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DON’T TOUCH That Feminine Hygiene!

So the title is probably bit more “umpf” than the entry that’s to follow… I told Bebe this morning the story and she got a kick out if it – she even gave me one of those really mischievous smirks (which are damn rare) so I thought I’d share with the world if it’s enough to amuse her. For those who are not aware, Shoppers Drug Mart, had Sunday & Monday sale for Stayfree Pads, Carefree Liners or O.B. Tampons for $1.99 (up to a limit of 4 I believe). By the time most people read this, the sale would already be long over, lest places that have time-difference or you’re willing to scrounge a 24-hour one.

Anyways, yesterday night I went with my mom to SDM to buy some eggs and milk, the typical “household fridge necessities” and then as we were lining up for the cash, I noticed one of those “bargain bins” where it listed that any items contained within were either $1 or $2. I started to sift through them and then I picked up a box of the new “Kleenex Cool Touch” tissue. I had ordered some samples in the mail so thought I’d just point it out to my mom that these were the ones I was talking about. She started getting all wound up about it and was like (hard to explain the actual reaction), “What?!! Why are you touching that box? Stop playing with feminine hygiene products! Are you buying it for bebe? If not, put the box down.” Obviously this is a translation since my mom was freaking out at me in Cantonese. I was like, “Umm… what are you talking about? This is tissue.” The funny thing though is when I picked it up, I had already known it was tissue, but when she began to freak out on me, for just a moment, I actually doubted myself whether I actually DID pick up a box of feminine hygiene products (because since I do buy them), but then I double checked and realized I picked up just a tissue box. My mom starts mumbling because I proved her wrong and she got all wound up about nothing.

Now to be honest, the box DOES look rather like a pad or tampon box, but I think she should’ve actually looked closer before raising hell about it. Trust me, it wasn’t just a simple thing she said, I could tell by the tone, loudness and speediness of her voice that she was wondering why I’d be buying feminine hygiene products, but luckily even if I was, now that I have bebe, I can at least put it on her tab and say I’m buying for her 😆 Here’s a picture of the Kleenex Brand – Cool Touch tissue:

Kleenex: Cool Touch (Facial Tissue)

Kleenex: Cool Touch (Facial Tissue)

I was slightly annoyed that she’d get all worked up over that, whether it was feminine hygiene or not, but conservative Asian moms will always be, conservative Asian moms.

On another note, today I had to travel to 5 SDM’s to get the pads and liners which bebe wanted (yes, they are actually for her this time 😛 – not for my girls to test). She wanted 3 packs and I managed to find 2 at one of the initial stores. Finally I went to one by my house, in a “smaller” and “less populated” area of town where luckily the shelves were still very much intact. The other 3 stores ran completely out-of-stock, just for the kind she likes… seems rather popular I guess. It seemed like there was every other Stayfree pad available, all except our fav as there was a huge hole in the shelf where they were placed, bummer… and at this price, it hasn’t happened in like 4 months so time to stock up while we can! I even went to SDM with one of my female coworkers so that was rather fun. She did want to buy some O.B. tampons, but she didn’t really have a place to hide them as she forgot her purse and her car was driven by her husband today. I suppose if she really wanted to, there are tons of places to hide them until the end-of-the-day, but she also had preference towards the U by Kotex tampons so even at such an attractive price for O.B. she still couldn’t take the dive.

Well I accomplished a lot today anyways, got 3 packs of Stayfree pads and 1 pack of Carefree liners to stock up bebe’s pad drawer! Counting down the days already to my sweetie’s period already 🙂 Just wish she had shorter cycles, lol!

O.B. Ultra Tampons in Canada – Returning Soon to a Store Near YOU!

Do you love O.B. Ultra Tampons?

For all you O.B. Ultra Absorbency tampon lovers out there, you’ll be happy to know that according to O.B.’s site that they’re trying to bring this product back to Canada! For those who recall the news of the O.B tampon shortage at the start of this year, they had some major shortages of these tampons and in particular, when they suddenly discontinued sale of their Ultra absorbency here in Canada. This was a huge concern to many women who use O.B. tampons because they offer such a high absorbency to go about their daily lives.

