Send Me Gluten Free – A Review

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“Send Me Gluten Free is a monthly subscription service that introduces you to new gluten free products. You’ll get full-size and sample size food, personal care items, supplements and household products that support your gluten free lifestyle.

Each month we will send you 8-10 new gluten free products to try that will include at least 1 full-sized item.”

I recently canceled my Send Me Gluten Free (SMGF) subscription box.  I usually enjoyed it when it arrived, but I just wasn’t excited about it like I was with my Birchbox.  I’m glad I got it for a while, but I not really sad that it won’t be coming any more.

So the questions is: Would I recommend Send Me Gluten Free to my friends?

Ummm… probably. Especially if they were new to Gluten Free Living.  I think this box is more suited to someone who is still looking for GF replacements.  I’m looking back at my SMGF Reviews and I’m noticing that I didn’t write many…. I did post more comments about products on Instagram as I used them though… I just wasn’t as excited… and it took longer to use, and in some cases, figure out how to use some products.

It’s interesting looking back and making up a list of pros and cons… I liked the products that I received most of the time.  I just didn’t enjoy the interaction between SMGF and their community.  I know I compare them to Birchbox a lot, but I really like Birchbox’s model.  There is a lot of interaction and bonuses through social media with Birchbox. SMGF just sends you a box and say ‘here ya go.”  There’s nothing wrong with that, exactly, but I felt like something was lacking.  I enjoy chatting about the products online and sharing (obviously….).

So, I guess I’m saying that the box itself is fun, but if you’re looking for interaction and idea sharing… this isn’t your box.  If you’re just looking for new Gluten Free products… you’re in luck!

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  1. Presents in the mail every month!IMG_2737
  2. New GF products – Food and Lifestyle (like shampoo and vitamins)
  3. Plenty of full-sized products. (Cake Mixes & Pastas)
  4. Coupons – Free products sometimes too… for things you’d find in the frozen foods isle.
  5. Good Value – A year subscription was $240.  I had a promo code for 20% off so I paid $192, which brought the cost of each box down to $16.  That included shipping.
  6. Nice to Bloggers – I’m just a little blogger (Go like me on Facebook or Twitter and help me grow!) When I contacted SMGF about offering a promo code to my readers they offered to let me do a giveaway too.  They sent me all the info and images quickly and the rep was really friendly and helpful.

Cons:

  1. IMG_3155Repeat products/companies – Sick of seeing nogii bars & powders
  2. Vitamins – What am I supposed to learn from 1 vitamin?  ONE?! At least give me a week’s supply.
  3. No Referral Credit – With other boxes you get a referral code to share with your friends.  It encourages you to share your reviews and tell your friends.  Its just a nice little extra, especially for bloggers.
  4. No Store – Birchbox lets you buy products from your box through their shop.  SMGF doesn’t have a shop.  If you want to buy the product again you have to hunt it down on your own.  Once I got a coupon for a free box of GF corndogs.  I was SO excited, but then I couldn’t find them anywhere.  I searched the company’s website and contacted them… they finally emailed me back and told me they weren’t in my area.  I found them the next week in my local store.  Even if SMGF didn’t want to have their own shop like Birchbox,  they could offer easy links from their website to the products in the monthly box.  Maybe with a promo code?
  5. Website – Their website is simply a place to sign up for the subscription.  No links to products or place to review… it seems very underutalized.  Their Facebook page is better, but the website was lacking.
  6. Account Info – Speaking of the website…. Account info is rather sparse.  I’d signed up for a year subscription.  Looking back at my emails I thought I’d first signed up in February, but according to my Account Info I was listed as a Member Since May…. Then in January I got an email saying that they’d auto-renewed my subscription.  When I contacted customer service to cancel I get this back:

“We apologize for the confusion, but we mention many times on our website that all of our subscriptions do auto-renew.  We are happy to help you cancel your subscription – but sad to see you go! ……… Remember that you may cancel at any time, however you have prepaid for the term of your subscription and this is non-refundable.”

