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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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when is a deal not a deal?, southern savers

Often times we see some of the highest coupon values when new products launch.  While this makes for awesome deals (and is lots of fun), it is actually not always a good thing.  Lately we have seen a some of these new products getting very negative feedback from users.

I am not wanting to call out products and say you shouldn’t buy them, but I do want you to do your due diligence to make sure that even free items are safe items.  Use google to search for reviews or the easiest way is to read reviews on sites like Amazon (even for groceries).

Two examples that you may want to research before using:

Waggin Train Dog Treats
Suave Keratin 30 Day Treatment

What do you do if you have a bad experience with a product?

You have a few options if you bought something and really don’t like it.  I would always call company and lodge a complaint.  They will offer to send you coupons for another product, which is probably not what you want, so try and see if they have another solution.  If they don’t offer to refund you, then you can take it back to the store that you purchased it from.  Most will give you a refund in the store (or store credit).  Remember to be nice at the store, they don’t make this product and odds are it’s not really their fault that it was a bad product.

For some of you, I would urge you to not stop there.  If the product made you or a family member ill or harmed you, I would lodge a complaint with your state commerce office, and possibly even do an online review at Amazon or other review places.

Do you have any advice for dealing with bad products?

    • Rach3lbu11man

      Wow thanks for the tip.  I was going to buy a product but after the reviews I have changed my mind!!!!!

    • Thank you for posting about the Waggin’ Treats! I can’t stand to see poor innocent animals being affected!

    • Rachel

      Check the comments on the sheet deal you posted recently. Really bad reviews. 

      •  We actually own a set, so on sheets and other non-consumables you’ll find that some always love an item and some hate it.  We haven’t had any problems with our set and after a year of washing they are still as soft with no pilling.

      • AJ

        There’s a huge difference between people not liking sheets because of the feel of the fabric and pets DYING or people being disfigured because of using products.

    • Alli

      Wow. I search for a lot of reviews for other things but not usually these kinds of products. Thanks for the warning. Always appreciate the broad range of helpful savings and topics from SS.

    • Michelle

      I had heard about the Waggin Treats – promping me to make my own dehydrated goodies for my dog… but I didn’t know about the hair product.  WOW.  That is so terrible.

    • Sundaydrive00

      Wow, I hadn’t heard all that stuff about the Suave keratin 30 day treatment. I considered buying it, but decided that my hair wasn’t curly enough to go through the trouble and just bought the leave in conditioner instead. The conditioner works great, although I am still partial to my Pantene split end repair (which is also a keratin product).  From reviews online it seems as if the 30 day treatment is the only bad thing in the Suave keratin line, the shampoo and conditioners get great reviews. And really, Keratin straightening is something that should be left up to the professionals, and not be given out in $10 boxes.

      • Angelascoupons1

        I agree!  See my comment above…get it professionally done and you won’t be disappointed!

    • Lwatts17

      Thank you for posting this.

    • tammi

      Sounds like you might want to do some research on Milo’s Kitchen treats too.  

      • Guest

        The Milo’s Chicken Jerky is made in China. Given all the problems with dog treats made in China I just make it a rule to NEVER buy any dog treat that comes from China.

      • mg7

        It is safe to say that you should not buy any dog treats, especially the chicken jerky kind, that are manufactured in China. I believe the big three brands were Milo’s Kitchen, Waggin’ Train, and Canyon Creek Ranch.

    • Candace Little

      So glad I read this! Thank you so much for posting it! I was going to buy the Suave treatment and I never would have thought to read the reviews. Apparently we can all be too trusting and unfortuately that’s a bad thing this day in age.

    • Kat

      I’ve heard about the dog treats. I will no longer buy any food items made in China for my pets. I work as a cashier and sadly, see many individuals come through with this product. I only wish I was able to say something so that they would not buy them for their pets. I hope that a specific link can be found as soon as possible so that they will be recalled off the market. The pet food industry has seriously misinformed people about the proper care for their pets and I hope that this will change in the future also.

