You may have seen an entry I made a while ago, regarding that Stayfree Thermocontrol Pads may be arriving in Canada soon! It was just suspicion then or rather, not a clear indication that other than the overnight version of the ultra-thins would be switched, but now it’s becoming quite apparent that they’re squeezing their way into Canadian markets. Of course, the Canadian Stayfree site still does not show any representation of these new pads, but with that said, I’ve only noticed 2 of the many stores that I visit on a regular basis that has even begun stocking the new Thermocontrol pads. This may either be due to old stock that hasn’t been depleted yet, or, the store is not willing/does not offer the newer pads yet. Regardless, if you’re interested in seeing what potential differences of pads may be offered at some point locally, you can always visit the American Stayfree site, which shows the full line of Thermocontrol pads, ultra-thins and regular maxi sizes.
While the pads themselves have not changed in terms of the general look, rest assured the pad feels a lot cooler when worn and even when saturated, keeping the feeling of almost a “crisp wind” near your skin. This may be almost a very foreign feeling for some and rather unnatural due to it feeling cold despite it being between warm body parts and with menstrual flow upon it. One thing that is new to the ultra-thin line in Canada is that they’re also offering the super absorbency in an ultra-thin form, previously only available to the maxi series. What was weird though when I went to pick these up at Walmart is I noticed two things:
1) Only the ultra-thin pads were available with the Thermocontrol technology
2) The ultra-thin pads with Thermocontrol were only offered in the “bonus” packs, there were no ‘regular sized’ packages
In these pictures, I have a ruler stretched across the lengths and widths so that you can see the differences of sizing between the SUPER and OVERNIGHT ultra-thins. Rest assured, I am cautious of not exposing pads to germs, bacteria and humidity and thus, these pads that the ruler “contaminated” were not reused for testing purposes by any of my girls. I take sanitary conditions seriously, particularly when any exposure to these elements may affect the vaginal health of my girls and I certainly would not want that to happen! One thing that is hard to notice in the picture (I tried to use a different surface for the picture-taking, but didn’t work out so well) is that the wrappers have slight differences. The super version of the pad came in a white-coloured wrapper, while the overnight version of the pad actually came with a wrapper that is a very light lavender. The wrapper material has stayed mostly the same.
Since the qualities of the Stayfree pads are very similar, both maxis and ultra-thins (other than the obvious difference in size/thickness), I’ll leave you to read my previous review on the Stayfree pads “in general” and simply refer you to the changes that the Thermocontrol technology has brought as noted in the content of this entry.
Both of these packages were 5.97 each, which were on sale in “last sale week” at Walmart. I had a coupon that bebe gave me (since I had it sent to her house, hehe) that was expiring next week, so I really wanted to use it before it went to waste! Also, I’m excited about Stayfree Thermocontrol arriving in Canada not only for my girls and I, but for bebe, because this technology in the Stayfree products were already available to her back at home. To come to Canada where you can’t buy the same product sucks, so now that Thermocontrol pads have arrived, it’ll make her monthly period that much better. Speaking of which, it seems like I will be missing her period this month 😦 I am sad, but I will definitely continue doing my usual of getting her flowers each month to remind her how special she is to me and how much I care for her and want to be there for her 😛 The cashier rang my items through properly this time, only charging the GST (5%) portion of the HST implementation in Ontario for feminine hygiene products. The total came to $7.54 after the coupon and taxes, for 44 Stayfree Super Ultra-Thins w/ Thermocontrol and 40 Stayfree Overnight Ultra-Thins w/ Thermocontrol pads. These pads all together were only 8.97 cents each!! Looks like these pads will definitely keep many of my girls stocked-up for a while, especially when a few of them took-on this sale with me!
Haven’t tried Stayfree before or haven’t tried the Thermocontrol ones yet? You should now, because they’re more comfortable than even before! (Yes, 2 pictures came out horribly, alas…)
So on Wednesday of last week, I was really running low on supplies to experiment with, so I decided to grab the “best” deal I could find at the time. I’m not even going to mention the price, because it’s pretty outrageous, but alas, it was better than getting no deal at all. Of course just to mock me even more, SDM had a 3-day sale (in which I ended up buying another pack) over the weekend JUST after I bought them during the weekday at the less-than-admirable price.
Although I was not very happy with the price, I did notice something unusual about the pack of pads I picked up. There was something… different about it, I could feel it when I picked it up. All of a sudden, I noticed that the pads were reduced to FOURTEEN (14) pads per pack rather than the usual SIXTEEN (16). I looked closer and although the general shape and design of the packaging stayed the same, after a moment, the difference surfaced (now you know how well I know my pads/tampons & packaging, even 2 less pads in a pack and I can feel it, lol). If you haven’t noticed by now what’s different (I suppose only the Canadians would notice), it is that they have now upgraded to the Thermo Control technology!!!
A while ago, I had emailed Johnson & Johnson regarding when they had plans to bring the new Thermo Control pads to Canada in which they replied that they did not have any set date. Although looking around on the shelves, it seems like that the Thermo Control pads by Stayfree aren’t exactly arriving “full force” yet on the shelves, just seeing a shipment to a single Rexall store already means that it’s entering the market. Many other places might not have noticeable Thermo Control pads yet since they may still be bringing in pre-ordered stock or whatever they still have left in the warehouses. Hopefully being able to get this pack of Thermo Control in Canada is an indicator that the full fledgling of Stayfree Thermo Control pads will hit Canada soon, just as how they slowly introduced the Always Extra Heavy Overnight pads very slowly.
In general, the “features” and “highlights” of the pad and packaging hasn’t changed, however, with the introduction of the Thermo Control technology from Stayfree, it now boasts some key points. I’m sure if they bring the full line of Thermo Control pads to Canada, bebe will also be very happy as well 🙂
The Thermo Control logo is encircled by the 3 objectives: Dry, Cool & Comfortable – along with the description that, “[Thermocontrol is] inspired by high performance athletic fabrics.” I have also mentioned that I found the amount of scenting on the Thermo Control pads are much less than the regular line of Stayfree – a thing I complained a lot about. While having looked at Stayfree Canada’s site once again, it still does not appear to be bringing in the Thermo Control lines in full yet, so maybe it’s just luck I managed to get a pack of this or maybe it really is a hint! The Canadian Stayfree site is still currently listing all the original packaging and does not advertise anything about the existence/implementation of the Thermo Control pads.
After the purchase, I immediately decided to test them and sure enough, they didn’t prove disappointing at all. The Thermo Control technology really did make the top-layer more comfortable (although unusually cool), but when it came to the overall absorbency and other properties of the pad, there didn’t seem to be much difference. Also, all the newer Overnight Ultra Thins now have a set of rear-wings as well, so you can easily tell whether you purchased old stock or new stock.
Anyways, although the price was quite expensive, I’m glad I “stumbled” to this particular Rexall that started stocking the Thermo Control pads and for this discovery. Had I purchased anywhere else, I wouldn’t have found this out since several of the stores I went to afterward still had the traditional Stayfree line up and not of the new Thermo Control. Luckily I snagged another (the LAST) bag of Stayfree Maxi Long Supers at Shoppers Drug Mart on Saturday afternoon, so it did kind of make-up for overpaying beforehand.
Looks like all we can do is hope that they start selling in-mass the Thermo Control pads here in Canada, so we can get caught up with the rest of the world when it comes to feminine hygiene 😆
(I was having some major battery issues with my digital camera and ended up taking the pictures using my iPhone 4 camera… not the greatest, but done its job!)
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
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 check 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!
==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 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!