Bzz Agent, a word-of-mouth consumer product testing company, recently asked me to try a new type of candy. It’s called UNREAL. The candy does not have artificial colors, flavors, corn syrup, or hydrogenated oils. As they put it, their candy is “unjunked”.
Bzz Agent sent me a coupon for a free product and several BOGO coupons to hand out to friends. So I bought some of the UNREAL candies and unveiled them at a recent Girls’ Night Out.
First up was the UNREAL version of Peanut and Plain M&Ms. The colors of the candies are darker and more intense than the familiar red, green, orange, etc. The UNREAL brand was definitely more flavorful, probably because they used things like beet juice for coloring. The general consensus amongst my 7 friends was that we would buy these again.
Then, it was on to the UNREAL Chocolate Caramel Bar and the Chocolate Caramel Peanut Nougat Bar. After debating for a few minutes, we decided that the word we wanted to use was dry to explain how the chocolate coating tasted. Like if you had a really old Snickers bar and tried to eat it. No one was very impressed, just an “all right”.
Finally, we tried the UNREAL Peanut Butter Cups which are akin to Reeses. The chocolate was moist and much more flavorful than their more famous counterpart. Everyone that tried this type of candy agreed that they might purchase it again.
Overall, a mixed experience, but we all agreed that UNREAL’s premise was good. Less junk in our junk food is a good thing, even if it didn’t hit the target on all attempts.
If you’d like to try new products and create Bzz, check out Bzz Agent.com. You do not have to be a blogger to join!
In short, I’m spend 5 days this week feeding myself with $1.50 a day – the U.S. equivalent of the extreme poverty line. Not $1.50 per meal, $1.50 per day.
Live Below the Line is a campaign that challenges individuals and communities to eat and drink on just $1.50 per day for 5 days. By exposing participants to a glimpse of some of the daily difficulties experienced by the 1.4 billion people who live in extreme poverty every day, for everything, the campaign provides a unique window into understanding the realities of life for so many.
Through the insights gained over the 5 days, Live Below the Line is assembling a movement of people passionate about eradicating extreme poverty. Through partnerships with various charities, the campaign raises both awareness and critical funds.
If you’d like to know more about Live Below the Line (and see a video of (sigh) Hugh Jackman talking about the project under The Challenge), click here.
We’re a few days into the campaign and at least for The Bargain Sleuth, $1.50 a day (per person) isn’t impossible, but adjustments did have to be made! There are plenty of items in my arsenal that I can’t make during this week. One, it’s taught me to improvise. Like vegetarian chili instead of using ground round. In fact, that’s our biggest difficulty. Because what I’ve discovered is that in order to eat for only $1.50 a day, meat has become a luxury. So I’ve been relying upon other protein sources. Yup, lots of beans, rice and noodles.
Many of us in the money-saving world talk about stockpiling and have ample supplies of food in our house because we got them so cheap, because we bought enough food to make it to the next sales cycle. Yet we all know that most people do not live like that. What the Live Below the Line Bzz Campaign has done is shown me that reality in a different way. In a very visible and real way. And it’s made an impact of how I see the food we find so plentiful. I haven’t learned anything new, but I was reminded that we are blessed beyond belief compared to others.
I decided to some of the grocery budget that was leftover from last month and donate to Live Below the Line. We are blessed in abundance and it’s the least I could do.
So again I ask, could you live on $1.50 a day?
It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned Bzz Agent, the word-of-mouth marketing site that I’ve been a member of since 2005. Last fall I happened to be in a lot of campaigns, not the least of which was the Kindle! Yup, still giddy about that one. But I was pretty jacked about this one, too.
Recently I was invited to join the Quaker Oatmeal Squares Bzz Campaign. So Bzz sent me, for FREE, one full-size box of the newest flavor, Honey Nut Oatmeal Squares, and three single-serve boxes to give to friends and family.
First, the facts about Quaker Oatmeal Squares:
- Available in Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Honey Nut and Golden Maple
- Made with natural flavors and provides 46 grams of whole grains per serving — 96% of your minimum daily recommendation of whole grains!*
- Delivers 5 grams of dietary fiber and 6 grams of protein per serving
- A delicious way to help meet the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommends at least half of all grains consumed should be whole grains, or at least 3 servings of 16 grams each
- Available in most grocery stores nationwide (Golden Maple available exclusively at Walmart)
I have been a big fan of Quaker Oatmeal Squares since they were first introduced. When I was pregnant with my first and couldn’t choke down those horse-pill sized prenatal pills, I ate Quaker Oatmeal Squares every day because it provides the required daily intake of folic acid, a very important thing to have enough of when pregnant.
The first square I popped into my mouth immediately made me think of Golden Graham cereal… but a much healthier version! Ding ding ding! Yes, I will be adding this flavor to my infamous pantry stockpile called Little Sam’s Club.
I also like the fact that this cereal can also substitute as a portable snack. Just pop a couple of squares into your mouth when you’re on the go. Or your toddler’s. Quaker is a brand that I’m always happy to eat, too. I just wish they’d issue more coupons! Because when it’s not on sale, I don’t buy it. However, Little Sam’s Club has a healthy stockpile of Quaker Oatmeal Squares from a promotion this past fall at Festival Foods when there were coupons available.
If you’d like to try the newest flavor of Quaker Oatmeal Squares, check out the Quaker Facebook page here and request a free sample box like the one shown above.
Interested in finding out more about Bzz Agent? Click here. I’ll be talking about them again real soon since I’m in a few other campaigns. LOVE Bzz Agent!
Back in 2001, I saw a news report that mentioned a website where you could earn points for gift cards called My Points. I checked it out and found it was a match made in heaven. This April I celebrated ten years with the site. I have earned 557,173 points over that time. That’s a LOT of gift cards!
There are many ways to earn MyPoints:
- Reading email. Most emails will earn you 5 points if you click to visit the website mentioned.
- Shopping. By starting at the MyPoints site, you can earn between 1 and 20 points per dollar spent depending upon the retailer selected.
- Playing Games. The site will match your first $20 deposit and you can earn 50 points PLUS 5 points per dollar spent. Games can be played for as little as FREE (daily Free Play) or 75 cents and not only can you actually win cash, you can earn points with the game website which is run by World Winner. That’s right–you can earn rewards not only for My Points by playing online games, you can earn rewards for World Winner, too. It’s legal double dipping!
- Downloading the Toolbar which will net you 100 points. You can also activate the Point Finder. You’ll get a notification on the toolbar if you go to a site where you could be earning MyPoints.
- Searching the Web can earn you a maximum of 75 points per month
- Registrations at other partner websites or Subscriptions to things like book clubs
- Taking surveys or completing short questionnaires
- Bzz Agent rewards come in the form of My Points
- and more.
After registering and filling out the necessary demographic information, you choose how much communication you want from My Points. Obviously the more open you are, the more contact you’ll get from them.
You’ll begin to get emails. You earn 5 points per email if you visit the site mentioned. That’s all I did for almost a year and you think it wouldn’t add up but it did; I was able to redeem my accumulated points for a couple of $25 gift certificates (Target and Amazon.com, of course!)
There are tons of earning websites out there now and I’ll be honest, I don’t use My Points as much as I used to. But I still find find the Granddaddy of earning websites a valuable resource to earn rewards for things I am already doing (shopping, playing games, etc). You might want to check it out, too.