    • Robyn

      I appreciate these posts.  I did buy the Keratin treatment and will be returning it.  I don’t want to take any chances.   You’re absolutely right about getting a deal does not always make it a good thing.  Thank you!

    • Marl

      I received a free box of the 30 day suave keratin kit in the mail from a company that I do reviews with.  I ended up mailing it back to them because I have very sensitive skin and I had a bad feeling about the kit.  I’m glad that I didn’t use it now that I’ve read the reviews.  Free or not…it would have clost me a small fortune in medical and other hair/scalp treatment in the long run!

      • Angelascoupons1

        I know nothing about the Suave treatment…but I do pay my hair stylist to do a professional Keratin treatment 2-3 times a year.  Keratin has been a life-changer for me hair.  So, I wouldn’t be negative on Keratin in itself (you weren’t…I’m just saying for others). I don’t know what the Suave treatment kit is claiming.  My advice:  go to a professional!  It will cost you more money but be worth it.

    • Belmontshopper

      Same experience with CRAVE cat treats….My cats refuse to eat that and I have about 40 bags of it!

      • Waltershell53

         if your cats dont like them take them and donate them to your animal shelter

      • Melissa

        Yes, take them to your local animal shelter! The cats in there depend on donations for enrichment. That would be a lovely gift.

      • Spanishtulip

        my cat is picky but my dog loved them.  I know that you shouldn’t interchange dog and cat food b/c of the cat food having a higher protein content etc. but I figured the treats would be fine.

    • I didn’t know of any problems with Waggin Train treats— apparently I need to do some research! Thanks for the post! My doggies have never had any problems with them and enjoy the treats, but it would probably be less costly to buy a dehydrator and make my own– then I’d know what was going in their tummies— thanks again!

      • Emjokedz

        They were recalled!  

      • Georgia Peach

        They come from China and have been linked to kidney failure and death in dogs. Milo’s Kitchen treats and one of the Nestle Purina treats have also been linked to causing problems in dogs.

    • Coupons090

      we got the batter blasters a while back.they were almost free,i got two different bottles ,they were soo nasty,i threw them out but didnt trouble my self over it i didnt have alot invested in them.i am sure somebody likes them

      • Elizabethconner

        We had the same problem they are NASTY!

      • Jenni P.

        Yep. Same here. Tasted bad. Will never buy them again.

    • Lea

      Pet products manufactured outside of the US are so dangerous because these other countries don’t have the strict manufacturing regulations that we do. So these companies outsource to get it done cheaper. Pet treats/chews made in China have been known to contain shards of metal and lead from the machines used to make them. The reason for the huge pet food recall was because these outsourced plants were making pet food with melamine – which is plastic. The reason they used the melamine is because it contained the carbon structure similar to high quality pet food ingredients, which allowed the pet food companies to market the food as high quality on the packaging.

      So at the end of the day, you have to read the labels.  And think twice about when banning something comes across the voting ballot. Horse slaughter in the US was banned…now you don’t even wanna know what’s going on…

      • mrsclaymation

        I have a friend whose husband toured some manufacturing plants in China. After that, he would not let her buy anything made in China because the conditions were so horrible.  He said they would make one thing after another with no cleaning or regard to safety, for example one plant might handle rat poison and candy.  Just no oversight and it’s scary!

    • bacapel

      Whats wrong with the Suave Keratin? I have tried to look up reviews and only see positive feedback….Curious because I was thinking about purchasing!

      • Jen

        Look up 
        Suave Keratin 30 Day Treatment on Amazon.  You will see a lot of very negative user reviews.  I’m no hair expert, but most keratin treatments I’ve seen are not chemical treatments.  If you look up the ingredients on the Suave Keratin 30 Day Treatment, it has a lot of the same ingredients as does a perm/relaxer. The Suave Keratin Conditioner gets good reviews, just not the 30 Day treatment.

    • Tiffany Harper

      As a general policy I don’t buy anything for my hair that I haven’t done the research on. Something like that treatment you really should just pay the $35 and have it done at a salon. Honestly, its worth making sure your hair will be fine. A great deal isn’t always. As for dog food/treats…I always ask my vet.

