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Showing posts with the label cereals

Essential Everyday Frosted Flakes Cereal (Various)

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Pretty good and a reasonable value. BORING STORY TIME! Everyone gather around, because I know these intros are your favorite part of this blog! We were in Cincinnati celebrating our anniversary when we stumbled on a place we'd always wanted to visit: Jungle Jim's! For anyone not in the loop, it's a small chain of supermarkets in the Cincinnati/Kentucky area that offer a wide variety of international foods and goodies. It's marketed as more of an “experience”, with samples throughout (though of course none were available when we went because of COVID), exotic fruits you can't find just anywhere, over-the-top displays, fountains at the entrance, and even their own events center, complete with an executive chef and monorail that can drive between indoor and outdoor venues. Clearly, this isn't just a typical supermarket! Of course, being as large as it is—not to mention all the exclusive and hard-to-find items they carry—means that they aren't really interested

Meijer Honey Nut Toasted Oats (Meijer)

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Ignore the dollar store packaging...this stuff is good. My wife used Meijer's curbside pickup for the first time ever, to help cut some time off of her usual grocery trips—and that's how I ended up with a box of Meijer's Honey Nut Toasted Oats, which I probably wouldn't have even looked at twice had I seen it for myself: this is some of the worst “mainstream” private label packaging I've ever seen. It looks like something you would get at Dollar Tree, instead of a reputable supermarket chain. (Maybe it's just me, but that red, cursive-style font is just atrocious, and takes the otherwise decent design down a few pegs.) Well, if nothing else, this cautionary tale serves as a perfect example of “never judge a book by its cover”, because this is probably the best store brand “O's” knockoff I've ever had. The “honey” and “nut” balance of flavors is well-defined here, with a solid dose of both that really make the flavors sing. Honestly, I've neve

Kroger Frosted Flakes Cereal (Kroger)

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Stop that bunny! He's using his magic wand to remove the anti-milk coating from each piece of cereal! Frosted flakes are one of my favorite cereals, so let’s see how Kroger’s version stacks up to those I’m used to, shall we? Well, before we get to that, what is going on with the box design? Most cereals have one cartoon character who functions as a "mascot" to entice children into buying it. Fair enough...that's just modern marketing. This one not only features four cartoon characters, but also some type of attempted storyline, in which a Harry Potter-esque...bunny?...uses magic to blast a piece of cereal for no discernible reason. Now, really, only the bunny is needed for this scene, and yet there's a knight character holding the "magick-ed" (presumably so the inanimate cereal piece doesn't get away?) piece of cereal, while two random ding-dongs just watch from the background. Looks like someone's trying a little too hard to sell this c

Millville Kookies Sweetened Corn Cereal (Aldi)

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Childhood: ruined. I always enjoyed the national brand cookie cereal when I was a little one, but that's one cereal brand that kind of fell off my radar the older I got: even though Aldi has carried it for as long as I can remember, I've never had much of an urge to give it a try. But then a thought suddenly hit me: I have a son. Well, that wasn't really the revelatory part, because I've had him for three years and kids are pretty unforgettable, for a variety of reasons (both good and bad). The main revelation was that he's never tried this cereal before. And considering eating cereal together is almost a daily bonding activity for the two of us, and considering he loves cookies just as much as virtually everyone else in the world, I figured it would be a good time to pass my old cereal traditions onto him. Only it wasn't, because this cereal sucks. It's literally been years since I've had the “original”, but I remember it enough to know that thi

Kroger Honey Nut Toasted Oats

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This is a solid, value-packed knockoff of a classic original. Who doesn't like Honey Nut O's cereal? I usually stick to Aldi's Millville brand for these, since they're ultra-cheap and pretty tasty, but as I've rambled on at great length in previous reviews, my wife has done a bulk of the grocery shopping lately; thus, I have to “settle” for private label versions from other stores. And today, we will be taking a look at Kroger's version, which actually costs a respectable $1.49 per 12.25 oz. box. Based on appearance, these look a lot like the national brand, with lightly-colored “O's” that are almost all uniform in size and shape. Also like the original, they seem to have a light “glaze” on the outside, which is most likely the “honey nut” flavor (and if it's not, I don't want to know what it really is). Another plus to the glaze-like coating is that it provides an extra layer of milk resistance, preventing it from becoming a soggy mess the mom

Kroger Chocolatey Cocoa Crisp Cereal (Kroger)

