This Week at Costco – May 17, 2015

May 23rd, 2015 by Kimberly · 1 Comment

I hope everyone has a great three day weekend – for those in the US and UK.  If you’re in the US don’t forget that all Costco locations are closed on Monday for Memorial Day.  And if you’re in the UK, since it is a bank holiday Costco locations here have different hours (10 am to 6 pm).  If you’re not having a long weekend, sorry, didn’t mean to rub it in!

Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix

Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix

Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix – I am pretty sure that this is the best brownie or cake mix that you can buy, anywhere.  The brownies are always delicious and so super chocolaty you can’t believe you can make them from a mix at home…at any time you want.  They’re like a perfect dream brownie.  We’ve been buying these for years and pretty much always have some on hand because Dave is a big, big fan of brownies.  So, when we moved to the UK I was a bit worried that we wouldn’t be able to find them.  But luckily Costco knows that people love chocolaty goodness like this around the world.  Ghirardelli did a bit of a revamp on the recipe a couple of years ago and they’re even more chocolaty and moist now, if you haven’t tried them lately.  They have three different kinds of chocolate: semi-sweet chips, bittersweet dark chocolate chips, and milk chocolate chips.  So, no matter what kind of chocolate you like, you should be happy with these.  All of the different chocolate chips really work nicely together to make an ideal brownie.  In the box at Costco you get four mixes; each making around 16 brownies according to the box.  Obviously, that is going to depend on how generous you are with your serving sizes.  I just can’t say how wonderful these brownies are because I just sound goofy and gushy now.  But, if you are a person that likes brownies you really, really need to pick up a box on your next trip to Costco.  I think they’re even better when I use olive oil instead of just vegetable oil.  I don’t know what it is about the different oil, but really they do seem more moist.  Also, if I’m feeling really decadent (or depressed) I add a generous blob of Nutella to the top.  And maybe some ice cream.  Or a sprinkling of powdered sugar.  But I don’t do it all at the same time because that would just be wrong (right?). 4 packets for £6.49.  Item #: 0195135.

Slow+Low Pork Belly

Slow+Low Pork Belly

Slow+Low Pork Belly with Cider & Honey Sauce – This is delicious!  Dave and I got this because we hadn’t tried it before, basically, and were kind of on the fence about trying it.  But of course, we had hopes that it would be good because it is perfect for a low preparation time dinner.  After we tried it, we were so glad that we decided to pick it up.  In the package you get two good sized pork belly pieces which are all prepped for you with a sea salt and herb rub.  The herb rub is made up of rosemary, thyme, sage, sugar, pepper, fennel, onion, and garlic.  All you have to do it cut up the vacuum packed bag and put it on a pan.  The only thing you MUST do is to line your pan with foil or face the unenviably task of trying to get your very crusted pan clean.  After seeing the stuff left on the foil, I think it might be easier to throw the pan away if you forget the foil lining.  It does take 45 minutes to cook but you don’t have to do anything during that time except prepare whatever else you’re having for dinner.  The pork comes out juicy and tender and scrumptious.  The accompanying sauce comes in a little bag and you pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes to heat it up and then serve it alongside your yummy pork.  The sauce was a little tart and a little sweet and worked perfectly with the herbs on the pork.  I don’t usually like sauces like this but we both thought it was really good and did actually add a little something to the taste of the pork.  We served the sauce on the side in little cups so that it wouldn’t impact the nice crustiness of the pork.  It was delicious when freshly cooked but was also quite good the next day cold on a sandwich.  This is something we will definitely be picking up again.  It does say that you can freeze it but I didn’t try it so I can’t vouch for that.  But really, if you get this, do not forget to line your pan with foil!  960 grams for £7.99.  Item #: 0187781.

