We decided to change things up for our trip to the Watford (UK) Costco this week, so we went on a Saturday. We got there bright and early, just minutes before they opened at 9:30 am. It was way, way less crowded and the checkout lines were much shorter too. Plus, there was considerably less traffic, especially on the way there. So, I think we’ll be going on Saturday mornings from now on. And since we got there so early, we were back home with everything put away by 12:30 pm. Still plenty of time to do other boring errands on a Saturday afternoon.
Bantry Bay Mussels in Garlic Butter Sauce – Contrary to what I’m about to say, I am actually a big fan of mussels. And I had previously had very good luck buying the frozen packs of mussels from Costco. Unfortunately, this time wasn’t as pleasing. The mussels were very small, much smaller than any other mussels I’ve ever purchased. And they were very, very gritty. Yuck! No one likes feeling like they’re eating sand along with their mussels. Not to mention, the garlic sauce that they were in was virtually flavorless. Disappointing doesn’t even seem strong enough for how we felt after eating these. Luckily, they’re not that pricey. Needless to say, I won’t be buying these again. Next time I will just stick with fresh mussels. Which really, are so easy to prepare I don’t know why I even thought we should try these. Of course, having something in the freezer does give you a little bit more flexibility in when you eat it, so that part was nice. The actual eating of them was not. 2, 450 gram packs for £3.29 (US $5.01). Item #: 0054781.
Cadbury Dairy Milk Bars – I know, I know. It is so wrong to buy this gigantic box of chocolate bars. And I honestly have no real defense. But Dave really loves these because they are just pure milk chocolate that is so creamy and delicious without being too sweet or too bitter, and without nuts, caramel or any of the other normal things you find in most candy bars. So, he likes to have one in the afternoon at work, as a little unhealthy snack to perk him up. But at his office cafeteria these same bars are £0.60 each, which might not seem bad if you didn’t know that you could get them at Costco in bulk for way less. Buying them at Costco, the price per bar is just £0.35! That is a big, big difference of £0.25; almost half the price if we buy them at Costco. So, we did. And since he’s good about just eating one a day (usually), it isn’t too bad. For those of you who have never had a Dairy Milk Bar, you really should try one. If you like milk chocolate, you will love these. The chocolate is really nice with a smooth, creamy texture and the perfect amount of sweetness. There’s none of that waxiness that you get in some chocolate bars (you know the ones I’m talking about). I’ll bet these would be awesome melted for hot chocolate; I’ll have to try that. 48, 49 gram bars for £16.75 (US $25.53). Item #: 0007551.
Bakersland Part Baked Ciabatta Rolls – These are another example of the partially baked bread options available at Costco. Since they are partially baked, all you have to do to finish them off is bake them for about 8 minutes. And for that small amount of effort, you get some lovely ciabatta rolls fresh from the oven. The smell is great because, hey, it’s fresh baked bread after all. The taste is really great though because ciabatta rolls are one of those things you rarely get this fresh (at least I don’t) but they are so yummy. When they are a little warm they still have a softer texture and a lightness to them that has usually dissipated by the time they get to you, plus they seemed a lot more flavorful. I’m a big fan of fresh bread, however, I don’t want to spend all of my time making bread dough, so this is the perfect solution; the best of both worlds really. You can get your fresh bread, and not have to spend lots of time preparing it and letting it raise and all that. Plus, it is nice to be able to have fresh ciabatta rolls one night, and then fresh French baguettes another night. The other nice thing about these is that they are come with two rolls in a pack, which is perfect for our little family of two (or any multiple of two really). The ones that we aren’t cooking keep perfectly in the freezer. If you put them in the freezer, they thaw pretty quickly so you only need to pull them out in the morning for dinner, or even late afternoon if you’re a procrastinator like I am. 4, 2 roll packs (8 total rolls) for £1.79 (US $2.73). Item #: 0106718.
Kirkland Signature Feta Salad with Raspberry Dressing – Sure, we might buy an enormous box of chocolate bars, but we offset that with this lovely salad. When we are shopping at Costco we will often pick something up that we can have for lunch or dinner after our shopping trip. And even though, I’m sure it isn’t as cost effective as making a salad at home, we really like to pick up the salads in the deli area. This was a nice salad with an impressively generous amount of feta, cherry tomatoes, red onion, hard boiled egg slices, kalamata olives, and cucumber served with spinach. A delicious mix that goes very nicely together. The only thing we didn’t like was the raspberry dressing. It’s the same one that they put in one of the other salads and it just never tastes all that great to us; too sweet for me, similar to the poppy seed dressing. So, we always just pitch the sweet dressings and either use lemon juice or an Italian vinaigrette. But no matter, the salad was excellent and all of the ingredients were fresh and tasty. The feta is so nice in salads because of all the saltiness, I think, it perks up the flavors of the other vegetables and really enhances the flavors. £3.99 (US $6.08). Item #: 0097589.
HP A4 Home & Office Printer Paper – When we moved we were on the last of our printer paper supply, so we brought those few hundred pages with us. Since we’ve been here we have had a surprisingly large amount of stuff to print, lots of boring paperwork that needs a hard copy or has to be signed. And unfortunately, last week I ran out just when I was needing to have a hard copy of something; isn’t that always the way it goes. We had talked about just getting a pack of paper at one of the local shops but the prices just didn’t make that reasonable when we could get 2,500 sheets at Costco for just a bit more than they wanted for just 500 sheets of comparable paper. In the box (not big, but heavy) at Costco, you get five individually wrapped reams for a total of 2,500 sheets of paper. The paper is a nice weight, 80 g/m2, that isn’t so chintzy you can easily see through it, but not so heavy that you feel like you should be using it to make engraved invitations instead of printing out a Google map. The black and color print both look good and very crisp on it too, which is what really matters. We don’t have a ton of space to store stuff, so luckily the paper doesn’t take up a whole bunch of space. But I’d rather have a few reams of paper hanging around, than have to print something out on glossy, high expense, photo paper again! 5 reams, 2500 sheets, for £7.89 (US $12.03). Item #: 0666666.