There are two things that I want to remind you of: Costco in the US is closed on Labor Day and the coupon book expires this week too. The first item, I posted about yesterday, and you probably figured out anyway. But the coupon book expiring might have slipped your mind. If so, you’ve still got plenty of time (well, today and tomorrow) to get to Costco and purchase any of the great items that have coupons this month.
Hidden Valley Light Ranch Dressing – We don’t usually have salad dressing because we usually opt for lemon juice and a little salt and pepper on our salads. However, Dave had a little bit of a craving for ranch dressing for some reason so we picked some up this weekend. And lucky us, there was a coupon for it even that I had forgotten about. Since this is the light version it has 40% fewer calories and 50% less fat than the regular ranch dressing. And honestly, I don’t think you can tell a difference at all. It’s still got the great creamy texture and delicious spiced flavor that this dressing is known for. While you can use it just for salads, it also makes a nice dip for veggies like that jumbo bag of carrots you can get at Costco. Interestingly, on the package they have a recipe for Ranch Fish Sticks. Basically, you take your fish and then dip it in some dressing, then some flour, then some egg, and then finally, the breadcrumbs. After the fish is well coated, you saute until golden brown and delicious. I’ll be honest, this is something I would not have thought of, but I could see where this could be really yummy and give a little added zing to your fish sticks. I would presume you could also do the same thing with chicken breasts. 2, 36 ounce bottles for $6.39 ($8.39 – $2.00 coupon). Item #: 47592.
Trident Watermelon Twist Gum – We usually have some gum around the house, I’m not even sure why really. Lately, we’ve been completely out and this week Dave decided to remedy that by buying some Trident. I’m not sure I’d count this as my favorite since I always feel that the pieces are too small for a truly enjoyable gum chewing experience. They do say it is good for your teeth though because if you chew some for at least 20 minutes after a meal you can actually help prevent cavities. Since the Trident is sugar free, it probably is a little better for you than the overly sweet gum that you might otherwise chew. And the flavor does actually last a surprisingly long time. The watermelon twist flavor is really watermelon, I’d say. I guess it is supposed to be cantaloupe and honey dew too but really, all I taste is the watermelon flavor. 12, 18 stick packages (216 sticks) for $8.35. Item #: 2203.
Kill A Watt EZ – This little electronic gizmo is great for figuring out where all those kilowatt-hours you’re paying for on your electric bill are going. Basically, you take an electronic device that plugs into the wall and plug it into this instead, and then you plug this into the wall. Then, you simply use the device as you normally would over a period of time. Recommended to be at least a full day. At which point you can see how many KWH were used during that time period, and depending on how much you set this baby up, the actual electricity cost that this device used. The device can track the time since it was last reset, so you don’t need to worry about recording that yourself. Which means it’s pretty easy to normalize your measurements to KWH used in a 24 hour period, and thus compare apples-to-apples as you try and save power. We’re slowly moving it around the house and figuring out what we can do to cut our power consumption. It’s quite addicting to find out that leaving a stereo on standby uses much more power than we thought, and that simply physically turning it off will really save us a lot on our monthly bills. We expect this to easily pay for itself. $26.49. Item #: 373064.
My Passport Elite 500GB Portable Hard Drive – This is an awesome bargain in portable hard drives. Well, at least in comparison to prices of just a few months ago. This stuff just changes too fast for me to be sure you can’t find it lower *today* somewhere else. This drive is formatted with the FAT32 filesystem so it works out of the box with Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Mac OS X 10.3 or later, but that means if you want to store files larger than 4GB, you should reformat it first. The drive doesn’t require anything but a USB cable to work with most machines, it gets its power through the USB cable too. So you don’t need to cart around a separate brick of a power supply, which is quite nice. The performance on this is pretty good too. As a test we transferred 750MB off of it in just about 3 and a half minutes. The Costco package includes the drive enclosure, a nicely padded case, and a short USB cable (mini-USB on the end for the drive, full-size USB on the other) The drive didn’t seem to get hot during our use either. We’re planning to use this as backup storage for photos and videos during our upcoming trip, so we’ll have real road-test results after that. $99.99 ($119.99 – $20.00 coupon). Item #: 500444.
Crossword Puzzle Books – I know I’ve written about the crossword puzzle magazines that Costco carries a couple of times a year but this is a totally different thing. These are really great because they are a hard backed book, so you have a built in writing surface for your puzzles. The puzzles are contained in the book on a notepad type of thing. What I really like is that you could easily tear off a section of puzzles and take them with you when traveling (which is my current plan) or keep some in your purse for those times when you’re stuck waiting for something or someone. Perhaps the best part though is that each page in the book has a puzzle on one side and the solution is on the back; just flip the page over to check your answers. They have 4 or 5 different versions of these at Costco, so you can take your pick or just stock up for the next year. Each book has over 150 puzzles in it, which is certainly enough to keep you entertained for a while. These would also make a great little gift for the crossword people that you know. $4.99. Item #: 442297.