We finally managed to make it to Costco last weekend. My broken rib made it far more difficult to drive than I was anticipating. But luckily we made it there and back with us, and the Zipcar, in one piece. I was only slightly terrified the whole time we were shopping that someone would drive into me with their cart and make me break down in tears in the middle of the store. Luckily, I was able to avoid that scene. I’ll be very glad in a couple of weeks when this is healed though.
Kirkland Signature Greek Salad – I love the Costco salads in the deli area because no matter what variety of salad you choose, they do not skimp on any of the good items like veggies, cheese, bacon, or croutons. While we do enjoy them all, our favourite is probably the Greek style salad. The Greek salad at Costco used to have hard boiled egg in it and a raspberry dressing, which was gross, but they’ve since taken away the eggs and gotten a better dressing. The updated Greek salad is packed full of delicious things like Kalamata olives and feta, red onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers. All of the salads are really large and thus quite filling. We like it by itself for dinner or lunch because it really is like a meal in itself since they put so much stuff into it; it is most likely all of the cheese that we find so filling I am sure. They definitely don’t hold back on adding the cheese, which is great because that is pretty much the exact opposite of how most places put their prepared salads together. We used to always skip the included raspberry dressing and use our own Italian dressing or just spritz it with lemon juice. I had always hoped that they would change the dressing to something that would work better with the salad. So, we were pretty happy this last time to see that they had ditched the old not so good dressing in favour of a creamy Greek olive oil dressing which works so much better with the salad. This salad also makes a great accompaniment to the beyond delicious Costco rotisserie chickens. And together they make a perfect, no frills and no work, meal after you spend a few hours shopping at Costco on the weekend. Because let’s face it, after you fight your way around the crowds at Costco on the weekend, you really don’t want to cook. Or, is that just me? In any case, we pretty much always pick up one of these salads while at Costco. I also like them for mid-week dinner with a piece of fish or something light like that. £3.99 (US: $6.59). Item #: 0004832.
Peanut M&M’s – Dave love’s M&Ms. Well, we both do really, but they are Dave’s absolutely top sweet choice. So, we’re always more than happy to take a bag or two off of Costco’s hands, especially when there’s a coupon. At Costco you can get either plain or peanut, though our preference is always for the peanut version. Since I’m sure that everyone knows what M&Ms are like, I don’t need to a full review of what they are like. However, I will say that buying the big bag at Costco is a great deal but also a bit of curse because it is large and they are so easy to just pop in your mouth and not realize how many you’ve eaten. So, enjoy them but be careful. You can have a little handful and not feel too guilty but you’ll still get your chocolate fix. If you need to do your own portion control, it is easy enough to parcel them out. We usually don’t bother with strict portioning into little baggies or anything and just try to exert some self-control; sometimes we’re even successful with that. I pretty much always make us pour them into something so that we don’t over indulge. We bought M&Ms before shopping at Costco, but now we only buy them at Costco. When we first moved to the UK they didn’t have the big bags of M&Ms at Costco, and they were freaky expensive at the regular supermarkets, so we had to forego them. Anytime someone came from the US for a visit though, they’d bring us a Costco-sized bag. And of course, if we went home my mom always had a bag of the peanut M&Ms for Dave. Usually, to be honest, she would buy two bags – one while we were there and one for us to bring back with us. Yeah, everyone knows about Dave’s little addiction. Luckily, they started carrying them at our UK Costco location (though I didn’t notice if they had them this weekend). The bag in the UK is smaller than the giant one in the US, but it is mammoth compared to what you find anywhere else here. They are so much less expensive at Costco, especially here in the UK, that I can deal with the big bag for the savings. For a 165 gram bag I have to pay at least £1.00 and more likely something in the neighborhood of £2.00 at the usual supermarkets and retailers. In comparison, at Costco I can get a 1 kilogram bag for just under £5.00. So, even if I get them on sale somewhere for a £1.00 it is still less expensive to get my M&M’s fix at Costco. 1 kg bag for £4.99 (US: $8.24). Item #: 0156726.
Natco Coconut Milk - Now, I’m sure this isn’t a staple item in everyone’s home, but if you like to make Thai or Indian food, like we do, you will appreciate that you can buy this at Costco in a six pack. Dave makes excellent Thai food and I like to make Indian food too when I’ve got the time. It is not too hard to find all of the other necessary items at either Ocado or local stores. However, if I have to walk, I certainly don’t want to be dragging heavy cans of coconut milk very far in a weak plastic bag that will most assuredly break as I am half way home. Not to mention, we are always amazed and shocked by the really high prices that we’ve seen for a can of coconut milk at the Waitrose that we shop at for sure, but it’s even pretty pricey at the various Asian markets. So, when we saw this six pack at Costco for just £3.95 we were ecstatic; that’s just over what two cans would cost us at Tesco (the only place that has this same brand) where you will pay £1.50 per can. The price at Costco though is just £0.66 per can though. Which, means that you are pretty much getting two cans for less than a single can at Tesco. Even the stuff we buy at our preferred Asian grocer is more expensive than at Costco because it is somewhere between £1.00 – £1.30 per can. The coconut milk at Costco is a good quality coconut milk too with a thick, creamy texture. We can go through a couple of these cans quite easily by making some Thom Kah Gai (coconut chicken) soup, Panang curry, coconut rice, or sweet rice with mango. And those are all some of our favourite Thai things to make at home. And then of course there are the really delicious Indian items that we like to make that also require coconut milk. So, needless to say we are big fans of the bulk coconut milk buying at Costco. This is one of the things we pretty much only buy at Costco now too, unless we are in a pinch and have run out but still crave Thai food before our next Costco trip. 6, 400 ml cans for £3.95 (US: $6.52). Item #: 0102730.
Lemsip Max All in One Cold & Flu Capsules – These work so well when you are sick and coughing all the time. Or, have a super runny nose and lots of congestion. When we first moved to London we tried these and I swore they were like a magic pill. Unless you are terribly sick, like the kind of sick you really need to go to the doctor for, these little capsules have you feeling better in time. The all in one capsule helps you through all of the typical cold and flu symptoms like chesty coughs, headaches, blocked nose, sore throats, fever and body aches and pains. Each capsule contains: Paracetamol 500mg, Phenylephrine hydrochloride 6.1mg, and Guaifenesin 100mg. I’m not really sure what any of those are except for the paracetamol, which is acetaminophen, which helps with the aches, pains, and headaches you experience with a cold or flu. The other stuff But they’re not what you would call inexpensive at the regular supermarkets and chemists. Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know that phenylephrine hydrochloride is a decongestant and guaifenesin is an expectorant. I am amazed at how well it works though. If you start taking it right when you first see signs of cold or flu, it can easily keep it from getting any worse or totally out of hand. If only I had done that this year when I first started getting sick. But I was out of it. However, now, thanks to Costco, I can get a spare box or two so that we will always have some on hand to nip our colds in the bud. For the same box of 16 capsules as at Costco, you will pay somewhere between £3.00 – £4.20. And no matter what end of that range you are on, it is much more than the £1.99 at Costco. It is amazing to me that I can buy two boxes of Lemsip for less than I can buy a single box at Boots. Sad. I just wish that they had the maximum strength Strepsils at Costco too, but they just have the ineffective honey and lemon version. 16 capsules for £1.99 (US: $3.29). Item #: 0159218.