Costco Product Reviews

Vizio Sound Bar at Costco (SB4051-C0 40) - Pre-Thanksgiving


I bought a Christmas gift to myself from Costco website.

Vizio SB4051-C0 40" 5.1 Bluetooth Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer.

Vizio Soun Bar  Costco Saving

I saw this Vizio sound bar on Costco's Pre-Thanksgiving flyer. It was $199.99 after $80.00 discount.  I've been searching for some kind of audio system for my TV for last year or so.  There are many cheaper options available.  But I cannot allow cheap sound in my house because I love watching TV (and proud).  This unit caught my attention because it was right at my budget after $80 off.  When it comes to sound system, (usually) you get better sound quality as you spend more money.  So, you want to spend maximum amount of money within your budget.

This Vizio sound bar does exactly what I want it to do.  It sits behind my TV that I can barely see it's there.  The subwooper is hidden on the floor behind the TV.  My TV remote controls the volume of the sound bar.  Music channels sound amazing with this.

The volume goes up to level 35.  I normally watch TV at level 7-10.  Level 20 is too loud that I cannot enjoy watching TV that way.  When I listen to music channel, I may raise the volume to level 20-25 but only for a few minutes.  Volume level 35 is not realiatic for me.

As a TV lover, this sound bar dramatically improves my life style.  I am really enjoying this.

FYI:  I still haven't installed the satellite speakers.

Vizio Sound Bar SB4051-C0 - Costco

Costco's Vizio Sound Bar circled.  Sitting behind the TV.

I came a long way.  When I first started my blog, I had a 9 Inch TV in my living room.

Posted By john 2 Comments read more

LED Tubes at Costco


The new technology is here.  And it's available at Costco.  This is quickly becoming an old news.  But, for now, I am excited about this new technology.

You can now replace 4 feet florescent tubes with LEDs without modifying internal wiring of the fixture.  You simply replace the tubes.  They are expensive, but not by much.  I replaced 4 tubes in the kitchen ceiling, and I am happy about how they perform.  They save electricity.  They will last 45 years.  So, I wrote down the installation date on the tubes.  If they stop working after only 44 years, I will take them back for a refund.

Technical Info

  • Uses 17 Watts (instead of normal 40 Watts)
  • Instant on
  • No humming (buzzing) noise.
  • Cool white 4100k color
  • 50,000 run hours (45 years in normal use)

(picture below) 7 months ago, In February 2015, I bought 2 LED light fixtures for my garage.  I've been dreading about installing them for 7 months.  Thanks to the new technology, I no longer have to replace the entire light fixture anymore (or modify wiring).   I took those lights fixtures back to Costco and bought the new tubes.  It took 5 minutes to replace the tubes in the garage.  My laziness paid up.  Now my garage is super bright that I can perform appendectomy.  Hand me the box cutter.

Below: "11-04" written by the prior home owner. 
This irritates me.  Did he mean November 2004? or April 2011 ?

Below: 2 LED fixtures for my garage that I returned 7 months later.


Posted By john 0 Comments read more

Costco Coupons May 7 - May 31, 2015


*NUBZ dog chew review.

Costco coupon book is out.  I see a lot of good stuff to buy this month.

If you are a dog owner check out NUBZ (edible) dog chew.  I have a few bags of these that the PR people sent me.  I gave them to 8 dogs so far? All 8 dogs loved them.  It's supposed to be good for their teeth.  So far all 8 dogs went crazy over NUBZ even before I took it out from the package.  Since then, I gave NUBZ to the same dogs a few more times.  They all enjoyed NUBZ every single time.  Cute...

It has good reviews from Amazon

They are $4 off during this coupon period. 

Click below link to view coupons - thanks to

Posted By john 0 Comments read more

Ful Backpack Review - It Cut Me (drew blood)


It happened in the morning of April 25.

As I put something in my backpack, I felt a sharp pain.  My backpack cut my hand.  This over 1 inch long cut drew blood.  Four months later, on August 25, I have a scar I don't think will go away.

I cut my hand as I pull my hand out.

Inside the Ful backpack, there is a Velcro with a plastic label.  I got cut on the corner of that label.  I guess it's a freak incident.  I wonder how many other people had similar experience.

I am scarred for life, literally, because of Ful backpack.

Costco Ful Backpack Defect

Ful Backpack's Sharp Label can Cut you

Cut by Ful Backpack


Posted By john 0 Comments read more

Costco Mixing Bowls - 5 Stainless Steel with Lids


I wanted to buy some REAL mixing bowls for many years. So, I was happy that I found Kirkland Signature Mixing Bowls at my Costco warehouse.  Obviously, these are special items.  Once they are gone, they will not come back (I think).  This is one of the reasons why I go to Costco weekly.  You don't want to miss out on good stuff.

Pro & Con: These are not as thick as the ones I saw at Bed Bath and Beyond that I wanted to buy.  I can see that rich folks will find them too thin. There are better ones (thicker ones) out there.  But, if your standard is not as high, they are great buy.  To me, they are perfect.

