This Week at Costco – October 12, 2014

October 18th, 2014 by Kimberly · 2 Comments

We’re getting ready to head to the US for a few weeks to do some stuff that isn’t going to be all that fun, but needs to be done.  Like, dealing with all of the stuff we’ve had in storage for the last few years.  So this week has been kind of hectic and I’m glad it is finally the weekend!  I am looking forward to seeing my family though since it has been a while.  Plus, I’ll get to do a bit of shopping at Costco, of course.  I never have a visit to the US without a bit of Costco too.

If you’re in the UK, don’t forget that a new coupon book started this week.  And if you’re in the US, you’ve only got another week (until October 26) to pick up anything in the latest coupon book, and get ready for Halloween.

Kirkland Signature Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner

Kirkland Signature Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner

Kirkland Signature Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner  – This week I’ve got a cautionary tale about hair care.  Sometimes, more expensive does not mean better, it just means that you are spending a lot more money.

When we were in Australia last year I decided that I was going to treat my hair to some Molton Brown shampoo and conditioner since we weren’t going to be there very long; it is around $40.00 AUD,  $30.00 in the US, or £18.00 in the UK for each 10 ounce bottle of shampoo or conditioner.  I didn’t want to buy the big bottles of Kirkland Signature shampoo and conditioner because I knew it would be impractical to try to get them back to London from Sydney and I hate wasting stuff like that.  So, I splurged and bought myself the Molton Brown products for colour treated hair.  After I used it for about a month, I didn’t think it was anything particularly special for my hair, but the smell of their products is really gorgeous so I was okay with it.

After using the Molton Brown for the six months we were in Sydney and then a couple more months when we first got back to London, I noticed that my hair wasn’t looking its best and my stylist said it was looking pretty damaged.  It was limp and dull, plus my curl wasn’t as peppy as it should have been either.  I thought maybe I was getting sick or not eating particularly well, but I didn’t realize what a number the shampoo and conditioner were doing on my hair.  What really confirmed for me that it was a shampoo issue was how quickly my colour needed to be redone once we were in London again.  Yes, I skipped any kind of hair cut or colour for the whole time we were in Sydney so really my hair should have been healthier without the colour processing and blow drying.  I had to have the colour done in about half the time that I usually do and not only is that harder on my hair, but harder on my purse too.  That’s when I decided that it must be down to what I was using on my hair.  And it turns out, I was so so right.

Previous to trying the nice smelling but not nice for my hair Molton Brown, I had tried Philip Kingsley, another expensive shampoo brand (about the same prices as Molton Brown), but I had only used it sporadically and had really used the Kirkland Signature as my primary shampoo and conditioner.  When we moved into our own flat again I went back to using the Kirkland Signature Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner.  And my hair loved me for it!  Within about two weeks I felt like my hair had almost completely recovered from the foray into bad pricey shampoo and within a month it was back to looking and feeling great and more like my hair should look.  My hair stylist commented on how much healthier my hair looked several times too, and he’s back to thinking that I actually take care of my hair in between visits and don’t just sit around seeing how hot I can get my blowdryer.  So I think it really must be as terrific as I think. Not only does my hair look great again, but the KS stuff is way cheaper than the fancy salon brands and I don’t have to get my colour done as often using it either.  So that is a lot of savings thanks to Costco and just this little switch probably pays for my Costco membership for a year (colouring your hair is expensive, guys).  For the price, you just can not beat the quality of the KS shampoo and conditioner.

