Everyone loves free! I love going to my mailbox and finding a box of goodies waiting for me. Last week, I received my sample box sent to me by the good people at SampleSource. Twice a year they send out a box of goodies and then follow up with a questionnaire via email a few weeks later to get your opinions. I don't mind answering a few questions in order to get to try out some new products, or to re-visit some familiar ones.
Without further ado, here is what I received in my fall sampler:
Seven samples in all, three edibles, three beauty related and one for the home. Needless to say, the edibles disappeared pronto! Hubby was working from home the day these arrived, so we shared a bite before the kids made it home from school!
We'll start with the Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai with Blueberry candies.
I was a little apprehensive to try these. I am not a big fan of 'jellies', and covered in chocolate kinda made me even more put off. However, these were delicious! David and I had to fight over the last few. Not too sweet, with a thin coating of dark chocolate that adds just the right hint of cocoa. These are definitely a buy!
A 2 lb bag goes for $15.50 on Amazon.ca
Brookside's website is found here.
Kelloggs sent a sample of their Special K Cookies & Creme Pastry crisps along with a coupon. Coupons are great to find in these sample kits, because if you enjoy your sample, it's really nice to also get a discount when you go out to buy the product.
I was not too fond of this. The flavor was okay, it tries to mimic an Oreo cookie, but something in the texture is off. It's soft and crispy at the same time, which seems just wrong. Although it was chocolatey and sweet, I just couldn't get over the mouthfeel, and so this item is a pass for me.
A box of 10 pouches (2 per pouch) sells for under $3 at Walmart.
Kelloggs' website is found here.
Hershey's contribution was a full size milk chocolate with almonds bar. Can you say yum? This is a chocolate bar that has been on the market for quite some time, but I'm guessing they're sending these samples out because they're trying to promote their new 'Bar & a Half' size. Whatever the reason, I was happy to get this, and it was as delicious as ever! Smooth and creamy, with just the right amount of whole roasted almonds in the bar, this is a classic that never gets old. I have purchased this item in the past and I will continue to do so in the future.
A regular sized bar will cost you about $2.00.
Hershey's website can be found here.
Next item is the Finish Power and Free with Hydrogen Peroxide dishtab sample. I received one tab (good for one load of dishes) along with a $2.00 coupon. I have received Finish samples before, and they do give you a good clean on your dishes. However, I recently tried out Cascade Platinum and so far, nothing else comes close to the clean I get from them. So thank you for the sample, but it's not good enough to switch.
A 60 count box will run you about $20.00.
Visit the Finish site here.
No sample box is complete without some shampoo and conditioner samples. Usually it's Pantene or Dove, so it's nice to see something I haven't actually tried yet. John Frieda Luxurious Volume Touchably Full. I swear, the names for these products get longer and longer every year! This is something I need! I'll be trying this out and see how it stacks up against the others - I've tried out a lot of hair products!
Each bottle will run you about $9, so you're looking at just under $20 for the shampoo (250ml) and conditioner (250ml).
Visit the John Frieda site here.
Also received a Biore Nose strip. Although I do really enjoy the mystery of trying out a new product, it is nice when you get a box of samples and there are old favorites mixed in with the new. This is one of those products. I have been using Biore strips for my chin and nose for years, and will continue to do so. Although a little painful when it comes time to peel them off, they're easy to use and I feel good about my weekly 'deep clean' with Biore. I have purchased this product, and I will continue to do so.
They're not cheap, though. A box of 8 costs around $8.
Visit Biore's site to learn more.
And last, but definitely not least, Jergens Ultra Care Moisturizer, or hand cream to us laypeople. They also sent a $1 off coupon, which is really nice. I am always on the lookout for good cream, especially withe the winter looming - we Canadians know just how dry our skin gets during the long winter here. I'll try this one out and let you know in a future post whether it's worth your money.
Cost is about $4.50 for 100ml bottle.
See Jergens' website here.
All told - a great sample box! I received a really good mix of old and new, food, beauty and home. SampleSource is a great site to sign up at if you enjoy getting samples.
