Category Archives: Purchases

Old Spice Pure Sport Deodorant at Costco: Product Review

Like most men that enjoy not being smelly and gross, I use deodorant on a mostly daily basis. Over the years, I’ve tried just about all types and kinds of deodorants and antiperspirants, and it’s come down to the realization that there is only one type and brand of deodorant that really works for me, and that’s Old Spice Pure Sport, High Endurance Deodorant.

Of course, I buy my Old Spice deodorant at Costco, hence this product review; not withstanding all the awesome stuff you can find at Costco, there’s no denying that this sort of purchases is what Costco is made for. I buy my Old Spice deodorant in packs of 5, for $10.99, which comes down to a mere $2.20 per stick, compared to as much as $5 each when sold individually at the pharmacy.

Old Spice Pure Sport High Endurance Deodorant at Costco: Product Review

Old Spice Pure Sport High Endurance Deodorant at Costco: Product Review

Now, to get to the nitty-gritty details about the Old Spice deodorant; it’s blue, smells nice and unlike antiperspirant, does not prevent you from sweating. It does, however, prevent you from smelling bad, which of course is the name of the game.

Here are the Old Spice Deodorant ingredients:

  • Dipropylene Glycol
  • Water
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sodium Stearate
  • Fragrance
  • PPG-3 Myristyl Ether
  • Tetrasodium Edta
  • Violet 2, Green 6

It’s worth noting that even though I am quite certain of the spelling of those words – see for yourself on the picture below – most of them make my spellcheck swoon with a passionate desire to correct me. So only normal stuff in there.

Old Spice Pure Sport High Endurance Deodorant Ingredients

Old Spice Pure Sport High Endurance Deodorant Ingredients

I must say that I appreciate the humor in which Old Spice describes itself: “Contains Odor-Fighting “Atomic Robots” that “Shoot Lasers” at your “Stench Monsters” and Replaces them with Frech, Clea,. Masculine “Scent Elves”.” This is awesome.

Now, to the testing portion of this review.

I can say that this product works awesomely for me. I have no way to prove this to you, and of course, everyone is different, so it may not work for you.

That being said, I’ve been using Old Spice Pure Sport High Endurance Deodorant for over 10 years, and it does a great job of destroying my “stench monsters”, and my wife likes the way I smell, so there you go. I put it on in the morning, and it works all day; I rarely if ever have the need to reapply during the day, unless I am doing so extremely strenuous activity, and I avoid that like the plague, so there you have it.

How long does a stick of Old Spice Pure Sport High Endurance deodorant last?

Isn’t that a question that all guys – and gals – have asked themselves at some point? How long will this stick last? You open it one day, use it for a while, then later, the plastic painfully scrapes your armpit, reminding you to throw it out and get another one. But how long does the Old Spice deodorant circle of life last?

Luckily for you, I like to write stuff down, and I’m a stickler for putting on exactly the same number of swipes on both arms every day. Since there are some days in which I will not put on deodorant – sorry baby! – this figure will represent an absolute worst case scenario.

My methodology is as follows: I’ve calculated how long a stick lasts, and counted a minimum number of swipes (both arms); this lets me know how many swipes are in the stick, which for me was 1768 – 68 days, times 26 swipes per day – don’t judge.

Assuming you put on 10 swipes per day, or 5 under each arm, your stick of Old Spice deodorant should last just under 6 months. I put on way more, and my stick lasts just over 2 months.

For me, this comes down to a daily cost for deodorant, and not stinking, of under four pennies. If you stretch out your deodorant as described above, you can lower that to near a single penny a day.

This begs the question: at this price, how come some people still avoid putting some on? Procter & Gamble through all the trouble of making a great product, super affordable, and some still avoid using it. Get with the non-stinking program!

Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light from Costco: Product Review

If you are a regular reader of this blog, or have done any research on Artika lighting products, you have come across my gloving review of the Artika Moonraker I did some months ago. What I said before still holds true, and I still love my Moonraker. However, what usually happens at Costco happened, and when came the time to install a new LED Ceiling Light, Costco was out of them. Fortunately, they had a replacement, the Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light. The price was $39.99, comparable to what I had paid for the Moonraker about a year earlier.

Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light

Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light (front of box)

Visually speaking, there are not many differences between the Moonraker and the newer Cloudraker. The main difference, as near as I can tell, is that the part that screws in the ceiling, where the actual LED lights are, is between 1 and 2 inches smaller in diameter on the Cloudraker. This means that the diffuser flares out from the base slightly, which is quite nice. Have a look at what the Cloudraker looks like installed.

Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light (installed)

Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light (installed)

Because of the shape of the diffuser, there is a cool ceiling back-lighting effect taking place when you light it up, and it contributes to making the room even brighter than it otherwise would be with the light on.

Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light (back of the box)

Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light (back of the box)

Here are the Cloudraker’s main feature, as assigned and attributed by the back of the box, above.

  • High power, which at 29 watts for an LED fixture, is true
  • Dimmable light – more on that later
  • Immortal Light (that their trademark for their 25,000 hour light)
  • 1800 lumens
  • No maintenance
  • Low energy consumption, thanks to LED lights

One of the lice things about this fixture is that they seem to have gotten the message about their lights humming when installed with certain dimmers – please see the comments in the Moonraker review.  They have printed on the box the recommended dimmers from major manufacturers, which would presumably work best with the Cloudraker, and avoid that annoying humming. Mine is not on a dimmer, so let me know in the comments if these are working out for you, or if you have any success (or not!) with other dimmers.

Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light (box content)

Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light (box content)

I took this picture to show the contents of the box, but this is really self-explanatory. The fixture comes with the screws to attach it to any standard box, as well as the screw-caps to cover the wires when you connect them. Installation took about 10 minutes, which includes the time that was needed to remove the previous, awful fixture.

Inside the  Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light

Inside the Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light

Here is the inside of the LED light fixture. As you can see, there are – hopefully – no moving parts, and nothing that you should be worried about replacing. I’m hopeful that I’ll manage to get my 25,000 hour’s worth of lighting, but even if it was only half that, it would still be OK.

So far, I’m very satisfied with my Artika Cloudraker LED Ceiling Light, which I purchased, as always, from Costco. Here what I got from it:

  • Affordable: Less than $40 at Costco
  • Easy to install: Less than 10 minutes
  • Pleasant warm glow
  • Long lasting and reliable – so far
  • Easy on the electric bill

Let me know in the comments what you think about this Cloudraker, and how it compares for you, to Moonraker. Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions you ma have, I’ll be happy to answer to the best of my knowledge!

Ampere Moonraker LED Ceiling Light At Costco

Ever since we bought our house, I’ve been annoyed at one thing more than anything else. The previous owners of the house were quite short, and in the basement, in what is now my office, they had installed a chandelier-type light fixture that hung quite low. High enough for them to move under, but for me, not quite. I’ve banged my head against it more times than I can count. I’ve been meaning to replace the fixture for a while, but I wasn’t interested in the cheap stuff at Home Depot, nor wanted to spend a lot of money.

Seems like a quandary, doesn’t it? It sure did to me, but thanks to Costco, all my problems are solved.

Okay maybe not all of them, but at least those pertaining to this annoying light fixture situation.

Yesterday, I installed a Ampere Moonraker LED Ceiling Light (plafonnier in French) that I purchased at Costco only an hour before, for the low price of $39.99, plus applicable taxes.

Costco Ampere Moonraker LED Ceiling Light

Costco Ampere Moonraker LED Ceiling Light

This is an LED ceiling light, and I was afraid that the light would be too cold, or white as opposed to yellow and  warm. I needn’t have worried. The light is quite yellow and calming, much like older incandescent bulbs.

I’d never had the occasion to install any fixtures, but it turns out that it was quite easy, except for the fact that it was getting dark, and that my 3-year-old son was in charge of illumination with an extremely powerful – and blinding – flashlight, which I’d also bought at Costco.

Here’s what the finished product looks like. I know that this is a terrible picture.

Costco Ampere Moonraker LED Ceiling Light (installed)

Costco Ampere Moonraker LED Ceiling Light (installed)

I tried to take a picture with the light on, but my phone was not cooperating in the least, so there you have it.

The installation was quite smooth, two wires and the ground to connect. The result is safe and solid, and thanks to LED technology, I’ll never have to change the bulbs in there.

This is quite the high-powered LED ceiling light, with 1800 lumens of illumination. It is also dimmable, but I’ll have to change the light switch for that. Maybe another day.

Speaking of days, this is how long this lamp will last, according to the manufacturer: 25,000 hours, which translates to over a thousand days, at 24 hours a day. The manufacturer and designer, Artika, instead proposes 22.8 years of life, based on a 3 hour a day use, which seems more reasonable. It also consumes a very low 28 watts of power, which is good for my electricity bill.

