I've been getting so used to seeing samples in my mailbox that when there aren't any I feel sad. That was not the case yesterday. I opened the little door to see another box of samples from the good people at P&G!
This sample box contained two products from Olay: Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream and Sensitive Unscented Body Wash, along with shampoo and conditioner samples in Sheer Volume from Pantene.
First up, Olay Sensitive Unscented Body Wash.
According to Olay's website, this product:
I'm looking forward to trying it, as scent is important to me. More specifically, lack of it. I can deal with mild scents, but some products are way too perfumed for my comfort.
Since I received this exact sample in my Flare Beauty Box, here's what I said then: (Click here for my Flare Box unveiling)
Click here for Olay's website
And finally, shampoo and conditioner samples. At the rate I'm going these days, I'm not going to have to buy any for awhile! I like Pantene's products a lot, and I think this may be my second or third sample of this product (from different sources), so I'll have enough to really gauge whether Sheer Volume can actually give my straight hair some life.
According to Pantene's website:
There you have it, nothing really spectacular, but I'll get a little more time to try out the Olay cream and Pantene shampoo and conditioner. I haven't received body wash in a while, so that's all right. Free is always alright!
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.
Back in September I purchased a P&G Sample box (see what else I received here) from Wagjag and Tide Pods Free & Gentle was one of the samples I received.
They only sent one pod, so although I would have liked to test out one load of towels for the softness quotient and one load of whites for the stain-fighting aspect, I had to choose only one. I went with the towels because I figured I would be able to easily judge the difference between what came out of my dryer and what was already in the linen closet.
For reference purposes, I'll let you know that I washed the towels in cold water (as I do with my regular detergent) and I did use my usual fabric softener sheets in the dryer. My usual brands are Purex and Gain, respectively.
Before I get into my analysis, here's what this product can do according to P&G:
The towels were clean, soft and fresh, but was the difference really enough to justify the price?
With most things, there are pros and cons. The Tide Pods are pre-measured and easy to pop into the drum of your washing machine. You don't have to worry about spills, liquid detergent gunking all over the lids or powder leaving a layer of dust on everything in your laundry room. You won't use too much or too little - that problem has been solved for you.
My towels came out just as clean and soft as ever, so Tide delivers on the promise of clean. There's no heavy scent - in fact there's no scent at all, but I find that the detergents I use rarely have a lasting scent anyway. I rely on my fabric softener to take care of that job.
As for the pre-measured pods - I prefer to use as much or as little as I feel I need. Sometimes I'm only doing a small, quick load, and using a pod seems like it may be a waste to me.
Since it does the job, let's take a look at the economics for a moment. Times are tough and saving a few pennies on something you have to buy and use on a regular basis matters to me.
As I mentioned previously, my regular detergent is Purex. It offers 96 loads at about 13 cents a load. Let's say it's been a really dirty month (which rarely happens in this house full of couch potatoes) and I used double portions of detergent every time I did a load and only got 48 loads out of that particular bottle. That would average out to 27 cents a load. That's not going to happen, and the truth of our usage is probably somewhere in-between.
Tide Pods Free & Gentle offers 72 loads at about 36 cents per load. What you're paying for here is convenience. It's the same reason a bag of chips costs more at the gas station than at the grocery store. If you prefer this format and are willing to pay the price, you will definitely get clean clothes.
You may also be concerned with allergies, in which case this may be an option for you, but this product is also available in a liquid form which equals out to about the same cost per load as the pods (unless you're buying the small bottle and using extra, then the cost is shocking: almost 60 cents a load!)
Found you a fantastic $2.00 off coupon courtesy of the coupon sherpa!
My final word is that this product does what it says, but I am not willing to pay anything extra for it. I would recommend it to those who have allergies and don't mind paying a premium for their detergent.
Product Rating: 4 smiles out of 5
Product Website: www.pg.com
Product Type: laundry detergent
Would I purchase?: no
Would I recommend?: *yes - see final word
All opinions expressed in this blog are my own, unbiased after testing the product(s). The product was received as a sample (I paid for shipping). The subject of this blog entry has no expectation of a review, favorable or otherwise.
I have a terrible time finding products that work with my hair. My hair is the worst combination of all the things you could possibly find wrong with hair. It's dry and full of static at the ends, oily at the roots, falls out when I wash, condition, or brush it, and tangles if you just look at it. Let's just say I've tried my fair share of hair products over the years. Some have been okay, some pretty good and others just made one problem or another worse.
Thanks to BzzAgent and the fine folks at Pantene, I received a free, full-sized set of Pantene's new Pro-V line, Ultimate 10 to try out in exchange for my opinion. On Tuesday I received a 375ml bottle of shampoo, a 375ml bottle of conditioner and a 151ml bottle of BB creme and was so excited to try it out that I put two pumps of the BB creme into my dry hair right away. First off - this stuff smells amazing! I mention every time I post a review that scent is incredibly important to me. I have a sensitivity to it, and if it's really strong I get headaches and if it's really bad, my lungs burn.
