So, I’m still a bit sick and because being sick for several weeks wasn’t lousy enough, I broke my rib coughing last week. Just in case any of you were wondering, a broken rib really hurts. Like, every time you breath very deep or move in just the wrong way. Luckily, it is getting bearable at this point but my doctor says it’s going to pretty much be no fun for like five more weeks. Good times! With being sick and broken, I haven’t been to Costco in an entire month! It’s killing me! I’m going to try to go next weekend though, if the rib is up to the drive.
Penn State Sour Cream & Chive Pretzels – As I stated when I wrote about the latest Costco UK coupon book (good through March 16), these should be called Sour Cream and Crack Pretzels because they are unbelievably addictive. I don’t know what it is about them but they are so good with just the right mix of flavour and saltiness for me. Probably, I shouldn’t get these for just that reason, but I’m so totally going to anyway. I like them without any accompaniment at all, but they are really good with a sandwich for lunch too. These aren’t super healthy, at least not nutritious, though they are probably better than eating crisps/chips because they are low-ish in saturated fats and sugars. I’m not even going to put any nutrition information in this little review, because if you are eating these, you have to know that they are not really nutritious or healthy, but they are still good. We’ve had a hard time finding anything aside from little baby bags of pretzels, so I was happy to see these at Costco. Dave and I like pretzels either with lunch or as an afternoon snack. Thus, a bag that is like 150 grams isn’t really that useful to us and the costs for buying little bags all the time can really add up. At the regular supermarkets you can only get a 175 gram bag of these pretzels and the price at Costco is by far the best one you’ll find. All of the other supermarkets that sell these same pretzels sell the 175 gram bag for something between £1.00 to £1.60. Even if I take the lowest price of a £1.00 (current sale at Morrison’s), you can see that that is much higher than at Costco, and by a good margin too. The other supermarket prices range from £0.29 to £0.46 per 50 grams, whereas Costco’s price is just £0.17 per 50 grams. Yeah, that is a huge difference. Even without the coupon, buying these at Costco is always going to be the better deal. I bought these at the beginning of February on our last trip to Costco, and they were having a deal, just like you’ll find in the current bunch of coupons. Until March 16 you can save 30% off a 650 gram bag for a final price of £2.23, which is what I paid too. If I do actually make it to Costco next weekend, you know I’ll be picking these up again. I just can’t help myself! 650 gram bag for £2.23 (£3.19 – £0.96 coupon) (US: $3.73). Item #: 0092443.
Bearfields Prime Gammon Steaks – We have had these before, and really liked them but this was a bit of an impulse purchase. We hadn’t been planning on getting ham at all but I think this little package is really nice for our family of two since it is just four ham steaks. Dave and I both really like ham but it is kind of impractical to make a ham for just the two of us. To get a decent ham, it seems you have to get a pretty large sized one, and that usually means that we run out of our desire for ham well before we actually run out of ham. These are nicely thick cut too, and still have the fatty rind part on them, so they retain a lot of moisture and flavour when you cook them. To prepare the ham steaks you just put it under the grill/broiler in the oven for about 12 or 15 minutes. The only other preparation you need to do is to score the thick rind on the outside of the steaks. When you cook it the rind gets a little crunchy and the ham stays delicious and moist. The steaks are really thick, most likely thicker than you would probably cut a slice off of your ham. Dave and I have been really impressed by the absolutely delicious taste and had wished we had bought another package. These are great for Sunday dinner but are also easy enough to prepare that they make a perfect weekday dinner too. And if you cook all four pieces, but can’t eat them all then, they make a great sandwich the next day. I always worry that Costco will stop carrying them because I like them so much and they are the only way we can get decent ham at home. I do wish that you could freeze ham but I know from past experience that it doesn’t really work so well in the freezer. I think the water content is too high and all wrong for freezing. 4 slices, 908 grams, for £6.99 (US: $11.69). Item #: 0003882.
Kellogg’s Pop Tarts , Chocolate and Strawberry – I love Pop Tarts and so does Dave. Luckily, this pack at Costco works perfectly for us because Dave really likes the chocolate ones, while I prefer the strawberry ones. At Costco, you get two boxes of each flavour, with each box containing four packages of two Pop Tarts. So, all in all, you get 8 packages or 16 individual Pop Tarts in each flavour. Dave likes his as a snack but I really like one in the morning, lightly toasted, with a cup of tea. Sometimes I eat the without popping them in the toaster first, but I think they are really at their best and most flavourful when they’ve had a little bit of heat applied. I’m not sure how long they’ve been selling the Pop Tarts at Costco UK locations, but we haven’t picked them up there before. It’s actually kind of hard to find Pop Tarts here. I’m sure that’s because that while they are big in the US, they’re not that much a favourite here. Sometimes there’s just a single box at our local Tesco and they usually have just one variety, chocolate, on the shelves anyway. They seem to have them at supermarkets, though I’ve only seen them at ASDA, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s. Of course, there’s just not a lot of them in stock ever and certainly there’s not the selection of flavours that there is on US supermarket shelves. At all of the other supermarkets, a 4 package box of Pop Tarts is £2.69, which is quite a bit more than the £1.95 per box that you’ll pay at Costco. Needless to say, we try to only buy our Pop Tarts at Costco. 4, 4 pack boxes for £7.79 (US: $13.03). Item #: 8751207.
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream – I had never really tried L’Occitane really before, except for bath products at a few hotels, but on our flight back from Sydney to London the airline had given us a little tube of this hand cream from L’Occitane and I absolutely loved it. Seriously, I am pretty sure it is the best one I’ve tried in years and years, maybe ever. So naturally I had to get some once we returned to the UK. I bought a tube this summer from the L’Occitane website where it is £19.00 for a 150 ml tube. I had started running low and was thinking I needed to re-order, when my Costco luck kicked in and they actually had the wonderful hand cream on our last shopping trip. And of course, it was less expensive at Costco too, which makes it even btter. I felt super lucky that day…I totally should have bought a lottery ticket. In any case, the shea butter hand cream contains 20% shea butter and feels so good on your hands and keeps them feeling soft and looking nourished, even after you wash your hands. I’ve found that it also works well on any dry patches, such as crazy dry elbows in the middle of winter. The hand cream is rather thick and comes in a tube, like toothpaste, because of that thickness a little bit goes a long way. Which is good because it isn’t a low cost hand cream and you wouldn’t want to buy it if you had to use a whole bunch of it all the time (at least my cheap self wouldn’t). The only negative I see is that the tube is metal and once it gets down quite low it is rather hard/almost impossible to get the last bits out. I originally wasn’t sure why they were selling the “Magic Key” on the L’Occitane website, so I didn’t bother getting one, but I see now that you really probably do need something to squeeze the tube with more even pressure than you can achieve with your hand. Of course, the cream is so completely wonderful I can easily overlook this little packaging issue. Reviews all over, not just on the L’Occitane website, rave about this cream and once you try it you’ll know why. Truly, out of all the lotions and creams I’ve tried over the years, this stuff is the best at keeping my hands moisturized throughout the day. And they end up feeling soft and moisturized but not greasy or oily. I also have a little rash problem that I’ve been getting from some medication I’m taking, which also dries out my skin terribly, and this is one of the only creams that keeps my hands feeling good and doesn’t aggravate the rash. I like the hand cream so much that I’m thinking I might have to try the L’Occitane shea butter foot cream as well to see if it can work the same wonders on my dry feet. Maybe I’ll get lucky again and they’ll have that too the next time I’m at Costco. 150 ml tube for £12.99 (US: $21.73). Item #: 0005047.