

8 oz. bag Allgood Organic Pacific Northwest Cranberries. Value = $13.00 - these are so yummy, the perfect amount of tartness. 

.8 oz. bag Margherita Pizza flavor Plentils. Value = $0.99 - I really wanted to try these but the boyfriend got to it first. 

4 oz. bag of the Good Life Granola. Value = $3.00

1 Kate's Tiki Bar in Coconut Mango. Value = $2.79

.75 oz. bag Sensible Foods Cherry Berry Crunch Dried Fruit. Value = $1.66

box of 12 individual packets of soy sauce is a fish shaped container. Value = $8.99

Bonus item for submitting a survey:

Earnest eats bar in cran lemon zest. Value = $1.75

The total value of this Yumvelope is $30.43 (not including the bonus item).  This is an incredible value.  I though the little soy sauce packets were awesome.  I can't tell you how many times they boyfriend asks for soy sauce to go with his lunch from home.  These will be perfect! The cranberry bag is huge and I know I will put those to goo use.  I enjoy mixing them in with my yogurt or oatmeal.  I'm a little overloaded with granola but it will get eaten.  I'm really liking the sensible foods item.  I really enjoyed their dried corn so I'm sure the berry will be delicious. 

Verdict:  I like the items in this box and they value was great!       

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Yumvelope.  I purchase these monthly subscriptions myself.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Quarterly Co. Veronica Belmont

Quarterly Co. is a slightly different kind of subscription box company.  It's not a monthly adventure but rather quarterly.  The way it works is you pick a "contributor" you would like to receive a curated gift from pay $25 and every 3 months you will receive your item in the mail from them.  With each box you receive the story behind it.  The curators consist of CEO's, authors, chefs, world travelers, business owners, etc.  I had previous subscribed to Gretchen Rubin's subscription but found it wasn't really for me so I picked another contributor named Veronica Belmont.  Veronica is a self described geek from San Francisco.  Her boxes are filled with delicious and creative food options from the city by the bay.  This sounded like a good box for me.

The good:

Variety: There are lots of different curators to choose from.

Something different: This is definitely different from other subscription companies

Commitment issues? Don't want to make a monthly commitment but still want a treasure?  You can get a quarterly treasure. 

The not so good:

Don't like waiting: If you don't like waiting this may be torture for you since they ship every 3 months.

Contents with retail price:

Miette Meringues. Value = $5.50

12 oz bag whole bean Friendo Blendo Espresso from Four Barrel coffee. Value = $15.25

The value of this box is $20.75.  The price I paid is $25.00 plus tax in California.  I wasn't super excited about this box.  I drink coffee but I'm by no means a coffee connoisseur so this is a little lost on me.  I enjoy meringues but I found these ones to be quite dry and flavorless.  I've been to Miette at the Ferry in San Francisco and have had wonderful macaroons from there. 

Verdict: The products are good but not my favorite.  I will try it one more time though because I like what her boxes are about.      

**I pay for these boxes myself and not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Quarterly Co.

November Vegan Conscious Box

Conscious box vegan is pretty much the same as the regular conscious box except everything in the box is vegan.  They contain a wide variety of items from food to beauty products to household goodies.  The price is $12 a month plus $7.95 shipping which makes is $19.95 a month.  They also have a 3 month plan for $56.85 ($18.95 a box) or a 6 month plan for $111.70 (18.61 a box). Honestly the shipping cost is what always prevented me from signing up.  I think it's a mind trick thing because if they said $19.95 a month with free shipping that sounds better than $12 and shipping is $8 which is 2/3 the cost of the box.

I happen to find a deal through Plum District which is website that offers deals on various products.  It's much like Groupon and Living Social. It's completely free to sign up and they send you emails announcing the newest deal they are offering.  I've purchased several deals through Plum District and would highly recommend signing up! The deal was $20 for 3 months of their new vegan conscious box plus $7.95 shipping per box.  Basically I paid $43.85 for 3 months making it $14.62 a box and saved $16.  I figured for $15 it was worth trying.

The good:

Variety: You get a wide variety of items and the box was packed!

Vegan: If your vegan the vegan box is great for you.

The not so good:

The price: It's on the high side for subscription boxes but I would consider this a specialty box for sure.

Skip: Currently no option to skip a month

Vegan goodies!

