Costco Shopping – August 11, 2020

22nd Costco Shopping in 2020 – $103.19 today / $1,598.75 this year

Just like my last two visits, I arrived at Costco early today. I was prepared to stand in line to get in. Again, there was no line and I was allowed in at 9:20 AM. I quickly headed to cleaning supply aisle. Clorox Wipes and hand sanitizers where nowhere to be found.

When the pandemic lock-down started, I ate insane amount of comfort food. I ate 2 chocolate cakes in 3 months, and that was just the beginning. I ate a lot. Now I’m finally back to my normal diet, perhaps more careful this time around. I’ve been eating chicken and eggs.

I don’t expect Costco cherries to be as good as those I find at farmers market. Considering, these cherries are pretty decent. I enjoy them, and I will buy again. Pineapple is guaranteed good times.

I’ve been having an amazing luck with watermelons this year. Every single watermelon, so far, was crispy and delicious. I hope this one is super-fantastic.

The ribbons are back at Costco with a hint of Christmas. Although none of the ribbons had a holiday design, I thought some ribbons were clearly made for Christmas.

I didn’t like Adidas shoes. I didn’t like them at all. The front part was ugly and didn’t look normal. I guess I am old fashion. I refuse to wear shoes that look like that.

After I got home, I learned that women’s shoes don’t have that ugly front part. Maybe I will check out women’s shoes before the sale ends. Women’s athletic shoes are exactly as same as men’s. The only difference is the sizing. Men’s shoes are 1 1/2 size larger. So, if you you wear men’s size 9 1/2, you will fit in women’s shoes size 11. FYI: Size 11 is the biggest women’s shoes size at Costco.

Instant savings saved $15.70

Costco Shopping – July 24, 2020

21st Costco Shopping in 2020 – $192.52 today / $1,495.56 this year

Costco shopping became a chore because of the pandemic that’s only getting worse. Also, I try to shop at as many stores as possible in one trip. So, I took a day off from work and planned my day of grocery shopping. My day started with 5:30 AM alarm. I hit the road before 6am. I drank my first sip of water at 10:30am in my car. With that, I was able to avoid using public restroom.

Schedule & list

My day went according to the schedule and list. I like making list like that. I make list for everything I do. It helps me to make less mistakes and be more productive. And, somehow, list adds more fun to it. I made an amazing list when I bought my convertible in San Francisco and drove it back home. But, that’s another blog.

Long sleeves and hat are for Sun protection – if I have to wait in line under direct Sunlight

I was allowed in to Costco warehouse at 9:20 AM (during the special early hour for customers 60 and older). There were lot of hand sanitizers available, but Clorox Wipes were nowhere to be found. Also, I didn’t see the first sign of Christmas.

I bought three Costco rotisserie chickens. I will keep two, and give one to my friend.

Kirkland Signature Filtered Water Pitcher

I bought a Kirkland Signature Filtered Water Pitcher (#1304047) for my friend. I have a friend who makes less money than I do. During the pandemic, I paid for her groceries, car payment, veterinarian visit, etc.. But she spends a lot more money on drinking water than I do. I don’t think now is good time to talk to her about personal finance and such… she’s the type that cries easily. So, my plan is to give her that water pitcher along with the chicken. I will pretend I randomly bought those two items because they were cheap. And she will start saving money on drinking water. Everyone’s happy. Thank you, thank you.

The warehouse price for the pitcher was $17.99. It comes with two filters. You can use Brita filter on this pitcher and vice versa. Online price for this pitcher is $24.99, but with free shipping.

Cherries, pineapple, watermelon

Cherries are pretty tasty (8 1/2 out of 10 on taste scale). Pineapple is a guaranteed yum, because I can tell by just looking at it. In fact, I don’t even have to look at it. I put the pineapple on the kitchen counter and don’t think about it. One day, soon, I will start smelling the pineapple. That’s when it’s ready to eat. Watermelon is the mystery fruit. It’s hard to tell if they are good inside. That’s why I am obsessed. I want to learn how to find good watermelons. I am willing to travel far away to a farm to take a lesson from an expert. If you have an access to a watermelon farm, please let me know.

