PRIZE DRAWING: Because The Coupon Queen Was Right

I remember seeing a news story on television many years ago about a woman the news reporter dubbed, “The Coupon Queen.” She had cut out more pieces of paper than a scissor-happy serial killer who likes to leave notes formed from newspaper clippings. In her little coupon bag, with alphabetical tabs inside and floral pattern outside, there were coupons for 25 cents off this, 10 cents off that, free lettuce, buy one get one free, and many more price saving pieces of paper. I laughed at her obsessive-compulsive need to clip coupons, because I couldn’t see myself wasting time by looking for coupons, cutting them out, arranging them, keeping track of expiration dates, and carrying them around in a floral coupon bag.

Now that I’m older, wiser, and not living off of mom and dad, I realize that The Coupon Queen isn’t crazy and she’s probably living large with all that money she saved using coupons, because 25 cents saved here and 10 cents saved there can add up over years and years. I’m thinking maybe I should go find The Coupon Queen and make her my Sugar Momma. She is probably in her mid 70s by now and even my flabby, hairy and pale body would look good to her. Until then, I shall spread the gospel of coupons and will do so by giving away coupons that are good for one free Bertolli frozen entree, like the Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana Penne Oven Baked Meal we reviewed last week, in a TIB prize drawing. At regular price, Bertolli frozen entrees can cost up to $9.99 and this coupon will cover up to that amount, not including tax. I have seven coupons to give away to seven lucky TIB readers.

To enter this prize drawing, just leave a comment for THIS post with whatever you want to say. Please fill out the email field, because I’ll be emailing the winners for their mailing addresses. The Impulsive Buy will stop accepting entries on Sunday, December 14, 2008 11:59 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time. Only one entry allowed per person and it is only open to those 18 years old or older. The coupon is only valid in the United States, so unfortunately the drawing is only open to those in the US or people from other countries willing to use the coupon in the US.

Good luck!

Fine Print: The Impulsive Buy promises your email address will not be used to send you emails with a link to a funny picture we saw on Digg. The Impulsive Buy also promises your mailing address will not be used to send you information about how Progressive Auto Insurance is better than your current insurance. Bribes will not be accepted. The Impulsive Buy will not be responsible for lost mail, damaged mail, or the eventual cancellation of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

REVIEW: Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Steak Sandwich

Carl’s Jr. has been promoting their new Charbroiled Steak Sandwich by saying it’s a cheap way for guys to get a steak dinner on a date, but I don’t think it’s the best strategy.

The cheapest way for some dude to get a steak dinner on date night is by going to an expensive steak place (Tip #1: Morton’s or Ruth Chris), ordering the most expensive steak on the menu, and when the bill comes, patting the pocket he usually keeps his wallet in and then frantically patting all of the pockets on his body (Tip #2: Wear cargo pants on the date because there will more pockets to pat). The dude should then deeply sigh, grimace, apologize, say he forgot his wallet at home, and ask his date if she could pay. After she does, he should tell her that he’s worried about identity theft so he needs to go home to find his wallet and he’ll call her later. When he gets home, he should call his date, tell her that he found his wallet, and then say he never wants to see her again because she is ugly and needs better personal hygiene, like flossing better or not putting on perfume that makes her smell like old fart.

(Tip #3: Get a new phone number after doing this. Actually, get a new phone number, move to a new city, and grow/shave off facial hair, because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.)

The attack on her self-consciousness will help her forget she just spent $100 on him and the only payment he’ll have to make is guilt, which goes away with a lot of alcohol.

(Tip #4: This freeloading has no gender bias. Women can also use these techniques on men.)

The Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Steak Sandwich is probably the next cheapest way to get a steak dinner on a date. It’s significantly more compassionate than the best way, but it’s also significantly less tasty because it’s quite unexciting. The sandwich is made up of a 100% sirloin steak, topped with breaded onion rings, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise in a toasted roll.

The steak that comes with it is an actual piece of steak and not any of that ground Angus stuff that Burger King tries to push as a steak in their Steakhouse burgers. The steak was a little tough and didn’t really taste like steak, instead I thought it tasted more like pork chops. Being that there’s an actual piece of steak and the onion rings hardly added any flavor to it, I was hoping Carl’s Jr. would’ve added a steak sauce to it, like A1 Steak Sauce, Heinz 57, or maybe Worcestershire sauce.

The Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Steak Sandwich is hearty like an steak, but unfortunately its flavor doesn’t match. It maybe a cheap way to get a steak dinner on date night, but I wouldn’t try it because hell hath no fury like a woman who is expecting a real steak dinner.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 700 calories, 38 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 1080 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of sugar, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 32 grams of protein, and 0 grams of self-consciousness destruction.)

(Editor’s Note: See the Carl’s Jr. commercial for their Charbroiled Steak Sandwich below.)

Item: Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Steak Sandwich
Price: $5.99 (sandwich only – $4.69 in the rest of the country)
Purchased at: Carl’s Jr.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Hearty sandwich. Has an actual piece of steak. Lot of protein. Onion rings added a slight crunch. Getting a free steak dinner though deception.
Cons: Unexciting taste. Sirloin steak tasted like pork chops. Onion rings didn’t add much flavor. No steak sauce. High in sodium. The fury of scorn women. Guilt.

Carl’s Jr. Big Country Breakfast Burrito Winners Announced!!!

I have chosen the winners of the Carl’s Jr. Big Country Breakfast Burrito prize drawing, which consisted of me closing my eyes, pointing at my Samsung monitor, frantically using the scroll wheel on my Logitech mouse to move up and down all the comments for 15 seconds, and then opening my eyes to see whose comment my finger was pointing at.

Here are the four winners of the Carl’s Jr. Big Country Breakfast Burrito Prize Drawing:

Comment #20 – Kevin
Comment #33 – Cyn
Comment #47 – Maudelle
Comment #50 – Scott

Each winner will receive a coupon for a free Carl’s Jr. Big Country Breakfast Burrito.

Thanks to everyone who participated and thanks to the folks at Carl’s Jr. for sending me the extra coupons to give away.

Be on the lookout for a new prize drawing really soon!

The Week in Reviews – 12/6/2008

You only have 18 more shopping days to buy gifts for people you don’t really want to buy gifts for. Any of the products below would make an excellent gift for those people you don’t want to put any effort into.

While reading this review, for some strange reason, I kept replacing “Bounty” with “Booty” in my head. (via Second Rate Snacks)

I’m disappointed that a box of Gordon Ramsay chocolates doesn’t have the words “FUCK YOU” in gigantic letters on the front of the box. It should at least have chocolates shaped in the letters you can spell the seven words you can never say on television with. (via The Chocolate Review)

These Japanese Cheese Fondue Cheetos prove once again that Japanese have HUGE balls when it comes to making snack food. (via Japanese Snack Reviews)

Here in Hawaii, Mele Kalikimaka is our way of saying Merry Christmas and Hauoli Makahiki Hou is our way of saying Happy New Year. No, I do not know any swear words in Hawaiian. (via Gigi Reviews)

I’m embarrassed to admit that I love instant mashed potatoes and Velveeta. Put those two together and it could quite possibly be the GREATEST PRODUCT EVER!!! (via Heat Eat Review)

REVIEW: Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne Oven Bake Meals

Sometimes I enjoy kickin’ it old school.

Instead of using the couch potato convenience of a remote control, I’ll occasionally walk up to the TV to change the channel or mess with the volume. Once in a while, when I want to kick it Stephen J. Cannell-style I’ll bust out the typewriter and Wite-Out to write a review, and then bob my head to the click-clack of the keys as I type with only my pointer fingers.

Every so often, I get a thrill out of the pre-heating, moving of wire racks, and the orange glow of the heating elements of a conventional oven, because sometimes I don’t want to deal with the rotating plate, LCD digits, and radiation of a microwave oven, and because I can’t build a fire in the middle of my apartment when I want to kick it REALLY old school. It’s been awhile since I fired up my conventional oven, so I was glad to try the Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne Oven Bake Meal.

The frozen dish is made up of breaded white meat chicken breast cutlets with penne pasta in a tomato-herb sauce and a pouch of cheese. Creating the meal, which is either meant as a meal for two people or two meals for someone who has more than a dozen cats, is extremely easy since it only consists of six steps:

1) Pour contents of bag into a baking dish.
2) Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.
3) Bake in conventional oven for 45 minutes.
4) Pull out dish and remove foil.
5) Sprinkle cheese on top.
6) Bake for five minutes more.

The packaging claims it has a restaurant taste and I’ve experienced the chain restaurant goodness that is Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Buca di Beppo so many times that I feel confident in saying that it doesn’t have a chain restaurant taste. The chicken was moist and the penne pasta was cooked well, but the sauce wasn’t as savory as I hoped. Another disappointment was the disproportional sizes of the two chicken pieces in the bag I bought, one of which was the size of a Chicken McNugget and the other was about three times larger. I’m pretty sure I was just unlucky with the bag I bought, but even the bigger piece of chicken seemed kind of small.

