Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Costco Coupons: January 30, 2014-February 23, 2014

New Costco coupons start Thursday, January 30, 2014. Here's a link provided by Queen Bee Coupons.  I'm very tempted by the 23" monitor; I think my Dad would enjoy his computer more with a bigger monitor. I'll look in the store to determine if it's significantly bigger than the one he has. 

I'll probably get the Kirkland tissues; the quality is excellent, and I'm almost out.  This rough Nashville winter has been full of colds and flu.

For these coupons, the customer is supposed to have the coupon book in hand or the iPhone app.  I have the app but have never been asked to show it at check out.


Proctor and Gamble at Costco $100 Cash Card Deal

One deal I have not seen before appeared in this round of coupons: If you spend more than $100 on Proctor and Gamble products at Costco in February and March, you can get a $20 Costco cash card back. This offer becomes even better, because some Proctor and Gamble products have coupons in the mailer.  Go to Costco.com for details. I always try to buy Kirkland Brand, so I probably won't have $100 of P&G. But the list of products is extensive, so I might.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Costco Tulips





Fresh flowers from Costco are a good buy; but, now, so are forced bulbs. My Costco in Nashville has forced tulips in glass jars for $10.99 in yellow, red and purple. I buy these every year and save the jar for forcing Paperwhites in the fall.  

The price, $10.99, is inexpensive for flowers, and, by reusing the jars in the fall, this becomes an even better purchase.

The trick is buying these when they first arrive, before the tulips are in bloom. Put them in strong natural light. Otherwise, they can get leggy or shaggy looking in the store. 

Bob's favorite flowers are tulips, so these always seem a little Valentine-y and that makes them even more fun.  Our winter in Nashville has been colder than usual; it's currently 3 degrees, so live flowers are especially welcome this year. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014 Food Blog South, Birmingham, Alabama

I'm excited to attend the 2014 Food Blog South in Birmingham, Alabama.  While my blog doesn't follow the format of many food blogs, it is often about food, occasionally has a recipe, and has all the problems and issues of other blogs: What kind of camera do you use?  Do you take advertisements?  What do you know about search engine optimization? (In my case, nothing.)

This is my first blogging conference, and I'm interested to see the differences and similarities to the conferences I used to attend for work.  This might be pretty large, and I hope I run into people I know from Nashville.

Biscoff European Cookie Spread at Costco, a Comparison with Nutella and Almond Butter

I'm going to give a mean review to Biscoff European Cookie Spread, so if you love it, don't read this. I hate to be mean, and I don't like to say I don't like products; but I don't like this product.


I had heard rumors of this "cookie" spread, and, when I saw it in Costco, I was tempted.  As I was standing there, pondering the spread, an attractive older gentleman said, "Oh, my wife loves that! I mix it with peanut butter and put it on her toast."

Who could resist that?

I bought it, but, honestly, it doesn't seem to have any redeeming value.  It's not as good as a cookie; it's not self contained, you have to spread it on something. If I'm eating something directly out of a jar, I want it to be Nutella. I thought I could figure out a recipe, but I haven't.  If you have a recipe, please link in the comments, I have a large jar of this and would like to figure out a good use.

The Biscoff spread is not as healthy as a nut butter, although close to Nutella in nutritional content. Here's a comparison.  In each case, the serving size is 2 tablespoons.

Calories:
  • Biscoff 180
  • Nutella 200
  • Almond Butter 180
Carbohydrates:
  • Biscoff 17g
  • Nutella 21g
  • Almond Butter 6g
Protein:
  • Biscoff 1g
  • Nutella 2g
  • Almond Butter 7g
Fat:
  • Biscoff 12g
  • Nutella 12g
  • Almond Butter 16g
Sodium:
  • Biscoff 65mg
  • Nutella 15mg
  • Almond Butter 0mg
Because of the differences in protein and carbohydrates, I'm going to choose almond butter for breakfast.  For sinful eating, I'm going to choose Nutella.

Some people love Biscoff European Cookie Spread.  If you think it might be you, start with a small jar from the grocery store.





Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Long Story Eventually About Laurelcrest Luxury Spa Towels at Costco #GoDuke


As a Duke alum, I've been pretty amazed and excited by their recent football success, and I was happy that the bowl was close enough to make an easy trip - New Year's Eve in Atlanta made it even better! We went to the alumni banquet before the bowl; the food and the company were good, (would have been more fun if Sam was there) and we got lots of free swag.

The night before the bowl, we had tickets to the Old Crow Medicine Show here in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium. We took off on the road after the show. About half way to Atlanta, we stopped at a Holiday Inn Express in rural Tennessee. Arriving after midnight, I was pretty tired and my main memory of the hotel is of extremely thin, cheap-feeling towels.  

The next day we continued on to Atlanta where we stayed at the Glenn, a cute boutique hotel next to the CNN/Omni and a block from the Georgia Dome.  The Glenn had lots of memorable qualities, like little rocks in the hallway (?), elevators that were key card controlled, patterned walls in the elevator, free bottled water, and lovely thick towels.  

I'm not sure the last time I replaced my bath towels, maybe two years ago, but at this point enough of the fuzz has rubbed off that they are not as nice as the Glenn's. For something we use every day, new towels are a small expense to result in so much pleasure.  

I determined to buy new towels as soon as Costco had white. I've been looking for a while, and my Costco has only had beige and colors for the past year. I was happy to see that Costco finally has white again.

I paid $8.99 for each towel, and $11.79 for a set of two wash cloths, and 2 hand towels. 

These towels are long staple cotton, made in India. From research on the Internet, I believe long staple cotton is similar to Pima and Egyption. These towels are not Kirkland brand, but come with a Costco address on the packaging.

I'm very happy with the quality, very substantial. If your towels are thinning, I recommend these.  

If you don't follow Duke, they lost the game, but it was so close and so much fun, we are glad we went.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Random Costco News of the Week: "Tiffany" setting suit is on-going

Yesterday, Friday, a judge denied Tiffany's request for a summary judgement against Costco and agreed to hear Costco's claim that a Tiffany setting is a generic term for a type of setting. Costco believes that saying a ring has a "Tiffany" setting does not indicate the ring was set by Tiffany.

I agree with Costco on this and don't understand why Tiffany just didn't ask Costco to change wording in the advertisement rather than pursue a suit, but I suppose that would not have gotten as much publicity and been as much of a warning to others.

I used to see the term "Tiffany setting" in local jewelry store advertisements, but that has stopped, so I guess Tiffany has made a point. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

How to Tell if an Item is on Sale at Costco

Recently a comment on my blog indicated the reader was unfamiliar with how to tell if an item is on sale at Costco.  If the price ends in 7, it's on sale. If it ends in .00, it's on final markdown.

This week in my Nashville Costco, Ocean Spray Cranberry Salsa was marked down to $3.97, and the Little Miracles blanket and toy gift sets were $9.97.  An electric toy car to ride in was on final sale at $180.00.  

Winter clothes are on sale now.  Women's boot cut Lucky Jeans were marked down, as were women's sweaters and men's jackets.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Costco Produce: Roasted Cauliflower Recipe


At the Nashville Food Bloggers' party on Sunday, I revealed that I shop almost exclusively at Costco.  

"How do you deal with all that produce?" They wanted to know.

I explained that since the produce at Costco is so much fresher than the grocery store, it doesn't have to be used immediately, and I have a freezer. 

Recently, my Costco had fresh cauliflower, much fresher than the grocery stores. Often, the grocery stores here have cauliflower starting to brown. 

I had no trouble using the cauliflower quickly because I've been trying to replicate a Roasted Cauliflower recipe from Grape Leaves restaurant in Detroit, so far, without success.   My recipe:

Roasted Cauliflower

Cut cauliflower into florets. Along with chopped garlic to your taste, shake in a plastic bag with enough olive oil to coat. Spread on baking pan and roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.  I think Grapeleaves might use za'atar but I haven't been able to figure out the right amount.  

I explained my attempts to replicate Grape Leaves' recipe to Lisa Mays of Wine with Lisa, and she suggested something which I know would have worked for her.  Call them and ask! I don't know why this simple solution seems so intimidating to me. 

