Berthelet Chicken Soup Base at Costco: Product Review

Whatever the level of cooking expertise you assign yourself, you know that having chicken soup base is an absolute requirement for cooking, from the simplest, easiest meal to the fanciest of feasts. This is why it’s important to never run out, or as rarely as possible, and thanks to Costco, this happens very rarely in my household. I buy the Berthelet Chicken Soup Base at Costco, in a 2.25 kilogram container, for $10.99. Needless to say, that’s a lot of chicken soup base, but then again, you can put that stuff in nearly everything.

Berthelet Chicken Soup Base

Berthelet Chicken Soup Base

I use chicken soup base not only for chicken soup, but also to make rice – an absolute must – and for my go-to pasta recipe, the one and only oil and garlic pasta, which interestingly is bland as heck without chicken soup base.

I really love the Berthelet chicken soup base for several reasons. The first, obviously, is the taste. While it is very salty, as it should, it also has a rich, almost sweet aftertaste that I haven’t found it other, lesser brands. Second is the price. At the rate I go through this stuff, it can’t be very expensive.  Fortunately, the size of the Costco bucket means that I’m not buying it every week. Thank god.

In any case, the last container I bought, before the one on my counter right now, I bought for $10.89, and opened it on November 26th, 2014. This means that my container lasted for 273 days, or a mere 3.98 pennies a day, for all the chicken soup base I needed, and I’m never stingy with it.

As far as ingredients go, it’s about what you’d expect. Here are, in order of appearance, the ingredients you’ll find in the Berthelet Chicken Soup base:

  • Salt
  • Dextrose
  • Glucose Solids
  • Corn Starch
  • Chicken Fat
  • Onion Powder
  • Monosodium Glutamate
  • Spice Extractives
  • Ground Turmeric (I assume for color)
  • Dehydrated Parsley
  • Disodium Inosinate
  • Disodium Guanylate

I’m happy to say that there isn’t really anything weird here. Of course, there are some chemicals, but nothing you wouldn’t expect, and nothing too far up the ingredients list. Moreover, the Berthelet Chicken Soup Base is made right here in Canada, in Laval (Québec). I’m not sure if it is available in Costcos everywhere in Canada, but if your Costco doesn’t carry it, make sure you ask for it. It it very affordable, delicious, mostly wholesome (for what it is) and it’s an unavoidable element of any self-respecting kitchen. This one is also low in calories, and gluten-free, if that’s something that you look for.

Purex Dirt Lift Action 150 Loads at Costco: Product Review

Over the years, I have seen for myself what soap and detergent manufacturers have known for years: people are just as attached to their brand of detergent than smokers are attached to their brand of cigarettes. The concept of brand loyalty is one I know well, and I know that advertisers spend billions making sure we stay with our brand, or try to make us switch to a new one, whatever the product may be. In the case of detergent, there is something else I’ve discovered: they more or less all do the same thing. This is why I always opt for the least expensive option, in the confident knowledge that my clothes will be acceptably clean. This is why I almost always buy the Purex Dirt Lift Action at Costco.

Purex Dirt Lift Action (150 loads)  6.92 liters

Purex Dirt Lift Action (150 loads) 6.92 liters

In this instance, I bought the Purex with the ‘After the Rain’ perfume. I honestly can’t tell the difference between that and another one, but it smells clean and fresh. Good enough for me!

Like most modern laundry detergents, Purex Dirt Lift Action contains no phosphates, which are terrible for the environment, and the container is made from 25% or more of post-consumer recycled plastic.

The first thing to know about Purex is this: it is supremely affordable. I always buy it on special at Costco, and this time was no exception. The regular price for this jug of detergent is $14.99, with a $4 instant rebate. Each container contains 150 loads, more or less, so the price per load is a very affordable 7.36 pennies. Even if you’re more generous than you should with the soap, you could ramp this up to a dime a load and it would still be a good deal.

