I hope everyone has a nice long holiday weekend. We’re in Singapore this weekend for a bit of holiday relaxation and sight-seeing. If you’re in the UK, US, Canada, or Australia don’t forget that all Costco locations are CLOSED on Sunday (March 31) for Easter. And this is the last weekend for the current Costco US coupon book since it ends on March 31. Kind of mean that it ends on a day when Costco is closed though, huh? So if there’s something in there that you must have, you have to get to Costco today!
By the way, if you were looking for my March locations update post, sorry but I’ve pushed it out to next Thursday. I didn’t have time to get it all written before leaving for my holiday this week and didn’t want to rush it and miss some of the news.
Wellgate File Organizer Cube Set – It turns out that Dave and I have a lot of shoes and find ourselves in need of better storage solutions for them, as opposed to just lining them up in the bottom of our closet. We had previously bought this same set of cubes in the shoe sized cubes. However, one of us, and I’m not saying who, has really big feet and that person can’t really fit their shoes in the smaller cubbies. So, this is the perfect solution, even though they sell it as a way to organize your files in your office. But really, this is just a set of cubbies that you can build into the width and height that you choose. Since we have ours currently set up for shoes, we have it just in a simple, tall stack of eight cubes (and just one cube wide). Dave can easily fit a pair of his shoes in a cube and I can fit two pairs of my shoes in each cube. So, that’s a great bunch of shoe storage. But this cube set would also be great for organising files (as they suggest), or clothing like sweaters/jumpers or jeans, or books, or office supplies, or even items in your garage. In the set you get 30 plastic panels and 30 connectors. The panels are a pretty rigid plastic that has a frosted white appearance. Some of the connectors can be used to connect four panels or cube corners but some of them are flat on one side and are only cable of making connections with three panels (this equates to two cubes), and then some of the connectors are made for just two panels to slot into them for the top or bottom of the stack of cubes. You have quite a bit of flexibility in how you stack your cubes as a result of having so many different connectors. The other good thing, if like us, you move around more than you might like, this can easily be taken apart and packed in a little box without too much trouble or hassle. It is nice to be able to so easily put it together and take it apart if you need to move it around or just want to change the configuration to fit into a different spot. We actually ended up buying two sets of these cubes because we had been looking for the bigger set in the UK but they never seemed to have them when we were there. What can I say, I like to organise and stack stuff. 8 cubes for A$25.99 (UK: £17.82; US: $27.15). Item #: 23634.
Darrell Lea Strawberry Liquorice Bites – Dave like liquorice for a quick little snack that is a little sweet. I, however, am not a fan. I did find it really strange that here in Australia they don’t have the very good Lucky Country Aussie liquorice in the Costco, like they did in the UK. The Lucky Country stuff is really outstanding liquorice, even I liked it. But instead they just had this Darrell Lea stuff and it wasn’t very good. It was just a bit better than a really cheap liquorice product or the awful Red Vines. They might claim to be the best selling soft liquorice brand here in Australia but no one in my house would agree with that. Can our taste buds really be that different from the whole of Australia? I do seem to recall that the Lucky Country people also claim to be the best selling soft liquorice brand in Australia too though. One of these companies must be wrong. The real problem with this was the texture, more waxy than chewy. It was much more like chewing on some old strawberry flavoured wax lips than anyone really wants in a liquorice bite. Yuck! I’m just really glad that they had a coupon for this stuff when we bought it because I’d hate to think we paid full price for it and enjoyed it so little. Needless to say, we will not be buying this brand of liquorice bites again. I was really hoping on our follow up trips to Costco that we would see the Lucky Country brand on the shelves, but no such luck yet. 680 grams for A$5.29 ($6.79 – $1.50 coupon) (UK: £3.63; US: $5.53). Item #: 29772.
Italpizza Margherita Pizzas – These are a really great thin crust pizza that you can have cooked and ready to go in like 15 minutes (including the time it takes to heat up your oven). Seriously, the pizzas only take 7 minutes to cook from frozen. Though I will be honest and admit that I keep mine in a couple of extra minutes to get them really crunch. I love the really crunchy thin crust! But the topping is nice too because there isn’t a ton of sauce (that’s a big plus for me) and the ingredients all seem really fresh and nice. I was actually pretty impressed with how fresh the tomato chunks seemed, even though they were on a frozen pizza they seemed more like we had just cut up a tomato and scattered across the top right before we popped it into the oven. But best of all, of course, is that they’re not even skimpy with the cheese. They say they cook them in a wood burning oven and I’m not sure what all difference that makes in a frozen pizza but they do have a nice crust that has a good crisp to it. Of course, the nice crust could come from the double leavening process that the dough goes through before it is kneaded by hand and the dough is hand stretch to make the perfect thin crust. All of that make the texture really fine and adds to the crunchiness of the crust. The pizzas aren’t big by any means, they are 470 grams each and 12 inches in diameter. So, it isn’t anything like ordering a large pizza from Pizza Hut, for sure. However, these are more like pizza in Italy, which makes sense since that is where they are produced. These make a good quick meal if you’re not inclined to whip up something more complex or time consuming. I like them for lunch too because I can have half one day and then have the other half the next day, and when combined with a nice little salad they are very filling and pretty healthy. I wouldn’t mind if Costco decided to start carrying the Italpizza’s mini calzoni too (hint, hint). Is someone going to write me now and say that they have these in the Melbourne store? If so, I’m going to start to think they have the better selection at their Costco. 3 pizzas for A$10.69 (UK: £7.33; US: $11.17). Item #: 22589.
Boursin Garlic and Herb Cheese – I love this stuff! If you haven’t had it, it is a very soft and creamy cheese made with cow’s milk and cream and then flavored, in this case, with garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and chives. It’s great as a spread on crackers or fresh bread. It is also nice on sandwiches. And I’ll bet it would be great alongside a nice steak or with some roasted vegetables or potatoes. This would be a great item to pick up for any parties; everyone likes a nice cheese with crackers. I’ve bought this several times from Costco and it will last quite well in the fridge, which is good because freezing is not advised. I did try freezing it once, and while the flavor was okay it had definitely lost most of its creamy texture; I wouldn’t recommend freezing it. As with any cheese, it really is more flavorful if you let it come to room temperature, and with this cheese it is even more important because it is certainly more spreadable when warm. And honestly, once you eat one of these, you’ll be glad you have two more left in the fridge. I seem to recall that in the US and UK you get three packages of the cheese bundled together for a price that is about what I paid here in Australia for just one package. I can’t remember exactly what the price was in the UK, but the US had it for about $7.50 (for the three pack), but in both the UK and US the price at Costco was just a bit more for the three pack that normal stores sold a single package for, so it was like you were getting at least one package for free really. But here in Australia, you get a package that is almost twice as big as that sold in Cole’s (80 grams) but their price of A$6.35 is almost the same as Costco’s A$6.89; this works out to $0.08 per gram at Cole’s and $0.06 per gram at Costco. The price at Woolworth’s is definitely better than at Cole’s since it is just A$5.95 there for the same 80 gram package; a price of $0.07 per gram at Woolworth’s. But either way, it is still less expensive at Costco. 150 grams for A$6.89 (UK: £4.73; US: $7.20). Item #: 24028.