I know that buying a LED ceiling light at Costco, for under $40, should not be particularly exciting, but for some reason it is.

Maybe it’s because I’ve successfully executed my first, albeit very light, electrical renovation, or perhaps I know that I’m done whacking my head on a ridiculously out of place chandelier. We may never know. But I’m very happy with my Ampere Moonraker LED Ceiling Light!

UPDATE – April, 2015 – I’ve installed a new ceiling light, this time the Artika Cloudraker, also from Costco. You can read the new review right here to see how it compares to the Moonraker.

SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSDHC UHS-1 at Costco

My wife and I recently got new cell phones. We got the Samsung Galaxy S4 at the wireless kiosks at Costco. We paid very little for them – under $20 – and each received $175 in Costco gift cards.

The fun thing about Samsung phones, as opposed to, say, the Nexus line, is that you can add memory to them. You’re not stuck with whatever they decide you have. I decided to see how long I could last on 16GB. Turns out, not that long. Between installing apps, copying all my music on the phone and shooting 1080p video all the time, I’d now run out and could not even install small apps.

SanDisk Ultra 32GB MicroSDHC UHS-1 Card with Adapter, Costco #781223

SanDisk Ultra 32GB MicroSDHC UHS-1 Card with Adapter, Costco #781223

Imagine my surprise when I was at Costco yesterday, and saw a 32GB card for $24.29, Canadian currency. I’ll admit to not shopping a lot and comparing prices, but I knew it was one of those unadvertised, temporary price drops, as the price had an expiration date.

I thought about it while shopping for the essentials. Basically, I was thinking as to whether I should get the 64GB instead, which was about 45 bucks.

I decided that the 32GB would do just fine for now. If I ever need the 64GB, I can give the 32GB to my wife and upgrade mine.

What really sucks up a lot of memory and storage space, in my case, is the 1080p video, and it was also what worried me.

With my previous phone, I would often get choppy video when shooting at full resolution, and it was something I was keen to avoid. The SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSDHC UHS-1 card I got at Costco is rated for a read spead of up to 48MB/s, and is also rated Class 10, meaning it is supposed to be good to capture full HD video. It’s not even available on the Costco.ca site.

After installing the card I quickly shot a video of my son ‘working’, shuffling papers around my desk. There was not a single stutter in a video over 4 minutes long, so I guess the microSDHC card is as good as its word. At least so far.

I still find it incredible that I can purchase memory for less than a dollar a gig. I’m old enough to remember having a computer with a 20 MEG hard drive, which cost considerably more than $24.29. More like a hundred times that.

In any case, I’m happy with my purchase. The lower price was probably the result of someone else having a sale, and it was just $4.50 off the regular price, but I’ll take it.

Dutailier Ultramotion Glider and Ottoman: Just In

My wife and I are expecting our second child very soon; our little girl could be born right now and she would not be particularly premature. So any day now. Daddy’s freaking out. But enough about that. I’m a big fan of the old saying that says:

If it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done.

So obviously my wife and I are shopping for stuff for the baby. One thing that is particularly high on her list is a new rocking chair, for nursing. The one we had for our first child, I inherited from my grandmother. Despite new cushions, it is hard, uncomfortable, narrow – even for my wife – and short-backed, so no relaxing. Here is the new chair we got!

Dutailier Ultramotion Glider Rocker and Ottoman

Dutailier Ultramotion Glider Rocker and Ottoman

We did not buy this new. We shopped around a little, and even on special, chairs like these that include the ottoman are anywhere from $225 to $500 and over, plus taxes.

For this kind of money, we can tolerate a rocking chair that has been gently used. For comparison, check what is available on Costco.ca.

The only difference that I can see between the new, 2015 Costco model and ours is that the newer one has a mechanism to block the chair in place, while ours doesn’t. Considering we are buying a rocking chair, that didn’t seem very important.

The Dutailier Ultramotion Glider and Ottoman we got used from someone on Kijiji has a few light stains on the sides, and the cushions are not as puffy as a brand-new one. Of course, the new one will set you back over $500, plus taxes, while we paid $100 for ours. On top of it all, this nice chair is made right here in Canada; feels right to keep our money here (even though we bought it second hand) and the quality matches and exceeds all expectations.

A hundred bucks still seems like a lot of money, but my wife’s comfort as she nurses is paramount. She’s happy, so I’m happy. Hopefully the little one will like it, too!