Under Armour Women's Workout Tees

Under Armour Women’s Workout Tees

Under Armour Women’s Workout Tees – I’ve been trying to update some of my workout wear just because I wear it often enough that I get sick of always wearing the same stuff.  So, I was really pleased to see the nice selection of colours in these Under Armour tees at Costco recently.  Dave has had good luck with his Under Armour tees, so I figured I was safe and stocked up with five different shirts.  They had so many great colours it was hard to curtail my choices.  I ended up getting a white, purple, yellow, grey and two pink tees, but they had several other colours too.  I like this tees because they have a great cut for working out.  They are not too tight, but not too loose either, so they are comfortable no matter how you are moving around.  Plus, they are long enough to keep from pulling up and showing your back or tummy every time you bend.  They have a v-neck and short sleeves too.  The shirts have flat seams so they don’t rub you either.  Like all workout wear now, they have fancy fabric that wicks away moisture to keep you drier when you are working out.  It’s pretty effective at that too except when I am working out super hard and get super duper sweaty (attractive!) and even then I don’t feel like I’ve got a grossly wet shirt on, just a bit moist.  They are great tees and even more so when you consider the price.  I figure that I got two of these, at least, for the price that a decent workout tee would have cost me somewhere else.  I apparently picked up one of these tees that had a different cut or something because it was £1 more, but either way they were under £10.00 and that is a terrific deal.  £8.99.  Item #: 0228321.   £9.99.  Item #: 0623124.

Kleenex Balsam Tissues

Kleenex Balsam Tissues

Kleenex Balsam Tissues –  It might seem like it is a strange time to buy Kleenex because it should be the end of cold and flu season.  However, if you are like my husband, than this time of year brings with it the joy of allergies and a runny nose.  It’s unpleasant enough but to end up rubbing your nose raw with all of the blowing and wiping, it just adding insult to injury.  So when I recently saw the coupon for these tissues I knew we had to get them.  I had tried some of these in little packs so I knew we would like them.  These are great tissues because they are thicker than normal and have a microfine layer of calendula to provide a little bit of protective balm with each blow and rub of your nose.  The balm really does manage to keep your nose from getting that red irritated look after too much blowing.  I was amazed that it was actually able to keep us from getting red noses because it feels soft sure, but we’ve all had soft feeling tissues rub our noses raw.  The balm that is on the tissues is so fine a layer that you don’t really notice it in any way and it doesn’t feel like you’ve just wiped something onto your nose either.  If you ever tried other versions of these types of tissues, or even the earlier versions from Kleenex, you might remember how they either made your nose feel greasy or like you had just wiped what you were blowing out all over.  But these don’t feel like that at all, even though they seem to do a better job at protecting the skin around your nose.  We also like that they are a big tissue that can actually handle someone blowing their nose without ripping.  I got these when Costco had a coupon for £1.20 off a 6 pack of 80 tissue boxes, which made them a great deal over other retailers where a 2 pack is £2.66 – £4.00 depending on the retailer. But even at the least expensive place they are almost £3.00 more than at Costco.  So, Dave’s nose isn’t irritated and neither is our budget.  Plus, this way we have a head start on being prepared for next cold season.  6 pack for £4.69 (£5.89 – £1.20 coupon).  Item #: 0103235.

Share

→ 1 Comment

Tags: Clothing · Food · Health & Beauty · Sports Share

Costco US is CLOSED on Memorial Day (May 25, 2015)

May 21st, 2015 by Kimberly · No Comments

Are you planning to have a get together with friends and family for Memorial Day?  If so, don’t wait too much longer to get your Costco shopping done because Costco is CLOSED on Monday.  If you’ve got last minute shopping to do, you’ll need to get to Costco on Saturday or Sunday for your burgers, sausages, hot dogs, soda, chips, and any paper plates, napkins, and plastic cups that you need.   Of course, this also means that Costco will most likely be a total crazy mass of other holiday shoppers this weekend because everyone else will be picking up things for their parties too.  You might want to think about getting there early, or today even, to avoid the crowds and make sure you still have stuff to buy!

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Also, if you’re in the UK, since Monday is a bank holiday here Costco has special hours of 10 am to 6 pm.

Share

→ No Comments

Tags: Holidays Share

How about some Vodka, a Vodka Luge, and Fireworks from Costco.co.uk for your next party?

May 19th, 2015 by Kimberly · No Comments

I like to post about some of the more interesting items that can be purchased on the Costco websites.  Some of the things are just really pricey, some of it a little unexpected, and some of it is just odd.  Today, I’ve got something that I saw in one of the recent Costco UK email newsletters though and I think it is both unexpected and odd, so of course I wanted to share it with everyone here.