In the end, I wish the Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne Oven Bake Meal kicked it old school and put on some bellbottom pants, an afro wig, and a pair of rainbow suspenders. It wouldn’t make it better tasting, but if I were to play some disco music it would be a lot more fun to be around.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 package – 500 calories, 26 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1000 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 7 grams of sugar, 25 grams of protein, 35% Vitamin A, 20% Calcium, 20% Vitamin C, 10% Iron, and 10 grams of kickin’ it old school.)

Item: Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne Oven Bake Meals
Price: FREE (via coupon from PR peeps)
Size: 24 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Convenient. Chicken was moist. No trans fat. Allows me to kick it old school. Typing on a typewriter once in awhile. Being mesmerized by the orange glow of the heating elements in a conventional oven. Smelling Wite-Out.
Cons: Sauce wasn’t very savory. Chicken seemed small. Doesn’t have an Italian restaurant taste. High in sodium. Can’t build a fire in my apartment. People who have more than a dozen cats. Smelling Wite-Out.

REVIEW: Subway Chicken Florentine Flatbread

After trying the Subway Chicken Florentine Flatbread sandwich, I have realized that all other Subway sandwiches are as boring as watching child actors who don’t get addicted to drugs grow. The simple formula of bread that’s fluffier than a Jonas Brothers’ hairstyle, meat, veggies, and condiments gave me an option when I wanted fast food, but didn’t feel like eating a burger and fries, fake Mexican food, mediocre pizza, or 11 secret herbs and spices.

But there hasn’t been anything from Subway that has blown my mind or made me dream of bouncing up and down on a bed of Subway sandwiches. It turns out I didn’t eat them because they were good, I ate them because they were better for me than most things I could get though a drive-thru window. However, the Subway Chicken Florentine Flatbread sandwich is the first Subway menu item that I would want to take home, sleep with, and then cook breakfast for in the morning, although with some regret days later because of the fear of catching an SHD (Sandwich Heart Disease).

The limited-time only sandwich is supposed to consist of chicken, olives, tomatoes, Tuscan spices, melted cheese, and a creamy spinach artichoke spread in between a folded piece of flatbread, but since Subway offers enough topping options to make extremely indecisive people freak out, I chose to fill my sandwich with provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers to go along with the chicken and creamy spread.

The flatbread has the characteristics of pita bread and Keira Knightley — white, soft, slightly chewy and, of course, flat. It isn’t freshly baked, like their regular breads are, but who fucking cares? Their meats aren’t slaughtered in the back and their vegetables aren’t picked from an organic greenhouse on the roof, so I think it’s okay that the flatbread isn’t fresh. I do recommend you get the flatbread toasted, which warms it up very nicely and can provides some temporary heat during these winter months if stuffed into the right clothing pockets.

The ingredient that stands out, but doesn’t overpower, is the creamy spinach artichoke spread, which tastes like spinach dip and makes this sandwich so much better than all the other Subway sandwiches I’ve consumed that I want to build a time machine so that I can give younger versions of me this sandwich right before I order whatever boring Subway sandwich I decided on at the time — and so that I can bet on the Giants instead of the Patriots in the last Super Bowl. If you do decide to try this, I highly recommend that you do not add any mustard, mayonnaise, or any other extra sauce to it because the creamy spinach artichoke spread is all you need. Although, like most creamy spinach dips, which contain cheese, mayonnaise and/or sour cream, I imagine it can’t be very good for you.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Subway Chicken Florentine Flatbread sandwich in front of me and I would like to spend some quality alone time with it.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 520 calories, 22 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 1330 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 35 grams of protein, 25% Vitamin A, 30% Vitamin C, 40% Calcium, and 20% Iron.)

Item: Subway Chicken Florentine Flatbread
Price: $4.99
Size: 7 inches
Purchased at: Subway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: It’s the best Subway sandwich I’ve ever had, thanks to the creamy spinach artichoke spread. When toasted, it can provide some temporary warmth during these cold winter months. No trans fat. Watching the train wreck lives of child actors who get addicted to drugs.
Cons: Only available for a limited time. Not the healthiest thing on the Subway menu. Creamy spinach artichoke spread can’t be very healthy. High in sodium. Flatbread isn’t freshly baked. Losing money on the Patriots in the last Super Bowl.