Each Purex Dirt Lift Action container contains 6.92 liters of detergent, which is quite a bit. This means that the container weighs somewhere between 15 and 20 pounds, so you don’t want to be moving around a lot. It’s enough of a pain just to get it home. Hopefully you can have a setup where you can have the container just over the washer, and just hit the spout button to pour directly into the washer. I know that’s what I have, and it’s great.

When it comes to performance, the Purex Dirt Lift Action really works. Even though I always use cold water, even if the container does not specify it, I feel like I get maximum results at a minimal costs. Stains come out relatively easily, and colors don’t bleed. I generally don’t even have to sort clothes. It helps that we mostly wear dark colors.

The Purex website specifies that all Purex products will work in cold water, even if they do not specifically mention it. Since 90% of the energy consumption of a load of laundry is the energy required to heat the water, cold water laundry is really a no-brainer. In addition, this version of the Purex Laundry Detergent is specifically formulated for High Efficiency machines, which mine is, but will work on all types of machines, even the older, water-hungry ones.

All in all, I am very satisfied with my budget purchase; the Purex Dirt Lift Action (150 loads) I buy at Costco is extremely affordable, and works with all types of dirty clothes and stains, from jeans to shirts and socks and everything else in between. Obviously some stains require pre-treatment prior to the wash, but that’s the case no matter the detergent you’re using. If you’ve not tried Purex Dirt Lift Action yet, do your wallet a favor and give it a shot.

Dollarama Slide Seal Medium Freezer Bags: Product Review

I like shopping at Costco much more than I do at Dollarama, but I do occasionally enjoy my visits there. It often affords me the opportunity to buy my son a small, inexpensive toy that doesn’t burst my wallet, and that makes his day. My visit there yesterday, however, was to purchase something quite mundane and quite useful: freezer bags. The best deal is on Dollarama Slide Seal Medium Freezer Bags, which are available at a cost of $1.25 (plus taxes) for 12 bags, or just over 10 cents each. Each bag measures 20.5 cm x 20.5 cm (or 8 x 8 inches, more or less). They’re a perfect size for a wide variety of things in the kitchen, including meat, fish, sauces and prepared meals. These bags are branded ‘Seal Store’ but I’m pretty sure this is a brand that belongs to Dollarama.

Dollarama Slide Seal Medium Freezer Bags

Dollarama Slide Seal Medium Freezer Bags

By way of comparison, these Ziploc-brand medium freezer bags cost about 15 cents each when bought on the website (they’re probably cheaper at Costco), and they’re quite a bit bigger.

A first view, these freezer bags sound like a pretty good deal; the plastic is quite thick, as it should be for a freezer bags, and the slider works surprisingly well. The slider is supposed to offer a ‘dual seal’ to help keep food fresh, just like the Ziploc.

Of course, the packaging encourages you to take the air out of the bags before sealing and freezing, but I’m sure you know that. Personally, I either use a straw or just suck the air out if I’m planning long-term storage; if i’m not planning that, I don’t really bother.

These bags are, obviously, freezer and fridge-safe -they’d better be! – as well as being microwaveable. I’m not a fan of microwaves, and even less of cooking plastic in them, so I can’t vouch for that.

Overall, I’m quite satisfied with these bags, as well as with their price, but I must mention that my wife made a batch of spaghetti sauce recently, and froze it in batches in these bags – the reason for my visit to Dollarama. While the bags have not leaked, as they are placed full and upright, the freezer smells quite strongly of spaghetti sauce, even though there is no spill. This leads me to believe that in this case at least, these Dollarama Slide Seal Medium Freezer Bags are not nearly as airtight as they could be.

Grande Grated Parmesan Cheese at Costco: Product Review

Parmesan cheese is an essential, if not major ingredient in many of my favorite dishes. Spaghetti, or any kind of pasta, really, is but a pale shadow of what it could be without Parmesan. Of course, Fettuccine Alfredo is nothing without Parmesan. Not very Alfredo at all. Of course, this demand for Parmesan has led me to look for the very best deals. The tiny 100 gram containers they sell at most grocery stores are completely inadequate when your recipes call for cups of the stuff. A few years ago, I discovered the Grande Grated Parmesan Cheese at Costco.