Kirkland Signature Moisture Shampoo – We used the previous version of the KS shampoo and conditioner for a long time and the new formulation is even better, I think.   The bottle says it will make your hair healthier, softer and shinier.  The shampoo uses their Moisture Nutrient Complex, which they say provides hydration, nourishment and helps improve the overall performance, manageability and vibrancy of hair.  And indeed, my hair does feel really nice after I use it. It has a nice florally fragrance, which doesn’t seem quite as powerful as the scent in the conditioner. It comes in a fairly large container, thankfully with a pump so you just have to worry about having someplace to set the bottle in your shower and not about actually picking it up or moving it to get some out. Some might not think it is all that attractive but who needs a lovely looking bottle that you never really look at and just sits in your shower? Luckily, we don’t, though, in the package’s defence, I actually like it and think it looks better than other big shampoo bottles from brands like Aveda. The important thing is that it is actually a really great shampoo with a nice fragrance that leaves your hair looking nice too. It’s also safe to use on colour treated hair.  I have to get my hair coloured far less often with this than with other, more pricey shampoos.  I also don’t have a problem with it fading my colour when it is new as some shampoos with strong sulfate formulations so often do.  The shampoo is sulfate, paraben and even gluten free.  Did I mention that it’s also quite low cost?  I have paid way, way more than this for Aveda and other salon brands.  A litre of Aveda could run you around £24.00 – £32.00 and other salon brands could be that much for just a small (relatively) bottle.  In any case, that’s far more than the Kirkland Signature shampoo and probably not even as good for your hair as I have found out the hard way.  I know this is a product that you can get in the US and at other Costco locations around the world too.  1 litre for £6.79 (US: $10.93).  Item #: 0519825.

Kirkland Signature Moisture Conditioner – On the bottle they say it is a “Professional Salon Formula” but I’m not really sure what that means exactly because it just seems like a decent quality conditioner.  It seems nice and thick and does a great job at keeping my hair looking shiny and healthy.  The thing that I really appreciate is that it is safe for colour treated hair.  It’s hard to find a decent conditioner, that doesn’t cost a fortune, isn’t hard to actually buy, and won’t strip the colour right out of my hair.  I’ve noticed that it somehow manages to keep my hair soft and shiny, but allows my natural curl to develop and look great.  I have natural curl in my hair, but if I use a conditioner or shampoo that has lots of stuff in it that weighs down my hair it gets all straight and flat looking.  And really, no one wants that.  The KS conditioner though is free of sulfates and paraben, so I think that helps keep my hair in better shape and allows the curl to come out too.  It’s also gluten free, though I’m not sure what that means in terms of hair care.  I’ve never really thought about gluten in my shampoo and conditioner.  However, if you’ve got a gluten allergy, I guess it can cause a problem for you.   The bottle is fairly compact considering how much there is in it and has a pump, just like the shampoo.  It definitely fits in my shower better than some of the large bottles that I have had previously from other brands.  My one and only gripe about the conditioner formula is that it is super perfume-y when you first put it in your hair.  It’s got a very floral and strong scent.  The strong floral smell dissipates fairly quickly and you do get used to it.  I don’t know how guys would feel about this, Dave still uses it and says that it is okay because he doesn’t smell like a flower all day long.  So, I guess that’s okay then.  However, if you are really sensitive to smells, this might not be a good fit for you.   1 litre for £5.19 (US: $8.35).  Item #: 0519925.

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Costco Opens in China with Clicks Not Bricks

October 16th, 2014 by Kimberly · No Comments

Nǐ hǎo, China!  Costco has decided to take the faster (and less expensive) way into China by opening a virtual storefront on Alibaba’s Tmall Global.  They join the tens of thousands of merchants selling via Tmall to customers in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.  The site serves over 150 million buyers which could prove to be a huge shopping audience for Costco.  This should also be a good proving ground for Costco to gauge the interest of buyers in China, Hong Kong, and Macau where they do not yet have a physical presence.  Stores in other Asian markets – Korea, Japan, and Taiwan – have already proven quite successful for Costco.  Some of their most successful stores are located in the Asian market.

The Chinese retail market is growing rapidly as they have an ever expanding middle class that has a real desire to purchase imported goods.  Somewhere around 45% of the Chinese population is online currently and even that represents a huge new market for Costco, but of course that number is growing quickly too.  China’s ecommerce market surpassed the size of the market in the U.S. in 2013 to become the world’s largest, with $295 billion in sales versus $270 billion in America, according to McKinsey.

