Friday, March 16, 2012

Review of Zaycon Foods Chicken

This was originally posted at my frugal living blog, This Big Happy on March 15, 2012.

Hold on to your hats, people! I am about to share what I seriously think is the first negative review of Zaycon Foods! I’ve scoured the internet and have not managed to find one person with one negative thing to say about their Zaycon experience. Don’t worry though, it’s not ALL negative!

Zaycon Foods is a company that brings wholesale buying power to the public. They negotiate with meat suppliers to sell large cases of meat at a discounted price. I ordered one case of chicken, 40 lbs of BLSL breast, at $1.79/lb, or $71.60. When it’s delivery day you drive to the pick-up area you chose and they load it into your car.

Zaycon came highly recommended to me by friends and I was unable to find one negative thing on the web. The price was amazing for my area considering the non-sale price of BLSL chicken breast here is $5.49/lb. I almost always refuse to pay more than $2.99/lb but that deal only comes around every 3-4 months. Twice a year BLSL chicken breast will drop to $1.99/lb and I’ll buy 30-40 lbs if the store hasn’t run out by the time I get there.

I was almost irrationally excited when I placed my order. My family eats a lot of chicken and it’s so darned versatile to boot. Part of the reason I went ahead and ordered was because the pick-up date fell on a day when I was available, and at a time I was available. Since I had to drive 45 minutes from my home to my pick-up place it needs to fall on the right day and time. That only seems logical, right? After discussing it with my husband on February 24th I ordered one 40lb case of BLSL chicken breast with a pick-up date of March 8th at 1:00pm.

A week before pick-up I received an email saying the date was changed to March 7th at 1:00pm. Ok, this was a bit of a problem since I had an appointment an hour away at 2pm, but I could make it work if I was there at exactly 1pm. At 12:39pm I was just 3 miles from the pick-up site when I received a text message saying the order was delayed and pick-up was now 5:30pm. Excuse me? They sent the message 21 minutes before pick-up time??

I pulled over and called Zaycon. I explained them what a hassle it was, that I was already in town and I could not spare the time and gas money to drive back, besides that I had to have my kid at dance class at 5:30. The representative, Tammy, was very nice and asked if I could find someone else to get the order in exchange for a $10 credit on my account. I was told I cannot get a refund but if I cancelled my order I could be issued a partial credit. I called my husband and he said he could manage to break away from work early and get it on his way home, even though it wasn’t on the way.

When 4:30 came around I received another text message saying the time was again changed to 7pm. Nope, no way. I called Zaycon again..and again…and again…and again…no answer or voicemail. I emailed them and told them under no circumstances was I driving back to get the chicken at 7 pm and I wanted a full refund, not a credit.

Around 6:00pm I finally managed to get someone from Zaycon on the phone. Suzanne explained to me that the pick-up date was changed to March 13th from 5:30-6pm and that I could get a credit to my account, not a refund, if the date came and I couldn’t make it.

Grrrrrreat. Throughout the night I received no less than 3 emails from Zaycon with information that contradicted what Suzanne told me.

Judging from the messages on Zaycon’s Facebook page and the emails we received, this was a problem all over the state of Florida that day. Zaycon apologized but insists it wasn’t their fault because they don’t own the processing plant or truck and don’t employ the driver. See, in my book, if I pay you money and you don’t deliver it doesn’t matter where the fault lies, I’m going to be upset and you’d darn well better try to fix it.

That evening I posted on Zaycon’s Facebook page asking if the chicken we were getting on the 13th now was the same chicken that “dropped off the face of the earth” today (Zaycon’s words, not mine!) or if it was going to be freshly processed. Zaycon replied that the chicken would be the same but that it had a 14 day shelf life and would only be 7 days old on the 13th.

The evening of the 12th I received a call from Suzanne reminding me that pick-up was still on for the next day at 5:30pm. The next day my husband left work early to pick-up the chicken. He said pick-up was painless and careful, the people loading the chicken even laid plastic in his trunk before putting the chicken in. **See, I said not everything was going to be negative**

When hubby returned home I started to process the chicken and was generally pleased. The breasts are butterflied so I was breaking each into two pieces and packaging in groups of 3 to freeze.

