Friday, November 29, 2013

Random Costco News of the Week: Unadvertised Specials Black Friday Weekend

I didn't realize that Costco has unadvertised specials over the Black Friday weekend.  On Twitter I read that @Costco_Insider blog had information on these unadvertised specials.  I'm so surprised that I haven't been familiar with this blog.

The list is valuable, and it's not too late to take advantage of these!  Most of these are electronics that I do not need, but I did need the Photoshop for a class I'm taking next year.  My Costco only had a few, but they were $30.00 off!  

Also, at my Costco, lots of the toys and the Christmas decorations were on sale.  Don't wait to buy Christmas decorations at Costco. Remember a "7" at the end of the price, like $2.97 or $8.57 means the item is on sale.  Double zero's like $90.00 means the item is an absolute sell-off.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Jona Michelle Snowflake Outfit, If You're Shipping:

I bought this Jona Michelle girl's snowflake 2 piece outfit at my Nashville Costco and mailed it to my 4 year old granddaughter.  I'm never sure if what I choose is going to work in the big city. The gigantic hair bows, which looked perfectly normal down here in the South, were horrifying up North and were not a success. This outfit was a winner.  S wore it to school and also to a 4-year-old's birthday party.  According to S, everybody wanted one. (?)

It's hard to tell from my photo or the Costco photo on-line, but both the skirt and the applique snowflake on the top are sparkly, and the skirt is made from many layers of chiffon, like a tutu.

I spent $15.99 for the outfit at the West Nashville Costco and $8.25 for a shipping envelope and postage to New York. I had to wait in line at the West Nashville Post Office for about 20 minutes. The outfit sells at for $17.99, with free standard shipping.  I could have saved time and money with   

Looks like they are almost sold out, so if you want this, buy it soon.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Random Costco News of the Week: Costco Bibles mislabeled as Fiction creates Point and Shriek Opportunity for Fox News

Bob often despairs about the point and shriek in today's news media.  This week Costco had an experience with the point-and-shriekers.

Fox News got hold of a story out of Simi Valley, California, where a minister noticed that some Bibles were labeled with a sales tag that said "Fiction".  

Reverend Kaltenbach seems to have started it all with this tweet:

His photo clearly showed that a second label had been put over the original label.  No story, right? Wrong!

Fox News confronted Costco, and when Costco replied, we don't do PR and it's obviously just a mistake, Fox News went ballistic: You can't treat us that way!! You have to pay attention to us!  Prostrate yourself before the great and powerful Fox News!

By the end of the week, Costco had figured out the game, humbled themselves before Fox News and was back in the good graces of the point-and-shriekers.  Fox News published what sounded like a self-parody on the incident.  I was appalled that "journalists" did this, seemed to take it seriously, and that it became national news.

The man who started it, Reverend Kaltenbach, is now distancing himself from the Fox News pile-on.  Here's a tweet from Reverend Kaltenbach, this tweet was NOT picked up by Fox News.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Costco Pumpkin Pie

Last night, some friends met at my friend Carol's to catch up. Linda had just returned from Paris, Carol has a new grandchild, Rose had an over-zealous pruning crew, Maryanne feels better, and all of us are looking forward to being with family at Thanksgiving.  Even though not everyone is cooking, we all agreed, if you need a pumpkin pie, the choice is Costco. I'm not sure there has been another subject on which we've all agreed this strongly.

I remember discovering these pies the first year Costco came to Tennessee, I was astounded at the value.  

The pies are large, 11 1/2" in diameter, 58 oz. (3.62 lbs.). The ingredients are healthy, and the pies are freshly made in the store bakery.

At $5.99 for the large pie, the Costco pumpkin pies are almost as good a buy as the $4.99 roast chicken. 

I'm recommending serving with whipped cream.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Costco Coupons November 21 to December 15, 2013

Once again, the wonderful Kimberly at Addicted to Costco has the Costco coupons in a PDF. Coupons no longer need to be clipped, you can flash the book or the Costco app on a smart phone.

These new coupons have my contact lenses at $25.00 off, so I'm definitely going to get those.  The Perrier is on my list, too.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Black Friday Deals 2013 at Costco

Black Friday 2013 deals at Costco are listed in this pdf. I received this coupon book when I left the store today. I don't know if this will be mailed or e-mailed.  Deals are good November 29, 30, and December 1, 2013.

There are some great buys, the Keurig and the pod drawer are tempting to me, but I have no counter space left. None. And we're not big coffee drinkers. I will definitely buy one of the flash memory sticks.