Contents of box w/retail price listed:

Cuppow lid for turning canning jars into a travel mug.  Value = $7.95

1 packet/serving Sun Warrior warrior blend vanilla flavor protein powder. Value = $1.17 (23 servings $26.95)

1 oz. packet Ojio Raw Organic Hemp Seeds. Value = $2.49 (2 oz. $4.98)

4 oz. bottle Safonique Lavender Sea Laundry Detergent. Value = $0.48 (50 oz bottle $5.97)

1 Keen-Wah decadence organic chocolate chia bar. Value = $0.98 (3 bars $2.95)

1.7 oz. bottle Chicaoji Chipotle Chili Sauce. Value = $3.00

1 Yogi Ginger tea bag. Value = $0.31 (16 pk. $4.99)

1 Yogi Egyptian Licorice tea bag. Value = $0.31 (16 pk. $4.99)

2 oz. package Rock in Green Laundry Detergent in classic rock (enough for 2 loads in a top loading machine and 4 loads in an HE machine). Value = $0.85

1 Surthrival Bamboo Toothbrush. Value = $5.49

.5 oz. jar Yume lip and body treatment in lavender lemon Value = $3.74 (4oz. $29.95)

.5 oz. bottle Bioray Loving Energy Tonic. (I'm guessing on the size because it wasn't marked and it was only about 3/4 full. Value = $9.00 (2 oz. $36.00)

1 small Sacred Chocolate dairy free heart. Full size is 1.44 oz. $8.40. This was too tiny to measure for value.

The value of my vegan conscious box is $35.77.   To recap the regular price of this box is $19.95.  This is the third box I've received and by far it's had the best value.  I thought the laundry detergent was cool and the boyfriend said he likes the licorice and ginger tea.  I'm not sure what I will use the canning jar to travel mug lid but I guess it's a cool idea.  I'm super excited to try the bamboo toothbrush, I've been wanting one for awhile but never bought one. 

Verdict: This is a great little box if your vegan or want vegan products.

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Conscious Box.  I purchase these subscriptions myself.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November Love with Food Box

Love with Food is a monthly food subscription box.  The price is $10 plus $2 for shipping a month or you can sign up for a 6 month plan and shipping is only $1 or a yearly plan and shipping is free which makes the boxes an even $10.  In addition to yummy treats for every box sold they donate a meal to a hungry child. I've enjoyed all my boxes so I signed up for a yearly membership.   

Each month is a different theme and you will receive 5+ gourmet food items.   You don't get to pick you items so it's a complete surprise.  If you like what you get then you can log onto the Love with Food website and order the products at a special discount.  This months theme is Happy Thanksgiving with Amy Roloff.   

The good:

The price: $10-$12 is a reasonable price to pay for yummy treats AND you're donating a meal. 

Need a gift: You can send a 3 or 6 month subscription to a friend.  Who wouldn't love getting tasty treats in the mail?

Variety: You get a lot of variety in each box. 

Discounts: You can earn points for discounts off future full size product purchases by submitting reviews on their website or referring new members. 

The not so good:

Skip a month: Skipping is not an option.  If you don't want a box you will have to cancel. 

Contents of box with full size retail price listed in parenthesis:

1 Hagensborg Chocolate Truffle Pig. Value = $1.00 - I love these little piggies. The only thing that would've made this better is if it were dark chocolate.  

1.7 oz. bag of Inka Crops Inka Corn. Value = $0.81 - This is basically corn nuts only a million times better.  The kernels are huge and when you bite into them they are kind of airy.  I don't mean like they don't have substance airy but they don't hurt your teeth airy.  

1 pk of 2 chocolate chunk cookie from Skeeter Snacks. Value = $3.99 - I'm not a huge fan of hard cookies but this was pretty tasty.  Also they are nut free for those who have nut allergies.

4.2 oz. package of Fruit.0 Mango Pear Pineapple drink. Value = $2.30

.71 oz bag of Mrs. May's Mini Crunch. Value - $1.27

.6 oz package of Turkey Bak Kwa Jerky from Little Red Dot Kitchen. Value = $1.25 - I've had these before in another box and it was delicious!

1 pkt. of Aspen Milling Co. Original Milling Spices Blend. Value = $1.19

1 pkt. Stash Tea Company Pumpkin Spice Tea. Value = $0.18

Access to purchase a signed copy of Short and Simple Family Recipes by Amy Roloff for $25.00

The total value of this months box is $11.99.  Wow right on the money with this.  I love the fall because that's when you start seeing all the spices and pumpkin flavored goodies come out.

Verdict: overall I love my Love with Food boxes so it's a keeper    

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Love with Food.  I purchase these subscriptions myself.