My Amaranth “Disaster” and How I Resolved It

Amaranth Bowl

Amaranth Porridge: Definitely not the world’s most photogenic food

I’ve been on a bit of a health kick recently, and just had a big order from Vitacost delivered yesterday. Among the tasty healthy things I ordered was a pound of amaranth seed. Now, I had never had amaranth before, but figured that it should be something like micro quinoa – an equally tasty “grain” that gives a similarly fluffy result when cooked. It’s also very healthy, with high levels of calcium, iron and magnesium and rich in protein and fiber and no gluten.

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15% Off Method Products at Vitacost Through January 28!

Here are some of the Method products I use in our home

Great deal on Vitacost this week: you can get 15% off all Method cleaning products, plus 4% cash back through Ebates and to top it all off, first time Vitacost customers can get $10 off their first order !

If you read the first part of my Green cleaning post, you’ll see that I use the Method All Purpose Spray in the kitchen and bathroom, and in the second part I’m going to go over some of my other favorites, such as the floor and bathroom cleaners. Also worth noting that the Lavender Cedar laundry detergent smells HEAVENLY! It’s one of my favorites for white sheets.
Oh, and hand soaps and skin care are also included!

Here’s a sample of some of the prices  and the savings you could get:

You can check out the rest of the offers here:

And if you have never purchased from Vitacost before, you can get $10 off your first order of $30+! Just follow this link, create a Vitacost account and you will instantly get the discount code. Please make sure to write it down if you won’t use it immediately.

Not an Ebates user yet? I would strongly recommend you to join – with Ebates you get cash back every quarter for shopping at your favorite online retailers. Sign up here and get a gift card after your first purchase!


Change in iHerb International Shipping Rates

iHerb Change in International Shipping Rates 2014

iHerb has always been known for very inexpensive international shipping, but it looks like those days might be over.

I’ve had a couple of my international readers email me questions about iHerb’s new international shipping rates, so I thought I would write a post on the subject and share a big change that was announced last week by the company.

Unfortunately, it looks like iHerb is no longer able to subsidize international shipping at the rate that they used to in previous years. If you read my old Vitacost vs iHerb post, you know that one of iHerb’s main distinguishing features was always incredibly cheap international shipping (as low as $4 flat for up to 4 lbs), so for people abroad it was always the better option of the two since Vitacost’s international offerings were both expensive and limited to a handful of countries. But several years have passed since that was written, and it looks like the companies have done a full 180 – Vitacost is now offering shipping to a much wider array of countries, and their DHL Global flat fee starts at $9.99 for 3.6 lbs (1.6 kg).

You can read more about this iHerb decision in this and this facebook post, and on the iHerb website. And here are the new announced international Airmail shipping rates:

  • Up to 1 pound = $4.45
  • From 1 pound to 2 pounds = $8.90
  • From 2 pounds to 3 pounds = $13.35
  • From 3 pounds to 4 pounds = $17.80

No matter which company you ultimately prefer, both offer a discount off of your first order. Click this link to get a code for $10 off your Vitacost purchase of $30+, and click this link to receive $5-10 off your first iHerb order.

12% Off Vitacost Orders through 12/02!

Vitacost 12% Off

I have a very steady stream of visitors to my Vitacost vs iHerb post, so I thought I would share this great news – for Cyber Monday you can get 12% off your whole Vitacost order when you use code CYBER12! Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that this can be combined with the $10 off your first order of $30+ code, but if you are an existing customer it’s a great deal! I’m planning on picking up a bunch of healthy stocking stuffers for friends and family, such as:

