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’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 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 – 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