When you go to the O.B. Canada site, in a little overlay window they state:

The o.b.® Brand continues to work towards bringing o.b.® Ultra back to the market.

We are committed to listening to the needs of our consumers and keeping them apprised of our plans. Your patience is appreciated.

Now there seems to be some kind of media blackout on the reason why O.B. decided to pull the Ultra absorbency tampon off-the-shelves or at least, I haven’t been able to find much on it other than hearsay or rumours. Some say they violated tampon regulations in Canada for material composition or that they were just “too absorbent” and posed a greater risk of TSS. For all that matters though, conventional tampons all cause TSS so I don’t see why if that was the reason, they’d care so much as to pull it off the shelf. For the women who are afraid of TSS, maybe they should be considering other alternatives like pads or reusable products such as cups, sponges and cloth feminine hygiene options. If you’re using a product that knowingly could be damage, don’t bitch about it after or come down on the company for making a product that has such effects. Analogy: If you smoke cigarettes, don’t complain against the cigarette company that their product causes cancer.

But really, to put into perspective how serious that some women were against Johnson & Johnson for removing their O.B Ultra Tampons, there were lots of petitioning and boycotts in place. Ohhh, yes, these women are damn serious about their stance, such as:

On the side of smart marketing, some people also managed to sell Ultra absorbency O.B. tampons over eBay and other transaction-sites for $70-150 a box for the desperate women who were willing to pay such prices for their life-saving products. The worst part of all this was the fact J&J and McNeil declined to really give the public any information as to why it was discontinued. At least if they gave a plausible reason, it would make someone say, “Oh ya, that makes sense… well, ok…” rather than, “Nope, we’re just not selling it anymore.” Big companies like these DO have a right to control what they sell and their marketing tactics, BUT, they also have a corporate responsibility to their consumers. Can they pull a product off their shelf without “reporting” to the consumer? Sure. Should they? No.

Now on to the good stuff again with their “plan to return” their Ultra absorbency (or some kind of equivalency) tampons to the market, luckily, the “option” still shows up on their site so women can start praying and still have hope that something good will come of this. It’ll be nice for women to be able to buy these tampons for $3-7 again a box now, right?

Get ready to plug her up again 😆

Andie, one of our regular reader deserves credit for letting me know of this turn-up on this news!

A Tampon Without An Applicator (O.B.)? DIRTY!

So my entry title is what I’ve heard from many of my girl’s who have taken my advice to switching or trying non-applicator tampons. Namely in Canada, I believe O.B. is the only “mainstream” brand that has tampons without applicators, although there are “side brands” – particularly organic manufacturers – who make non-applicator tampons. I’m sure people wonder where they get such an unusual name for a tampon manufacturer, but the letters O.B. is an acronym, “Ohne Binde German for, “without a pad” (or rough equivalent), so now that it makes sense, it’s a very fitting name. Of course being the menstrual enthusiast that I am, I am actually quite ashamed to say I took little note of this tampon brand until it was introduced to me by one of my ex’s – name withholding obviously.

A tampon is a tampon, however, just the minor difference (well, minor in my mind) between inserting a tampon WITH an applicator and WITHOUT an applicator has struck fear into even some of my elite-tampon using girls. I remember when even introducing O.B. to my god-sis, she blinked at me blankly when I told her that you just “use your fingers to push it up” – rather than pushing the bottom of the tube to feed the tampon up the vagina. She did try using them, but unfortunately, they were confiscated (yes seriously, by her mom) and she still said she preferred using an applicator because it removes the “ickiness” of possible contact of her fingers with her vagina or menstrual fluid. Honestly though, I would assume that following general hygiene that one would wash their  hands before and after handling any feminine hygiene products (or obviously even after just going to pee/poop), so the idea that one may come in contact with their own vagina or menstrual flow makes my mind spin a little. In fact, good insertion techniques with a non-applicator tampon is probably more “clean” than having to withdraw a blood-smeared applicator and risk any strands of menstrual flow or clots from falling out during the applicator withdrawal.

