Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! For those of you in the UK, don’t forget that this is the last weekend for the current UK coupon book. I had actually thought that I might have the new Costco UK coupon book to post about today, but they haven’t posted it yet, unfortunately. Also, as far as coupons go, the new Costco US coupon book started on Thursday, so be sure to take a look at it.
Knorr Chicken Stock Pot – This is one of those items that I didn’t even realize Costco had until I saw the coupon. You know, it’s in one of those aisles that I don’t go down all of the time. Luckily though, they had the coupon (back in December) because it brought it to my attention and it is much less pricey at Costco than at Ocado or the other supermarkets. With the coupon I was able to save 30% with the coupon and pay just £4.89 for a pack of 32 little pots of stock concentrate (4 boxes with 8 pots each); that’s just £0.15 per pot or £1.22 per box of 8 pots. At the time when I bought it, there were a couple of deals at other supermarkets for a box of 8 for £2.00. However, now everyone is back to the regular price of £2.40. So, even when they were on sale the price was £0.25 per stock pot at the regular supermarkets, and now that they aren’t on sale that price is back to £0.30 per pot. At Costco’s normal price you’ll still pay just £0.21 per pot or £1.75 for the box of 8 pots. So, really, it is always a good deal at Costco when compared to other supermarkets. I use a lot of this in the wintertime because it is my go to stock concentrate for making delicious soups, stews and sauces, but mostly I’m all about the soup and stew this time of year. So, having it be practically half the price to get it at Costco was terrific and I feel like I’m ready for a number of months of soup making. For those of you that haven’t tried these, the stock concentrate is like a jelly type of thing in these little plastic tubs with each tub making 500 to 750 ml of stock, depending on how heavy you like your stock. I like these little pots because they dissolve better and seem more flavourful than the cubes or dry stock concentrate. Also, sometimes with the cubes you end up with a bit of a graininess to your soups and that obviously never happens with these little stock pots. I’ve also used this in a more concentrated form, less water than I would use for making soup, to make nice sauces too. If you are concerned about using all of that, the stock is good for a year, which gives you plenty of time to work through the little posts. I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet (nor do I really have the freezer space if I’m honest) but I would imagine that you could freeze these little pots too and then just take them from the freezer and pot them into your soup or whatever, as well. And obviously, that would make them last longer. £4.89 (£6.99 – £2.10 coupon) (US: $8.05). Item #: 0158090.
Garofalo Pasta Variety Pack – We are big pasta eaters in our house. We always have spaghetti on hand, as well as the shaped pasta like penne or gemelli. Our favorite, is garlic buttered spaghetti or some other pasta shape of choice. It’s easy to make but really has so much delicious flavour, if you like garlic. Of course, anyone you’re talking to the next day might not appreciate it quite as much. There are so many ways you can prepare pasta and it really is our easy weekday dinner. You can pretty much sauté up most vegetables or meats and have a great pasta dish in no time at all. They’ve been stocking the Garofalo signature line of pastas at Costco for a while now, and we’ve always been big fans, because it is such a good quality pasta. We’ve had this in our pantry in the US, UK, and Australia, thanks to Costco. While there’s always the spaghetti to get, they also have two different shaped pasta varieties. In these varieties you get two packages each of three different shapes. This time we chose the package with fusilli, farfalle, and radiatori. All of these shapes are great for sauces because the sauce can settle in all of the little nooks and crannies and you get a lot of flavour with each bite of pasta. And of course, this also means they are perfect for my super lazy garlic buttered pasta too. They’re also perfect for anything with a cheese sauce because there’s plenty of surface area for it to cling to which makes it very yummy. Garofalo has been producing pastas for more than 200 years, so they’ve got it down at this point. Here’s a little information from the Garofalo website about their pasta: ”Semolina wheat used to create Garofalo Signature pastas must meet the highest standards for protein content and colour quality to guarantee a product with superior aesthetic and flavour that will perform consistently whether prepared by a professional or home chef. Garofalo performs over 25 quality checks on each of its Signature cuts and runs all standard industry controls twice to ensure unmatched quality for its Signature line of pastas.” And that explains why every time I get it, it turns out beautifully. The one tip I would give, no matter what type of pasta you’re making or what brand you’re using: don’t rinse your pasta! If you rinse your pasta after cooking it, you’re going to get rid of all the starches that will help the sauce or oil or butter (or whatever) to cling to the pasta. And you don’t want that. 6, 500 gram bags for £4.89 (US: $8.05). Item #: 0654002.