When I mix pancakes I've been using a cheap plastic bowl from 99 Cents Only Store.  So, this is a big step up for me.  I wanted some real mixing bowls for last 10 years or so.

I hope you will find them at your Costco warehouse.

* Sorry, I forgot how much they were.  I lost my receipt.  They were $29.99 (maybe less ?).

Costco Mixing Bowls

Mashed Potato

Mashed potato (with Costco salt & Costco butter)

It's fun to work in kitchen (although I am alone, or because I am alone)
Upgraded kitchen items make my time more enjoyable.

Good times... brought to me by Costco.

Posted By john 0 Comments read more

Costco Coupons - Don't Buy Crest Pro Health Mouthwash


** Don't buy Crest Pro Health Mouthwash **
(Read Below)

July Coupon are here~!
Click here to view the coupons
  (Thanks to

I see many good stuff such as Farmed Atlantic Salmon, V-8 Vegetable Juice, Beef Jerky, Dove soaps, Irish Spring soaps, Q-tips...


Crest Pro Health mouthwash ($2.50 off) - Don't buy these.
I bought Crest mouthwash on my last Costco shopping at full price.  Last few days, I did a lot of talking face to face with a girl.  I needed mouthwash fast, so I didn't do any research.  I just trusted because they are from Costco.  After a week, I switched my mouthwash to Dr. Katz TheraBreath Oral Rinse.  Crest Pro Health mouthwash has some horrible reviews.  I strongly suggest that you DON'T buy Crest Pro Health mouthwash.

Posted By john 4 Comments read more

Costco - Mikasa Whitehall 20 Piece Dinnerware Set


I finally found China set I like at Costco.

I've been looking for a dinnerware set for 10-15 years.   I used to complain that nobody seemed to be selling normal looking dinnerwares anymore.  All the plates I see at the stores have weird shapes or they have stupid drawings.  If I find good looking white plates, they tend to be expensive.

I finally found plain white dinnerware set at Costco.  They were only $39.99.

I've been using cheap dinnerware that was given to me from various people.  I was never happy with my plates and bowls, but I had no choice because I couldn't find china I like.

I love my Mikasa's Whitehall 20 piece dinnerware set.  I am still thinking about buying one more set as a backup (or if I marry somebody with 3 kids).   They are just right for me.  They are practical, plain (not artistic or snotty), and cheap.

Update:  I am really happy with these china set.   They even feel good in my hands when I do the dishes.  It a pleasure.... only $39.99. It's ridiculous.  I am loving them.  I wish I can find a Costco version of female for my wife. I don't even know what that means, but it sounds cool.

I took this picture 1 day earlier.  I came home from Costco shopping and looked at the picture again. And I decided to go back to Costco next day to make a purchase.

I've been using these for 10+ years. You see all kinds of different plates and bowls that don't match.  Also they look cheap.

Costco's Mikasa Whitehall 20 Piece Dinnerware Set
They seem to make my cupboard looks more complete and practical. I feel more settled down with these china.  I feel more satisfied in the kitchen.

PS. You see Homer Simpson coffee mug?  That's my work day coffee mug.  I only use it at work.  It's put away in the cupboard.  That means I took that picture during the weekend.  On weekend I use Sunday coffee mug. 

I shall do a story on my coffee mugs.  I use different coffee mugs for work, home, weekend, driving, tea, hot cocoa, Christmas season, and photography.

Posted By john 6 Comments read more

(vid) Costco Peanuts & Planters Peanuts


I am sorry I was away for a long time.  OK, let's do this. 

I compared 2 kinds of peanuts they sell at Costco.

  • Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts: 52 oz, $7.98
  • Kirkland Signature Super Extra-Large Peanuts - 40 oz, $8.79

This comparison reminded me of my old Syrup Comparison Blog from almost 4 years ago.  (Already 4 years. Oh how time flys).

* Below video: Turn up your audio to compare crunch sounds.

Planters peanuts are very good.  I really enjoyed this peanuts.  So, I went to Costco to buy one more can.  Then I saw this smaller and yet more expensive can of Peanuts by Kirkland Signature.  I couldn't imaging how much better peanuts can be.  But, I knew Costco's peanuts had to be better in unimaginary way.

These Kirkland Signature Peanuts are amazing.  I never knew peanuts have  higher level.  I thought Planters was as good as peanuts can get.  But, I didn't know better.  Costco's Super Extra Large Peanuts are amazing.

These peanuts are huge, crunchy, and tasty.  These are what rich folks eat.  Good stuff.  Costco has done it again. I would never eat these kind of good stuff if it wasn't for Costco.

Bottom Line:
Knowing how good they are, I can no longer buy Planters' peanuts.  From now on, I will pay more and always buy Costco's Gourmet Peanuts. 

Posted By john 6 Comments read more



I bought a Vitamix blender (5200) and I feel very positive about it.  Vitamix is a heavy duty blender that will crush and liquefy the entire fruit (seeds, skin, and all).

I've been checking but they only had complete packages for $649.99 each.

