Costco Shopping – March 25, 2020
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John
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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 the cake so sweet that it 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
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John
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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.

After boiling Costco Rotisserie chicken bones for 90 minutes. Now I’m ready to make chicken soup.
Costco Panic Buy 2020 Update
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John
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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
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John
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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.

Costco Shopping – March 10, 2020
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John
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15th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $1.64 today / $727.22 this year

I went to Costco on my lunch time to see how Costco is going. It’s Tuesday, a day before the starting of monthly member-only saving period. Ordinarily, today should be a slow day. But I saw a lot of people shopping. This is because of Coronavirus. People are stocking up.

Hot dog was good. There was a long line at the food court. I used the kiosk, so I didn’t have to wait in the line.

Costco Shopping – March 9, 2020
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John
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14th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $9.78 today / $725.58 this year

I saw a lot of people at Costco. People are flocking to stock up because of Coronavirus. This is scary. I had a hard time finding parking spot at noon. People look tensed. It feels different.

No picture – I bought a pineapple and a can of Kirkland Signature jumbo peanuts. Peanuts stay at work.

Costco Shopping – March 05, 2020
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John
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13th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $15.77 today / $715.8 this year

I have switched from organic eggs to “regular white” eggs. I will be buying regular eggs until I read some definitive articles from trustworthy sources telling me why organic eggs are superior.

I enjoy Kirkland Signature’s Sharp Cheddar Cheese a lot. Sometimes I would finish a block and crave for some more. So, this time, I bought a backup cheese.

That’s it… boring boring. I want to do something. I would like to take a vacation.

Costco Shopping – February 28, 2020
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John
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13th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $34.46 today / $700.03 this year
Member Only Savings – $10.30 today / $140.3 this year

Nothing special today. I am doing OK. I’m just working, working…

Costco APP feature I use every day
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John
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I use Costco APP to check out member only savings, special sales, and do much more. The app is almost like a mobile website. But the APP has some extra features. My favorite APP feature is called “Lists”, that I use every day as a part of my everyday life.

In the Costco APP, I have a list named “Costco”. As I checkout member only savings items on the APP, I swipe and send items to my Costco list. I also type in additional items in my Costco list. When I’m at Costco, I open my list and delete items from the list as I put items in my basket. The list gets shorter.. and I’m done with shopping.

But, that’s not all. It does much more than Costco shopping. Below is why Costco APP is a part of my life.

You can create additional lists. For example, in addition to Costco, I have lists such as; Walmart, Target, Vacation Check List, Rib Eye Roast Recipe, and whatever the list I want.

Let’s say I am visiting my friend, and he happens to live close to Walmart. Then I would open Walmart shopping list and quickly take care of my Walmart shopping while I’m in that side of town. I cannot rely on my memory alone. My shopping list can be several months old – sometimes over a year old. If I don’t have a shopping list, I am sure to forget a few items. At the worst case, I would completely blank out and not remember a thing. Costco APP helps me to organize and streamline.

Sometimes I use the Lists to jot down recipe. The possibility is endless. Lists even works without internet connection. Lists is a simple but versatile feature in Costco APP that improves quality of my everyday life. I enjoy using Costco APP very much. Thank you.

* You can locate Lists by tapping “More” at the bottom of Costco APP.
* I use OneNote for heavy duty multi device note taking.

Costco APP Lists
Costco Shopping – February 19, 2020
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John
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12th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $2.18 today / $665.57 this year

After working 11+ hours at work, I had to hurry home and work remotely for a few more hours. It’s all good. Busy is good. But, I was SOOO hungry. So, I went to Costco on my way home around 8pm for a slice of pizza with water. No soda for me.

Pizza was enjoyable and comforting.

It turned out, employers favor people like me – single grown man without family. Guys like me tend to be flexible and reliable at work, just like what I’m doing right now. Currently, my team is one man short for next 7 days. And we suddenly got super busy. But, it’s no problem for my team. While rest of the team members go home to enjoy their families, I stay and work for a few more hours… and I would go home and work some more. And they thank me and pay me big bucks. No problem here. Except, I cry myself to sleep every night.. 🙁 Hahaha. Sad, dude.. sad.

