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Costco Blog

Costco Shopping - January 19, 2018

5th Costco shopping in 2018 - $32.23 (today) / $181.84 (this year)

As usual, I didn't buy anything special today. Boring..

I took passport photo today at Costco.  I have no plan to leave country.  I always keep my passport current just in case.

Posted By john

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Costco Membership Fee Increased. Time to downgrade?

I didn't know annual membership for Costco was increased in July 2017.  Since the fee increase took place 6 months ago, 50% of you have already renewed membership with increased rate. But, there are about half of us, including me, who didn't know about price increase.

$120 plus tax is $131.40.  In order for executive membership to pay for itself, You need to receive $65.70 on 2% rebate check (make qualifying purchase of $3,285.00)

4 years ago I spent $5,249.50 - My executive membership paid for itself and then some.
Last year I spent $2,929.00 and I just received a check for $58.58.  This check doesn't pay for my executive membership. In fact, I lost $7.12. I may have to downgrade my membership... we'll see...

I spend less money at Costco now.  I have everything I want (TV, Clothes, Kitchenware..). I don't have much more to buy at Costco except food items. It is interesting that I shop less at Costco now that I have more money.


Costco executive member 2% rebate check for 2017 purchases
(received January 2018)


Costco executive member 2% rebate check for 2013 purchases.
(received January 2014)

Posted By john

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Costco Shopping - January 15, 2018

4th Costco shopping in 2018 - $5.46 (today) / $149.61 (this year)

Rotisserie chicken...  that's all for tonight.

Posted By john

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Costco Shopping - January 11, 2018

3rd Costco shopping in 2018 - $13.12 (today) / $144.15 (this year)

It was a lunch time Costco shopping.

I ate a hot dog first.  I should try that new salad, but I wanted some meat... and Pepsi.  Celery and spinach are for Vitamix juice.  I bought my Vitamix blender 6 years ago.  I still use it twice a day. Chicken BLT salad (2 pack) was for my lunch at work.

Sorry about low quality pictures.  I forgot to bring my camera to Costco.

Posted By john

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Costco Shopping - January 9, 2018

2nd Costco shopping in 2018 - $43.76 (today) / $131.03 (this year)

I went to Costco today for paper towels, sugar snap peas, minced garlic, and some salad for lunch at work.

Then I found this funky noodles.  It's Long Kow Organic Bean-Vermicelli Noodles.  You can do a lot of things with these noodles *IF* you have some basic cooking skill.  After soaking them, I would mix it with random vegetables, or I can put it in random soup.  It's a fun food product that I can enjoy once in a while.

The noodles are available at Costco Business Center website

Product detail.

  • Bean-Vermicelli
  • Noodles made from bean starch
  • Organic
  • Vegan, non GMO
  • Gluten free
  • Halal
  • 29.6 oz

Posted By john

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blendSMART Raffle Winner

Congratulations to Lori for winning blendSMART makeup brush.  Thank you for participating Christmas raffle. I hope you'll enjoy it.

And, thank you, blendSMART for making this Christmas more enjoyable.

blendSMART is Rotating Makeup Brush that's highly rated at Amazon and Sephora.  Costco is selling them for $69.99 each.  This set sells for $110 outside of Costco.  It comes with 3 brush heads (Blush brush, powder brush, & foundation brush).

If I wore makeup I would try blendSMART. Just saying...  check it out.

Posted By john

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Split Pea & Ham Soup - Kirkland Signature Recipe

I make ham dinner for Christmas.  I buy my ham from Costco, of course.  New years day is when I enjoy split pea & ham soup.  I make split pea soup with leftover ham bone. I follow the recipe that comes with the ham.

Except, I do things little differently.  I put less ham.  I don't put salt and pepper. Ham is salty already, and I can always add them later.  When it comes to water, I put just enough amount of water to start.  I would add more water as needed.  Starting with less water is much better than starting with too much water - because there is no going back if you end up with thin soup.  You don't need to think too much about how much water is needed.  You can just eyeball it and add more water as needed.  The soup will tell you how much water is needed. 

To make the soup, you have to be the soup.

Also, I put a few bay leaves that's not in the recipe.

The soup was amazing good.  I ate half and put the other half in the freezer.