I decided for this post I really should, so I tried this morning, but they didn't pick up. (Thankfully!) I've called them a couple times to order take-out, and they seem kind of angry on the phone when you order out.  I just can't picture me in the "I'm calling for a recipe...." conversation. At the same time, I know Lisa could carry this off.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Organic Items On-Sale Monday January 13, 2014 - February 9, 2014

My daughter-in-law sent me a link to Organic Deals website which had information about organic items going on-sale on Monday at some Costcos. I had not received this brochure in the mail so looked for it at the service desk at my local Costco. They were not aware of this promotion so it must be only some locations.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Nashville Food Bloggers: Bamboo Cheese Board at Costco


Nashville Food Bloggers met Sunday for a party, potluck and white elephant gift exchange. Fabulous cooks brought dishes from their kitchens.  While I can cook, I'm no Cook, so I decided to bring a side dish to compliment the food.  

Over Christmas, Costco carried many appetizers.  I very much wanted to try the olive assortment, or some of the many charcuterie choices.  But when I visited my Costco this week, these items had disappeared.

For several months, I'd been considering the bamboo cheese tray with cheese cutters, now on sale for $9.97 at my Costco. I decided the party was a great excuse to purchase that. 




While some of the bloggers make their own feta and mozzarella,  I figured no one would be contributing hard cheeses. I chose Kirkland Cheddar, Asiago and Manchego. 

The caved-aged Vermont cheddar was $11.99 a pound.

I paid $5.99 a pound for the Asiago. The packaging of the Asiago had a QR code which linked to a Costco website where I discovered that the milk producers for this Wisconsin cheese live a maximum of 51 miles from the plant.

The manchego was $7.99 a pound and is a product of Spain.

I brought leftovers home, which I froze.  

Some love Asiago, but it's not my favorite.  I thought the manchego was very good. But the cheddar was excellent and deserved the most expensive price.  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Random Costco News of the Week: Jim Sinegal wins Retail Award

The National Retail Federation will award Jim Sinegal the annual gold medal achievement award at their annual "BIG Show", January 12-15, 2014, in New York City . According to their press release:
The Gold Medal is the most coveted award in retail, given to an individual who has serve d the industry with distinction and achieved a national reputation for excellence. The recipient has also displayed creative genius and inspirational leadership and has won the respect of fellow merchants for devotion to the retail craft.
Sinegal,one of the original visionaries of Costco, has been with the company since its beginning in 1983, leaving the CEO position in 2012, but remaining on the Board.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Goody Hair Elastics at Costco (Part 2)


Turns out the Goody Hair accessories have an off-label use. My Brooklyn granddaughter loves to sort and organize small objects - small plastic monkeys, bears, beads, or (who knew) hair elastics!

I sent these in a flowered shipping envelope I bought at the post office, but, according to my granddaughter, the flowers meant the package was for her not her mother.  With 120 items, I thought the hair accessories would be shared.  

Now, I'm wondering if my daughter will get any.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Goody Hair Elastics at Costco (Part 1)

Last time my daughter visited, she asked me to pick up some hair elastics at Target.  The small pack of elastics cost about three dollars. Not much, but enough to make the Goody large package, currently at my Costco, a good deal.

Each package costs $9.99 and has 60 pieces, 3 head wraps, 8 ribbon elastics, and 49 elastics.  My Costco has two color choices, one is shades of black, pink and gray, and one is more cheerful colors.  I sent both to my daughter.  That should last for a while. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Costco Coupons January 2, 2014-January 26, 2014

The wonderful Kimberly at Addicted to Costco has posted the new Costco coupons.  Here's the PDF.

The new Costco coupon rules are confusing.  Some coupons come off automatically at the register without the customer having to do anything, others require the customer to present the actual coupons or have the smart phone app.  Kimberly at Addicted to Costco has a clear write-up of the coupon rules; and, if you have questions, I recommend her blog post.

Using the new coupons, I'll be restocking the quart Ziploc bags, which have become our go-to freezer, lunch and travel bags; those have a $2.00 off coupon.  I will be buying the Pure Protein Bars which are back on coupon at $4.50 off, and I'll purchase the Healthy Choice Fudge Bars at $2.80 off.