Costco Field Trip: Maui

April 28th, 2015 by Kimberly · 4 Comments

We decided to take a trip to Maui for a spot of relaxation and laziness.  And naturally that meant we had to check out the Costco there as well.  We were fortunate too in that our hotel had a bit of a kitchenette in our suite so we could get some snacks and things for dinner and not just sightsee.   Plus, we did buy a couple of things that we can’t get here in the UK, like the Eos lip balm, but mostly we bought things to eat while we were in Maui.

Costco Maui

Costco Maui

At first blush the Costco in Maui is pretty much like any other Costco location around the world, but if you look a little closer you’ll realize there are definitely some products there that you are not going to see at other locations.  For instance, you can get fresh flower leis, poke, smoked marlin spread, and poi.  Overall, the prices were probably a bit higher than at other Costco locations in the US, though I am only guessing on that one.  However, they are so much more reasonably priced than all of the other supermarkets that going here seems like the only sensible option to me.

We decided to go late afternoon on a Monday because I wanted to avoid any potential crowds by going on the weekend and I also just wanted some time to recuperate from all the flying and time change.  Getting up at 2 am makes me tired it seems, especially after 20+ hours of flying.  Anyway, the Maui Costco was lightly busy when we were there but the store was nice and cool and there was lots to look at so we just took our time browsing through everything.

Speedo swim trunks

Speedo swim trunks

Clearly if you are in Maui you are probably going to be spending some time in a pool or at the beach, so naturally Costco has lots of swimsuit options for both men and women.  They had the Kirkland Signature MiracleSuit for women for just $29.99 because they were $5.00 off.  But they had some Speedo suits for a bit less too.  For men they had a bunch of different swim trunk options priced between $15.99 and $19.99.  Dave decided to get a new pair of Speedo trunks.  They are really soft feeling, so not that stiff uncomfortable material that you find on so many swim trunks, plus they have a handy pocket where you can keep your room key safe.  And they were just $15.99, which is definitely less than we would have paid in London to get these.  They also had other beach items, like towels and sunscreen (of course) but I seem to have forgotten to snap a photo of those things and don’t recall the pricing.

Ahi sashimi

Ahi sashimi

I think the food is always where you can really see the differences in the locations though, and this Costco was no exception to that rule.  One of the things that we were definitely hoping to find was some good sashimi and sushi.  While the selection is not as wide as you will find in Japan, they had some really fresh and absolutely gorgeous ahi sashimi at an excellent price.  We picked up two of these to eat for dinner and we were definitely not disappointed.  The ahi was so fresh and had that perfect soft texture that you only get when it is a good quality, plus I liked that they included enough wasabi and Yamasa soy sauce as well as two sets of chop sticks.  Our tray of ahi weighed 1.49 pounds for $20.85 (that’s $13.99 per pound) and that amounted to about 40 pieces of sashimi.  This was so much better than what we had found at any of the local supermarkets and at a better price too, so you can’t beat that.

Lobster roll

Lobster roll

Costco also had a couple of different rolls that we tried too.  We got a spicy ahi roll and a lobster roll, both are $11.99 for two eight piece rolls (16 pieces in total with a weight of 1 pound).   Both of the rolls were delicious and I’m not sure I could pick a favourite.  The spicy ahi roll was way better than I usually get, espeically at supermarkets but even from some sushi places.  I think the spicy mayo they use is the distinguishing factor and definitely had a good flavour with the right amount of spicy.  That said the lobster roll was also delicious!  What really impressed us though was that neither of these suffered from that overly crunchy, dry rice that you usually find in supermarket sushi, and while that means they are tasty it also means that they won’t fall apart when you’re trying to eat them.  This might be because of the way Costco makes their rice or just that they have fresher rolls.  In any case, we were really pleased to find such nice stuff at Costco.