All opinions expressed in this blog are my own, unbiased after testing the product(s). All product was offered free of charge with an expectation of a review within this blog, favorable or otherwise.
So last time I gave you a list of websites that offer free stuff for free. This post deals with sites that offer product testing. Although you do get free stuff (no sample sizes here!), you are required to test out the product for a specified amount of time, then log into your account and answer a survey and/or give a review of the product. Items I have personally been sent to test include toys, household cleaners, food and beauty products. Some products sent are new to the market, so you'll be among the first to try it out, and some you'll already recognize - the client wants direct feedback regarding a product already out there. The surveys can be really short (about 15 minutes) or longer (survey + reviews required), but here's the thing, you received the product for free, the least you can do is give them a half hour of your time to let them know how the product fared. Always be honest! If you loved the product, let them know. If it fell apart or gave you diarrhea, let them know that also. And try to be descriptive... don't just give one word answers. With most of these sites I've listed, if you don't answer the surveys or give them the proper amount of participation, you won't receive any more opportunities. Remember that there are thousands of people who are more than happy to get that item, test it and then let the world know their opinion.
A note if you blog or before you share your thoughts on social media - check the fine print. It may be necessary to report to the place that sent you the sample prior to any other posts. Even if it isn't, it's just good practice to give them your premier thoughts - then move on to your friends, family and followers.
Without further ado, I present (in no particular order) the following (as usual, all links open a new window) sites:
Bzz Agent - Sign up, fill in your profile and get ready to answer LOADS of questions about pretty much anything and everything. On the plus side, the "surveys" that must be filled out on the site are only between 1-4 questions long, so even though it looks like a crazy amount of surveys, they are done pretty quickly. Once you're done with that, you need to keep checking back for more surveys to answer and to get to know your way around the site. Once you get chosen (based on your profile and survey answers), you'll receive your BzzKit in the mail - and the campaign begins! You'll either receive a product gratis or a coupon for whichever product you'll be buzzing about. The coupon gets you the item free and I believe that they are issued whenever you have to buzz about food or other perishables that cannot be mailed directly. One campaign of mine was for yogurt and the other for pork, so I received coupons. You'll also receive a kit giving you tips on how to spread the word once you've tested the product and coupons to give out to friends, family and whoever else you want. You'll have to report back about the different ways you're engaging others in conversations about your product. Even if you didn't like the product or it didn't work well for you, they want your honesty at all times.
Be Free For Me - Great site for those who have food allergies. Sign up and fill out a few simple questions. They'll email you coupons and mail you samples every now and then of new food products geared toward those who suffer from allergies and/or celiac disease to test out and give your honest opinion.
Parent Tested Parent Approved- Sign up for testing opportunities if you have kids at home. You have to be available to pick up the product(s) you'll test at their Concord, Ontario office. They are actually a US company, so be aware that any contests you see on their blog (congrats-a-thons) or Facebook page are only open to US residents. Canadians are only eligible for the product testing. Fill out your profile and one for your child(ren) and wait for an email when you get matched up with a product.
Readers Digest - Fill out a form, answer a few short questions and if they match you up with an opportunity to test a new product for them, you'll get an email. Pretty easy and straightforward. And come on, who hasn't heard of the Readers Digest Magazine?
Influenster - This one is a little weird. I signed up for it very recently and really can't make a whole lot of sense out of it. The premise is that you sign up, write a bunch of reviews, get your 'influence' score up and hopefully qualify for a Vox Box full of full sized products to test. Apparently they have recently done a makeover of the site, because all the info I have managed to glean from the web on how best to qualify for a box seems to give me advice on things that don't seem to be on the site (maybe I just can't find it?) any longer. I spent a lot of time writing reviews of movies that came out 15 years ago and products that have been out forever. I also had to refresh the selection numerous times before I even found something I'd heard of. Suffice it to say I have not received anything from this site, but it's worth a try as people DO get these boxes, they sent a batch out earlier this month and I have found YouTube videos from May and March of this year of people unveiling their boxes.