As soon as the BB creme came out of the tube, there was a very pleasant aroma, light, flowery and not overpowering. My hair is pretty long, so I used two pumps, one on each side and worked it into my hair. The creme is not greasy and worked into my hair well, and I didn't feel the need to go wash my hands after. There was really no effect right away, but when I ran my hand through my hair about five minutes later it already felt softer, smoother and there were no tangles. What I said earlier about my hair tangling was no exaggeration - my hair really does tangle constantly. That I could still run my fingers through my hair was a good sign. The fragrance also lingers - I got to smell it every time I moved my head.
By the time I went to bed I was really, really surprised... no tangles! You have no idea how happy that made me. I cannot remember the last time I was able to run my fingers through my hair without encountering a rat's nest. This BB creme is truly amazing!
This morning I washed and conditioned before using the BB creme. The shampoo lathered well and I did not have to use a whole lot - less than the size of a quarter. The scent is very light, as was the conditioner, which is good, because when every product you use smells strong, it's just too much. The shampoo rinsed out easily and my hair felt pretty good prior to conditioning. I used a dollop a little bigger than a quarter of the conditioner and worked it into my hair, leaving it in while I showered. Being able to use just a little is really important - I have long hair and some types of product need way too much to be effective at all. I don't want to go broke making my hair manageable. When I rinsed, I am sad to say that I did have considerable hair loss. Unfortunately this happens with 99% of all conditioners I use. It rinsed out very well with minimal effort and felt really soft, even at this stage. I towel-dried my hair, applied 2 pumps of the BB creme and brushed out my hair. Usually I do not brush my hair when wet - first off, it's nearly impossible thanks to the tangles and secondly, I lose so much hair that I don't want to start my day off in tears. This morning my hair was easily brushed. The hair loss was less than usual, but still there. All day my hair felt so soft, silky and clean. I absolutely loved it. On my drive home I did the ultimate tangle test - I drove with my windows down. Just to put this in perspective for you, when I do this, I usually have to tear my hair into sections and brush it out that way - it's pretty much knitted itself into a really, really ugly hat. That did not happen today. I came home and ran my fingers through my hair. A few tangles, but OMG, if nothing else, this feeling is worth the price.
All told - my verdict is that this system is pretty amazing. For people who don't have the hair fall issue, this is definitely for you. I'm going to try using just the shampoo and creme and maybe if I skip the conditioner I can still use this product.
The BB creme, however, is the best product I've ever used. This is something I would definitely recommend to everyone and it's going to be a regular in my hair care routine from now on.
You can't really see much difference in the top before/after pictures, but in the bottom close-up, I think you can tell how dull my hair looks before, shiny and smoother after. Remember, these afters were taken after a full day of work and a drive home with the windows down - without brushing.
Just so you know - Pantene Pro-V Ultimate 10 is a new line of hair care products formulated to give you these ten benefits in one bottle: Repair for Rough Hair, Strength Against Damage, Silky Softness, Brilliant Shine, Smoothing, Moisture, Frizz Control, Heat Protection, Manageability, Tamed Flyaways
Get your $2.00 off Pantene products coupon by clicking here.
Product Rating: 5 smiles out of 5 (I'd give the BB a 10!)
Product Website: www.pantene.com
Product Type: shampoo, conditioner, BB creme
Would I purchase?: absolutely
Would I recommend?: absolutely
Pantene Ultimate 10 Shampoo, Conditioner and BB Creme were sent free by the good people at BzzAgent and Pantene.
All opinions expressed in this blog are my own, unbiased after testing the product. The product was offered free of charge with the expectation of an honest review within this blog, favorable or otherwise
Yesterday I posted about the sample pack I got from P&G through WagJag. I decided to start with last night's dishes and the Cascade Platinum Pacs sample.
I usually use the Finish Powerball Tabs in my dishwasher. Yesterday I decided to dive right in and give these a trial by fire, since we had pasta for dinner and the sauce tends to get all over the place and there are times when I have to re-wash dishes after they've come out of the dishwasher. Did I mention that I am not a pre-rinser or pre-soaker? I'm not. I toss them in there at the end of the day and hope for the best.
According to Cascade's website, here is a description of this product:
I received the 'Fresh Burst' Scent. I sniffed the pac and it did smell pretty fresh. Not overbearing and perfumey, just nice. I popped it in with no pre-wash and let the little dishwasher elves work their magic. I got home from work today and peeked into the dishwasher to see if there was any difference from what I usually see.