Fresh Poke station

Fresh Poke station

One of the unique things that you will find in the Maui Costco, and I’m guessing all of the Hawaii Costco locations, is Poke.  Poke is basically a salad made with cubes of ahi, though they also have a version that is made with seaweed.  They might have the seaweed version at Costco, but mostly what they have is poke made with ahi and various flavourings.  We decided to try the wasabi flavour which is made up of fresh ahi, wasabi, tobbiko, Hawaiian salt, green onion, Kukui nut, and sesame seeds.  I think it was all about the same price of $17.99 as the one we chose.  If you like sushi, you really have to try this and I’m pretty sure there’s no way you won’t like it.  The wasabi version was delicious and we really wish we had gotten more.  It was a great blend of flavours and tasted to fresh and yummy, and was definitely a perfect end to a hard day of laying by the pool.  Also, if you’re looking for the poi, you’ll find it right over by the fresh poke station.

Real Tim Tams from Australia

Real Tim Tams from Australia

Other tasty treats that we found:  Tim Tams!  And these aren’t the fake ones, these are the genuine, Australian version.  Naturally, we had to get some.  There are five packs in the box at Costco: two milk chocolate, two dark chocolate, and one chewy caramel.  So you get all of those for $13.99 or $2.80 per pack which I think is a really good deal.  I like the milk chocolate version best.  What can I say, I’m a purist.  But the chewy caramel is pretty good too.  I’m not a big dark chocolate fan so it is a good thing that Dave likes it.  These are definitely one of the things that we can’t get in the UK so these were a great surprise and a tasty treat.  I want to know why they can have these in Hawaii but we can’t get them here in the UK.

Costco Hawaii reusable bags

Costco Hawaii reusable bags

If you’re a Costco tourist like I am, you might want to consider getting the set of special Hawaii reusable bags.  They are so cute with a map of all of the islands and a Hawaii specific wave and flower motif.  We needed to get bags to carry all of our purchases back to the hotel, so that is why we even spotted these and I’m glad that we did.  Aside from the cute design of them, I like that there are two big bags that are 20″x14″ and then two that are smaller at 16″x16″.  Plus, they have a sleeve inside where you can stand up bottles to keep them from crushing everything else in the bag and of course they have shoulder straps and short handles too.  The set of four bags was $6.69 and is a perfect souvenir for those of us that are Costco Crazy.  They were kind of hidden away next to the door into one of the cold rooms, the one where juice and dairy products reside, I believe.  So if you’re looking for them, you’ll have to do a bit of search.

Hawaiian Host Alohamacs

Hawaiian Host Alohamacs

If you’re looking to get the traditional gift of chocolate covered macadamia nuts to bring home for all of your unlucky friends and family that didn’t get to go to Maui, you definitely want to pop into Costco.  We ended up getting a pack of six boxes of Hawaiian Host AlohaMacs (that’s milk chocolate covered macadamia nuts) for $18.99 at Costco.  They had a number of different varieties of the chocolate covered ones, but also plain macadamia nuts and other Hawaii treats like that.  Thankfully the pack that I got came with a pop up carrying handle so they were easy to get home.  Though, beware, because everyone in the airports (except the one in Maui) will try to talk you out of your macadamia nuts!  I told the nice TSA team in New York that I was pretty sure that they hadn’t melted and thus were not subject to the 3 ounce liquid restriction.  But really, Costco is the place to buy these treats to take home with you because at other places a single box of these same candies was someplace between $6.00 and $13.00!  They had a nice twelve pack of four different varieties too that was around $30.00.  The nice thing is that these are right at the front of the store so you can just pop in on your way to the airport and get in and out pretty quickly.

This Costco location is really conveniently located for the airport which makes it the perfect place to fill up your rental car as you are getting ready to return it.  And if you’ve got a weirdly timed flight, ours was departing at 9:30 pm, Costco is also a nice place to stop for a quick snack before you get on your flight.  We got a hot dog and soda, but were kind to all of the people on our flight and skipped the onions.  They have a nice covered area for their food court that is big and has plenty of seating space too.  We were amazed at the bustling business that they were doing in the early evening but there were still plenty of places to sit.

