Good Housekeeping Research Institute Visit #EEinNYC


Yesterday we had the chance to head to the beautiful Hearst building in New York City and check out the Good Housekeeping Reseach Institute.

You know those jobs that you always wonder if they really exist? Like the guy who can tell you which paper towel really soaks up the most water or the girl who knows which wrinkle cream is the best?

These are the (very smart people) with those jobs.

They work for the magazine “Good Housekeeping” and they determine if a product receives their stamp of approval. I had no idea this was such a hard thing to get. They have lots of tests and funny machines to determine if your bathing suit really will hold it’s color after 50 washes.

This machine was in their section that tests the beauty products. Each year they buy tons of human hair (all kinds too- color treated, sun damaged etc) and test things like shampoos and conditioner. That machine allows them to precisely control the water temperature and can access everything from salt water to pure water.

This machine allows them to take swatches of fabric and wash them over and over and over and over and over to see what happens. They can see if material shrinks or fades, if it frays or there is any other damage.

These towels used to be the same size. The one on the left was what it looked like when they started. The one on the right was after 25 washes. It shrunk 6 INCHES! (Turns out the towels are just shrinking- we aren’t gaining weight!)

This is where everybody wants to work- the test kitchen. They not only check to see if things taste good but they also confirm nutritional information to see that it is correct. Have you ever eaten Pirate’s Booty? When it first came out it was labeled as a nutritious kid friendly snack with 2.5 grams of fat per serving. Good Housekeeping independently tested it and discovered it had 8 grams of fat! They have since reworked the formula and met at a comfortable 5 grams.

Right now they are working on items for the Thanksgiving issue so I am sure turkeys and cranberry sauce will be soon!

This is the area that checks household items- all kinds of products! Currently they were testing skillets.

They also had a big room full of vacuum cleaners- with a machine that grinds dirt into the carpet just so they can see how much it sucks out.

All in all, it was a very interesting tour. I promise you I will never look at the Good Housekeeping seal again without some much due respect!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Welcome 92.9 The Wave Listeners


If you are stopping by because you heard me with the great people on 92.9 The Wave thank you!

Please come in a take a look around.

If you like what you see consider following me on facebook, twitter or signing up to receive my daily e-mail.

Here are the deals we talked about today:

National Flip Flop Day- Free Tropical Smoothie

$2 in Free Amazon MP3 Credits

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


It’s A Bird… On A Plane… It’s a Chick!


God willing and the creek don’t rise as you read this I am on my way to the airport to head to New York City. For a whole day.

I am so fortunate to have been chosen by Super Valu for a trip to the Big Apple to do some pretty amazing things for the launch of the new in-store line “Essential Everyday.” (For those of us who don’t say things so pretty “their generic line.”)

Listen to some of the cool stuff they have invited me to do:

– Tour of Good Housekeeping Research Institute. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute lab and test kitchens to see how products and recipes are tested. You can also see the Good Housekeeping dining room, which has been host to dozens of presidents and celebrities.

– A make it yourself dinner! We’ll have a fun, hands-on experience cooking dinner Essential Everyday and other SUPERVALU private-brand products. (Expect pics on facebook if I can- I am a HORRID cook.)

– I get to hang out with Antonia Lofaso, Executive Chef at Black Market Liquor Bar, fan favorite and finalist on Bravo’s “Top Chef All-Stars,” Bravo’s “Top Chef” and author of “The Busy Mom’s Cookbook.”

I also get to meet a small group of fabulous bloggers from around the country. While lots of bloggers like to go to big conferences and meet lots of people I REALLY enjoy these small meetings where I can spend time with everyone.

Hopefully you won’t notice much difference on the site but I will try to take pics and such on Facebook. Our hotel is near the famous “Canal Street” shopping district so I may post some pics. I wonder if they take coupons?

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


June and July Coupon Class Availability


If you have been interesting in hosting a coupon class I finally have all my dates available for June and July.

I am looking for people to HOST classes- as of right now I don’t have any open to the public. Once I am finished with 1776 I will be looking into scheduling another one!

All you need for a class is a minimum of 6 attendees. The cost is $10 per person. If you would like to host with less than 6 people it is expected that the host makes up the financial difference.

Generally class is just a bunch of us sitting around a table with snacks and wine (I don’t drink the wine, don’t worry), sort of hanging out and learning about coupons. It’s a very laid back endeavor and we always have a good time!

Here are the available dates:

June 9th, 11th and 18th.

July 16th, 20th, 21st, 23nd, 27th, 28th and 30th.

Class takes between two and two and a half hours depending on how talkative we all feel! Everyone receives a workbook and the host receives a coupon related “thank you” gift.

Here are some of the topics we discuss:

Sources for Coupons
Coupon Organization
Coupon Policies
Price Book
Meal Planning
Shopping Preparation
Drug Store Deals
Uses for Expired Coupons
… and much more!

If you would like to host just drop me a message and we can get the dates figured out!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


TLC Extreme Couponing Season III Premiere- Fradulent Coupons and Policy Violations


I half watched the first 30 minutes of Extreme Couponing last night while I was working and I didn’t hear any huge blunders. No one got into a fight in the store or photocopied coupons. I thought perhaps it was an uneventful evening. I thought wrong.

