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Below is the latest.

Gotta Have a FoodSaver - Single Living


If you live alone, you must have a FoodSaver (Vacuum machine) This is a must item.  Don't settle with imitations with less power. 

I vacuum pack bacon, cheese, steak, coffee.. even SPAM. 

When I open a can of SPAM, I don't want to eat the whole can. I get sick of SPAM very fast. Then I get a craving much later.  So, I vacuum half and freeze it.  I will get back to it several months later when I feel like it.

I buy huge bags of potato chips from Costco.  I usually finish one bag in 1-2 months.  My chips are always fresh... down to the last one.  FoodSaver will change your life.


FYI: I don't vacuum chips.  The power of vacuum will crush most potato chips.  In this case, I just seal the bag without vacuuming.

Posted By john

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Shopping for Tires


First, about my car...

Make, model: 2002 Toyota Camry LE
Purchased: 2004 (bought used, 2 years old).
Finance: $12,500.00 total price - paid off in 1 year.
Problems: none


I went to Firestone to get oil change, wheel balance, & wheel alignment.  I was 2k miles over-due on oil change.

The mechanic refused to do wheel balance because my tires where too old.  I agree with them.  I have 82,500 miles on my car and tires were never replaced.  Firestone also recommended that I get a new battery.  Also, one of my tires had a nail.  Again, they refused to repair the puncture because the tire is not repairable.  I agree with them on that also.  I got all I can get out of these tires.

My Camry is wonderful.  I have been doing nothing but oil change for last 4 years.  I had absolutely no major issues.  I used to drive a European car.  I also drove an American convertible.  Switching to Toyota was a smart move.  I may look boring, but I save money.  And it's pretty reliable.

So, here is my new project.  

"Shopping for Tires"

December 30, 2008

I ordered 4 tires from Costco. 

  1. I went to Costco website and searched for "Tires".
    • I was sent to Costco Tire Center homepage
  2. On the Tire Center homepage, they had a tire finding tool.
    • I selected year, make, model, & option.
  3. It gave me 13 brand name tires for me to chose from
  4. I picked the cheapest tire available
    • Tires purchased:
      BFGoodrich - Traction T/A
    • Total price for 4 tires (out the door):  $368.71
  5. Let me give you an example
       Costco  XXX Tire store
     Out the door price $368.71 $372.95
     Treadweare 620 500
     Warranty 70,000 45,000 
     Maker BFGoodrich  Falken
    • As you can see, you definitely get good deal at Costco 24/7. I did comparison shopping just to prove my point.  You really don't have to worry if you will get good tires at good price.  When it comes to tires, don't worry about sales or coupons.  Just go to and order your tires.
    • * Treadwear - hire number is better
  6. When I was ordering tires, it asked me where I am going to have them installed.  I clicked Oxnard, California.
  7. I received an order confirmation email.

December 31, 2008

  1. Received a shipping notification email. 
    • Delivery will take 5-10 days, it says.

January 1, 2009

  • I checked the shipping status.  They haven't shipped the tires. This is perfectly understandable.  Today is new years day. It's a holiday season.
  • I went to my parents' house in the Valley (45 miles away) for a dinner.  I still have a nail stuck in my tire.  I live dangerously.

January 2, 2009

  • UPS tracking page shows delivery date of January 5 (Monday)
  • I hope to get my tires replaced on January 6 (Tuesday). 

January 5, 2009

  • I checked UPS website - Tires were delivered to Oxnard Costco Tire Center.
    • I never received any email or  phone call from Costco about arrival of the tires.  I guess if you are savvy enough to order tires online, you should be savvy enough to check delivery status on your own.
  • I called Costco to see how busy they were.
    • Today turned out to be one of the busiest days ($70.00 off on Michelin tires started today)
    • They recommended me to drop by tomorrow so they can take care of me in about 1 hour.  there was 3 hours waiting time today.
    • I had to get my tires done ASAP.  So I went, waited 3 hours and got my tires.  Hew~!
  • I also picked up a battery for my Camry. 
    • Costco doesn't install batteries. 
      • You must install on your own and bring back your old battery for $9.00 refund.

January 6, 2009

  • Went back to Firestone for wheel alignment & battery installation
    • The mechanic asked "why didn't you buy tires from us?".  "Costco" I replied. 

January 7, 2009

  • I felt like driving today (to test out my new tires).  So, naturally, I drove to Costco.  I turned in my old battery and received $9.00 (plus tax).


More coming...

Posted By john

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Costco Shopping - December 30, 2008

Today's shopping was all about my naphews and a niece.  My small family is getting together for a new years day dinner.  So, I am bringing treats and cash to give to my naphews and a niece.

My family loved the shrimps last week.  This time I am going to cook 4 pounds of shrimps tomorrow.

Costco Treats

Posted By john

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Costco Coupon Book is Out - Now Recycle Friendly

New Costco coupon book is out.
It's valid from January 5 - Jan 25, 2009.

But, there is a twist. 

This coupon book is recycle friendly.  It was printed on non-glossy paper.  Papers are not coated with plastic like any other fancy coupons.