It’s probably quite obvious that the environmental footprint for an applicator and non-applicator tampon is very different. Non-applicator tampons are generally sold in smaller boxes (physical size) and individually wrapped only using a film-type wrapper. Applicator tampons are usually individually wrapped with a plastic wrapper and also the cardboard or plastic applicator itself generates additional waste. While cardboard is indeed recyclable, you have to wonder, how many people really separate their tampon applicators from regular waste? I can say that out of all my girls or women I have ever talked to, they just ditch their cardboard applicators along with the regular garbage. Since the sizing for applicator tampons is larger (even the compact ones sold by other brands), the boxes they come in are also larger as well.

In my opinion, O.B. tampons are SUPER CUTE. Well, not that it matters from a usage perspective, but making a cool-looking tampon can have its appeals. Or wait… maybe it only appeals to us menstrual lovers, LOL! Also, don’t forget that an applicator can sometimes cause injuries. Because many tampons have flanged ends for the applicator tip, it can catch on skin causing some major owies. Also particular to women who are just learning to use tampons, stabbing themselves with the applicator DOES happen. With an O.B. tampon, because you are more attuned by a fine-motor skill (your fingers), you have full control of the direction and movement while inserting the tampon. Don’t forget that assuming you are practicing general hygiene, using your fingers to insert the tampon is a clean alternative to introducing a foreign object such as cardboard or plastic into the most intimate area of your body. Although I’ve had debates with women on whether it’s “faster” to insert using an applicator or without one, I for one must say that it’s a lot easier to insert a non-applicator tampon since it requires less “unpakaging”, “preparation” and “fiddle-time”.

For those who may be interested in switching or exploring the use of a non-applicator tampon (or if you’d just like to educate yourself), here’s one of those O.B. pamphlets that are included in every box of their tampons:

O.B. Tampon Instructions

O.B. Tampon Instructions

You can click the image for a better resolution pictures and to see the text better!

“Sales” Might Not Be Worth Buying Into

You may wonder what I mean by my entry title, but you will after reading this! I was talking to one of my readers and she mentioned a few pads that she asked me to take a look at and one of them got me interested. I had been hunting for sales for a week already since it would appear that my supplies at home are running low and it’s time to switch it up a bit. With her recommendation, I decided to follow suit and had already been scrounging my e-flyers and deal-sites online to see if I can find myself some upcoming sales. On Thursday night, I still did not find any store that had good sales (most stores have their “flyer week” start on Friday or Saturday, but display their ‘upcoming’ week deals by Thursday).

I was a bit frustrated, given that I’ve been back in Canada for 2 weeks already and haven’t even noticed any decent sales on pads/tampons. I understand that the whole O.B. Ultra fiasco may have put everyone into a high-alert situation, but come on, they already pulled the O.B. tampon sales right out of the flyers now, because usually they get included in the same sales as Carefree Liners and Stayfree pads. Oh, speaking of the whole O.B. Ultra tampon shortage, feel free to read about it here: http://www.chatelaine.com/en/blog/post/23534–why-these-tampons-will-cost-you-79-99

O.B. Ultra Tampons - Discontinuation shocks the world!

Pulling a well-known tampon off the market is like taking well-known condoms away from guys!

Anyways, off this whole O.B Ultra tampon situation because there’s tons of sites covering that already. So as I was getting annoyed at the fact I’ve been trying to find sales for several weeks already, I decided to look up some manufacturer coupons right off their sites, rather than relying on clip-outs or store-sales. So then I found a new coupon since their old one expired. If you’re an existing or potential user of Stayfree pads, feel free to checkExclusive $2 Off Coupon for Stayfree Maxi Pads this out: http://stayfree.ca/sampling/en/coupon.asp — although I believe that THIS coupon is only usable in Canada and participating stores. Please note that the expiry on the coupon is March 31, 2011.

