Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dorco USA Razor Review!

If you're like me, you try to save money wherever you possibly can. However there is always those items that when it comes to saving money, it's pretty difficult to sacrifice quality for a lower cost. I have been purchasing Venus Embrace razor cartridges for years now. Ringing in at around $15 for a pack of 4, it was always one of those "wincing" moments when I'd be at the register and see the total come up.

I go through about 1 of those cartridges per week, and that's only if I use them up to the point of them ripping my skin apart. I'm on a tight budget, and after years of being a slave to "name brand" razors, I was on a mission to find a cheaper but also equal quality alternative.

I discovered a website for a company called Dorco. Their claim is that their razors are as good or better than the more expensive brands, at a fraction of the price. All of their razor handles have a "common docking" system that allows you to use/try many different cartridge heads all on the same handle. The prices? RIDICULOUSLY CHEAP. It all seemed too good to be true!

So I found a "variety pack" of the women's razors so that I could try out a few of their options. You can find a similar pack HERE. Dorco offers free shipping for orders over $25, so this is a good starter pack to get if you are interested in trying their razors and in getting free shipping.

 Here's what my order looked like right out of the box:

My fiance, my roommate and myself have all tried out these razors and given our feedback, and let me tell you, they ARE just as good if not BETTER than the more expensive brands. The cost of these razors equal out to be about  just under $1 per razor cartridge, when I was paying about $4 per razor cartridge with Venus Embrace. I am saving 75% of my money on razors, and honestly you can't beat that anywhere!

The Dorco Shai handle is sturdy and has a rubber grip for easy handling in the shower. So far the guys have tried the PACE disposable 4-blade razors and they both agree they were amazing. I have tried the Dorco Shai 6-blade razor cartridges and even after a week of daily shaving, they are still as good as they were the first time I used them!

So you think my love of this company couldn't get any bigger? Well Today, I received a random package from them out of the blue! I was a confused as I haven't made an order since the first time, but I opened the package anyway to find a lovely hand-written letter from the President of Dorco, thanking me for my business. Also included in the package was a $5 off my next purchase coupon, and a free Dorco Shai razor!

So not only am I saving SO much money on razors, but I am getting QUALITY items, free (and fast!) shipping, and I am supporting a company that CLEARLY cares very much about my business. Enough to send me a thoughtful card and coupons and a free razor!

If you are also feeling like it's time to stop dumping your money down the drain, dump your current razor and visit Dorco's site!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ipsy/My Glam Bag Review! (December, January, Febrary 2012-2013)

One of the most popular crazes right now is the "subscription box." The idea is to pay a small amount of money per month to have a box or bag of samples delivered to your door to try. There are all kinds of boxes out there. Some of the most popular include Birchbox and Ipsy (formally called MyGlam) I have had both of these subscription boxes, and eventually cancelled both due to being disappointed with my samples.

We get wrapped up in the fun idea of a surprise present on our doorstep every month, but I started to notice that many of my samples from these companies were perfume vials that I could request for free from the company themselves, or foil packets of shampoo that I could get at my local Sephora or Ulta with a purchase. Not to mention, when we think of "beauty samples" we want MAKEUP! I couldn't help but notice I was getting mostly skincare and haircare. While that's wonderful, some of us have all we need or a routine of products that we use for our skin and hair, and frankly, I was looking for more cosmetics.

Then...something awesome happened. MyGlam bags became Ipsy bags. One of the cool things about this company is that since the beginning, your samples come in a small cosmetic bag that changes every month. You might not think you need 12 cosmetic bags per year, but it sure beats a cardboard box that you're going to throw away! I've used mine to hold all kinds of things (IE: feminine products, cosmetics, sunglasses, money, you name it!) and I think it's a nice addition and a good change to the other boxes available.