Staples Can be Boring

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about going to Staples, the store, although that can be pretty boring as well. Choosing between different qualities, or ‘weights’ of paper has never been that attractive to me. Thankfully, when I talk about staples, I mean rice and pasta and potatoes and ground beef and whatnot.

The problem with these kinds of staples is that cooking with them always requires more time and a lot more imagination, both of which are in short supply at this time. So in addition to our traditional, boring purchases, last week I made the purchase of a roast chicken, which was, as usual, quite delicious. Here’s what I got at Costco:

  • One roast chicken; Price: $7.99
  • One gallon 1% milk; Price: 5.82
  • One gallon whole milk; Price: $6.32
  • Kirkland Signature Basmati Rice; Price: $9.89
  • 18 Extra-large eggs; Price: $3.89

The total was $35.11, including taxes, which applies only on the chicken.

In case you’re wondering how come the milk is so expensive, it is because it is ‘price-controlled’ to protect farmers. Good old supply-side management. Fails. Every. Single. Time.

Some Tasty Chicken Nuggets

My wife told me the other day that she would enjoy some chicken nuggets, and we’re not into restaurants these days. Fortunately, there are plenty of options if you want to make them at home. We opted for the frozen type, straight from Costco – where else. It was a simple purchase and didn’t break the bank.

One April 23rd, I purchased a single box of tasty chicken nuggets. Here are the details:

  • One box of Chicken Nuggets, 2 kilos, item #154479 at Costco; Price: $9.89

Thankfully, taxes do not apply on this item. I’ll do a full review of the nuggets at a later date, but let me tell you a few things:

  • They are delicious, white meat and everything, well-seasoned
  • 2 kilos is a whole heck of a lot of Chicken Nuggets

I’m very happy with this purchase. We’re already tired of eating them, and there is still almost half the box left. Good call, sweetheart!

Costco Frivolity

Alright, I admit the title of my post is somewhat misleading, as it is really easy to go completely crazy at Costco, assuming you can afford it. We want to buy a house, so we can, but sometimes our urge for ‘junk’ food is really too strong to ignore, so we willingly give in. Just like today.

What I usually try to do is simple: get one relatively expensive item that I need – a staple or something essential – and tack on to the order something much smaller, so it doesn’t look so bad. Huggies Wipes were on special at my local Costco, until today, so I took advantage. Here’s what I got.

  • One box of Huggies Natural Care Plus baby wipes, 1120 per box; Price: $26.49 (minus $6, a great deal)
  • One box of four packs of Brownies Mix with Chocolate Chips; Price: $7.99 (for the whole box)

Today’s total came up to $28.48 before taxes. Interestingly, the Wipes, which are essential, are taxable and the Brownies, which are pure junk food if there was ever one, are not. Go figure. Welcome to Canada, where everything makes sense. Anyways, once taxes were factored in, the total came up to $31.54. Not bad for a massive supply of wipes, and thousands and thousands of calories of chocolaty goodness!

To read my review of the Baby Wipes, just click right here or the link above.

Reasonable Costco Purchases

Went to Costco Wholesale yesterday, tried to keep it under control. Even though we have put our weekly food and stuff budget pretty low, we still need to get all sorts of staples, and Costco is the best place for that. My wife tells me we should check out the specials in several places and always go for whatever’s on special. She’s right, but it certainly requires a lot of work. Going to Costco is fun and easy. So here are our purchases for April 19th, 2013.

  • Yogurt, two packages of 1 kilo; Price: $5.79
  • Kirkland Signature Stir-Fry frozen vegetables mix; Price: $8.99
  • Ziploc freezer bags, medium-sized, three boxes of 50 bags; Price: $10.59
  • Chips; one bag of Doritos and one of Ruffles; Price: $6.99
  • Small watermelon; Price: $3.99 (that seemed frivolous)
  • Premium Bananas; Price: $1.69 (best deal in town)
  • Whole-wheat, multi-grain, Olive oil Campagnolo bread, two loaves; Price: $4.99
  • One gallon 3.25% milk; Price: $6.32
  • Low-fat, 1% milk, One gallon; Price: $5.82
  • Lean ground beef, 2.65 kilos; Price: $15.89

Total price, before taxes: $71.06

Thankfully, only the chips and the Ziploc bags had tax applied to them, so the total (everything included) was $73.69.

Overall, the only things in there that aren’t staples are the chips and the melon. The yogurt we could also do without, but it makes for a great dip when combined with onion soup mix, and my wife and I are very keen on including some ‘junk’ in our diet!