Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Aluminum Rain Gutter Protection at Costco: Full Product Review

We bought our house almost two years ago now, and I realize that one of the things that attracted us to it, a large maple tree right in front, can be both a blessing and a huge problem. A blessing, because it dwarves our house and provides welcome shade in the summer, and a problem because twice a year, it sheds leaves and seeds in such a massive amount as to completely and utterly clog the gutters. The idea to cut down the tree, while tempting, seems excessive, considering it’s only a problem for 3 to 4 weeks a year.

For this reason, I’ve been on the lookout for gutter protection for some time. I’ve seen the plastic mesh they sell at Home Hardware and other places, but it just seems like a flimsy and useless waste of money. Thankfully, thanks to Costco, I was able to get my hands on some quality, long lasting (hopefully) aluminum gutter protection, called the Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Aluminum Rain Gutter Protection.

Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Aluminum Rain Gutter Protection

Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Aluminum Rain Gutter Protection

I’d seen that product at Costco the year before, but did not know how sorely I would need it; moreover, like all good Costco shoppers, I wanted to buy it when it went on sale. So here are a few points concerning this product:

The Price

Each box of 30 feet of Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard aluminum rain gutter protection costs $38.99 at full price, excluding taxes. Thankfully, I was able to buy it with a $15.00 rebate, per box, which brings the price down to $23.99, or 80 cents a foot. Assuming the product does what it is supposed to do, which is keep my gutters clean of debris, this is an excellent price. In my case, I needed 3 boxes, so the price to protect my gutters for the foreseeable future was $71.97, plus taxes, which is a heck of a lot cheaper than foundation work, or a leaky roof. So hurrah for that.

The Product

Each box contains 10 3-foot lengths of pre-drilled aluminum gutter protector. Each length of product is notched, as you can see in the picture below, so that it fits in the previous length, thus ensuring that no debris makes it in the gutter.

Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Rain Gutter Protection

Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Rain Gutter Protection

Thanks to its all-aluminum construction, the Clip-N-Guard is actually very light and sturdy, although I don’t recommend using a hammer to tap it in place. The hammer is going to win. The holes are small enough to prevent all but the smallest tree-debris from falling in, and big and numerous enough that I have no doubt that water will be able to make its way in and down the gutter with ease. Looks like a great product, but what about installation?

Installing Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard

I’m not crazy about climbing a ladder to clean the gutter, so I thought installing this was going terrifying, and for the first few sections, it truly was. That being said, that’s more on me than anything else. Even though I have an old-style gutter that’s nailed in, across, rather than screwed, it was easy to clip the gutter guard over the nails. Because my gutter is quite old and not even all over, the gutter cover is tighter in some places than in others, but all in all, it was very easy to install.

Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Rain Gutter Protection (box)

Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Rain Gutter Protection (box)

The only tool I needed were a measuring tape, aluminum scissors, which thankfully I already owned (for what purpose, I could not tell) and a hammer, which I used to bang on the gutter once the gutter cover was installed, so as to make it more even and tighter. Like I said, we have an older house.

The product was very intuitive to install, each piece easily sliding into the previous so as to make a single, continuous cover. It is more bent outwards in some places, but it clicked everywhere, as it was supposed to. Overall, a very easy install, my fear of heights notwithstanding.

The Verdict

I would heartily recommend the Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Aluminum Rain Gutter Protection to anyone; for several reasons:

  • It is very affordable, even at full price (assuming you shop at Costco);
  • It’s very easy to install, even for a complete beginner;
  • I think it’s going to do what it says, which is keep my gutters free of debris
  • Despite not using any screws, nothing short of a tornado is going to take these out;

There is one thing that concerns me, although not enough not to buy and install the product, and it is that I’m almost certain I’m going to have to take the ladder out and clean out the top of the cover at least once a year. The leaves fall thick and fast here. Also, a word about the “25 Year Warranty”; I’m not going to bore you with the details, but let’s just say that it is absolutely written by a bunch of lawyers, and that the list of exceptions is so spectacular that I’m pretty certain the only way I would be covered is if the Clip-N-Guard spontaneously caught fire, which I’m certain it won’t.