Another great thing about the name change, is that the boxes became, well, BETTER! The beginning of this program got off to a great start, and then it seemed it quickly went downhill. They were including a lot of coupons and foil packets...not something you want to spend $10 a month on. But being the beauty subscription obsessed person I am, I continued to follow unboxings of Ipsy on youtube and I noticed a trend. The boxes were including LOTS of cosmetics. Something that NO other box right now is doing. What's inside these Ipsy Bags? Here's a peek at my last 3 months:

Ipsy Bag December

Ipsy Bag January

Ipsy Bag February

Now THAT is what I call a subscription box. These little cosmetic bags are always packed with samples that you can actually use more than once! More like "trial/travel" sized products. No foil packets. No perfume vials, but lip glosses, nail polishes, skin primers, eyeliners, shadows, mascara...THESE are the kinds of samples I've been looking for!

If you're looking at all these subscription boxes and are looking for something that will give you the most cosmetics from a wide variety of brands, than Ipsy is definitely for you. You're going to get your bag each month and really feel like you're getting a deal. $10 a month is worth it when you're getting samples this size, from new brands as well as brands we already know and love. 

I will be doing a few more reviews on Subscription boxes in the future, so keep a look out for those and hopefully it will help you decide which one is right for you!

If you're interested in signing up with Ipsy, please consider using my referral link here:  Sign Up for Ipsy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Emailing Companies to Receive Coupons!

I've always considered myself a budget savvy person. My mother raised me in a household that clipped coupons, shopped sales and requested and used sample-sized products. My mother took us to "kids fairs" in our city, which were essentially events held in small business centers where companies (geared toward children) would set up a table and pass out samples and information to consumers. And boy, was that my absolute favorite day of the year. My mother instilled in me this excitement for getting things for free, contacting companies when you wanted to try their products. Coupons, coupons, coupons!

Of course, in the 80's it was much easier to save money with coupons than it is now. Companies have caught on to the coupon craze and now they clearly have cut their coupon values by a mile. Websites have coupon cutters that require you to print your own coupons (what a waste of expensive printer ink!) and something about couponing has just lost the luster of yesterday.

However, there is one thing that I've always KNOWN you could do, but for some reason, rarely did it. And that is visiting company websites and requesting coupons!

This does take some work. Having to e-mail each individual company (even though coffeemate and hot pockets are both made my Nestle, you would still have to e-mail each individual brand in order to get coupons) and telling the what you think of think of their product. Asking if they have any coupons available for their can imagine that could get boring and tedious pretty quickly.

If you're like me and you enjoy saving money, but the idea of being an "extreme couponer" is daunting to you, it's always nice to get coupons for things you ALREADY buy. Extreme couponers find the sales, and buy what's on sale. Never have I known an extreme couponer to buy what they like. They buy what they can get for cheap or for free. And while free is ideal, what about those of us that know what we like and don't really shop with coupons to begin with?

E-mailing companies is your way to go. Make a list of all the food brands you buy in a regular grocery shop. Then one by one, go down the list and google their brand to get to their websites. Find the "contact us" link on the page (every company has one!) and leave your feedback! You can ask for coupons, compliment how much you love their product, ask a question, or even complain about a bad experience. There are MANY companies that will reward you with coupons in the mail.

I have started an e-mail writing campaign to all my favorite brands in the past 3 days. I have most likely e-mailed 50-70 companies so far, and have received a small amount of responses. I have been told that many companies may not send an e-mail response, but they will send coupons to your home anyway. So I am keeping a close eye on my mailbox!

There are however, quite a few companies that got back to me within 24 hours, sometimes within an hour, and have thanked me for my feedback and offered coupons. Here is my current list along with a basic description of what I said (compliment/complaint etc)

Companies that have promised coupons:

