Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Even though I rarely ever  have any plans, Halloween is my favorite holiday.  J and I usually get dressed up just for ourselves and to take pictures, then change into pajamas and have a horror movie marathon.

My second favorite "holiday" is the day after Halloween, when all of the candy and decorations are on sale at Target. ;)

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October Bulu Box Review

The Box: Bulu Box (Regular)
The Cost: $10/month (less with a longer subscription)
The Goods: Choose between Weight Loss or Regular options and you'll get 4-5 health and nutrition product samples. You can also earn points to spend in their shop by reviewing the samples you receive. 

Probium Probiotics - For Kids!: ($.73)  I got this same sample last month.  I still don't have any use for kid's probiotics.

Natrol SAMe: ($10.99)  I'm not familiar with SAMe, but these seem to get good reviews. 

Kind Organics Women's Multi: ($1.23)   These are actually made with organic fruits and vegetables.  It's nice to be able to understand all of the ingredients listed on a vitamin for a change!

Barlean's CoQ10 Swirl - Island Fruit: ($.19)  This is the token non-vegetarian-friendly item this month, so I won't be using it.  "CoQ10 Swirl" doesn't sound overly appetizing, anyway.

Nuvia Coffee: ($1.33)  Right.  So...these say that they're made with "ganoderma."  I have no idea what that is, but it's totally not what I thought it said when I first glanced at it.  Anyway, it's instant coffee that's supposed to give you energy and suppress your appetite.  You know, like coffee.

Power Pak Pudding Fit & Lean - Dutch Chocolate: ($2.50)  There's something about sugar free, lactose free, protein added pudding that's a little...scary.  I'm going to make J try this first, then I might taste it based on his reactions.

Total Value: $16.97

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October iJustine Fancy Box Review

The Box: iJustine Fancy Box
The Price: $39 + shipping
The Goods: $80+ worth of Fancy goodies curated by iJustine.

Zombie Disguise Shirt: ($19)  This shirt is really cool, but unfortunately the size they sent was waaay too big.  (Even though my size was listed in my subscription notes...)  I emailed Fancy about it and hopefully they'll help me out in getting the proper size.

The front of the shirt flips up to reveal a zombie face.  It's definitely not to be worn without an undershirt!

Cold Blooded Ice Cube Tray: ($6.99)  I'm actually really excited about this.  I won't be using it for ice, but I think it'll be an awesome candy mold.  Perfect for chocolate that bites back.

The Vampire Combat Manual: ($15)  I'll never complain about receiving a book in a subscription box.  I plan on reading this, along with the book from this month's Loot Crate, this week to get in the Halloween spirit.

Box o Zombies: ($7.99)  This is essentially a box of little toy soldiers...except that they're a zombie army!  I'm going to see if J wants to put them in his collection of cool geeky stuff.  Otherwise, they'll be swapped or gifted.

Freaky Fangs: ($10.52)  J already claimed these and has been wearing them randomly - both at home and in public.  He said they're not the highest quality teeth, but he's having fun with them anyway.  (Like I've said before...he's 27 going on 6...)

Gama Go Bite Me Bottle Opener: ($9.99)  I'm surprised that this came with a keychain attachment because it's actually really heavy.  I'm all about unique barware - we have skull shotglasses and a shaker labelled Poison.  Basically, it's Halloween 24/7 in our house.

Undead Fred Cookie Cutters: ($10)  These are great, but I'm definitely going to need to work on my decorating skills if I want them to actually look like zombies.

Total Value: $79.49

I have really mixed emotions about this box.  On the one hand, it's all really cool stuff that I'll actually use.  On the other, if I didn't know this was curated by iJustine, I'd never guess it.  It would be cool if she would do a monthly video to accompany this box, explaining her curating process and why she chose each item.

Disclaimer: This post contains referral links.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Favorites - Saving Money While Shopping Online!

I'm the type of person who would be happy to never have to leave the house for anything.  As such, I do probably 90% of my shopping online.  Amazon Prime is easily the greatest thing ever.  (It's also the biggest enabler of my tendency to be a hermit.)  Here are a few of my favorite ways to save a little more on my online purchases:

Ebates Button:  I try really, really hard to remember to use cash back websites.  On the best of days, I'll go through and compare the cashback percentages that Discover CashbackMyPoints, and Ebates all offer.  However, sometimes I get so excited about ordering something (don't judge me) that I forget about them entirely.  By adding the Ebates Button to my browser, a notification bar pops up any time I visit a website that Ebates supports, reminding me to activate the Cash Back offer.

CamelCamelCamel:  Amazon prices are more tumultuous than middle school relationship statuses. Before I buy ANYTHING from Amazon, I check CamelCamelCamel.  You just copy and paste the link to the item you're interested in and you can view the history of item's price to make sure that you're getting a good deal.  You can also input your desired price and CCC will send you an email when that item hits it.