    • Steph08252001

      Bounce dryer bar.  That thing made a huge mess in my dryer.  I cleaned it up, and everything was ok, but I won’t be buying another, and certainly don’t recommend them. 

      • mommyof1

         a good friend gave us his old dryer when we were in need of one. We , of course, are very thankful. But, he did tell us the large “stained” area inside the drum was from the dryer bar! it left an awful residue and will not come out. Luckily, it does effect our clothing at all, and was not sticky when we got it.

    • Turn the other cheek.

    • mommyof1

      DOG OWNERS.. please read =)   letting you guys know about milo kitchen dog treats and waggin train dog treats.. they use chicken from china (even though on the packages it says made in usa).. the Waggin brand made my perfectly healthy 2 yr old dog very sick and even had blood in his urine for weeks! various trips to the vet, blood and urine tests, ultrasounds, etc.. it took a long time to figure out it was the “all natural” treats we had been giving him. Not trying to say negative things about a company, but please take a second to google those 2 brands – there are alot of webpages and forums dedicated to problems people have seem in their dogs. Luckily, my dog is healthy now and had no long lasting (that we know of) problems!   also, the blue buffalo, which is another all natural brand has had problems with mold in their dog kibble. =(   in my opinion, these all natural brands sometimes arent as safe as we are made out to believe, so please research and make an informed decision as sometimes problems in the dogs wont show up until they are serious.

      • Brenda

        We had been feeding our collie the blue buffalo food for months but the past month she absolutely refused to eat it and now I wonder if it had mold in it! That food is expensive and it was so puzzling why she refused to eat it because she used to love it!

    • happymom22

      This is slightly off topic, but I’ve noticed “Made in China” on lots of frozen veggies too, even organic ones!

      • Expecting Mom

        I have seen it on spices too. I usually think twice about buying organics made in china because I find it hard to believe the a country that can’t keep poison out of toothpaste and dog food could ensure a food product is organic to American standards.

      • Sosorozo

        NEVER eat anything made in China. They don’t think twice about poisoning their own citizens, much less us. Organic made in China is an oxymoron. A lot of stuff in Aldis is from China.

    • Amy

      What a great service, thanks for the heads up.  Amazon is my “go to” place before I buy anything from books to vacuume cleaners.  The reviews are a goldmine!!

    • Kellyjeanne08

      I would agree with writing the company and telling them what happened. My boyrfriend bought me a bag of Reeses Hearts for Valentines and they had almost no peanut butter inside. I wrote Hersheys and they sent me 3 $1 off coupons.

      And i had some problems with Star Kist Tuna canned Tuna and i emailed them. They did send me 3 coupons which i would not use because i would never buy their tuna again

    • Kellyjeanne08

      Also meant to add..my hair stylist is very well trained in Hair Straightening..and he told me the last time i had the Japanese straightening done “Nothing you can buy for home use will work as well or as easily as I can do to you in the salon”

      As for  other purchases like home things, electronics, etc.. I never buy anything without looking at Consumers Reports

    • tee54

      I have nerver had aproblem with any of the dryer bars have been using them forever don,t use anything else

    • Jessica P

      I agree about the bounce dryer bar. Left a huge white streaks on my husband’s brand new navy workpants. Had to rewash them several times to get the streaks out. What a waste of money and time!!

      • Ginan51

        Same thing happened to me. Everytime I washed my black pants or blue pants, I had white marks all over them. I have a co-worker who said she loved the bounce bars, so I gave her the ones I had purchased. It was definitely a big waste of money. At least
        I purchased them with coupons!

    • Jessica P

      I got a coupon for a free Suave Keratin product (NOT the 30 day treatment). I used my coupon and got a free bottle of the conditioner. The stuff seems so bad I can’t stand to use it!! From now I will be smelling before I buy! :-)

      • I bought the shampoo and thought it smelled great. It reminds me of the old Pantene smell. I haven’t tried it yet though. Let me tell you that every time I have been pregnant things I like the smell of before were horrible to me. The smell of my deodorant and shampoo would turn my stomach even though it was the same thing I had been using forever. 

