Tag Archives: Made in USA

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!

Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence: Product Review

I’ve been really impressed with the Rodelle products I had the opportunity to buy at Costco, especially the Gourmet Baking Cocoa, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. I was therefore really happy when I saw that my Costco also stocked the Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence, which is a Gourmet Herb Blend. I really enjoy cooking French food and eating it, so I figured this would be a great addition to my pantry.

Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence

Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence

First off, let’s talk about price. This is Costco we’re talking about, so it’s all about the best deal, the best price and the best value. The Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence comes in a 108 gram container, which is about 3.8 ounces, and costs $7.89 at my local Costco. This comes down to about 2 dollars per ounce, which is not expensive for a gourmet herb blend.

This Rodelle product is Made in the USA, and contains the following ingredients:

  • Thyme
  • Fennel
  • Basil
  • Savory
  • Lavender

I know that some Herbes de Provence blend don’t include Lavender, but I find that it brings a hint of freshness that is quite incomparable, so I like it just like that.

So what can those herbs be used for? Are they used only in traditional French cuisine? Absolutely not! While that’s where they find their roots, les Herbes de Provence have transcended their origins and can be used just about anywhere. Check out this Huffington Post article for some inspiration!

In short, they are great for grilling or roasting meat – particularly awesome with a roast leg of lamb, or shoulder – but are equally at home with seafood and fish, or simply on roasted potatoes. You can even make a really good dip using nothing but Herbes de Provence, sour cream and mayonnaise!

When you’re next at Coscto, make sure you pick up Rodelle’s Classic Herbes de Provence. It’s an easy and affordable way to add hint of la Cote d’Azur to your cooking!

Utz Specials Sourdough Pretzels at Costco: Product Review

Gotta love Costco. I mean, I do, but I’m always amazed at the kind of stuff I’ll find there. There’s always something that’s too big, a little outrageous, or just a bit coming out of left field. For example, the 8-foot tall, $230 teddy bear they trot out every year around this time. Today, the catch was this enormous bucket of pretzels; I mean, it’s not a jar any longer. It’s a bucket. Introducing the 1.47-kilogram, ginormous bucket of Utz Specials Sourdough Pretzels, made in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Incidentally, I have today learned that Pennsylvania is the heart of the American pretzel industry, thanks to this overly informative Wikipedia page.

Utz Specials Sourdough Pretzels

Utz Specials Sourdough Pretzels

I’m sorry I didn’t include a specific frame of reference in the picture. Trust me when I say that this bucket of pretzels is truly deserving of the name ‘bucket’. It contains 1.47 kilograms of delicious pretzels, which translates into roughly 3.25 pounds. That’s a lot of pretzels. These will go well with my other snacks.

All that sourdough deliciousness comes at the price of $8.99 at my local Costco. It does feel weird to be buying such an obviously enormous quantity of something. I really felt strange coming out of the store with my massive tub o’ salt.

When it comes to nutrition, these pretzels are clearly not there, unless you’re low on salt, then they’ll do the job admirably. Each 5-pretzel portion (which can be consumed in 30 seconds or less, if you’re in no rush) contains an impressive 19% of your daily recommended salt intake. Just have a look at the pretzels in the picture. They are clearly covered in coarse salt. Yummy! I’m serious.

Here’s a look at the ingredients take make up those delicious sourdough pretzels:

  • Unbleached enriched flour
  • Salt
  • Palm and/or corn oils
  • Maltodextrin
  • Buttermilk powder
  • Citric acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Yeast
  • Natural flavor
  • Vinegar
  • Sodium bicarbonate

I’m always happy to see that Costco is promoting products that do not contain mountains of unpronounceable ingredients; of course, that’s what the members and customers are asking for, but it’s good to see them stepping up to the plate.

As to the pretzels, well, they are everything that a pretzel should be. Crunchy, dry but not too dry, salty with that distinctive sourdough taste. Just try ’em , they’re awesome. I don’t know how long my Costco will carry the Utz Specials Sourdough Pretzels, but I hope they last. If they don’t, well, the tub’s big enough to last me a week or two.

If you’re

Dearfoams Men’s Memory Foam Slippers at Costco: Product Review

I’ve never been a slippers kind of guy; socks have always seemed to do the job. That being said, my office in our new house is in the basement, and in the winter, it gets quite chilly down there. I figured that it would be nice to have something warmer to put on my feet while I’m updating the website in the cold winter months. When I saw the Dearfoams Men’s Memory Foam Slippers at Costco, I figured I didn’t have much to lose, and potentially quite a bit to gain.

Dearfoams Men's Memory Foam Slippers

Dearfoams Men’s Memory Foam Slippers

Since I know that Costco usually offers value, the first thing I noticed was the price. The regular price for these memory foam slippers is $13.99, which is cheap enough, but I was lucky enough to buy them with a $4 instant rebate, which brought the price down under $10, at $9.99. I figured that at the price, they’d just need to be OK – not great – and I would have more than my money’s worth, which is always the point.

