The Cruelty-Free Shop Vegan Mystery Box – June 2016

The Cruelty-Free Shop Vegan Mystery Box is a subscription box that promises 8 – 10 cruelty-free items valued at $34.95 minimum. The contents of the box are entirely vegan and range from snacks and sweet treats to more substantial food or pantry staples.

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Cruelty-Free Shop Vegan Mystery Box
Cost: $34.95
Shipping Costs: $9.95 within Australia only.
Payment Method: Credit Card.
Mailed Out: First Wednesday of each month
**Note: subscriptions auto-renew on the 2nd of each month**

1

The box was dispatched on Wednesday June 1st and arrived the next day. 🙂

FYI, there is no email confirmation or tracking (although you can request it specially if you prefer), but it’s always dispatched on the first Wednesday of the month.

4a

We receive an info sheet with a list of the contents – unlike last month, the sheet does not list their retail value on the Cruelty-Free Shop’s website.

4b

I find it a little confusing that only certain items say gluten-free or organic, when I’ve looked at the ingredients or checked on their website and most of them actually are GF and organic. I think it’d be better not to use those categories in the description if it’s not going to be on every applicable item, because it gives the impression that some things are not GF, etc. just because they’re not labelled accordingly.

3

First peek inside…

OVERVIEW OF CONTENTS

5

Gimme Sea Salt Roasted Seaweed Snacks$4.95 on CFS (found online for $4.68)

Starting off with my least favorite item – I’m not a fan of seaweed. 😦 This smelled really weird and the taste was not fabulous, so this just wasn’t for me. My gluten-free vegan friend Brad tried it out as well and wasn’t interested either, so this was a dud, unfortunately. Ah, well, let’s just move on to the more palatable snacks!

6

Eat Rite Brown Rice Crackers With Black Pepper & Sesame Seeds$4.95 on CFS (found online form $4.06 to $4.45)

It’s funny how taste buds differ – this was too hot for Brad, but I found it mild? It’s a good snack to keep in my drawer at work and munch on when I get peckish, I like this flavor combination with the pepper giving it a little bit of kick. ^_^ They’re very more-ish, I had to sternly tell myself to put them away instead of finishing them all in one go!

7

Olio & Pane Organic Basil Pesto –  $7.50 on CFS (found online for $5.70)

Passed this onto Brad as I’m not much of one for cooking. I do like having a good-size heavy jar included in the box, though, and I’m sure those more talented in the culinary arts will make excellent use of this. 😉

9a

Cinnamon Spice Munchy Muesli Cookies (30g) – I could only find a 160g version of this on CFS for $4.95 (160g pack found online for $4.70 or there was a 3-pack I found for $1.49)

I liked snacking on this, but probably wouldn’t go out of my way to get more. It’s exactly what it says on the tin – muesli in cookie form! I much preferred the sweeter treats in this box… 😛

8

Vego Hazelnut Chocolate Bar (65g) $5.60 on CFS (found online for $5.05)

Speaking of a treat, THIS WAS AMAZING. Oh. My. God. Why do we even have non-vegan chocolate when this slice of heaven exists?! (oh, right, it’s more expensive than regular chocolate, hmph) I can’t possibly overstate how awesome this chocolate bar is, I enjoyed it so very much ❤

10

GoMaxGo Buccaneer Bar – on CFS for $5.25 (found online for $4.95 here and here)

This is basically the vegan version of a Snickers bar – very yummy! Also quite chewy, lol, don’t count on having a conversation anytime soon if you’re tucking into this bar, it’ll take a while to unstick your teeth. 😛

Jaffa Constant Craving Truffle – on CFS for $2.50 (omg, also found online for $2.50!)

Delicious! I haven’t tasted this Jaffa flavor since my childhood, so that took me back a ways. I’m not usually a fan of anything citrus-y in my chocolate, but this is the one exception, mmm.

12

Leahey’s No Beef Brown Gravy$3.30 on CFS (wow, this one’s cheaper at CFS because on the Leahey website, you need a minimum purchase of 3 packs and it’s $4.47!)

