Foggy, rainy, humid, and dreary…yet we’re not back in London, we’re still in Sydney. The weather here really doesn’t seem to bear too much resemblance at present to the tourism brochures and websites for Australia. I thought January was the rainy month, but it seems to have lasted much longer than that. And I think it is going to rain on us again when we go to Costco on Sunday, thankfully they have the covered parking though. Good to see that I can keep up the stats for rainy weather that coincides with my Costco visits even though we are now in allegedly sunny Australia. If you’re in Australia, don’t forget that this is the last weekend for the current bunch of coupons. For those of you in the US, the new coupon book starts March 7 and I’ll be posting it on either Sunday or Monday.
Pretzel Pete Honey Mustard Pretzels – We like pretzels. And we like flavoured ones even better, I think. We usually get the little peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets, but this time we thought we would try the very delicious sounding honey mustard ones instead. I’m so so glad we did. They were really delicious! I was a bit worried that the “honey” portion of the flavouring might make them seem a little too sweet. However, I think it was the perfect mix with the mustard, so that they didn’t come off as too sweet, nor too mustardy. The pretzel portion is good as well because they aren’t rock hard; we’ve all had those lousy pretzels that threaten to break your teeth. I think the softer texture is because they are sourdough pretzels. I’ve noticed that the sourdough pretzels always seem to have a better, more dental friendly, texture. I don’t like sourdough bread, but it is great for a pretzel. The big split in all of the nuggets might also help with the texture. But I’m positive it helps allow for more flavouring to actually adhere to the pretzel and not just sit on the hard outer part. The other good thing is the amount of salt. Thankfully the pretzels are nicely salted and just enhance the flavour and don’t actually overpower it with that burning overly salty taste. Overall, they’re just really tasty. They make a perfect snack all by themselves, but are equally good when paired with a sandwich. The only downside is that you do end up with honey mustard dust on your fingers after you eat them. But really, that’s such a small price to pay. I do think that some of their other flavours sound really good and wish that Costco would look into stocking the Sour Cream and Habanero nuggets in particular. 850 grams for A$8.89 (UK: £5.99; US: $9.08). Item #: 18330.
Carman’s Yogurt Bars with Apricot & Almonds – I always try to keep some type of breakfast bar on hand for a quick something to eat after I workout. It’s a great alternative to a bowl of cereal, toast, or making a big breakfast when I’ve got other things to get on with doing. Sometimes though, you find that the cereal or granola bars aren’t actually that filling. Or they don’t keep you satiated for very long in any case. However, with these I’m amazingly full for several hours; they easily get me to a late lunch before I feel hungry at all. I think you feel so full because of all of the nuts and raisins that are in them. And they’re not just filling, but they actually taste good too. They’re sweet enough to be palatable and have enough flavour in the nuts, fruit and apricots that the taste is a great mix. All of that means, that they’re a great breakfast or snack item that you won’t mind eating. They’re a little prone to bending and breaking, so they might not be a great option to throw in your gym or work bag though. The company is Australian and uses a lot of Australian ingredients. They are very conscientious about using all natural ingredients that are GM free, as well as preservative free. So, they’re tasty and good for you. What more can you ask for, really? At Costco, you get three boxes of six bars, so 18 bars in all, that are just a single variety. It might be nice if they had a variety pack, but I like things that are all just the same so this works well for me. They’re also a pretty fair deal at Costco. At Cole’s a single box of six bars is $5.43 and at Woolworth’s they are $4.29 (on special from $5.36). Meaning that three boxes at Cole’s would set you back $16.29 and at Woolworth’s they’d be $12.87 (though when not on special they’d be $16.08). With the sale price at Woolworth’s they would be cheaper than the normal, non-coupon, price at Costco. But when I bought these I had a $3.00 off coupon, so they were even cheaper than the Woolworth’s sale price. If they’re not on special anywhere, they’re far cheaper at Costco by about $3.00. So, if these are something you buy all the time and don’t want to necessarily wait for a special deal, Costco offers the best value. 3, 6 bar boxes for A$10.39 ($13.39 – $3.00 coupon); (UK: £7.00; US: $10.62). Item #: 90652.
Kirkland Signature Lightly Salted Hand Cooked Crisps – I’ve had these before and liked them, I’m sure of it. But this bag was really not good. They were incredibly greasy. That kind of oil slick that makes your hands feel nasty and your stomach feel queasy. Seriously, after eating just a few I felt not well and had that oily layer in my mouth. They were so greasy that you could see the sheen on them in the bowl or bag. Not good. I do like that they are a thick crinkle cut crisp though, and they would be really great for dipping. And the level of saltiness is perfect. If they could get that greasiness under control, of course. They are made with no artificial ingredients, which is great. And no hydrogenated fats, which is also good. But there’s just too too much fat in there, hydrogenated or not, it’s just too much! I’m hoping that I just got a bum batch and that they are usually less greasy. So, needless to say, I’m not a fan of these chips at the moment. I was actually pretty shocked when I opened the bag and noticed that they were so oily because I really expect higher standards from Costco since this is their own brand. Normally when I buy a Kirkland Signature product I know that it is of equal, or more often, better quality than the top brands in that product category. But really, these fall far short of that expectation and are more like someone’s cheap generic chips. They’re certainly not as good as I would have liked them to be and it’ll probably be a very long time before I buy these again, if ever. We don’t eat a whole lot of crisps, we’re healthy like that, so they’re not a regular buy for us. But this little experience makes it even less likely to that we will be reaching for a bag of crisps anytime soon. I guess we’ll stick to the yummy pretzels instead. 907 grams for A$7.89 (UK: £5.32; US: $8.06). Item #: 92566.
Under Armour Men’s Shorts – It turns out that when you move from one country to another for several months with just a couple of suitcases, you will inevitably forget things. And no matter how much Dave and I tried to make lists and get our clothing in order, we both still ended up forgetting to bring certain things. Even basic things, like workout shorts for Dave. I don’t know how we missed this one, but we did. Luckily though, Costco had these great Under Armour shorts for a pretty reasonable price even. Dave’s got a few other pieces of UA workout wear and even their underwear. Really, these are great for workout clothing. Dave finds all of his UA stuff really comfortable, which is just what you want when working out or hiking or doing other active pursuits. They’re not made of any super fancy fabric, just polyester and elastane. However, they do have a couple of cool material technology things to make them wick moisture away from your body and stuff to keep the odor at bay, as well. The fabric is really very soft and doesn’t cling when you’ve been sweating. Plus, they do dry quite quickly (the shorts as well as t-shirts that Dave has), which is great. These shorts have a nice loose fit with a thick elastic band around the waist that isn’t covered, but is very soft and not at all pinchy and shouldn’t annoy you at all while wearing them. But they also have a drawstring so that you can customize the fit to be perfect for you. If you’re a person that likes pockets in your workout shorts, then these are not the shorts for you as they are pocket free. I’ve personally never found pockets in my loose workout shorts like this to be of any use because stuff just falls right out them with all the jumping around. Plus, it always seems like it is just a big wad of fabric to bunch up while you are working out too. In any case, these are really nice shorts for working out or just lounging around. I really do apologize for the truly lousy photograph of these shorts, it is perhaps the worst clothing photo I’ve taken on this blog. It’s all washed out and horrible because the shorts really are very very black, not at all this weird washed out grey color. So, sorry for that. A$26.69 (UK: £17.98; US: $27.27). Item #: 710443.