Coupon saved $14.00

Back home

I came home, took another shower, and started to put away groceries. It started with wiping down everything I bought.

I vacuum packed 2 chickens into 6 bags and made chicken stock with the bones. When I was done with everything it was 4pm. I was SOOOO tired (don’t get old). I took a 3 hour nap and woke up at 8pm.

Now I am ready to stay home for another round. Covid-19 Pandemic changed my life. It is inconvenient. But, it is also fascinating. Can you imagine one day we will tell young people about surviving a global pandemic? We had to put on our masks and stay 6 feet apart. The Olympics was cancelled. People were dying and scientists were racing for cure. Pandemic? What do you young folks know about the Pandemic? I remember it like yesterday, let me tell you…

Anyway, it’s depressing for now. Please be safe. Be very careful. Keep in touch.

Costco Shopping – July 22, 2020

20th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $26.80 today / $1,303.04 this year

I gained solid 4 pounds during the pandemic. Last four month, I ate a lot of comfort foods include two whole chocolate cakes. They were SOOO good, by the way.

I am now trying to lose weight and get in better shape. I will try this bottle of CLA and see if it will help me lose weight. I ordered this from Costco.com, with free shipping.

trunature Tonalin CLA 1620 mg., 180 Softgels. (#11524631). Available only for online purchase.

Costco Shopping – June 30, 2020

19th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $165.41 today / $1,276.24 this year

I downgraded my membership from Gold Star Executive to Gold Star (regular). I didn’t make enough purchase last year to benefit from having an executive membership. This year, with Pandemic looming, I shop at Costco even less.

Bottom of the basket: Costco chicken and Monster energy drink

I arrived at Costco 30 minutes early, on 9:30 AM. I was going to wait in line for 30 minutes. To my surprise, the warehouse was opened for everyone. Not many customers 60 and older showed, the man said. With that, I got in early and was able to locate Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes (#2189436, 5pk, $14.99): I normally don’t by these 5 packs of Clorox Wipes at Costco, because I barely use 1 container per a year. But, this time, I desperately needed a good supply of Clorox wipes to wipe away the evil virus. And I found them! Oh my God, I found them. Look at the picture below. I crawled on my hands and knees to retrieve the last remaining packages at the bottom corner of the shelf. Some people saw what I was doing, and the remaining wipes were gone in 30 seconds.

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes – gone by 9:45 AM

Chips and Salsa are for 4th of July weekend.

Famous Dave’s Signature Spicy Pickle Chip are special treat for myself. They are so good. The package says spicy, but it’s not spicy at all. It doesn’t even have a hint of spice. Maybe some people find it spicy (?). They are sweet and good.

DENTASTIX Dental Dog Treats are for my friend. It’s good to be my friend.

Watermelon ($5.99): Continuing from last year, I am still obsessed about finding super-fantastic watermelons. I bought about 10 watermelons last year, but almost all of them were disappointing 7 out of 10 on tasting scale. But, this year is different. I bought 3 watermelons so far, and all three watermelons were about 8 1/2 out of 10 on tasting scale. They were not super-fantastic, but they were pretty good. This one from Costco was also good at 8 1/2. I wish I will find some 9’s this year.

Peet’s Coffee, Major Dickason’s Blend, (Whole Bean, 2 lbs, #670441): This is my new “work from home” coffee for weekdays. This is a good everyday coffee. It’s dark with it’s signature flavor, and finishes smooth. Still, Ruta Maya dark roast is my favorite coffee that I drink on weekend. I only drink it on weekend because they are bit pricey.

Bottom of the cart: I had a Costco rotisserie chicken and 24 cans of Monster Energy Drinks. I have unlimited supply of Monster Energy Drinks at work. I know a guy who’s connected. So, I get cravings time to time. They were $7 off. I know they are bad for me.. Mm…

Coupon saved $17.00.

Costco’s Unofficial Opening Hour – 9AM

This blog was updated: I felt the need to explain this in greater detail.

This is unofficial and temporary. Situation may be different at your Costco location. Use this information at your own discretion.

