Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco: Product Review

Costco Canada has been carrying this product for a long time, but for some reason I’d never tried it. Contrary to a regular grocery store, where you can find a thousand brands and flavors of chips and crackers, Costco has a more … limited … selection, so to avoid repetition I decided to finally try the Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers.

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco
Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco

First things first, the basics. The Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps crackers come in bags of 737 grams, which is quite a bit, and costs $6.99 plus taxes, in Canadian dollars – about $5 USD. Based on the serving size – more on that later – I can estimate that there are approximately 290 crackers per bag, so each cracker weighs about 2.5 grams, and each costs about 2.4 pennies. They are made in the United States, although there is no indication as to where the actual ingredients come from. For reference, the Costco Item Number is 262313 (in Canada).

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco Nutrition Facts
Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco Nutrition Facts

Alright then, enough with the math. As you can see on the Nutrition Fact sheet right here, each serving is 100 calories, for 11 crackers. While this might seem entirely reasonable, it doesn’t factor in the fact that these Pretzel Crisps are friggin’ delicious, and I dare you to only eat 11. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that I are so much of them in one sitting that I gave myself sausage fingers because of the salt content.

Now, joking aside, the salt content is 14% per serving, which is not bad if you only have 1 serving, but that’s not really realistic. If you eat these things are crackers or snacks without putting anything on them, you will hoover down a whole bunch because they are awesome.

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Ingredients

When it comes to ingredients, these crackers are actually not that bad. Here are the ingredients, in order of appearance:

  • Wheat Flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Malt Syrup (Tapioca Syrup, Malt Extract)
  • Sodium Hydroxide

Sodium Hydroxide is present in order to give the pretzel their distinctive crunch. In certain cases, Sodium Carbonate is used, but clearly not in this case.

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco
Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco

These Pretzel Crisps are also Non-GMO certified, which is great if you’re into that kind of stuff. Costco has more and more of those products, because I guess they can tell which way the wind is blowing. Personally, I care a lot less about GMOs than I do about the crazy lists of unpronounceable ingredients you can find in heavily modified and processed foods.

In conclusion, while I’m not a fan of that last ingredient, in part because it can be used as a drain and pipe cleaner, I’m confident that it’s only present in small enough concentrations not to be harmful. Moreover, these Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps crackers are made in the USA, non-GMO certified, and more importantly, they are absolutely delicious either just like that, as potato chips, or with dip, as canapes, or whatever. Just be mindful of the salt content, and you’ll be fine.

Enjoy, and let me know in the comments below how you enjoy them, also if your local Costco carries them!

Check out my other Product Reviews right here!

Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen 200 mg Liquid Gel Capsules: Product Review

It’s no secret that the pharmacy area can be one of the best places to save money at Costco; the pharmaceutical industry is well known for its spectacular profit margins, so it’s a great place to see Costco’s smaller margins in action, especially with Kirkland Signature branded products.

Today I’ve decided to review Kirkland Signature’s Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules, available only at Costco. Contrary to some of my other reviews, this review will be more focused on price than anything else, since the virtues of ibuprofen are already pretty well documented.

Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules
Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules

Do Costco’s Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules Work?

That’s the $1000 question, isn’t it? The fact is, Ibuprofen either works for you, or it doesn’t. It really depends on the person. For myself, I can only take ibuprofen, acetaminophen doesn’t work, I might as well have sugar pills, so for me, the Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules are perfect.

The bottom line is, is Ibuprofen is right for you, then these Gel Capsules will work, quickly and effectively. Since the ibuprofen is provided in liquid form, it is quickly absorbed and quickly effective.

What are the KIRKLAND SIGNATURE IBUPROFEN LIQUID GEL CAPSULES ingredients?

As you might surmise, the main – and only – medicinal ingredients in these capsules is 200 mg of Ibuprofen, present as free acid and potassium salt.

Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules Ingredients and Directions
Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules Ingredients and Directions

These Ibuprofen Gel Capsules are for adults only, not for children under 12 years of age; for migraines, you should take 1 capsule every 4 hours or 2 capsules every 6-8 hours, at the first sign of symptoms. Don’t exceed 6 capsules per day. I can only speak for myself, but I’ve spectacularly busted this limit many times.

How much do Kirkland Signature’s Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules Cost?