Vodka Luge at Costco.co.uk

Vodka Luge at Costco.co.uk

A few weeks ago I noticed something called a “vodka luge” in one of my emailings from Costco.co.uk.  So, naturally, you have to check something like that out because it seemed kind of an odd item for Costco to be selling online.  For those of you that, like me, are wondering “what the heck is a vodka luge”, I now have the answer.  As you can sort of put together it is an ice sculpture with a tube installed through it that allows you to pour vodka in the top and have it come out, perfectly chilled having passed through the ice of the sculpture.  An ice sculpture seems to be an odd item to sell online.  Though, possibly it is no stranger than selling fresh meat.  But really I wonder how do they ship it so that it remains frozen and not just turn into a pool of slushy water?  You do get to select your preferred delivery date, so that helps to ensure that someone is actually there to accept delivery and it won’t be hanging around outside sweating by your front door.  This is what the company, The Ice Box, say about the meltiness of your vodka luge and delivery:

Eventually it will melt, but it will stay frozen during transit. Stored in specially insulated packaging, your Vodka Luge will remain frozen and not start melting until at least 8pm on the day of delivery. Once unwrapped and set up, the average life span of the Vodka Luge is from 4 to 6 hours. The Vodka Luge melting is part of the party experience… watching it transform through the event.

Yeah, that party was great – we had fun watching ice melt!  Not so sure that I think watching ice melt needs to be part of any good party, but perhaps that is because I haven’t had enough vodka.

The good thing is that if you leave the tube in place you can pour anything through the ice sculpture that you want.  But if you take that out that you have to go with spirits like vodka, gin, or whisky.  Oh yeah, they also suggest that you only use it for liquids that have already been chilled. Which seems to beg the question, why do you really need a vodka luge at all then? But I guess it is all about creating a certain party atmosphere.  You can choose from ten different designs at Costco.co.uk, but they’re all the same price of £99.99.

Kirkland Signature French Vokda

Kirkland Signature French Vokda

And of course, if you’ve got the cool vodka luge, you need some vodka to pour through it too, right?  I think it seems strange that you can buy alcoholic beverages through Costco.co.uk, but you definitely can do it.  You can get a giant 1.75 litre bottle (or is it a jug at that point) of the Kirkland Signature French Vodka for just £39.99 through the Costco UK website.  While the Costco US website has information about various alcoholic beverages, they don’t actually sell it online.  I guess this is just a result of differences in regulation for liquor sales but it seems really odd to me.  Here’s what Costco UK mentions about selling and delivering and how that could mean it ends up in the hands of a minor:

It is against the law to sell alcohol to persons under the age of 18 in the UK. By placing an order, you confirm that you are at least 18 years old. If our courier has any doubt as to the age of the person receiving the order, he or she will ask for a form of identification…

Deliveries of alcohol to Scottish addresses require us to deliver to the recipient only and to no alternate address.

The Costco.co.uk website has several types of vodka available, but they’ve also got whisky, gin, tequila, brandy, cognac, and rum that you can buy from the comfort of your sofa.  They also sell wine and champagne too.  It is really a liquor store that is just a click of the mouse away. I will say, they have some excellent high end items that would be great if you wanted to send someone a gift.  Also, if you don’t have a Costco around you, I can see how this might be the perfect way to get the savings and products that they have available and you might not be able to find locally.  But still it just seems crazy to me that you can buy wine and spirits online!

Black Cat Intense Power Ultimate Firework Quad Pack

Black Cat Intense Power Ultimate Firework Quad Pack

But wait, there’s more craziness to be had at Costco.co.uk!  So, now that you’ve bought some alcoholic beverages and the cool vodka luge, the next thing any good party needs is fireworks, right?  And naturally, you can get those at the Costco UK website too.  In the US fireworks are apparently a bit more tightly regulated.  I know when we were kids you could buy them around 4th of July from stands on the side of the road, but I think they’ve done away with that kind of fast and lose fireworks selling.  Not to mention, they have really curtailed where you can light them off at too.  But apparently, that is not the case in the UK because you can buy fireworks at a lot of places, much to my amazement.  However, I didn’t know that you could get them online in the UK, but you learn something new everyday.  At the Costco UK website you can choose from seven different Black Cat fireworks selections with prices ranging from £74.89 to £189.99.  The most expensive set has 345 single ignition shots (I think that means, 345 things exploding in the air) broken down into four different displays with all of it lasting just 3.5 minutes.  And these are real fireworks too, they even caution you to make sure spectators are 25 metres away for viewing.  They also have the same warning as the vodka for selling to persons 18 and older only.  I will give Costco UK some credit for putting a page about fireworks safety on their website too.  If you were planning on buying some fireworks, Costco UK is way cheaper than Amazon UK (yes, you can get fireworks online there too), and they have a better selection too.