All was going well until I got to the 4th breast and found this:

Yup, green chicken with a funky skin forming. Would you feed this to your family?

And this:

Yup, chicken covered in fat. I figured this might happen with one or two breasts, but this amount of fat was on every third or fourth breast. (Zaycon's statement on chicken fat can be found on their website and states: "Chicken breasts typically come in double-lobed pairs ("butterfly") and will have small attached amounts of fat") Oh, and the chicken was turning green under this fat.

And then I found 6 of these:

Yup, chicken tenders. Getting a few chicken tenders isn't an issue except I didn't order chicken tenders. I assume they were throwin in to make weight but I would have rather had an extra breast or two thrown in.

I emailed Zaycon and explained the situation and attached these photos. I have yet to hear back from them but when I do I’ll post an update.

Will I order from Zaycon again??? Maybe. If they can actually stick to their initial delivery date and time so I know I’m getting fresh chicken I will give them another try. If I order again and the date or time is changed, even once, I’m demanding a refund and I’m out.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Smarterer Review - And the point is??? is a website that contains thousands of quizzes on as many topics. Originally Smarterer existed to test your knowledge of techy things and social media but now you can take quizzes on everything from how much you remember about the Harry Potter books to Disney movie trivia. Answer questions, get your score, share it.

And I don't get it.

I started with the quiz about Bzzagent. It was long and frustrating, and the timer on each question drove me crazy and made me feel rushed and anxious. The questions were tedious. I stopped the test halfway through and moved on to something I used to enjoy, the Harry Potter books. I made it about 4 questions in before I gave it up as useless.

I'm not into academic competition and standardized testing. I'm certainly not into bragging about how much I know about Facebook or Twitter, and again, I don't see why it even matters. I'm not the bragging type, but if I was I could certainly find some REAL LIFE things to brag about.

I found that the timer made me so anxious I couldn't finish any quiz that I started. I don't understand why anyone would want to spend their time on this website, honestly. I can see the potential for a quiz after some computer-based learning through an employer, maybe. I have used quizzes like this in the past to assess my kid's knowledge retention of books they've read but the competitive undertones of Smarterer really turns me off.

After my brief encounters with Smarterer I think the slogan should be changed from "Answer questions. Get your score. Share the proof." to "Take a frustrating quiz on a poorly organized website. Get your score every couple of questions. Showoff your knowledge, or lack thereof, to some people on the internet who don't care!"

In the end only 1 lonely dentist of 5 recommends, but only because that dentist feels he has something to prove.

*This post sponsored by I was not compensated monetarily for this post, but I do get free stuff to try and review.*

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance Dog Food

*I am a member of and received a free bag of this dog food to try. If you're interested in getting free things to try and review consider joining at*

Meet Sheba! Sheba is our 10 year old lab mix. We adopted Sheba in 2003, just two days before she was scheduled to be euthanized. Sheba has moved across states and back with us, welcomed new children to the family and has been our constant protector. She deserves the best.

Two months ago Sheba had a very large cancerous tumor removed. Prior to surgery she had lost 15 lbs and was severely anemic. She had no energy and did nothing aside from sleeping all day, she didn't even bark when someone knocked on the door.

Sheba was recovering well from the surgery but needed that extra boost to help her regain the weight and iron she lost. Enter Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance. This dog food is all-natural and specially formulated to provide older dogs with the nutritional balance they need. Chicken is the first ingredient, which means it's gentle on their digestive system (trust me, I know ALL about dogs who cannot tolerate most foods! Sheba can't even have a treat without getting sick!). The food contains fruits and vegetables, including vitamin-packed cranberries.

Sheba tolerates the food well and in fact has become more "regular" in the digestion department. She has regained much of the vigor she lost when she was ill. She's still an elderly dog, but she's more active and alert and now insists on "inspecting" all packages the UPS man brings, just in case they contain more dogfood :)

If you'd like to try Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance food Hill's is offering a free after rebate coupon right now, download yours HERE.

While you're online, check out PetMd's My Bowl Dog Nutrition Center at to learn more.

4 out of 5 pooches recommended. I'd give it 5 pooches but you will have to go to a pet store to find the food and it isn't cheap!