This Week at Costco – May 20, 2012

May 26th, 2012 · 17 Comments

If you’re in the US, don’t forget that Monday is Memorial Day and that means that  Costco will be CLOSED.  So adjust your shopping schedule accordingly!   The new Costco UK coupon book started on Monday and you might want to check it out before your next shopping trip.  I’m not that thrilled by the recent bunch of coupons, but there were still some good things in there.  For me it is a good weekend for a trip to Costco.  The weather is going to be really lovely and my Zipcar is back in its normal place around the corner from my flat.  Of course, we’ll probably have to have a freak thunderstorm tomorrow morning just for our trip to Costco.

Thistle Chunky Breaded Cod

Thistle Chunky Breaded Cod –  Dave and I both have a bit of a weakness for fish and chips.  It’s a little embarrassing, but there it is.  While it is much easier to feed this habit now that we are in the UK, we don’t always feel like going someplace to get our breaded cod fix.  Though if we are, we almost always go to Seashell here in London, it’s right by where Dave works and you can get different fish, with or without the skin, plus it is the best fish and chips around.  So, that’s my London eating tip.  Anyway.  We usually do a pretty good job of resisting the breaded cod when we are shopping at Costco, but this week we both had a moment of weakness and bought it.  You know it isn’t healthy, so I’m not even going to try to act like it is, not in any way.  However, it is really good!  It gets really nice and crunchy just baking it in the oven.  With just 25-30 minutes of cooking at 220 C and you have something that is delicious.  It’s almost as good as going to Seashell.  It manages to get a good amount of crunchiness to the coating and for me that makes all the difference between good breaded cod and stuff that should just not be eaten.  It has a nice texture that is crisp and crunchy but the cod stays tender and moist still.  You can easily tell it is an actual piece of cod and not fish press board.  It’s certainly better than what I’ve had at some restaurants here in London.  There isn’t that watery yucky thing going on that ruins the crust; I don’t know what causes that but it’s gross.  With a few dashes of malted vinegar and a spritz of lemon, it’s almost perfect.  We pretty much always eat ours with vegetables and not chips, so we don’t have to feel as guilty.  1.25 kg for £6.99 (US: $10.96).  Item #: 0053880.

Virgilio Mascarpone Cheese

Virgilio Mascarpone Cheese –  I bought this so that I could make tiramisu, which honestly, I have not gotten around to making.  I like to keep some around because I use it in place of cream cheese sometimes, but I also think it makes a great pasta sauce.  It’s actually pretty useful to make all kinds of sauces for various things, not just pasta even, or to use in place of sour cream (if you don’t have any on hand) for  nice jacket potato topping.  I know a lot of people use mascarpone for their cannoli filling but I really prefer ricotta for that.  I had heard that you could use mascarpone in risotto to give it an extra creamy texture , so I finally tried it that way.  It worked really quite well and did give my risotto a lovely creamy texture and a bit more complexity of flavour.  This is a very nice mascarpone from Italy that has that very luxurious creamy texture that all good mascarpone should possess.  Aside from the fact that this is a very high quality mascarpone, the price at Costco is really amazing.  For 500 grams from my regular supermarkets, I would pay from £3.48 to £6.60, depending on the quality.  So, even at the low end of that comparison, the Costco price is £0.59 cheaper.  That’s a fairly not insignificant amount for something that is just a couple of pounds.  Woot, Costco!  500 grams for £2.89 (US: $4.53).  Item #: 0056097.

Mission Flour Tortillas

Mission Flour Tortillas –  If I were still in Austin, or anywhere in the US probably, I would not think of buying the Mission tortillas.  There are just so many other option in Austin at all of the supermarkets.  However, since Costco carries the very awesome Tortillaland ones (and if you are in the US you really should get these), I never bought anything else.  But, we’re in the UK and Mexican foods aren’t really as plentiful here so we have to make due with what we can get.  I refuse to get Old El Paso anything and that is the big Mexican brand at the supermarkets, so Mission tortillas it is.  The Mission tortillas are okay, but not great.  They don’t have a spectacular taste but it’s satisfactory.  The real problem I have with these tortillas is that they are a bit fragile.  Pretty much no matter what filling I use or how gentle I am when rolling them, they seem to tear and if the filling is at all moist you’ll certainly get tearing and seeping.  I made chicken burritos with them and they kept splitting, which was really annoying.  I’d say of the packages we have used so far 75% of them split when we filled them with stuff.  So, yeah, that’s not great in a tortilla.  Once they split, you just have a huge mess too.  After using these, it really made me miss the nice variety of tortillas, both corn and flour, that we could find in our Austin Costco location. Luckily, they are cheap and I’m used to the splitting now so I make my burritos a little less moist now and never overfill.  2, 8 tortilla packs for £1.49 (US: $2.34).  Item #: 0093293.