    • Amy

      Can I place a word of caution on here?  I’m a substitute teacher, and I see children from elementary age through high school sucking on their dollar store/walmart necklaces.  Last Christmas, there were reports of Cadmium, which is radioactive, being found in cheap jewelry, which poses big health risks.Moms, please tell your children to never suck on items that arent food.

    • Diana

      I bought the Lysol no touch soap dispenser and the dispenser itself is great but the soap is so concentrated and stronger than after only 2 days of using it I felt my skin was peeling. 2 weeks after I still have rash, irritation and dry skin especialy between my little and ring finger in both hands… I’m spending more money buy products to help my sking to heal that what I pay for!  

      • Chiefsangeleyes

         I have had luck adding about3 tbsp of baby shampoo into the container and adding warm water. It’s gentler, it’s healing my skin and it foams just right!

      • Asharpe380

        you can pop the top off and put pretty much any kind of soap you like in the dispenser.

        • Diana

          I actually did it, I make a hole on the top with my husband’s tool and use my favorite dish soap (method). Thanks!!!

        • Audley79

          I did the same thing and that way I dont have to buy the expensive refills either!

        • Lovethebeach112

           I did the same thing…popped the top off and refilled with my own soap.  I have one in my garage sink for cleanup from gardening and I recently bought the one for my kitchen. 

        • Coupon_assistant

          thanks for the tip!

    • Kerri

      Wow!  Thanks for the heads up Jenny and everyone else who’s posted.  As a fairly new couponer I (of course) get really excited about any good deal…  this information will make me stop and think in the future.  When it comes to products for myself I’ll typically try most things, but for example I never thought about the cat treats I get for free – I need to be more careful, my fur-babies can’t read the labels.  How horrible about the dog treats, I can’t imagine……

    • Julie

      Thank you so much for the heads up on Waggin Train Dog Treats.  I just looked at the reviews on Amazon and they are horrible!  I look up reviews for most things, but I can’t possibly do it for everything.  Anything my family and my pet consumes will definitely be “googled” for reviews.  My dog loved these treats, but fortunately we only bought them once a few months ago and haven’t since.

    • Guest

      since we are on the subject of researching deals, you may want to look up nestle coffee mate’s relation with synomyx

      • Guest

        sorry, spelled that wrong, its senomyx

    • Susan

      The Color Catcher sample from Shout are not my thing.. I put in an old tshirt I’ve been washing normally for years in the washer w/one and it stole the color.. not caught it.. LOL Really angry at myself for even trying it.

      • Tess

        I used a free sample that came in the mail and the same thing happened. Some  of my lighter t-shirt had reddish pink stain on it after the wash and dry using the color catcher.  

      • Lovethebeach112

         I have a set of sheets from a well known department store.  It is a burgundy color and it stained my mattress and my pj’s pink.  I used the color catcher with my sheets and it helped pull the bleeding color from the sheets, so I was pleased.  I didn’t use it on my clothes and based on the comments, I’m glad I didn’t!

    • Jen

      Thank you for posting this! I bought the duck jerky treats, but decided to throw them away. I don’t want to take any chances with my little one!

    • did anyone bought the suave keratin treatment and used it? my coworker bought it, used it, and it ate up all of her long black hair. she had to cut off what was left of her hair. 

    • Alison

      YoCrunch 100 calorie packs are made with Truvia (very small star on the bottom right of the front packaging telling you to turn to the back to read the ingredient list… I missed this.) Turns out I’m allergic to Truvia, apparently a lot of ppl are since the plant is similar to ragweed. 

    • mack

      I tried to get gas using my Bi-Lo fuels perks card, and wanted to use my debit card.  It kept saying that my PIN number was not correct on either one of my cards.  It would, of course accept my credit cards for 10 cents more per gallon!  I have never had a problem with my PIN numbers before.  I tried them at another station and they worked!