Now don’t get me wrong: I bought and installed the product, and so far it has performed beautifully in all respects, and I’ve no doubts that it will continue to do so for many years. That being said, I didn’t buy it for the warranty.

I have no problems recommending the Clip-N-Guard to anyone; it can be installed by the most complete neophyte who owns nothing more than a house, some common sense and a ladder, and I look forward to avoiding damage to my foundations, deck and roof because of clogged gutters. For more information about the company, check out their website right here; in addition to gutter protection, they also make the gutters themselves, other types of gutter covers, and best of all, it’s all made right here in Canada, and at a good price, too, proof that we can still make things right we we set our minds to it!

Kalas Classic Sea Salt at Costco: Product Review

Even though my wife and I shop at Costco quite a bit, and therefore buy in large quantity, we are sometimes faced with purchasing the most mundane of kitchen essentials, such as salt. I don’t remember the last time I bought salt, but it was a while ago. I had purchased the 3-pack of Windsor Table Salt, at Costco of course, but years of cooking and boiling pasta in salty water had depleted our stock.

Kalas Classic Sea Salt

Kalas Classic Sea Salt

The question I was faced with was whether to replace our Windsor Table Salt with more of the same, which is really cheap – only $2.39 for three one-kilogram boxes, or switch to the Kalas Classic Sea Salt. As you can see by the picture, and by the title of this review, I chose the Kalas.

Now, the Kalas salt is quite a bit more expensive than the Windsor; it costs $3.69 for 3 containers of 750 grams each; not only is the total price more than the Windsor, but each container is quite a bit smaller. Why the expense, then?

Well, let’s get real. It’s only about a buck fifty more for what hopefully will turn out to be a year’s worth of salt. So, you know, not the end of the world.

I also enjoy the packaging of the Kalas Classic Sea Salt more than the Windsor Table Salt. The containers are round and made of plastic, which beats hands-down Windsor’s square cardboard boxes. They are more durable, and will not leak at the seams, because, you know, it’s plastic and the seams are fused shut.

When it comes to the salt itself, I would surmise that both have the same… saltiness, for lack of a better term, but I find the Kalas tastes better, more natural if you will, while the Windsor salt has what feels as a slight chemical, bland and overly refined taste. But that could just be me.

Both salts are iodized, which is not a big deal in developed countries, where we take iodine for granted, but very important elsewhere, where iodine deficiency can lead to severe and lasting health problems.

Overall, I could certainly have been happy with buying Windsor Table Salt again, however I felt like I was due for a change, and the convenience of the packaging, coupled with the better taste of the Kalas Classic Sea Salt, convinced me that it was time for a change, even if it cost me a dollar fifty more over the course of the next year.

Kalas Classic Sea Salt (3-pack) at Costco

Kalas Classic Sea Salt (3-pack) at Costco

Of course, you could say that saving even a dollar is worth it, when you add it up with all the other dollars you save here and there – just look at my coffee example – but at some point, you just need to buy the salt you want :) When it comes down to it, you’re only paying 16.4 pennies per 100 grams of salt, so you can afford it. You’re not going through kilos of this every day.

In closing, I would like to point out that the Kalas Classic Sea Salt is a product of Greece, which may help explain why it is quite affordable. It is imported in Canada by Pilaros, who import a lot of other products from Greece sold at Costco, notably the Solon Olive Oil.

Cardinal Roadhouse Quarter Pound Beef Burgers: Product Review

To me, nothing means summer more than burgers, and like most people, I have my favorite recipe for beef patties. Without going into details, it includes onions, garlic and beef Bovril, for that extra beefy taste, among other things. This is why I was so excited to see that the Cardinal Roadhouse Quarter Pound Beef Burgers were on sale at Costco this week.

With the price of beef being what it is these days, I’ll take any break I can get, especially for my summer staple. The regular price of these beef patties is $21.99 for 24, which comes down to $8.15 per kilo, or 92 cents per burger, just for the beef. This compares advantageously to the price of regular, lean ground beef, which is $8.99 per kilo at Costco these days.

