Costco Chicken – Single Man’s Dinner
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John
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This is how some single men cook. Below is my dinner from last night. The prep time was about 15 minutes.

Chicken was from my August 2020 Costco Shopping (9 months ago). I thawed it overnight in the refrigerator. I also thawed some tortillas (I vacuum packed them in single serving size). I used a Soup Mix from World Market I purchased about a year ago. It’s a dry food with long shelf-life.

I boiled the soup mix with chicken for 1 hour. I topped the soup with shredded tortillas. And seasoned it with oregano, peppers, and Tapatio (hot sauce).

It was an excellent dinner. The chicken was tender and tasty. I always keep these Costco chicken breasts in my freezer. Once I make a soup like this, I will eat this for three days.

As a single person, buying bulk from Costco works for me. I save money and time. Also, Kirkland Signature products are high quality. Vacuum, freeze, and enjoy.

Costco Shopping – April 16, 2021
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John
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8th Costco Shopping in 2021 – $17.31 today / $1497.79 this year

I went to Costco for a hot dog lunch. I had nothing on my shopping list.

Duke’s Original Recipe Smoked Shorty Sausages is enjoyable. It has a classic (typical?) smoky taste. I love salty meat treats like these, but I can’t eat these too often, mainly because of the salt content. Don’t get old.

I used self-service checkout, so it printed my receipt on a blue ribbon.

After quick shopping, I ate a hot dog in the back of my station wagon. I saw other cars and trucks nearby, eating their hot dogs and pizzas. This is why I went to Costco today, to enjoy this lazy moment in the Costco parking lot. I live for little moments like this. Most people living alone should understand.

Costco Shopping – April 8, 2021
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John
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7th Costco Shopping in 2021 – $62.24 today / $1480.48 this year

I wanted to drive my convertible, so I went to Costco after work. I recently bought a car battery a few weeks ago. Today I turned in my old car battery and received $15 back in cash.

The season for Costco Garden Products

Costco still stocks garden products such as water hose, Ortho weed killer that also kills crabgrass but doesn’t kill your lawn, and slug bait. You should hurry before they are gone. They are all excellent value; I mean the best price. I picked up a 5lb jug of slug bait. I had blind faith that $27.99 was the best price I can find anywhere. I came home and check the price online to confirm that my guess was right.

Kirkland Signature Bath Mat

Since the water damage to my house 13 months ago, I needed a bathroom rug for my guest bathroom. I waited 13 months because good bathroom rugs are expensive. Today, I finally found a Kirkland Signature bath mat. It was only $9.99, and it was beautiful. Their quality easily equals $30-$50 mat from elsewhere. Most bath rugs are one-sided, and their rubberized bottom side mash will break apart after a few years. So, you will have no choice but to buy a new rug. These Kirkland Signature Bath Mat are double-sided and high in quality. I don’t think they will ever break apart. I really think I will use this one until I die.

I took some detailed pictures so you can appreciate the quality of it.

Notice the blue color on the receipt. I used the self-checkout system for the first time. I believe they use blue paper on self-checkout machines. I think I still get the white paper if I use a conventional checkout. And, of course, the food court will give you the yellow receipts.

After the shopping, I bought a hotdog. Then I parked my car in the corner of the parking lot where nobody will accost me (just in case) and enjoyed the hot dog.

Costco Shopping – March 24, 2021
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John
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7th Costco Shopping in 2021 – $240.07 today / $1,418.24this year
Coupon saved $10.50

Today I…

  • Went to the Costco Tire Center and bought a car battery – $100.12
  • Shopped at the warehouse – $138.33
  • Ate a hot dog – $1.62

Interstate Car Batteries at Costco

Costco doesn’t install batteries for you. You must install it on your own.

According to my personal research, this Interstate car battery at Costco was absolutely the best price by a big margin. Your research may vary depends on your car models. If you are not a savvy shopper, don’t think too much, just buy at Costco.

I called my Costco Tire Center a few hours ahead to make sure they had my battery. The guy on the phone said, “You don’t need to reserve, we have plenty”. The shopping process was painless. I paid an extra $15. I am supposed to bring back my old battery so they will refund $15.00.

Pasta and Pesto

Most of us have heard of Macaroni, Rigatoni, Fusilli, and Spaghetti. But there are about 350 varieties of pasta.

At Costco, 6-pack of Garofalo Pasta contains 3 different varieties (shapes) of pasta. And they rotate the varieties. This time, the 6 pack contains: (click to view images)

Kirkland Signature Italian Basil pesto was on sale for $2 off each. I bought 4 jars and put them in the freezer. They will last over a year. I always buy multiple jars of Basil Pesto when they are on sale. They are very good; I enjoy them a lot.

