Don't miss out! Get Chief Family Officer's free daily roundup:


  • Check out Chief Family Officer's Halloween Pinterest board for lots of spooky (and cute) ideas!
  • Recently read and enjoyed: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs (LOL funny, as well as thought-provoking and educational)
  • Enter for a chance to win a $15 Starbucks Gift Card! And click here to see all of our current giveaways.

  • Quick Product Reviews – Food Edition

    Here are some food and food-related products we’ve tried recently:

    Healthy Choice – Sweet Asian Potstickers – The potstickers were okay enough to eat, but the rest of this entree was inedible. I would only buy this if it were a moneymaker.

    Healthy Choice – Mediterranean Pasta – I think this entree is poorly named, because I don’t think cranberries and fontina and cinnamon when I think Mediterranean. And the combination here didn’t work for me. I’d buy this if it were a moneymaker, but I wouldn’t eat it.

    Healthy Choice – Pumpkin Squash Ravioli – This one was the worst of all, because it was trying too hard to be savory and sweet at the same time. I’m not crazy about cinnamon, especially in savory dishes, and there was way too much in this. I tossed the whole thing after a couple of bites. I wouldn’t eat this again.

    Special K Crackers – These are a new product I got cheap thanks to a promotion at Target. They’re more like Kashi 7 Grain Crackers than Wheat Thins and quite tasty. I like that there aren’t any hydrogenated oils in them.

    Rubbermaid Food Storage Containers– I’ve found that these containers really do extend the life of my produce, especially the pieces that are at the bottom, and especially fruit that tends to exude juice over time – things like watermelon, for example. It’s still important to dry the produce well before putting it in the container, but I’d say the containers add a day or two to the life of my produce.

    Previously: More quick product reviews

    More Quick Product Reviews

    Here are a few more products we’ve tried recently:

    30 Day Shred– This is the latest workout DVD from The Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels. She’s not too annoying and I liked the workouts, which felt effective. But I don’t understand why manufacturers create DVDs so that you can’t skip the minutes-long opening. I don’t have five minutes to listen to Jillian’s spiel every time I work out. So I sold the DVD on Amazon. I guess that’s the barometer – I liked the workouts, but not enough to endure the intro every time I exercised.

    Bic Soleil razor – I hated this razor even more than I hated the Schick Intuition. With the Intuition, I felt like I was getting a good shave, but was afraid that I would cut myself because of the way it was shaped. With the Soleil, I felt like I was scraping sandpaper up my legs. Needless to say, I tossed the razor immediately.

    Oreo Cakesters – Marc described these as “stale Oreos,” which I found to be quite accurate. They’re not unpleasant, but we both prefer regular Oreos to these.

    Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers Cajun Style Chicken & Shrimp – I don’t like frozen entrees very much, but keep a few around for quick meals. They pretty much get divided into two categories: I’d buy them again or I wouldn’t buy them even if they were free. This particular entree falls into the first category – I was pleasantly surprised.

    Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers Sweet Spicy Orange Zest Chicken – Although this dish doesn’t have the crunch of traditional orange chicken, it was perfectly edible and I’d buy it again.

    Previously: Tips for Selling on Amazon and Earlier Quick Product Reviews

    A few Quick Product Reviews

    Fling Milk Chocolate bars – I had a coupon for a free package, so of course I picked one up. Marc said they were really good. Plus, they have an awesome slogan: “Naughty, but not that naughty.”

    AngelSoft toilet paper – I’ve gotten quite a few 4-packs for free after coupon at Ralphs, which is the only reason I even tried this brand. I don’t like it as much as our preferred brands, which are Charmin Ultra and Quilted Northern Ultra. I’ll also buy Cottonelle, if it’s the cheapest, although I don’t like it quite as much as Charmin or Quilted Northern. The AngelSoft is at the bottom of my list, so I’ve decided that I won’t pay for it, but I’ll definitely get it (and use it) when it’s free.

    Kids’ Crest Cavity Protection Sparkle Fun – Alex says this toothpaste is too “spicy” and hates it. He’s had to use it for a week or so, and he still hates it.

    Skintimate Cream Shave – These were free at drugstores a few weeks ago, and I just finished up my first tube. It’s a little weird, because the texture is so different from traditional shaving creams and gels. But I did find my legs were smoother and more moisturized with this “cream shave” versus traditional products. On the flip side, though, it was harder to wash out of the razor. Still, I’m perfectly happy to keep using this. I won’t pay a premium for it when I run out of my free tubes, but I’ll certainly buy it if it’s below my target price for shaving cream of $1 per can/tube.

