This Week at Costco – April 18, 2010

April 24th, 2010 · 21 Comments

This store is crazy busy.  The worst is that the lines at the cash registers are always super long and seem to move slowly too.  They could really benefit from having some self-checkout lanes or quite a few actually.  When we were in line waiting, I must have looked really frustrated because the woman in front of me suggested we try the Costco in Lakeside next time where it is less busy and the people are friendlier.  Unfortunately, when I look on the mostly useless Costco UK website I can’t find a location that seems to correspond to that but with help from Google Maps I believe this is the one in Thurrock.  This one seems kind of farther, however, I am going to take her advice and try going to another location in one of the upcoming weeks.

Scottish Salmon Fillet

Scottish Salmon Fillet

Scottish Salmon Fillet – We actually got this last week and used the coupon for £2.00 off but I forgot to write about it.  It was really delicious though, as all of the Costco Salmon is no matter where you shop.  They don’t specify on the package if this is farm raised or not (doesn’t matter to me but does to a lot of people).  The taste was a little stronger than the farm raised salmon that we’ve had in the US; maybe that is an indication that it isn’t farmed.  What I really appreciate was that, just like in the US, they take out all the little pin bones and take the skin off of it too.  We are big fans of salmon and eat it all the time, probably the fish we eat the most really.  Because it is so versatile it can handle any kind of spice combo and pretty much any side dishes too.  Sometimes we like it prepared really simply with salt, pepper, dill and lemon slices but sometimes we get more elaborate and do a kind of blackened Cajun thing or just about anything else that I feel like throwing on it.  The fish at Costco (US or UK, doesn’t matter) is always so fresh and delicious, it is just easy to prepare because it always comes out really nicely.  This time we had some sauteed mushrooms, onions and zucchini as a side dish along with some Basmati rice.  It was so delicious!  This was a big piece of fish, so I decided to freeze half of it.  I’ve never done that before with the salmon we’ve gotten from Costco, so I’m hoping this works out well when we thaw it out.  0.866 kg for £6.22 (£8.22 – £2.00 off coupon), £9.49 per kg (US: $9.58 ($12.66 – $3.08 off coupon), $14.61 per kg).  Item #: 0001157.

Chicken & Haloumi Kebabs

Chicken & Haloumi Kebabs

Charlie Bingham’s Chicken & Haloumi Kebabs –  I’ve tried all kinds of froze or fresh prepared items from Costco, but this is definitely one of the best.  Both Dave and I absolutely loved these kebabs!  I wish we had bought more, a situation I will definitely rectify next time we are at Costco.  The kebabs are hand-skewered (fancy) with pieces of chicken, haloumi and red peppers with a scrumptious blend of Moroccan spices.  The chicken is incredibly tender and juicy.  And well, the haloumi is of course yummy because it is grillable cheese.  But for sure the spice mixture elevates this to a whole new level of deliciousness.  It’s a pretty complex blend of spices: parsley, coriander (fresh and ground), honey, Greek yogurt, paprika, black pepper, lemon juice, cumin, salt, cinnamon, ginger, tumeric, and cayenne pepper.  As with a lot of mixtures like this, cinnamon is the overwhelming fragrance, so the kitchen smelled great even after we were done cooking them.  The ideal cooking method for these would be on the barbeque, but not all of us have one of those.  So, in our case, we use the broiler/grill in our oven and it worked quite well.  For best results, you really need to thaw these out before you cook them, no matter the cooking method.  It didn’t take very long to prepare them either, certainly less than 20 minutes from fridge to plate.  The kebabs are so delicious and well-seasoned, that you can have something like plain rice with them for a good accompaniment.  Just thinking about how yummy they were, has me wishing that I had some more for dinner tonight.  10 kebabs for £9.39 (US: $14.46).  Item #: 0097122.

Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popcorn

Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popcorn

Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Movie Theatre Butter Popcorn – Dave is a big fan of popcorn of most any flavor, but his favorite is just butter, I think.  So, when we had a little sample of this stuff at Costco he had to have some.  It was so mean of Costco to do a demonstration of this too because it smelled so good and you could smell it all over the store!  So, if there was any doubt, this is the kind of stuff that you get in little packets and put in the microwave to pop.  It makes a nice snack because it is quick to make.  Plus, popcorn isn’t the most unhealthy thing you could choose to eat either; one serving has 25% of your daily grain intake according to the box.  So, now instead of eating something super bad like a chocolate bar, Dave will grab one of these bags and have a yummy snack in a few minutes.  And of course, since it is movie theatre butter flavored it has this big buttery flavor and smell, which makes it seem even better.  The impressive thing is that there are hardly ever unpopped kernels in the bottom of the bag either; just lots of fluffy popcorn.  32, 3.3 ounce bags for £7.65 (US: $11.78).  Item #: 0095683.