Grande Grated Parmesan Cheese at Costco

Grande Grated Parmesan Cheese at Costco

The first thing I looked at was the price. It has varied in the last few years, but has been consistently around $13.99 per kilogram – that’s the size of the bag. That translates to $1.39 per 100 grams, no taxes, which is considerably cheaper than your grocery store will charge, which is usually anywhere from $3 to $5 per 100 grams. Nice margins.

Alright, so the price is right. But what about the cheese itself? The good news is that it smells like it should, especially when warmed on food, or in the microwave. No one in the vicinity can deny you’re eating Parmesan.

When used in a recipe, or simply sprinkled generously on pasta, the taste is very acceptable and a worthy substitute for imported Italian Parmesan, for the price, but if you’re planning anything fancier, I’d get the real stuff. One of the reasons for this can be found on the ingredients list. See below.

Grande Grated Parmesan Cheese at Costco (ingredients)

Grande Grated Parmesan Cheese at Costco (ingredients)

The ingredients of Grande’s Grated Parmesan Cheese are as follows:

  • Pasteurized Milk – good start
  • Salt – It’s Parmesan, after all
  • Powdered Cellulose – What?
  • Modified Milk Ingredients
  • Lipase
  • Microbial Enzyme
  • Bacterial Culture
  • Natamycin

As you can see, most of the ingredients sound good, except for one, which is powdered cellulose. It is included in there to act as an anti-caking agent, to prevent the grated cheese from clumping. It’s not bad for you, but it’s the third ingredient in this grated cheese. There’s a lot of it in there. Just to be clear, cellulose is mainly used to make paper and cardboard, and has a million other industrial uses, including to make smokeless gunpowder. You can read more about cellulose here. I’m pretty certain that the original Parmigiano-Reggiano doesn’t include this foreign ingredient. If you eat a big spoonful of Grande’s Grated Parmesan, you’ll find that it tastes quite powdery, a texture that disappears when mixed with other ingredients in a recipe.

As you can see by the nutrition facts sheet, this Parmesan is also quite salty, which is normal – you definitely won’t need to add salt to any recipe in which you include it!

In conclusion, the Grande Grated Parmesan Cheese is great when cooking, or sprinkled on pasta. It has a rich Parmesan flavor, If you’re going to use it in any other way, I would highly recommend purchasing the real Parmigiano, which is also available at Costco, for something around $25 a kilogram. This is especially true if you want to serve it on salad, or in any application that requires more substance than a finely-ground cheese. This Parmesan is made entirely in Canada, from 100% Canadian milk, which is great, but I can’t help but think they’re abusing the appellation ‘Parmesan’. It should more probably be called ‘Parmesan-style grated cheese’. But eh, I’m no expert, and I like both the taste and price!

Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent at Costco: Product Review

There’s a few things you can have when living in the city that you don’t realize you love until you don’t have them anymore; one of them is easy access to authentic Indian restaurant, and the second one is the general lack of bugs and mosquitoes. Ever since our family moved to the boonies a few years ago, I always make sure to have plenty of insect repellent on hand, as it is needed constantly, even when doing something as mundane as weeding the garden, or mowing the grass. Thankfully, thanks to Costco, I can have all the insect repellent I need for the season, at a very reasonable price. This year, I’ve opted for the Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent.

Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent

Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent

As you may or may not know, the only thing that works in insect repellent is DEET; it is the active ingredient, so to speak. The perfume they generally put on top of the DEET to make it more palatable is, in my own experience, counter-productive as insects are generally attracted to perfume smells.

The pack of Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent they have at Costco contains two 255 gram container of the standard 25% DEET concentration, and one 230 gram spray can of the 30% DEET ‘Sportsmen’ variety. I find that the regular Off! Deep Woods works quite well, despite the low concentration. I remember that in the Army they used to give us 100% DEET as insect repellent, and it worked incredibly well, so that’s always what I’m aiming for.