Due to Covid-19, Costco now opens one hour early, 9am – 10am for customers 60 or older. Younger customers are allowed in at regular business hour of 10 AM.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there were a lot of people over 60 lining up at the gate at 9AM. The line for 60 and older would last for more than an hour. But now, after three months of hoarding, customers of all ages have slowed down. Now, at 9AM, only a small number of customers over 60 are showing up. Those customers will be let in quick. After that, Costco is open for everyone – little past 9AM – unofficial business hour.

Last month I arrived at Costco at 9:30 AM and waited in line for 45 minutes. This worked out well with my work schedule. So, today, I went to Costco at 9:30 AM again. But, this time, there was no line. The gate was opened for everyone. Small number of customers 60 or older were already in the warehouse.

Official opening hour for Costco is 10AM. But, if you go to Costco at 9:10 – 9:15 AM, there is a good chance you can get in without waiting in line. Check Costco’s Covid Update page for special business hours. At this rate, they may soon stop catering for customers 60 and older. Maybe they will open at 9:30AM for customers 60 and older. Maybe customers 60 and older will be given with “Cut in line” privilege, & etc… I am pretty sure they are having meetings about this.

This pandemic is a horrible thing. At the same time, it’s fascinating to witness what’s happening in the world. And it’s an honor to fight this together with you. Please take care.

Costco Member-Only Savings, June 24 – July 26, 2020

Costco Member-only Savings June 24 – July 26, 2020

View Member Only Savings at Costco website.

It looks like this month’s coupon book has something for everyone. I shall make time for Costco shopping. I also miss rotisserie chicken.

Featherweight 3i Hair Dryer is back on sale for $74.99. Last three months I’ve been using this hair dryer instead of my usual, $200 professional hair dryer. I still have my professional hair dryer. But, they both perform almost identical that I continue to use Featherweight 3i.

Costco Shopping – May 14, 2020

18th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $257.03 today / $1,110.83 this year

I am doing OK physically and financially.

Because of ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Costco shopping is no longer fun and relaxing. For today’s Costco shopping, I had to take a half day off from work so I can shop on my preferred time slot, Thursday 10 am – 12 pm. Today, in addition to my usual shopping list, I also had a “get ready” check-list. On my check-list I had items such as wallet, mask, and disinfectant wipe. We can be extra forgetful at strange times like this. I would hate to arrive at Costco and realize I forgot to bring my mask. So, check-list was a must.

It’s been 50 days since my last Costco shopping. It’s depressing to get ready, go to Costco, put on the mask, and wait in line. And there is a legitimate possibility that I can contract the virus and die. It’s scary and depressing.

I arrived at Costco at 9:30 AM. The warehouse opened at 10 am for general public. However, customers 60 years or older were allowed in at 9 AM. Line wasn’t too long at 9:30 AM. People who arrived at 10 AM had a long line to deal with. I was inside Costco at 10:12 AM.

There were plenty of toilet papers and meat items, but we were limited on how many of each item we can buy. I always buy toilet paper and meats at sales price. But, today I paid full price on toilet paper, New York steak, stew meat, and more. I will not wait for sale. I will not go to another store to save some money. I will gladly pay full price and mitigate this craziness. I also picked up a lot of comfort food and snacks.

The Afredo sauce looked promising. I can’t wait to try it.

I had a huge craving for Costco hotdog, so I bought Kirkland Signature hot dog franks. Those are the real deal Costco hot dog franks. But, they didn’t have Costco size hot dog buns – so I got little buns.

I came home 3 hours later and proceeded to vacuum pack most of the meat items, including hot dogs and buns (in packs of 4). I was completely exhausted afterwards. I hope I am good for a month or two.

Costco Shopping – May 14, 2020

17th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $41.99 today / $853.8 this year

I haven’t gone to Costco for over a month. I plan to go soon.

