It was crazy at my Costco this weekend, probably because it was the last weekend that the coupon book was valid. I can’t complain because that is why I was there too. Luckily they had enough registers open that the lines weren’t too out of hand. If you weren’t aware the new Costco UK coupon book started on Monday and I posted a copy of it that you can download. For some reason I’m getting some weird error message about it being too big for Google to show in their viewer, so I’m going to see if I can shrink the file size somehow without making it look horrible. So I apologize for that bit of inconvenience but it does download okay. And if you are awaiting the Costco US coupon book, I will be posting that on Monday.
Kirkland Signature Men’s Authentic Jeans Wear Black Jeans – Dave doesn’t get to wear a lot of casual clothes like jeans anymore, which is why we are always buying dress shirts at Costco. But on the weekends he likes to wear comfy jeans for running errands or whatever casual activities we have planned. Unfortunately, we’ve had a bit of a hard time finding him jeans since we’ve been here in London, we usually wait until we’re in the US or I have ordered him a pair or two from Lands’ End because they have various lengths and styles. The big problem is the length, since he’s fairly tall he needs at least a 34″ or 36″ inseam depending on the style and generosity (apparently not all measurements are from the same spot or something) of cut; usually we have to get a 36″ inseam. It’s really interesting that sometimes he can get a 34″ inseam and that fits and other times he looks like he’s waiting for a flood – as in serious high waters or to be polite, showing a bit too much ankle. Also, he always seems to have trouble finding that length when we are shopping at Costco here in the UK. I don’t know if they sell out of those lengths right away or if his inseam in combo with his waist size is the problem; though they pretty much never have 36″ inseam trousers of any type so we have to gamble on the 34″ inseam and hope they fit. In any case, he always feels quite lucky when he can find a pair that are the right size. If you’re a man and you like jeans, you should probably give the Kirkland Signature jeans a try. They are made of a nice heavy denim with sturdy seams and zippers, just like real jeans. They truly don’t have that bargain brand jeans look or feel. The pair that Dave got this week was black but they also have regular blue jeans too, which Dave also has at least one pair of in his closet. As I recall, they have two different colours of blue, one dark and one more that is faded a bit for that already broken in look. The cut of the jeans isn’t trendy and they don’t have any kind of weird pockets or anything, they are just what I would call traditional or standard jeans, which is nice if you want just a pair of jeans and not a fashion statement. And of course, they have a just jeans price too, which is great now that jeans can be shockingly pricey at times. They look nice on and are comfortable, so really, what more can you ask for from a pair of jeans? The only question I have is why don’t they make Kirkland Signature jeans for ladies? £9.99 (US: $15.91). Item #: 0562428.
L’Oreal Elnett Strong Hold Hairspray – When we were in Austin, I pretty much never used hairspray. I didn’t need to as much because I always drove everywhere and my hair didn’t have to stand up to wind or anything drastic. Plus, I don’t really like that stiff Aquanet kind of feeling on my hair. However, since we’ve moved to London and I now walk pretty much everywhere, and it is oftentimes windy or rainy or both, I need a little help keeping my hair looking like something other than a bird’s nest. So, I’ve tried a few different brands of hairspray to see which I can use that won’t make me feel like I’ve got that stiff hair look and feel, but does still exhibit some control. I have tried some cheaper stuff which felt gross and I’ve tried some far more expensive stuff which felt wonderful and made my hair look really nice but still soft. However, the Elnett is a great middle of the road price but with the feeling and control that I got from the more expensive hairspray. It is really amazing that you can get such good hold now but still have your hair feel soft. Apparently, they achieve that through a “unique micro-diffuser” that “sprays ultra-fine”, which does actually seem to be true. The cheaper stuff comes out in bigger droplets and sometimes seriously just sort of sits on your hair, but the Elnett is so fine that you can’t see it or feel it on your hair. Their big thing is that it “disappears at the stroke of a brush” and that is definitely true. If you put it on, even quite a lot for an evening out, and then come home and brush your hair it is immediately back to just being hair. I love that! I’ve also found that it seems to offer some level of protection against humidity, which as you can imagine, can be a bit of an issue here in London. My hair is naturally curly but I like to straighten it quite often, so it is nice to have a hairspray that will hold off the effects of humidity fairly well. It isn’t as good as staying inside but is probably the best result I’ve gotten from any hair product to keep my straightened hair from getting curly at the first sign of a bit of humidity. Sometimes you can get it at Boot’s or Tesco for about the same price as you’ll find it at Costco, however, more often I find that it is about £5.99 per can. I normally get my groceries delivered from Ocado and the price there is a whopping £6.60 for a single can, so I avoid buying it there for sure. 2, 400 ml cans for £8.89 (US: $14.16). Item #: 0125987.