Costco opens a virtual storefront to serve the Chinese market

Costco opens a virtual storefront to serve the Chinese market

Costco has already launched their Tmall store front and they are selling items across four major categories: Health and Beauty, Baby, Snack Foods, and Home and Life.  They are selling a lot of their own Kirkland Signature items, but also items that this market doesn’t usually see, such as US brands like Ocean Spray.  And of course, if they do see these brands they are most likely not at Costco prices.  I am sure that once they get a feel for the market they will expand their offerings to give the Chinese buyers even more options.  Costco will be utilizing Alibaba’s data mining capabilities to help them determine the best products for the market.  Costco will be shipping goods direct from the US, but will also take advantage of Tmall Global’s warehouse stores would help it cut logistics costs and delivery time.  Just like Costco’s other ecommerce stores around the world, shopping at their Tmall Global outlet will not require customers to have a membership.

I’ve taken a spin around the virtual Costco and it is an interesting mix of products that we can all find in our Costco warehouses, and some that I’m not familiar with at all, but are probably found in their other Asian locations.  There is a lot of Kirkland Signature available, which shouldn’t be too surprising since they have an ever expanding selection of KS goods in the warehouses too.  I always find it interesting to see what products are offered in other Costco locations around the world, and this is no exception.  It’s like taking a trip without leaving my house really.  There are products that I find it surprising that they have on their site though, like: KS mens jeans, KS hiking socks, Swiss Miss instant cocoa, Sensodyne toothpaste, and Novafoam pillows.  They have a really interesting mix of products.  I found it really fun to take a look around (Google Translate is a big help if you decide to take a virtual shopping trip).

For more information:

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Great Costco Auto Offers for US & UK Members

October 14th, 2014 by Kimberly · No Comments

There are some great promotions going on right now through the Costco Auto program in the US and UK.  Quite often there are terrific deals or promotions through Costco Auto, so if you’re shopping for a new vehicle anytime during the year, you should certainly at least check out what they have to offer.  It’s one of the great ways that you can really maximize the value of your Costco membership, aside from the usual great prices on products in their warehouses all year long.

Purchase a Polaris and get a $200 Costco Cash Card

Purchase a Polaris and get a $200 Costco Cash Card

Get a $200 Costco Cash Card with a Polaris Purchase by October 31, 2014

Costco Auto in the US has offered great deals on powersports vehicles, like motorcycles, ATVs, and snowmobiles, since 2011 and while they always have great deals, sometimes they also have excellent promotions like this one with Polaris.  If you buy an eligible Polaris vehicle by October 31, 2014, you can receive a $200 Costco Cash Card.  Here are the details of how you can get your cash card:

  • To be eligible to participate in this special offer, you must be a current Costco member and first register with the Costco Auto Program. To register and locate a participating dealership, click here or call 1-877-780-1470.
  • Purchase an eligible, new powersports model from a participating dealer between 9/1/2014 and 10/31/2014 to qualify for the special offer and $200 Costco Cash Card.
    • Offer excludes all 2015 RANGER® ETX, RZR® 900, RZR® 900 EPS, RZR® 900 XC, RZR® S 900, RZR® S 900 EPS, RZR XP® 1000 EPS, RZR XP® 4 1000 EPS, Sportsman® ETX, Sportsman XP® 1000, Sportsman® Touring 1000, Sportsman® 570 SP, Sportsman ACE® 570, Phoenix™ 200, Outlaw® 50 and RZR® 170.
    • Pre-owned vehicles are excluded from this offer.
  • Submit a redemption form within 30 days of your purchase. After your purchase has been verified by the manufacturer, the Costco Auto Program will contact you to complete a member satisfaction survey to receive your $200 Costco Cash Card. Complete the survey within 60 days after your purchase.
  • As always you can still take advantage of Costco’s pre-arranged low prices, as well as any applicable national incentives.
  • You can find all of the information about this special offer online and get started locating your nearest participating Polaris dealer.
Purchase a GM and get a Costco Cash Card