I’ve actually not used the ‘Sportsmen’ Deep Woods yet, I’m saving it for a walk in the woods, or when I expect bugs to be even more annoying than usual, but for now, the regular Deep Woods works quite well. My wife and children opt for the fruity-smelling Off! Family Protection, which I’ll talk about in another review.

When it comes to price, the 3-pack was $19.99 at Costco, plus applicable taxes. There was also a $4.50 instant rebate coupon, which brought the price down to $15.49. This is extremely competitive, considering that a single one of those cans can cost up to $10 in competing stores.

Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent claims an effectiveness for up to 8 hours, but I find that I need to reapply more often than that, especially if I’m sweating. Considering how much you get for the money, now’s not the time to be cheap if you really want to keep those bugs away! Deep woods is designed primarily for mosquitoes, which are the most annoying of summer flying pests, but will work equally well for black flies, deer flies and ticks, at least according to the packaging. The trick is, always, to apply regularly and generously. This product is manufactured by S.C. Johnson and Sons in the USA.

Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip at Costco: Product Review

Let’s make something perfectly clear: there are few things I abhor more than intentional spelling mistakes in words, for any reason. This goes for names, brands and pretty much anything. That’s my personal opinion. This is why I cringed when I saw Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing & Dip at Costco. ‘Xtreme’, really? ‘Extreme’ wasn’t ‘Xtreme’ enough? Uhhhh.

That’s when I saw the price, $1.97 for 944 ml – almost a liter of ranch dressing. Then I remembered that I have Gravlax in the fridge. For those of you that don’t know Gravlax, it’s a type of marinated salmon with dill. Incredible. I’ll post my recipe sometimes. In the mean time, you can check out the wikipedia entry for it.

Johnny's Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip

Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip

So, $1.97. It was probably 7 or 8 dollars at some point, but then I thought, with a tacky name and overly colorful and mildly inappropriate packaging, no wonder it’s marked down. Who are they trying to appeal to, anyways? Dill-crazy teenagers? Those aren’t at Costco.

Johnny's Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip ( nutrition facts)

Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip ( nutrition facts)

In any case, I’m happy I bought it, and I’m writing the review, aren’t I?

I’ve not used Johnny’s Dill Ranch dressing as dressing so far, because I have a bunch of gravlax to eat, but I’m sure it will serve admirably well.

I’ve been using it as dip, and it goes quite well with my marinated salmon; it’s very dilly, as the name implies, and that’s something you just can’t get enough eating gravlax. It doesn’t taste too rich, just right, and sticks to the salmon slices in just the right thickness.

In short, an excellent dip, but I wouldn’t use for everything, which is unfortunate because I have a liter of it and I’m quickly running out of salmon.

As to the nutrition facts, it’s about what you’d expect. Each 2-tablespoon serving contains 22% of your daily fat, 13% of your sodium and not much else. Certainly no vitamins or essential nutrients to speak of, but then again, that’s not really what anyone was looking for here, was it?

Johnny's Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip (ingredients)

Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip (ingredients)

It does get interesting when you look at the contents. The first 8 ingredients look fine; they are the traditional ingredients you would expect to find in any dill dressing. Things get a little hairier after that.

As you can see from the provided ingredients list, Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip contains a plethora of chemical-sounding ingredients, including everyone’s favorite, Calcium Disodium EDTA, which is creepily used to treat heavy metal poisoning, such as lead or mercury.

Gross.

Thankfully, it also prevents the dip from turning when you leave the jar open for too long, so hooray for that and I guess everything’s okay. It’s totally worth it.

In any case, I don’t want to be too rough here on Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip. Despite it’s horrible spelling mistake name, loud graphic design and dizzying list of chemicals, it’s certainly no worse than just about anything you buy on supermarket shelves, unless you feel like making *everything* from scratch. I know I don’t. In addition, this dressing is made in the USA by Johnny’s Fine Foods, so it’s not like your buying some imported, low quality and non-certified junk. I’ll be enjoying my dip and dressing now, for a very affordable price thanks to Costco.