Home Tester Club - Just sign up, fill out some info and wait. They'll send you an email to let you know when they have a product to send you for testing. I have received quite a few items from this one to try out. Once you test out the product for the specified amount of time, just head on over to the site, log in and fill out a survey with your comments and a brief review of the product. They'll also send you an email with a direct link to your survey around the time your review is due.
Product Testing Services - Sign up and wait for an email invite to participate. You'll get a screener email first, then if you qualify you'll get details about the project. Note: So far I have only received invites to join survey panels, which I think are a complete waste of my time and energy. You may have more luck.
Beta Test Beauty - Along the same lines as the previous entries on this list, you sign up, fill out a basic questionnaire and wait for word that you've been selected to test out new products. This one is focused on higher-end beauty products and pays between $10-$20 for each survey completed (and you get to keep the product). I have been signed up for this one for quite a while and haven't heard anything from them. Perhaps they did not like my questionnaire answers (I do not spend $250 on beauty products each month and I don't lie about it), I don't know. However, an online search trying to see what testers have previously received got me nowhere - lots of people are using the beta test beauty title, but the items are from other (US-only) companies, but again, can't get anything if you don't try, right?
Parents Canada - This one is affiliated with Disney. Fill out a questionnaire and sign up and wait for email invites, same as most. You'll get to keep the product you test, as with all the others, and they also do draws to win other items that have already been tested by others (leftovers maybe?).
Chick Advisor - This one requires some work. You sign up, fill out your basic questionnaire and then you need to review products you have already tried out (at least 5) to show that you're serious and willing to let people know your opinion on the products you use. Once you're active enough, you can begin to apply for products they have available for testing. You need to actively check the website for the offers and apply. If you're chosen, they'll let you know by email. You can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter to find out when they have new testing products available.
That's it for the product testing websites I have found (and belong to) which offer product testing to Canadians. They're real and I do not get any sort of referral points or gifts if you click my links.
Again, thank you for visiting, if you know of a great (legitimate) product testing site which includes Canadians, leave it in the comments section. Feel free to forward a link to this blog to your friends - let's all enjoy the free!
Everyone likes getting free stuff, right? I know I do, and although the old saying is "nothing in life is free", I have actually found quite a few truly free things available online. I love the little surprises in my mailbox. It usually takes about two months before the sample actually arrives, so I've usually forgotten about it by then.
Today I thought I'd share my favorite go-to sites which list free stuff available to Canadians. As we all know, it's super easy to find freebies for US residents, but a little more difficult for us Canucks. While it's nice to get free stuff, you do have to dig a little and check often. It also depends on what kinds of things you're happy to get and what you're willing to do to get them. I am not a big coupon user, so I don't generally seek out those or sign up for rebate offers. I absolutely love getting samples, so whenever I see one I want, I dive right in. Usually you have to give them your name, address and whatnot. Understandable, since they're mailing you something. I do not give out my phone number, and if there's something I have to do (I dunno, spam email 50 friends or pay shipping), I usually just close the window and move on. If I have to like them on Facebook or follow on Twitter, I find that a small price to pay. It's so easy to unfollow or unlike later. That being said, here are some of my favorite sites, with which I have had lots of success. Keep in mind that there can be overlap, but there are also differences, so if this is something you're interested in, check all of them on a regular basis.
In no particular order (all links will open a new page so you don't have to leave me!) allow me to present:
Freebies 4 Her - All you have to do is sign up and every Thursday you get an email with offers. Most of the time it's the same-old same-old, but they do offer a goodie every now and then. A few times a month you'll get a special offer email, and those are the ones to really look for. These are the ones with pretty cool sample offers that are usually limited time - so jump on them. This one is great because you don't have to actively seek out deals, they come to you. All you have to do is choose the ones that interest you and click the link.