Green Williams Pears

Green Williams Pears

Green Williams Pears – I love pears, usually.  But I was not enjoying these so much.  There were a couple of problems with them.  First, they had a mealy texture that was really unappetizing.  Normally, a good pear has a fabulous crisp texture, similar to an apple.  However, these were almost grainy in texture.  Secondly, they didn’t last very long at all.  There weren’t many in the package but three of them went bad while we were eating others.  There were only eight in this carton, thankfully, and we ended up having to pitch at least 3 of them.  When we picked them up at Costco they looked okay, not all bruised and nasty or anything.  Weirdly, the bad ones seemed to be bad from the inside out too.  In any case, I won’t be getting these again.  I don’t know if it was just a quality issue or perhaps they always have this texture and short shelf life.  I guess we should have just went for one of the other pear varieties.  At least they weren’t too pricey but I still hate having to throw out fruit.  If I didn’t live so far from Costco now, I probably would have just taken them back.  It was kind of surprising too because we’ve had really great luck with all of the other produce that we’ve gotten at the new Costco.  Perhaps we’ll have to do a more thorough examination in the future though.  8 pears for £1.99 (US: $3.06).  Item #: 0002454.

Kirkland Signature Triple Satin Toilet Paper

Kirkland Signature Triple Satin Toilet Paper

Kirkland Signature Triple Satin Toilet Paper –  I know it is hard to believe since I love Costco and all of the Kirkland Signature stuff so much, however, I’ve never tried the KS toilet paper.  We used to always buy Charmin but after reading all of the really favorable reviews from readers here, we decided to try the KS stuff next time we were out.  Of course, then we moved.  But finally, we made good on that decision.  And I have to say that compared to the other UK brands we’ve tried (Andrex is the only one I remember) the Kirkland Signature toilet paper is so much better.  It’s really soft even though it doesn’t look all quilty and plus like Charmin.  Plus, the rolls are ‘normal’ sized, instead of the jumbo size, so they easily fit and move on a regular roll holder.  There’s only so much I can say about toilet paper but really, if you’ve not tried this yet you should give it a try next time you’re out.  And for those of you wondering where I could possibly be storing this in my new, much smaller flat space, it’s all under my bed which is too low for anything else to go under but this all fits perfectly.  12, 4 roll packs for £12.49 (US: $19.23).  Item #: 0079779.

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Tags: Coupons · Food · Health & Beauty · Household Items Share

21 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Zebra Crossing // 2010.05.17 at 12:31 pm

    Reminds me of the time that we lived on a Scottish Island and each year the late Queen Mother used to stay at a Lodge at the time of the Highland Games. One of her ‘requirements’ was that Izal toilet paper be available in all of the restrooms. This was horrendous stuff! It is like shiny greaseproof or parchment paper used in kitchens today. Nobody, to my knowledge, ever knew why she was so attracted to this. Here is a link for the background of Izal.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_KSsPQmk1GmQ/S7z7n0u3_yI/AAAAAAAAAV0/3sTxUkp0y58/s320/827aizal.jpg&imgrefurl=http://manorcourtupdate.blogspot.com/&h=138&w=83&sz=3&tbnid=qwHpw9hkWwTAoM:&tbnh=93&tbnw=56&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dizal%2Btoilet%2Bpaper&hl=&usg=__TpbKk1pN53QhqgGK-2cRcSv3Ym0=&ei=VnvxS9STJonStAP5luz0BA&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=7&ct=image&ved=0CDsQ9QEwBg

    Anyway back to the present day. After much trial and error I think that Charmin beats the Kirkland hands down! But if you are on a tight budget and don’t want to fill up your storage space with so many rolls try the double thickness Angel brand which is nearly always on sale somewhere.

  2. 2 Laura // 2010.05.17 at 9:50 am

    I find the Kirkland brand to be thinner, and dustier.

    It does the job, and it doesn’t leave burn marks or splinters, but I like Charmin better.

  3. 3 ~M // 2010.05.17 at 8:05 am

    How would you say the Kirkland toilet paper compares with Charmin? Thanks!

    • 4 Kimberly // 2010.05.18 at 1:11 am

      The Kirkland toilet paper is definitely thinner and the Charmin is the ultimate in fluffy and soft. Because of its super fluffiness I think the Charmin is more linty and leaves lint all over your toilet paper roll holder. And sometimes the double rolls of Charmin don’t spin so nicely on the holder either. Everyone here seemed to like the KS toilet paper so much, so I figured I’d finally give it a try.

  4. 5 Carl Darnell // 2010.05.06 at 7:11 pm

    Lately I’ve become concerned with the plastic clamshells that Costco uses to package much of their fresh produce. While they are great for protecting and displaying the produce, in southern Oregon this packaging is recyclable only once a year. I haven’t had a response from Costco management as to why this packaging can’t be made from something biodegradable, thereby completely bypassing the issue of our recycled plastics being sent to China. Lots or organic produce is now packaged in just such packaging and I trust that Costco will take a leadership role in encouraging their suppliers to use more sustainable packaging.