What I didn’t like

I didn’t like the chorizo. Maybe some people will like it. But I couldn’t eat it. I threw mine away. I will continue to buy my chorizo from the local Mexican meat market as I have been for over 15 years. I don’t want to talk about this topic, but I think Costco is making a big mistake. I think the Costco executives never tried authentic chorizo from the meat market. More coming on this topic…

See’s Candy Gift Certificate

2 x $25 ($50 total) See’s Candy gift certificates were $38.99. I have a friend who buys me See’s Candy occasionally. So, I gave her these gift certificates and told her to use them. I understand it was a little odd that I paid for my own surprise gifts. But anyway…. Now she can buy me chocolate whenever she feels like without worrying about money.

Baby back ribs is in the freezer.

After shopping, I ate a hot dog in the car.

Now I have nothing on my Costco shopping list. I may not go to Costco for a few months.

Big Shoulders Smokehouse Baby Back Pork Ribs
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John
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I enjoyed these baby back pork ribs by Big Shoulders Smokehouse. This 48 oz (3 lb) package was $12.99. That’s cheaper than 2 double cheeseburgers without drinks. 2 average-sized adults can pig out on this. In my case, 2 of us could only eat 2/3 of it. This is an excellent value. I shall buy some more.

Update: I went back to Costco 2 weeks later for some more. Now they were $13.99 each. The price went up by $1.00.

I bought this on my Costco Shopping – March 10, 2021. They are fully cooked, so I just needed to reheat in the oven. I put it in the 375-degree oven for 27 minutes.

Maybe these were as good as Tony Roma’s. Maybe these were better than Tony Roma’s. I am not sure. They are that good. The meat was tender and falling off the bone. The sauce was just right. Next time, I shall scrape off BBQ sauce and warm it up separately. Then I shall re-apply the sauce after the ribs are cooked.

As a side dish, I microwaved Kirkland Signature’s Normandy-Style Vegetable mix. I always keep a bag of Kirkland Signature’s frozen mixed vegetables. The bread was from a local store.

It took me about 40 minutes to prepare everything. It was an excellent dinner. Baby back ribs are crazy good times. If you have young dogs (with good teeth) they will love the bones. They will enjoy the bones more than we enjoy the meat.

1/3 of a rack = 1 lb
Corned Beef Round – St. Patrick’s Day
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John
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Created March 17, 2017. Updated March 16, 2021.

Top of the morning to you.

I’ve been making a special St. Patrick’s Day dinner since 2013 (9 years as of 2021). I always buy Bill Bailey’s Irish Brand Corned Beef Brisket from Costco. In 2020, they switched from briskets to round cut. Personally, I didn’t notice the difference between brisket and round. I enjoy their brisket (Round) very much. Costco always stocks an extra amount of Corned Beef Rounds from late February to the beginning of March.

The traditional cooking method is slow cooking for 10-12 hours. I set my slow cooker in the morning before I go to work. The dinner would be ready when I come home from work.

Since 2020, Costco also sells pre-cooked Corned Beef Brisket that you can microwave for about 20 minutes. So, if you don’t like to cook, you can microwave. Personally, I prefer slow cook. I enjoy the cooking experience. It looks like the microwave version is gaining popularity. My visitor reported she enjoyed precooked round very much.

Bill Bailey's Corned Beef Round, formerly brisket
March 13, 2021. Bill Bailey’s Corned Beef Round, formerly Brisket, with Cabbage and potatoes

The slow cooking method is simple. I put the meat and water to cover the meat and cook it low for 10-12 hours. I put cabbages in the pot later (last 2 hours or so). And I boil potatoes.

Some people soak the meat in cold water over-night to take the salt out. I think that’s an excellent idea to promote a healthy diet. But that will change the taste that Bill Bailey originally intended. So, I follow the direction on the package.

I like to eat my corned beef brisket (round) with juice. I don’t know how authentic this is, but I like it.

To me, it is frustrating to think that I may never get to eat an authentic home-cooked Irish meal, prepared by real Irish people in the real Irish household. The same goes with real home-cooked Chinese food, real home-cooked Cajun food, real Texas BBQ, authentic soul food, etc… I am very frustrated about this. I wish I can make friends everywhere so I can visit them and enjoy their cooking.

Costco Corned Beef Brisket, Bill Bailey
Brisket
Corned Beef Brisket Costco

Costco Shopping – March 10, 2021
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John
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6th Costco Shopping in 2021 – $130.86 today / $1178.17 this year
Coupon saved $25.30 today

Last week I ordered 4 tires for my Miata. Today I went to Costco for installation. Everything went smoothly, except the guy who greeted me didn’t like me. Maybe he was having a bad day. I felt something off the very moment I walked into the Costco Tire Center. So, I quickly put on my acting face and pretended I was clueless. I was extra polite to him. I thought I would just get this over with and I never have to see him again. People like that rarely last long, so… smell you later, friend.

I asked him if they have a battery for my car. He said “no” and told me I should order it online and they will ship it there. He said it without checking the inventory. He said it while there were hundreds of batteries behind him. But Costco doesn’t have such a thing as an online car battery shopping. I am supposed to check with the person at the warehouse. I wanted to grab the battery myself and say “I’ll take this one”, but that’s not my style. Instead, I quickly said “OK, thank you” and walked out. I’ll get my battery later. I am just not dealing with this guy tonight.

