Guest Post: 10 Things I WISH Costco Sold!

April 11th, 2015 by Kimberly · 20 Comments

[I’ve got an outstanding Guest Post today from Rick, he normally writes and blogs about technology, but today he’s sharing his thoughts about some products he wishes Costco would sell, as well as areas where Costco could really expand their member benefits.  This is a great list with some things that I’ll bet we’ve all wanted to see at Costco, at one time or another.  I particularly like the idea about airline tickets being sold separately, or even as part of an a la carte vacation purchase through Costco Travel.  And I love the idea of them selling fresh herbs in the produce section too.  So take a look at Rick’s list and let us know what you’d like to see at Costco.]

Given that we all are addicted to Costco it’s fitting to share what we think about certain things that we want but don’t necessarily have. When I discuss my Costco Addition to my friends, one of things I always tell them is that “everything they sell is good”, and for this list of things I wish they sold, I know I’d like what I got. As usual, Kimberly (OF COURSE) already blogged about this topic in 2009, but I offered my take with a new twist – so here goes. Here is my list of 10 Things I wish Costco did sell!

  1. Herbs in the Fresh Produce department. I don’t know about you, but I really struggle on getting fresh herbs in quantity to my liking for my recipes. Specifically basil, as when I need it I need a lot! I know Costco would take care of me there.
  2. Express carwashes. I know that these facilities and associated equipment have a lot of maintenance overhead, but I really wish the automobile experience could be complete with Costco here. I’ve bought a car with the Costco program, I’ve purchased tires at Costco and almost all of my fuel is purchased there. I’ve not purchased Insurance, however but that is available online.
  3. Oil changes. Much the same reasoning as above, but an operation that has both the car wash and oil change is a profitable line of business. I can hope that they’d add it; you know I’d give it a try!
  4. College tuition. Maybe I’m ahead of my time here, but I have three kids (age 1,5 and 8) and I’ll need to get them through college somehow. If I had a few percentage points off, like the auto program, at a list of colleges or universities, I’d be a happy camper!
  5. A broader beer selection. I guess their wine selection has spoiled me, but I consistently feel that the beer section could use a bit more variety. I’ve found that the warehouses here in the United States and more so around the world that the selection varies in my personal measure of “awesome” or “not awesome”. For example, when I visited the Auburn warehouse outside of Sydney Australia I loved their beer selection. Conversely I was in a warehouse outside of Ottawa Canada and I don’t think it sold any beer (there may have been one option however). I realize some laws and regulations come into play, but I’d really like to see the warehouses that can sell beer up the game a little bit.
  6. Back-Up child care benefits. My prior employer offered backup child (and elder) care as a benefit. That was the coolest, most versatile benefit ever. If Costco offered it, I would imagine many members would take them up on it somehow. Even if “blocks” were offered, so imagine that you bought up to 5 days per year and it would cost a certain amount. I loved this benefit, and wish it was a more popular offering.
  7. Visa and Passport agency services. I do quite a bit of International travel, and for many of the destinations I have to submit my passport to an agency that will get the proper endorsements for the country I’m preparing to visit. This is tough as I have to give up my passport for a few weeks and hope that they turn it back quick. I’d love to see Costco have a discount or preferred vendor that gives members the rush treatment by default.
  8. Landscape and property management services. This may be inherently local, but there are a number of semi-nationwide landscape and property management groups. I hire persons to mow my grass and do things like snow removal. I’d love a 5% discount from these types!
  9. Airfare only options for the Travel portal. I’ve booked full packages from the Costco Travel site, and there are actually quite a number of good ways to get value there. I feel we are just missing standalone airfare options of some type, even like those dodgy companion programs that come with some of the premier credit cards would be a good comparable offering.
  10. Sideways wish: Keep American Express. The news from February is really hitting me hard. I hate to draw a parallel to one of the other large warehouse clubs but at some point they did introduce that second form of credit card payment. If I can’t use my American Express at Costco, I’ll probably be alright. I really will (LOL). But, it’s almost as associable to use my American Express card at Costco as the hot dog priced at $1.50 in the United States warehouses. I just hope that they can find a solution, dropping the exclusivity of American Express – I’m fine with that. But I’m very interested in what happens!
  11. Bonus wish – but it has already been granted! Did you notice that in most of the United States warehouse food courts the point of sale terminals now have credit card machines readers? This is nice as I don’t always have cash, and I likely forget or change my mind at checkout so I didn’t always add it to my main purchase. When I visited a warehouse and food court in Ottawa Canada; they thought it was an amazing idea to pay for food items at the main checkout. Let’s hope credit card machines arrive at all food courts soon!