Costco Shopping – February 14, 2020
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John
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10th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $40.69 today / $654.91 this year
Member Only Savings – $5 today / $130 this year

Happy Valentine’s Day. I went for a quick Costco shopping after work. Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is when we start seeing St. Patrick’s Day items at Costco. The most popular St. Patrick’s product at Costco is Bill Bailey’s Irish Brand Corned Beef Brisket. I found the briskets today… but there was a twist.

Costco now sells fully cooked corned beef briskets as well as ready-to-cook version that we are familiar with. Fully cooked briskets are $5.59 per pound, whereas ready-to-cook briskets are $3.99 per pound. There was a large shelf area dedicated for fully cooked briskets, with hundreds of boxes of briskets neatly displayed. In contrast, shelf space for ready-to-cook briskets was considerably smaller, about 90% smaller than that of fully cooked ones – maybe even smaller. I guess most people buy fully cooked meat and microwave them.

But… pre-cooked brisket? Do you really want to microwave your special meal? St. Patrick’s Day dinner has to be more than just nuking a packaged meat for 7 minutes and turning it over once. We only have a handful of special days where cooking is part of tradition. It’s sad to think that St. Patrick’s Day is becoming the day we microwave our dinner. I am already taking a short cut, because I don’t season the brisket myself. Perhaps, in the future, I will succumb to the concept of pre-cooked holiday meals. Perhaps I will celebrate change of the season by opening up my microwave oven. Maybe, in the future, we will all have multiple number of microwave ovens in our kitchens so we can prepare meals for special family gatherings. That, to me, sounds grim and dystopian.

This Saint Patrick’s day (2020) I will proudly slow cook my corned beef brisket for ten hours. I will pay respect to Irish history and tradition as I put my body into ritual.

Update (Feb 18, 20) – I went back to Costco just 4 days after and saw a complete opposite. There was a much larger shelf area for ready-to-cook briskets. And shelf area for fully cooked briskets was considerably smaller than that of ready-to-cook versions. I find this intriguing. I am sure Costco is studying this case.

Update (February 20) – I ate the pineapple after leaving it out on kitchen table for 6 days. It was possibly the best pineapple ever.

Bill Baily Corned Beef Brisket, Ready to cook. Costco
Bill Bailey's Fully Cooked Corned Beef Brisket, Costco
2020 Citi Card Reward Certificate
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John
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I received my Costco (Anywhere Visa® Card) Citi rewards certificate. This certificate is not to be confused with Costco executive membership 2% reward certificate. The certificate was arrived via email and was redeemed at Costco customer service by showing the email barcode on my iPhone. I didn’t use my certificate to make a purchase.

These City Visa reward certificates are distributed after your February statements are closed. So, you should receive yours by March.

Please note: If you are a Costco Executive Member, you will also receive an Executive Membership 2% Reward certificate. These rewards are distributed via the mail two months prior to your annual renewal month.

Come to think of it, I haven’t received my 2% reward check.

Costco Shopping – February 5, 2020
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John
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8th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $115.96 today / $460.84 this year
Member Only Savings – $22 today / $90 this year

Today started February member-only Savings period. Instant savings saved $22. Costco’s member-only savings is a major part of my Costco shopping habit. I often hold out on some purchases, hoping they will be on sale.

Costco Basil Pesto (#990551) was not on sale. Last time I saw these on sale was 2 years ago (2018) for $3 off. The next time I see them on sale, I shall buy 4 bottles. They are very good and they also freeze well. I think they can last for years. Combined with pasta from Costco, I can enjoy excellent quality pesto at any random moment. This is a perfect example on how Costco elevates my life-style. These little things add up, you see. And, before I know it, here I am enjoying better life-style because of Costco.

I bought a bag of Kirkland Signature Atlantic Salmon (#46340 $21.99 after $5 saving). Each bag contains about 7-8 individually vacuum packed salmons. They are so good and so fancy. I should buy one more bag before the sale ends.

CJ Bibigo steamed Dumplings are quick and fun (#107699 $7.99 after $4 saving). It takes only 3 minutes to prepare. There are 6 tiny dumplings packed as a unit (see picture). A Chinese coworker told me he didn’t like these dumplings. He said his mother’s dumplings are much, much better…. well… As for me, unless I marry a Chinese woman, these are pretty dang good.

I switched from organic eggs to non-organic.

Just how good is authentic home made Chinese dumpling anyway? How will I ever know? Sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on too many things in life.