Purchase a GM and get a Costco Cash Card

Get Special Supplier Pricing and a Costco Cash Card when you Purchase or Lease a New GM by January 2, 2015

Through January 2, 2014 there’s a special offer from Costco Auto on GM vehicles that is available when you purchase or lease your new car from a selection of new 2014 and 2015 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC models.  Probably the best part of this deal is that you will receive the GM Supplier Pricing which is very good and much lower than you’re likely to ever get on your own, plus you can take advantage of all publicly available manufacturer rebates and incentives (which you can check for on the Costco Auto website).  In addition, you will receive a Costco Cash Card for completing the Costco Auto Program member satisfaction survey. You can choose a new 2014 or 2015 vehicle from any of the following:

  • Chevrolet: Equinox, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, Traverse and Volt.;
  • Buick: Enclave and Encore;
  • GMC: Acadia, Sierra, Terrain, Yukon and Yukon XL;
  • Cadillac: ATS, CTS, ELR and XTS

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these vehicles before January 2, 2014, here’s how to take advantage of the special GM pricing and make sure that you get your Costco Cash Card.

  • Select an eligible, new 2014 or 2015 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick or GMC model from the drop down at the bottom of the Costco Auto GM page.
  • Click ‘Get Started’ to view vehicle details and register for the promotion.
  • Once you complete the registration process, you will receive an Authorization Number and PIN, as well as the participating dealership’s contact information.
  • Visit the participating dealership and provide the designated dealer contact with your Authorization Number and PIN during your purchase.
  • Have the designated dealer contact show you the GM Supplier Price for the vehicle you’ve selected (listed on the manufacturer’s document under the name “SUPPLR”).
  • Submit a redemption form after purchase by January 31, 2015.
  • Once you take delivery of your vehicle and General Motors verifies your purchase, a Costco Auto Program representative will call you to complete a Costco Auto Program member satisfaction survey.
  • After survey completion, you will receive your Costco Cash Card in 8 weeks.  For Executive members, you will receive a $600 Costco Cash Card, and Gold Star and Business members will receive a $400 Costco Cash Card.
  • You can find all of the information for this special offer from GM online and get started finding the perfect car.
Purchase a Vauxhall to get a £100 Costco Voucher

Purchase a Vauxhall to get a £100 Costco Voucher

Get a £100 Costco Voucher when you Purchase a New Vauxhall by December 31, 2014

If you weren’t aware of it, Costco UK also has an auto programme available to members.  It is a great way to save money on your new vehicle purchase, without a hassle over the price.  Plus, you can save on parts and service too.  Through the end of the year, you can get a new Vauxhall at Costco’s pre-arranged pricing, plus a £100 Costco voucher, as well as a 20% discount from Vauxhall on insurance and up to a 10% discount on eligible accessories.  And if you are planning to be more eco-friendly in the new year, you can receive up to £5,000 off the price of the Vauxhall Ampera from the Plug-In Car Grant.

  • Register with the Costco Auto Programme and Vauxhall to be included in this limited-time offer.
  • A Costco Auto Programme representative will contact you to discuss the promotion, your vehicle selection and connect you to a nearby participating dealer. After you speak with the Costco Auto Programme representative, you will receive an email confirmation with the dealer’s contact information.
  • After you complete the registration process, you will receive an email to gain exclusive access to the Vauxhall Partners Programme website.
  • View vehicle options and pricing details on the Vauxhall Partners Programme website where you can select a model, configure your vehicle and view the special offer price.
    • All Expression, ES, Tech Line (except Mokka and Astra), Corsa Sting, Meriva Life, Insignia VXR Supersport and VXR8 models are excluded from this offer.
  • Show your Costco membership card at the dealer and save.
  • Select or factory order a vehicle by December 31, 2014.
  • Submit an online redemption form after purchase or factory order.
  • Once you take delivery of your vehicle and Vauxhall verifies your purchase, the Costco Auto Programme will contact you to complete a member satisfaction survey. Your Costco voucher will be mailed after you complete the survey.
  • This offer can be combined with all other Vauxhall Retail Offers. In addition, members are eligible for a 20% discount on car insurance from Vauxhall and up to 10% off eligible accessories.
  • You can find all of the information for the Vauxhall special promotion online and get started on purchasing your new Vauxhall.
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Costco UK Coupon Book: October 13 – November 2, 2014