This proves my point yet again.

Costco is saving money by using cheaper paper.  At the same time, these papers are recycle friendly.

Everybody wins - Costco is setting standard yet again.

Posted By john

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Freeze the Bread, It's OK


Guide for Single Living

It's perfectly OK to freeze your bread (also tortillas, milk, & etc).

If you live alone, feel free to buy Costco bread in bulk.  Any bread will freeze well for long term storage.

Costco's 100% whole wheat bread is amazing in value.  Also, it's good for you (I believe).  It's the only bread I eat every day, 7 days a week.

A loaf of Multi-grain bread is perfect for single living.  they are not as big as other breads (see pictures below), so you will finish the entire loaf before it gets old.

* This multi-grain bread will keep you "regular".  Trust me.

Costco Bread
I tried different bread.  They all freeze well for long term storage.
Photographed November 24, 2008

Costco Bread Frozen
2 loaves of Kirkland Signature bread in freezer. Notice they are smaller than conventional breads (above).  They are perfect if you live alone.
Photographed December 27, 2008

Posted By john

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Costco Shopping - December 27, 2008

I needed to refill my juice supplies (apples, pears, carrots). 

I needed to purchase more Costco tote bags because I gave two to my sister on Christmas day.  Also, I've been having a big craving for chocolate since I came back home from Christmas dinner.

On Christmas day, I brought a jar of chocolate to my family?  The whole jar disappeared.  I am so happy that people enjoy stuff I bring to them.  Anyway, I had to buy another jar - this time it's for me.

Gas was $1.679 / gallon

Posted By john

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Costco Shopper's Christmas Day

Merry Christmas everyone.

I was looking forward to family dinner at my parents' house.  You see, I was home alone for Thanksgiving.  I enjoyed my day off and all, but..  
Anyway, This is how my day went as a Costco shopper.

I had my usual breakfast (eggs, sandwich, & juice).  You see, I'm a single man.  I try to use less amount of dishes possible, so I have less to clean up later.  It works for me.

Costco Coffee Pumpkin Spice
I brewed Pumpkin Spice Coffee for the road.
Check out my poor man's coffee maker from Rite Aid. 
I don't need expensive coffee maker.

2 bags full of Costco products & gifts for Christmas dinner
Later, I ended up filling one more Costco tote bag with bottles of water and sodas.

My nephews loved the cars I bought from Costco

Before the turkey was ready, 3 containers of Costco shrimps were gone.
You can also see table cover, cups, plates, and napkins I brought.
Oh, and there is a piece of Cosco's turkey jerky

Costco Chocolate
My oldest sister took the jar of "Chocolate of the World" by Kirkland Signature.  She emptied the entire contents on the carpet and picked out her favorite flavors.  Then she hid her stash.  ha ha....

I also gave my sister 2 Costco tote bags

This is what I came back home with.  Ham and mustard are from Honeybaked.  So, out of all the Costco products I brought, all I had left was 2 pieces of chocolate.  I even gave out 2 Costco tote bags to my sister.

It was a glorious day.  I felt sad that Christmas came and gone so fast.  It was past midnight before I knew it.  Cry Cool

Posted By john

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A Christmas Gift to Myself

This is a Christmas gift I gave to myself.

It's Das Keyboard - the best keyboard available.

I bought the "Ultimate" model.  As you can see the keyboard is completely blank. 

It was $129.00, delivered from
It's a little expensive, but Christmas gift should be fancy.
I am loving this keyboard.

I spend 12-16 hours a day typing (programming & blogging).  I am thinking about getting one for work as well.  It's a beautiful keyboard.  The quality is amazing.

Das Keyboard

Kas Keyboard ultimate

Posted By john

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Costco Blog - Shopping December 23, 2008

I am getting ready for Christmas dinner at my parents' house in 2 days.  I thought it would be too risky to go to Costco tomorrow (Christmas Eve).  Costco will close early tomorrow.  Also, pumpkin pies may run out.

I think I'm all set.  Oh, I need to pickup Honey Baked Ham from Ventura tomorrow.

Costco has quality ham.  Kirkland Signature hams are pretty good.  I feel sorry to betray Costco, but I had to pay big bucks and order Honey Baked.  What can I say...

After taking this picture, I fixed a quick dinner with Beef Steak Strips and couscous (pictured below, six pack).  I love good instant meals I get from Costco.

OK, Merry Christmas everyone.. I'm out.

Posted By john

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Costco answers phone with "Merry Christmas"

Below is an excerpt from the article I found at The Christian Science Monitor.  I thought it was interesting.  Click here for a full article

This year between Dec. 1 and Dec. 8, Costco President Jim Sinegal received e-mail from 124,000 AFA members who objected to an alleged Costco policy to avoid the term "Christmas" in promotions. By Dec. 10, an operator at Costco headquarters in Issaquah, Wash., was answering all calls with a "Merry Christmas!" greeting. "They recognize now that these advertising yuppies out of college were steering their companies wrong," says Randy Sharp, AFA director of special projects. "I believe we're beginning to win the war [for] Christmas."

Posted By john

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