Brad tried this out on his dinner over some mashed potatoes and proclaimed it delicious. It is a bit of a shame that it only comes in these small sachets, though – he was interested in purchasing it if it came in bigger quantities, but not at this size.

Primal Strips Hickory Smoked Jerky  – $3.15 on CFS (found online for $2.90 to $3.20)

I have not been able to bring myself to try this yet. It doesn’t look too bad from the front of the packaging, but the manufacturers made an epic miscalculation with the transparent back packaging. I mean, LOOK AT THAT. Sorry, but it looks like regurgitated dog food. :/

***Technically there was a tenth item*** which I shamefully forgot to photograph and can’t locate now – but I don’t consider a menu printed on normal paper a legitimate item. Most people either have cook books or would just google for a recipe, so a random piece of paper isn’t going to be that helpful and the presentation is nothing exciting (you can take a look at the menu from the May CFS Vegan Box).This recipe is available online anyway: Vegan Lentil & Walnut Loaf from Oh She Glows.

VERDICT

Another good month, this subscription is looking like a keeper. I was planning on skipping every second month to try and be frugal instead of frittering away money, but when they posted a spoiler item and showed that the Vego bar was going to be in the box, I had to un-skip, lol. It looked too good to pass up! 😉 I certainly don’t regret that decision, I was happy with this box overall.

Quality of Curation: The Cruelty-Free Shop provide a great variety of items, which I appreciate. We’ve got a few products for those with a sweet tooth (pretty much everyone, yes?) as well as a couple savory products, then a condiment and a cooking item for something different. I enjoy how full the box is when you open it up and there’s no teensy samples! 😀

There were a few more guilty pleasure snacks this month – we had two chocolate bars and a chocolate truffle, but you won’t find me complaining! It’s a common misconception that being vegan/GF means you won’t get to enjoy anything ever again, but people just need to look at the yummy treats here to realize that’s not true at all.

Worth It? The value of this box was just over $38 based on the retail value from the CFS website (or alternately $35.80 taking into account the lowest prices of the items I found elsewhere online). So it covers the cost of purchase, although not the cost of shipping, if that matters to you. Personally, I wish they’d substitute the menu for another item of actual value to bump it up a bit higher…

But I can’t complain too much, I enjoy leaving the foraging to the CFS staff and not having to fret over ingredients and research items to make sure it’s vegan, so with that in mind, I think it’s definitely worth the cost.

As you may have noticed, I like to compare the differences in price for all the items in the CFS Vegan Box versus other retailers because there are some that are more expensive from CFS. But on the whole, it pretty much balances out – the difference was only about $6 last month and just a couple dollars this month, so it’s not a big deal. Just thought I’d mention it in case anyone was thinking of reordering any items – make sure you consult Dr Google to see if you can find it cheaper from another store! 😉

Personal Rating: 4 out of 5 kitties approve this box!

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4 thoughts on “The Cruelty-Free Shop Vegan Mystery Box – June 2016

    • Just for you, I gave the jerky a go…it wasn’t fabulous, tbh. I don’t know that I’m the best source of information because I’m not partial to jerky in the first place (too chewy), but the texture was not all that amazing and it was pretty salty. I’d hold out for something else!

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      • I love jerky, if it’s the right texture. Wrong texture and it’s all horrible. But thanks for trying it! c:

        I’d still have to say that so far, the best fake meat I’ve tried is Gardein’s “chicken” – do they sell Gardein down there? I’d highly recommend that stuff to any vegetarians who are missing the taste and feel of meat.

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        • No probs! You gave me the motivation I needed to give it a go, haha, it’s been sitting on my desk grossing people out for a few weeks 😛

          Ooh, thanks for the tip! I’d just come across the Gardein range in a store I order from – I’ve had the tab open for a while, deliberating over whether it was worth risking money on as it’s a bit expensive, but it’s good to hear your recommendation!

          They’ve got burgers and wings and meatballs, I’m a little overwhelmed by all the choices!

          http://www.crueltyfreeshop.com.au/search?type=product&q=gardein

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