With my tires getting installed, I walked over to Costco warehouse for some shopping.

The first thing I noticed was the size of the shopping carts. I think the shopping carts are bigger than before.

Strawberries are fresh and crispy, but it’s lacking flavor. Next time I will try to smell before I buy strawberries. But I wear a mask at Costco, and it’s a little awkward.

T-Fal frying pan set (3 pack) was $19.99 after $5 saving. These pans were selling out fast. I was lucky that I got mine. I don’t need a pan now, but this is such a great price. I will keep it in the garage until I need it… I don’t know when.

After shopping, I went back to the tire center, but my car was not ready. So I stood outside and ate some almonds and Jelly Belly. Finally, after getting my car back, I bought a hot dog and ate it in my convertible with the top down. Costco is still selling hot dogs in pandemic style. The clerk handed me the catchup, mustard, and soda. The hot dog was enjoyable. Costco hot dog is such a treat. It makes people happy.

Costco Receipt March 10, 2021
Costco Tire Installation Schedule Hack
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John
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When you order tires from Costco, the earliest day you can schedule for installation is in 10 days. They need time to ship tires to your local Costco tire center.

When I ordered the tires for my Miata, the earliest available day for installation was Monday, March 15. But I wanted to schedule it several days earlier because I am scheduled for Costco shopping soon.

So, this is what I did.

I kept track of UPS tire shipping status. Also, Costco sent me an email notification when they received the tires. So I quickly called Costco and asked if they can find me an earlier date. Updating the schedule was painless and instantaneous. I refreshed the online appointment page and saw my updated schedule.

Now I can enjoy Costco shopping while they install my tires.

Costco Shopping – March 3, 2021 – Tires
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John
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5th Costco Shopping in 2021 – $554.55 today / $1047.31 this year

I ordered 4 tires for my 2017 Miata from the Costco website. There was a $150 saving on 4 Bridgestone tires. This sale is still going on through April 4, 2021. The money you save on this one purchase will pay for your Costco membership for almost 3 years.

The $150 saving is a real deal. Let me show you.

The tire price is very competitive that the price is almost universal. If you shop around, you will find out that tire cost is almost identical everywhere you shop. For my Miata, I checked prices from 3 stores including Costco, and the tire was $146 each at all three stores. But the out the door price of the four tires varied from $554.55 to $730.26. Costco had the lowest price, of course.

Plus, Costco will give you guaranteed service and you will not get scammed. Some tire stores are shady, you know. Also, Costco covers all their tires with 5 years Road Hazard Warranty.

Costco only sells quality tires. So, I ordered the cheapest tires available from Costco, which is still fancy. They will ship the tires to my local Costco warehouse. I am on schedule for installation in 10 days.

My Costco shopping philosophy

My Costco shopping philosophy hasn’t changed since my early days of Costco shopping. I don’t shop at Costco to save the last penny. I shop at Costco to buy high-quality products, so I enjoy an elevated lifestyle. I could buy low-quality tires for $300. But, if I’m in that kind of financial situation, I will not have a weekend convertible. Now I have a fancy set of tires. I will enjoy my sweet ride.

Below is a price comparison from 3 stores.

  • 4 Tires, installation, & tax: Bridgestone Potenza RE980 AS 205/45R17
  • Costco – $554.55
    – A single tire with no discount: $145.99
    – $70.00 Bridgestone savings + $80 Costco savings
  • bigbrandtire.com – $730.26
    – A single tire with no discount: $145.99
  • americastire.com – $651.91
    – A single tire with no discount: $146.00
    – $70 Bridgestone savings applied.
Costco Tire shopping
Costco shoping – March 3, 2021

Costco tire ordering process

  1. Go to Costco.com and log in as a member.
  2. Now, go to tires.costco.com and find your tire.
    – Tire finder will find tires for you. But please know your tire size(s) so you can make sure you are buying the correct tires.
  3. Complete your shopping (make a payment).
  4. After shopping, schedule an appointment at costcotireappointments.com
    – Costco.com login doesn’t work here. You need a separate login for this website. Create a membership if you are new.
    – The website will walk you through the process. It’s straightforward.
  5. You are set. You can cancel or change your appointment date from the website. They will remind us when the appointment date is coming near.

###

Big Brand Tire – $730.26
America’s Tire – $651.91

Please be safe. Talk to you soon.

Photo Restore Service – Now Available Directly
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John
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As I reported earlier, Costco had shut down all photo departments at Costco warehouse locations. With that, they had discontinued some services such as photo restoration.

PhotoRepairPro.com was an exclusive photo restoration service provider for Costco for 10 years. They are now available directly.

Their services include restoration, retouching, and recreation.

Visit their website to find out more – www.photorepairpro.com

Press release:

PhotoRepairPro.com launches Warehouse Club Photo Restoration Service from Hollywood Photo Studio. (February 19, 2021)