Plaisirs Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs: Product Review

While I certainly enjoy cooking a complete meal from scratch, I admit to being occasionally lazy, and enjoying one that has been prepared for me, stuffed in a bag and boxed for me to purchase. I was at Costco a few days ago looking for vinegar with which to kill the weeds in my backyard, and I came across some delicious-looking ribs, which were on special, too! I purchased two boxes of the Plaisir Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs. The regular price for these prepared and fully-cooked ribs is $9.79, and a $2.80 Costco instant rebate applied, bringing down the price to a very reasonable $6.99.

Plaisirs Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs

Plaisirs Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs

Each box contains a full rack, or about 700 grams, as per the box. This translates in about $1 per hundred grams, which is a great deal. I think this may be cheaper than buying them fresh and making them the way you want. It’s certainly easier, that’s for sure.

Plaisirs Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs (in bag)

Plaisirs Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs (in bag)

The ribs and the sauce come packaged in a convenient sealed pouch, which is nice since the preferred method of heating up the ribs – not cooking, they’re already cooked – is putting them in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes, followed by in minutes in the oven. I didn’t do that, I just put in the over for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and they were awesome.

Plaisirs Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs (heating up)

Plaisirs Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs (heating up)

I lined a cooking sheet with foil, as it makes them easier to clean, and just dumped the ribs (the picture above is the contents of two boxes) on the foil; I then poured the rest of the sauce right on the ribs. I then covered the whole thing loosely with more foil, as per the instructions, and heated them up in the over.

Plaisirs Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs (cooked!)

Plaisirs Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs (cooked!)

I originally planned on taking a picture right after taking the ribs out of the oven, but my wife and my son were too hungry… yeah, it was mostly me. I devoured almost a full rack, and my wife and son had half a rack and a bit between them. Needless to say, we were all stuffed, and then I remembered I wanted to take pictures. Thankfully, there was some left, which will make a very tasty take-out lunch.

Those ribs are absolutely delicious and taste like home-made, for two excellent reasons: first, the ingredients are perfectly healthy and wholesome, and second, the nutrition facts sheet reads like a cardiologists’ worst nightmare.

PG BBQ Pork Back Ribs Nutrition Facts

PG BBQ Pork Back Ribs Nutrition Facts

First, the ingredients. Here they are, in the usual order:

  • Pork Back Ribs
  • Water
  • Brown Sugar
  • Tomato Paste
  • Cider Vinegar
  • Molasses
  • Soy Sauce
  • Apricot Puree (sugar)
  • Salt
  • Natural Smoke Flavor
  • Mustard Flour
  • Spices

As you can see, there’s nothing wrong here. Except for the apricot puree, which I would never have thought to include in my recipe, or the natural smoke flavor, every one of those ingredients I actually have in my pantry. I could have made those ribs.

Now, have a look at the nutrition fact sheet, right here. Notice the portion size; it’s 100 grams of meat and sauce. Assuming that there are about 500 grams of meat and sauce in the package, leaving out 200 grams for bones, you can see that this is an incredibly unhealthy thing to eat, at least if you consider the fat and salt.

If you’re eating the full package of Plaisir Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs, and trust me, it’s not very difficult, you’ll exceed your entire day’s recommended intake of fat and saturated fat, give your salt intake a run for its money, and blow through 1,250 calories’ worth of meat. You’ll also have eaten about 125 grams of proteins and gotten 50% of your daily iron, but that pales in comparison next to the 400 mg of cholesterol and 25 grams of saturated fat.

