Reader’s Digest staff members recently did a hands-on test of 10 As Seen on TV products, and delivered their honest critiques. For “As Seen on TV: What Not to Buy,” writer Perri O. Blumberg enlisted colleagues at the magazine to help “separate the scams from the saviors” of 10 “products we all secretly want.”
The magazine recommends buying six of the 10 products, with the NutriBullet receiving a score of 4 out of 4 (“Order overnight!!”). The lowest-ranking products were Lint Lizard, with a zero out of 4 (“Need we say more?”), and the Twist n Clip, with a 0.5 out of 4 (“Practically a gag gift”).
Here are all 10 products Reader’s Digest reviewed, with their score, recommendation and retail price in quotes.
Infamous and inVinceableVince Offer is back peddling his Slap Chop in an attempt to resurrect interest in this once market-dominating As Seen on TV classic. As we demonstrated in this blog post a few years ago during the Slap Chop’s heyday, it’s easy to whip up a three-course meal in no time with this ultra-handy gadget.
“Slap Chop performs pretty much as advertised. You push down on the plunger and foods get chopped. The blade is sharp. The Slap Chop seems plenty sturdy and its butterfly hinge makes it easy to clean.”
And our rave back in 2009 still holds true: “We’re happy to say that the Slap Chop performs pretty much as advertised. You push down on the plunger and foods get chopped. The blade is sharp. While it’s not by any means a precision instrument, the Slap Chop seems plenty sturdy and its butterfly hinge makes it easy to clean.”
Original offer doubled: 2 for 1, plus 2 free Graty graters
The Slap Chop is the same easy-to-use everyday kitchen appliance that millions have added to their culinary routines, and with the current deal, you can get two for the price of one, plus get a bonus gift. Order now to get two Slap Chops, plus two Graty graters for $19.95 plus S&H! The Graty is a slick, easy-to-use grater for cheeses that comes with a lid, so you can keep it in the fridge and pull it out whenever you need to kick up pasta or tacos a notch or three.
With Wonderbag, there’s nothing to plug in and no fuel to add. All you do is heat up your food on a conventional stove, then place your pot inside the Wonderbag and let it cook for up to 12 hours using the heat trapped inside.
The portable slow cooker is the brainchild of entrepreneur Sarah Collins, who hopes to empower people around the world “with a buy-one-give-one model to support getting Wonderbags into humanitarian relief,” according to the Wonderbag website. The site claims 650,000 bags have been distributed so far, and 6,000 have been bought in the United States and Europe.
For every Wonderbag sold via Amazon, the company gives one Wonderbag to an African family. Because the bag requires no fuel, families can save as much as 30 percent of their income. Here’s where to order.
Big-box retailers and grocery stores have better deals
MarketWatch offers a handy guide for what not to buy at the corner Walgreens and other convenient ripoff shops. Chain drugstores’ ever-surging revenues—estimated to have reached $160 billion in 2013—are buoyed by huge markups on common items. Here are a few things you should be buying at big-box and grocery stores, whose prices are almost always lower.
Consumer Reports found that both prescription and over-the-counter drugs are cheaper at stores like Wal-Mart and Target, reports MarketWatch.
A pint of Ben & Jerry’s is priced at an average $5.52 at drugstores, but just $4.42 at grocery stores, a 25 percent difference. “Every item we looked at was more expensive at the drugstore,” MarketWatch quoted consumer lawyer Edgar Dworsky, who founded ConsumerWorld.org.
Many popular makeup products have been found to cost $1 to $4 more at drugstores than other retailers.
Drugstores generally charge more for laundry and dishwashing detergent, spray cleaners and other cleaning products than other retailers.
Office and gift supplies
Head to a dollar store to save up to 70 percent on gift-wrap, greeting cards and office stuff. Office supply stores also offer better deals than drugstores.
The Pastafina miracle cooker by Chef Tony Notaro, a retread of the Pasta Express, which debuted way back in 2006, could see new life in the direct-response TV sales market, according to product prognosticator Jordan Pine of SciMark Corp.
“I liked this product when it came out originally, and I think this revival version hits all the same, correct notes,” Pine writes at his SciMark Report blog.
Pine likes how the Pastafina commercial is shot, as well as pitchman Chef Tony’s skills: “The magic was always watching the pasta move as it cooks, and the production team has captured that. Tony is also in his element pitching anything Italian, and it shows in the passion he puts into his delivery.”
Hang your heads low, American cereal execs. The shame! For decades you have been selling us the sugary rainbow of lies drenched in polyglycerol polyricinoleate acid that generations have known as Froot Loops. Toucan Sam? More like Toucan SCAM!
As The Straight Dope so wisely pointed out back in 1999, Kellogg’s morning-meal mendacity, first launched in 1963, contains just one flavor, despite all the wondrous colors the cardboard container holds beckoningly within.
Yep, those round, gleaming breakfasty gems’ promise of diverse delectability is nothing but a long con perpetuated on unsuspecting Americans whose veins run pure with high-fructose corn syrup, yearning for nothing more than freedom, truth and individual fruit-like flavors.
At first we thought maybe Hidden Valley was going full ironic hipster by selling candles that smelled like its signature ranch dressing or hoaxing the web with a campaign for a fake product. Some quick Internet sleuthing revealed, however, that this commercial is the creation of one Mickey Dwyer, a Hidden Valley-obsessed auteur whose YouTube channel features a slew of other delightful ad parodies, including one for Hidden Valley breath strips.