Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

My Favorite Issue of All You Ever

Sunday, September 29th, 2013


Because I’m so very frugal, I get free issues of All You magazine for review consideration. 😉

I just received my favorite issue of All You ever. When I pulled it out of my mailbox, the first thing I saw were these adorable Halloween crafts on the front. You guys know how much I love Halloween – I get ridiculously excited when I see fun Halloween recipe books or craft how-tos. Jai has been with me many times at the supermarket checkout when I’ll be marveling over the latest recipe for Ghost Shepherd’s Pie, or what have you. Before Pinterest, I used to buy these magazines pretty frequently – and I still love them, although I’m more pressed for time these days!

But then I flipped the magazine over:

The Voice!

Yep, an ad for The Voice! I have purchased magazines before just because they had a Maroon 5 article in them. So this magazine has Adam Levine, Halloween crafts, AND coupons! I can’t think of anything I could possibly add to make it better. 😉

August Issue & Back-to-School Special

I haven’t had much time to flip through magazines recently with all the traveling we’ve been doing. You’d think that being in a car for 5 hours would be the perfect opportunity for this, but ironically I’ve had my head buried in my iPhone most of the time writing work emails. I did, however, clip a cat food coupon out of August’s issue of All You for one of my friends who has cats and appreciates savings. I actually tucked a couple of cat food coupons into her birthday card, because that’s the exciting kind of friend that I am. 😉

All You also put out a Back To School issue filled with hints and tips for parents getting back into a Fall routine with their kiddos. There’s some yummy recipes in here also, along with a few coupons, although this is mostly a content-based special than a coupon-packed savingspalooza like the standard issues.

All You Magazine: Summer Issues Reviewed

Monday, July 29th, 2013

All You summer issues

I’m on a lot of press mailing lists, which means that I will receive promotional copies of magazines, DVDs, or other items for coverage consideration. As I mentioned recently, I’ve been getting complimentary issues of All You coming to my door this year, which is great for this coupon-clipping journalist. 😉 I’ve discussed this magazine on here multiple times as a coupon resource; I think the number of coupons that will be useful to you from each issue all depends on your proximity to Walmart and regional deals. I can’t always use the coupons from All You because the closest Walmart to me is 64 miles away and this town is notoriously slow in getting new products that I might see featured; it all depends on the issue and what I’m up to that month!

Here’s my thoughts on the summer issues of All You thus far:

June: With all the traveling I did over June, I didn’t even get a chance to sit down and clip out the coupons I wanted from this issue until last night. Sheesh! Anyway, I clipped out a coupon for Stayfree with a long expiration date that I will definitely be using soon.

July: I’m not immediately spotting any coupons from this issue that I know for sure I’ll use, but that all depends on what sales are going on. I never disregard a coupon until it expires, because you never know what sales are going to come up.

All You Summer Fun Special Issue: There were $27.75 worth of coupons in this, but I didn’t realize they had a fairly short expiration date; looks like they all expired on July 28th. Whoops! Oh well – I’m going to pass this on to Grandma next time I see her. She’s enjoyed reading these before, so I pass on issues to her once I’ve used the coupons. I would share my coupons with her too, but she doesn’t like to mess around with coupon shopping so I share deals with her in other ways!

The nice thing about All You is that there are a lot of recipes, household hints and general lifestyle articles that are fun to read after you’re done with the coupons. I seriously still have some issues in my magazine rack from 2010 that I need to finish looking through…

In other All You news, I was reading that this magazine is now being sold at Publix, so there’s an extra option for getting your hands on a copy now! Previously it was only sold through subscription and in Walmart/Sam’s Club stores.

Spring Shopping & Savings

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

This has been quite a memorable spring for us! As you know, Jai and I have been on the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger Panel since June 2012. I’m pleased to say that we just wrapped up the program and lost a combined total of 86.9 pounds, 13.9 BMI points and 55.7 inches! Yeah! Currently, we are transitioning off the program, eating Nutrisystem dinner entrees with our own lunches and breakfasts. Prior to our last week, I placed an order on Amazon in anticipation of our transition:

Breakfast & lunch bars

I ordered a Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Peanut Granola Bars – 48 Count Box (Amazon Associates Link) for $20.45 and two orders of Kashi TLC Cereal Bar 6-Count Boxes (Amazon Associates Link) for $12.80 each. I had some Amazon gift cards saved up, so it didn’t cost me anything out of pocket. I chose these because the portion size/calories and nutritional information match up with the type of things we’ve been eating on Nutrisystem, so these make for effortless breakfasts & lunches. Initially, I planned to do a big batch of freezer cooking before phasing off Nutrisystem; however, we are remodeling our kitchen this month, so I realized it just wasn’t going to be practical. Having the kitchen torn up is going to make food preparation a lot harder, so I wanted to go easy on myself the first month with pre-packaged foods that will be ready to go without any prep.