I was quite happy, that is, until I read closely at the use-of-coupon terms and conditions. One of the key terms state that, “Not valid in combination with any other offers. Offer only valid on regular-priced STAYFREE® products.” and so after reading that, it set me back a bit since “regular priced” pads are usually quite expensive. So I continued to mull around and then my reader told me about Walmart, being one of the cheapest place to find pads/tampons (or well, mostly anything) at a reasonable price when other places don’t have them on sale.

As I was checking the flyers once again Friday morning at work, I did notice that Shoppers Drug Mart had Carefree/Stayfree (yep that’s right, no O.B.) liners and pads on sale for $2.99. Unfortunately the sale didn’t start until Saturday though, so I frowned. I was bored at work and still trying to think of where I can get myself an awesome deal, I decided to print out 4 of the Stayfree coupons (wasn’t meant to be greedy, but more of the fact every 8.5 x 11 page fits 4, so I don’t like wasting so much space) and just keep them in my car whenever I see a chance to use it.

It dawned upon me what one of my readers said. She did say that Walmart tends to be a good place to buy cheap products when other stores are selling them at (higher) regular prices, so I thought I’d do some research. Of course Walmart’s online site is a bitch and I couldn’t find the price of Stayfree products for some reason, so I decided to go there since I live less than 1km away from one. The reason why I was interested in going to Walmart is to see their “regular price” because that means I’m eligible to use the coupon. Since SDM had them on sale for $2.99 already, the coupon would not be valid under the clause. When I reached the feminine hygiene aisle and spotted the Stayfree section, I was happy to see it was $3.93 and doing a quick head-math, it would mean I’d be able to acquire a pack for $1.93 after the coupon deduction!

Stayfree pads @ regular price paired with a $2 off coupon!

Stayfree pads @ regular price paired with a $2 off coupon!

==MAJOR INTERRUPTION START==

As I was looking at the receipt more closely, I just noticed they applied HST to this purchase. As I recall, only the GST portion (5%) is supposed to be taxed on feminine hygiene products! The 8% PST portion should’ve been exempt or an “instant-rebate” should’ve been applied. Those Walmart fuckers charged me 31 cents more than they were supposed to on the tax! Yes, I understand that taxes are usually calculated on the pre-coupon prices which is fine, but the total tax should’ve only cost 20 cents!! I should take the receipt back and bitch at them, or report them to the government for incorrectly charging me, but they’re lucky it’s only a few cents or they’d never hear the end of my wrath!

==MAJOR INTERRUPTION END==

So ya, I realize after all this, I could’ve told my story in a paragraph of something, but the point I’m trying to make is just to remind people that sometimes we’re blinded by the allure of seeing things “on sale” because as you can see, with a coupon, I ended up getting a much better deal (even after being ripped off, lol). To make the most economical choice, you have to weigh whether the sale is better WITHOUT a coupon, or better WITH a coupon, even buying it at “regular price”. However, I should also note that there are some coupons (like Brandsaver/Save.CA) that don’t have this restriction, so make sure you read carefully all the coupons/deals you use to ensure they abide to the store/coupon policy! And so, for $2.44 total, I got myself a wonderful pack of…

Stayfree Ultra Thin Overnight Pads

Disclaimer: I did not get the bonus pack, the picture is JUST for reference

Stayfree Ultra Thin Overnights!

I’ve experimented with these before, but it wasn’t until one of my readers informed me that they changed the pad a bit and added rear-wings (similar to the ones I displayed in previous reviews of pads I bought in Hong Kong) – so after hearing that, I certainly had to give them another shot to let them redeem themselves! Not only that, but she also said she really liked them, so heck, never hurts to revisit a pad I haven’t tested in so long. Who knows, maybe it will surprize me – and it sure did! However, lets leave that for the review later.

So there you have it folks, make sure you take some time to do some quick math and consider whether just shooting for the sales or making use a coupon (or both if you’re lucky) will net you the BEST pad/tampon shopping price! The world has changed a lot, so don’t forget that not only can you clip-out coupons from the paper/flyers, in-store/on-shelf rebates – but that you even have online/printable coupons as a resource! I have heard of some places that refuse to accept printable coupons, so make sure you check the store’s participation level ahead-of-time or if they give you a hard time, speak to one of the supervisors/managers of the store! A couple dollars here and there may not seem like a lot, but your wallet or credit card statement will notice the difference!