Each container of Kirkland Signature’s Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules contains 250 capsules, and costs $11.99 Canadian dollars, plus applicable taxes. This comes down to a cost of 4.8 pennies per capsule, plus taxes, or $0.05 each. This is an affordable way to get rid of a headache or other aches such as toothaches, menstrual pain, arthritis pain or back pain, among others.

Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules
Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules

For the sake of comparison, you can purchase a bottle of 115 brand-name Advil Liqui-Gels, 200 mg of Ibuprofen per capsule, for $23.49 (plus taxes), or 20.25 pennies each, more than 4 times more expensive than the Kirkland Signature brand, for exactly the same active ingredient, in the same concentration.

When it comes to the expiration date, it is pretty close. I just bought some and the best before date is October 2020, which gives me a year and a half to go through 250 capsules. This is a lot, but not unreasonable. If you think this is too much for you, just give half the bottle to a friend or family member; even if they don’t give you any money, your remaining pills are still half the price of the competition, you just can’t go wrong!

I don’t understand why people insist on the brand name, and paying so much for for exactly the same product. That’s the power of marketing, I guess.

In Conclusion: KIRKLAND SIGNATURE IBUPROFEN LIQUID GEL CAPSULES

I regret to say that I am a great fan of Costco’s Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen Liquid Gel Capsules. They are affordable and easy to swallow, and since the Ibuprofen is present in liquid form, very quick to take effect and relieve the pain. I say ‘I regret’ not because I don’t like them, but because I’d rather not have to use them!

Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen Liquid Gel single Capsule
Kirkland Signature Ibuprofen Liquid Gel single Capsule

Shopping at the Costco pharmacy and checking out the Kirkland Signature branded pills and vitamins is a fantastic way to pay for your membership fees really quickly.

Zarotti Light Tuna Fillets (in Olive Oil) from Costco: Product Review

I’m not usually a tuna kind of guy; I like it well enough, in salads or in Kraft Dinner, or as a quick and tasty source of protein when I’m too lazy to do anything but open a can. Of course I’m talking about cooked tuna here; I love raw tuna in sushi or as sashimi, but that’s something else entirely.

This is why I’m so happy to be sharing my review of Zarotti’s Light Tuna Fillets in Olive Oil, which I bought at Costco. As you can see in the picture below, the jar is unopened, but that’s the second one; I inhaled the first one in a matter of days, it was that good.

Zarotti Light Tuna Fillets in Olive Oil from Costco
Prepare your taste buds, this is gonna be GOOD!

Now, let’s start with the basics; Zarotti’s Light Tuna Fillets (in Olive Oil) at available at Costco at a cost of $9.99 (Canadian dollars), in a jar of 520 grams. This comes out to $1.92 per 100 grams, which is more expensive yet comparable to regular canned tuna.

Now this is where the comparison begins, and ends. This is nothing like canned tuna; it is velvety smooth, salty but not too much, just right, and absolutely exploding with flavor. It’s fair to say that this is, by far, the tastiest tuna I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten a lot. I would say that it is comparable to the canned tuna in oil, also made by Zarotti, but certainly better in every way.

The fact that the tuna in neither in chunks not in flakes, but rather large chunks of fillets, gives it an entirely different mouthfeel.

Zarotti Light Tuna Fillets in Olive Oil Ingredients

This is exactly what I love seeing on an ingredients label. See for yourselves!

Zarotti Light Tuna Fillets in Olive Oil Ingredients from Costco
Keep it simple, baby

Three simple ingredients, no preservatives or other weird things: tuna, olive oil and salt, that’s it, and that’s how it should always be.

ZAROTTI LIGHT TUNA FILLETS IN OLIVE OIl nutrition facts

This is where it gets interesting, and by that I mean, the tuna is soaking in olive oil, so there you have it, it’s not light. It’s not that bad, either, but still, see for yourselves.

Zarotti Light Tuna Fillets in Olive Oil Nutrition Facts from Costco

For each 55 gram ‘portion’, and let’s agree that’s like two big bites, you get 100 calories, comprised of 6 grams of fat, 15 grams of proteins – not bad! – and 20 mg of cholesterol, not to mention a whopping 330 milligrams of salt, or 14% of your daily recommended allowance. No wonder it’s so delicious!

You can also eat this incredible tuna relatively guilt-free, as the jar sports the Dolphin Safe logo, which means that the tuna is fished in a way designed to minimize dolphin bycatch and casualties. This doesn’t mean that tuna is fished in a sustainable way, although I certainly hope it is, because I never want us to run out. It’s too tasty.