Dearfoams Men's Memory Foam Slippers

Dearfoams Men’s Memory Foam Slippers

Visually speaking, and at first glance, the slippers look like they are made of some sort of coarse recycled material. which I’m sure is exactly what it is. The outside of the slipper is softer than it looks, but not by much. The soles are durable rubber, made for an outdoor and indoor use, although I would not go outside with these unless the ground was very dry – no snow. Perfect for indoor use, ideally while having a delicious coffee.

The material that covers the inside of the slippers is quite soft, and more pleasant to the touch than the exterior, and comes in a nice, homey, plaid pattern.

Now, to comfort. I’ll start off by saying that as you can see by the picture, I bought the 11-12 size, as I normally wear 10-1/2 to 11-1/2 size shoes. Unfortunately, I really need to jam my foot as deep as it’ll go in the slipper to make sure my heel isn’t over the back ridge of the slipper, which is not a deal-breaker, but a little uncomfortable. I’m sure that with use, the ridge will become softer and more pliable, making this point moot.

As far the memory foam goes, it’s there, and my feet are quite comfortably supported when I’m sitting, which I do most of the time when I’m wearing them, but when I stand and the foam has to bear the brunt of my 200-plus pounds, it bottoms out quickly, as it’s not very thick. When I walk, I feel like the ball of my foot is only a little cushioned, and that the sole is doing most of the work.

That being said, these Dearfoams Men’s Memory Foam Slippers are not uncomfortable to walk in, and do a great job of keeping my feet cozy and warm when I’m sitting, which is what I expect of them.  Walking around the house – slowly – or maybe taking out the garbage in my slippers and housecoat is about the most stress I would put on them. Bought for anywhere under $15, these slippers are a great deal. I feel like they are a little flimsy, but I only paid ten bucks for them, and time will tell. I won’t judge them on that count before wearing them through the winter. As an added bonus, these slippers are machine washable, so if you step in a mud puddle, or drop some hot coco on them, they’re easy to clean. You can visit the Dearfoams site right here.

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.

Kirkland Signature Trail Mix: Product Review

As far as my wife is concerned, going on a trip anywhere in the car is an occasion to eat snacks. If there are no snacks, it will be a very unpleasant situation for all involved. I kept that fact in mind as I was planning our latest trip, a five-hour car trip to visit family in Toronto. On my last visit to Costco before leaving, I picked up a bag of Kirkland Signature Trail Mix, for $12.99. Here are our impressions.

Kirkland Signature Trail Mix

Kirkland Signature Trail Mix, Item number 34806

As you can see from the picture of the bag, as well as that of the ingredients (just below), the ingredients are peanuts, M&M- brand candies, raisins, almonds and cashews, in that order. I find it quite impressive that the M&Ms are so far up the list, in other brands they are few and far between .

Kirkland Signature Trail Mix Ingredients

Kirkland Signature Trail Mix Ingredients

Of course, when you put raisins, almonds and cashews in your trail mix, it’s no surprise that M&Ms come out as just about the cheapest ingredient, and you put a lot in. That says a lot about other brands, where M&Ms are rare.

Kirkland Signature Trail Mix Nutrition Facts

Kirkland Signature Trail Mix Nutrition Facts

The Kirkland Signature Trail Mix boasts an almost perfect balance of sweet and salty components. The sweet M&Ms and raisins are nicely balanced by the salty peanuts, almonds and cashews, and I can assure you that they are easy to eat by the handful.

When it comes to nutrition, I must admit that I am a little annoyed. The bag is labeled in weight – 1.36 kilograms – while the nutrition information is calculated by volume, in milliliters. Have a look at the fact sheet. There is no comfortable way of calculating how many servings are in a bag, short of measuring out the number of cups of Trail Mix are in the bag, and multiplying by 3. Let’s say that I eat this in 100-gram portions, which means that there are 13.6 portions per bag, and each of them costs 95 cents.

What I can absolutely share with you, is that 1/3 of a cup really isn’t that much, and I can easily eat several servings in one go. That’s kind of the point of driving food. The good news is that you’ll get 9 grams of proteins per serving, and there are no trans fats in Costco’s Trail Mix. Also, there is surprisingly little salt, considering the ingredients list.

The bad news is that there is plenty of both fat and sugar, which is great if you’re out there hiking it out on the trail, not so awesome when you’re driving a minivan full of wife and kids and luggage and noise.

Overall, I would gladly recommend Costco’s Kirkland Signature Trail Mix. Despite its lack of candied fruits, which are a personal favorite, it is composed of expensive, quality ingredients, just as you would expect from any Kirkland Signature products, and it’s made in the USA. You can buy and eat this with confidence!