Tag: Subscription Box (page 1 of 2)

Candy Club Subscription Box Review

This is NOT a sponsored post. I am not a part of the Candy Club Affiliate Program, nor was I approached by Candy Club to try their subscription box service. We paid for our own order. This post does contain a referral link that every subscriber receives which gives him or her the ability to refer five people, earning a free box for each party. 

I’m obsessed with subscription boxes.

It’s been three years since I’ve even subscribed to a subscription box service, but I love keeping up with the latest drama; who sends fantastic boxes, who is taking people’s money and running, and who is sending erratic emails to customers.

One box that’s fascinated me for a while is Candy Club. Their variety of sour and chewy candies grabbed my attention more so than other candy box companies, plus you can choose your own candies.

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An Update After Nine Graze Boxes: Our Favorite & Least Favorite Snacks

*I received two boxes of snacks composed of flapjacks & popcorn compliments of Graze. Jake and I continue to pay for our own Nibblr subscription. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own. 

We’re nine Graze Nibblr boxes deep.

Since my initial post comparing Naturebox to Graze Nibblr boxes, we’ve had an opportunity to try many more snacks, so I thought I’d share an update. Interestingly enough, my most viewed posts are about subscription boxes.

Jake prefers the big Naturebox bags of snacks while I prefer Graze. I like the quirky variety of snacks and appreciate the ingredients’ freshness. Nothing has tasted stale or dried-out. As downsides to the Nibblr boxes, the portion sizes are truly single serving and you can’t choose which ones arrive. You can rate the snacks, though, and indicate if you want to “trash” or “try”, “like” or “love.”

However, Graze is offering a waiting list for their upcoming Big Box option where subscribers choose five bags of snacks each month for $25. I love this idea, but we’ll stick with our every other week schedule since we’re trying to save money for a vacation.

We began our subscription by using a friend’s referral code that gave us our first and fifth box free, while paying $6 for the other boxes. The price has increased to $6.99 per box, but it appears we’re still locked into the $6 price. Everyone who subscribes to Graze has a referral code. Feel free to use my friend Beth’s. She blogs at It’s Just Life: Finding The Extraordinary in the OrdinaryBETHC8WQP 

UPDATE (12/7/14) We did decide to cancel our subscription. We enjoyed our subscription, but wished we could handpick only savory snacks, since we generally dislike sweet ones. When I asked a Graze representative if it was possible to “trash” all of the sweet snacks and only receive our favorite savory ones, she replied that it’s possibly “in theory” but makes it difficult to fill an order this specific. Graze is still offering a waiting list for their Big Box. This looks like a fun option, but not one we want to budget for at the moment. 

In early September Graze sent me some Flapjacks & Popping Corn to try.

Graze

These are are favorite and least favorite snacks from the snacks Graze sent us to try and our regular Nibblr deliveries:

Favorites:

Savory Collage
Twist of Black Pepper Popping Corn: Graze sent me a complimentary box of their black pepper and lightly salted popcorn to try. My favorite flavor is the black pepper because I like the peppery bite. At first I thought the popcorn was popped in butter, but see it’s actually palm oil. The portion size is substantial.

Chili & Lime Pistachios: If I were to subscribe to the Big Box, I’d want to choose a bag of these. Jake and I competed over these pistachios more than any of the other snacks. They randomly showed up in our second box and I hope we see them again.

Fruity Mango Chutney: I’m mildly obsessed with dips. Possibly because they are one of those fun foods I indulge in at parties, but have a difficult time justifying making at home for just the two of us. I especially liked that the rice crackers were spicy.

Sweet Collage

Brownie Flapjack: Graze calls their granola bars Flapjacks. They are soft in texture and almost cakey. I liked this brownie version even though I don’t typically gravitate towards sweet snacks, because brownie of course! The shortening Graze lists in its Flapjacks’ ingredients is non-hydrogenated margarine. I’ve usually split a pack with Jake.