Costco Chicken Korma with Rice and Three Indian Side Dishes – I’m going to talk about these like together, even though they are packaged separately, they obviously are a natural fit with each other. Dave and I really love Indian food with all the complexity of the great spices and delicious smells, it’s marvellous. I make my own Indian food occasionally, but it’s not the quick or easy (for the most part) weekday meal that I will whip up on a regular Tuesday night or something. That’s why I think it is so wonderful that Costco now has the prepared Indian food. I haven’t seen these before at our Costco, so they must be something they’ve added in the last few weeks. They had two kind of main dishes: chicken korma and chicken tikka masala both of which come with pilau rice. The chicken korma is something that Dave really likes, so we tried it this week and it was really good. The rice was delicious with a beautiful yellow color and a perfect aroma of cardamon (actual cardamon pods and everything, just like if you made it at home) and without any crunchy rice bits. The chicken korma itself was very flavourful and seemed to be made with all white meat chicken pieces that were still tender and juicy (even after a second reheating); it was pretty delicious and certainly something I will get again. Of course, next time we’re trying the chicken tikka masala because that’s one of my favourites.
Now, on to the side dishes. They were packaged as a set of three and there were no options here, just these three. In the set at Costco you get: vegetable balti, Bombay potato, and aloo gobi. While the sides were good, they weren’t as good as the chicken korma. My biggest complaint is with the aloo gobi, which is one of my favourite sides and a standard part of any order for us. It has cauliflower in it but sadly, the Costco version was just potatoes. For me the cauliflower is an integral part of the dish and without it, the dish is something else entirely and doesn’t have the same taste at all. I know dealing with cauliflower can be a bit annoying, but if you’re not going to use it to make the dish properly, then find another dish to make. There are plenty of other Indian side dishes available, some that are even easier to make, so perhaps they should find one of those to include in the side dish pack instead of making a bad version of aloo gobi. The Bombay potatoes were good with a nice spicy kick and were the favourite in house out of the three side dishes. The vegetable balti was okay but nothing I would go out of my way to get. Since two of the three side dishes were not that great, likely we would not get this trio of Indian side dishes again. There are a couple of other things I should mention, the reheating or cooking part is a bit annoying because the containers that they come in aren’t microwaveable so you have to put them in separate dishes to heat them up. Also, as you can see from the photo of our chicken korma, we had a bit of accident on the way home and the rice dumped into the korma side of the container. That little boo boo meant that we couldn’t heat it according to the instructions on the package and just had to go ahead and finish mixing it up and then heat it in the microwave. It turned out just fine but if you were wanting to have it look pretty, you might want to take a bit more care with the container and keep it perfectly flat on the journey home. The amount that you get is quite generous with servings for four or five and maybe even six when you have it all as a meal. chicken korma and pilau rice for £6.39 (US: $10.76). Item #: 0062596; 3 sides for £7.99 (US: $12.72). Item #: 0003522..
Union Jack Piggy Bank & Chocolate Coins – This was just too cute for me to pass up! Since it is close to Easter, Costco has an abundance of candy and chocolates of all varieties. But let’s be honest, the chocolate coins that are attached to the pig are just an extra bonus, as far as I am concerned, the cute piggy bank is the real star of this show. The Union flag is hand painted on the pig, so it has a nice look that isn’t super perfect, making it somehow even more charming. And it is actually a fully functioning piggy bank as well with a little stopper on the bottom of it to get to the coins. I didn’t get it to serve that function, I just thought it would be cute in my guest room. We have been pretty good about not getting anything too kitschy since we moved to London, but I thought this didn’t look like tacky touristy stuff, just really cute. With the pig, you also get a bag of chocolate coins in little foil wrappings made to look like British coins all marked with ‘pence’ and various denominations, some are even two different denominations from front to back. But they’re still tasty. And the best part is that the chocolate isn’t that nasty waxy stuff that you so often find in these kinds of novelty chocolate treats. No one likes that greasy feeling you get in your mouth after eating cheap chocolate. So, this way you get some good chocolate and a cute piggy bank as well. £9.99 (US: $15.91). Item #: 0122533.