Obviously, Maui is gorgeous and a perfect place to relax, so there’s really nothing to not enjoy.  Since we’ve been to Maui a few times before we didn’t feel pressure to do anything touristy, except visit Costco, which made this probably the most relaxing holiday I’ve had in a long, long time.  I caught up on reading all of the books that I’ve been collecting on my Kindle for the last year too.  I even almost have a bit of a tan on my normally Casper-like skin.  I’m sure no one else would notice but me though.

Share

→ 4 Comments

Tags: Food · General · Locations Share

Costco UK Coupon Book: April 27 – May 17, 2015

April 25th, 2015 by Kimberly · No Comments

The new Costco UK coupon book starts on Monday and runs through mid-May, May 17th.  There’s just a tiny  mo£320.00 worth of savings in this latest book, which is less than half of the savings found in the previous book. There are a few things that caught my eye in this new batch of coupons, but it’s pretty slim.  Overall though, I’m not super chuffed by this new set of coupons and in comparison to the last book they seem really lacklustre.

Costco UK Coupon Book: April 27 - May 17, 2015

Costco UK Coupon Book: April 27 – May 17, 2015

I’ve uploaded the new Costco UK Coupon Book PDF (or view it in the Google PDF viewer).  If you didn’t get your book or never do, you should stop by Customer Service and make sure that they have all of your mailing information correct and that you have allowed them permission to send you things in the mail.  Also, while you’re there, ask them for a copy of the latest book if they didn’t hand you one when you walked in the store.  In the UK they print the coupons on both sides of the pages and without the codes and they just automatically deduct them after they ring up your items.  I love this method of couponing and I’m glad to see that it seems all Costco locations in the world are following suit.  I do still find it useful to have a copy so I know what to look for because I don’t always notice the signs that they’ve posted to let you know what has a coupon.  Of course, they often hand you a copy of the coupon book when you walk in the store or have them sitting there so you can grab one as you enter. I usually download a copy of the PDF to my phone before I go to the store so that I can easily reference it while shopping.  If you sign up to receive emails from Costco.co.uk, they will send you an email to let you know when the new coupon book is available online, usually the weekend before the new book starts.  Since they now post the coupons on the Costco UK website, you can always download a copy of the latest coupon book from there or you can find a link to it on the Warehouse Offers webpage.

There’s another tyre deal this month, so these are getting to be a bit more regular now, which is great.  If you are planning some Summer travel by car, you might want to consider taking advantage of the deal on Michelin tyres at Costco this month.  The amount of your Costco shopping voucher depends on the number and size of tyres that you purchase.  For example, if you purchase a full set of four tyres that are 19″ and above, you’ll get a voucher for £100.  However, if you just buy two tyres that are 13 – 16″ your shopping voucher will be for just £10.  So if you’re interested in some new tyres make sure you take a look at that coupon at the back of the book on page 19.

If you’ve got a laptop that you take with you to and from work or school, you might want to consider taking advantage of the £5.00 off coupon for the High Sierra Elite Business Backpack.  After the discount the price is just £20.38 with VAT, which seems like a very good deal.  There’s a padded pocket for laptops up to 17″ and then a multitude of pockets and storage options for all of the other stuff that you end up taking with you, there’s even a special pocket for your tablet.  Dave and I have had backpacks like this for years and it really is the best way to carry your laptop around, especially if you have a lot of cables and other tech gear that you need to carry as well.  Laptops are much lighter than they used to be for sure, but a backpack still makes it less of a hassle to carry around.  And for £20, it’s quite a good deal, I think.  They’ve got this same backpack available through Costco.co.uk too and I would think that the coupon might apply to it as well.

I like cranberry juice and try to have a glass a few times per week, if not everyday.  Aside from mango, it’s probably my juice of choice.  Plus, it’s great for mixed drinks (or so I hear).  So, if you like cranberry juice like I do, there’s a great deal on an eight pack of 1.5 litre boxes of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice.  You get £3.00 off, which makes the final price £7.18 (with VAT).  That is a really good deal at just £0.90 for  each 1.5 litre container, which compares quite favourably to supermarket prices of £1.00 for a 1 litre container.  I’m thinking of getting this, but I do dread carrying this eight pack up to my flat!