If you have any comments or hints for fellow readers, feel free to share!

Weekly Sales #8

These deals are only applicable to select regions of Canada, Ontario. Please verify these sales against your local flyer or e-flyer before purchase!

Ya... 'cuz you know, women just have a happy period all the time 🙂

I’ve been hunting for (Original) Kotex sales for a while now… still only 2 so far and it isn’t really a “great deal”… I suppose 2.50/ea @ SDM is not too bad if I buy two. Guess I’ll check it out, see what they have and perhaps get some! The stock is running low, don’t want to let it hit rock-bottom 😛

Weekly Sales

Pharma Plus and Rexall Chains

Assorted Always Maxi Pads, Kotex Maxi Pads/Liners, Stayfree Maxi Pads, Carefree Liners, Tampax Tampons and O.B. Tampons 2 for $6.99

Assorted Playtex Gentle Glide (36’s) and Sports Tampons (36’s) for $8.49

Zellers

Assorted Always Maxi Pads/Liners and Tampax Tampons for $6.99

Walmart

Assorted “U” by Kotex Maxi Pads/Liners/Tampons Jumbo Boxes for $7.97

Fortinos/RCSS Chains

Assorted “U” by Kotex Maxi Pads (14-18’s)/Liners (50-60’s)/Tampons (18’s) for $4.29

Shoppers Drug Mart

Assorted Kotex Maxi Pads (14-24’s)/Liners (33-48’s) 2 for $5.00 [Limit 4, Sat/Sun/Mon .. or $3.29/ea for rest of the week]

Assorted Playtex Gentle Glide (18’s) and Sports Tampons (18’s) for $3.99

Assorted O.B. Tampons (40’s) and Stayfree Maxi Pads (28-48’s) for $7.99

Walmart Wowzers – O.B, Stayfree, & Carefree Deal

I was about to go to sleep after checking out weekly flyers and didn’t see anything impressive… that is until I went to check out the Walmart (Canada) flyer. Yes, it does deserve a post on its own!

Walmart

Selected O.B. Tampons, Stayfree Pads or Carefree Liners are only $8 for your choice of 4 (FOUR) – ya, that’s right, oh my god!

Of course these are just to smaller packs and not the huge jumbos you normally get from Walmart or Costco, but geebus, 4 for $8 and you can mix-and-match, perfect for those who buy an assortment of pads or tampons to suit their needs. For the girls and the flow-lovers, now’s the time to stock up 😀 Of course…. Kotex is not on sale >_> so I’m not buying anymore Stayfree since I’ve had them for the past months already!

Weekly Sales #7

These deals are only applicable to select regions of Canada, Ontario. Please verify these sales against your local flyer or e-flyer before purchase!

Seems to be very few sales this week, good thing my girls or I need to buy any lately, or else this week would suck! Hopefully sales get better in the following weeks when we need to top-up stock 🙂

Wehehehe... HelloKitty pads are soooo cute!

Weekly Sales

Pharma Plus and Rexall Chains

Assorted Always Maxi Pads, Kotex Maxi Pads/Liners, Stayfree Maxi Pads, Carefree Liners, Tampax Tampons and O.B. Tampons for $2.99

Always Infinity (12-18’s), Always Clean Maxi Pads (12-18’s) and Tampax Pearl Tampons (18-20’s) for $4.99

Assorted Rexall Brand Maxi Pads (14-24’s) and Rexall Brand Pantiliners (36-48’s) for $2.49

Fortinos and RCSS Chains

Assorted O.B. Tampons (40’s) for $5.49

Sobeys

Assorted Always Maxi Pads/Liners (12 – 72’s) and Tampax Tampons  (12 – 72’s) for $5.99

Always, Tampax, Playtex, O.B., Kotex, Carefree, Stayfree & Generics – Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart, Metro, No Frills, Zellers, Walmart, Sobeys and Fortinos

These deals are only applicable to select regions of Canada, Ontario. Please verify these sales against your local flyer or e-flyer before purchase!