Yeah.. you told me… A YEAR AGO!  And I thought that I had until MARCH to cancel… or else lose boxes that I’d paid for… The site doesn’t offer an option to “cancel at the end of the subscription just “cancel.”

 They did get it canceled and refunded though, so it all worked out okay.

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Send Me Gluten Free Birthday Giveaway

It’s my Birthday, but the presents are for you! 

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My new favorite subscription box company, Send Me Gluten Free has super kindly offered to send one of their boxes to THREE of my pals.  (If you haven’t heard of Send Me Gluten Free, you can read about it HERE on my blog.) 
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So, let’s have a contest!
Since it IS my birthday….. and it’s all about ME….
Like me on FACEBOOK and/or
Like me on TWITTER and/or
Like me on INSTAGRAM
You’ll receive one entry for each social media site you LIKE.  Don’t worry if you are already following me on your favorite site… I’ll have bonus chances for you on each site this month.
The contest will run until May 15h, 2015.
Thanks for helping me celebrate and grow my blog!

Send Me Gluten Free – April Box Review

April Send Me Gluten Free BoxLast month I shared most of my SMGF Box with the family at Family Dinner Night, but this month my Send Me Gluten Free box seemed better suited for snacking. Perfect!  Brian and I were headed to Bowling Green, KY for a Track Weekend, so I tossed the whole box into our food bag.

Level – Double Chocolatey Chip Protein Bar – This one didn’t get eaten on our trip, so Mom and I finally tried it one afternoon for snack.  (I just can’t convince myself that this much chocolate should be breakfast or lunch.)  It wasn’t awesome.  It was dry and crumbly and the taste was just so-so.  Thank you, SMGF for sparing me from buying a whole box and being stuck with it!

Skinny Pop PopcornSkinny Pop Popcorn – I received the plain popcorn.  It was yummy enough… but it was just popcorn. I might have been a little more wound up if I’d gotten the White Cheddar… I try to NOT buy white cheddar popcorn.  It seems like I open the bag and BAM! it’s all gone… I don’t know how that happens.  🙂

AllergEase – I can’t say that it’s helped my allergies… so far I’m doing okay this spring.  (fingers crossed!)  Taste-wise, they aren’t bad.  I usually don’t like the honey & lemon flavored drops… most don’t taste like honey or lemon!  This didn’t taste much like honey or lemon either, but in an okay way.  The menthol flavor overpowered the honey and lemon.  The taste was okay, so I’ll keep them in my purse and try them out if I start getting sniffly or scratchy.

AlterEco – Mini Dark Noir – “smooth and rich, with a firm snap, strong bite, and a hint of licorice.”  Licorice… I had to read the product description to catch that.  It’s a very light taste of licorice, but it’s just perfect.  Very smooth and rich.  Would be heaven with a cup of Tea Pigs Licorice & Mint tea!

Crazy Korean Shopping – Wholly Gochujang – I haven’t tried this one yet.  SMGF sent a few recipes with it though, so that is a bonus….. ’cause I wasn’t sure what the heck to do with it.

Superseedz – Coco Joe Pumpkin Seeds – Oh, yum!  These didn’t get eaten over the weekend, so I took them to share with Mom. She turned her nose up at them initially, saying that she’d had them before and wasn’t impressed.  I dumped a few on her plate anyway and told her she had to help me review them.  Apparently she hadn’t had them before… we both really liked them.  Nice and crunchy with a light taste of chocolate… a little salty… perfect snack to keep in the purse.

Sun ButterSun Butter – I’d planned to have this for breakfast with a banana, but our hotel didn’t have any bananas.  😦  Why is it that the “fancy” hotels charge you more and don’t have any of the extras? I’ll take my Holiday Inn Express’ thank-you-very-much…. they have my bananas and yogurt.  I had to wait until I got home and picked up bananas to give this a try.  Yum!  It’s like peanut butter… but nuttier?  Don’t laugh. I don’t know how else to describe it.  The Sun Butter has a slightly ‘nuttier’ flavor.  It is very good.  I don’t have a peanut allergy, so it’s not a huge deal for me.  I like the Go-Packs.  I might have to order a box before our next road trip.