Because I work from home, I’ve been drinking my weekend coffee, Ruta Maya dark roast, a lot faster than my usual pace. Ruta Maya is THE best coffee ever. It’s strong, tasty, but has a smooth after-taste. There is nothing like it. Starbucks doesn’t even come close to Ruta Maya. People who taste it agree with me. After tasting my coffee, some people copied my coffee setup exactly (coffee, grinder & french press). You’re welcome. 🙂

Ruta Maya coffee is available at Costco website. Delivery is free. I highly recommend. I tried both dark and medium roast. I like dark roast better.

You should never go to coffee shop for daily coffee unless you are a millionaire. Buying good coffee to enjoy at home is a great way to save money.

T3 Micro – Featherweight 3i Hair Dryer

This is a quick plug-in. I will get back to you with my official review on Featherweight 3i hair dryer by T3 Micro. I’ve been using this hair dryer for three days so far. It performs almost as same as my favorite hair dryer that I paid $250.00 a few years ago. I will also review their styling iron. I haven’t tried the iron yet. I need more time.

Costco’s everyday price of $99.99 on Featherweight 3i is pretty good. But, now, it’s on sale for $79.99. The sale ends in two weeks on May 17, 2020. It’s OK if you missed the sale. I think $100 is still good. Styling iron is also on sale.

I am currently comparing this hair dryer with my $200 professional unit. 3i is lacking some professional touch, but its overall performance is right there with my $200 hair dryer. So, If you want good hair dryer but $200 is outside of your budget, 3i may be for you.

Just like any other hair dryers, you’ll have to purchase a diffuser separately.

Costco Executive Membership Reward Certificate, 2020

Costco’s executive members receive 2% reward certificate about 3 months before their membership is renewed. I didn’t receive my reward gift Certificate this year. There was a possibility that I received the certificate but I threw it out carelessly. On my last Costco shopping, I talked to the customer service. They confirmed that the certificate was mailed out over a month ago. So, I requested for another one. The process was quick and painless.

I finally received my certificate in the amount of $56.88. I need to get paid $60 in order for my executive membership to pay for itself. $56.88 is pretty close, but I am not enjoying any perks for being an executive member.

In the past, executive members were allowed to the warehouse one hour before regular business hour. I could enjoy that perk – now that we are dealing with Covid-19 pandemic.

I think I should downgrade my membership. I will shop even less this year due to the pandemic 2020.

Costco executive member 2% rebate check for 2019 purchases
(received April 2020)
Costco executive member reward rebate check
Costco executive member 2% rebate check for 2018 purchases
(received January 2019)
Costco executive member 2% rebate check for 2017 purchases
(received January 2018)
Costco executive member 2% rebate check for 2013 purchases.
(received January 2014)
Costco Shopping – March 25, 2020

16th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $29.37 today / $811.81 this year

I was depressed and physically exhausted from dealing with my disaster. I had to get away and relax my soul. So, I went to Costco. There, I saw the same Costco employees working there – some with masks, some without. God bless them. In our war against invisible enemies, people working at Costco are the heroes. They truly keep us alive. Think about how it would be without these amazing people working at Costco and grocery stores everywhere. Imagine them waking up every morning knowing anything can happen. If that’s not a war mentality, I don’t know what is. And God knows… no.. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to say it here. Anyway, these guys working at Costco are true heroes. God bless them.

I went to Costco around 1:10 PM. I stood in line, but the line was short. I only waited about 15 minutes. Toilet paper was out of stock. But, I saw some shoppers walking out with toilet papers. This meant toilet papers were in stock about an hour ago. Also, inside the warehouse looked more stocked (fuller). I saw less empty shelf spaces. I took that as a positive sign.

I had such a big craving for chocolate cake. I wanted a cake so sweet that it will hurts my gum. I have a craving maybe because I feel sad and demoralized. Maybe my body needs Costco chocolate cake for its holistic, medicinal effect. Luckily, I found this flat layer of Chocolate cake. They now make flat chocolate cakes, same size as cheese-cakes. Cakes are smaller because there are no parties. So, big cakes will not sell. I thought that was interesting.

Seeing Costco like this felt like meeting a sick family member. It was sad to see Costco like this, but Costco was still there. It’s still here with us. And it’s guaranteed that it will get better. I will take that.

I am doing good physically and financially. Please take care everyone. I will talk to you soon.