Goody (Compliment) Promised free samples (received 6 packages of hair clips and elastics. Such a great company!)
Snyders Pretzels (compliment) Promised coupon (Received free product coupon)
Glad (complaint) Promised coupons (Never received coupons)
Heinz (compliment) Promised coupons (received 4 coupons)
Hidden Valley (compliment) Promised coupons (received coupon)
Nestle Coffeemate (compliment and question) Promised coupon (Never received coupons)
FritoLay (complaint) Promised coupons (Never received coupons)
Heluva Good Dips (compliment) Promised coupons (Never received coupons)
Olay (complaint/compliment) Promised coupons (received free product coupon)
Duncan Hines (compliment) Promised coupons and brochure (Never received coupons)
Cheez-Its (compliment/complaint) Promised coupon (received free product coupon)
CoverGirl (compliment/complaint) Promised Coupons ( free product coupon and coupon for fusion razor)
Splenda (compliment) Promised coupons (received 2 coupons)
Ocean Spray (compliment) Promised Coupon (received free product coupon)
Chobani Yogurt (compliment) Promised Coupons (received 3 coupons a magnet and hand-written thank you letter!)
Hillshire Farm (compliment) Promised "full value" Coupon (Never received coupons)
Florida's Natural OJ (compliment) never received email response BUT (received 2 coupons)
Cottonelle (compliment and request) Promised coupons (received 3 coupons)
International Delight (request to try product) Promised coupon (received coupon)
Popcorn Indiana (compliment) Promised coupon (Never received coupons)
Turkey Hill (compliment) Promised coupons(received HUGE envelope full of coupons and a magnet!)
Pepperidge Farm (compliment) never received e-mail response BUT (received coupon and recipes)
Nair (complaint) Never received e-mail response BUT (Received a check for $9 to make up for disappointing product)
Papa Ginos (compliment/complaint) received e-mail response with $25 gift credit on next purchase and (also received coupon for free large pizza in the mail)
Malt-O-Meal Cereals (compliment) never received e-mail response BUT (received 2 coupons)
Tyson (compliment) never received e-mail response BUT (received 3 coupons) 
I will update this list as I hear back from more companies, and I will also update if and when I actually receive the coupons in the mail. As you can see, you can contact more than just food brands! I contacted battery companies, household goods, cosmetics, you name it!

One thing to remember: If a company already has printable coupons on their site and you would prefer coupons through the mail or don't have a printer (which is my case) just send them an e-mail and tell them! Chobani yogurt has lots of coupons on their site, and I e-mailed them anyway asking for coupons through the mail and they were VERY kind and more than willing to send coupons to me. All you have to do is ask!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Best Deals on the Internet!

The internet is a place where you can get absolutely anything your heart desires. But if you're like me, you probably don't have much money to spare. How can you save lots of cash, and still get quality items? You have to know where to look! Here's my personal guide to internet shopping and saving BIG!

Before you start shopping, you NEED to get an account. Why? First off, it's free. Secondly, it's EASY! Once you sign up with ebates, you just visit their site before doing your online shopping and you will receive a percentage of your money back! Want to buy something from Sephora? go to first and click Sephora. It will link you directly to the page. Just make your purchase as normal and ebates will credit your account with your cash back. This is a free, quick and easy way to save some cash. And it really adds up!

*BONUS* You get a free $10 gift card from ebates to a store of your choice once you make your first online purchase!

Another great site to use EVERY time you make an online purchase is RetailMeNot. This is the most comprehensive site for online coupon codes. No matter what you're buying, whether it be ordering a pizza or purchasing an expensive ring, Check this site first for valuable coupon codes to save you even more!

Now, here's a list of my FAVORITE places to shop online where you will save BIG. Many of these sites offer free shipping as well! 

Low Cost Cosmetics:

Low Cost Razors:

Low Cost Clothing/Accessories/Shoes:

Low Cost Items for the Home:

Low Cost Eyewear (both sites have a "first pair free" deal as well)

Low Cost "Mart store" (sells many different things)
Online Name-Brand Discount Websites (some are "flash sale sites):

Valid, non-sketchy website for Free TV shows, movies etc online for streaming or download
Click HERE to watch a youtube video on how to use Ice Films!

Other Tips:
-Looking for low cost items on amazon? Type in the word "Sodial" in the search bar and then choose a department!
-How to find low cost items on ebay? Type in what you're looking for, click "low to high" as well as "buy it now" Some of the best items to get for cheap ($1) would be jewelry and accessories.

Good luck and happy Bargain Hunting!