Shopping Trip - 3-3-13

In addition to the pre-prepared meals, we’ll be continuing to supplement with fresh foods as we have been on Nutrisystem. The photo above show an example of the type of things we’ve been picking up – eggs, brown rice, fruit & salad supplies. I snagged some savings on the Minute Rice and Dole Pineapple using coupons from the February issue of All You Magazine – I’ve been getting press copies of the magazine in the mail all year, which has been really handy. Since I run this site, I will often receive promotional items in the mail for review consideration; and I can’t think of anything more frugal than getting free coupons in the mail. 😉 I also used the January issue of All You to save on some cream cheese I bought at Walmart for a recent birthday party I hosted. Many of the coupons in All You are for products sold at Walmart – naturally, since the magazine is only sold in Walmart stores! – so it can be hit or miss whether I can use them or not, since I can’t get to Walmart often due to the distance; but I have still gotten some useful coupons from it. And of course it’s always fun reading the frugal articles and recipes!

Readers: Gotten any good deals this spring?

All You Smart Shopping Magazine Giveaway – 10 Winners – Ends 10/04

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

All You Smart Shopping

If you’ve been reading this site for long, you’re probably aware of All You magazine. I recommend it under my list of coupon resources, since every issue is filled with coupons. Thanks to the recent Eversave deal, Jai and I both have a subscription to it now! So when All You contacted me and asked if I’d like to check out a copy of their first-ever special issue devoted to smart shopping, I was very interested to have a look. But here’s the best part: 10 lucky Super Coupon Girl readers will each win a copy of All You’s Smart Shopping special issue, so read on for your chance to win!

The All You Smart Shopping special issue is a standalone magazine, meant to serve as a consumer guide to saving money. This special edition features articles with tips for saving money on household items, from food to appliances. Unlike the monthly installments of All You magazine, this special edition does not come with tons of coupons – there are only 2 coupons in this issue, both for other magazines. There are also some online coupon codes listed, but that’s it; I just wanted to be clear on this, so that none of my readers buy this solely for coupons and then become disappointed! The goal of this edition is that purchasing it will save you money because of the information contained, rather than providing a lot of coupons. So how does it stack up?

I enjoyed flipping through this magazine – I always like reading articles on ways to save money. No matter how much frugal know-how you have, you can still pick up a trick or two by continuing to read and observe. Most of this magazine contains fairly standard advice, at least for someone like me, who has been living frugally in one way or another my whole life. Some of the articles didn’t strike me as being very cost-effective at all; for example, there’s a section titled “Head-to-Toe Fall Outfits for $200 or Less”. I’m the biggest fashionista I know, but I have never spent that much money on a single outfit in my life – I’m the kind of person who buys cocktail dresses for .50 cents!

Another article of note was “Are you paying too much for convenience?”. In this, they break down the prices of pre-packaged foods versus the time spent preparing your own to see which is really most cost effective. I really like the premise of breaking down the numbers like this; the trouble is that prices vary so much from region to region, and pairing coupons with a sale can dramatically change which method is cheapest. But it’s good food for thought, and I think this kind of comparison can inspire readers to do some number crunching on their own!

All in all, I think this magazine would be the most useful to the frugal novice. I did, however, pick up a few ideas: For example, they provided a useful suggestion for making your own moldable ice packs, and I learned that there is a product you can buy called an “Oil mister”, which enables you to fill it with standard vegetable oil to create your own PAM-style cooking spray. Who knew!
My favorite section by far was the recipes – this magazine includes a recipe for a simple Three-Bean Chili that I really want to try!

Want a sneak peek inside this special issue? One of the magazine’s articles, “Tips for Buying Appliances”, is available to read online – click here to check it out.

Giveaway Time!

