25th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $147.87 today / $1,821.66 this year
I took a sick day from work so I could go to Costco first thing Friday morning when it’s not busy. Sick day was justifiable because I got 2 vaccines today, shingles and flu.
Costco Vaccination Process
Before going to Costco, I visited Costco’s immunization page and downloaded immunization consent form. They wanted 2 copies so I printed 4 and put them in my briefcase. I didn’t make an appointment, but I went to Costco pharmacy at 9:15 AM (unofficial opening hour). There was nobody in the line. The process was smooth and pleasant.
A gentleman greeted me at the “Patience Counseling” window. I gave him my immunization consent form.
I filled out a short questionnaire to declare I was not sick.
He checked my insurance card and settled the payment. ($29.53 total).
He checked temperature off my forehead.
I was told to wait 15 minutes and go to the pick up window
At the pick up window, I paid $29.53 with my HSA debit card.
Flu shot was free, shingles shot was $29.53. Your cost of the shots may be different.
When I inserted my HSA card to the machine, it asked for the pass code. But, my HSA card doesn’t have a pass code. So, I hit enter without any number. The transaction was completed without any issue.
HSA account is only available to those with high deductible health plan.
I walked around to the side door and waited. 4-5 more customers came after me to wait. Several minutes later, I was called in for the shots, one on each shoulder. They were not painful.
It was the next day I started to feel miserable. But not too bad.
I enjoy looking for the first sign of Christmas in Costco. It usually starts with small toys or little decorations. Then they bring out big items a few weeks later. But, it’s late September. After parking my car, from the parking lot, I could see three Christmas trees inside the warehouse. It looked beautiful. But, I missed out on the joy of seeing the first sign of Christmas in Costco.
As I do every year, I took pictures of Christmas decorations and sent them to several friends. As always, they texted me back with “Already?” “Too soon” and “Yikes” – They knew I was loving it.
European cookies are back for the season (picture below). These cookies are part of my life. I have never ran out of these cookies for over 10 years. Every year I buy a few cans of these cookies and freeze them. I enjoy them every weekend with coffee.
I saw a cool Halloween decoration and an interesting kitchen item (pictures below).
I spent over 2 hours inside Costco warehouse. Members only savings saved $15.80.
One Rotisserie chicken, a hand sanitizer, and Whisps chips are for my friend who can use a cheer up gift.
Strawberries were just OK (not bad). It was about 7 out of 10 on taste scale.
I came home, took a shower, put away food, vacuum packed rotisserie chickens, and made chicken stock with the bones. I finally had time to rest around 3pm. I was very tired (don’t get old). It’s a lot of work to live alone and do everything alone.
I guess my next Costco shopping is when I get a Thanksgiving turkey. This year’s turkey will be epic. -E-P-I-C-
We survived 6 months of pandemic. Perhaps we repeat this a few more times. God bless everyone. Please take care.
My normal body weight is 158 – 159 lb. I wish I was little lighter, but I am stuck at 158 lb. Beginning of the pandemic lock-down, I started to eat a lot of comfort food. Combined with sedentary life style, I gained solid 6 pounds and hit 164 lb in 4 month. I felt discouraged that I couldn’t shake off the weight. That’s when I ordered trunature CLA from Costco website. It’s currently on sale for $19.99 with free shipping (sale ends 9/22/2020). Costco’s regular price of $24.99 is still the lowest price. They are website only products.
The bottle contains 180 softgels, making it a 45 day supply (take 2 with breakfast & 2 with dinner). I just finished a bottle. Below is my review.
Day 1 – I took 2 pills in the morning and became jittery. My heart was pounding hard for several hours. So, I didn’t take the dinner dose.
Day 2 – I took the morning dose, and became jittery again. So, I skipped the dinner dose for the second time.
Day 3 – I was no longer jittery. I felt almost normal now. I finally started to take recommended dose (2 with breakfast & 2 with dinner).
Day 4 to day 46.
I started to lose weight slowly but steadily – I currently weigh around 158 lb – which is exactly my pre-pandemic weight.
I didn’t work out. but I am slightly more motivated and more active. For example…
I washed my car 3 times and fixed sprinkler valves.
When I saw my cable TV bill going up, I called the cable company right away and negotiated for better price. When they declined my request, cancelled cable TV.
I created a 4 month long personal finance challenge by contributing 50% of my income into 401k for the rest of the year.
As usual, I constantly have craving for snacks and big meals. But, lately, I find myself fighting back the craving time to time.
I do think I am more motivated compared to before.
It seems that jittery feeling still remains, but it’s very subtle that I don’t notice it. And I am being more active because of CLA high. Therefore CLA gives me energy. Does that mean CLA works?