October 11th, 2014 by Kimberly · No Comments

The new Costco UK coupon book starts on Monday, October 13, and runs through the first weekend in November, the 2nd.  This new coupon book has almost double the savings of last month, with £1,250.00 in it.  I guess they’re gearing up for the very busy holiday shopping season since there is a whole section for holiday decorations and toys.  Plus, there are only like three coupon books left until Christmas.   Despite this coupon book having such a high value on savings, I’m just not that overwhelmed with any of the items in it.  However, they do seem to have really good deals on certain big ticket items, which is always great for people looking for those things.

Costco UK Coupon Book: October 13 - November 2, 2014

Costco UK Coupon Book: October 13 – November 2, 2014

I’ve uploaded the new Costco UK Coupon Book PDF (or view it in the Google PDF viewer).  If you didn’t get your book or never do, you should stop by Customer Service and make sure that they have all of your mailing information correct and that you have allowed them permission to send you things in the mail.  Also, while you’re there, ask them for a copy of the latest book if they didn’t hand you one when you walked in the store.  In the UK they print the coupons on both sides of the pages and without the codes and they just automatically deduct them after they ring up your items.  I love this method of couponing and I’m glad to see that it seems all Costco locations in the world are following suit.  I do still find it useful to have a copy so I know what to look for because I don’t always notice the signs that they’ve posted to let you know what has a coupon.  Of course, they often hand you a copy of the coupon book when you walk in the store or have them sitting there so you can grab one as you enter. I usually download a copy of the PDF to my phone before I go to the store so that I can easily reference it while shopping.  If you sign up to receive emails from Costco.co.uk, they will send out an email that lets you know that the new coupon book is available online, usually the weekend before the new book starts.  Since they now post the coupons on the Costco UK website, you can always download a copy of the latest coupon book from there; you can also find a link to it on the Warehouses Offers webpage.

I think one of the best deals in the book might be for something that I am long past needing, a set of pots and pans.  You can get £25.00 off a 13 piece set of Circulon Bronze cookware.  You’ll get three saucepans with lids of 0.9, 1.8, and 2.8 litres, a 7.5 litre covered stockpot, a 4.5 litre covered saute pan, and three frying pans or skillets of 21.5, 25.4 and 30.4 cm diameters.  The pans are all dishwasher safe and you can use them on a gas, electric or induction hob.  You’ll get all of that for £119.98 with VAT, which I think it a good deal.  Circulon makes quality cookware and this is actually a selection of cookware that you will actually use without any weird pans or useless stuff that will just sit there collecting dust.  This would be a great gift for a couple that has just gotten married or someone moving out on their own or into their first house.

The other thing that has caught my eye before is the G-Tech Air Ram Cordless Vacuum for £20.00 off.  I think it is really the cordless part that I love because I never seem to have a plug where I need one when I’m vacuuming.  Plus, I’ve seen the commercial for this and it compresses all the dirt and whatnot into these little “bales” that are easily pitched.  It has a lithium ion battery that is rechargeable and according to the commercial should be more than enough to clean the average house; up to 40 minutes of cleaning time on a charge. I like that it looks like it would be lightweight and easier to get around things.  It turns out it is just a 3.5 kg or 7.7 lbs, so it is actually not that heavy.  With the coupon of £20.00 the vacuum is £167.98 with VAT.  I’ve never heard how anyone feels that actually has one of these though.  Everyone who has a Dyson loves it, but do the owners of this feel the same way?   I looked it up on Amazon and it does seem to get really great reviews with the overwhelming majority being 5 or 4 stars; a 4.6 star rating overall.  I’ve been looking at replacing my Hoover, so I might have to give this some thought, though I did have my heart set on a Dyson.