That’s my wish list, but surely you have your own! What would you like to see Costco sell? This can be sold either in the warehouses or online. Share your comments below.

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Locations Update: April 2015

April 9th, 2015 by Kimberly · 1 Comment

It seems like there is a ton of information about new locations this month.  I guess that all kinds of construction can get started because Spring is finally here.  But really, the big news is Wisconsin where Costco will be opening three new stores this Fall; they bought sites for two new stores at the end of March.

April Openings:
CULIACÁN, SINALOA, MEXICO April 30, 2015

 

Grand Chute, Wisconsin

Costco has gotten their final permits from the Town Board to build a new location at 5441 W. Wisconsin Ave, near McCarthy Road and West Integrity Way.  The new store plans are to build a 150,000 square foot warehouse and gas station.  It looks like Costco will easily be able to make their construction start target of June 1 and that means that they should be right on track to open in October 2015.

Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

Costco has finalized the land purchase of a 15-acre site in Menomonee Falls at the White Stone Station redevelopment.  Costco will anchor the redevelopment project on a former industrial site located west of the interchange of Highway 45 and Pilgrim Road.  In addition to Costco and other retailers, the new development will also have 300 apartments.  Costco should be able to begin construction on their new warehouse this Spring and target a Fall opening date.

New Berlin, Wisconsin

And in even more good news for Wisconsin, Costco also bought the site for their new location in New Berlin at the end of March.  Costco purchased a 17.6 acre site at South Moorland Road and West Grange Avenue.  Believe it or not, Costco tried to buy this exact same piece of land for a store in 2010 but that deal fell through, but they eventually got it anyway.  The plan is to start construction this Spring with a Fall opening date.

Apex, North Carolina

After two years of working towards getting a new Costco built in Apex, the development company has finally been able to close the deal for the land.  The 38-acre parcel, located on US 64 and Laura Duncan Road in Apex, west of the MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary and east of the Beaver Creek Commons, will provide 300,000 square foot of new retail and commercial space.  Costco will be the anchor with a 149,500 square foot warehouse.  The new development, Nichols Plaza, has already had construction plans approved, as well as a development agreement between city and the developer.   The construction of the new Costco store should be starting soon.  If the construction phase goes smoothly, it looks like the new store could be open by late Summer or early Fall; I’ve still got it listed as August as I feel that is still a realistic timeframe.

Louisville, Kentucky

Costco filed an application with the Metro Department of Planning and Design Services to rezone a 19 acre site at 3408 Bardstown Road.  This is the former home of Showcase Cinemas, which closed in 2004 and has been unused for all this time.   But now Costco wants to make it something other than a parking lot by opening a 153,000 square foot warehouse and gas station.  Costco’s development would take up 17.7 acres of the site, with the remaining 1.4 acres to be developed by an undisclosed future user.  No word on when a decision about the rezoning is likely to happen though.  I wouldn’t think there would be a lot of pushback on development of a site that has been derelict for a decade.  Hopefully this will go smoothly, and quickly, and there will be a second Louisville Costco soon.

Mobile, Alabama

The new Costco locations in Mobile will be opening June 4, so a bit less than two more months to go.  There’s also going to be a bit of an open house on June 3 at 6 pm that will allow local residents, and future members, to take a look around the new store.  This new Costco is part of the McGowin Park retail center off I-65 near Hank Aaron Stadium.  There are plenty of job openings for this new location, so if you’re interested you can go online and apply for positions at the Mobile store.

Medford, Oregon

Costco has filed plans with Medford to build a new 155,548 square foot store off North Central Avenue between East McAndrews Road and Rossanley Drive, just west of Trader Joe’s in the Northgate Centre Marketplace.  This new location would be a replacement for their older location on Highway 62 that was built in 1991, with the new store being bigger by about 19,000 square foot.   Costco and the developer will have to clean up contamination on the property from a timber mill that was once located on the site.  The deputy city manager said the expectation is that it will take about six months for Costco to get all of the necessary permits.  So, the opening of this new store is probably a year away.