More questions than answers
After finishing 45 day supply of trunature CLA, I currently weight between 157-158 lb. I definitely lost minimum of 6 pounds in 45 days. But, I am left with more questions.
Did I lose weight because of CLA?
Did I lose weight because I was psyched up about losing weight (placebo effect)? Could I have lost weight without CLA pills? That all I needed was to want it?
I lost 6 pounds, which is the exact amount I gained during the pandemic. That number “6” seems too ironic. Maybe it’s easy to lose weight I gained very recently. My body is use to be at 158 lb. So, with a little nudge, I went back to my normal weight right away. (?)
On the other hand, a lot of people are gaining weight due to pandemic lock-down. I’ve been sedentary for 6 months and gained weight as well. But, I am back at my usual body weight. Maybe that’s a big deal.
Answer to all the questions
Luckily, I am able to find answers to all my questions. I just have to continue taking CLA and see if I make any more progress. I am now taking a different CLA product named AbCuts Enhanced Belly Fat Formula, also from Costco.
The name “Bally Fat Formula” sounds phony and shady. You cannot burn fat on targeted areas of your body. It’s a stupid name if you ask me. Anyway, they are from Costco, so I am giving it a chance. If they work, then who cares about the name?
I’ve been 157-158 pounds for 10+ years, possibly 20+ years. If I lose another 3-4 pounds in next 45 days (155 lb or under) that will be an amazing result.
I will update you in November 2020.
Costco sells CLA products. They are available only on the Costco web site, and they always have the best price usually with free delivery. Check it out, and good luck.
Many of you know that I was poor all my life. I desperately needed to save for retirement, but I had absolutely nothing saved. Fortunately, my new job offered retirement plan. I started late, so saving for retirement is important to me, especially because I am alone.
2020 has been a scary and unstable year. I was hit hard financially (long story skipped). Things are now starting to look semi-normal. So, I assessed my financial situation and made needed adjustments for 2020. My new plan is extreme. But I am going for it.
It’s September now. For next 4 months (rest of the year) I will receive 8 paychecks. For that 8 paychecks, I am investing 50% to 401K. This will put me back on my retirement track. After investing 50%, I will take home 33% of my paychecks. This is extreme. It looks like this.
This is somewhat unrealistic reduction of take home pay. But, I had to try this. I will make a game out of it. I will make it a personal challenge. It doesn’t matter how I do it. I will survive next 4 months with less cash. This is for my retirement. I am imagining myself 30-40 years older, possibly immobile, and living alone. I am giving him my money. Hence, paying myself first.
I am lucky that I’m healthy and have a steady income. There are millions of us without income and/or cannot pay rent. I know how it is to be poor. But, this pandemic is different. It’s scary to imagine what’s happening to them.
For now, I will survive next 4 months. I shall take it day by day. I will cut down on everything. There will be no more Sunday coffee and no more online shopping. My Costco shopping will look sad for next 4 months.
Today is September 10, 2020. So, 10 days down – 113 more days to go.
Hello US Midwest Costco shoppers. Your local Costco warehouse is currently selling Roasted Garlic Cauli Dip (Cauliflower Dip) by Boulder Organic Foods. They are available now, and during September 2020.
I have never tasted anything like this before (in good way). And I never ate this much carrots in my life. I kept dipping my carrots into it. It’s tasty and it’s light. So, I thought I would make my own cauliflower dip. How hard can it be? Then I learned that I need a food processor, and it takes one hour to make it. Yikes.
Cauli Dip is not only tasty, but I think it’s healthier than other dips in the market. If you are trying to stay in shape, every bite counts. Every healthy alternative counts.
I have hated cable companies my entire life. They slowly jack up the price little by little. And, before we know it, we’re paying $120/m for cable TV. Cable companies should lower the price as we stay royal to them. But no, they screw you again and again.
Millions of us, including myself, gave up our retirement and pay $70 – $150/mo on cable TV. In America, poor people receiving food stamps have cable TV. If we were to invest $100/mo all our adult lives instead of paying for cable TV, we could have almost one million Dollars, possibly more, when we retire. Think about it. I am sick to my stomach.
Anyway, they raised my cable price yet again, to $150.40. $150 was my personal limit. I promised to myself that I will not pay more than $150 for cable/phone/internet. So, I called Spectrum and said I will not pay over $150.00. I would take minimum of 40 Cents discount or else.
Instead of giving me 40 Cents discount, they stood firm and granted my request to terminated my cable service. They seemed eager to let me go.
One hour later, they sent me a bill for internet & phone services for $104/mo. So, I called them again and got rid of stuff I don’t need. Now my monthly bill for internet and phone was down to $79.98/m. I think that’s still too much.
