Well, it feels more like November here than May, but at least we can all enjoy Monday’s bank holiday here in the UK. Even if it is just to stay inside to keep dry and warm (my plan). If you’re in the US, don’t forget that this is the last weekend to use the current coupon book. I’ll be posting the next coupon book on Tuesday; it runs from May 10 – June 3.
Luminus GU10 LED Bulbs – If you are looking for a way to increase the energy efficiency of all of your lights, you should consider these GU10 LED bulbs. Unlike a lot of the LED bulbs these are really bright. Each GU10 bulb has three LEDs that make for a very bright, very clean light. Each one of these uses just 3.5 watts and since the GU10 halogens that you’ll be replacing use 20 watts, you can see right off that you’ll be saving a lot on energy costs. One of the things that I like the best though, is that in comparison to the halogen bulbs the LEDs are so much cooler. As in temperature cool. We have a small bathroom here and it has three of the halogen bulbs (well had) and it was always quite warm in there with the lights on. However, we have replaced all of the halogens with LEDs bulbs now and it is truly amazing the difference it makes in the temperature in our bathroom now. Plus, these LED bulbs are actually a little brighter since they put out 170 lumens versus 160 with the halogen bulbs. So, you’ve got more efficient energy usage, better and brighter light output, and they’re not as hot. What’s not to love? But wait, there’s more! I feel like I should be selling some Ginsu knives now. Anyway. These bulbs are also gentle on the environment since they are mercury free. And while they may seem kind of pricey at £6.50 per bulb, they claim that they have a lifespan of 30,000 hours. So, if you consider the cost over that time frame, the price isn’t that bad. Also, you’ll be saving money on your energy bills. Unfortunately, these are only for indoor use and even worse, they can’t be used in fixtures with dimmers. We have a flat full of these little GU10 bulbs, so we’ve tried to replace several of them with the LED bulbs. We had gotten some of the previous GU10 LED bulbs that Costco UK carried but these are even better because they are a bit brighter and a bit more energy efficient, plus they are £4.00 cheaper for the two bulb pack. The last time we had only bought two bulbs, so we learned our lesson and bought several packs of these so that we could replace all of the bathroom bulbs and the hallway bulbs too since those are the lights we leave on the most. If they still have these bulbs next time we’re at Costco I might even pick up a couple of additional packages to replace some of the lights in the kitchen too. 2 pack for £12.99 (US: $21.02). Item #: 0122870.
Taywell Sorbet – I think I’ve said it before, but really Dave and I are not big ice cream eaters. But occasionally, Costco has something that catches our interest. This week it was this box of baby sorbets from Taywell. In the box at Costco you get 12, 125 gram pots. Personally, I think that is plenty of ice cream or sorbet for desert (though people who love the cold treats like my mom not agree). The 12 pots are divided amongst the three flavours evenly, so you get four each of raspberry, mango, and lemon. We both really liked the raspberry and mango flavours. They are such an amazing burst of flavour, really concentrated and delicious. Both of these flavours have a lovely creamy texture that is pleasant on the tongue. Unfortunately, the lemon wasn’t quite as good. It had a great lemony taste, with that same really concentrated flavour situation as the other flavours. But the texture was weird and not good. If I’m honest it had an off-putting, almost slimy texture. So, no matter how good the taste was that texture is just not something I can get behind. The Taywell people take great care in providing a delicious product that is free of artificial additives, stabilisers and colours. Plus, there are no preservatives. These are also good for people with with some of the common food allergies since they are free of gluten, milk, and eggs. I was impressed that the mango and raspberry flavours are actually made with 50% fruit and then just sugar, glucose and water. For a thickener they use locust bean gum. The lemon flavour is pretty much the same, except that instead of having 50% of the recipe be from lemons they use 10% lemon juice and some freeze dried lemons, plus honey. And they never use fruit concentrates; it’s either fresh fruit or pulp. So, it’s not hard to believe that they have won several awards for their quality and taste. I would highly suggest letting the sorbet warm up a bit before you eat it though, it needs to soften up a bit and also when it is super cold you don’t get the full flavour either. The other nice thing is that there’s a little spoon included in the lid so that you can take your sorbet and go. If you had a little cooler pack, these would be a great end to a summer picnic. 12, 100 gram containers for £9.69 (US: $15.68). Item #: 0130031.