    Previously: More quick product reviews

    Quick Product Reviews Part 4

    If you like these reviews, don’t forget to read my previous quick product reviews: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Most of these items were free or almost free thanks to coupons and sales.

    Garnier Fructis Fortifying Deep Conditioner – I got this conditioner free in a bonus pack last fall as part of a money-making deal at Walgreens. (Thanks again, Mercedes!) I liked the product a lot, but wouldn’t pay money for it when I’m getting all of my hair-care products for free in The Drugstore Game.

    Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser – I used up my last bottle of ProActiv cleanser and really didn’t want to pay the high price for a new one. Since the active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide, I looked for a drugstore cleanser with it as the main ingredient and found this product. It’s a lot harsher than ProActiv, so it’s dried my skin out a little bit, which the ProActiv never did. It also did nothing to prevent PMS-induced breakouts, which was a little worse than with ProActiv but only lasted about three days. The end verdict is that I’m sticking with this product for the price, which is less than one-third the price of ProActiv.

    Head & Shoulders Intensive Solutions zinc pyrithione shampoo– I don’t know if Head & Shoulders even makes this anymore since I can’t find it on their web site (link goes to Amazon for the picture; they’re out of stock). I don’t like this shampoo as much as the Herbal Essences version, so as long as that’s available, I won’t be buying more of this even if I can find it.

    Trader Joe’s Chocolate Decadence cereal – This is basically a chocolate granola, and it’s divine with milk or yogurt. It used to be $3.29 per box, but now it’s $1.99 per box – still expensive for cereal, considering I’ve been buying some for less than 20 cents per box, but worth it.

    Quaker Simple Harvest Chewy Multigrain Granola Bars – These are on the dry side, and not very tasty. For free, they’re a fine snack, but I wouldn’t pay for them.

    Keebler Sandies Shortbread Cookies
    – When I find these on steep sale, I pick up a few packages to take to the boys’ preschool. The teachers love them.

    Always Infinity pads – As pads go, these are super thin with great absorption. I won’t pay for them, since I can get pads for free through The Drugstore Game, but these are worth making extra trips for when they’re available for free. (Click through to sign up for a free sample.)

    Harry Potter: Books 6 and 7 – Having finally let go of the Twilight books, I’ve been rereading the sixth and seventh books in the Harry Potter series. They are even better than I remembered.

    Quick Product Reviews Part 3

    As with my previous quick product reviews, these are products that are new to me, and not necessarily new products. I acquired most of the products through the judicious use of coupons; some were free samples. 🙂

    • Quilted Northern Ultra Plush – I liked this very much and have added it to my very short list of acceptable toilet papers.
    • Schick Quattro for Women – As I mentioned in round one, I hated the Schick Intuition razor. The Quattro is okay, though. The Venus Embrace has a wider blade, so each stroke covers more area, which is my preference. But I’ve been using the Quattro for a couple of months and it’s been fine.
    • L’Oreal Advanced Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate – The Revitalift products were free at drugstores in the late fall, and I’ve been using this one on my neck for a few months. (I’m afraid to use it on my very sensitive face.) Honestly, I haven’t noticed a scintilla of difference. I’ll probably keep using the products since they’re free and as long as they’re not irritating my skin, they can’t hurt. But I would never recommend spending money on them.
    • Pentel Handy-Line permanent marker – I think these are supposed to be comparable to Sharpies, but I had a retractable one that dried out much faster than my retractable Sharpie. I’m sticking with Sharpies.
    • Chex Mix cereal bars – We’ve tried the Turtle and Chocolate Chunk varieties and both are good. They’re kind of chewy and hard on the teeth, though – maybe they’ll be easier to eat in the summer because they’ll be a little softer.
    • Kashi cereal bars – The boys have been eating Trader Joe’s cereal bars as an on-the-go snack for months, and Alex likes the Kashi version but Tyler doesn’t. I don’t care too much for cereal bars in general (they’re basically Nutri-grain bars, but these are a little more natural), but I’m sure there’s a subtle difference that Tyler is picking up on.
    • Kellogg’s Fiber Plus bars – These are more cardboard-like than the Chex bars, but they have a lot more fiber because of that. They’re okay, but they’re not my first choice for a quick snack.
    • Quaker High Fiber instant oatmeal – The extra fiber seems to be the result of serious chemicals, the flavor of which really comes through. I’m eating what we’ve opened, but I won’t buy more.
    • Cascade Action Gel Packs (Apple Cinnamon) – The apple cinnamon variety was on clearance at Target a couple of months ago (maybe because they don’t make them anymore?) so I snagged two 25-count bags for just 25 cents a piece. Fortunately, the scent doesn’t linger – which is a very good thing, because it’s not a good smell. The dishes still get clean, though, and that’s what really matters.