Cardinal Roadhouse Quarter Pound Beef Burgers

Cardinal Roadhouse Quarter Pound Beef Burgers

If that wasn’t awesome enough, I managed to buy this box with a $5 instant rebate, which lasts until the end of this week, which brought down the price per box to $16.99, the price per patty to 71 cents each, and the price per kilo – and this is where it really looks good – to $6.29.

In any case, anyway you look at it it’s a great deal. Or is it? They have to make money somewhere, right? So let’s look at the ingredients, in order of appearance:

The good news here is that there are no obvious disgusting conservation agents, or weird unpronounceable ingredients put in solely for the sake of ease of manufacture, as you’ll find in many products. So I’m happy about that.

I’m also happy that these patties are seasoned and flavored much like I would do, with garlic, onion and ‘flavor’ which I assume is their equivalent of beef flavor concentrate – Bovril.

What I’m less happy about is the fact that there seems to be quite a bit of filler material in here; I mean, when I make my own burgers, something that is happening less and less, I’m pretty sure I don’t put toasted wheat crumbs, and absolutely certain that soy protein, concentrated or otherwise, is not on the list of ingredients.

That being said, and as the box helpfully suggests, they are ‘just like home-made’ insofar as they taste very similar to good burgers I would make myself. It’s just that I know, thanks to the ingredients list, that they cheat a little bit.

When it comes to nutrition, you should not expect too much; this is mostly beef, after all, with all the calories and fat you can expect. For the record, each patty contains 240 calories, 8 grams of saturated fat (43% of daily value) and 18 grams of proteins. Since ‘lean’ ground beef contains 15% or less of fat, I believe that these beef patties fall into the ‘lean’ category, or very close, since each patty weighs 113 grams, and contains 18 grams of total fat. The question is, what actual percentage of the weight of the burger is beef.

Overall, I’m really happy with the Cardinal Roadhouse Quarter Pound Beef Burger. They taste just right, and don’t contain any disgusting chemical products. They do, however, contain filler, but you can’t have everything. They cook nicely and quickly from frozen on the barbecue, and I’m going to have some more tonight, with a nice tall glass of iced tea to ward off the summer heat!

Q-Tips Cotton Swabs at Costco: Product Review

Like most people, I assume, and to the delight of manufacturer Unilever, I enjoy having cotton swabs in the house. There are a million applications for them, and thanks to Costco, I can have bran-name Q-Tips Cotton Swabs in great quantity, for a low price.

Interestingly, the one thing I actually use cotton swabs most consistently is to clean my ears, and that is the only use that is directly and expressly not recommended on the package. I guess they had a lawsuit from some ‘person’ that shoved one too deep and figured it was someone else’s fault. Idiots.

Q-Tips Cotton Swabs at Costco

Q-Tips Cotton Swabs at Costco

Anyways, this package of 3 packs of 625 Q-Tips each, for a total of 1875 Q-Tips, cost $10.99. It’s not really the greatest price ever, especially since those products are on special at Costco regularly. I just couldn’t wait for the next special to buy them. We were out an my wife had me use the ‘baby-safe’ cotton swabs, which have an enormous bundle of cotton at each end (made by Johnson & Johnson). I’m sure they’re quite safe, but to clean my ears, absolutely and utterly useless.

Even at full price, the price per swab is ridiculously low: $0.059 each, or less than a penny each. Of course, these are brand-name Q-Tips and not some cheap dollar-store knock-off, so you know that they are made from 100% real cotton. The packaging even has the official ‘Cotton’ seal to prove it, as you can see on the picture above, bottom left. So there you have it.

According to said packaging, there are many uses for Q-Tips Cotton Swabs. They include:

  • Blending and applying eye shadow
  • Apply and soften lipstick
  • Remove mascara smudges
  • Touch up and remove nail polish
  • Clean your ears… oh wait: *not* clean your ears

Assuming my wife and I each use two of these a day, we should have enough Q-Tips for about 15, 16 months or so. Even though I had to pay full price for these, I consider that the convenience and quality of brand-name Q-Tips cotton swabs is worth the few extra dollars. Even so, a quick check on Amazon tells me that even at full price, these are quite a deal. Hopefully they will go on sale at Costco in the next 29 days or so, and I’ll be able to go in for a price adjustment.

Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets at Costco: Product Review

I’m a big fan of frozen food I can just take from the freezer, pop in the oven and enjoy quickly. With two little ones at home, it’s even better when I can buy these sort of things on special, which is why the Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets, which I buy at Costco, are always a favorite.

For the regular price of $9.99, Canadian dollars, you get 2 bags of 1 kilogram each of delicious, uncooked breaded cutlettes, also known as chicken nuggets. Why you shop smart, and I try to, you wait until they’re on special, and you load up the freezer, which I did. I bought 2 boxes, each with a $2.50 instant rebate. This brings down the cost per box to $7.49, no taxes, which is really a great deal. Even at their regular price, these chicken nuggets, bought at Costco, are about half the price of anything of comparable quality you can find elsewhere.

Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets

Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets

According to the nutritional information, each Harvest Creek chicken nugget is 25 grams; this means than in each box, you get 80 nuggets,  more or less. That comes down to 12.5 pennies per nugget at full price, or a ridiculously low per-nugget price of 9.36 cents when on special. That is hard to beat.

When it comes to nutritional value, these chicken nuggets are a not exactly what the doctor ordered, although they are not that bad. Each 4 nuggets contains 3.5 grams of saturated fat (no trans fat) and 450 mg of sodium (19% of daily value).

On the plus side, you get 16 grams of proteins and 10% of your Iron, so hurrah for that!

The ingredients are not horrible, either. The meat part of the nuggets is made from:

  • Chicken white meat
  • Water
  • Soya protein
  • Toasted wheat crumbs with spices
  • Salt, Glucose, dextrose and spices

The batter, for its part, comes with the following ingredients:

  • Toasted wheat crumbs with spices
  • Whole grain wheat flour
  • Yellow corn flour
  • Corn starch
  • Salt, Wheat flour
  • Dried egg white, modified milk ingredients, dextrose, high oleic sunflower oil, guar gum

I’d written an article about these nuggets about two years ago, but it wasn’t nearly as complete or detailed as this one, so there you have it. If you would like to know more about the history of chicken nuggets, feel free to read this Wikipedia article.

I’m really happy with these Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets, which I guess is why I buy two boxes -or more – at a time. They are tasty, not terrible for you, and quickly made, only 20 minutes in the oven. My son loves eating them, and they make a quick dinner the whole family is happy with. I’m cooking them right now with some home-made sweet potato fries, but I usually I have them with rice and sauteed vegetables. They are made in Ontario, but are available in Quebec as well. If you have them in other parts of the country, let me know in the comments.

Star Wars Lego 73035 Kashyyyk Troopers: Product Review

Like most self-respecting little boys, my son is crazy about Star Wars. This may have something to do with his Dad, but I don’t know for sure. Despite his very young age – he isn’t 4 yet – he knows all about Darth Vader and Stormtroopers and Luke and the Force and all that stuff. So imagine his glee when he found out that you could have both Star Wars *and* Lego in the same toy! I was also very happy, since I get to put together the stuff, at least the first time, since he’s still little.

Since I wasn’t working yesterday, I kept him from daycare, and we went on an adventure downtown, visiting bookstores, shopping malls, the University and a lot of other places. Since he was so good, on the way back I offered him a small Lego set at Toys R Us, and he chose it all by himself: the Star Wars Lego 75035 Kashyyyk Troopers , which I’ll review today. Here’s what the set looks like once completed:

Star Wars Lego 75035 Kashyyyk Troopers (assembled)

Star Wars Lego 75035 Kashyyyk Troopers (assembled)

This is not a huge set; it only has 99 pieces, and a lot of these are the little blue pieces you can see on the gunship’s guns, which act as ammunition. More on that later. I believe my son chose this one in great part because it comes with no less that 4 Stormtroopers, 2 traditionally-clad ones and two ‘Scout’ troopers with the different visors, which are the little ship’s pilot and gunner. Adding four little guys greatly enhances my son’s Lego collection, which is just starting out.

Star Wars Lego 75035 Stormtrooper

Awesome!