TEN Super Coupon Girl readers will each win a copy of the All You Smart Shopping special issue, valued at $4.97! Here’s how to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me: Have you ever bought an issue of All You magazine?

Want extra entries? Do any of the following, and leave a separate comment for each one:

2. Link to this post on your blog, then come back here and leave me the link!
3. Write about this on Twitter, then come back and leave me the link to your tweet! One Twitter entry per person. You can use the button at the bottom of this post to tweet with one click!
4. Post my button on your website – just copy and paste the following code, and let me know where you put it:

Rules, regulations, and other important stuff:
Giveaway ends on October 4th at 11:59 PM, PST. Winner will be chosen the following day via Giveaway is open to US residents. All You provided me with a complimentary issue for the purposes of this review.

Ann’s Bridal Bargains $100 Gift Certificate Giveaway – Ends 07/20

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Ann's Bridal Bargains

I was recently contacted by Ann’s Bridal Bargains, who asked if I would like to receive a $100 gift certificate to review their online boutique, as well as a gift certificate to give away on each one of my blogs. I’m all over anything that can help save money on bridal items, so I took them up on their offer! Using this gift certificate, I was able to get $100 worth of wedding supplies for just the cost of shipping; pretty nice savings. I’m going to share what I got and what frugal strategies I used to make the most of my gift card – and one of you will have the chance to win a $100 gift card of you own! Yay!

Bridal Bargains Order

Ann’s Bridal Bargains carry a nice selection of bridal supplies, from wedding invitations and save-the-date cards to wedding napkins, decorations and favors. My strategy for using this $100 credit was to buy pricier items that would be difficult to save money on otherwise. Something I’ve noticed during my wedding planning is that a lot of things marketed as bridal products could be sourced at non-wedding shops or made for less money. With that in mind, I looked for items that you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else, and chose a Silver Hearts Handle Knife and Server set and Dove and Bell Design Flutes as my two main items. I think the serving set is really elegant, and I love the “Bride and Groom” champagne flutes. Both of them are personalized with our names, and will be really nice touches at the reception, as well as keepsakes from the big day.

I still had some credit left to spend, so I chose this Elegant Damask Guest Book in Black and White as my third item. I really love the design and the fact that it holds 700 signatures. The inside of the book provides a space for guests to write their names and a short message, and thanks them for joining us on our special day, so I was pleased that the inside of the guestbook looked as nice as the outside.

At this point, my order was not quite $100, so I needed to add one more small item. I chose a Silver Plated Bell for $3.99 as my filler item, bringing my total to $100.05. Shipping was $8.95, so after my gift code I paid just $9.00 total. I got some really cute stuff for my wedding, so I’m happy with this “Bridal Bargain”!

Serving SetBride & Groom FlutesGuestbookBell

My items from Ann’s Bridal Bargains – click on the thumnails to see the photos full size

BONUS GIVEAWAY: I’m running a second giveaway for a $100 gift certificate over at Contest Corner, so click here to enter and double your chances! You can also read more details about the ordering process and see additional photos of what I bought.

Giveaway time!

One lucky Super Coupon Girl reader will win a $100 gift code to Ann’s Bridal Bargains! This code DOES NOT cover shipping, and you must add at least $100 in product to your shopping cart in order to redeem the code. Click here to view their shipping rates. Code will be emailed directly to winner. Here’s how to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post sharing a frugal wedding tip!

Want extra entries? Do any of the following, and leave a separate comment for each one:

2. Link to this post on your blog, then come back here and leave me the link!
3. Write about this on Twitter, then come back and leave me the link to your tweet! One Twitter entry per person. You can use the button at the bottom of this post to tweet with one click!
4. Post my button on your website – just copy and paste the following code, and let me know where you put it:

Rules, regulations, and other important stuff:
Giveaway ends on July 20th at 11:59 PM, PST. Winners will be chosen the following day via Giveaway is open to US residents. Ann’s Bridal Bargains provided me with gift certificates for review and giveaway in exchange for this coverage on my site.

Robby Wash Laundry Ball Giveaway – Ends 07/04

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Robby Laundry Ball

One thing regular readers might wonder about is how I save on laundry detergent, since you won’t often see it purchased during my shopping trips. The reason for this is that one of my jobs involves distributing products for a health & home care company, and one of the requirements to staying active in the company and receiving your commission checks is to purchase $100 in product each month. They specialize in dental products, but they also sell a few household cleansers, one of which is a laundry detergent. I purchase about 96 ounces of detergent each month to stay active in the company – and since my commissions are always greater than the amount I purchase, it earns me money and keeps me stocked up on laundry soap. So, now you see why I don’t buy detergent at the grocery store unless I have a free coupon!

