Happy Memorial Day, everybody! Hopefully you're all enjoying a nice day off with sunny weather and good food!
We got together with Eddie's parents yesterday and had some amazing burgers and beers, and had a moment of remembrance for all those who gave their lives so that we could hang out and enjoy our burgers and beers.
Today, I have for you a post that's been a little while in the making, as I've had to test the products and compare prices. But the Brandless review is finally here! We put together a little unboxing for you, and then I tested all the products and compared prices with my usual products, so hopefully you'll get some good information out of it! I'm covering the idea behind Brandless in my video, so be sure to watch that before you move along to the full review.
Before you watch the video, I have to warn you...
This is our first video, so it is a little rough. I was sick (like, super-nasty sick) when we filmed it, so there are a few pauses to accommodate for me dying from coughing. I also am pretty camera-shy and awkward when it comes to video, so just bear with my weird pauses and lack of smiling. I actually am a nice person, and these videos will get better, I promise!
Now that we've got that together, check out the video! (and be sure to subscribe to my new YouTube channel!)
If you made it through that, thanks for sticking around!
So, now it's time for the full review. I've broken down my assessment on each product below.
Kitchen & Grocery
Coconut & Almond Bars: These tasted great! They were a little chewy for my liking, but that's just personal preference. The price wasn't great compared to my usual brand, however. I usually get Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Nut granola bars, and they are 6-ct (1.2 oz bars) for $3.09 at Target. These are 3-ct (1.4 oz bars) for $3. I also didn't like that they wasted so much packaging just to maintain the three-dollar price point. I would gladly pay six dollars for more bars and save some cardboard.
Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce: Loved this sauce! I used it in a ravioli "lasagna" that is one of my family's favorite recipes, and they loved it. The price was good; compared to a few other brands it was right in the middle at the $3 price point for a 24-oz. jar.
Organic Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips: These were great! Loved them for nachos and just to dip in salsa. The price point wasn't the best at $3 for a 9-oz. bag, but it wasn't terrible, either. Simply Balanced at Target offers a 12-oz. bag for $2.79, so I might stick with them for these.
Organic Chocolate Creme Cookies: I was actually really excited to try these, because I haven't been able to find store-brand substitutions for packaged cookies and candy like Oreos, and Reese's Cups, etc.. After tasting them, I was a little disappointed because they tasted kind of funny to me for some reason. But my husband assured me that they were great, and he and the kiddos ate the rest before I got the chance to try them again. So I guess you can say they're good! The price point is hard to compare, since I haven't seen many other organic versions of this cookie. Compared to Oreos, they are slightly more pricey, but considering the fact that they're organic, they are probably actually a better deal.
Wild Albacore Tuna in Water: Taste-wise, this tuna was spectacular, and I love that it is wild-caught and dolphin-safe. Price-wise, it wasn't so great. I compared a few other brands with similar features, and most of them have almost twice the amount of tuna for just a dollar more. Probably something I wouldn't opt for in future purchases.
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil: I was really pleased with this olive oil. It tasted great, and I liked the slim bottle that it's packaged in. The price point was pretty darn fair. I found other organic brands on either side of the Brandless price point, so it was average.
Gluten Free Brownie Mix: Probably my favorite food item in this order! At first I was a little skeptical when I mixed it together because it was so thick (more like fudge than a brownie batter), but they came out great. Super moist and very tasty. After comparing the price with other gluten-free mixes, I found that these were actually a great deal at just $3 a box. However, if you aren't strictly-gluten free, you can get a better deal on non-gluten-free brownie mixes. So it depends on your dietary choices.
Organic Chili Powder: This was probably the best deal in the whole bundle of food. It beat out any other organic chili powder I could find on the price per ounce. However, the fact that it doesn't come with its own bottle could have a lot to do with that. Either way, it's a great deal if you're looking to go organic.
Serrated Bread Knife: I was a little skeptical on this one since it's SO cheap. It's a good knife, but not the best I've had. It was (of course) nice and sharp, and works great to cut bread and tomatoes and other soft items. However, the handle is very straight, and not too ergonomic, which I'm not very keen on. However, for the price, it's a great deal. I can see these kitchen utensils being a fantastic option for a college student who needs to stock their apartment.
Acacia Wood Slotted Spoon: I love this spoon! The wood is very sturdy, and stands up as well as any of my other wooden spoons. It does have a little "copper" embellishment on the handle, which I didn't see when I purchased it. The copper is actually made from plastic, but it doesn't look too cheap, so I love it!
Home & Beauty
Lemon Verbena Body Scrub: I have to say I wasn't a fan of this one. I'll start by saying that the lemon verbena scent is really good. However it was almost too strong once I actually started applying the scrub. Not only that, but it was pretty darn irritating to my skin. I had a few bug bites, and it actually burned once it touched those. I did like the exfoliants in it, as they weren't overly coarse. However, it felt like there was a lot of filler ingredients, and it just didn't feel like it was very good for my skin in general (it's a little hard to explain). The price per ounce was good compared to other brands, but I wouldn't buy it again because of the quality of the product.
Tub & Tile Cleaner: This works about as well as any other tub and tile cleaner I've tried, so it is something that I might consider purchasing again. The price is similar to other eco-friendly brands, so it's not a bad deal, either.
Lavender and Eucalyptus Gel Hand Soap: This soap was good. The lavender-eucalyptus scent was nice and fresh, without being too strong. It foams up well, and I felt like my hands were cleaned well after using it. The price is average, I would say (I compared it to our usual Method brand, and the Method soap was slightly less expensive). I might repurchase this one, but I wouldn't mind having a broader variety of scents to choose from.
Here's a photo of the amazzzzing brownies, because, yeah. (forgive the cell phone photo)
Packaging: The packing was done really well. None of my products were leaking or damaged, and there was minimal filler in the box. However, the eco angel on my shoulder is kind of shaking her head at the amount of plastic used in some of these products. The granola bars were three to a package, when they could have put more in a single box and charged a bit more. The three dollar price point for everything is great, but not at the cost of harming our planet.
Average Value for Price: Some products were a great deal, and others not so much. I would do my research on these products before purchasing, just to be sure.
Shipping: Shipping was fast! However, I never received an e-mail to confirm that my order was shipped, which is kind of a pet peeve of mine. However, it still arrived before the expected date, so that was great.
Customer Service: I didn't have to speak with customer service since there weren't any major issues with my order. However, as I mentioned above in the shipping review, I would have liked to receive a notification that my order had shipped, instead of having to manually check it.
Overall, I really liked the Brandless products! Some were better deals than others, so I'll price-compare a little before selecting products the next time I order.
Do you think these were some good deals? And let me know if you've tried Brandless before, and what your thoughts are!