There are a crap-load of sales this week, take the time to EVALUATE the quantity of each one before jumping in because I definitely see some “tricky prices.”

Fortinos/RCSS-Chains


Assorted Exact Pads (12-24’s)/Liners (30-48’s)/Tampon (20’s) brand for $2.29/ea.

No Frills


Assorted Always Pads (12-24’s)/Liners (30-60’s) or Tampax Tampons (20’s) for $2.99/ea

Zellers

All Playtex Gentle Glide/Sport Tampons (36’s) brand 2 for $15.00 (or multiples of 2’s)

Rexall/Pharma Plus Chains

Assorted Always Pads (Ultra, Clean or Infinity 24-36’s) or Tampax Pearl Tampons (36-40’s) brand for $8.49 w/ coupon
Assorted Stayfree Pads (16-24’s) or Carefree Pantiliners (46-60’s) or O.B. Tampons (18’s) brand for $3.49 w/ coupon
Assorted Playtex Tampons (18’s) brand for $4.49 w/ coupon
Assorted Always and Kotex Pads (24-36’s)/Liners (68-120’s) or Tampax Tampons (40’s) brand for $6.99

Shoppers Drug Mart

Assorted Always Pads (24-48’s)/Liners (68-120’s) and Tampax Tampons (40’s) brand for $6.99/ea

Metro

Assorted Always Pads (32-48’s)/Liners (68-80’s) and Tampax Tampons (32-40’s) brand for $7.49/ea

Sobeys

Assorted Always Pads/Liners and Tampax Tampons (12-60’s) brand for 2 for $6.00

Walmart

Assorted Always Ultra Thin or Maxi Pads w/ Wings brand for $10.00/ea
Assorted Playtex Tampons (36’s) brand for $6.84/ea

Always, Tampax, O.B., Kotex, Carefree, Stayfree & Generics – Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart, No Frills, Zellers and Fortinos

These deals are only applicable to select regions of Canada, Ontario. Please verify these sales against your local flyer or e-flyer before purchase!

Fortinos/RCSS-Chains


Assorted Always Pads (32-48’s)/Liners (68-120’s) and Tampax Tampons (54’s) brand for $7.49/ea.

No Frills


Assorted Kotex Pads (14-24’s)/Liners (33-48’s) for $2.99/ea

Zellers

Assorted Kotex Pads/Liners, Stayfree Pads and Carefree Liners brand 2 for $7.00

Rexall/Pharma Plus Chains

Rexall Pads (14-24’s)/Liners (36-48’s) brand for $2.49/ea
Assorted Always Pads/Liners, Kotex Pads/Liners, Stayfree Pads and O.B. Tampons brand for 2 for $6.99
Assorted Always Clean Ultra Pads/Infinity Pads (24-36’s) and Tampax Pearl Tampons (36-40’s) brand for $8.49/ea

Shoppers Drug Mart

Assorted Life Tampons (20’s) and Kotex Pads (14-24’s)/Liners (33-48’s) brand for $2.99/ea

Always, O.B., Tampax, Carefree, Stayfree & Generics – Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart and Fortinos

These deals are only applicable to select regions of Canada, Ontario. Please verify these sales against your local flyer or e-flyer before purchase!

Walmart

Assorted Always Pads and Tampax Tampons brand for $6.47/ea.

Rexall/Pharma Plus Chains

Assorted Always Pads/Liners and Tampax Tampons brand for $6.99/ea.

Shoppers Drug Mart

Assorted Life Pads (18-20’s), O.B. Tampons (18’s), Stayfree Pads (14-24’s) and Carefree Liners (46-60’s) brand for $2.99/ea.

Fortinos/RCSS-Chains

Assorted Always Pads (12-24’s)/Liners (30-60’s) and Tampax Tampons (20’s) brand for $2.99/ea.

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