KS British Rotisserie Chicken

[I just want to be honest and say that this is a re-post of this review from 10 December 2012.  I figured it was about time that I repeat this review because these are so awesome.  Plus, you can get the rotisserie chickens at all of the Costco locations.]

Kirkland Signature British Rotisserie Chicken –  Just like in the US, the Costco rotisserie chicken rocks!  There is nothing better than sitting down to lunch with one of these after putting in some shopping time at Costco.  I’m not sure exactly how large the chickens here are, though they seem to be about the same size as those in the US, so somewhere around 4 pounds.  And of course, in the UK it is a British chicken that they roast.  But man, these chickens are so juicy and delicious.  Dave and I just absolutely love them.  I know my mom gets one every time she goes shopping at Costco.  You can eat them just as they are and they are wonderful.  However, you can also use them to make your own chicken salad, or add some to pasta, or make a killer sandwich, or throw some in with a salad.  I’ll be honest and admit that ours rarely makes it to leftover status.  But if yours does, they do nicely tell you how to handle reheating it with either the microwave or oven.  I want to know how they manage to keep them so juicy?  I’ve had rotisserie chickens from other places that were nowhere near as juicy, some of them were flat out dry.  I’m guessing that they brine them before putting them on the rotisserie, but whatever it is, I’m glad that they know the special secret to making them.  And really, where else can you get such a great deal on an entire chicken of a good size?  £3.99.  Item #: 10533.  The US rotisserie chicken is $4.99.

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17 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Shabbylady71 // 2012.06.06 at 5:31 pm

    Dear Chicobill,

    If you do not wish to recieve a 2% reward check alls you need to do is put on the back of your membership card not interested in the Executive Membership. Some of the members appreciate the information that is provided at the registers. I will agree that some are very unhappy to hear about it everytime. That is my best advice and it does work.

    The hours are set to keep prices lower for the members and not set to accomadiate the employees. It takes a enermous amount of manpower to run the store effienciently and in order to have better member service that is the direction Costco has chosen to keep the prices as low they possible can. The stores that offer longer hours will also have higher prices that would not be a benefit to the member.

    Costco pharmacy is open MON-SAT. I ask my doctor for a sample and explain that I need this due to my pharmacy being closed on Sunday’s. They are normally happy to do this for their patience and have abundance of samples that are at no cost to them.

    I hope your mind is at ease a bit and hope you continue to be a Costco fan.

  2. 2 MeeKs // 2012.06.05 at 3:25 pm

    I work at Costco and can tell you that we do not season the chickens at all. They come preseasoned from the factory before we receive them. They just get skewered, cooked and sold. I also have the new coupon book if you still need it. Email me if you do. Thanks.

    • 3 Kimberly // 2012.06.09 at 3:09 am

      @MeeKs – I swear I read something about them being brined (and not just on my own blog). It must be that the factory does the brining and then sends them out to the various stores all brined up and waiting to get delicious rotisseried. Now I want one of the chickens. LOL

  3. 4 Michael // 2012.06.02 at 1:14 pm

    @Wendy. Unfortunately there is not, and depending on your region there would be a difference in manufacturer/styles/etc. I do know that you should come to find your building to carry at least one loft, bunk bed, and trundle bed. As that seems to be the typical Costco trend. Most building should have their furniture by late June.

  4. 5 Wendy // 2012.05.30 at 11:28 pm

    Is there any way to get a sneak peak at what furniture items Costco will have in the warehouse in July? My daughter’s furniture has been falling apart for a few years and I told her a month ago that if she can maintain a clean room until Costco has furniture again, we will buy her a new set. So far, the plan is working beautifully and I’m really hoping Costco has a loft bed similar to the one they had in the warehouse last year!!