That being said, this is – again – the most delicious tuna I’ve ever eaten, and if you try it I think you’ll find it’s the same. Zarotti’s Light Tuna Fillets in Olive Oil from Costco is not the kind of tuna that you mix with food; it’s the kind you open the jar, and pick at it with a fork, one heavenly bite after the other, until the jar is empty or you regain control of yourself. Good luck with that!

Costco Commercial Fold-in-Half Table: Product Review

I usually write reviews of products I eat from Costco; I guess those are generally more appealing to me, but my circumstances have changed in the last few weeks, and I found myself in need of a temporary desk. I thought, why not try the commercial Fold-in-half table from Costco?

I’ve seen those tables everywhere, but I’ve never had the occasion to use one. Here’s my chance!

Costco Fold-in-half Table, 6 ft

First things first: the fold-in-half table costs $57.99, plus taxes, in Canadian dollars, and is unfortunately made in China, but what isn’t these days. The dimensions are 72 inches long, 30 inches wide and 29.25 inches high. In my case, the table is long enough for my computer, a desktop, my two monitors, and my mouse and keyboard. For reference, the Costco (Canada) item number is 277974.

For those that need to carry this around, for exhibitions, booths, presentations or whatever, the folding mechanism is easy to use and convenient, and the legs fold easily where they are supposed to. The legs come with a ring to secure them when they are deployed so that the table cannot collapse unannounced.

When it comes to actual load, I would not want to hazard a guess as to how much this folding table will hold, but loaded as it is, with a computer, monitor, et cetera, it’s not even breaking a sweat. I know that I could put much heavier things on it, no problem.

One thing that is a bit annoying is the weight; the table, folded, weighs in at 33 pounds. That is not crazy heavy, but it’s certainly not light. Despite the fact that is has a convenient carrying handle, I would not want to have to lug this around all day, it’s quite bulky and heavy.

Costco Fold-in-half Table, 6 ft, deployed
My living room is going to feel crowded.

All in all, I have to say that the table feels solid and well built, and for about $65, everything included, that is hard to beat. Buying the wood and metal legs separately would have cost at least this much, I would have needed to assemble it and the result would not have been half as nice.

Costco Fold-in-half Table, 6 ft used as temporary desk

As you can see, the commercial fold-in-half table from Costco will work just fine as a temporary desk. I look forward to moving to my office in the basement and using this table as a packing table, which will ultimately be its destiny. For reference, the exact same table is sold at Home Depot (Canada) for $149, plus taxes. If you decide that you need this table, it’s totally worth it to become a Costco member just for that; it’s cheaper than buying it elsewhere!

Siwin Asian Chicken Dumplings Potstickers at Costco: Product Review

As readers of this blog know, I’m a big sucker for things that come from Costco. You always get the best value, and that’s what I’m all about. Today I’m going to write about Siwin Asian Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings Potstickers, which I purchase at Costco in a suitably enormous bag.

Siwin Asian Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings
That’s a lot of dough.

Now, the basics. These Asian potstickers are available at Costco in 1.91 kilogram bags, about 4 pounds. Regular price was $12.99 Canadian dollars, and there was an instant savings of $3 per bag, so of course I got two. It drives my wife nuts, and Costco’s stock price ever higher. For those who are interested, the Costco item number is 5502859 (in Canada, anyways). There are roughly 84 potstickers in each bag, entirely cooked before being frozen. Possible allergens are sesame, soy and wheat. These are NOT gluten free.

Siwin Asian Chicken Dumplings Ingredients

One of the things I appreciate from many of these kind of things (from Costco, anyways) is that the ingredients are more or less wholesome. Nothing weird or unpronounceable, and these potstickers are no exceptions. Here we go, in order of appearance:

Filling:

  • Chicken, Cabbage, Water, Green Onion, Canola Oil, Sugar, Yeast Extract, Salt, Spices, Sesame Oil

Wrapper:

  • Wheat flour, Water, Canola Oil, Salt, Sugar

Sauce:

  • Soy Sauce, Sugar, Water, Vinegar, Sesame Oil
Siwin Asian Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings Ingredients

Siwin Asian Chicken Dumplings Nutrition Facts

As you can expect from this type of prepared food, it’s really the sodium that’s a kicker here. One portion of potstickers, with one portion of the supplied sauce, will give you a whopping 39% of your daily sodium, and I can guarantee you that you’ll still be hungry! I usually skip the sauce, the dumplings are tasty as is.