Costco now carries cheaper model, 5200c at warehouse (not online).  This is Costco only model, they are $379.99 each.  Their cookbook is not included in this box.  But a $50.00 coupon to buy the cookbook ($50) is included.

Finally, yesterday I went to Costco to pick up a Vitamix blender.  And I saw a Vitamix roadshow going on there (son of a gun).  The pitchman gave me a good overview of the machine.  And a fellow shopper convinced me to drop Costco model (5200c) and buy their regular model at $15.00 more.  So, I bought their regular model 5200 for $394.99.  A cook book and a CD are included in this unit.  This unit sells for $449.99 at Vitamix's official website and elsewhere.

I am happy with my purchase.  I saved $55.00 plus $25.00 shipping on Vitamix 5200 standard, thanks to Vitamix roadshow at my Costco warehouse.

I wanted a Vitamix blender for some time.  I've been making juice every weekday for last 4-5 years.  That's roughly 1200 days of juicing, 2 juices a day, totallying 2400 juices.  But, all this time there was something that didn't make sense to me.  I throw out a lot of pulp every morning.  I thought, if anything, I should be eating the pulp and throw out the juice. My common sense told me that pulp must have more nutritional value than the juice.

With Vinamix, there is no pulp to throw out.  Pulp will get crushed & get liquefied.  So, from this point, I will buy 60%, maybe 75% less fruits and vegetables then I used to.  I will no longer buy 25 Pound bags of carrots.  I figured the machine will pay for itself in 1 year or less.  So, if you have a family of more than one and juice every day?  You must buy Vitamix for sake of saving money.

But, money aside, I believe Vitamix is much healthier than juicing.

Yes, I (briefly) thought about taking my 3 years old juicer back to Costco for a refund.  That will make my Vitamix $294.99.  But I decided not to do that. :)

Vitamix 5200c Vs 5200
Costco model, 5200c,  is the best price you can pay for Vitamix Blender.  It has the same powerful motor.  It will work just as same as any other Vitamix Blenders.  The only difference is that it comes with smaller container.  And it has different finish on switches. In fact, it *almost* makes me to think maybe 5200c are older models that they are trying to get rid of.

(picture coming)


Posted By john 6 Comments read more

Costco Auto Program


I recently found out about the Costco Auto program through the news. Funny that being a Costco members for years, no one in our family is aware of this incentive. And, their fliers are posted all over the customer service areas.

Anyhow, I am in the market for a new car as my 5-yr European car is starting to be more of a burden than an enjoyment and my 80-mi roundtrip to work drive is burning a hole in my pocket at the gas pump. So, I decided to give this auto program a try.

My experience was very disappointing because it doesn't give you options of which nearest participating dealership to associate with. It just automatically sends your info to a dealership who will contact you. The dealer contacted me on the same day. We made some exchanges via emails and once over the phone. I was very specific on the car I wanted including all of the options. I also asked the salesperson about the comparison between 2 of very specific cars. The lady didn't answer some of my questions over the emails. She also didn't provide me with a price. I stopped exchanging contacts. Then she called me. I re-iterated everything I stated over the emails and demanded her to give me a quote. She refused.

First refusal was because she didn't know which cars I wanted. So, I restated all of the specifics. I said Hybrid with Leather and no Nav - quote. And, Civic EX-L with no nav and no other options. - Quote. (Honestly... how many versions of Honda Civic /Hybrid can there be???)

Second refusal was because she needs to verify my Costco membership. I told her I'll be glad to give her all of my Costco details. This shouldn't be a deterrent of giving me a price over the phone. I told her that if the price was attractive enough to begin with... you might just get me off the couch.

Third refusal was because she said prices changes daily like the stock market.

(Uh.. seriously??? How much changes are we talking about? double digits? triple digits? that you can't quote me a price????? If pricing was so unstable how are you doing on the internet sales???) 

 So then it ended. I terminated all contact. I refused to deal with people who expect you to come in and negotiate on what's supposed to be a "fixed" and "pre-negotiated" price through a partnership auto program. I submitted my negative review to Costco and never looked back.

 So, here I am writing this review only because I tried a different auto buying program through AAA. I also started digging around on different experiences with auto buying programs through the web. Many expressed mixed feelings and similar experiences with the Costco program.

However, when I used the AAA - it was very clear cut. It outlined all of the incentives and what I will be paying for an exact car at 3 different dealerships in my surrounding areas PRIOR to me submitting my personal information. Further, AAA allows you to make the initial contact to the dealer vs. AAA chose the dealership for you and made them contact you first. I am very comfortable with this method. As far as pricing is concerned, many of those reviewers stated that the program can be beneficial and the amount is probably off give/take by a few hundred dollars. And, to me that's worth the difference. I refuse to waste 12 hours at a dealership and still feeling like I'm getting ripped off when I leave.

So my car shopping journey continues. I really would love to hear your thoughts if you have or know of someone who have experienced using the auto program whether through Costco, AAA or other companies. 


Posted By bleufacez 8 Comments read more


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