Wheaton, Maryland

This sort of new Costco location opened two years ago, but there’s been an ongoing battle over the building of a 16-pump gas station.  The nearby gas station owner was a big part in fighting the Costco gas station and it looks like he got what he wanted.  The Montgomery County Board of Appeals denied Costco and while they can appeal this decision to the County Circuit Court, it is unclear whether they will or not.  The fight over this gas station plan has been going on since 2010 and has become one of Montgomery County’s longest land use debates, generating 36 hearings and more than 9,500 pages of testimony transcript.  Residents say that the gas fumes would have too great an impact on the community.  I just think this is kind of weird since the area is a mall parking lot, which presumably already sees quite a lot of car exhaust.  In any case, it looks like cheaper gas will not be coming to the people of Wheaton.

Branford, Connecticut

Well, after a delay of about a year in this project, it’s possible that the new Costco location in Branford is back on track.  In February, Costco submitted a plan to the Planning and Zoning Commission seeking to build a 158,070 square foot main clubhouse facility on 23.43 acres, with a maximum building height of 40 feet in a Planned Development District on 44.7 acres near Exit 56.  Just from this news article (cited below), I anticipate some opposition from residents that feel Costco doesn’t fit with their town.  Public hearings should be sometime in April.

Upcoming Holidays:

  • Costco Australia:
    • ANZAC Day, April 25, 2015:  All locations CLOSED.
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Update on the Kirkland Signature Chevrolet Truck

April 7th, 2015 by Kimberly · No Comments

So if you had gotten all excited and were warming up your check book in anticipation of the new Kirkland Signature Special Edition Chevy Silverado Truck that I had posted about last week, you can put the cap back on your pen because it turns out, it isn’t going to happen after all.

I talked to someone at Costco that is definitely in the know about these types of things and that person confirms that this just isn’t going to happen.  There won’t be a special edition KS truck, at least for now.  However, if that should change or they strike up another partnership along the same lines, I’ll certainly be posting about it.

If you had your heart set on a new KS Chevy truck, maybe you can placate yourself by buying a new truck through Costco Auto.  They have really great deals and take a lot of the hassle out of buying a new vehicle.  And if you didn’t know, you can also use Costco Auto to get 15% off your next vehicle service or accessory purchase, which is a really great benefit for Costco members.

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Costco US Coupon Book: April 9 – May 3, 2015

April 6th, 2015 by Kimberly · 3 Comments

The new coupon book finally starts on Thursday (April 9) after a bit of a hiatus from Costco and runs through the first weekend of May (the 3rd).  Instead of doing my normal review of the coupon book, I’ve got a guest post from Rick so that you can all get a bit of a different take on the latest bunch of coupons.  And don’t miss Rick’s other guest post this coming Saturday because it’s got some great thoughts on a few ways that Costco could get even better.  I know, you wouldn’t think it possible, but he’s got some great ideas.

Costco US Coupon Book: April 9 - May 3, 2015

Costco US Coupon Book: April 9 – May 3, 2015

This month I have uploaded the new Costco US Coupon Book PDF (or view it in the Google PDF viewer) (this is a PDF of what they posted online), or you can view it at the warehouse coupons on the Costco.com website.  If you weren’t aware, Costco has updated their coupon policy for “streamlined savings”.  Basically, that means that you won’t have to clip coupons (if you ever needed to for your location anyway) again, but instead you can just show the cashier the coupon book or the smartphone app to redeem any offers marked with a blue arrow (which will make more sense when you see the coupon book).  You can get the app for either iPhone or Android in their respective app stores.  The only coupons that you must have the app or coupon book to redeem are the ones with the blue arrow, but they are all pretty much instant savings deals lately.  For many, they didn’t have to clip coupons anyway, so this isn’t necessarily all that different.  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.  Or, just use the Costco smartphone app.

The new set of coupons for the US doesn’t disappoint, but if you are like me as a shopper you just bought something that is now on sale, right? Well, good thing you are here at this blog as we’ll give you some insight to the specials for US coupon book going through May 3.

