Saturday, September 29, 2012

Food Gatherers benefits from Costco Ann Arbor

Food Gatherers Food Rescue program has benefited from Costco's Ann Arbor store. With the amount of food rescued/donated from Costco, Food Gatherers are able to provide an additional day of service, now 7 days a week, to those in need.

Food Gatherers serves as the food rescue and food bank for Washtenaw County. They offer mostly free and low cost food to those in need in addition to serving meals through their Community Kitchen at the Delonis Center in Downtown Ann Arbor. Over 70% of the work is done by volunteers. There's so much more to say about Food Gatherers but if you want more information, check out their website.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Costco Regular Gas $3.889, 8/16/12

Gas prices are spiking due to all sorts of reasons that should not affect our regional refinery model but such is life tied to petroleum.

Calbee Snapea Crisps

I love these simple snacks and so do toddlers. I'm not sure what that says about me but whatever.

2 - 9 oz. bags for $6.49

Are You Ready for Winter?

Costco is. Women's gloves with touch screen finger tip. These gloves have a similar feature to The North Face E-tip which allow the use of touchscreen devices without having to take off gloves when it's cold outside.

Children's Halloween Costumes


They have Disney characters which fall on the high end of the price spectrum.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tomato Plants, Tomatoes and Hornworms

I found a few hornworms on my tomato plants. These are nasty little pests that will strip tomato plants clean in a matter of days. The best way to get rid of them is to pick them off the plant and dispose of them.

Picking the hornworms off the plants reminded me of the plants I saw at Costco this spring. They were very large planters, probably around 6 or 7 inch. They would have been ready a bit earlier than the 4 and 5 inch planters that I started with this year.

So far the crop has been pretty good. The plants are sucking down enough water that I have to fill the earthboxes twice a day.

Here's a picture of a small hornworm, about the size of a pencil. Larger worms get to be the size of a persons little finger or larger.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Little Love for My Dog

After eating lunch at Costco, polish sausage and a drink, I picked up dog food. The 50 pound bag of Iams large breed was $39.99.

While looking around I came across the Jerky Treats advertised in the mail piece. It is a BOGO offer, no coupon needed. This comes out to 7 pounds (2 x 3.5 lbs containers) of dog treats for $9.99. Since I tear these up into smaller pieces, this should last into next year. It's a good thing the expiration date on the treats is in 2013.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21 Gas Price Update

Costco Regular Unleaded $3.409

Speedway Regular Unleaded $3.409

Friday, July 13, 2012

Costco's Least Controversial Product?

Who doesn't like a 53" stuffed bear? Maybe some parents when their kids are crying for one.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Portable Chairs for Summer

These Director's chairs are a different animal than the typical portable chairs. For instance, they don't spill a drink every time you get up or sit down and they will hold a plate and other items on their folding side table. This can be especially useful when dodging an errant football while tailgating.

The price is about what I've seen them for elsewhere, but I haven't directly compared the quality of the products. Usually this gives an edge to Costco.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I finally got a chance to stop in for lunch and browse around the store at an off time. The result is a hot dog with deli mustard, ketchup and sauerkraut. They keep sauerkraut behind the counter. I finished off with an ice cream bar dipped in chocolate and almonds. 1200 calories later, I'm done with lunch.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July America!

I hope everyone enjoys a day off Costco is closed today.

Quick note on gas prices, Costco is at $3.279 and Speedway is at $3.579. An unfair comparison since Costco is closed today, but I thought I would throw it out there.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lobster Tail Review

The tails were served with mashed potatoes and a corn salad with a shrimp ceviche style soup with avocado to start. The smaller cold water lobster tails (~12-16 oz. instead of the nearly 3 lb. tails) were seasoned with salt and pepper, then baked in the oven. The simple preparation allowed the lobster flavor to come through. We had butter on the table but not many people used it.

The meat was tender and pulled out of the tail carapace easily. This made for large chunks of perfectly cooked lobster meat. The meat wasn't tough or chewy or rubbery flavored which can happen when overcooked. I would say Costco's lobster tail are worth it considering the price. While whole lobster will be cheaper, the front half of the lobster has more shell which accounts for more of the mass which equals less meat per pound.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Costco Gas Price Drops to $3.29/Gallon

Costco's price $3.29/gal
Speedway's price $3.59/gal

After the Costco opening, Speedway dropped their prices by $0.10/gallon. Since then Costco has dropped their prices by $0.04 and Speedway has raised their prices $0.10 back to $3.59.

Another Golfer's Special

I picked up these three Cabretta leather golf gloves for $13.99 this past weekend. Typically I wear a cadet medium due to the shorter fingers and the Kirkland medium gloves fit great. There's a sizing chart on the back of the packaging, but I was still concerned about the length of the fingers. The leather is soft and the Lycra inserts add a bit of flexibility. Overall, I'm very satisfied with the purchase. I'll report back on how long these last.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Costco Remains Very Busy Day After Opening

I didn't expect anything different but the parking lot was seriously full on day two.