That’s pretty much my top picks out of this new coupon book.  I do also like the coupon for £2.80 off a four pack of Oral-B ProExpert Toothpaste; just £6.82 with VAT.  However, I mention this toothpaste quite often so I thought I’d give it a rest this time and not go into the whole spiel about how wonderful it is (but really, it is great).  Also, and I know I mention fire safety often in regards to coupons too, but there’s a nice coupon for £5.00 off a Kidde Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Voice Alarm; £11.98 with VAT.  If it has been a while since you tested your smoke detector, now is as good a time as any.  Plus, if you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector at all, this is definitely the right time to buy them.

Share

→ No Comments

Tags: Coupons Share

Costco Australia Holiday Schedule for ANZAC Day (Saturday, April 25, 2015)

April 23rd, 2015 by Kimberly · No Comments

20150422-1If you are in Australia, don’t expect to be able to do your shopping at your local Costco on ANZAC Day this Saturday (April 25, 2015).   Some Costco locations are CLOSED and some have special hours.  However, all Costco Australia locations will be back to normal operating hours on Sunday.

  • ANZAC Day, Saturday, April 25, 2015
    • All locations open 1 pm to 6 pm.
      • Exceptions:
      • Adelaide and North Lakes locations CLOSED.

For those of you that are curious, ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance for members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (that’s what the acronym stands for: Australian and New Zealand Army Corp).  Originally, this was a way to specifically commemorate the loss of life for those Australian and New Zealand troops that fought at Gallipoli (Turkey) during World War I.  However, after World War II the day has been broadened as a commemoration to all troops that have served and died in service to Australia and New Zealand.  For more information about ANZAC Day, you can read the Wikipedia page on the topic.

Share

→ No Comments

Tags: Holidays Share

Costco Announces Increase in Quarterly Dividend (May 2015)

April 21st, 2015 by Kimberly · 2 Comments

Costco raising quarterly cash dividend to $0.40 per share

Costco raising quarterly cash dividend to $0.40 per share

Costco announced yesterday that they will be increasing the quarterly dividend for shareholders.  The dividend will rise from $0.355 per share to $0.40 per share.  That is an increase of right around 14%, which is excellent.   On an annualized basis, this represents an increase from $1.42 to $1.60 per share.   This increased dividend will be paid out on May 15, 2015, but only for shareholders of record by close of business on May 1, 2015.

This is great news for those of us that love Costco so much we’ve bought their stock in bulk too.  Costco is one of the few stocks that I actually own (not including stuff in mutual funds) because I figured that I loved the store so much I should own a little piece of it.  Of course, my stock holding in Costco is pretty tiny, but still, it has done quite well for me since I purchased it since the share price has increased quite a bit and the dividend has almost doubled.  Since 2008, the first full year that I was writing this blog, the dividend has increased from $0.16 per share to $0.40, or 150%.  Similarly, the share price has increased quite a bit too in that time, going from $69.43 (April 18, 2008) per share to the current price of $144.57, an increase of $75.14 per share.  Go Costco!

Also in this latest new from Costco, was an announcement that the Board has reauthorized a common stock repurchase program of up to $4 billion.  This is a replacement for their current $4 billion repurchase program that expires this month; it has unused authorization of approximately $2.5 billion.

For more information:

Share

→ 2 Comments

Tags: In the News Share

This Week at Costco – April 12, 2015

April 18th, 2015 by Kimberly · 3 Comments

Relaxing in Maui!

Relaxing in Maui!

This week I’m actually on holiday in sunny, sunny Maui so I’m taking a bit of a break from my weekly reviews so relax on the beach.  However, next week I’ll have a field trip report from my visit to the Maui Costco – they have so many interesting things that you just won’t see at other locations.  It’s been a very relaxing and enjoyable few days and we’ll certainly be sad to be leaving Monday.  But, we’ve enjoyed getting our daily dose of vitamin D in the sun and sand here in Maui.

I hope everyone else has as nice a weekend as will!

Share

→ 3 Comments

Tags: General Share

Subscribe