I took full advantage of the current Costco UK coupons by stocking up on lots of cleaning supplies this week. And bought extras of the Vanish and Comfort that I had just bought a couple of weeks ago, too. I ended up saving £35.06 (US: $55.82) with my coupons this week, which makes me quite happy. A big chunk of that came from the £20.00 that I saved when I bought two big mirrors though.
Kirkland Signature Women’s Cashmere Sweater – A while back we bought Dave one of the KS cashmere sweaters and we were both so impressed, that I decided to get one for myself. At the Watford store they had both V-neck and cardigans available in a variety of colors, but I went for the V-neck style in a nice magenta color. The color is really nice but is what I would call ‘heathered’ meaning that it is not a single, solid colored yarn that is used for the whole sweater but has some color variation in it with slightly darker and lighter tones of the magenta color. This might sound weird or ugly but it isn’t because it gives it a nice softness to the color, I think. The V around the neck has a wide band around it to give some definition and then wrists and bottom of the sweater are simply finished with a bit of a cuff. The sweater is made from 100% cashmere and has such a soft feel, I love it! Cashmere sweaters are great because they are quite thin and not at all bulky, however, they really are incredibly warm. The warmth probably comes from the fact that it is such a tight weave. These sweaters are great to wear on their own or layered with a t-shirt or button down underneath. Also, the V isn’t so deep that you need to wear something under it. The fit is fairly slim or tailored, so if you’re looking for a bit of a baggy fit you might want to get a size larger than you actually think you’d wear. The sweaters are made in China but really the quality is excellent and as nice as much more expensive sweaters that I have bought at other retailers. £29.99 (US: $47.75). Item #: 0055655.
Sloane Mirror – And of course, I had to get one of these mirrors so that I could admire myself in my new cashmere sweater. Okay, seriously, I have been looking for a couple of nice mirrors to put in our bedroom for a while now, pretty much since we moved. We haven’t been able to look at our feet and our shoulders in a mirror at the same time for a year. So it is a relief to have a tall mirror again. It turns out that decent looking mirrors can be unbelievably expensive. We have seen these mirrors at Costco before but we didn’t get them probably because I was thinking that they wouldn’t fit our space or something silly like that. But they are really nice mirrors and since they had a super coupon this month which allowed me to get them for £10.00 off, I just couldn’t refuse any longer. We got the long rectangular version, though there is also a shorter size available as well with the coupon deal. And both of them have very nice 3″ wide frames made from two levels of beveled mirror so you get a nice clean look but a bit of extra detail too. The size that we purchased is: 47″ x 19″ or 120 cm x 48 cm. This size is perfect for a full length mirror depending on how you hang it. Of course, you don’t have to just hang it vertically, you can also hang it horizontally. The horizontal aspect would be nice if you were going to hang it over a sofa or headboard. I’m just glad to have a full mirror again. Plus, it will give a little extra light to our rather dark bedroom, so that’s just a bonus. I want to point out that after the coupon this mirror was just £29.99, but at a retailer like John Lewis you’re going to pay more like £180.00 for something of basically the same size and style. Even without the coupon at Costco this is still a HUGE savings, but with it you are saving around £150.00 on just this one item! So, by buying our two new mirrors at Costco instead of John Lewis, I saved us £300.00 this weekend. Not bad. £29.99 (£39.99 – £10.00 off) (US: $47.75). Item #: 0107393.
Verdannet Reblochon – Now, on to my favorite thing to buy: cheese. This week’s cheese of choice was a nice reblochon. Reblochon is made in the French alps and is a soft, raw cow’s milk cheese with a washed rind. Since richer milk is needed to make this cheese, traditionally the milk is always taken from the second milking of the day. The cheese has a very smooth, creamy texture that turns kind of oozy when it ripens. It has a bit of a smell, but not nearly as pungent as some cheeses, with a bit of a floral note to it, I think. The taste is rich and luscious with a buttery and nutty flavors and again a kind of sweet, florally note. Something I read says it has bacony or beefy notes to the taste as well, but I don’t really get that. The taste really is best when the cheese comes to room temperature because the warmth truly allows you to taste all of the complex flavors in the cheese (this is pretty much generally true of any quality cheese). It is great on its own because it is so yummy, but is also nice when paired with simple water crackers or fruits. I threw some in with an omelette the other day and it was pretty delicious that way, as well. It’s strong enough in flavor that I think you could also put it on a sandwich, maybe a toasted ham and cheese. Apparently, it is also the cheese of choice for tartiflette: a gratin dish made with potatoes, cream, reblochon, bacon or lardons, and onions. That wasn’t my end plan for the cheese, but it does sound pretty delicious, so I might have to give it a try. 450 grams for £5.49 (US: $8.74). Item #: 0114241.
Lakeland Bake Just Crumpets – That’s right, after being here for almost a year I finally bought some crumpets. And, they seem much more different than an English muffin than I was expecting. For one thing, they are far softer than an English muffin and have an almost spongy feel to them. My first thought was that they were more like a pancake than an English muffin because of the texture and feel. Plus, we put some butter on them, after giving them a little toasting, and it soaked up and went right through, but they sure did taste delicious. The top is all full of holes and the bottom is all golden brown and smooth (like a pancake). I don’t know the correct or official way to dress a crumpet so I’ve basically just been winging it and treating them like a nice little round of bread. They are good with just a hint of toasting to warm them up and then smeared with butter and orange marmalade. However, they are also good with some cheese melted on top of them. I am sure it is breaking some kind of rule, but they are also good warmed slightly and buttered as an addition to a lunch of soup or a salad. 18 crumpets (3 packs of 6 crumpets) for £1.59 (US: $2.53). Item #: 0105517.
Harpic Power Plus Original Toilet Cleaner – Everyone likes to have a clean, sanitary toilet and you usually have to use bleach to keep it that way. Harpic isn’t bleach, but alleges that it is 5x better than bleach – more powerful and cleans better. I just like that it is quite thick so you can squirt it around the bowl and it slides down but doesn’t splash you or your clothes. It kills germs and gets rid of limescale too. Just about anything you’re going to use will most likely kill the germs, but getting rid of limescale is a real plus to me. The water is so hard here, you really have to stay on top of the limescale or it just gets completely out of hand. It also has a nice non-bleachy smell. It’s pretty neutral smell-wise, not like a fresh summer day or anything but not like the powerfully smelly bleach scent, which is a nice change. The shape of the bottle also makes it easy to keep the cleaner right under the rim of the toilet bowl and squirt it where you need it. Plus, you have to like a cleaning company that is carbon neutral and has bottles made from recyclable materials. They are even planting more than 2 million trees through their Trees for Change project. Plus, did I mention there was a coupon and you can get a handy three pack at Costco for less than £2.00? Which is certainly less than if I get this in my regular Ocado grocery delivery where a single bottle would be £1.74, just £0.03 less than I’m getting three bottles for at Costco. 3, 750 ml bottles for £1.77 (£3.55 – £1.78 off) (US: $2.82). Item #: 0073309.