I may have my own unique way for saving on detergent, but I’m all ears for other methods that could save my readers money. So when Oransi offered to give one of their Robby Wash laundry detergent balls away to one reader, I was happy to take them up on their offer! Read on for your chance to win!

Oransi also sent me one free laundry ball, so that I could try it out and give you my opinion on how frugal it is. Robby Wash is a small, reusable plastic ball which you fill with pellets. Here is the explanation of how it’s supposed to work, from Oransi’s website:

The Robby Wash ball uses a unique and patented worldwide technology to clean your laundry even better than the powder laundry detergents it was independently tested against. Its activated macromolecules are gradually released through the wash, dissolving dried-in stains by generating ions which activate the water molecules. This increase in the pH enables the activated molecules to penetrate deep into the fabrics and attach themselves to the stains. As the motion of the drum agitates the clothes, the stains come away easily from the fabric and dissolve in the water. Of all the systems on the market, Robby Wash’s effectiveness is tested, proven and guaranteed.

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of a soap-less approach to washing clothes, and wondered how well it would work. I decided to put the laundry stick to the test during the first load, since I had just the thing for it. I had spilled chili on my pajama tank top (right after I pulled it out of the dryer, no less!), and, to make matters worse, it had accidentally got thrown back in the wash without any stain remover on it, so the stain had gotten ground in. (Yes, it’s been one of THOSE weeks!) I decided to give the laundry stick a whirl on this very tough stain.


The laundry stick smelled very pleasant. I wasn’t clear on how long to leave it on, so I just let it sit for about 20 minutes while I finished other chores. Then I started a load of laundry with the Robby Ball and tossed the tank top in.

Tank top after stain removal

Hey presto – the stain is gone! Pretty impressive! Next time I use this, I might not leave it on so long, as it looks like the spot where I applied it is a tiny bit lighter than the rest of the tank top now.

As for the Robby Ball itself, so far I’m pretty impressed with it. It seems to do a pretty good job of getting laundry clean and fresh. I’ve been using it in all my laundry loads since it arrived – with normal loads, I wash the clothes using Robby Ball in cold water; for bigger/soiled loads, such as kitchen towels, I wash them with Robby Ball in warm water.

Robby Ball in action

So now you have an idea of how the products perform – so how frugal are they? Robby Ball retails for $32.95 – this includes the ball, three packets of refill pellets, and the laundry stain stick. According to their leaflet, this kit will wash 120 loads of laundry total. That would make your cost around .27 cents per load. They estimate that this will last you one year if you do one load of laundry every three days – although I think most of my readers probably do laundry more often than that! How this price stacks up will depend on your usual target price for laundry detergent. Some of you may pay less than .27 cents per load if you’ve scored some good deals with coupons, or if you make your own detergent. For those of you that normally pay a lot for detergent, this might be an interesting option. I would still want to have some laundry soap on hand in addition to Robby Ball, for the event of extra-dirty laundry – I have no idea yet how it performs getting out mud, etc. Robby Ball can wash up to 10 lbs of laundry at one time – for bigger loads, they recommend using two balls.

But you know what is always a frugal way to save on laundry products? Winning them!

Giveaway time!

Robby Wash

One lucky Super Coupon Girl reader will win a Robby Wash Blue Laundry Ball Pack, including one Robby Wash ball, a stain stick and three extra packets of macro-molecule pellets. Here’s how to enter:

1. For your first entry, click here to visit, then come back here and leave a comment telling me what feature of the Robby Wash ball is your favorite.

Want extra entries? Do any of the following, and leave a separate comment for each one:

2. Link to this post on your blog, then come back here and leave me the link!
3. Write about this on Twitter, then come back and leave me the link to your tweet! One Twitter entry per person. You can use the button at the bottom of this post to tweet with one click!
4. Post my button on your website – just copy and paste the following code, and let me know where you put it:

Rules, regulations, and other important stuff:
Giveaway ends on July 4th at 11:59 PM, PST. Winners will be chosen the following day via Giveaway is open to US residents – sorry, no PO boxes.