Wild Planet Tuna – I just wrote about this as a highlight of the new Costco US coupon book that started on Thursday. If you didn’t read that, here’s pretty much what I had to say: This is some of the best tuna I’ve had in a long time. It is really nice big hunks of albacore tuna, just the good stuff with nothing bad hiding in the bottom of the can even. I bought some of this recently at our Costco here in the UK and we have been really impressed with the quality. It makes delicious tuna salad, but is also excellent naked right on a salad. Dave even likes to eat it just right out of the can with a little black pepper. I imagine it would be great mixed with pasta too when paired with some capers and black olives maybe. The Wild Planet tuna is all hand cut and packed in a micro-cannery process. And the tuna is in steaks, unlike a lot of canned tuna. This is what makes it have a very firm texture that is completely different from the usually sort of shredded look of canned tuna. Also, they do not add any liquid at all so they retain all of the good oils found in fish. They even warn you not to drain the tuna when taking it from the can so you can reap the full benefit of all the good oils. All that they have in the can is albacore tuna and sea salt. Also, they only use pole and troll caught fish. You can see the quality of the fish as soon as you open the can, you can also smell a difference because it doesn’t have that rather potent scent that most canned fish does. It still smells like tuna but is really nowhere near as “fragrant”. The other thing I like is that they have a pull tab to remove the lid, which means that it’s just that much easier to open it. We really liked it and will certainly be buying more it on our next shopping trip to Costco. If you’re in the US, you’re lucky because right now there’s a coupon/instant savings for $4.00 off the bundle of six cans, I don’t know what that means the final price will be but if you like canned tuna, I’d certainly suggest you pick it up. 6, 5 ounce cans for £8.99 (US: $14.80; this is NOT a price check from Costco in the US, simply a conversion of what I paid here in the UK). Item #: 0154365.
Pot Noodle Chicken & Mushroom – Have you ever bought anything foodwise that you are really ashamed to admit to? Like the shame of the nutrition and patheticness of the product is something that you just don’t want to admit is in your kitchen or ever has been even? Well, Pot Noodle is definitely like that for me. The nutrition isn’t as bad as I had thought initially, but still somehow I just feel like we should be eating better than this. However, this is super convenient and fast for lunch. It’s also nice to have something this quick that is hot sometimes. And certainly it is a nice change from a sandwich. Dave really wanted these because he wanted something that would be quick to prepare for lunch on days when he is really busy, as well as something that would still be easy to eat at his desk while he continues to work. So, we picked up a twelve pack of the chicken and mushroom flavour Pot Noodle. Turns out they were actually not bad. I mean, it isn’t going to compare to going to a real place and getting noodles, but then again that is going to take much longer. Things like this used to be salt-laden and just horrible in most ways. But the Pot Noodle is actually quite low in salt with just 1.0 gram per cup (when fully prepared), which is quite reasonable I think. The worst thing, nutritionwise, is probably the 14.8 grams of fat. Of course, if this is all you have for lunch, that isn’t tragic. I found that a cup of this would be more than adequate for lunch too, and filled me up until dinnertime. If you put a bit less water in, the sauce is a little thicker and we both prefer it that way. I mean, sure it is never going to win an award for taste, but it is good for what it is and it is certainly quick. Now that I’ve admitted to having this in my house, I’ll embarrass myself a bit more and say that we’ll probably buy it again. Shocking! We were lucky enough to try this when it had a coupon so we saved £2.00, but even at regular price this is less pricey than at the regular supermarkets. At Costco, you will pay just £0.75 per cup (regular price), but at all of the other supermarkets it is currently £1.00 per cup; that difference in price is quite noticeable fora twelve pack. 12, 90 gram cups for £6.99 (£8.99 – £2.00 coupon) (US: $11.51). Item #: 0083934.