Save $55 on an HP Printer

Save $55 on an HP Printer

I am an IT pro myself, but find that I haven’t purchased some of the new and cool supporting gadgets in a while. One item is this wireless printer by HP that currently is $55 off. Did you know that printers today can print wirelessly? That means that you can even print from your smartphone or tablet. Printers have come a long way! Also note that with printers connected to a network, you can print anywhere on the Internet to the device. So once your printer is connected to HP ePrint (free with the printer purchase) you can print while you are away from home or the office.

This may be a nice new addition to your household technology inventory. Also note that HP printers have a fairly common base inventory of ink and most Costco warehouses sell the refill cartridges, which are also on sale – if you buy any two HP ink cartridges you’ll get $20 off. So now may be the time to buy the printer and your next few ink cartridges.

Save $3 on Tasty Bite Lentils

Save $3 on Tasty Bite Lentils

I was very excited to see the Tasty Bite Madras Lentils in the coupon book! I’ve seen these on display for sample in one of my local warehouses and after one bite, I was hooked! These may sound like they are exotically spiced or otherwise a flavor not fit for the masses. I assure you this is not the case!

These lentils have the consistency of a chili and a mild yet flavorful spice. My 8 year-old daughter and 1 and a half year-old son both like them! They go well with rice, but can be a nice meal or hearty snack on their own. They are gluten free and vegetarian as well. The microwave packs don’t need refrigeration and can be easily transported for lunches or camping trips. Highly recommend giving this one a try, and this $3 off discount puts it as nearly a 33% discount from regular price based on my local warehouse’s normal pricing.

Save $3.70 on Kraft American Singles

Save $3.70 on Kraft American Singles

Speaking of children, any parent likely has given a look at Kraft American Singles at your local warehouse. I purchase these regularly (I buy many regular, more traditional cheeses as well) and like them for a number of reasons. First of all, they are individually wrapped. This helps with household sanitation with the kids. I know my kids (as well as the nanny and her kid) will grab a piece of cheese out of the box at any time but I can’t speak to the hand sanitation of the process. Having these individually wrapped really helps as this inventory of cheese will last a long time. Another reason I like this cheese is that it is very melt-friendly. I make, what I believe to be, world-class grilled cheese sandwiches and my trick is to use different cheeses with different attributes. This cheese is used for its excellent melting characteristic. Other cheeses like provolone and parmesan cheese (on the exterior of the sandwich) all combine for a lovely comfort food.

Who says Spring Cleaning is a lost cause! This coupon book also has a good dose of very practical cleaning products. Three options of Tide (liquid, powder and advanced liquid) range from $4 to $6 off. Note that this discount applies to only one quantity. Kirkland Environmentally Responsible Liquid detergent is $2.80 off as well as all Stainlifter and all Free & Clear detergent comes in at $3.50 off. This is in addition to some fabric softener and dishwashing products. Great time to buy these products, even if you are not due just yet.

Save $6 on Snapware Pyrex Storage Set

Save $6 on Snapware Pyrex Storage Set

Another one of my favorite items in this coupon book is the Snapware Pyrex Glass Food Storage containers. I’ve used these in both the glass and plastic form and prefer the glass for a number of reasons. For one, they don’t discolor over time like the plastics can. Secondly, they are a better candidate for being microwave-safe when it comes to reheating meals. The glass containers are not listed as oven safe, however.

The glass containers are heavier than their plastic counterparts (which are not on sale in this coupon book) but in my kitchen they both serve a good purpose. The lids have a plastic top, but the overall feel of these containers is really nice. They are $6 off with a limit of 5, I’d even consider giving them as a holiday gift to friends or family. The 19-piece set is rather comprehensive, and when it comes to giving a gift of a practical item like food storage containers, most people can always take a new product as the plastic ones eventually simply start to look old.

Save $1 on KS Croissants

Save $1 on KS Croissants

Anyone who has walked through the bakery has likely picked up the Costco Croissants. In my opinion, they are a great product at a great value. They are $1 off for a 12 count flat.

Here’s a pro tip that I do when it comes to the croissants. I will buy the flat and use 4-6 of them relatively quickly. When I purchase I also grab two large freezer bags where I put up to four croissants in a gallon-size freezer bag and use them for later. I take the frozen ones and slice them on the wide side and make croissant French toast. When they are frozen, they hold together well for a slice and let’s just say that croissant French toast is truly amazing!

What appealed to you in this month’s coupon book? Share your comments below.