Now, if I find a TV provider for under $70, I will be back under $150/mo.
I joined Hulu and signed up for live TV & enhanced DVR for $64.98/mo. Hulu is just like any other cable TV provider. I get most local channels and picture quality is just as good. I purchased Fire Stick 4K for it ($40). Now my monthly bill for Cable/Phone/Internet is $144.96.
I will never pay more than $70/mo for television service. $70/mo still seems too expensive to me.
As I make more money I feel more bitter towards to cable TV. It’s not just the money. But, by watching too much TV, I am eating away my opportunity to become a better person. Television is just as harmful as drugs and fatty foods. I just sit alone at home and watch TV aimlessly, instead of looking for love or pursuing my dying dreams. I enjoy TV instead of enjoying life. That’s pathetic and sad. Now I understand why a lot of intelligent people don’t have TV. They were not snotty, but they were truly better than me. I must do something about it.
For now, I am glad I cut the cable. No more cable bills that creep up. Cable companies can kiss my ass.
I shall regroup and try to lower my bills further.
I will draw 5 winners on Saturday September 12, 2020.
US mailing address only.
Turmeric became popular in recent years after number of studies showed promising results with its anti-inflammatory properties.
People use turmeric to control:
Itching (kidney disease)
At Costco website, youtheory Turmeric has a near perfect rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, from 1700+ Costco shoppers.
youtheory is a supplement company. They sell online, Costco, and in 60,000+ stores worldwide. youtheory is one of the largest manufacturers of collagen and turmeric in the U.S.
For those who take immune booster amid global COVID-19 pandemic, youtheory started to stock Costco with immune+. You may find immune+ at your local Costco warehouse. They should be available on Costco website soon. immune+ is currently available on youtheory website.
My song of the day – Purple Rain. I bought this tape back in the 80’s.
I have 14 bottles of hot sauce. It’s fun to try different hot sauces. To me, it’s an inexpensive activity to get my mind off from what’s going on in the world. I am not a crazy hot sauce guy. I can comfortably enjoy SHU heat scale of 40,000. Which means, I can handle spicy food better than average people, but I am not in the extreme tier.
I don’t need 10 bottles of hot sauce. I only need three. My 3 favorite hot sauces are Tapatio, After Death, and Crystal. Tapatio and After Death have been my favorite for last ten years, maybe longer. Crystal became one of my favorites after my trip to New Orleans.
*SHU (Scoville Heat Units) – measurement heat of chili peppers.
Tapatio – Super cheap, super tasty, but not very hot (SHU 3,000). They are made in California, but Mexican folks love it. If you go to authentic Mexican taquerilas, you are likely to see Tapatios. You will rarely see Valentinas, which is a Mexican counterpart of Tapatio.
After Death – It is expensive and hard to find. I will be lucky if I find this online for $10. It has a SHU of 50,000, which is way too hot for me. But, I mix this with Tapatio. I’ve been mixing Tapatio and After Death for about ten years, and I really like the taste of that mix. Depends on my mood, I can make a mild mix or strong mix. Because it’s too hot, one bottle lasts a few years.
Crystal – Cheap and not very hot. To me, Crystal is more of spice than hot sauce. Crystal is a true Louisiana product. A few years ago I visited New Orleans and tried a lot of different food. Everywhere I went I saw a bottle of Crystal on the table. I had such a memorable experience in New Orleans. Since then, I always keep Crystal in my house. I started to replace Tabasco with Crystal. I respect Tabasco for its history and taste. But, Tabasco is too expensive for what they offer. Frank’s Red Hot can also replace Tabasco. They all have that vinegary taste. To me, Tabasco is for rich people. When I buy Tabasco the next time is when I buy a Porsche.
I went to Costco in New Orleans and took below picture of Crystal Hot Sauce (left). New Orleans will always be special to me.
I have some Asian spices as well. But, I didn’t include them in this line-up, because these Asian sauces need their own weight class. Fried Chili in Oil is not hot at all. Sriracha comes in 28 oz jug, because we use shot glass full at a time.
I will talk to you soon. Keep in touch.
I send special love to those who are alone and feeling depressed.
23rd Costco Shopping in 2020 – $53.60 today / $1,652.35 this year
I have a huge belly. I wear 30 inch waist pants, but around my belly is 36 Inches. Yes, I am a monster. So, I recently started to take CLA in hopes of losing belly fat. I am currently taking trunature Tonalin CLA. I’ve been closely monitoring my progress. I would like to experiment for 4-5 more months.
AbCuts Enhanced (#883896) is yet another CLA pills, with even higher dose of CLA. They were on sale, so I ordered 2 units of 2 packs (total 4 bottles, 120 days supply). The sale ends August 23, 2020.