Goodie Girl CookiesGoodie Girl – Quinoa Chocolate Chunk – Brian ate all the cookies!  I wasn’t sure about Quinoa in cookies, so I let him eat the first one…. and then he ate them all.  So I guess that’s a pretty good review.

Overall, I’m still pretty pleased with the Send Me Gluten Free boxes.  I received several product that I hadn’t tried before…. I liked most of them and there are a couple that I will actually order.  Woo Hoo!

If I have convinced you that you can’t live without your own box of Send Me Gluten Free treats, use PROMO Code: BLOG20 and get 20% off!

Send Me Gluten Free – March Box

Send Me Gluten Free March Box Brian says that I was pretty negative in my original review of the Send Me Gluten Free box.  I didn’t mean it to be a negative review… actually I was pretty excited about SMGF on the whole… they just have some elements that I think would make it much better… but I like to box… and would recommend it.

Since I’m trying to introduce my family to the Gluten Free lifestyle a bit more I decided that I’d share my SMGF box at Family Dinner Night.

(If you haven’t been following along, Brian and I host Family Dinner Night every Tuesday.  We usually have about 12 people… everyone from Grandpa (91 yrs) to cousins (18 yrs)…. so we have a great sample audience.)

Pamela’s Products – Figgies & Jammies Fig Cookies (Raspberry & Fig) – This was really yummy.  Tasted pretty much like Raspberry-Fig Newtons.  The cookie part was nice and moist and the filling was chewy…  the way it should be.

ToufayanGluten Free Wraps – I was probably most excited to try these wraps.  I’ve tried several different kinds of wraps that have ranged from ‘ok’ to really awful.  These were great!  I would definitely buy theses again.  They were nice and flexible, didn’t tear and tasted pretty much like a flour tortilla.

toosumAcai & Cranberries – Yuck!  I shared this with Mom…. we didn’t even finish it.  It was dry and…. strange.  It left a weird aftertaste too.

Surf Sweets – Gummy Bears – I think most gummy bears are already gluten free, but Surf Sweets gummies are free of many of the other big evils (soy, corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors…).  They were really good.  I meant to share with Mom, but I think I ate most of them.

Redd RemediesJoin Health Soft Chew – They only gave me one chew!  What am I supposed to get from this sample?  It tasted okay… I don’t know why people need chewy vitamins anyway…. I’ve out grown chewable vitamins.  Just swallow them, for heavens-sake! According to the package I should feel results in 7-10 days…. so give me seven of them to try.  Enh… not an impressive sample.

nogii – Whey & Quinoa Protein Powder (Cocoa Chocolate) – I don’t like protein drinks, so I mixed this up (with Almond Milk) at Family Dinner Night and let my aunts and cousins (who do drink protein drinks) try it.  The general consensus was not great. They all mentioned that it left a nasty aftertaste.

Le Veneziane – Lasagne – I made two lasagnes for Family Dinner night.  One using my favorite GF lasagne noodles (Simply Balanced) and the other using the Le Veneziane noodles.  The only difference was the noodles.  Everyone got a medium sized slice of lasagne… I marked the Le Veneziane with a toothpick and let them vote which they liked best.  The Simply Balanced Lasagne was the clear winner (except for Grandpa, who insisted that the slice with the toothpick was far tastier…. I think he was just being ornery though.)  The Le Veneziane noodle was good.  I would certainly recommend it.  The only complaint was that it was ever so slightly ‘mushy.’    Or perhaps not as firm as the Simply Balanced.  Taste-wise, I don’t think anyone noticed a difference, and I’d say that you could feed this to a non-GF person and they’d never know.  As far as I can tell, you’re probably going to have to order these from Amazon…. at about $7/box.  I’d just stick with the Simply Balanced from Target for less than $3.00.