Now, even after writing this, I’m not going to stop eating those ribs. In fact, I’ll probably go buy more while they’re on sale and freeze them. Plaisirs Gastronomiques translates in English to ‘Culinary Delights’, and this is exactly what those BBQ Pork Back Ribs provide me: pure pleasure. They are tender, fall-of-the-bone perfect, and present a flawless equilibrium between sweet and salty, which is difficult enough to achieve. The texture is perfect, the taste is perfect, the ingredients are natural, but everything has a price, and in this case, well,it’s the fact that natural doesn’t mean ‘good for you’, health-wise.

Get your Plaisir Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs at your local Costco while they are on special, but if they’re not, don’t fret. They are well-worth the full price of $9.79!

Wafu Japanese Style Mayonaizu Spread: Product Review

I’m happy to report that I’ve made an awesome new discovery at my local Costco! This review is more about something new and great that about price and value, although as usual, when bought at Costco, the value was there! I’m talking here about the Wafu Japanese-Style Mayonaizu Spread. This was on demo at my local Costco, and I picked up two squeeze bottles of 450 ml each, just under a half-liter, for $6.99, no tax.

I’m a huge fan of traditional Wafu dressing, and when it comes to taste, these spreads are right on. What I enjoy about them is that I can take the wonderful taste of Wafu and apply it to a bunch of places where I couldn’t before, on account of the dressing being too thin. For example, I’ve already tried the Wafu Japanese-Style Mayonaizu Spread on toast – excellent! – in an actual salad, which was delicious, and on humble hot dogs, which tasted like a million bucks after a generous application of Wafu spread!

The Mayonaizu Spread is available at Costco in three different flavors; you get to pick two per order. They are:

  • Sesame – Tastes most like traditional Wafu dressing;
  • Wasabi – Tastes like Wasabi. Quite spicy, and delicious;
  • Spicy – As the name suggests, it’s spicy, but not hot like Wasabi;

Of course, being me, I could not resist the two most spicy versions of this delicious mayonnaise-style spread. I got the Spicy and Wasabi versions, pictured below.

Wafu Wasabi Mayonaizu Japanese Style Spread

Wafu Wasabi Mayonaizu Japanese Style Spread

The Wasabi version of the Mayonaizu spread is quite spicy; definitely not something to give young kids, which is not something I thought about when I bought this. I will buy the milder Sesame version when I’m next at Costco.

Wafu Spicy Mayonaizu Spread

Wafu Spicy Mayonaizu Spread

Since the Spicy Wafu is not as spicy as the Wasabi, I don’t like it as much, but it may go down better with the other members of the family.

When it comes to ingredients, both are almost identical, so I’ll list the ingredients for the Wasabi version:

  • Canola Oil
  • Water
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Pasteurized Frozen Egg Yolk
  • Sugar
  • Modified Corn Starch
  • Sea Sal
  • Spinach Powder
  • Lactic Acid
  • Lemon Juice Concentrate
  • Horseradish Powder
  • Xanthum Gum
  • Citric Acid
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • Wasabi Oil
  • Natural Flavor
  • Mustard Oil
  • Capsicum Oil
  • Calcium Disodium Edta
Wafu Spicy Mayonaizu Japanese Style Spread Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

Wafu Spicy Mayonaizu Japanese Style Spread Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

None of these ingredients are particularly freaky, although there are quite a few stability and conservation agents. Pictured at right are the ingredients for the Spicy Mayonaizu version.

As far as the nutritional information goes, this is pretty standard for a mayonnaise-style spread. (Compare with my Kirkland Signature Real Mayonnaise here) There are quite a few calories per tablespoon, along with plenty of lipids, cholesterol and sodium. I know that it doesn’t look like that much, but seriously, who eats a single tablespoon full? I know I don’t, which in retrospect might help explain my expanding waistline issues.

In closing, a word about the name; I don’t know if ‘Mayonaizu’ is what you call mayonnaise in Japanese. I would be surprised if it was so. Maybe one of my more cultured readers can enlighten me in the comments.

I think it is funny to say ‘mayonaizu’ so I’m going to stick with it.