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This is pretty darn delicious. NOTE: This was previously available in Kroger stores under the name "Cocoa Crispy Rice". It's the same thing. A random thought that just popped in my head: they have puffed rice in candy bars, but why hasn't chocolate puffed rice been added to any? I mean, I'm sure it has at some point in time, but I'm not aware of any popular candies that contain it...and that could be a million dollar idea. Anyway, with self-isolation being a thing that my wife takes seriously (and that I've been self-practicing as much as possible for years), she has deemed herself the sole errand-runner as of late. While I love not having to leave the house for anything, the one big drawback to this setup is that, while she likes the store, she is not much of an Aldi fan for solo trips, inexplicably preferring to go elsewhere. Recently, she thankfully had a revelation, opting to spend most of her time (and our money) at Meijer, but she still goes

Millville Honey Grahams Cereal (Aldi)

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It's a good knockoff. Y'know, despite being one of my favorite cereals as a youngster, I don't have quite the same fondness for honey graham cereal as an adult. I mean, a honey-based cereal is one thing, but a cereal that's made to taste like graham crackers, one of the most boring of all things (on their own; s'mores are a different story) is just a very weird idea to me. I guess maybe it's a sweet “honey” cereal for those that don't typically like that kind of thing...I don't know, and I guess, come to think of it, I really don't give a shit, either. But even though they lack the same appeal that they held throughout my childhood years, sometimes I still get a craving for them, particularly when I'm looking for a cereal that I haven't had a million times before. And thankfully, this is where my cereal-hating wife comes into play: she buys a box of this stuff a couple of times a year, before either forgetting about it, or completely lo

Millville Chocolate Puffs Cereal (Aldi)

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Get ready to disappoint your kids! I like cereal, and I like chocolate, so it would make sense that I also tend to like chocolate cereals. The only one that Aldi carries on a consistent basis that I enjoy is their version of Cocoa Pebbles, which are deliciously chocolatey and oh-so-sweet, but those can get old pretty quickly. When I saw their cocoa puffs as a Special Buy, I excitedly scooped up a box knowing that I had found a new friend. And sure enough, it looks exactly as I expected coming out, with spherical-shaped balls of cocoa-enhanced corn enticing my taste buds even before the milk entered the bowl. What could possibly go wrong , I thought to myself as my mouth started to water, anticipating that familiarly sweet barrage of chocolatey goodness that I was preparing to cram into my mouth hole. There is an old adage that nothing is a sure bet, and while the person that first uttered that was probably under the duress of having just lost a large sum of money, emotionally o

Kroger Chocolate Toasted Oats Cereal (Kroger)

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It's better than I thought it would be, but completely unnecessary. Ever since I was a kid, I've always been into cereal, a fascination that continues even to this day. There is, arguably, no more versatile food on the face of this Earth: obviously, it's great for breakfast, but it's also equally effective as both a snack, or even as a quick meal when nothing else sounds good. Since most cereals have quite a bit of vitamins (which will help to offset the high sugar content of some of the kids-based ones), it's also a healthier alternative than other snacks, which is why we seem to have at least a dozen boxes on hand at any given time. (And that's not even taking into account its other uses, such as an ingredient in milkshakes, a topping for ice cream, a healthier breading for fried foods, etc.) And ever since I was a kid, I've always loved the name brand “O”s cereal. I think most kids like the apple cinnamon and honey nut variants—which I always did, too

Fit & Active Vitality Cereal with "Red Berries" (Strawberries) (Aldi)

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Um...why are the strawberries referred to as "red berries" on the packaging? One thing you should probably know about me by now: I love cereal. All kinds of them. Whether they're mainly marketed toward children, adults, or even women, I couldn't care less: I will give them a try. In fact, I'd tried the name brand version of this already, and really liked the combination of sweet flakes and strawberries, so when I saw that Aldi carried a knockoff, I was excited to give it a shot. My interest was piqued when my wife, who is not at all a cereal lover, tried and it shot instantly up her list of favorite cereals. I had to have a bowl after that, and was impressed with what I tasted, even though trying the name brand beforehand pretty much prepared me directly for the experience, which is as follows: The flakes are what I would consider “lightly sweetened” and are nice and crunchy right out of the box. There's kind of an odd taste to them—it's real

Malt o' Meal Originals Blueberry Muffin Tops Cereal (Various)