Siwin Asian Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings Nutrition Facts
Easy on the salt, there, cowboy.

Siwin Asian Chicken Dumplings Cooking Instructions

Cooking these dumplings is really super easy. A steamer would be nice, but you can make do with a simple non-stick pan and a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Turn the heat up to medium-high, dump a bunch of dumplings in the pan, and add about 1/2 a cup of water.

Siwin Asian Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings Cooking
Takes only about 5-6 minutes, total.

Bring the water to a boil, and cover for 3 minutes. Afterwards, simply remove the cover, let the remaining water evaporate and fry them a little, until you get a light crust. Remove from the pan and eat up!

The Siwin Asian Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings Potstickers I purchase at Costco are always a hit with the kids. They only take a few minutes to cook, so they are ideal when you’re running out of time and need to make something RIGHT NOW because the kids are hungry and they will DIE OF HUNGER if they don’t eat RIGHT THIS SECOND. With lots of crying and whining.

Even when purchased at full price, this is a really good product that’s quick and easy to make, and for something that comes frozen in a bag, doesn’t contain horrible ingredients and that is not too bad for you, provided you don’t eat the whole bag in one sitting. Bon appétit!

Marinade Bay Teriyaki Sauce at Costco: Product Review

Besides saving money and decluttering my home, one of the things I most enjoy doing is writing product reviews for things I purchase. I’ve already spent the money, so everyone might as well share in the knowledge! Today I will be writing a review for the Marinade Bay Teriyaki Sauce I purchased at Costco a few weeks ago, before the Ice Storm. I just got around to finally using it, and as planned I make Teriyaki chicken.

Marinade Bay Teriyaki Sauce from Costco
Marinade Bay Teriyaki Sauce from Costco, 970 ml, $6.49

Marinade Bay Teriyaki Sauce: First Impression

First, the basics. This sauce is sold in a 970 ml bottle, so almost a full liter, for $6.49 Canadian dollars, at Costco. The sauce is made in the USA and I purchased it at a Costco in the Montreal, Canada area. At first glance, this is a really good price for a marinade sauce, because you don’t really need that much when you cook. For just a few dollars, I can enjoy Teriyaki Chicken all summer!

But will I, though? Here’s the kicker: I found the sauce to be a bit thick for a marinade. Probably good when you add it at the end of cooking, cooking a bunch of chicken soaked in the stuff made for a challenging experience, even though the result was satisfactory in terms of taste.

Turns out that the sauce thickened A LOT during cooking, and I didn’t want boiled chicken, so I had to drain the sauce several times. I almost certainly would have been better off grilling the chicken first, then adding a BIT of sauce at the end, for flavor. Marinading was not required, I think.

Marine Bay Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients

Marinade Bay Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients

Looking at the ingredients, we can tell that the Marinade Bay people take their products seriously. There is not a single unpronounceable ingredient in there, and while I’m pretty certain that the various vinegars act as conservation agents, there is nothing artificial in here. Moreover, several of the ingredients are organic, which is great. The product itself is not labelled as such, as all the ingredients are not organically sourced, but still, a long way in the right direction, and kudos to them.

Marinade Bay Teriyaki Sauce Nutrition Facts

Marinade Bay Teriyaki Sauce Nutrition Facts

Considering the ingredients list, I’m pretty surprised at how not unhealthy this sauce actually is. I mean, sugar is the third ingredient and concentrated pineapple juice is the fourth, and these are pretty sweet, so I would have expected much more calories per portion.

Granted, the portion size is a single tablespoon, but still.

An area of concern here would be the salt content, 220 mg or 9% of your daily allowance, but with this type of sauce, it is to be expected, both really sweet and really salty at the same time. The good news here is that there is no fat and no cholesterol, which is awesome.

In Conclusion: Marinade Bay Teriyaki Sauce at Costco

I look forward to trying out this sauce as a cooking sauce and not a marinade. I was fooled by the name of the company, Marinade Bay, and I was not too pleased at the result. Moreover, I’m used to the teriyaki sauce in restaurants having a different texture, so perhaps I was biased here.