CobraZol – Roll-On Chronic Pain Relief – I haven’t tried this yet.  Miracle of miracles… nothing hurts at the moment!

Kimchee Seasoning  – I haven’t tried this either…. mostly because I’m not sure what to do with it. I’ve never had a recipe call for Kimchee seasoning. (I guess I’ll have to look for one.)  I also couldn’t find a website for this product.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with my first Send Me Gluten Free Box.

Send Me Gluten Free

I’ll admit it…. I’m a Subscription Box addict.  I really LOVE getting things in the mail.  Just ask our mail-carrier… I don’t think he likes me….. but the UPS and FedEx guys are nice.

You may remember me talking about the Find Me Gluten Free App.  It is an absolute MUST for the Gluten Free traveler.  This app has been a life saver during some of our travels… the reviews are from other GF people.  You don’t just have to take the restaurant’s word for the fact that they are GF.  Real people, who have already eaten the food can tell you if it was good and if they got sick or not.  We offer ourselves up as guinea pigs…. sad but true.

I got an email from Find Me Gluten Free a while back… they were starting a subscription box service…. Send Me Gluten Free. Oh, dear.  How could I resist?!  A subscription box… of FOOD!  Food that wouldn’t make me sick!  (Nature Box has a GF option now too… so tempted.) I held out for a while, but recently Pamela’s Products had a promo code for 20% off a subscription (which is a fairly healthy chunk if you go for the year-long subscription) and I couldn’t resist any longer.

My first box arrived during a snow storm… along with several boxes from Amazon… which may have something to do with why my mail carrier doesn’t like me so much….  (March Box Review – COMING SOON)

Send Me Gluten Free

“It’s time to try something new.”  Yes!

According to their FAQ’s

“Each month we will send you 8-12 new gluten-free products to try that will include at least 1 full-sized item. You’ll get full-size and sample size food, personal care items, supplements and household products that support your gluten-free lifestyle.”

Likes & Dislikes So Far: 

Likes:

  • Yummy Food that doesn’t kill me…  Yay!
  • Discovering new products and not paying a ton.  For $16 a month (with my 20% off) I get 8-12 new new products to try.  Anyone who has been living GF knows the disappointment of spending $10 or more on a new GF product that tastes awful.  With SMGF I get to try several products… at least a few should be good.
  • Something fun to look forward to each month!

Dislikes:

Submitting Reviews – Unlike with Birchbox, if you want to submit a review of the box or a product, you have to go to their site, fill out an application and submit your blog post or video review.  So if you don’t have a blog or YouTube you don’t get to do a review.  You also don’t earn anything for your reviews… With Birchbox you earn points for your product reviews that you can use to purchase products in the Birchbox store.

UPDATE:  Okay, apparently I misunderstood their review thingie.  You’re not submitting your review of their box… you’re asking them to send you a box to review and submitting your reviews of other boxes as an example of your work.  Oops.  

No Store – You can’t buy the products from SMGF… you have to find them in a store or online…. which isn’t the end of the world, but it is nice to be able to just reorder the product directly from Birchbox.

Refer a Friend – Again, not the end of the world, but it would be nice to get a bit of credit for sending new subscribers to SMGF. With Birchbox (I know, I know… I really like their program though.) you get a personal referral code and you earn 50 points to use in the BB store when someone uses your code to subscribe.  With SMGF you have to sign up with a third-party (Share-A-Sale) to become an affiliate.  And they have to review your site and…. I dunno… it just feels like I have to audition to help sell their box….. Come on people…. make it easy!

All in all, so far I am enjoying the Send Me Gluten Free subscription box.  I’ve already found a couple itms that I’ll add to my shopping list (March Review).  SMGF is a new subscription service so hopefully they will improve their review and referral programs as they progress.