The Seasonal Decorating (pretty much Christmas) and Toys section, doesn’t really seem to be coupons, but does show off some of the good deals they have on that type of thing.  Costco is a great place to shop for Christmas decorations because they have some really cute things with nice prices.  But where they really shine, in my opinion, is their gift wrap, ribbon, gift tags, and cards.  They have gorgeous cards for amazing prices, like a 44 count box of cards for £9.46 with VAT.  And they’re not cheap cards, but the handmade type of cards that would cost a couple/few pounds at a normal store for just a single card.  Whenever I send out my cards I always get lots of compliments.  The gift tags and wrap are equally nice with cute or pretty designs.  The paper is really nice and in here they even have reversible gift wrap (£7.78 with VAT for 34 square metres).  They don’t mention the wire-edged ribbon spools in here, but I know they have them, actually year round.  They are a bargain at Costco and they have a pretty decent variety of designs and colours.  So, if you’re getting a head start on your Christmas decorating and gift wrapping, definitely take a look at what Costco has to offer.

Did you know that there’s a new Coke in town?  Coca Cola Life in the green can.  It’s sweetened with the natural sweeteners – stevia leaf extract blended with sugar.  It has a third of the sugar and thus a third of the calories found in regular Coca Cola.  I mean, it isn’t calorie free because it still has 27 calories per 100ml serving or 89 calories per 330ml can, but that’s so much better.  Just for comparison, a regular Coke has 139 calories per 330ml can, or 50 calories more than a can of Coke Life.  And the taste is better too because of the natural sweeteners.  I rarely drink soda, maybe twice a year, but Dave and I tried some of this the other day just to see what it was all about.  I have to say, I liked it quite a bit.  I really don’t like that fake sweetener taste, but I also don’t like things that are super sweet, and this struck the right note with my taste buds.  It’s got enough sweetness to make the soda enjoyable and has a much better taste of real sugar.  If you drink regular soda but would like to cut back on the calories, but like me you hate the fake sweeteners, this would definitely be worth trying.  And with this current round of deals you can get £1.00 off 24, 330ml cans of either Coke Life or Coke Zero; final price £7.90 with VAT.

So, those are just a couple of my highlights for the new Costco UK coupon book, but there are definitely other great deals too.  Don’t forget to check out the special deals going on now at Costco.co.uk.  They change deals frequently enough that there’s always a great new deal to check out.  Plus, they have all kinds of things that you won’t necessarily find in the stores, or maybe don’t want to get in the store because you’d have to get it home and into your house somehow, instead of having them deliver it.   I mean, if you are looking at furniture or appliances it would be crazy to not at least look online because then you’re not moving something like a big, heavy refrigerator because they are doing it for you.  But there’s lots of other things that you just won’t see in the warehouses.  For instance, they have designer handbags online, such as Mulberry and Lanvin, and I don’t think you’re likely to find so many styles in the actual warehouse, but online they have several different styles to choose from and the prices are good too.

 

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Costco Canada is CLOSED on Thanksgiving (October 13, 2014)

October 10th, 2014 by Kimberly · No Comments

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

I wanted to make sure that everyone in Canada is aware that Costco will be CLOSED all day on Thanksgiving (Monday, October 13, 2014).   Though there is one exception to this, the Province of Quebec will be OPEN with their regular hours.  So, if you’re going to be responsible for Thanksgiving dinner at your house and still have some stuff you need to prepare the perfect family meal, make sure you hit Costco by Sunday!

I imagine that much like in the US, everyone will also have this great idea to hit up Costco right before the holiday, so you might want to bear that in mind.  Shop early!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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