Also, if you shop Costco on Thanksgiving weekend, you will be given one of the great cookbooks, "Enjoy Cooking the Costco Way". The cookbooks are free just for coming in, as long as they haven't run out. (I have missed them before.) Please don't go before I get mine.

Maclaren Strollers at Costco

I was surprised to see Maclaren strollers at the Nashville Costco. I wouldn't even know about Maclaren strollers if my daughter didn't live in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  In Park Slope, an extravagant (to me) stroller is part of life. Perhaps it's because of all the walking. Here, if you go to the store, you ride in the climate controlled car, but everywhere there involves a walk outside, and the weather is different. Protection from the elements can be a big issue up north; and the Maclaren has a little roof.  

Also, up there, lots of places are not handicapped accessible, and you have to be able to carry your stoller up steps. I was surprised at the lightness of the Maclaren. It reminded me of a well-engineered, upscale bicycle. 

Still, at $339.99, to me, it's expensive, and I wonder how well these will sell here in Nashville.  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Random Costco News of the Week: Thanksgiving, Costco Crowd, and Bear Day

Costco has been getting lots of props this week for staying closed on Thanksgiving. I'm not sure why this is considered such a good thing. To me, it seems the normal way of doing business, but I guess that's changing?

One of my favorite Costco news items this week was this editorial in the Seattle Times, a Seattle doctor gives his opinion on the Costco Crowd.  Dr. Letterie talks about the fun of shopping with the diverse folks at Costco, and draws parallels to the larger society.  I'm with him; I get this same happiness wandering around Costco.

Finally, here is a cute image from a celebrate Bear Day tweet from @CostcoToday:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ocean Spray Cranberry Fiesta Salsa at Costco

Ocean Spray Cranberry Fiesta Salsa at Costco

I usually make whole berry cranberry sauce with chopped walnuts and celery for Thanksgiving, but I admit this spicy Cranberry Fiesta Salsa from Ocean Spray would be just as good and maybe better. I might add celery and walnuts, but neither the spicy, sweet taste or the chopped berry, apple and tomato texture require tweaking.  

If you would rather make your own fresh cranberry salsa, I found a recipe from Ocean Spray. The "home-made" recipe doesn't have apples or tomatoes, so I'm guessing the sugar content of the "home-made" would be higher than the "store-bought", because the "store bought" would benefit from the sweetness of the apples and tomatoes.

I paid $5.39 for a 40 oz. jar at Costco. According to the nutritional label, a serving of two tablespoons has 40 calories.

The cranberry salsa goes well with chicken and salmon; reminiscent of the Costco Mango Salsa, it has a similar bite.

For most times of the year, I would prefer the Costco Mango Salsa; but, for November, the cranberry salsa seems fun and festive.

In researching this, I discovered some customers are very mad at Ocean Spray for using genetically modified sweeteners (GMO). Ocean Spray seems to use them only in some beverages.  GMO's are not an issue in the fiesta salsa, as far as I know, but if you are boycotting any company that buys GMO, then you won't want to purchase from Ocean Spray. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hemp Seed Cookies (Hemp Hearts from Costco)

Perhaps you've been slightly irritated that the stoners from your past are experiencing the (recently discovered) health benefits of hemp.  At last, we know what has kept all those old rock and rollers alive all these years.

Now, it's possible to experience the health benefits of hemp legally. Costco sells cracked hemp seeds, marketed as hemp hearts, for $14.89 for a 28 oz. bag.

The seed hearts taste like mild black walnuts to me, so I used them in a black walnut cookie recipe. Unfortunately, I'm sure all the sugar and butter negate any positive health effects, but the cookies are good.

Hemp Heart Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup turbinado (or brown) sugar
2 eggs
3 cups white flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup hemp hearts

With a mixer, cream together the butter, sugars and eggs. Add the flour, salt and soda. When mixed well, stir in the heap hearts.

Shape and roll dough into a 2 inch diameter cylinder and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (I skipped this step and made drop cookies with some of it, and that worked fine.) When ready to cook, slice in 1/2 inch rounds. 

Cook in a 350 degree oven until done, about 15-20 minutes. For smaller cookies, cut in quarters and reduce cook time to 8 minutes.

Bob said that these were good, not great; but he would have eaten another.  Bob is not a cookie person, a cookie person would like these.  

The slogan on the packaging is "Hemp and Happiness."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Washi-Tape at Costco

Costco has Washi-Tape! I can say that with authority now, although a few days ago I had no idea what Washi-tape was. 