Canadian Free Stuff - Listing of freebies found around the web. This site also offers tabs to coupons, contests and the like. A nice thing about this site is that the offers are dated, so you'll know that if today is August 16th and the offer is dated February 2nd, the offer is most likely not valid any longer. This is one to check often, as new deals crop up all the time.
Free Stuff Finder - Same as above, a listing of what's currently available. They also offer coupons, contests and the like, but they do mix everything together, so just because you clicked the 'samples' tab, doesn't mean you won't also get a bunch of contests thrown into the thread. I just signed up for their email newsletter, and I'm guessing it'll be like the freebies4her one. This one also lists dates for the post, which is nice. I have seen a few who don't, and that can get a little annoying when you see something awesome, click the link, then realize it's two years old (happened to me lol). Be careful if you google this one - I ended up at the US site by accident and got so excited at what was on offer - then I realized I needed a ZIP code... I clicked 'Canada' and went to the correct version. The link above will take you to the Canadian site.
Save A Loonie - This one is VERY colourful, but if you look past the Vegas glitz, they do have some interesting offers available. It's pretty up to date and gives you expiry dates also. There are lots of ads and links, so you'll have to do a little maneuvering to find the actual freebies. It's another one where it's best you bookmark and check back often, as they are adding new stuff whenever they come across it.
Today's Free Stuff - Same as the previous ones - blog-style listing of freebies, samples, coupons, sweepstakes and reward sites. Offers are a also dated, and this one has a nice little feature of letting you know when an offer is expired. There's a listing of category-specific freebies (i.e. beauty, clothing, kids), but it's probably best to just look at the first page or two for the newest (read: not expired) offers.
Sample Source - Pure sample site. All you do is sign up, fill out a short profile survey and wait. 2-3 times per year you'll get an email letting you know that your sample pack is ready, all you have to do is log into the site, pick the ones you want the most (you get to choose a pre-set number from a list available), and check your mailbox for your freebies. So easy. These are brand-name samples like lotions, razors, haircare, household goods and the like. Most are sample sized, but I have received Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and Schick razors, which are (for obvious reasons) full-sized. I definitely recommend signing up for this one.
That's it for the freebie websites that I feel offer the best selection. They're real and I do not get any sort of referral points or gifts if you click my links.
Next time I'll give you a listing of my favorite product testing websites. Another great way to get (almost) free stuff.
Thanks for visiting, if you have a fave freebie site or run one, leave it in the comments section. Feel free to forward a link to this blog to your friends - let's all enjoy the free!
Recently I was sent a full size package of OXY Emergency Treatment Wipes from a product testing website I belong to (http://www.hometesterclub.com) to test out and review. As my testing period is over and I have already filled out my survey with the website, I decided to give you my own review of this product.
Although we did test this product every day for the requested two weeks, the product itself is intended for emergency spot treatment. In this respect, it does what it claims. There was a visible reduction in redness of the acne spots in within a short period of time (under 24 hours). Because this product comes in wipes in a packet which can be sealed repeatedly rather than as a wash or cream it is easier to use and that alone will enable your teen to use it on a regular basis. The wipes do tend to dry out quickly, however, since you're only using them on specific pimples, it's not really an issue, as you're usually done before they're completely dry.
The OXY wipes did dry my son's skin slightly, however, this is commonplace with acne treatments which contain acids and peroxides (this one contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide) and are easily remedied with some moisturizer. There is no stinging or tightness associated with our usage, so that was also a nice plus, as some acne products do sting when applied. These wipes are portable, easy to use and deliver on their promises. I would recommend this product and will purchase it in the future.
Product Rating: 4 smiles out of 5
Product Website: http://www.oxycanada.com/en/pages/products/Emergency_AcneVanishingTreatmentWipes.html
Product Type: acne control
All opinions expressed in this blog are my own, unbiased after testing the product. The product was offered free of charge with no expectation of a review within this blog, favorable or otherwise.
I received a free sample of Q Energy, an energy and health drink in powder form from a Canadian company based in North Vancouver.
What is Q? According to their website, qenergydrink.com, it "...offers clean energy, support for your health, improved performance... with high quality natural ingredients... approved by Health Canada."