Follow Up to Why I look forward to the Costco opening #4

Guys, remember back when I mentioned flowers. Here are my pics of what I was talking about.

Luckily peonies are in season right now. My wife loves peonies. If you don't know your spouse's/significant other's favorite blooms, get a clue.

I have to say the red, white and blue bouquets hit my patriotic side but they may not be the best option for your girl/guy.

Golfers, This Ones for You. Clicgear 3.0 Carts

Clicgear 3.0 carts for $169. These are around $200 everywhere else and get great reviews. The main difference between the 2.0 and 3.0 is the storage options around the handle.

After Work Crowd Finds Costco

At 8 am, the parking lot was just getting warmed up. After 5 pm, over 75% of the spaces were filled. Pittsfield Township police were keeping a watchful eye on traffic flow ensuring motorists safely entered and exited the area. Costco was busy.

If you're not already a member, Costco is running new member promotions for executive memberships and Costco American Express card applications.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Samples Everywhere

The most interesting sample so far is diapers.

Here's a list of samples I tried:
-Beef tenderloin, prepared simply with salt and pepper, cooked medium rare. It tastes as good as I remember, which is quite good.
-Cashews, large kernels, some broken but overall good stuff.
-Pizza. Reminds me of hot lunch, which is a good thing!
-Kirkland brand 5 hour energy (see pic). I haven't tried 5 hour energy, but the Kirkland brand pomegranate flavor wasn't bad. It reminds me Asian medicinal tinctures that I like.
-Aidell's chicken apple sausage, tasty.
-Italian cured meats. I should have camped out next to their table.
-rotisserie chicken. Picked a sample with some skin and it was tasty and juicy.
-sausage, alright, didn't see the brand.
-hot dogs, way too salty. It may have been overcooked.
-chocolate covered caramel and pecans. The pecans were very fresh tasting and the caramel was not too sticky or overly sweet.

There were a bunch of other samples that I didn't get to try.

Giant Lobster Tail

The large ones on the right are around 3 lbs. and the smaller ones on the left are around 1 lb.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mama Like!

Make your own baby food with the Magic Bullet.

It's Not a Celebration Without Cake

Congratulations Pittsfield #1106!

So Are Handbags

A Little Something for Her

Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

Are You In Good Spirits?

Mmmm, Costco Cake!

Red Velvet and Carrot Cake.

Sports Memorabilia

Something for the guys.

For Us Ann Arbor Hippies

Quinoa and Chia seeds

Opening Preview!

Turkey Sandwich, pizza, deli an veggie tray, chicken bake, polish sausage, hot dog, churros, drinks, latte freeze and more.

Power Outage Misses Costco Day Before Opening

It looks like the area North of I-94 has been affected by a power outage. This area includes Meijer, Target, Best Buy, Dick's, etc.

Pittsfield Township (Ann Arbor) Costco Location Appears on Prior to Opening

Pittsfield Township (Ann Arbor) location shows up on Costco website without a listed phone number or list of services.

Opening Tomorrow - Preview Tonight!

I'm really excited about opening day tomorrow and I'm fully expecting it to be a zoo. There's also a preview event tonight. It seems that local business owners were sent invitations to a store preview tonight. This seems consistent with Costco's extended hours for Business and Executive members. I'll be sure to report back.

Here's picture of the completed stoplight at the intersection of Ellsworth Rd. and Airport Blvd. Hopefully this only runs when traffic is present on Airport Blvd.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Why I look forward to the Costco opening #10


What I really like about Costco opening in town is the additional options their inventory will provide. I like to try new brands and varietals which may not be carried by other retailers in the area. Costco definitely has great prices and their selection seems to change every visit. Since I like options, I will continue to visit my usual haunts, A & L Wine Castle, and Morgan & York in addition to Costco. When it comes to wine, if you like a particular varietal or blend, it's worth trying a similar varietal or blend from another region to compare. Similarly, if you care for a particular region, it's worth trying other varietals from the same region. Above all, have fun with it.

Here's a fun way to get together with friends and try out many different wines to see what you like. Call up a group of friends and ask them to bring two of the same bottle of a particular varietal under a specified price. Don't worry if multiple people bring the same wine. When they arrive, set aside one of the two bottles and place the second bottle in a paper bag or otherwise hide the label. Label the bottles with a number and keep a master list of friend's name, wine name, and bottle number.

Now, give everyone a scorecard and let them taste and rate all the wines. Tally up the scores and rank all the wines. Remember the first bottle that we set aside? Typically, the person that brought the highest rated wine gets to take home the wines ranked in the top 50%, including their own bottle. The person that brought the second highest rated wine gets to take home all but one of the wines ranked in the bottom 50%. Here's the twist, the person that brought the worst rated wine gets their bottle back.

At one of these parties, two people brought the exact same bottle of wine. It was selected as the winner and again in the top 50%. No big deal. There are so many variable when it comes to wine that for our group of friends it was interesting more than anything.

Here's a link to a clip from CNBC's The Costco Craze: Inside the Warehouse Giant. This particular part of the show follows Annette Alvarez-Peters, Costco's lead wine buyer, as she goes about speaking to vendors, sampling products and even testing out wine that will carry the Kirkland brand.