  • Chocolove Chocolate ($2.59-3.19 each, minimum purchase 2) – I absolutely love this stuff, and plan to tuck a bar into each stocking. My favorites are the Almond & Sea Salt and Cherries & Almonds!
  • Rigoni di Asiago Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa and Milk ($5.19 each, minimum purchase 2) – this is my favorite Nutella alternative. It’s organic,  creamier and sweeter than Justin’s, and does not contain palm oil like the original Nutella. Also, a little less calories and half the saturated fat of the original! Definitely something for my little niece’s stocking.
  • Quinn Foods Popcorn ($5.39 each, some flavors have a minimum purchase of 2) – one for the adults! This delicious gourmet microwaveable popcorn is headquartered not far from us in Woburn, MA. Each pack comes with two envelopes – one with oil and one with flavoring. You pop the popcorn first, then add the oil and shake, then add the powder and shake. End result is absolutely delicious, and the Olive Oil & Herbs flavor is my favorite.
  • Alba Botanica Papaya Enzyme Facial Mask ($8.69) – I have been using this stuff for a while, and think it’s a great non-abrasive exfoliator/peel. Getting this for my sister in law who loves all things natural/organic.
  • Thayers Alcohol Free Witch Hazel ($7.96) – it took me a while to try the Thayers Witch Hazel, and I have been loving it ever since. This is going into my mother in law’s stocking.

Moving Away from Microbeads – Environmentally Friendly Exfoliator Alternatives

A reader shared this interesting infographic with me, and I thought I would spread the information about the environmental impact of polyethylene microbeads in exfoliators.

I personally have moved away from exfoliators with microbeads not only for environmental reasons, but also because they are much too rough for my sensitive skin. Ever since I discovered enzyme peels, I have forgotten that nasty, burning sensation and flaking for several days afterwards that I experienced after using exfoliators with microbeads or apricot kernels.

You can find a list of common exfoliators that contain microbeads by following this link.

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My Top Ten Green/Natural Kitchen Cleaners Reviewed – Seventh Generation, Method, Ecover and more!

Method All Purpose Spray Cleaner - White RosemaryPlanet Ultra Dishwashing LiquidSeventh Generation Rinse Aid - Free and ClearBetter Life Take It For Granite ReviewEcover Natural Dishwashing LiquidBon Ami Powder Cleaner

I’ve been a Vitacost and iHerb shopper for years, and the reason that initially brought me there was a desire to switch to more natural cleaning products. I am very sensitive to scents and fumes, and having to use bleach or Tilex on the tub and Lysol in the bathroom always left me with watery eyes and a splitting headache. Even worse in the kitchen, where everything comes into contact with food!
I figured that there had to be some alternative, and started searching for “green” products that would be less aggressive, but still effective. There was a lot of trial and error along the way, but I would love to share some of my favorites, as well as a couple of duds to stay away from.

This is the first part of a series of posts where I will share my cleaning experience – stay tuned!

If you are a first time Vitacost or iHerb customer, you can receive $10 off your first order and try out a lot of these products for so much less than you would pay retail!

  • To save $10 off your first Vitacost purchase of $30+ follow this link.
  • To save $10 off your first iHerb order of $40+ (and $5 off of anything under $40) use code VMC661 or follow this link.

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Vitacost vs iHerb – Comparing Prices (and $10 off your first order)

My original Vitacost vs iHerb post is definitely the most popular page on my blog, and I’m incredibly happy that people are finding it useful even though it was put together quite a while ago! I’ve since placed many orders on both sites, and am planning to put together an updated overview (things have definitely changed quite a bit), but in the meantime I thought I’d put together a very quick price comparison of the two. Basically what I did was fill my cart with the exact same items that I was planning to buy, and take a screen shot of the resulting cart and total price.

I will also once again share my iHerb discount code (VMC661) that will save you $5-10 off of your first order, and a Vitacost link (or if that doesn’t work) that will give you $10 off of your first order of $30 or more.

The products in both carts are actual things that I buy, so I wasn’t picking and choosing based on the price difference or to prove a point. However, the results were pretty amazing – while I always knew that Vitacost was less expensive, it was pretty impressive to see just how much lower their prices are!

iHerb vs Vitacost

My iHerb cart: $92.67 total, including a 5% discount for orders over $60

iHerb vs Vitacost

My Vitacost cart: $73.55 total!

So as you can see, the iHerb order came to $92.67, while the Vitacost order was just $73.55 – that’s almost a $20 price difference, $19.12 to be exact! Both orders would be eligible for free shipping, however only the Vitacost one would get you an extra 4% cash back through ebates (sign up here if you don’t already have an account and get a $10 gift card).