Kirkland Signature AAA Batteries – I think that everything we own needs batteries. I know that isn’t true, really, but it sure seems like it when all of the batteries seem to fail around the same time and it is always at the most inconvenient times too. What’s up with that? Of course, everything seems to have a remote now and that’s the real issue. We have simplified and cut down in some places by using rechargeable batteries in some things and we switched to a multi-function remote that has a charger too. However, we still have a few remotes and other small things that need batteries, certainly enough that it makes sense to buy our batteries at Costco. Plus, if I buy the big pack at Costco I don’t have that inevitable moment when the batteries in something die and I don’t have replacements on hand. For instance, the other day I was working out with my Wii and the batteries in the arm band died right in the middle of my workout; totally inconsiderate of it but there you go. Luckily, I had my bag of Costco batteries so I could just grab some replacements and continue on with my workout so quickly I barely had time to catch my breath (unfortunately). Of course, it sucked up my last couple of AAA batteries, so I immediately bought another pack of Kirkland Signature batteries for the next untimely battery failure, which of course happened a couple of days later when the leg band died. I’m expecting the remote control sensor thing to die next week in the middle of my workout, for the battery failure trifecta. And you know, they are supposed to be good for seven (7) years, so you will be able to get through the 48 batteries in that time, I’m sure of it. I’ll also point out that the KS batteries are just as good as the Duracell batteries and way cheaper. The Duracell batteries were £7.99 also, but you only got 16 batteries! So, yeah, you pay the same price for the Costco batteries and get 32 additional batteries. I’ll do the math for you because it is so amazing. You will pay £0.50 per battery in the Duracell package or you could pay just £0.17 per battery for the Kirkland Signature version. How crazy is that? A huge £0.33 difference per battery. 48 batteries for £7.99 (US: $12.93). Item #: 0176073.
Shark Pro Steam Pocket Mop (Costco US) – This is another product that my mom bought recently at her Costco in the US (Kansas City, to be exact). This thing does everything you could want to keep your hard surface floors sparkling clean. It dusts, mops, and scrubs with the power of steam. Since you have different types of floor surfaces that you are likely to use this mop on, Shark has been considerate enough to provide you with three different steam settings that are ideal for different floors and cleaning situations. You can select more steam for tough cleaning tasks like stuck-on dirt or heavy traffic areas, less for everyday cleaning, or very light steam for light dusting or more delicate surfaces. The pack at Costco comes with four microfiber cleaning pads and since you can flip over the pad and keep on cleaning, it’s almost like having eight cleaning pads. One of the pads though, is specifically for the triangular cleaning head to get into all the corners. But surely that is enough to allow you to clean all your floors. And then, after you’re done cleaning, you can throw the pads in the washer and be all set for your next day of floor cleaning. Also in the Costco pack you get three quick release cleaning heads, two rectangular and one triangular head. Clearly, the triangular head is for corners and tight spots like that. But the rectangular heads are good for the rest of your floor cleaning. One of the rectangular heads is extra large too, so you won’t have to spend all day scrubbing floors. There’s also a little device that lets you use the Shark on carpet. I’m not really sure how that works since my mom hasn’t used it on her carpet and probably never well. But good to know that it is there. In addition to all of that stuff, the other really good thing is that the cord is really, really long – 30 foot long to be exact – to allow you to clean a lot of space without the need to keep plugging and unplugging. So, less work and hassle for you, and you’re getting the benefit of getting your floors sanitised, cleaned, and dried in one step. I should also point out that this is a bit cheaper than the prices that I have seen at Amazon.com which are around $115 – $120 and don’t come with the extra large head or the extra cleaning pads. So, you’re definitely getting a good deal at Costco. $99.99 (UK: £61,78). Item #:569653.