This little Lego set, which costs $15.99 (Canadian dollars) at Toys R Us comes with much-vaunted (by the packaging) ‘NEW BLASTERS‘, which is a new and imaginative way to lose Lego pieces. The little guy’s blasters are fitted with a tiny lever-like piece that creates pressure, and causes the little blue pieces to go flying – quite far – thereby reproducing with high accuracy a blaster shot, especially if you get the little blue dot in the eyeball.

Fortunately, my son is already aware of the grief of losing Lego pieces, and doesn’t ‘load’ his Stormtroopers’ blasters when he plays. Good kid.

Star Wars Lego 75035 Closeup

Just a little close-up.

The assembly of the ship, and the little characters was a breeze, and my son should be able to assemble it by himself quickly, provided he doesn’t lose any pieces. I do have an issue with the fact that many of the pieces seem to be specialized, so I’m not sure how easily they can be integrated and used in a large bag of random Lego pieces, which I still have from my youth and am planning on giving to my son.

He’s a really smart kid, I’m sure he’ll figure it out, even if his Dad doesn’t.

Star Wars Lego 75035 Mean-looking Kashyyyk Trooper

Mean-looking Kashyyyk Trooper!

Being an old-school Lego enthusiast, I am fascinated with all these new Lego collections coming out, the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings, Star Wars, Jurassic World and all the others. It’s really fun to see new pieces and to discover new uses for old ones. Just look at this mean-looking Lego dude!

In conclusion, both my son and I are really happy with the Star Wars Lego 75035 Kashyyyk Troopers. It was fun, if easy to assemble, provides a little ‘star ship’ for my son, and increases his little Lego dudes count to 5. All in all, a great purchase, which I know he’ll enjoy, one way or the other, for many years to come. As with all Legos.

Kirkland Signature Boxer Briefs: Product Review

This review will be shorter than my previous one about my Urban Star Jeans, for the simple reason that there is less to say. I’ve been wearing Kirkland Signature Cotton Stretch Fabric Boxer Briefs for a long time, and they are, by far, the best quality underwear I’ve ever bought, owned or used.

Kirkland Signature Boxer Briefs

Kirkland Signature Boxer Briefs

I thought about writing a review for them as I was recently moved to renew my stock of boxers, something that happens periodically.

I purchased this pack of 4 Kirkland Signature Boxer Briefs at Costco, where else, for the price of $11.99, plus applicable taxes, which means that each pair of boxers costs $2.99.

There are several reasons why these are my favorite underwear. First of all, they are extremely durable. Not only is the fabric itself very though and resistant, the elastic waistband is very durable and will keep its stretching power through countless washes and many weight loss and weight gains.

Secondly, they are incredibly comfortable. This is based on several factors. The fabric itself is 95% cotton and 5% Spandex, meaning that it is quite stretchy, yet soft and warm. The cut is form-fitting and supportive, and the lack of labels and flat seams greatly contribute to a chaffing-free boxer experience.

I often need to walk a lot for my job – sometimes as much as 10 to 15 miles a day as counted by my cellphone – and when I do, I always make sure I am wearing the Kirkland Signature Boxer Briefs, as they are my only underwear that will not ride up, or down, under this constant movement. This means much less possibility of chaffing and a generally much more pleasant experience.

I know that the old ‘boxers or briefs’ question is quite existential. I find loose boxers very uncomfortable, but that’s just me. I find that the Kirkland Signature Cotton Stretch Fabric Cotton Boxer Briefs offer some of the very best value at Costco. You can get years of comfort for $11.99, or 3 bucks a boxer brief. That’s hard to beat.

  • Item name: Kirkland Signature Boxer Briefs
  • Available at: Costco
  • Price: $11.99 for a 4-pack
  • Country of Origin: Cambodia
  • PROS: Extremely durable, very affordable and supremely comfortable
  • CONS: None, unless you prefer loose boxers
  • THE VERDICT: Stock up!