  5. 6 Chicobill // 2012.05.29 at 2:29 pm

    I used to be a frequent Costco Shopper but not so much any more. Why? First off I am very tired of fending off the ambush at the cash resgister to buy an Executive Memberhip, every time I go thru. They do it at the Chico, CA store month after month, the marginal rate of return has to be almost zero, and when you account for the people it irritates, and the checkers will tell you there are plenty, it’s a big loser and drives people like me away from the store. I could see one month a year or something like that but every day, month after month…it’s terrible. Secondly I can go to th Pharmany at Walmart on Sunday, but not Costco, but I pay a membership fee at Costco, where is the service for that fee? Thirdly the store hours are attrocious, they should be open 9:00-9:00 every day, sems like everything is set up for the employees convenience, where’s the service for that membership fee? And lastly I think it’s cheesie to discontinue some one’s product and replace it with the Kirkland knockoff. The original vendor developed and marketed that product and Costco steals their idea, just a cheap shot in my book. So I shop there less and less, these poor business practices will eventually affect theri stock price, and everyone will be scratching their head…why?

  6. 7 Randy // 2012.05.28 at 7:16 pm

    Costco is more geared to families, Sam’s to business. Costco quality FAR exceeds Sam’s IMO. Costco is very customer friendly too; Sam’s could care less about the customer. If Costco carried one particular item I buy regularly, I would drop Sam’s like a hot rock!

  7. 8 Robert Hill // 2012.05.28 at 7:13 pm

    Why do you think Costco is better than Sams club? There are both of them in my town and I shop more at Sams than Costco. I find overall the prices for what I buy only differ a few cents.

    • 9 Kimberly // 2012.05.29 at 9:54 am

      @Robert – I definitely agree with Randy’s reply. Costco has much higher quality products – food, housewares, clothing, whatever. Plus, they have much nicer stores and employees too. I’ve never done a price comparison between Sam’s & Costco because there’s not enough items that are really comparable quality-wise for a good comparison. I always feel like the Sam’s stores look junky and disorganized too, so I really don’t like to be in there very long.

  8. 10 Randy // 2012.05.28 at 11:53 am

    I just looked at Seashell prices. $24 for a dish of cod fish and chips! WOW!!!!!

  9. 11 Randy // 2012.05.28 at 11:48 am

    Wish I could get the chunky cod in Texas!

    • 12 Kimberly // 2012.05.29 at 9:35 am

      @Randy – I think in the US, the Trident breaded cod is quite similar. That was the brand we used to buy in the US and I think I noticed it when I was last at a US Costco.

      With regards to Seashell, that menu is for the restaurant (sit down, real type place with tablecloths & everything), and we don’t really go in there very often, we go to their little shop on the corner. That is like the more typical little fish & chip shop where the business is mostly take-away or you can sit at one of the 5 outside tables, if the weather is good. The prices are much lower though but not Long John Silvers cheap for sure. You get a really good sized filling piece of fish though. Just talking about it makes me want to go get fish & chips now. :-)

  10. 13 A_Boleyn // 2012.05.28 at 10:43 am

    I usually buy one when I go to Costco (I’m in Canada), unless I’m doing other errands afterwards, and agree with the moistness of the chicken. It’s tasty though I think it’s probably a bit saltier than it needs to be.

    By the way, any tips and strategies for shopping at Costco when you’re a single person household and want good deals but don’t want to blow a month’s food budget on a single trip? :)

    • 14 Kimberly // 2012.05.29 at 9:25 am

      @A_Boleyn – It can be a little salty and I think that must be because they brine their chickens prior to putting them on the rotisserie. I don’t always notice the saltiness but occasionally it gets to me.

      The only way not to blow your budget, I think, is to make a list and force yourself to stick to it. Of course, if you have a freezer and buy a few essentials like chicken breasts or some of the big bags of frozen vegetables or fruit, then you can defray your costs for the rest of the month (or maybe longer depending on how you eat). My mom is a single Costco shopper and makes very good use of her freezer.

  11. 15 charlotte // 2012.05.28 at 10:40 am

    you should have a partner in the US because I feel some things you list may only be available in the UK. I’m new so maybe I’m wrong. Enjoyed!

    • 16 Kimberly // 2012.05.29 at 9:19 am

      @Charlotte – There are several products that are the same between Costco US and Costco UK, especially the Kirkland Signature items. I also have been trying to include at least one product per Saturday review post that is from the US.

  12. 17 J H // 2012.05.26 at 5:54 pm

    the signs in the US costco state ea. chicken is 3 lbs.

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