Friday, February 28, 2014

Costco Coupons March 6, 2014 to March 30, 2014

New Costco Coupons

Here are the new Costco coupons that start March 6, 2014!   Costco insists that you must have the physical paper coupons or the app on your smart phone.  I have them on my phone so I never worry about having the actual coupons anymore.  

The hake loins I just wrote about are going to be $4.00 off and the lobster bisque, from that same recipe will be $2.75 off!  

Also, the deli lunch meat will be $3.00 off. 

Of course, the Kirkland laundry pods, which I just bought, are going to be $3.50 off.  It's possible if you've bought something before a coupon goes into effect that Costco management will negotiate for a refund. I'm usually too self conscious to do this unless it's a large discount, (my camera).

Monday, February 24, 2014

Costco Flash Frozen Hake Fish Filet

Costco frozen hake fish filets are a flexible and healthy alternative for dinner.  The filets thaw in a bowl of cold water in about 60 minutes.

I've used them to make an easy entree with the Costco lobster bisque.  

Heat the bisque to simmer, put a couple handfuls of thawed shrimp in the soup, cut the thawed hake filets in one inch slices and simmer all until warm, but don't boil.  

I serve this over Seeds of Change basmati rice. Bob likes it.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Organic Vegetable Seeds at Costco: Non-GMO, Heirloom

I'm excited about finding non-GMO, organic, heirloom vegetable seeds at Costco, and it's because of the excellent company I've been keeping.

I've been around the Nashville Food Bloggers, and their respect for locally grown and organically produced food has impressed me.  I've never seen seeds at Costco before so I'm guessing that what has impressed me locally, has impressed enough people nationally to become a national movement.  For Costco to carry seeds, a large market must exist.

These seeds are 14 packs for  $19.99, a lot to spend on seeds, but not a lot compared to buying starter plants in pots. I'm tempted, but I'm pretty sure any tomatoes I started in pots inside would die by planting time.  And, my garden space is way too small for all of these.  Still, very tempting, considering these usually sell for $2.49 for one package. 

This bundle includes tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, several varieties of greens, peas, basil, celantro and peppers.

And look what I found on YouTube!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Costco Baby Carrots

I've posted before about Costco baby carrots.  I like them, but there are just too darn many of them.  At some point, they just have to be thrown away and replaced.  I know our grandmothers kept root vegetables in root cellars all winter long, but there are some advantages to living in modern times, and one of them is not eating withered carrots.  

I decided my current Costco baby carrot bag had endured long enough, so I shredded several handfuls and made a carrot salad with raisins and balsamic vinegar.   

After Food Blog South, I'm conscious of not giving recipes unless they're done very correctly, so I won't claim this is a recipe, it's more a suggestion: Shred a bunch of carrots, throw in a hand full of raisins, add some balsamic vinegar and lots of salt.  

To me, this is better than an oily dressing, but, if you don't like sour, Replace the balsamic with mayonnaise.

The rest of the carrots went off the back deck, and today I saw a squirrel running up the big elm tree (yes, elm!) carrying a carrot in his mouth.  

I'll replace the carrots soon, maybe not this week, or month, but soon.

(The Cuisinart in the photo came from Costco a few years ago.)  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sakroot Boots by the Sak at Costco

I feel a dilemma writing about a product that is no longer available at Costco. This time, due to the circumstances of this unsolicited testimonial, I am blogging about these Sakroots boots in the hope Costco brings them back or in case these boots are still available at your store.

I first blogged about these boots September 1, 2013. Back then, I had just bought a pair for my daughter, they cost about $20.00, seemed fun and a good buy.  At that time, neither of us anticipated that the boots would get the work-out they have.  My daughter lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan.  In case you haven't followed the weather there, it's been horrible.  My daughter hasn't moved her car in weeks. Here's what my daughter had to say about the boots:

So far this season, they have gotten me through 2 blizzards, 2 polar vortexes, and more

- feet are totally toasty warm and dry (faux fur lined!)

- good traction on the soles.

- I had to walk 25 blocks in the last blizzard when a track fire shut down my subway line and my feet were totally comfortable trudging through the ice, rain, and snow - no blisters! 

- totally worth the price, whatever we paid.

Please, Costco, keep it up with the boots. (I like my black shearling ones, too!)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Random Costco News of the Week: Spain, Costco Trivia, Costco as a Southern Store

Costco in Spain

Costco has announced that it will be expanding to Spain this year. The first store will be in Seville, to be followed by a store in Madrid. I'm looking forward to more Spanish food in my local Costco - seems like a win. 

