Brand Disloyalty: What I’ve Discovered

Because I don’t give away everything I get for free with coupons, I’ve tried out a lot of new stuff in the past 6 months. Last month I sent comments to a few manufacturers about either liking or disliking their products, but there are more. Now, a lot of these products are frequently on sale with great coupons, so even if you’re not into the whole coupon thing, here’s one MoneyMate’s opinion of what is and isn’t worth clipping the odd coupon coupon and waiting for…

Colgate MaxWhite Toothbrush, medium:  Well, it’s not quite useless, but it takes an awful long time to get the job done. I’ve been using it for 3 weeks and the bristles are all splayed and nasty. So much for replacing your toothbrush every 3 months. Glad it was free.

John Frieda Luxurious Volume shampoo/conditioner:  The only volume product that I’ve noticed a real difference from. Not only that, but my soft, fine hair gets oily pretty fast, and the clean from this shampoo lasts longer than others (Herbal Essences, Aussie, Garnier Fructis, etc). Retails for $6, sale price $5, coupons range $1-3. All the drug stores have had rebate/rewards deals on this for the past 2 months and aren’t letting up.

Mentos Gum:  They’ve been putting out these great $1 coupons all the time, so even if it’s not on sale you can get it for 50 cents. I can’t speak for the minty flavors, but the fruit ones lose their flavor completely in about a minute. What’s the point, yuck. 

Always Infinity pads:  It’s like NASA started developing feminine products. Much better than the mesh thing, which I never liked. P&G has been putting out big coupons, like $4, for the larger size boxes which tend to go on sale for $8-9. Rite Aid and CVS seem to have deals on this stuff every month to bring down the net cost by another buck or two.

Skintimate Shave Gel:  This may very well be true for all shave gels, but this is the only one I’ve tried. I’m now a fan of shave gels – they really do get you a closer shave. I had no idea. And I’m old! I have a dozen or so of them stockpiled from when they were free in March because they released a new can shape or whatever. Yeah, charge more for an ounce less than the old one, brilliant. Tends to go on sale for $1.99.

Schick Quattro for Women:  Unimpressed. The razor system with 2 cartridges retails for $10, goes on sale for $8-9, and the manufacturer puts out high value coupons quite frequently, like for $4. Working the drug store systems, you can get it for a net cost of $1-2. Again, glad it was free – I found the sharpness of the blades unspectacular.

Vitamin10 Water:  I’m not a big fan of state-of-the-art water products, I think they’re a joke. However, the manufacturer put out $1 coupons and then everyone had them on sale for $1. I tried the lemonade-like one. LOVED IT. Lots of flavor, 10 calories, no aftertaste, very refreshing. Plus, my teeth don’t like real lemonade but my tastebuds do, so this is an awesome solution.

Softsoap Apricot scrub body wash:  Haven’t seen any mainstream coupons for this, but they’ve been seriously pushing it with in-store coupons and promotions at CVS. Even if you don’t work their ExtraCare Bucks system, you can pick up this $4.99-$5.99 product for about $3 when it’s on sale and the store puts out a $1 coupon. Big bottle, delicious scent, feels distinctly more scrubby and moisturizing than other products.

Crest / Colgate toothpaste:  Seriously, do they have to come out with a new paste product every month?? I feel sorry for retailers, stuck in the middle of shelf space politics (okay, I don’t know if that really exists, but it’s a fun image in my mind). But hey, if it means they’ll always have something on sale and put out coupons that make it pretty much free, I can live with this silliness. And it looks like Aquafresh is trying to get into the fray this month.

4C Light drink mixes:  They put out these coupons where you buy a tube of their mix (7 little containers making 2 quarts), and you get a box of their To Go sticks free. You know, the little things you can dump into your Poland Spring water and shake it up. I was just going to get the iced tea stuff, but that’s actually the least impressive of their flavors. I’m now a huge fan of their Cranberry-Pomegranate one. Can’t really taste the Pomegranate, but the Cranberry is so good that I’d consider making a Lite Cosmopolitan with it. Seriously. Retails for about $5, goes on sale for $3.79-$3.99, then you scoop the other thing for free with the coupon.

