Rave & Review: Vitacost Haul

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hey Friends! I meant to get this blog out sooner but things have been crazy busy! I'm taking an online class every Wednesday night this fall and so my weekends are consumed with reading and homework assignments. Not to mention I'm moving at the end of the month so every other spare moment is spent packing boxes.

Anyway, I made my first purchase with the online retailer, Vitacost! Vitacost offers top brands for vitamins/supplements, whole foods, health foods and sports nutrition at a discount. A lot of my fellow Tone It Up ladies have been curious about how I liked ordering with them and so I thought I would do a blog post explaining my experience! This is not a sponsored post, I paid for all of the products myself.
The loot - My Vitacost Haul

Why did I order from Vitacost?
I follow so many Tone It Up ladies and health food bloggers on various social media outlets and they were all using/eating products I've never seen or heard. Healthy Italian uses Vitacost so I figured it was a safe and secure site to use for my health food shopping needs.

Did Vitacost have everything I was looking for?
No, I wasn't able to find all of the products mostly because they obviously don't carry trader joe's and whole foods products. I found the majority of items I was looking for and even found new products on my own, too!

How was the shipping with Vitacost?
The shipping was fast. I placed my order Monday and had everything by Wednesday morning. I was slightly disappointed though because the package sat for a day about an hour away from my house. I felt like I should have had my items by Tuesday afternoon. The package also sat outside all day in the sun because it was dropped off in the morning and I don't get home until late afternoon. While nothing is perishable, I'm just not keen on food sitting out like that. An afternoon delivery would have been better.

Will I pre-purchase from Vitacost again?
I will definitely purchase from Vitacost again because it allows me access to products I have no other way of getting. However, I will only purchase the items that will save me money or that I can't find near me.

Annie's Homegrown Bunny Cookies Gluten Free Ginger Snap
'Tis the season for ginger snaps, am I right? I was in the mood for ginger snaps but wanted a healthier approach. I typed in ginger snaps in the Vitacost search bar and found that Annie's actually makes a ginger snap variety! I am very familiar with Annie's but had never seen the ginger snaps in store. I immediately placed this snack in my "shopping cart."

The Verdict: These cookies are delicious on their own or perfect dunked into some tasty peanut butter. They have a different texture (more crunchy) but it's normal if you are familiar with gluten free cookies. I would definitely repurchase these but only when I'm craving. I wish my local grocery store would carry this variety as they sell the cookies cheaper. Annie's cookies are $3.99 each or 2 for $7 in my grocery store and I bought this box for $4.61.

Nuts N More Toffee Peanut Butter Crunch -- 16 oz
Another seasonal favorite of mine...toffee. Yes, I know toffee can be enjoyed year round but I prefer to get my fill of the sweet, sticky goodness around fall! I found out about the brand nuts 'n more from a post on instagram. I was intrigued and then when I found out they carry a toffee variety of peanut butter, it was over. You can buy nuts 'n more at GNC stores however, my local store does not carry it. But just my lucky, Vitacost does! The toffee variety of peanut butter was sold out so naturally I waited to place my order until this product was back in stock.

The Verdict: This peanut butter tastes and smells heavenly! I will most definitely be re-purchasing and trying other varieties from nuts 'n more. I love natural PB that you have to stir to mix the oil back into the product, and this is like that. Try dipping a ginger snap in this PB and your head might explode, it's just that good! It was $9.99 for the 16o.z. jar but to me it's well worth it. I love how this product contains double the protein of regular PB and no added sugar.

Peanut Butter & Co White Chocolate Wonderful® -- 16 oz
Tone It Up ladies love peanut butter, myself included. But the Peanut Butter & Co. brand seems to be a favorite. I'm guessing because of all the varieties they offer, there is something for everyone. When it comes to PB I tend to lean towards Wild Friends but recently my store has cut back and only carries two of their "flavors." My local grocery store does carry Peanut Butter & Co. but I bought it through Vitacost because I wanted free shipping and needed the boost in my total! I tried the White Chocolate Wonderful variety because I am a white chocolate fan all the way.

The Verdict: This is an all natural product however you don't have to mix this kind before you use it much like other all natural brands. It's texture is very similar to JIF and makes me question if or how natural this product really is. I feel like the white chocolate flavor isn't as prominent as I'd like it to be but believe me I'll still eat it! I will not re-purchase this product through Vitacost as my grocery store sells it cheaper. They sell it for $5.49 or $4.49 if you have a bonus card (which I do!) and I bought this on Vitacost for $5.02. I think I am going to try The Bee's Knee variety next.

Quest Nutrition QuestBar Protein Bar Cookies & Cream -- 12 Bars
I am a big fan of QuestBars and eat them on the daily! I love so many of the flavors that I never buy a whole box because I like to switch it up. I always purchase the bars at my local GNC but since I needed the money to get free shipping I bought a box of one of my favorite flavors, Cookies & Cream!

The Verdict: If you've never tried a QuestBar I highly suggest you start with this flavor as it's absolutely delicious in bar form but even better when you warm it in the oven and/or bake them into cookies! I will definitely purchase boxes of QuestBars through Vitacost again. It is cheaper for me than buying them through GNC. My GNC charges $26.91 for non-members (that's me) or $24.99 for Gold card members. I paid $24.99 through Vitacost.

The Good Bean Chickpeas Chocolate and Spicy Chili Lime  -- 6 oz
I knew about these crunchy, roasted chickpeas because my local grocery store does carry them. However, they currently only carry the cinnamon and sea salt varieties. I LOVE the cinnamon ones but was looking to try some of their other great flavors. I went ahead and chose one sweet and one savory kind for my Vitacost order. These snacks are great alone, with yogurt, ice cream or salads (a healthier crouton).

The Verdict: Love the spicy chili & lime flavor and found them delicious on my Southwest salad from the Fresh Market the other night! I like the chocolate kind but not in love with it. I think it lacks flavor. What I liked most about this was that they came in a 6 oz. bag! I didn't realize that when I had made the purchase. My store only carries a 2.5 oz size. I paid $4.22 for each 6 oz. bag through Vitacost and a 2.5 oz bag costs me $1.99 at the grocery store so I think $4.22 is a fair price and I will reorder again through Vitacost!

There you have it, my first (but not last) Vitacost haul! Hope you enjoyed this post and maybe found some new products to try for yourself. If you would like to try Vitacost, get started here. Please share any health foods you think I should try next. I am always looking for new brands and foods to try! Remember to show me your Vitacost Haul by using the hashtage #huateinhell on twitter or instagram!

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