  5. 6 Zebra Crossing // 2010.05.06 at 1:13 pm

    I agree about the long wait times in line at the cashiers. We now shop at a less busy Phoenix Costco store even though it means a longer drive, 15/20 minutes was far too long to wait in line especially with frozen food in the cart.
    Traci, I have not experienced the ‘scan in the cart’ procedure since before the recession and that was in Tucson. Certainly since moving to Phoenix I have never seen it.
    We recently stayed in Florida and joined BJ’s since there was not a Costco locally. They had self checkout (great!) and accepted manufacturers coupons which was a big plus. Wait times were much shorter even though the store was busy. I wish Costco would do the same, or even have an Express Line for less than say 10 items. If I see a customer who looks as though they are on their lunch break, with only one or two items, behind me I always try to let them go first.
    Another idea, Costco accept Visa/Mastercard and charge a small surcharge for doing so. Maybe 2/3% but perhaps that should be for another topic!

  6. 7 Traci // 2010.05.06 at 8:15 am

    I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience! If lines get too long, we have people come out and scan all of the items in your cart and tell you the amount you’ll owe at the cash register. It makes the lines go much faster, because all I have to do is have them scan my card at the register and the amount I owe pops up. I love it because I don’t have to haul everything out of my cart either. You might want to suggest that your Costco adopts this (or write to the corporate offices and let them know your frustrations about your store). Hope this helps!!

  7. 8 Laura // 2010.05.06 at 2:43 am

    I have tried the Kirkland brand toilet paper, and while it isn’t bad, I’d rather get the upper brand for £3 more. A pack of 40 toilet rolls is a big commitment for our little house.

  8. 9 Kimberly // 2010.04.29 at 2:37 am

    Popcorn isn’t unhealthy, it’s actually a good snack because it is high in fiber and low in fat and calories. It is all the butter and salt that are almost always added to it that make it a diet no-no.

    With regards to the microwave stuff being unhealthy, I assume you’re talking about the diacetyl fumes that were linked to health issues in factory workers? I know this was a big issue a number of years ago, but they could never link it to problems for people at home just when it was heated to extremely high temperatures like in the factory. And I guess I’m hoping they fixed it by now and switched to something else besides chemicals. I know on the Orville Redenbacher stuff that we have, they just list “natural and artificial flavor”, so now I wonder what the artificial part is made of. And it does actually list ‘butter’ as an ingredient too.

  9. 10 la // 2010.04.28 at 9:54 pm

    popcorn. not unhealthy
    microwave popcorn… extremely potent environmental hazard.
    my policy: if it causes disease in factory workers, don’t eat it.

  10. 11 Justin // 2010.04.28 at 6:56 pm

    Awesome. Thanks. It certainly makes it much easier to follow the convo

  11. 12 Justin // 2010.04.27 at 7:08 pm

    I only ever get the wild salmon, and the copper river wild salmon is fantastic.

    BTW, did the subscribe to this post feature go away?

    • 13 Kimberly // 2010.04.28 at 6:02 am

      Justin, I had to temporarily disable the subscribe to comments feature because it was making problems for users of IE. However, I fixed it and tested it this morning and it is back now. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for the reminder to get off my butt and fix it!

  12. 14 Kimberly // 2010.04.27 at 6:18 am

    The location in Chingford, that we go to now, seems jam packed all the time and there’s too much pushing and people trying to run you down with their carts, honestly. It’s just kind of crazy. I don’t like to think of shopping as a contact sport. :-)

  13. 15 Jacqueline // 2010.04.27 at 2:49 am

    The Lakeside Costco is in Thurrock. We used to go to that one before the Croydon Costco opened. The one you go to now must be super busy because I used to think the sane thing about the one in Thurrock. If you go during the week it’s a huge difference on how less busy it is.

  14. 16 Justin // 2010.04.26 at 9:44 am

    Costco doesn’t remove the skin from the salmon I pick up in the US

    • 17 Kimberly // 2010.04.26 at 9:59 am

      That’s weird because the salmon that I always got had the skin removed. However, the trout (which looks an awful lot like salmon to me) always had the skin on it. I think every once in a while they had wild salmon and that still had the skin on it.

  15. 18 Kimberly // 2010.04.26 at 1:22 am

    Ms. Smartypants, thanks for letting me know. I usually don’t need to do this because Dave likes the cold salmon for lunch at work or we can use the leftovers with pasta or salmon salad. But this time I figured I’d try the freezer instead so that we can get a few more dinners out of one of those fillets.

  16. 19 Kimberly // 2010.04.26 at 1:20 am

    Jordan, I didn’t want to say it, but I think you might be right about their, um, management style. :-) It’s a shame that it’s the closest location to us. But going to a better store might be worth a bit more of a drive.

  17. 20 Ms. Smartypants // 2010.04.25 at 12:37 pm

    We freeze our Costco salmon with no problems at all. I portion them right when I get home and use the little tupperware containers. There is usually about five dinners’ worth of salmon in each fillet for us.

    I move a container into the refrigerator the night before and by dinner cooking time, it’s ready to go right into the pan. So easy!

  18. 21 Jordan // 2010.04.24 at 8:17 am

    I’m sorry you had a bad experience at your local Costco! I work at the Costco in Jacksonville, FL in the US and ours is amazing =] If our lines get past 3 deep, all the supervisors have to open more lines or they get in trouble. All of our cashiers have to process 56+ members per hour or they will be taken off the registers. You must just have a location that has crappy management =[

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