Fiber One Honey Clusters cereal:  I’m so impressed with the flavor and texture of this cereal that I’m thinking it might be time to try their other products. I ate their twiggy one once, about 8 years ago, and have avoided their products since. But after snagging a box for 50 cents (on sale for $2, doubled a 75-cent coupon)…sooo glad I gave this line another shot. I’m thinking Toaster Pastries next.

Olay Regenerist moisturizer:  Like way too many mid-priced moisturizers on the market, I found it filmy/gritty. I hated the texture. It didn’t agree with my skin either, so I ditched it after 3 uses. It was a $22 product on sale for $18, $3 coupon and then some ECBs from CVS making it really cheap, but still I complained to P&G, and they send me a free product coupon for another one of their skin care ranges. I’m sticking with Roc, even though the deals aren’t as spectacular. Mom can have the freebie.

Glade’s new Fragrance Collection:  Love two of the cents, Currants & Acai and Earthly Awakenings. Stocked up when they put out $4 coupons and CVS had a sale for $2 off. I give them a big ol’ thumbs-up for having the pungency (in a good way!) of Yankee Candles.

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9 Responses

  1. How do you get the coupons? Subscribing to my local paper sounds like total overkill, but I can’t think of any other way.

    • You can buy lots of 10-20 of the same coupon on eBay, maybe smaller quantities depending on the item on sites like http://www.thecouponmaster.com and http://www.thecouponclippers.com. You can also participate in coupon swaps on http://www.afullcup.com, where you can request a “coupon angel” to start you off with an envelope full of coupons. On this site, you can also find out what coupons are coming out in the next weekend’s paper, so you can decide if it’s worth buying it. But you can also get a lot of printables from coupons.com, mysavings.com, and manufacturers’ websites – just don’t try to use them at your supermarket without asking in advance if they accept internet printables.

      All this might be more bother than it’s worth depending on your lifestyle. Me, I’ve got too much time on my hands (hah, bad massage pun).

  2. i’m delurking to say that i think the mentos aren’t really gum. aren’t they just a mint to chew up and swallow? so that would mean it doesn’t matter if it loses its flavor after a minute. i loved them as a kid.

    thanks for your comments on all the products. i think i’ll have to try the cranberry pomegranate drink mix – I always stick with plain or pink lemonade and that’s getting kind of boring.

    • Mentos has a gum now – it comes in a little plastic jar, not a tube like their original chewy product. I’m hoping the minty flavors have more staying power.

      • that makes more sense. funny that they can’t get a gum with more staying power especially in a world that now has gum with commercials asking you to spit your gum out and chew another piece already.

  3. Fiber One Honey Clusters Cereal is my absolute favorite cereal! the Toaster Pastries are okay but if you want a candy-bar like snack but lots of fiber then try the Fiber One Oats N Chocolate bars! They ROCK!

  4. I love John Frieda’s volumizing shampoo/conditioner and the Vitamin10 water! The mentos mint gum holds it’s flavor for much longer than the fruit ones but it gets a weird rubbery texture.

  5. I like the fruity Mentos. That’s the only one I’ve tried and I’m not really a gum chewer. Most gums, to me, are just yucky sweet and I hate fake sugar.

    Love your critiques. They are great!

  6. Didn’t know where to put this but this seems to fit here:

    My husband has had some oral gum issues recently (aching, etc.) and was sent to an oral surgeon. The first thing he was asked was if he chewed Big Red gum. Yes!!! He loves it!! (Just got a good deal recently at Kmart on clearance). Well, he was told that the cinnamon in the gum acts like an acid and eats away at the gums. He was also told to NOT to use cinnamon flavored, tartar control or whitening toothpastes and Listerine until it was determined what was causing the problem. (So much for the free toothpastes that I had just gotten – had only 1 tube he could use.) So far, no more problems for the past 3 months (the possible area that was to be biopsied has cleared up). He now has to use a mouthwash by prescription only. Guess the Listerine will be saved to wash the dog the next time he decides to chase a skunk.

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