Warehouse looked fuller than 2 weeks ago. Supply is strong.
Costco Shopping – March 16, 2020

15th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $39.31 today / $782.44 this year
Member Only Savings – $5.2 today / $149.7 this year

First of all, there were no eggs, no toilet papers, and no SPAMs. It was depressing and confusing. But today I took my time and tried to enjoy my Costco shopping experience. And it did make me feel better. I felt much relaxed this time. Today was not as crazy as last Friday. But, it was raining pretty hard outside, so I don’t know if craziness will return when it’s dried.

Costco Panic Buy 2020
No eggs, no chickens. Costco Panic Buy 2020

Member only savings saved $5.20 today. I found almost everything on my Costco shopping list. I wanted some chicken for chicken soup. But Costco was completely out of chicken. Luckily, they had rotisserie chickens. I shall make chicken soup with rotisserie chicken. RANA Lobster Ravioli was on sale ($4 off). I never had this before, but I have a high hope. They looked pretty good.

Last Friday I had a sad experience picking up a smashed bag of Doritos while I was in the sea of panic shoppers. I was still nurturing that sad feelings. Today, I saw dozens of pretty bags of Doritos on their own shelf. I felt much more relaxed this time. So, I picked up a bag, hoping this bag will make me feel better. I feel bittersweet that the bags of Doritos are reflecting my life at the time of panic. I will sit home alone and eat Doritos… hoping everything will be fine.

Greenridge Farm’s beef snack sticks are… just OK. They don’t have personality. They are 13 Inches long – big, with not much flavor.

Making Chicken stock with Costco Rotisserie Chicken. Boil bones for 90 minutes at simmering boil. Boil but not too hot.
Costco Panic Buy 2020 Update

I will update you Monday night, March 16, 2020.

As of Friday, March 13, 2020 – There were no toilet papers, no paper towels, no eggs, and no SPAMs at my Costco. I am not sure if we have reached the peak of panic buy trend. It looks bad for now.

I think Costco ran out of toilet paper early part of March. Paper towels are gone as well. All kinds of canned food, such as SPAMs do not even have their own empty shelf spaces as if they don’t carry SPAM at all. Costco is looking emptier every time I visit.

We have not “ran out” of toilet paper. We have healthy supply of everything. Supply is not the issue. The issue is that people buy more than they need. Since the supply is steady, you can find toilet paper if you look close. For example, go to target website and search for toilet paper available for store pickup. You are likely to find toilet paper available near you. You may need to shop early, though. At the worst case, you can try staples or home depot for non-luxury quality toilet papers.

But I believe I will see toilet papers at Costco soon, along with my SPAM. I will keep you updated.

God bless all of us. We will get through this. No problem.

March 13, 2020

Costco Shopping – March 13, 2020

15th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $15.91 today / $743.13 this year
Member Only Savings – $4.20 today / $144.5 this year

It’s Friday the 13th. We are at the beginning of Coronavirus pandemic 2020.

I went for Costco shopping Friday after work. Costco seemed even busier today than earlier this week. The warehouse looked even emptier today. Things got tense at times when some clueless shoppers left their carts in the middle of the aisle. They were shopping while talking on the phone and trying to get adjusted to this craziness. Their carts blocked traffic flow, and people got agitated. I’ve seen that happening number of times.

I had SPAM on my shopping list, but SPAMs were gone without trace. I looked everywhere, but I couldn’t even find empty shelf for SPAM.

Another item on my shopping list was Doritos chips, which was also on sale. Again, I couldn’t even find the shelf for Doritos. But, by random luck, I found this crumpled bag of Doritos discarded at some random aisle. I was shocked and excited when I saw this beat up bag. I picked it up quickly. As I put the bag of chips in my shopping cart, I realized that I was like a lone stray dog looking through trash. I didn’t like that moment. I was sad, and felt like crying. I hope things will be back to normal.

Even though the lines were long, people seemed positive. It was a depressing Costco shopping experience. I was little scared and my heart was pumping. Today was not normal. This will pass. We will get through this, no problem. God bless everyone. A lot of love to everyone. Please, please take care.