Their packets come in three flavors: Lemon Lime, Wildberry and Orange. Although my sample pack came with three packets, I received no orange. It seems this is a new flavor for them, so it was possibly not in any sample pack at the time I made my request.
Now for the review: First off, I love the packaging, it's a cute little flip top with loads of product information that you generally do not get with samples. After reading the ingredients, I realized that I knew what most of them were and how to pronounce them, which is always a big plus in my book. Although the package states to mix (shaken, not stirred!) the powder into a 700ml bottle, I only had a 500ml handy, so I mixed it in and hoped for the best. Although I was quite cautious with my first sip (you know what that tastes like when you mix more than what you're supposed to), both flavors were quite mild and refreshing. Unlike other 'energy' drinks on the market today which are pretty much just sugar water, they were light tasting with just the right amount of flavor and sweetness. Mind you, I do not have much of a sweet tooth, and often water down my juice slightly.
The powder did mix in well, although I gave it a good shake before each drink because there was a bit of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. However, there was none left once the drink was finished, all of the product was consumed with the water. The first bottle was consumed cool-ish (warmed up quite a bit before I got to work) and the second ice-cold. Both were surprisingly good. Another plus - it doesn't have to be very cold to still be enjoyable.
I have a very high tolerance for caffeine, and subsequently I can drink coffee, Redbull or Monster and fall asleep within minutes. It goes without saying that I did not have very high hopes for any actual energy boost from this product. Well, I am happy to report that I was wrong. I drank my first bottle the sluggish morning after a sleepless night, and I'm glad I did. I was able to get through my day with a normal level of energy rather than trying to find a back room to curl up and sleep in. Since I was so exhausted to begin with, I did come down pretty hard around 2:00pm. After I drank the second bottle that day I perked up right away. No crash after bottle #2 thanks to a power nap between 2:00 and 3:00.
Just to make sure that the second non-crash bottle wasn't a fluke, I waited a few days and drank my third sample on a Saturday afternoon. Guess what? No crash. And a feel-good energy boost. All good on this energy drink. My only complaint is that when you tear the packaging, the hole is way too small and you have to coax the powder out of it. Not a big deal, at home I used scissors, but a little pain in the posterior if your out on the road.
So, long story short, I would definitely recommend Q Energy Drink to you if you enjoy the more sugary versions for the boost, if you lead an active lifestyle (it contains Vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, ginseng and ginko biloba among others, all good stuff), or to have on hand when you need a little pick-me-up. I know that I will purchase more of this product.
Where can you get your own sample? Head over to their website at qenergydrink.com and click on 'BUY Q'. You'll see the free sample pack. There is a $3.00 shipping fee, but as of this post they will give you a 15% discount on your first order with them. Not a bad deal considering they offer free shipping on regular orders across Canada.
Product pricing is very good. You can purchase single packets for $1.95, a 10-pack (single flavor) for $18.95 ($1.90 ea), a 20-pack (two flavors) for $35.90 ($1.80 ea) or a 40-pack mixer for $61.95 (1.55 ea). They also offer an auto-ship program, details are scant on the website, but they promise an even greater savings on the posted price.
Compare that to the canned sugar rush drinks you've been guzzling and the prices seem extremely fair, even if you factor in your own water bottle. If you use a re-useable bottle, it's even better.
Product Rating: 5 smiles out of 5
Product Website: qenergydrink.com
Product Type: energy drink
Product Origin: Canada
All opinions expressed in this blog are my own, unbiased after testing the product. The product was offered free of charge with no expectation of a review, favorable or otherwise.
Hi! I'm Sonja and I'm glad you're here! I'm happy to share some recipes and gardening tips with you while I let you know about great (or not so great) products, services, and media I encounter.
I'm switching it up! I'll be removing all ads from my site to give you a better reading experience when you visit. I have, however, set up a Ko-Fi page, where you're welcome to buy me a virtual coffee to sip while I bring you all the glories of Sonja World.
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