It was like walking into December this weekend at Costco. There was so much Christmas stuff I honestly felt like I had mistakenly slept through at least two months. There were trees, lights, decorations of all sorts, cards, wrapping paper, toys and a huge nutcracker that was taller than me. Of course, none of the big inflatable things that you put out in your yard….yet. I can’t really remember if they had those here or not last year, but I know they always had several of them at our store in Austin.
This is the last weekend for the current Costco US coupon book. But don’t fret, the new one starts on September 15 (Thursday), Costco’s birthday, and I will be posting it here on Monday. The current Costco UK coupon book runs through next weekend though; two more weekends to get in any coupon shopping.
Bowron New Zealand Four Piece Lambskin Rug – We have the worst flooring in the world in our flat. I would call it carpet, but it’s too rough and unpleasant to fall into that category. It is really hard and rough on your feet, seriously, wood would be softer and more pleasant. Anyway, because of that we have been looking for a rug or something for our bedroom. There’s nothing worse than hitting this flooring with your feet first thing in the morning. Last year, when they previously had these lambskin rugs, we hesitated on buying them and then, as I’m sure you can all imagine, they were gone the next time. So, this time when I saw a big stack of them, I immediately decided that I was getting one. Dave hesitated to get one for his side of the bed but I’m going to guess by the fact that he prefers to stand on my soft rug now, he’s hoping they still have them on our next trip to Costco. At first when we looked at these I was expecting them to be the smaller sized rugs (like a one lamb rug) but they are actually fairly enormous, more like a four lamb rug. The dimensions are 185 cm x 104 cm or 73 inches x 41 inches; it’s pretty much as long as my California king bed, including the head and footboard. It’s big. And oh so very, very soft. The wool is quite thick (somewhere between 2 and 3 inches) and unbelievably plushy. I wish the whole flat could be carpeted with these lambskin rugs! Of course, that would be a problem to vacuum, I guess. The company that makes these, Bowron, uses a 42 step tanning process in a closed loop process that doesn’t have anywhere near the impact on the environment that other tanning processes do. The only other place I’ve seen lambskin rugs lately was John Lewis and they were much more expensive than Costco and the rug wasn’t as nice nor as big. £79.99. Item #: 0072389.
Osaka Japanese Coated Peanuts – Um, I don’t know how else to say it but these are not a tasty afternoon snack. I thought they would be a nice combination of peanuts and crunchy rice cracker snacks, but no. The rice cracker and peanut just goes together to make a really nasty taste to me. I thought it might just be me, but Dave thought they were gross too. It’s kind of like rancid peanut butter or something, I’m not sure I can quite put my finger on it. But I definitely don’t like them. I’m thinking I don’t like them so much that I might take them back to Costco. I hate doing that with stuff that I buy but don’t like the taste of because it isn’t like they have gone bad or are rotten, it’s just a taste that doesn’t appeal to me. Though, clearly they appeal to other people because they have had them in stock for quite some time and it seems like people buy them. Am I really the only one that is grossed out by these things? I like peanuts. I love rice crackers. Just not together. There are a number of different types of rice cracker coatings but they all have this unpleasant taste to me. I really thought I would like the one with sesame seeds, because I really like sesame seeds, but it’s yucky too. And they have one type that is kind of red color and I think is supposed to be sort of spicy, so I thought that would be a good one too. And it is initially until you bite through the peanut too. So, needless to say, I won’t be buying these again. However, my mom is visiting for the next couple of weeks and actually likes these. Guess what parting gift she’ll be leaving London with? 850 grams for £4.49. Item #: 0083311.
Nutella – I knew as soon as I saw the coupon for this, that I would be getting the jar of Nutella. Not that we were quite out, but the little jar I had just wasn’t adequate for our love of Nutella. Some of you may be saying ‘yum’ but alot of you are probably saying ‘what the heck is Nutella?’ It’s a delicious chocolaty hazelnut spread. It is great on toast of all varieties, bagels, waffles, croissants (you can make you own chocolate croissant), and I’ve even used it like frosting on cupcakes and as a spread in between cake layers. If you heat it up a just a little bit in the microwave it is an awesome sauce for ice cream. I’ve also used it to make s’mores – roast your marshmallows smear some Nutella on a graham cracker and add the marshmallows and you are in s’mores heaven. You do have to make sure that you just kind of blob it in the middle of the cracker though because it will ooze a bit when the hot marshmallow hits it. I absolutely love it, so we buy it in bulk. Luckily, here in the UK you only have to buy one container of it, but I know in the US they always sold it in a two pack, which can be much harder to work your way through. If you’re not a fan of the hazelnut then it’s probably not for you because it does taste like hazelnuts. However, it is a delicious treat when you’re wanting a little something chocolaty and you can just smear a bit on a piece of toast or a cracker (if you have the right kind of crackers, like graham crackers). 750 grams for £2.02 (£2.69 – £0.67 coupon). Item #: 0044671.
Calgon Water Softener Tablets – We have very, very hard water here. I’m always amazed at how much calcium and lime deposit it leaves behind on the shower doors, the sinks, and the little window on our washer/dryer. I can only imagine that if it is leaving behind that kind of nasty deposit on what I can see, it is probably even worse on some of the stuff I can’t see. Especially all of the parts of the washer/dryer. So, being the nice responsible renter that I am, I use Calgon tablets quite often when I am doing laundry to keep the washer cleaner and all the bits in better working order. All you have to do is add a tablet with your detergent and you can soften the water and keep your washer in better shape. Even though they say you can use it with any type of fabric, I don’t add it to every load of wash. I primarily use it when I’m washing things like my towels and sheets though sometimes I throw it in with other things, but not sensitive or delicate fabrics. While I don’t really notice a difference in the stuff that I’m washing, I do notice that the washer seems to have a good deal less limescale buildup when I use it. I ran out and kept forgetting to buy some and the little window in washer door was all nasty and the rubber seal was definitely showing massive buildup on it. And that was after only like a month without the Calgon. I think you’d need a chisel to keep your washer working if you went for very long without some type of water softening system or product around here. It kind of reminds me of living around Chicago where the water was HARD and we even had to have a water softener system to keep it reasonable. 75 tablets for £9.59. Item #: 0085847.
Torc Fragranced Candles – Christmas, Christmas time is here… Okay, not really, but you know the retailers all think it is. Costco had so much Christmas stuff in the store on our last visit that I honestly thought for a minute that it must be later in the year than just September. It’s crazy how early it all starts. You would really have to be planning ahead to be picking up giftwrap, ribbons, decorations and gifts now. But I guess some people are planners. Planners with more storage than me. There were trees and lights and wreaths and all kinds of decorations. And there was also this great smelling set of candles. I love the scented candles with the spicy scents, as does Dave, so these were perfect for us. In the two pack you get two, three-wick candles in a glass container and each one is a different scent. There’s a cranberry and orange candle and one that is frankincense and myrrh. I love them both because they have such wonderful scents that aren’t too perfumey or floraly either. As I said, I like the spicy type scents, like cinnamon, which is kind of what the frankincense candle makes me think of but it also has a really light note of something else that gives it a nice balance. The cranberry and orange candle has a very clean scent, which I’m sure is my response to the orange smell. But I like them both and think that they add a nice scent to the rooms we have them in, without it being too overtly Christmas scented. 2 pack for £11.49. item #: 0092310.