A few things are certain: the price point of the Marinade Bay Teriyaki Sauce from Costco, at a mere $0.66 per 100 ml, is right on target. The natural, and sometimes organic ingredients are a plus, and all in all, the taste was very acceptable.

I will update this review once I have used the sauce again under different circumstances.

Now the question is, will this sauce become a staple of Costco, or is it destined to be one of those sauces they have a pallet of, sell and then is never seen again? Only time (and sales) will tell!

One-Month Clutter Challenge: Day One

As readers of this blog will know, I sell on eBay and Kijiji as well as other platforms items I already own, in order to clear the clutter and pay the mortgage, at the same time. Both are good for my wife and I’s sanity and peace of mind. We find the amount of stuff that we have accumulated throughout the years to weigh tremendously, not only physically cluttering our home but also mentally.

For the month of April, we are determined to kick it up a notch not only by selling unwanted goods, but also by pledging not to purchase anything that is not food or gas for the car, and that, for the entire month. This means we can do groceries, even in bulk at Costco, but we’re not buying anything we cannot eat. If I run out of body wash, I will finally have to use the small bars of soap I’ve pilfered from hotel rooms 10 years ago!

The goal here is start making a dent on the volume of our physical belongings, which can be overwhelming, and that’s not even counting the warehouse. With nothing coming in for a month and stuff going out, hopefully at an accelerated pace, we should be able to see a visible difference!

This will be tougher than it looks. We are conditioned and encouraged to purchase AT EVERY TURN.

We picked the month of April because no one in the immediate family has a birthday, so no gifts to buy and no parties to attend, and Christmas expenses from last year are all taken care of.

Every few days I’ll be posting an update here about how we are doing, how much money we spend and on what. There could be exceptions, of course. For example, we will buy medication if so required, as well as hygiene products if such are needed, but we shop at Costco, so we should be pretty set already.

Can you take the One-Month Clutter Challenge as well? Let me know in the comments below what you think of my project, and you’d be game to try. I’ll be sharing some exact numbers in the days ahead.

4 Easy Ways to Save Like Crazy at Costco

Costco Wholesale store

At The Lively Dollar, we LOVE Costco! There’s everything we need, and the value is always incredible. Here are a few tips to help you save a little bit more. These are techniques that we use every week, and there is nothing sneaky about them, Costco actually WANTS you to take advantage of these. You’ll be happy, because you save more, and so will Costco, because you’ll be in the store more often!

Use your Executive Coupons

One of the easiest ways to save at Costco without racking your brains is to use your Executive coupons! Unlike the coupons you receive at the door from the friendly people in red vests that greet you, Executive coupons are received at home, and must be presented to the cashier in order to receive the savings. They are only for Executive Members! If you do not have the Executive level membership, just upgrade – it costs more, but you can save tons just on the coupons, way more that the actual cost of the membership.

Some coupon booklets are sponsored by Procter & Gamble. These guys make everything we use, so it’s real easy to save – think toothpaste, deodorant, laundry detergent, et cetera. Others are sponsored by Kirkland Signature (Costco’s house brand) so you can get everything from frozen beef patties to coffee and more.

Buy Costco Gas

Buying gas at Costco is an easy to pay for your membership, and more, even without setting foot in the warehouse! Let’s say you buy 50 liters of gas a week, at an average savings of 5 cents a liter; you would save $130 a year. Doesn’t look like much, but you’ve just paid for your Executive membership at Costco! If you have the regular Gold Star membership, you’ve put $70 in your pocket! Try to time your gas fill-ups with your Costco runs so that you don’t waste time or fuel.

Buy Weekly Specials in Bulk

Except under very special circumstances, there are no buying limits at Costco. There is no “Limit per Customer’. Feel free to buy the whole pallet if you want! That’s why you should always stock up on regular specials – the ones that they hand at the door when you walk in. If you plan and purchase judiciously, you can make it so that items on special are the only ones you buy! You could cut 10% to 25% off of your bill every time, and that’s nothing to sneeze at!

Shop for Discounted and Clearance Items

Did you ever notice items that are priced ending in .97? Those are clearance items. Assuming that it’s something you would have bought anyways, you can safely stock up on these. Costco is clearing them out to make room for something else, and they are priced to move. We’ve seen savings of up to 90% on those, so know your stock, and your prices, and you can really save big!

In Conclusion

These are four ways to save on each and every one of your Costco runs. Do you have a favorite way to save at Costco? Tell us in the comments below!