If you see these products at your local Costco, and you enjoy the taste of Wafu salad dressing, I highly encourage you to give these a try. They are delicious, and I’m not being paid to say so. It must also be said that these products are made right here in Canada, with what I assume are local ingredients (mostly). It’s fun to buy something delicious that is made here, knowing that you help support your local economy.

Costco Canada Coupons, Week of July 27, 2015

Good morning, Costco shoppers! Here are the coupons you’ll find this week at your local Canadian Costco warehouse. I have selected Alberta and Quebec as the Western and Eastern Canada representative, so bear in mind that if you are in other provinces, you might have a few more, or a few less coupons. I have noticed that the Quebec coupons are the biggest ones this week, as they include a bunch of items that are on sale for 2 weeks rather than the usual one week.

Western Canada Costco Coupons, Week of July 27th, 2015 (Alberta)

Costco Western Canada Coupons, week of July 27, 2015

Costco Western Canada Coupons, week of July 27, 2015

My personal favorites in Western Canada are the Korean barbecue pork jerky, which I’ve never tasted but would undoubtedly love, and the Smoked bacon breakfast hash, which I’ve tried several times and is absolutely delicious – just add eggs! The red potato salad also looks great.

Eastern Canada Costco Coupons, Week of July 27th, 2015 (Quebec)

Eastern Canada Costco Coupons, week of July 27th, 2015

Eastern Canada Costco Coupons, week of July 27th, 2015

In eastern Canada, my pick would be the scallops, which are huge, and at $6 off per pack, are a real bargain. The aluminum foil is also a great deal and is a great thing to stockpile when it’s on special. I’ve not paid full price for that stuff in a decade. Most of these are great deals, but are not things I would normally buy, unfortunately.

Artika Ampere Crystal Ellipse at Costco: Product Review

There is an increasing number of products designed by Artika in my local Costco. Most of those are lamps and ceiling fixtures, such as the really cool LED Moonraker, but there are other products, such as the Aqua Bay sink. Their latest product to catch my eye is the beautiful Artika Ampere Crystal Ellipse, or “The” Crystal Ellipse, as the packaging would have it. The light fixture I have in my dinning room is pretty ordinary, and I am seriously considering a change. A full-size, chandelier-type indoor light for the very attractive price of $174.99, including all the light bulbs, is quite the good deal, especially for something this classy.

Artika Ampere Crystal Ellipse

Artika Ampere Crystal Ellipse

This very nice laser-cut light fixture measures 31.5 inches long, so almost 3 feet, by 11.8 inches at its widest point, by 8.7 inches high. It features hanging crystals on the inside, as well as no less than nine 40W G9 bulbs, which are included in the package. A quick search on Amazon tells me that each of these bulbs cost about $5 each, if you’re buying LED bulbs, which you should. That’s a savings of $45, right there.

Also included is all the hardware required to install the Crystal Ellipse. Most people would probably get an electrician to install it, but any enterprising man – or woman – could most certainly do it, as my experience with the Moonraker attests to.

Artika Ampere Crystal Ellipse (box)

Artika Ampere Crystal Ellipse (box)

While the Ampere Crystal Ellipse will probably be installed mainly in dining rooms – it has that look, it could easily be installed in any other room in the house, such as the bedroom, the living room or even the entrance. Of course, this type of modern design requires a certain type of furniture and decor to go with it, or else it could look out of place.

Artika Ampere Crystal Ellipse (specs)

Artika Ampere Crystal Ellipse (specs)

Another nice feature about the Artika Crystal Ellipse is the fact that the length of the hanging wires is easily adjustable, so it won’t hang right in front of your eyes at the diner table, or anywhere else for that matter. The maximum cable length is 1 meter, or 39.4 inches, which is more than enough even for houses with very high ceilings.

I’ve not yet purchased the Artika Ampere Crystal Ellipse, but I find it so attractive I just had to share. I will be purchasing it soon and installing it in our entrance, so I’ll be sure to update this article when I do. Thanks for reading, and feel free to share your experiences with the Crystal Ellipse in the comments section below!