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A hugely underrated cereal that admittedly requires one to have a pretty high tolerance for cloying sweetness. Earlier I reviewed Millville’s Blueberry Crunch Squares, a cereal that is available occasionally as a special buy through Aldi stores. I mentioned in that review that there doesn’t seem to be a “national brand”, making it one of the few cereals that seem to have been created by private labels. Well now, I will be reviewing the same offering through another popular private label, Malt o’ Meal, which was one of the first companies (if not THEE first), to put cereal inside large bags, thus omitting the box altogether. I don’t think I’ve hidden the fact that, as good as Aldi’s Millville cereal line is, I prefer Malt o’ Meal overall, as they seem to get even closer to national brand taste, while being just as inexpensive, or in some cases, even cheaper than, Millville cereals. In fact, I think Malt o’ Meal is the best private label cereal brand, period, so I always get excite

Malt o' Meal Cinnamon Toasters (Various)

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Quite possibly the best cinnamon squares cereal on the market. As I have mentioned many times over the course of the five years this blog has been in existence, Malt o’ Meal is, by far, my favorite private label cereal brand. Its mere presence at hundreds of retailers nationwide, from dollar stores, to Big Lots, to supermarkets, might lead you to believe that it’s a national brand--which it very well may be in terms of reach--but its core philosophy, which is to rip-off products from major cereal brands while offering them for much cheaper, is classic private label all the way. And yet, it’s one of the many cereal products I take for granted, in that I seem to always have some in my cereal collection at any given time, yet I have painfully few actual reviews of them. I guess some things I just get so comfortable and used to eating that I don’t even think of sharing them with my loyal readers (however few or nonexistent that number may actually be). Maybe it’s a subconscious te

Hospitality Bunch o' Cinnamon Squares Cereal (Dollar Tree)

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If you can finish the whole box, you should be given a reward. Like a refund. If you can't you should still be given a refund. I've only tried cereal from Dollar Tree one other time prior to this, and the experience did not go well. That probably explains why it's been about four years since I bought one—and it probably would have been even longer had they not had this perched on an endcap, cartoon elephant peeking out at me through sad eyes as if begging me to take him home. I waffled back and forth a little bit, remembering how bad the fruit loops I had were, but a couple of things put my mind at ease: 1.) The 7 oz. size. I figured since it was a fairly small box, the cereal could still be pretty good; I'd be terrified of trying a full box for a buck, but places like Aldi have some excellent cereals for $2 or less, and that puts this about in the same price range; and 2.) The picture on the front. I know, I know, pictures can be deceiving, but the cereal pieces l

Millville Frosted Flakes Cereal (Aldi)

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That bear is more adorable than the dumb tiger from the national brand. Well here’s another product that I buy so frequently, I’ve never even thought to review it. It’s Millville’s Frosted Flakes, and unlike a lot of the products I critique, this is one of Aldi’s staples, so it’s available all the time. I’m always initially drawn to the price: a substantial 17 oz. box is priced at a mere $1.59, which always catches my attention when we’re on a budget. I like to eat cereal pretty much daily, either as a snack, or on the rare occasions I’m not hungry, as a meal replacement, and frequently anything under 16 oz. isn’t even worth the purchase for me, as I only get three or so bowls out of the whole box. With these, I tend to get four or five, which means I can at least make it through a week without having to run out and grab something to calm my cereal withdrawals. Right out of the box, it’s noticeable that these look pretty much exact to the national brand version; that is to sa

Millville Original Oat Squares Cereal / Millville Balance Cereal (Aldi)

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Ignore the mangled box and ketchup...had to take it out of the trash to get a pic.  UPDATE: Aldi has added this cereal to its permanent inventory under the name "Millville Balance", where it is available in both original and cinnamon flavors. The price has been set at $1.99, at least here in Ohio, which is cheaper than it was as a special buy, but still not massive savings over the national brand. In fact, it's one of the most expensive cereals offered by the German discount chain. Still, the decreased cost along with the near-perfect taste imitation raises its score half-a-point, from 7 to 7.5. Original review below. For the most part, Aldi's cereal lineup is a pretty darn stellar combination of accurate taste and value; it's pretty rare that I flat-out hate a cereal that they carry, whether it's a part of their constant inventory, or a Special Buy. When I flipped upon Millville's Oat Squares cereal in an Aldi ad, I got excited—my wife and I are alw

