Costco Product Reviews

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 5 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

Follow Up on Visitors' Reviews


2 people mentioned these items that I had to try them myself.

Kirkland Signature Moisture Shampoo:
Bluefacez reviewed Kirkland Moisture Shampoo last month (here).  Oh, yes, this shampoo is good.  It's high quality and SLS free, so it's a bit pricey.  But, it's concentrated.  I have long hair, way longer than shoulder length.  I don't even use a full pump when I use this shampoo.  It's that concentrated.  This is officially the shampoo I am going to use for many years to come.  Thank you Bluefacez.

Newhall French Roast Coffee:
Pennie mentioned Newhall French Coffee (here).  She freaked out because her Costco warehouse stopped carrying them.  I contacted Newhall Coffee and confirmed that they are only available at selected Costco warehouses. Today, I happen to drive by one of the Costco Warehouses that carry Newhall Coffee.  So, I picked up one bag. 

Newhall's French Roast Coffee is $11.99 for 2lb bag.  It's Much cheaper than Starbucks French Roast.  Surprisingly, Newhall French Roast Coffee tasted "slightly" better than Starbucks French Roast.  It's somewhat less acidic (less bitter) than Starbucks, but bitter non the less.  My regular coffee, Cubita Dark Roast (this one) is simply the best.  So, I will keep buying my expensive Cubita Coffee.  I will not buy Starbucks Coffee anymore.  I am not sure if I will buy Newhall Coffee again.  Let's see if I will finish this bag first.

Costco... seriously, you've gotta love it.
Costco brings so much joy in life, it's ridiculous.

PS. I've been using Kirkland Signature's Moisture Conditioner for a few years now.  This is the only conditioner I use.  It smells good, it feels good, and it's also SLS free.

Posted By john 0 Comments read more

That box of Oranges


One of the things I love in life is a fresh squeeze orange juice. I fell in love with fresh squeeze during my trip in NY. I couldn't find one bakery, restaurant, bagel shop, vendors on the streets that doesn't sell fresh squeeze. I had it every day morning, day and night as if it was gelato in Italy.

Lately Cotsco has been selling boxes of oranges at a price. Depending on the brand or the shipment it varies from $8 to $13/pb. I'm not keen at buying oranges at a store out of pure laziness. Typically, stores do have better prices for oranges but I get discouraged looking at perfect shaped, colored fruits after watching the movie Food, Inc. So, I stick with fruits at Costco. 

After buying 3 boxes of oranges I find that all of the oranges at Costco are not quite ripe. They are very sour. However, the sunkist ones are quite juicy. I use manual squeezer so having thin, soft and juicy fruit helps me with my arm.

I have tried waiting a few weeks before I use them but this is just too inconvenient. I don't like having to adjust the flavor of the juice, although I have now become fond of honey in my orange juice. (I have used white sugar, and sugar vanilla - by far honey is my favorite method of sweetening the juice).

So my request to Costco is simply to have at least half that box of oranges to be ripe and sweet so I can enjoy my juice right away and not wait a few weeks.  

Posted By bleufacez 1 Comments read more

Bionaire Micathermic Heater


Purchased the Bionaire Micathermic heater a few weeks ago and I'm not finding it in the Costco's website anymore... :(

Anyway, since SCE placed SmartMeters in my house I am obsessed about saving energy. Last year my gas bill was over $100 so that is another reason why I need to closely monitor my energy usage.

This year, I am well-prepared by installing proper window treatment (it used to be paper and now the nice plantation shutters), having thick curtains and utilizing an electric heater... the Micathermic heater.

The Bionaire Micathermic is very stylish, light and super quiet. I have mixed feelings about this heater because sometimes I have to check if it's working. Many of the reviewers on Costco's website stated that it can heat up about 400 sqft of space. I am not sure on this. The way I'm utilizing this heater is by heating up my house with the central heater then maintaining the heat using this space heater. I like that the heater is silent but on the other hand it worries me because you can easily forget that it's on. Luckily, there is a trip shut-off feature for in case of fire.

Does it really heat the room? No, it simply keeps it warm or warms it up. I also own a Holmes space heater that heats up the room very fast to the point that I have to turn it off.

Does it save energy? Somewhat. I put it on high for 3 hours straight and it raised my electric about $1+. I think this is cheaper than having the central heat on at all times. But, I don't have a comparison with a different space heater as I placed my Holmes at work (and they're paying for the cost).

Do I recommend it... I am not sure yet.


UPDATE 11/27/11: I have decided to return this product. There were a minority of people who ran into the same problems as I did that it doesn't heat up the room. This is due to their fan being blown up (horizontal) vs. to the side. Given that I have a pretty good height in my house it makes heating up a room close to impossible.

I cannot 100% recommend this product despite my effort to want to love it. So, back to the store it went. 

Posted By bleufacez 0 Comments read more


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