Tuesday Reviews-Day: iHerb.com

Let’s welcome the return of an old feature: our weekly reviews! This is an unsolicited review, so not sponsored at all, but it does include affiliate links.

After hearing about it from a couple of different sources over the course of a couple of weeks, I decided to give iHerb.com a try and see what all the hype was about.

One of my sources was quite fond [apologies; I’m watching Pride & Prejudice as I type this out, and I’m prone to aping the dialects of whatever I’m listening to!] of their selection of gluten-free and vegan snacks. While I’d hoped for a little more variety, I definitely had good luck finding brands I recognized but haven’t the pleasure of having quite as ready access to.

Tinkyada pasta is a favorite of ours–the consistency is hard to beat, and it holds fabulously for leftovers–and iHerb carries a few varieties I haven’t seen in person, like the Spinach Spaghetti. We’ve had it twice, now, and it’s definitely a nice change from the usual. We’ve also ordered their lasagna noodles, Little Dreams shaped pasta (novelty shapes don’t often come in gluten free!), and the vegetable spirals.

Bob’s Red Mill is a staple brand in our house ever since I went low-FODMAP, but even though I find it in the most surprising places (Big Lots, for example), I hadn’t tried their 1-to-1 Baking Flour. It came in handy doing some Halloween baking for the office and our neighbors, and I can’t complain. Same goes for the King Arthur Flour gluten-free Muffin Mix. I used it in this year’s pumpkin bread and ended up with something akin to a ready-made bread pudding that everyone raved over.

But the biggest win of all the purchases was their selection of Pamela’s products. Oh my, but they have quite a lot of them, and I’m on a mission to try them all out! We’ve used their Pancake mix with great success in the past, and I love their Whenever Bars and cookies, but the surprise hit was the Pizza Crust mix. I mentioned this in one of the retro recipes posts, but it was an amazing gluten free crust and I made sure to order it again. My second order from iHerb also included a large sack of their gluten-free bread mix that will, I hope, become some fabulous homemade pretzel bread, dinner rolls, and who knows what else! My second order also included several of their sweet mixes–we’ll see how the cakes and cookies come out this holiday season, I’m sure!

While I haven’t ordered any sorts of supplements from iHerb, yet, I did order some Beautiful Curls shampoo and conditioner as an alternative to my usual Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle. I’m still deciding if the set will really help my hair or not (results are mixed, likely due to user error), but I certainly appreciated the convenience of adding them to my specialty goods order.

Some things I really liked about iHerb were the ability to get a discount for ordering more than one of any item (5% off when you by 2 or more makes it easy to stock up on things) and the very low limit for free shipping–I only needed a $20 order for free shipping, though it depends on the products and destination, so you’ll have to check out your options when you order. Both of my orders arrived very quickly, usually under a week. Not quite Amazon Prime 2-day, but what is?

The one little glitch occurred on my second order. It was a rather large order, with a bunch of heavy mixes and the shampoo and conditioner. It also contained some snacks (chips and cheese puffs) that someone in shipping decided belonged on the bottom of this very heavy box. Not surprisingly, those bags were completely devoid of their built-in air cushions, though neither had burst. Since both items were still edible and it was just idiocy, not malice, I didn’t demand a refund or replacement, but I did let them know about the issue because, really. That box also smelled like it’d been hosed down in bug spray, but that could have happened pre-packing or during shipment, and none of the contents were affected, but it was rather unpleasant bringing the box inside.

The other really nice thing about iHerb is that you earn 10% rewards on your purchases. And, unlike some sites where you have to reach a threshold before you can redeem your rewards (Keurig, I’m looking at you), those rewards are available on your next order. So order $50 of goods, get $5 to spend next time. $100 gets you a $10 credit and so forth.

Other things we ordered will be mentioned in upcoming menu posts, but overall I’m happy with my iHerb experiences to date and will keep shopping there.

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