Millville Golden Corn Nuggets Cereal (Aldi)

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Pretty accurate stuff, for better or worse. I liked the national brand version of these growing up, but it was never one of my favorite cereals; that's why I've never tried them the few times I've seen them available as Special Buys. The last time I saw them, I opted for the Honey Puffs instead (a honey-comb shaped cereal), and was very disappointed with the end result. I would have been just fine buying neither of these this time around, were it not for my wife, who had much fonder memories of these as a kid, and wanted to take a trip down memory lane (I also bought a box of the Honey Puffs again, hoping that they changed their formula...results can be seen below). Just like pretty much all of Millville's cereals, this looks pretty darn close to the national brand...it's based on foggy memories from over two decades ago, but I would go so far as to say it's pretty much exact. They're also nice and crunchy, right out of the bag, which is always my pr

Millville Honey Puffs Cereal (Aldi)

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Hope you like your cereal soggy and flavorless! Here we have a honeycomb-shaped cereal that's available as a Special Buy from Aldi stores. I had bad memories of this cereal the last time I got it, but decided to try it again for two reasons: 1.) I didn't review it the first time, and 2.) I was hoping either my memories were misplaced, or the recipe had changed. It did not, and Millville's Honey Puffs still remain one of the worst, if not thee worst, cereal that I've ever had from the German discount chain. Before I go on a tirade detailing everything that's wrong with it, let's start with the positives: right out of the box, it looks very similar to the national brand, which I used to enjoy as a child. I popped a couple in my mouth without milk, and it's a really solid knockoff, with a light touch of honey-infused sweetness that goes perfectly with the light, puffed cereal. Everything is off to a perfect start so far. Unfortunately, milk is almost a

Millville Apple Rounds Cereal (Aldi)

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If they don't taste like apple, then what in the hell DO they taste like?! The one thing I always think of when I see a box of Apple Jacks, or even in this case, a private label knockoff of them, are the old commercials from the mid-’90s, which always featured a grown-up concerned this his or her child, and group of friends, enjoyed the titular cereal.  “Why do you like these things?  They don’t taste like apple!” the adult would say, to which the child would respond, “That isn’t why we like them!” The befuddled adult would then add another line to the interrogation. “Then why?”  There would always be a lengthy pause as the child seemed caught off-guard by the question, until he would inevitably respond, “We just do!”  Then everyone would laugh. As a kid, the commercials had an almost rebellious feel to them:  Here were kids that liked something their parents didn’t approve of, for no specific reason.  They were eating them because they wanted to, and no amount of argume

Millville Crunchy Granola Raisin Bran Cereal (Aldi)

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You won't come across a raisin until the bottom of the bowl...then you'll come across all of them. I eat cereal all the time, but I’m not the biggest fan of raisins.  Yet, for reasons unknown, I still get cravings for raisin cereal every once in a while.  Usually, I get the typical “raisins with bran flakes” version by default, because I don’t really pay much attention to them.  But my interest was piqued when I saw Aldi offered a “Raisin Granola Crunch” cereal under their Millville banner, and so I opted to give it a try. As the “crunch” in the title suggests, the flakes in this cereal aren’t your average, run-of-the-mill bran flakes:  They seem to be coated in some extra sugar, making them much sweeter, and also more milk-resistant.  This is actually a key for me; in the bran version, the cereal gets mushy almost the instant the milk hits it, so I like that this stays crunchy a lot longer.  I also liked the touch of extra sweetness--I could have just as easily eate

Millville Apple Cinnamon Crispy Oats (Aldi)

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Very disappointing. Cereal is one of my all-time favorite foods, because it’s so versatile: its use as a breakfast food, of course, is well-documented, but for me, it can also be a snack, a dessert, or even occasionally dinner.  I also love the stuff because it tends to provide many vitamins and minerals that you can‘t always get with just any food, but also not at the expense of flavor--even the sweetest of cereals still have a lot of health benefits to offer.  They might rot away your teeth, but at least the rest of you will be healthy! Curiously, Millville’s Apple Cinnamon Crispy Oats are available only occasionally as a Special Buy from Aldi stores, along with a “chocolate“ variety.  I add “curiously” because they offer standard and honey nut versions all the time--back when I was a youngster, I always considered apple cinnamon to be a staple offering of the national brand, so I just think it’s a little weird that they don’t offer it all the time along with the other “crisp