Split Pea and Ham Soup - Costco Recipe

Kirkland Signature Split Pea & Ham Soup Recipe

Kirkland Signature Spiral Sliced Ham

Posted By john

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Costco Shopping Jan 3, 2018

1st Costco shopping in 2018 - $87.27 (today) / $87.27 (this year)

I didn't know Costco had eye/vision health care supplement, Ocusight.  I am intrigued by it.  I will try and see if it does anything to my eye health.  My eye health is not too bad, but it's been bothering me lately (detail skipped). I will keep you updated on my experience. 

Turkey Jerky is a treat (for myself) for the weekend. Salad is for my lunch at work. Box of chips should last about 6 months. I buy them because they are tasty AND they are on sale. I should not buy any more of these chips, because I want to live healthy and long.  What's the point buying expensive vitamins when I eat even more amount of bad food.

Instant coupons saved $17.70

That's about it, boring...  (forgot to buy minced garlic)

I cannot believe Christmas is over. Now I have nothing but work... working forever... :(

Posted By john

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Costco Alamo car rental VS Alamo Insiders discount

This is a real life example of car rental pricing comparison between  Costco's Alamo car rental VS dealing with Alamo directly with insiders discount. 

Costco provides rental car services from Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise.  I only had time (and energy) to experiment with Alamo. I like Alamo more than the other three.  Alamo suck less.

First, I joined Alamo's insiders membership 2 months ago.  I now receive insiders discount (5%).  I've been receiving newsletters and special offers.

FYI: Alamo's insider discount is supposed to be 5%.  But, non-members get "Pay Now" discount which is exactly as same as insiders discount.  Basically, I pay the  same amount as non-members.  In return, I receive ton of newsletters.

Below is my real-life final price on my rental car.  This is BEFORE adding insurance, XM radio, etc...

Conclusion - Maybe people who travel a lot will have different outcome. But, in my case, Costco is cheaper and better than dealing with Alamo directly. I had to spend many hours to come up with this conclusion. I should have trusted Costco and saved the hassle.  Also, in my particular case, their insider membership is useless, a joke.  With Costco car rental program, you cut the crap and get the best price.  

Also, if you use Costco Citi Visa card, you get 3% cash back on qualifying travel. I am not sure if Alamo is qualified.  I will be using a different credit card that I get 5% cash back on rental car.

Below - screenshots

Alamo - via Costco. The actual amount I paid was $121.10.  I shall add insurance.  I am likely to be driving in snow.

Alamo - member/insider pricing before adding any extra fees such as insurance. With insiders discount, it still costs $4+ more than Costco's regular price.

Posted By john

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13 Pairs of Buffalo Jeans - Low Sitting Back

One of my traits that matches Costco's business model is that I like to buy (some) items in quantity.  I enjoy shopping and I am picky.  When I find something I really like, I buy them in large quantity.

On my Sunday morning Costco shopping on November 19, I bought 3 pairs of Buffalo David Bitton Jeans. 3 pairs were all I could find in my size (30x30). 

They had excellet fit and equally excellent discout.  These jeans sang my name. They fit me better than Calvin Klein and Levi's.  They sit low on my back and they were comfortable.  So, I went online and ordered 10 more pairs (5 grays, 5 blacks).  In total, I spent $240 on 13 pairs of jeans.

My point of buying jeans in quantity is that I will no longer think about jeans for next several years.  I will not waste my time think about what to wear at work, that's why I have 40 Dylan George t-shirts. I'm a guy... nobody cares about my jeans and shirts.

If I want to look good, I will do some push-ups.

*Shoes...  shoes are my weak point.  I will tell you about that later.

Sitting low on back

I've been carrying a grievance all my life that most jeans sit so high on my back.  All my jeans are not comfortable because they sit too high (on back).  I always have a lot of extra fabric stuck on my low back.  They drive me crazy.  If I want a decent fitting jeans, I have to spend $200+ on a pair. I am not that much of a yuppie (yet).

Look below.  Levi's jeans go way up high on my back.  Do most men really like high sitting back like that?  Am I missing something here?  Look at the angle of Levi's - it climbs all the way up on my back.  It's stupid if you ask me.

Buffalo David Bitton jeans sit low on my back. They look normal, and I feel normal. They were only $18 each after savings.  To me, it would be stupid not to buy 13 pairs of these.  $240 was money well spent.

I am happy with my Costco purchase. 5 stars.

* Sorry, for best illustration I had to lift my shirt.

Posted By john

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