4 Days and Counting - Grand Opening Final Cleanup

As I drove by last night there was a team power washing and this street cleaner patrolling the parking lot. It looks like they'll be ready in time for some type of Grand Opening preview ;).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

6 Days and Counting - Pre-Grand Opening Pics

Credit for the third and final Pre-Grand Opening pic again goes to Jay. Here's a shot of the food court with the entrance in the background. A kayak and some type of surfboard/paddleboard can be seen in the picture as well as a plastic gazebo and self checkout on the right.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

7 Days and Counting - Pre-Grand Opening Pics

Thanks again to blog follower Jay for providing pictures of the inside of the new Ann Arbor Costco before the Grand Opening. This picture makes me crave a polish sausage with drink and a dipped ice cream. All that for only $3!

Friday, June 22, 2012

8 Days and Counting - Sneak a Look at the Inside!

Big thanks to Ann Arbor Costco blog follower Jay for providing interior pictures of the building. Things look ready to go.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

9 Days and Counting - Night Shots

I can hear the chant in my head, "10, 9, 8, 7...."

I happen to be driving by the store tonight and wanted to grab some night time pictures. The place was empty and I was able to get some nice angles of the building and gas station. My camera didn't magically make my photo skills better, so the bright spots are blown out.

Here's the gas station with the pump covers removed. I was traveling the wrong direction, don't tell anyone.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

10 Days and Counting - Video of the Gas Station

Here's a brief video of the gas station. I'm sure the pump covers will be off by the time this video is published.

Monday, June 18, 2012

11 Days and Counting - Videos of Costo and Gas Station

I also took some video of the building entrance and the gas station. They're already taking memberships and have the promo information in place for the opening on June 29.

Pardon the wind noise.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

12 Days and Counting - Become a Member Now

I drove by today and explored the parking lot and the store entrance. Two nice employees asked if I would like to open a membership, to which I replied that I'm already a member.

The entrance to Airport Blvd. from Ellsworth Rd. is coming along.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

13 Days and Counting - Temporary Sign Changed

The temporary sign hanging on the building changed from "Opening June 29th" to "Opening Soon." I'm not sure why they would change the sign since June 29th is soon. Maybe things aren't progressing as planned. <insert ominous music>

You can also see that grass seed instead of sod has been placed on the easement. This should complete most of the landscaping along Ellsworth Rd.

Friday, June 15, 2012

14 Days and Counting - Traffic Lights on Ellsworth

Drove by Costco to see what's new and they're putting up traffic lights at the intersection of Ellsworth Rd. and Airport Blvd. I guess the roundabout will be in another location. It looks like construction is in high gear to put the finishing touches on the store before the opening.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

16 Days and Counting - Wipes

I have friends that swear by Costco's baby wipes. If the baby wipes are like other Costco products, each pack will have plenty of wipes and each wipe might be larger than similar products. Both these things are good when cleaning up messy kids.

These aren't baby wipes, but if the Costco trend holds true these will be a good value with comparable quality to name brand items. As you see below, they have promo pricing for the opening.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Why I look forward to the Costco opening #9

Costco Pizza!

If you've never had one, they're huge. They're pretty tasty and can be enjoyed many different ways. The food court sells whole pizzas or individual slices. Usually they have pepperoni, cheese, and combo/supreme (don't know exactly what they're called). Or, as pictured below, they can be purchased ready to bake.

Note, whole pizzas in the box may not fit in your refrigerator, freezer or oven. Ask me how I know.
Grand Opening deal, $3 off Kirkland Signature Take & Bake Pepperoni Pizzas.

Monday, June 11, 2012

18 Days and Counting - Where's the Roundabout?

Will there be one or more roundabouts? Who thinks the it will be at the State St. and Ellsworth Rd. intersection, choice 1? Who thinks it will be at the State St. and Airport Blvd. intersection, choice 2?

Intersection 2 almost looks ready made for a roundabout.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

19 Days and Counting - Gas Station and South Entrance

The first picture is looking down the sidewalk along Ellsworth Road. The landscaping next to the building looks complete. It appears that they're preparing an entrance sign which can be seen behind the excavator. The parking lot on this side of the building already has lines painted.

 The second picture shows the gas station and the asphalt laying equipment. This is perfect for traffic since there's a stoplight at the corner of Airport Blvd. and State St. Heading North or South is easy as is heading West on Ellsworth.

I wonder what gas prices will be.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

22 Days and Counting - Laying Down the Sod

I was going to use "Sod It," but the British expats might get the wrong idea. The picture below makes the landscaping almost look complete. Just out of the frame, the sod forms a jagged line where it ends abruptly.

By the way, where is the roundabout?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Friday, June 29, 8 A.M. Grand Opening Announced in Recent Mailer

A friend just received this mailer. The store will open at 8 A.M. on Friday June 29, see you there!

Thanks for the pic!

It looks like they'll have pita chips, Bounty, Woolite, TVs, something else and Costco Cash Cards.