Shoptagr: Shoptagr might be my favorite discovery of the past few months.  It works a little bit like Pinterest: you find an item you like, then "Tag" it to one of your lists.  When one of your tagged items goes on sale, Shoptagr will send you an email with the details - including, if necessary, the discount code.

I mean, honestly...sometimes I wonder why people shop in stores at all anymore!

Disclaimer: This post contain referral links.  This post is not sponsored - I'm just a fan!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October Loot Crate Review - Fear

The Box: Loot Crate
The Price: $13.37 plus shipping
The Goods: 6-8 items perfect for a geek or gamer with a total value of $40+.

October's theme was "Fear."  The Loot Crate Magazine cover was printed in 3D, so the crate came with little 3D glasses.

 Dead Rising 3 SledgeSaw Pen: ($12?)  This is a Loot Crate exclusive, so that's a SWAG price.  We had no idea this was a pen until just now, when I was flipping through the booklet.  We thought it was just a cool little prop!

Slashes & Bites Tattoos, Toxic Waste Candy, Skin for Smite: ($2?, $.07, $7.99) Neither of us play Smite currently, but J said he might download it and give it a try.  J and I both usually just use makeup for our horror looks, but we might play around with these tattoos,  too.  Probably sometime after Halloween.  Because we're crazy like that.

How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters: ($9.57)  J and I both enjoyed the Sharknado movies, and this book is pretty amazing.  Some of the other disasters that they cover include Boaricanes and Beeclipses.  We both plan to read this ASAP so that we're prepared!

SuperEmoFriends "Oh, Brother" Print: ($15)  I'm not sure how something can manage to be adorable and depressing and terrible and amazing all at the same time, but this does.

The Walking Dead #132: ($2.99)  Okay, is this guy supposed to look like a zombie basketball player, or is it just me?  Anyway.  Since this is a Loot Crate exclusive cover, I was once again put under orders not to open the packaging.

Super 7 Death By Kitten Tee: ($30)  You've got to be kitten me.  This shirt is purrfect! J pulled it out of the box and instantly knew that he would have to let me claim it.

Total Value: Over $65 (Maybe close to $80?)

Listen, the shirt is so epic that I couldn't care less if J liked anything else in his box.  Fortunately, he said the box overall was a win.  It isn't his all time favorite, but it's still one of the better ones we've ever gotten.

Disclaimer: This post contains a referral link.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Jinx Mysterious Bag of Mystery Women's: Giganto Edition (#1)

The Box: Jinx's Giganto Mysterious Bag of Mystery
The Cost: $30 (one time purchase)
The Goods: Over $90 worth of items.  Could be anything from hoodies to toys to stickers - all from the Jinx store!

 The Women's bags are a fairly new addition to their mystery line up and I just HAD to try my luck!

Alliance Zip-Up Hoodie: ($54.99)  Interestingly, this is a "unisex" (read: men's) hoodie.  Unfortunately, my true love is the Horde, so I probably will try to gift/swap/sell this.  (Side note: I noticed one downside to the awesome new burlap bags they've started using.  The fibers get EVERYWHERE.)

Alliance Sticker Pack: ($1.99)  Like I said, I'm much more of a Horde girl, but I also like pretty much any and all stickers so I won't complain about this!

Minecraft Foam Pick Axe: ($19.99)  Do I have any practical need for this?  Nope!  Do I love it anyway? Hell yes!  I play with the foam Minecraft stuff every time we go to Target but always convince myself to be a grown up and not buy any of it.

Minecraft Run Away! Tee: ($21.99)  I.  Love.  This.  It makes me smile.  It also makes me really want to go play Minecraft.

Total Value: $98.96

Well, I totally ordered another Women's bag in addition to this one.  Look for that review soon!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Favorites - Money Saving Grocery Apps!

Along with my decreased spending for October, I'm also looking for new ways to save more on the money that I *do* spend.  Aside from mortgage and utilities, the single category that I have regularly have the highest spending in is groceries.  I've tried a lot of things to save money on groceries.  Coupons get forgotten and left behind, then expire before I can use them.  Meal planning fails because, well, I have a hard enough time deciding what I want to eat for dinner *tonight* - never mind four nights from now.

The ONE thing that I have been able to keep up with doing regularly for the past couple months is using grocery savings apps.  They all work the same general way: purchase items from their list of offers, then upload copies of your receipt to the app and redeem said offer!