But remember, just because you can buy your vodka and fireworks at the same place, doesn’t mean you should really mix them.  Fireworks and drinking don’t go together very well but often do go with a trip to casualty (that’s the emergency room for those of you in the US).

So, you can see that you can put the perfect party together with everything you could need or want coming right from Costco.co.uk!  I didn’t even talk about the more normal items like desserts, cakes, meats, and party favours that you can also get at Costco UK.  Seriously, if you are planning a party, you should certainly check out the entertaining section of the Costco UK website.

Share

→ No Comments

Tags: Costco.co.uk · Food · Holidays · Household Items Share

Costco UK Coupon Book: May 18 – June 7, 2015

May 16th, 2015 by Kimberly · 2 Comments

The new Costco UK coupon book starts on Monday and runs through the first week of June, the 7th.  There’s£350.00 worth of savings in this latest book, which is just a smidge more than the previous book. I think there are better coupons this time around but they’re still not spectacular.  Perhaps Spring isn’t the best time for coupons.  But as always there are at least a few good coupons to keep us all saving money for the next couple of weeks.  So, no coupon or deal for tyres this month, so hopefully you got those during the last two coupon books.

Costco UK Coupon Book: May 18 - June 7, 2015

Costco UK Coupon Book: May 18 – June 7, 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, 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.

I may have a bit of a thing for cheese and though I’m trying hard not to write about cheese all the time now, I have to mention the coupon for Rodeo Joe’s Mozzarella Sticks.  With the current coupon book, you can save £1.80 off of the 1.2 kilogram bag, making them just £4.99 (no VAT).  Dave and I both liked these and I’m going to have to see if I can free up enough space in our freezer to squeeze these in there.  They have a really nice crust on the outside and a good amount of cheese on the inside.  And if you weren’t aware, they have started packing all of the Rodeo Joe’s items (these, onion rings, and jalapeno poppers) in zip top bags instead of the cumbersome boxes.  I do normally think of these more as a cool weather item, but that could just be because we like them for when we are watching American football.  In any case, if you like this kind of snack (or dinner, I’m not going to judge), then you definitely want to pop into Costco to pick some up.

There are a couple of coupons for Nando’s products this month too.  You can save £1.00 off a three pack of Nando’s Marinades in Lemon and Herb, Medium, and Hot; £3.49 (no VAT) after savings.  I’ve never tried their marinades but I am glad to see that they’ve got one with a heat level higher than medium.  I imagine these would be perfect for Summertime backyard grilling.  They also have a coupon for £2.10 off a one litre bottle of Nando’s Medium Peri-Peri Sauce, making it just £4.89 (no VAT).  We go to Nando’s not infrequently because there is one very near our flat and we love the grilled chicken.  But I’ve never tried the medium peri-peri sauce, preferring to get the extra hot instead.  I’d love it if we could buy a big one litre bottle of the extra hot sauce.  A bottle of this peri-peri sauce might be the perfect way to jazz up your weekday chicken dinner though.

There are two great deals on razors this month.  Since it is the season of lots of leg shaving, ladies, it’s the ideal time to save £4.50 on a Gillette Venus & Olay Razor with Six Blades; £16.18 with VAT.  I’ve been using the Venus razors for a while now and find them to do a good job at shaving without cutting me even when I’m in a big hurry.  Though, I’ll be honest, I’ve never noticed a huge benefit to the “Olay” part of the razor.  To me it seems just the same as any of those moisture strips on the blades.  I will also point out that this same razor with six blades is £20.49 at Ocado and Boots, so it is quite a deal at Costco with this coupon.  For men, there’s a deal for a huge £6.50 off a pack of ten Gillette Mach 3 Disposable Razors; just £9.94 with VAT.  Dave likes these, especially for travel because then he doesn’t feel bad if he forgets it or throws it away at the end of a trip.  These are quite the deal at Costco too because a pack of just three of these disposable razors sells for between £4 to £8.00 at all of the other retailers.  It’s amazing the difference in price for men’s and women’s razors, huh?