Urban Star Jeans at Costco: Product Review

It’s quite striking. It happens quite often that I’m about to step out the door, and realize every single stitch of clothing I wear, including my glasses, comes from Costco. I guess I like a good deal. One of the primary ingredients here are my jeans, which are the Urban Star jeans, available at Costco, and who will be the topic of today’s review. I admit to having a love-hate relationship with those jeans.

First off, let’s start with price. While Urban Star is not a Costco brand, it might as well be, as it is by far the best deal in clothes at Costco. Each pair costs a ridiculously low $15.99, up a dollar from a few months ago. I remember going out 20 years ago and buying jeans for 6 or 7 times that price, and they weren’t nearly as comfortable.

Urban Star Jeans at Costco

Urban Star Jeans at Costco

I’ve been wearing this brand of jeans for years, and would not have done so just for the sake of them being affordable, if that was their only redeeming quality. It helps, but it’s not everything.

What's in Urban Star Jeans?

What’s in Urban Star Jeans?

I wear jeans a lot. They are more or less required wear at my job, so always having a pair clean and ready is essential. The first thing that needs to be said about these jeans is that they are extremely comfortable. I didn’t realize until I did a bit of research for this article, but my jeans contain 98% cotton – great! – and a mere 2% Spandex, which makes all the difference in the world.

Glorious, glorious Spandex! Had an extra large dinner and feel like you should loosen your pants?

No need! Urban Star jeans don’t care!

Gained 20 pounds but want to still fit in size 34 jeans, for ego reasons ? With Urban Star jeans and its magical Spandex component, you can!

I personally went from weighing 185 pounds, all the way to 215 and back down (some), all the time wearing the exact same size jeans – 34 – and not once feeling uncomfortable or tight in any way. I sometimes try on size 34 of other jeans, which I own but do not include Spandex, such as the Kirkland Signature jeans, and I can’t even come close to fitting in them, let alone closing the button!

Besides the comfort level, which is excellent, and the cost, which is incredible, what the Urban Star jeans have got is acceptable styling. I’m no fashion guru, but I think I look pretty darn good in them, and my wife agrees.

Now, to the one single unpleasant point about Urban Star jeans: even if you shop at Costco, incredible deals have a cost, somewhere, and in this case, the cost is reduced durability and longevity.

Components of these jeans are a little cheaper, and don’t last as long as others. The bottom of the pant legs, near the ground, will get frayed just a little faster. The pockets will develop holes quicker than with other brands. Not overnight, mind you, just a little faster, especially if you keep your keys in them.

Urban Star Jeans are fragile

Urban Star Jeans are fragile!

If you always put the same things in your pockets – keys, cellphone, wallet – the fabric will rub in a way as to make it visible. For example, the edge of my cell phone has left a line on the outside fabric of the my pocket, and on the other side, my wallet, which has a clasp, has actually rubbed a *hole* into the denim.

Now, it comes down to what you are looking for. The relative lack of durability of these jeans is their only drawback, as could be the styling, but that’s entirely subjective.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m happy to trade the shorter lifespan of these jeans, for their incredible comfort and rock-bottom price. That’s a call you have to make yourself, however. At $15.99 a pair at Costco, it’s really not that expensive to try them out, however!

In conclusion, I would be happy to recommend these jeans to anyone. The only time I would not is if you were doing a very, very physical job that would be hard on pants. Like being a cowboy, maybe. Besides that, if you keep them clean and more importantly, do a rotation, you’ll be very happy with Urban Star jeans.

  • Item name: Urban Star Jeans
  • Available at: Costco
  • Origin: Pakistan
  • Cost: $15.99 (requires Costco membership)
  • Composition: 98% Cotton, 2% glorious Spandex
  • PROS: Extremely comfortable, very inexpensive
  • CONS: Not as durable as they could be

Betty Crocker Peeler at Dollarama: Product Review

I was initially surprised in finding a well-known name like Betty Crocker on a bunch of random, food-related products at Dollarama. After all, the chain is known for selling items very inexpensively, and usually, the quality follows the price paid, and Betty Crocker is better known for their cake mixes than kitchen hardware. That being said, I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by Betty Crocker Peeler I bought at Dollarama.