Overall, even though I still order certain things on iHerb, Vitacost gets most of my business due to their lower prices. Stay tuned for more info!

Just a small reminder – you can follow this link (or copy and paste if that doesn’t work) to get $10 off of your first Vitacost order of $30, and you can use code VMC661 for $5-10 off of your first iHerb order of $25+. Enjoy!!!


iHerb vs Vitacost: Which Is Better? My Review

iHerb vs Vitacost: Both offer a similar selection of healthy goodies, so what’s the difference?

Come check out the updated 2016 Vitacost vs iHerb review at my new blog – click here to go to Olga’s Laundry Blog.

I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately and a couple of weeks ago I placed my first iHerb order. I had heard a lot about the website, but somehow never had any need for their products. However, when I found myself on the market for supplements I started looking around and comparing prices. And I realized that Whole Foods charges $10-15 more on some of the stuff I need! AND you can save $5-10 off of your first order with a referral code! It was a no-brainer for a cheap frugal person like me.
And then I got sucked in – there is just so much to choose from. Some of the products I needed weren’t in stock on iHerb, so that is how I discovered Vitacost. Shortly after that, a second order was placed, and ever since I’ve really gotten into the whole “healthy option” thing and my purchases have ranged from eco-friendly dishwashing tablets to shampoo to vitamins with a lot of stuff in between.

When I did my initial online research, I noticed that there wasn’t much information comparing iHerb and Vitacost – most of the search results were outdated forum threads or websites promoting their referral codes, none of which is very helpful. At this point I think I have enough experience to compare the two and with that I decided to jot down a detailed review/comparison. I have to warn you that it will be pretty subjective though – I’m basing it all solely on personal preference and experience.

And… yes, I will share a Vitacost link that will give you $10 off of your first order of $30 or more and my iHerb discount code (VMC661) that will save you $5-10 off of your first order. Enjoy! ♥

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Vitacost Be All Box for $13.99 With Free Shipping on Whole Order!

Vitacost Be Boxes

Vitacost Be Boxes

I have to admit, I’m a little on the fence about writing this post. On the one hand, I would very much prefer to write only about subscription boxes that I’ve already tried, but on the other – this one is brand new, and a limited edition, and will probably sell out quickly, so after I get it might be too late!

Since my iHerb vs Vitacost post has been receiving quite a lot of traffic, I figured a lot of my readers would be interested in the new Be Box subscriptions from Vitacost. The monthly box is $13.99 with combined value up to $70 MSRP and shipping is free (best of all, the whole order that you place with the box qualifies for free shipping too!). You can also get 6% cash back through ebates (copy and paste to sign up), 10% off if you “Subscribe and Save” on Vitacost and of course $10 off of your first Vitacost purchase of $30 or more when you sign up through this link (or

Most of the Be Boxes have already sold out (I missed out on the Be Well and Be Pretty options – one is personal care&wellness products, the other mostly beauty products and I will definitely be trying both in the future), but I checked today and saw that the brand new Be All box has just become available. They promise a mix of vitamins, supplements, food and personal care products, which sounds pretty good to me. Fingers crossed for a great first Be All box!

Here’s an idea of what else you could buy in order to use your $10 off of first purchase of $30 coupon and get free shipping:

Total: $31.04 with FREE shipping – $10 off coupon = 21.04 – 6% through ebates=
Grand total: just $19.78!

That’s for almost $50 worth of products – not even counting the Be All box’ MSRP. Not a bad deal, right?

The Easiest, Tastiest and Healthiest Brownie You Will Ever Eat!

Best Sunday Breakfast Ever: Vegan Black Bean Brownie with Coconut-Lemon Topping!

Okay, I know that “healthy” and “brownie” should probably not be in the same sentence. I also know that my first reaction to reading about vegan brownies made with… black beans was “Huh?!” But trust me, this stuff is incredible. Both me and my boyfriend (and we are foodies!) agreed that they are actually tastier than the real thing, and at only 115 calories per serving, this is now officially my new favorite dessert!

Want to know more? Read on!

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