Salted Fudge & Peanut Cookie: The cookie bits are shortbready and the tiny cubes of salted fudge have a texture like Starbursts. It’s a quirky sweet and salty mix that’s fun to eat.

Graze’s Smokey Hot Dog (Update 12/7/14): This is my favorite Graze snack to date. It’s salty, cheesy, and a little spicy. It sounds gross, but tastes really good. The smoked cashews taste remind me of smoked gouda.

Least Favorites

  • Key Lime: We liked the whimsy of this snack with the little meringue and cookie bits, but this mix was too sweet for us.

key lime

  • Fruit & Seed Flapjack: Even though I enjoyed the brownie and berry flapjacks, I found this variety too sweet.
  • Dried Fruit Mixes: Pure, dried fruit mixes aren’t our personal snacking preference.
  • Plain Fruit-nut Mixes: We’ve received a couple of plain fruit-nut mixes like Born in the USA. While the ingredients are fresh and the snack is substantial enough to tide me over until the next meal, I’ve found them bland since they aren’t seasoned or salted.
  • My Thai Dippers (Update 12/7/14): Something about this snack just did not taste good to us. This is the only snack we threw in the trash.

Have you ever tried a food subscription box? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received two free boxes containing popping corn & flapjacks for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

From Naturebox to Graze

This is not a sponsored post. We paid for our own Naturebox and Graze subscriptions. 

Our four month-long subscription to Naturebox revealed that we like receiving snacks in the mail. Not that this is a surprise or anything.

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The box we chose cost $20 per month for five bags of snacks which was sufficient for our two-person household. Most were hits, while a few others were misses. We liked that we could choose our snacks which were all free of artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, and partially or fully-hydrogenated oils. Snacks can also be sorted by vegan, non-GMO or allergen-free.

We went for the ones that sounded most appealing.

At the end of four months, I decided to try a new snack subscription service. Although we did like most of our snacks, we hit a few duds in our last two boxes that frustrated me. I composed a tweet stating we had some hits and misses and sent Naturebox an email listing the snacks we especially loved and disliked.

To Naturebox’s credit, company reps contacted me immediately via Twitter and returned my email the next day. They informed me about their 100% satisfaction guarantee which provides subscribers with credit for snacks they are unhappy with and offered to ship me replacement snacks. I was very impressed with their customer service’s responsiveness and willingness to send new snacks.

I wish I had known about this policy sooner, but shame on me for not contacting Naturebox sooner! I learned an important lesson to bring my concerns about a product directly to the company and give them an opportunity to respond. Naturebox sends an email when they ship the box along with a tracking number. Ours took one week to ship from Sacramento to Mason City.

These were our favorite and least favorite Naturebox snacks:

Favorites: Big Island Pineapple, Country Ranch Peas, Santa Fe Corn Stix, Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels, Italian Bistro Pretzels, Sunshine Chips

Least Favorites: Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Fuji Apples, Flax Crostini Bites

And now our initial thoughts on our first Graze box.

Graze Box

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Several friends recommended Graze and Katy offered us her referral code that made our first and fifth box free. Each Graze box costs $6 each (including shipping), so felt that five boxes for $18 was an affordable way to try the service.

We subscribed to weekly Nibbleboxes, while the Caloriecounter option only contains snacks under 150 calories.

Unlike Naturebox, subscribers can’t specifically choose their snacks, but can browse through them online and indicate which snacks they want to try. I “trashed” some of the snacks that didn’t appeal to our tastes. Subscribers can also sort snacks by allergen and dietary preference.

Our Graze box arrived nine days after I subscribed. Here’s what we received:

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Each pouch is a single serving.

Jalapeno Fiesta: Pure nuts. A little bit of spice but not remarkably spicy. Slightly bland but tasty enough. Jake really enjoyed these and said they were his favorite.

Salted Fudge & Peanut Cookie: I initially predicted I would not like this snack, but found it addicting. The mix really did taste salty and sweet. The cookies had a shortbread quality and the itsy bitsy fudge cubes had the texture of Starbursts. A little strange, but I kept going back for more. Nothing tasted too sweet.