Betty Crocker Peeler at Dollarama

Betty Crocker Peeler at Dollarama

I was very doubtful about the value of this product upon purchase. I had had the same peeler for over 10 years before this purchase, and it was quality stuff. Metal handle and blade holder, all cast in one piece, pleasantly heavy. Unfortunately, it had become old and tired, and the blade flipped very easily mid-peel, hacking away pieces of vegetables, leading to disfigured produce and increasing waste. It also dug quite deep, perfect for shredding carrots for a salad, but less so for standard peeling.

The first thing I noticed about the new Betty Crocker peeler is that is seems flimsy. It is extremely light-weight, and the plastic feels cheap. Of course, I bought it for $2 at Dollarama, so you can’t exactly expect great things.

I did, however, expect it to peel vegetables, and at that job, it does work quite well. The blade doesn’t seem nearly as cheap as the rest of the peeler, and a good thing, too, since it’s the most important part.

Betty Crocker Peeler blade

Betty Crocker Peeler blade

Once I got to peeling, I noticed that the blade has a very different profile than the one I was used to, much less aggressive. This means that generally speaking, it digs much less in the vegetables and whatever else I need peeled. This sometimes means that I have to do another pass when peeling, but overall, much less waste than before.

I would not say that the new Betty Crocker peeler I got for $2 from Dollarama is a great product. It feels very cheap and flimsy, but does a suprisingly good job at its intended purpose. This means that for the money, this product offers excellent value. You’re not going to get a great cast aluminum grip, but you’ll get a decent, well-designed blade that’s sharp and easy to clean. Even if you have to buy a new one every year because the handle breaks, you’re still ahead if you want to avoid investing more money.

PROS

  • Sharp blade, doesn’t cut too deep
  • Easy to clean
  • Very affordable
  • Stylish design

CONS

  • Handle is very cheap and feels shoddily assembled

THE VERDICT: Unless you want to spend a LOT more money to buy something that basically does the same thing, but looks and feels nicer, the Betty Crocker Peeler is a very good option, and a BUY.

Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads: Product Review

Disposable nursing pads are all the same. Or so I thought. Wrong.

I am one of the lucky ones who is able to breastfeed my children. When my son was born 3 years ago, I always bought the Lansinoh disposable nursing pads from the pharmacy at Costco. I never thought about other brands or trying to find better deals. They seemed like a good price for the product and I never had any complaints about the quality. I am a little more budget conscious now that my daughter has arrived and so when I forgot to purchase the nursing pads at Costco, I started to look at the local drugstores and grocery stores to avoid another trip out to Costco. The exact same product of 60 disposable nursing pads ranges from 12.99 to 16.99 at the drugstores/grocery stores. At Costco, I can get it for 8.89. So, I ended up purchasing the store brand disposable nursing pads package of 60 on special for 7.99 (regular price $9.99).

Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads (from Costco)

Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads (from Costco)

Wow, I was so pleased. Until, I tried them.

The quality of store brand disposable nursing pads is horrible. The packaging claims ultra thin, super absorbing gel, stops leaks, individually wrapped, new technology. The first problem I encountered after opening the box. The pads are not wrapped individually as per the claim and like the lansinoh pads; they are wrapped in pairs. This is inconvenient as often leakage occurs on one side only. Second, the wrapping is more difficult to tear and actually have torn more than one pad trying to open the wrapping. Third, the tape on the pads doesn’t stick well. Fourth, the pads are not breathable. I actually got a rash on my breast after using the store brand pads even when changing them several times a day. Fifth, overnight protection is not good. My shirts were soaked in the morning.

Store brand nursing pads are just not worth it. You might as well buy more shirts. You will need to change them just as often anyway. Spend a little more and get a lot more by purchasing the Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads which are less bulky, packaged individually for more convenience, keeps you dry even overnight, breathable, have two adhesive strips to keep the pad in place, and each box comes with pre-sterilized breast milk storage bags as a bonus. And, if purchased at Costco, they are even cheaper than store brand.

Happy savings, happy shopping!

Publisher’s note: This article was written by my better half and mother of our children, Ms. LWC. Nature has made it so that I have little need for nursing pads, and she was kind enough to share her experiences!