Sigh.

It’s not like we haven’t told TLC this stuff is going on. You would have to live under a rock to not have noticed your network being harassed by e-mails. To quote from an article in the Chicago Tribune “Matt Sharp, executive producer of TLC’s Extreme Couponing, said in an email that the show, which begins its third season in May, does not plan any changes despite the allegations. “Extreme Couponing continues to document real people and their extreme couponing methods. It’s up to each of the couponers to follow store policy and coupon rules,” Sharp wrote.”

Let’s look at some of the fradulent coupons used last night:
$5/1 Lysol Healthy Touch coupon (I remember these from the paper) but it was used on Lysol wipes last night
$1/1 Kleenex Cool Touch coupon used on regular Kleenex
A $6.50/1 cereal coupon? (yeah cause those exist)
$7/1 Hefty Product Coupon (on the CIC fraudulent coupon list)
FREE Quilted Northern Coupon (on the CIC fraudulent coupon list)
Free Doritos Bags Coupon

One of the people last night stated she had bought coupons online for the show and a few seconds on ebay shows that many of these counterfeit coupons are available for purchase!

And then there was the trip to K-Mart with just insane violations of their coupon policy. Kmart only doubles 5 coupons per day in real life. AND they gave overages on coupons (which they don’t do in real life).

Instead of getting all worked up about it I want you to see these as learning opportunities. If a coupon seems too good to be true check the Coupon Information Center- they have a list of all the well known counterfeit coupons.

Be sure to know the coupon policies for the stores you enjoy shopping and that way you will be sure to never unintentionally violate their rules!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Extreme Couponing Season 3 Begins Tonight


(In order to really get the full effectiveness of this post I have placed the theme song from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” on the bottom of the post. If you hit play and allow it to run during your reading it REALLY gives you the proper atmosphere.)

Oh my. I really thought there wouldn’t be any stores left in the US who would let them film.

Clearly I was wrong.

For better or worse Extreme Couponing is back tonight on TLC at 10 p.m. EST.

I have to admit as a coupon blogger this show is a mixed blessing for me. Many of you are reading my site because of what you saw on Extreme Couponing. Hundreds have taken my coupon classes because of it.

So I wanted to point out The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of the show so that you know exactly what I think.

The Good
There are absolutely good parts of Extreme Couponing. MANY of the people shown, even if they don’t air it, donate to local food banks and shelters. They also show that “normal” people can save money using coupons. Most of these people are not rocket scientists. They are just average people who figured out how to use coupons to make their lives better. If they can do it, so can you. They are EXTREME but on the whole they have good hearts and good intentions.

The Bad
Please remember these are EXTREME trips. Just because you see them get $1,000 worth of groceries for $30 does not mean their grocery budget each month is that $30. If you can survive on Milky Way Bars, BBQ sauce and toothbrushes- this is the way to live. If you want to eat fresh fruit, fresh veggies or meat you have to understand that saving 95% at the grocery store all the time is NOT realistic. As a frame of reference I usually shoot to save between 50% and 70% when I grocery shop. I just hate when I talk to people who are disappointed they are not saving like they see on the air. Do you expect to fall in love by having 20 guys come and fight over getting a rose at the end of the night? Then don’t expect to save like you see on “reality television” either.

The Ugly
Here’s the problem with this show. The ugly is SOOOO ugly. It’s not much ugly but when it raises it’s head it’s so bad. We have seen coupon fraud on the show over and over again. In no way it is okay to photocopy coupons and present them at the store. It is NEVER okay to steal coupons from a newspaper or a neighbors driveway. It is NEVER okay to walk into a store and buy out their entire inventory of an item when you have more than enough.

The Conclusion
I tell people all the time- if you have never seen the show I think you should watch it once. For me it has a similar affect as watching “Hoarders” makes my house feel spotless. I hope that you can see the good in things and avoid those who do things unethically. And if you have seen the show before there probably isn’t a need to watch it again- you’ve seen it all before!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Meal Planning Class: June 4th in Virginia Beach


I have joined up with Sharon from Mom on Dealz to present menu planning classes in Chesapeake and other cites.

Now it’s time for a Virginia Beach Meal Planning Class! The class will include menu planning strategies and also a brief introduction to coupon basics.

Here are some of the topics we will be discussing:

  • Couponing Basics/Harris Teeter Coupon Policies
  • Once a Month Cooking
  • Once a Week Cooking
  • Everyday Cooking
  • Cooking From Your Stockpile
  • Maximizing Your Slow Cooker
  • Menu Creating
  • Freezer Storage Times
  • Organization Methods and Tools
  • Planning Your Menu Using Sales Ads

All participants will need to bring a three ring binder as we will have LOTS of paperwork to hand out.

This informative class will be June 4th from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Harris Teeter located on Virginia Beach Blvd. in Virginia Beach.

The cost of the class will be $10. It must be paid to reserve your seat and there are no refunds or transfers.

If you are interested please e-mail Sharon at momondealz (at) gmail.com.  From there Sharon will give you the address to pay via paypal or to mail a check.

I hope you all are as excited about this class as we are- I think it can really make a difference for some Hampton Roads families!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.