Super Berry Detox: I almost never seek dried fruit as a snack, so I’m biased not to favor this mix. But the dried fruits tasted fresh and as juicy as dried fruit can be. Jake gave his seal of approval.

Punchy Protein Nuts: The cashews were coated in a tart chili lime seasoning which I really enjoyed. However, the other nuts were not even salted. Meh.

Initial Thoughts: With the coupon for the 1st and 5th box free, we’re satisfied with the $18 value for five boxes. We do miss the larger portion sizes of Naturebox, because it’s nice to have a whole bag of something you like and reorder it. The Graze box pouches go quickly, but are supposed to ship once per week. Plus, we liked the surprise of not knowing what snacks were inside the box and the ingredients tasted fresh.

I’m hoping we get more of the quirky snacks like the Salted Fudge & Peanut Cookie mix. Hopefully we’ll find some of the popcorn, dips and dippers, and flapjacks inside our future boxes.

Have you dabbled in snack subscription boxes? What have your experiences been? 

 

My First Memebox: A Korean Tries Korean Beauty Products

In my latest subscription box adventure, this Korean tries a Korean beauty product box.

I’ve seen reviews of sample boxes from Memebox, a company that sells Korean beauty products and curates sample boxes. South Korean culture is beauty-focused and produces many products we don’t often find in America. From what I gather from other bloggers’ Memebox reviews, Korean products are not only unique, but packaged in quirky ways. For example, this loose powder that comes in an orb with a bow, cupcake lifting cream, and all of these strange masks.

Memebox differs from ipsy or Birchbox in that you choose the boxes you want to order and they come in different sizes and price ranges. I chose the Makeup Edition Memebox which cost $23 + $7 shipping and was supposed to contain four to eight full-size and sample-size products. I hoped that choosing a makeup-focused box would provide me with the opportunity to try cosmetics in colors that would compliment my Asian complexion.

Subscribers can earn earn points (1 point = $1). For example, I earned seven points by sending an email to their customer service providing the name of a blog offering a referral discount and by creating an account on their website. Seven dollars covered the shipping charge so my box cost $23. You can also earn points by purchasing certain products.

I did not upgrade to express shipping so my box shipped on the 16th and arrived in my mailbox on the 23rd.

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It was not what I expected or hoped for. Here’s what I found inside:

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This box contained five full-sized products along with a sheet describing each one and listing their prices. Let’s start with my least favorite product, first.

Base.jpg

I wasn’t thrilled to find a makeup base. This is not a product I’ve ever used or have a desire to use. I feel like I put enough layers on my face with a moisturizer, sunscreen, foundation and powder.

This base is tinted green which is supposed to reduce redness which could be helpful for various skin conditions or scars.

Plus, what’s up with this lady on the package?

pore balm.jpg

I was as equally unexcited to find this anti pore eraser balm for similar reasons. It’s supposed to help minimize the appearance of pores and control sebum.

I tried a little bit on my hand. The balm is very light and blends into the skin easily. It really does seem to fill in skin texturing and creates a perfectly smooth surface which is cool and kind of freaks me out. There’s nothing wrong with this balm, it’s just not something I care to use. Maybe I’m weird, but I’m kind of okay being porey and a little shiny.

Concealer Pencil.jpg

As if green makeup base and pore reducing balm didn’t make this box blemish-focused enough, I got a concealer pencil.

The color matches my skin well so I tried it on a couple pimples. It really didn’t make enough of a visible a difference that I would consider purchasing it for $18.

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This blush is slightly less boring than the blemish concealers. It’s a light peach/orange color and I’ll have to try it later because I don’t even own a blush brush.

I couldn’t help but compare this box to being a kid and receiving socks from my parents at Christmas. Sure, they are practical, but not very much fun.

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This tint gloss is my favorite product in the box. At first, I was alarmed by its flourescent orange color. Fortunately, the color looks more subtle when I apply it to my lips.