You know what? There was! I was truly surprised to see a few differences from what I normally get. First off, it was so shiny inside my dishwasher. I guess this stuff works really well on stainless steel... I kinda want to smear it all over the outside of my appliances to see if I can get them that shiny on the outside! Secondly, I did not have to pick one speck of dried, crusty food off of any utensil, dish or pan. That was a pleasant change. I saved the best for last: There was no gross film on the bottom of my glasses! Every bloody time I empty the dishwasher there's a little dried pool of yuck on the bottom of each and every glass that was sitting in my top rack. Every one. So annoying and gross and sometimes I have to re-wash them because there is too much to clean off with a paper towel. That did not happen with this load. I don't know if that was a fluke (I'm glad they sent me two sample pacs, tonight I'll use the second and see if I get the same result), but this stuff really, really seems to work! Just to be fair and impartial, I usually try to post something I didn't like, but I can't think of one thing. I was really, really pleased with the results and will absolutely be switching from my usual brand to the Cascade Platinum.
Product Rating: 5 smiles out of 5
Product Website: www.cascadeclean.com
Product Type: automatic dishwasher detergent
Would I purchase?: absolutely
Would I recommend?: absolutely
All opinions expressed in this blog are my own, unbiased after testing the product(s). The product was received as a sample (I paid for shipping). The subject of this blog entry has no expectation of a review, favorable or otherwise.
I subscribe to WagJag not because I necessarily need to buy 78 lbs of ground turkey for 65% off the regular price of my firstborn but because sometimes they'll have something really interesting on offer. One such interesting thing showed up about a month ago, where they were offering a sample box from P&G for the cost of shipping: $6.00. Well, any person who has been reading this blog knows that I love samples, getting stuff for little or no money and I enjoy testing out new products and letting all of you in internetland know how it worked.
So, there's the offer:
I think they were being a little generous when they posted an 87% discount from a value of $46.00. I did the math and I could only account for $15.21, but this type of WagJag math is not unusual. I believe they were factoring in full-sized product pricing, when the Pantene, Tide and Cascade are all sample sized. Considering I was guaranteed a full-size mascara and razor, I was willing to pay the $6.00 to get it shipped to me.
I got my sample box today! Here's what I received:
Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Detergent With Dawn Grease Fighting Power sample pack containing 2 packs - estimated retail value of actual product received = $0.78
According to their website: Cascade Platinum Pacs give your dishes the ultimate clean and sparkle. They scrub away tough 24-hour stuck-on food and the advanced formula also helps prevent residue on your dishes and filming in your dishwasher.
It's also not available for purchase in retail stores yet, so that's kinda cool.
CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara, Very Black 800, full size - estimated retail value of actual product received = $7.79
According to their website: Get a blast of bold, volumizing mascaras! LashBlast's patented volume-boosting hypoallergenic mascara formula and patent-pending brush are designed to max out each and every lash, leaving you with the ultimate big-lash look. Now in waterproof, too!
Gillette Venus Embrace Sensitive Women's Disposable 5 Blade Razor, full size - estimated retail value of actual product received = $3.49
According to their website: The perfect match for sensitive skin, experience a closer shave and less irritation with 5 curve-hugging blades and 8 times more glide boosters. Discover why Venus is the #1 razor brand used by dermatologists.
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Power, full size - estimated retail value of actual product received: $1.68
According to their website: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Power will help you clean your tough messes inside and out. The water-activated micro-scrubbers reach into surface grooves, lifting away the toughest soils with water alone. And it's 50% stronger than Magic Eraser Original, which means it holds up to tough messes better. Try Magic Eraser® Extra Power on kitchen appliances, tiles and grout, and even grill grates, lawn furniture and more. With such an easy, great clean, you can get on to enjoying your favorite space to its fullest, whether that’s getting cozy in the kitchen or relaxing in the yard.
Pantene Pro-V Sheer Volume Shampoo and Pantene Pro-V Sheer Volume Conditioner, 50ml sample sizes (both) - estimated retail value of actual product received: $1.15
According to their website: Don't let your 'do deflate. Give it an all-day lift with zero residue. Get the ultimate in body and style with micro-boosters that provide manageability.
Clinically Proven Healthier Hair with Every Wash.
According to their website: Get full-bodied style without the weight. Condition for manageability, shine, and 24-hour volume.
Clinically Proven Healthier Hair with Every Wash.
Tide Pods Free and Gentle HE Laundry Detergent sample pack containing 1 pod - estimated retail value of actual product received = $0.32
According to the P&G website: New Tide Pods Free & Gentle provides a deeper clean than the leading Free detergent and the convenience of single-use pacs. This new entry joins the free & sensitive category, which has grown 20% in the last five years. For people with sensitive skin seeking a detergent free of dyes and perfumes, Tide Pods Free & Gentle provides a deep clean that leaves behind no dyes or perfumes on fabrics, for gentleness on skin.
Oddly, the Tide website only lists the powder for this product, not the pods.
So that's what my $6.00 got me, and I'm actually pretty pleased. I don't use any of these products, so I'm looking forward to trying them out and letting you know how it goes!
All opinions expressed in this blog are my own, unbiased after testing the product(s). The product was fully paid for by myself. The subject of this blog entry has no expectation of a review, favorable or otherwise.
I receive a referral reward for purchases made through any link within this entry. Thank you for supporting my sampling addiction.
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!
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.
Any & all of my posts may contain ads and/or affiliate links.
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