Costco Trivia

Huffington Post published an article on Costco trivia, did you know that the apple pie for the movie "American Pie" was alledgely purchased at Costco?

Costco as a Southern Store?

Costco is the grocery store mentioned by Burford Calloway in this hysterical SNL send up of southerners dealing with snow.  "I preemptively shot my neighbor so he couldn't raid my Costco stash." 

Seemed slightly off to me, Piggly Wiggly might have been a better choice, although Costco is probably more realistic, after all Buford drives a white Escalade, so he probably does shop at Costco.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Costco Tuxedo Chocolate Mousse Cake on Sale This Month

This Tuxedo Chocolate Mousse Cake, usually $15.99 at Costco, is $2.00 off by coupon this month.  The taste is rich and moist, chocolate and wonderful.  Bottom layer is what I think is the typical Costco chocolate cake, then a thin vanilla butter cream layer, a thick layer of chocolate mouse, and then a final layer of chocolate cake.  Icing is dark chocolate with white chocolate accents.

I took this to my friend Rose's birthday party in January, and everyone seemed in favor.  The cake can serve a large gathering as it's very, very, very rich.  The slice in the picture was larger than I could finish. Other guests had the same problem; I would recommend very thin slices.  

It is possible to cut fairly thin slices using dental floss. I recommend doing this cutting out of sight, as dental floss puts some people off.  If you've never cut a cake with dental floss, you can YouTube the directions.

I've mentioned before I don't care for sweets so I don't think I'll be purchasing this again, but it's lovely if you like sweets, and for a Valentine's Day celebration, it's going to be perfect.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Random Costco News of the Week: Membership Deals, Insecticide Problems, New Cash Registers

Costco Membership Deals

There are a couple Costco membership deals I've found on line.  These are for first time members, and include a $20.00 gift card. Living Social also included a free rotisserie chicken and free batteries.  I had some trouble pulling this deal up on Living Social, so I'm reluctant to post a link.  If you're not a Costco Member, and you want to be, try Living Social and see if you can find this deal. Hurry.

Long Island Costco Insecticide Problem

According to Long Island Newsday, Costco has agreed to pay a $60,000 fine which will be used to start a fund to improve water quality on Long Island.  

In spring of 2013, a shopper noticed that the Long Island Costco was selling a Bayer Advanced Lawn Insect Killer that was prohibited on Long Island.  The product was labeled "not for sale, sale into, distribution and or use in Nassau, Suffolk, Kings and Queens counties of New York."

The shopper notified the store and it was removed from the shelf. Costco was subsequently sued, and, as part of the settlement, the approximately 200 bags which were sold will be recalled.  

Long Island has a particularly vulnerable water table which causes more stringent pollution laws than many other areas.  

New Costco Cash Registers 

Costco is upgrading its check out machines, and over the near term will be replacing all of the cash registers.  From the information I have so far, it doesn't seem that this will impact customers in any major way, although the hope is that check out will be faster.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why Costco is a Winning Stock

This video shows Motley Fool's analysis of why Costco is a good buy:

According to these stock experts, the membership fee is a major revenue generator. I think this mathematical analysis is over-simplified but interesting. As pointed out in the comments below the video, memberships are not pure profit, but have an operating cost that should be considered. Also, I remember hearing on a Costco earnings call that 80% of sales at Costco are by Executive Members who get 2% cash back on purchases. I get enough money back to pay for several of the $55 memberships, so the math on the analysis in the video is too simple. 

That said, I would love to see a more detailed and accurate analysis of the profitability of the memberships.  I wonder what percent of people get cash back?

Costco's Cash Conversion Cycle

The analyst makes a point new to me about Costco's cash conversion cycle, which is the time it takes for inventory to turn into cash.  According to the video, 30 days would be considered average or good for most retail.  WalMart's is 2 weeks, but Costco's is 4 days. Amazon, the analyst notes, can even have a negative cash conversion cycle.

I do not own Costco stock and am not knowledgeable in the stock market, so please don't buy or sell Costco stock based on anything I say without lots more research.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Costco Organic On Sale February 3, 2014 to March 2, 2014

My Nashville Costco has organic products on sale starting February 3 and ending March 2, 2014. This brochure was distributed at the door, during register receipt check; these were not mailed.  No rainchecks are offered, and the brochure doesn't make it clear if these are physical coupons or sale prices, but seems to by implying sale prices.