It’s still an unusual color, but I like it. The gloss feels light and smooth without being sticky. And the applicator’s sponge shape is, um, interesting. . .

Concluding Thoughts:
I’m not going to sugar coat this; I’m disappointed in my first Memebox. I ordered it over a month ago because they sell out quickly and have been waiting in anticipation for fun Korean makeup samples. Although all five items are full-sized, I did not want three blemish concealing products. I had hoped for colorful cosmetics like eyeshadows, mascara, nail polish, lipsticks, and really, anything else!

For my wants and needs, this is a terrible curation of products with little variety. I don’t care if the actual value of the products exceeds the $23 I paid for the box. They aren’t items I wanted or will use, so I essentially paid $23 for a lip gloss I like and a blush I tolerate.

I won’t take my chances purchasing any more Memeboxes, but I might order specific products from their website since I’m still interested in trying Korean beauty products. I just won’t leave it up to Memebox to surprise me.

Our Second NatureBox: A Review

*This is NOT a sponsored post. We pay for our own subscription because we like mail and we like snacks!

Our second NatureBox was better than our first.

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This time around, we asked fellow subscribers what their favorite NatureBox snacks were and added some to our order.

We did experience a possible glitch, though. NatureBox advertised a small selection of $1 add-on snacks, so I chose a bag of Santa Fe Corn Stix. What we actually received was two bags of Santa Fe Corn Stix, minus the bag of Mango Orange Fruit Chews I had specified. I was initially disappointed since the Corn Stix was a $1 add-on, but we liked them so much we no longer cared.

We subscribe to the five snacks for $20 a month plan. For May, we received Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels, Bombay Curried Cashews, Citrus Chipotle Chickpeas, Big Island Pineapple, and two bags of Santa Fe Corn Stix.

Here’s what we thought of our snacks:

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Santa Fe Corn Stix: These actually turned out to be one of our favorite snacks. They are addictive and flavored with a light salsa seasoning. Jake likened them to a gourmet version of Andy’s Hot Fries. Since we received two bags, we each took our one bag to work.

Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels: This is my second favorite snack. The pretzel nubs are coated in a thick cheesy powder that has a sweet beer flavor. I love how intensely cheesy and salty they taste

Citrus Chipotle Chickpeas: I chose this flavor of chickea because I enjoyed the black pepper variety so much. The seasoning on these crunchy chickpeas reminds of the chili-lime coated snacks I enjoyed in Mexico. NatureBox’s are a little spicy (I can always use more heat) and taste more of chipotle than citrus. The seasoning powder is bright red, so I eat them at home instead of at work, lest I coat all of my work documents with freaky red fingerprints.

Bombay Curried Cashews: Neither of us is enthusiastic about this snack mix, but I don’t dislike it so much that I won’t finish it. Despite its name, the Bombay Curried Cashews mix is mostly comprised of not cashews. It also contains walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds plus dried apple, raisins and craisins. The yellow curry seasoning is milder than I expected and the whole mix is a little too sweet with dried fruits for my tastes. It reminds me of eating chutney.

Big Island Pineapple: I ordered this snack specifically because someone recommended it to me and I had an inkling Jake would like it. I don’t often seek dried fruit. To me, these just tasted like dried pineapple.

There is no photo of the pineapple rings because Jake liked them so much that he took them to work and promptly enjoyed them. He’s going to add another bag to our order next month. I have to note this snack came in the smallest portion size, clocking in at three ounces while the rest of the snacks weighed between four and six ounces.

Concluding Thoughts:
Soon after we received our first box, I was leaning towards canceling our subscription but we’ve since changed our minds.

We like having a variety of snacks to choose from during the month and the protein-rich ones are helpful for tiding us over at work. Sure, some of the snacks are healthier than others, but they’re all free from artificial colors, sweeteners flavors, trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, and high fructose corn syrup.

Five-six bags of snacks seems like a good quantity for the two of us each month. Plus, it’s fun to see Jake get enthusiastic over the subscription service, so it looks like we’ll remain NatureBox customers for now.

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