Washi tape is a beautiful, textured, semi-transparent Japanese, patterned tape that is used for craft projects. I'm not sure how I'm going to use it, but Pinterest has more than one  Washi-Tape idea board.  In my Costco, this was in the Christmas toy aisle rather than in the office supply aisle where most craft supplies are located.

I paid $19.99 for the dispenser, and 20 rolls of tape (2 sizes of tape).

Warning! My Nashville Costco looks almost sold out, so I would buy this soon if you want it.

Win 100$ Gift Card from Addicted to Costco!

Addicted to Costco, the great independent Costco blog, turned six this week.  Not only has Kinberly has been blogging about Costco for years, but she's carried on her blog through moves to several foreign countries.  Currently, she's in England.

To celebrate the anniversary of her blog, she's having a contest and giving away $100 gift cards. 

Good luck!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Random Costco News of the Week: Vitarain Class Action Lawsuit

Random Costco news of the week.

Vitarain Law Suit

A law suit accusing Costco of misrepresenting Kirkland Vitarain, a bottled drink sold at Costco, was thrown out for the second time. The judge felt that a reasonable person would not conclude that the product was made out of rain and that there was no evidence the plaintiff read the nutritional label.  

This product is similar to Vitamin Water, and is sold back in the water section. It doesn't seem particularly healthy to me, but neither does Vitamin Water.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Udi's Gluten Free Bread at Costco

Udi's Gluten Free bread showed up in the bakery section of my Costco.
I don't fully understood "gluten free", but this bread is good - tasty and solid. It's dense, but not in a bad way. Each slice has 105 calories compared to 89 calories a slice in the Alpine Valley. I paid $6.79 for the 30 oz. Udi's loaf compared to $6.39 for two 24 oz. loaves of the Alpine Valley. 

Since we're still enjoying Alpine Valley, I won't change to Udi's for our regular bread, but I'm glad I tried it, and, if you're a gluten free fan, or have food allergies, this is a wonderful product.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Elliott Lucca Wristlet at Costco

I'm loving this new Elliott Lucca Wristlet that I purchased at Costco to replace a larger wallet.

This wristlet holds all my necessary cards, has a bill holder and a change holder and holds my phone.  Unfortunately, my phone with the Otter Box is big and clunky. I might have to purchase a more streamlined case just so the phone looks better in the wristlet. Ever since shorting out an iPod when it fell into a pedicure chair, I've been choosing the maximum case.

I don't use a handbag; I hook my keys onto my wallet and make the wallet my key ring. I'm looking forward to the day when my phone can start my car, draft my bank account and hold all tickets and identification, but, until then, this wristlet is as close as I've been able to get.

What looks like an identical wristlet is available at Nordstrom for $48.00.  I paid $24.99 at Costco. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Kirkland Paper Towels at Costco

I've posted about the controversy over Costco paper towels and the efforts that some have made to encourage Costco to make smaller, more environmentally friendly paper towels. My Costco now has the type of towels that people requested.

The previous towels were 85 sq. feet and 80 sheets; the new towels are 85 sq. feet and 160 sheets.  On the new towels, the word towel is in green.

I paid $14.99 for 12 of the new style, making the cost for these $1.23 a roll.  Comparing that to similar towels from Amazon, these are slightly cheaper.  

I'm using these now and trying to get used to the option of tearing off a smaller towel. It's all in the wrist.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Random Costco News of the Week: Greenhouse Gas, Phone Apps, Stock News

Random Costco news of the week:

Greenhouse Gas

A report released by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) pinpointed Costco as a major source of greenhouse gas emission, because of the refrigerator cases. When I first read this, I thought this report was from the EPA, but subsequently realized it was the EIA. The EIA is a small advocacy organization headquartered in London.

It seems they pinpointed Costco because Costco belongs to an organization of retailers that have pledged to reduce greenhouse gasses.  It appears that other companies, such as Kroger that has over 2,000 stores compared to Costco's less than 700, were not included.  I'm guessing this press release was trying to raise awareness of the issue, and not truly an indictment of Costco's practices. Grocery stores with multiple sites in multiple towns in multiple states must be larger culprits than retailers with a smaller number of stores.

Phone Apps

I have trouble reading the Japanese Costcotuu website because I have to read it in translation, but I think she announced that she has an iPhone App!  Looking for it, I couldn't find it, but my app store only carries apps in English. I did see that Costco Wine Blog has an app!

Look for the Grandma Fifi app soon!

Stock News

Costco just announced $.31 cents per share quarterly dividend; this is the same dividend as in April and August of 2013.

Richard Gallanti, current Chief Financial Officer of Costco, sold over $1,000,000 worth of Costco stock in the last few days of October.  He has sold stock at regular intervals this year.