For years I’ve been using Apple’s iPhoto to do quick edits and touchup, as well as organize my photos.  However, they’ve been fiddling with it lately because they are getting rid of it in favour of the Photos app, like they use on the iPhone and iPads.  And all their messing around has made me think that it is time to get a different piece of software to handle my photos.  I’m torn between using the free Picasa from Google and Adobe Photoshop Elements.  Costco has a nice coupon now for £15.00 off a copy of Photoshop Elements 13, making it just £47.98 with VAT. I don’t mind paying for the Adobe software if it is really worth the cost but lately I’ve found Adobe stuff to be hit or miss, with a lot of miss.  However, I had read good things about Photoshop Elements 13, with people saying that it is not overly complicated like some Adobe products, it lets you organize, edit, and share, and sync mobile photos, plus it has some cool stuff that lets you make seamless panorama photos as well as merge elements from one photo with another.  So it really does sound like the best replacement for iPhoto and in some respects a big improvement.  Decisions, decisions!

Share

→ 2 Comments

Tags: Coupons Share

Sample Cafe Spice Indian Meals at Midwest Costco Locations Sunday (May 17, 2015)

May 15th, 2015 by Kimberly · No Comments

I’m a big fan of Indian cuisine, but less so of cooking it.  I more often find myself wanting Indian for dinner than I feel like cooking it, honestly. Luckily, if you’re in the Midwest US, you’ll be able to buy the new Cafe Spice Chicken Tikka Masala with Basmati Saffron Rice meals.  If you’re in the Midwest and you’re curious about how tasty these are, you’ll be able to try a sample of the Cafe Spice Chicken Tikka Masala this weekend!  On Sunday, May 17 you can have a taste and then pick up a two pack for dinner.

Cafe Spice Chicken Tikka Masala with Saffron Rice

Cafe Spice Chicken Tikka Masala with Saffron Rice

Cafe Spice products are made from scratch, prepared in small batches using fresh and only all natural ingredients. So it seems like the meals are as close as you can get to preparing them at home.  The chicken is humanely raised on Pennsylvania farms and is free from antibiotics or added hormones, and vegetarian fed.  The chicken is also halal certified. The meals are gluten free and freshly prepared tandoor style in a creamy spiced tomato sauce in Café Spice’s kitchens in New York’s Hudson Valley.  The thing I like is that they freshly grind whole spices daily to create the spice mixtures used in their meals.  Since spices are the most important part of Indian cuisine, this is a hugely important step, I think.

This is what they have to say about their Chicken Tikka Masala and Saffron Rice on their website:

Without question, Chicken Tikka Masala is the most popular dish on an Indian menu and adored by children and adults alike. Marinated chicken cooked in a tandoor (traditional clay oven) is simmered to tender perfection in our mouth-watering tomato sauce, prepared with a hint of cream and whole spices. Delightfully aromatic, this entrée is paired with our Basmati Saffron Rice.

You can look at the list of ingredients on that website page too.  You can tell from that list that it is really just like what you would use to make your own at home.  Of course, in this case all you’ll have to do is heat it up and you are ready to eat.  You can find the meals in the prepared foods section and they are available in a two pack, with each meal being 16 ounces (so 32 ounces in total) for $10.69.  This is a terrific deal and a great way to have Indian for dinner without a big cost or the hassle of preparation.  Plus, you can team it with some of the naan that Costco carries too.

The Cafe Spice Cookbook by Hari Nayak

The Cafe Spice Cookbook by Hari Nayak

Also available now at Costco locations (and at Amazon if you can’t find it in your local Costco), you can get the cookbook of the chef behind he Cafe Spice meals, Chef Hari Nayak.  This new cookbook, The Cafe Spice Cookbook: 84 Quick and Easy Indian Recipes for Everyday Meals,  isn’t just a collection of recipes, but really explains Indian cooking by explaining the differences in regional Indian cuisines, teaching about Indian cooking techniques, and even giving information about how and where to find basic Indian ingredients. There are recipes for specialty spice blends, as well as recipes for chutneys and accompaniments like Tamarind and Mint Chutneys, Green Pea Relish.  And of course, you can find all of the classic dishes (and probably all of your favourites) like Paneer with Creamed Spinach (aka Saag Paneer, which is a favourite at our house), Chicken Tikka Masala, and Naan.  There are even recipes that will be perfect for summer, including a Tamarind Cooler and Crab and Coconut Salad, as well as grilled specialties such as Tandoori Fish and Smoky Fire-Roasted Eggplant.

So if you’re now craving Indian food for dinner, head over to Costco (if you’re in the Midwest at least) and pick up the cookbook and some ingredients and get to whipping up something spectacular.  And get the Chicken Tikka Masala meals to hold you over while you’re cooking!

Share

→ No Comments

Tags: Books · Food Share

Subscribe