Thursday, September 27, 2012

Product Reviews

One of the coolest thing about couponing, in my opinion, is having the chance to try out different products that I would never otherwise buy becuase they are too impracticle for my stingy budget. It has been great to venture out from my few too-often-repeated cheap meals to newer and more exciting dishes, as well as indulge in some nice treats. Here are a few things I have tried over the past few months:

Kellogg's Cereals-
Krave: Oh my childhood dream of cereals come true. Graham cracker coating over ooey gooey chocolate filling? Yes, please! The only thing that could make this yummier would be a marshmellow drizzle :)
Bite Sized Shredded Wheat Cinnimon Roll Flavored: Definitely good. Expected a bit stronger cinnimon roll flavor, but it's definitely there. I'm a fan of regular shredded wheat cereal; I thought this was an improvement on the original flavor.
Crunchy Nut Caramel Flavor: This one didn't quite sit right with me. I thought it sounded great- sweet caramel, salty nut. But I thought it was a little too sweet. I liked the first few bites but eating a whole bowl was a bit much. Before the end I was wishing I hadn't poured so much-whereas I am usually pondering whether I can eat another bowl as I finish my cereal.

Kellogg's Fiber Plus Antioxidant Bars: DELICIOUS! Pretty much a candy bar with all kinds of goodness in it. It has plenty of fiber, a good bit of protein, but has a light crunchy texture. Sweet but not too rich. I especially recommend the Dark Chocolate Almond flavor.

Yoplait Simplait Yogurt: LOVED. These yogurts only have 6 ingredients, so you know what you're eating. They have a great, smooth flavor. Very creamy, almost like Greek yogurt. They are great for giving to Natalie- good source of milk fat and I can feel good knowing that she's not getting a lot of wierd preservatives and colors.

Progresso Recipe Starters: I was a little disappointed with these at first but now really like them as I am learning to appreciate them for what they are- starters. You definitely want to add some seasonings, maybe a little cheese, sour cream or whatnot depending on what dish you are making. But these little sauces are awesomely convenient and can taste great when incorporated into the rest of the dish. You can throw together any meat or vegetable with some pasta or rice and make a great dinner without too much effort. I think that they make a great base that gives enough direction and inspiration to get you started while leaving room for some creativity. The versatility of a can of cream of mushroom soup with classier flavors.

Post Mini-Churros Cereal: The box claimed that these could be compared to cinnimon toast crunch. I guess the flavor is all there, but unfortunately the texture leaves much to be desired. I know what a churro is. So, yes, I understand why the cereal bits are thick, light pieces, but the dense crunchy squares of cinnimon toast crunch add more than I realized. They're worth a try. I don't mind them certainly. But they are NOT a substitute for cinnimon toast crunch.

General Mills Milk and Cereal Bars: Tried Cinnimon Toast Crunch and Cheerios. Was not that impressed. They were okay, but the creamy milky layer was way too this and barely stood out from the texture of the cereal. The cinn toast crunch and cheerios are not even the forst ingredient. That would be crisp rice, the filler constituting most of the volume of the bar.They were a one-note, too-chewy, way-too-sweet bar. I would prefer a bowl of cereal. Or a rice crispy treat. These aren't quite as good as either.

General Mills Golden Grahams Treats: Finally admitting that these are treats, not implying they could qualify as breakfast, these actually were quite good. Smaller than the cereal bars, these candy-bar-like treats have all of the texture and flavor of a s'more. Well, Minus the tongue-scortching heat on the indise of the marshmellow and the crunch of dirt from dropping it on the ground.

Honey Bunches of Oats Fruit Blends: The peaches and strawberry had an odd tang, but the banana and blueberry flavor were alright. My biggest complaint is that they weren't that special. I mean, the original and almond flavors are great. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Smart Balance Buttery Spread with Canola Oil: I thought this was great. All the flavor of butter, but the oil mixed in keeps it healthier and, more importantly, easier to spread. I like it because it gets melty on toast and pancakes more easily than traditional margarine or butter sticks. I also baked with this several times and it worked just fine.

Wholly Salsa: By the makers of Wholly Guacamoley, these all natural salsas are delicious! They have a decent shelf-life for fresh salsa- about a month in the refridgerator (I'm going to try freezing some and we'll see how it does). being all-natual is a plus; the ingredients are pretty much all fresh vegetables and some citric acid. But they taste great. My favorite is the mango and roasted red pepper. They have one that comes with salsa on top and their guacamole on bottom and I really like the guacamole, but the pico de gallo salsa that comes on it is a little spicy for me. Actually, a lot of them are a little spicy, so if you like spice, these are totally for you! Hahaha. The inside of the label has a bunch of suggestions of different ways to try the salsa, which has been helpful since I went crazy and bought 14 of them. They have been on sale regularly at Kroger for 2/$3

Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta: These are a great compromise. I like to choose whole wheat pasta for the fiber but hate the gummy texture. This pasta tastes just like regular old white pasta but has more fiber. They come in a variety of noodle types- penne, spirals. And at the same cost as the regular white noodles and only slightly smaller size, these make it easy to choose a healthier pasta.

Biore Pore-unclogging Cleanser: Ooooooh! This stuff leaves me feeling so fresh! Definitely has kept my skin clearer than Olay Sensitive Foaming Facewash (Which is worthless. I do not recommend. Not only does it not foam, it doesn't seem to do anything....)

Biore Pore Strips: Though a bit overpriced to use on a regular basis at retail price ($6+ for a pack of 6), I was surprized to see that these work. They certainly don't remove ALL of your blackheads, but they do remove some. You can see the evidence on the strip!  Much faster and easier than trying to take on every pore on its own!

Crest 3D Whitening Mouthwash: The product touts visible results after one week. I used this as directed and saw no noticeable result after several weeks. It has a money-back guarantee, and so if I had kept my receipt, I could send it in for a refund. Not worrying about that since I paid so little, but at least you can get your money back if it doesn't work for you! The one thing I did like is that it is alcohol-free, i.e. does not make your mouth feel like this: "AAAAIIIIIIIIGGGHHHHHHHHAAAA!!!!!!!!!" I would definitely consider this and other alcohol-free mouthwashes for the purpose of oral hygeine. Just not whitening.

Organix Hydrating Tea Tree Mint Shampoo- Loved the smell, but this shampoo did not hydrate that well. I lean towards having dry hair and don't think that this helped at all. Aussie works better for me. I would go for the body wash, though. Organix body wash is luscious and yummy and I wish I had gotten it in the Tea Tree Mint Scent!

As I wrote this, I sat, sipping a bowl of Campbell's Gourmet Bisques Thai Tomato Coconut Soup and I have DEFINITELY got to stock up on more of these while the coupons are out. It was delicious. Delicate flavor, sweet and salty with a tiny hint of spice. Smooth, not too thick or thin. Small chunks of real tomato. It is not a condensed soup, but I would mix the soup with water 2:1. Helps it stretch and it tastes just as good. Add some rice and maybe a little chicken or sauteed onions and this could be a delicious dinner.

I am excited to try the stuff I bought and haven't used yet: Swanson Flavor Boosts, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, Egg Beaters Egg Whites, Pilsbury Grands Wheat Biscuits and Buitoni Fresh Pasta.

1 comment:

  1. So, you definitely need to go find a newspaper and become a columnist: you could write as a consumer affairs specialist, food critic, or something similar. Highlight what the good stuff are....