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Costco UK Coupon Book: April 6 – 26, 2015

April 4th, 2015 by Kimberly · 1 Comment

The new Costco UK coupon book starts on Monday and runs through April 26, the last Sunday of the month.  There’s more than £850.00 worth of savings in this latest book, which is more than double the last book.   And you can totally tell it without even looking too hard.  It’s 25 pages on some really great deals.  There’s a lot of stuff for those of you that have been putting off your Spring cleaning and yardwork.  Plus, there’s a special section for Coleman camping gear, so perfect if you’re planning a car camping trip this Summer.

Costco UK Coupon Book: April 6 - 26, 2015

Costco UK Coupon Book: April 6 – 26, 2015

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 you an email to let you know when 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 or you can find a link to it on the Warehouse Offers webpage.

If you’ve been putting off your Spring cleaning, Costco has a few coupons that might help you make it all go a bit quicker.  You can get £8.00 off the Karcher Window Vac (£62.38 with VAT) or £70.00 off the Karcher K7 Premium Eco Home Pressure Washer (£359.98).  The pressure washers are great for cleaning cars, the outside of your house, driveways, pavements, decks, fences, and patios.  Everything in your yard could be sparkling clean and ready for Spring and Summer.  I like the idea of the Window Vac from the commercials but do wonder if it works so well in reality.  I really hate cleaning windows and anything that can make it easier and less mess, well, I’m all for that.

If you’re like my husband, than this time of year brings with it the joy of allergies and a runny nose.  We’ll certainly be taking advantage of the deal for £1.20 off a six pack of Kleenex Balsam Tissues; £5.62 with VAT after discount.  These are great tissues because they are thicker than normal and have a microfine layer of calendula to provide a little bit of protective balm with each blow and rub of your nose.  The balm really does manage to keep your nose from getting that red irritated look after too much blowing.  We also like that they are a big tissue that can actually handle someone blowing their nose without ripping.  While these tissues are currently on sale at Waitrose and Ocado for four boxes for £4.00, you’re still saving money by buying at Costco where you will be paying less than £1.00 per box.

I also wanted to point out a couple of other health and beauty type coupons this month.  You can save £1.25 off a three pack of Colgate Alcohol Free Plax Mouthwash.  This makes the three pack just £4.48 with VAT or £1.49 per bottle, which is better by at least 25p than anywhere else you’re going buy this mouthwash.  I love the Plax and think it is really effective at keeping my teeth looking better and my dentist agrees with me.  The alcohol free stuff is a must too if you want to protect the delicate tissue inside your mouth, and it is just as effective as the old stingy, burny alcohol containing mouthwashes.  Moving on from your teeth, there’s also a great deal for £3.00 off a Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Razor Plus 12 Blades; £15.58 with VAT.  For some reason I don’t understand, it seems to always be cheaper to buy a razor with blades rather than just the blades by themselves.  In any case, razors and blades are pricey so anytime there’s a coupon is the right time to buy.  I have the ladies’ version of this, the Hydro Silk also with five blades, and it is great.  I don’t know if it is the extra blade or the way it seems to get closer to your skin, but it ends up giving you a really nice, close shave.  I imagine that the men’s version is pretty much the same, just has more manly styling.

I really enjoy camping, and even though the British Summertime doesn’t always cooperate weather-wise, I know a lot of people love to go camping.  So if you’re thinking of packing up the car and doing a bit of camping this Summer, you should definitely check out the offerings at Costco and Costco.co.uk.  They have a pretty good selection of tents, sleeping pads, chairs, coolers, and cooking equipment.  In the coupon book this month, there’s a special section for Coleman camping items.  It’s not really coupons, just letting you see what they’ve got I think.  If you’re looking for a tent, you should definitely check out the selection online because it is much wider than you are going to find in the warehouses, though they do usually have three or so tents in the warehouses at this time of year.

If you are planning some Summer travel by car, you might want to consider taking advantage of the deal on Bridgestone tyres at Costco this month.  If you get a set of four 17″ or larger Bridgestone tyres you can get a £50.00 Costco shopping voucher.  If you get two tyres of 17″ or larger, you’ll get a £20.00 Costco shopping voucher.

There are plenty of other great coupons this month, I just highlighted a few of the good deals and things that I particularly like.

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