I can't find this on the website; so I've listed them here.

  • Late July Organic Sea Salt Multigrain Snack Chips $2.00 off
  • Angie's Organic Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popcorn $1.50 off
  • Next Organics Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Banana $2.70 off
  • Cascadian Farms Organic Toasted Coconut Granola Bars $3.25 off
  • Rickland Organics Organic Trail Mix $4.00 off
  • Apple and Eve Organic 100% Juice $2.40 off
  • Apple and Eve Organic Quenchers $2.00 off
  • Flax USA Organic Cold Milled Golden Flax Seed $2.00 off
  • Mayorga 100% Organic Cafe Cubano Whole Bean Coffee $3.00 off
  • Seeds of Change Organic Brown Basmati Rice $2.80 off
Wait, there are more:
  • Della Organic Blends Quinoa and Rice Blend $2.50 off
  • Ghigi Organic Pasta Combo Pack $2.50 off
  • Paesana Premium Organic Tomato and Basil Marinara $2.00 off
  • Cascadian Farms Organic Crunchy Oats $2.00 off
  • Kashi Organic Maize Cereal $2.00 off
  • Horizon Organic Vanilla Milk $3.00 off
  • Sambazon Organic Acai Juice $2.20 off
  • Stonyfield Organic Strawberry Smoothie $2.00 off
  • Whole Fruit Frozen Organic Juice Tubes $2.50 off
  • Gardenburger Malibu Organic Vegan Burgers $3.00 off
  • Wyman's of Maine Organic Blueberries $2.80 off
  • Bold Organics Superfood Rising Crust Pizza $2.40 off

And, finally:

  • Hannah Organic Hummus $1.50 off
  • Monterey Organic Foods Organic Spinach and Cheese Ravioli $3.00 off
  • Pita Pal Organic Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus $1.50 off
I don't buy organic at all times, but I know many young families that try to only purchase organic foods. My daughter-in-law in Detroit particularly likes the Rickland Organics Trail Mix, so I will try that while this deal is active. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Costco (Kirkland Signature) Balsamic Vinaigrette

When Costco stopped carrying the Paul Newman balsamic vinaigrette, I was disappointed.  That was the best store-purchased dressing I had found.  

But I admit the new Kirkland Balsamic Vinaigrette tastes better.  

I remember when my Mother started buying salad dressing. I loved her homemade dressing. and I didn't understand why she would buy the obviously inferior manufactured dressing. I guess it's an age thing; I have the ingredients for making my own, but it's just easier to use a dressing that's already concocted.  Besides, I like this dressing so much I can drink it.

The Kirkland Signature (Costco) Balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressing comes with two 24 oz. bottles shrink wrapped together.  I paid $7.99 for the two.  

To me, Kirkland Balsamic wins a taste test with Newman's own - not too sweet, but a slight sweetness that cuts the sour.  The best part is the consistency. Many store dressings are gloopy, as though they've been thickened with corn starch.   I think the gloop is caused by the addition of gum arabic to keep the oil and vinegar emulsified. Kirkland dressing is the consistency of a homemade vinegar and oil dressing and separates like a homemade dressing.  I don't mind shaking the bottle if it means the dressing isn't that horrible gloopy texture.  (If you're interested in gum as a food additive, I found this chart that's kind of interesting.  The Kirkland Balsamic Dressing does not have added gum.)

I use the Kirkland Signature Balsamic Dressing on salads, marinades and roasted vegetables, and I hope fervently that Costco keeps this item.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

President Obama visits Costco and Nashville: Random Costco News of the Week

Gridlock vs. Google+

Perhaps the biggest Costco news this week was that President Obama visited the Prince George's, Maryland, Costco to advocate for a raise in the minimum wage.  

Coincidentally, President Obama visited Nashville Thursday.

I'm sure for many people the major experience of these visits was massive traffic jams.  I got caught in the Nashville jam, and, even though I know these visits are important (I guess), when you're stuck in gridlock, you wish he could just Skype it in. 

As I was refining my Presidential Skype-it-in idea, President Obama or his staff had a similar idea because, the day after the Nashville visit, President Obama had a Google+ hangout "road trip", which seemed to work great

For the massive amount of petroleum used in the trips, not only by Air Force One, but also by all those cars idling in traffic (like mine) and all the wasted time, not only the motorists', but also the President's, these trips seem wasteful and antiquated.  They give me the same feeling I get when I go into a library and seeing all the outmoded content delivery devices. 

Kidding. I guess.