Snap by Groupon:  Snap is the most recent addition to my app collection.  It is my least favorite of the three, but still worth using.  The offers they give are often limited in the number of people who can redeem them, so if you see one you like, you'd better use it fast!  It's also been the slowest one to approve receipts.  The last one I submitted took 8 days to process.
Minimum for redemption: $20
Method of payment: Check

Checkout 51: Checkout 51's offers run from Thursday-Wednesday.  They also limit the number of people who can redeem a particular offer, but I've always been able to redeem everything I actually wanted.  You can also star the offers you're most interested in buying and it keeps a running total of how much you'd get back if you purchased all of your favorites.
Minimum for redemption: $20
Method of payment: Check

Ibotta: Ibotta is my favorite of the three.  In addition to the grocery savings, they periodically have rebates for clothing stores, restaurants, and pet stores.  The offer redemption process is a little more involved than with the other two, though.  Some offers require you to take a poll or watch a short video, but they're rarely long enough to be annoying.  You also are required to scan the barcode of each product before uploading your receipt.  If it's so involved, why is it my favorite?  There are usually more rebates to choose from, plus you can earn extra rewards from bonus trophies (like buying purchasing items from a certain brand on two separate trips.)  The cash redemption itself is also the simplest.
Minimum for redemption: $10
Method of payment: Paypal, Venmo, or partner gift cards like Starbucks and iTunes

 Now, some General Tips:
  • You can redeem offers on as many apps different as you want!  By mixing and matching app offers, you can make the most of your rebates.
  • Most rebate offers have no minimum price for redemption, so you can stack sale prices + coupons + rebates for maximum savings!
  • Finally, don't buy something just because it's a good deal.  If you're not much of a cracker person, don't buy them just because you can get $3 back!  It may sound obvious, but I have a tendency to get the "But it's so cheap!!!" bug.  Saving money on things is only helpful if it's things you'd have bought anyway.
There are others out there, of course, like Walmart's Savings Catcher, but these are the three I personally use.  If there are other apps for saving money on groceries that you think I should check out, let me know!  Unless they're only available on iTunes.  In which case, don't taunt me.

Disclaimer: This post contains referral links.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October Ipsy My Glam Bag Review - Beauty Candy

The Box: Ipsy
The Price: $10/month
The Goods: 4-5 full and deluxe-sample sized beauty products chosen based on your beauty profile.

This month's theme is "Beauty Candy."  I'm not entirely sure that I understand that as a theme, but okay.

Figs & Rouge Shea Butter Hand Cream - Rose Berry: ($6.56)  The packaging of this is really pretty.  I'm not usually a fan of rose-based scents, so I'm going to put this in with my grandmother's birthday gifts.

Ecru New York Acacia Protein BB Cream: ($12)  I actually have a friend who is way more into hair products than I am, so I'm going to pass this on to her.  I just don't use products as much as I probably should.

Jesse's Girl Mineralized Baked Powder Eye Shadow - Plum Frost: ($3.99)  Honestly, I don't have high hopes for this.  The last Jesse's Girl product they sent me - eye liner - was a massive disappointment.

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths: ($5)  I love Skyn Iceland and I'm a big fan of cleansing cloths in general, so this is easily my favorite item this month.

Starlooks Lip Gloss - Guilty Pleasure: ($3?)  I'm not sure what the actual value of this is since I can't find the size info on the full size.  It's a super cute size, though.

Total Value: $30-ish

Like I said, I have no idea where the theme comes into play.  This isn't exactly my favorite month, either.  I am happy with the Skyn wipes, however, and the hand cream will make a nice addition to my grandmother's gift, so it's not a total loss!

Disclaimer: This post contains referral and/or affiliate links.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jinx Mysterious Bag of Mystery Men's: Giganto Edition Review #3

The Box: Jinx's Giganto Mysterious Bag of Mystery
The Cost: $30 (one time purchase)
The Goods: Over $90 worth of non-tee items.  Could be anything from hoodies to toys to stickers - all from the Jinx store!

Since the last time I ordered one, Jinx has updated the actual bag the goodies are sent in.  Look at this awesomeness!


Half Life 2 Black Mesa Bracelet: ($7.99)   Honestly, this might have been one of J's favorite things from any Jinx bag so far.  He collects bracelets like this, so any and all are wins to him.

Gamer Patch: ($3.95)  I've been kicking around the idea of putting a bunch of patches on one of my old denim jackets.  If I wind up going for it, I'm totally stealing this from J.

Minecraft Light Up Torch: ($24.99)  This is going to be super awesome in J's geek cave.

World of Warcraft Panda Zip Up Hoodie: ($54.99)  I literally squealed when J pulled this out of his bag.  He offered to let me have it, but I told him that we could share it.  I'm a sucker for crazy hoodies.

Total Value: $101.92

I mean, come on.  How could I complain about this bag?  I could J* complain?  The only thing that might not be used is the Gamer patch, but I'm sure that we'll find a use for it somewhere.

Disclaimer: This post contains a referral link.