The Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Secret Menu Will Make You Salute the Colonel

July 2, 2020 by Kyle
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I can remember as a kid we would eat Kentucky Fried Chicken often enough that my parents would keep the big buckets and use them for storage. Seriously, no joke. I remember one KFC bucket in particular that held mismatched nails and screws that my Dad would use around the house. But over the years I grew a bit tired of their chicken and I really wish I had known about the KFC secret menu as it would have been a great way to try new food and get some different flavors. With that said, here’s how the secret menu at Colonel Sanders currently breaks down. Bon app├ętit.

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Secret Menu Will Make You Salute the Colonel

1. Bacon…On Anything

“Bacon…on Anything” is pretty much my life’s mantra, especially when chowing down at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

A little known KFC secret is that you can get bacon added to whatever you want, all you gotta do is ask.

Get in the habit of adding bacon to any bowl, sandwich, or entree and your life will improve by exactly 67%.

Price and availability differs by location….but ask about it and you’ll probably have your lifelong wish of “more bacon” granted.

2. Biscuits on the Side

How many times have you wished you had a biscuit to soak up all the gravy, juices, and crumbs left on your plate?

Well it turns out you can buy a biscuit (or 2, or 17) ala carte.

The price per biscuit varies by location but they aren’t expensive and totally worth it IMO.

3. Build Your Own Bowl

If you’ve ever had a bowl at KFC you know just what a yummy concoction it can be.

But did you know you can create pretty much ANY bowl you want?

You just ask for it and they’ll build it.

Have them throw some fries in it, or maybe some bacon, or even some Nashville Hot sauce if you want to spice up your bowl.

The possibilities are literally endless.

4. Double Down

The Double Down was once on the regular menu at KFC, and still is in some locations.

If you’re not familiar with this bad-boy, it’s a chicken sandwich but instead of using a boring bun, they use 2 flat chicken fillets that are fried to crispy perfection.

Then in the middle you add melted cheese, some bacon, and a little of the ol’ Colonel’s secret sauce.

Dang, I think I can almost hear my fat cells screaming “I WANT”, “I WANT”.

5. Devil’s Canyon Bowl

Order the standard bowl at KFC but add Nashville Hot sauce and green beans.

It will have some kick for sure and the beans will add a nice crunch to an otherwise bland bowl.

You can also substitute the beans for corn if you’d like.

6. Hot Pocket Bowl

I can’t think of a Hot Pocket and not think of Jim Gaffigan.

But anyways, if you’re a fan of the hot pocket, some KFC locations can whip you up a bowl with cooked dough, chicken, cheese, corn, and of course, lots of GRAVY.

Just a heads up, your mileage will vary greatly on this one as most KFC locations don’t have all the needed ingredients.

7. Poutine

On my brother-in-law’s advice, I tried poutine for the first time ever last year and was immediately HOOKED.

This Canadian treat is made with french fries, cheese curds, then smothered in gravy.

Sounds different I know, but trust me, it’s a REALLY yummy combination and now you can order it at KFC too.

If the employee has no idea what you’re talking about, just tell them the 3 ingredients and they’ll hook you up with this secret item.

8. Triple Down

This heart stopper is essentially the Double Down (mentioned above) but they add a THIRD piece of chicken to the center along with the bacon, cheese, and sauce.

While I’ve never ordered this monstrosity, I’m guessing you’ll need to eat it with a knife and fork unless you were born with a hinged jaw.

9. Zinger Stacker

If you’ve ever had the Zinger Chicken sandwich at KFC you know it’s quality grub.

Order the Zinger Stacker from their secret menu and you will score twice the chicken and cheese.

Specifically, you’ll get a slightly toasted bun, 2 fried chicken fillets, both topped with cheese, along with chili relish and their spicy “super charger sauce”.

Sounds amazing, just stay close to a bathroom if at all possible.

Ask the Reader: Have you ever ordered anything from the secret menu at KFC? Maybe you know of an item that I didn’t include. Let me know about it so I can do the “work” required to test it out.

By Kyle James

Photo credit to Mike Mozart.

11 Costco Photo Center Hacks You MUST Know Before You Go

June 29, 2020 by Kyle
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I walked past the Costco Photo Center at my local warehouse club for years before realizing all of the services they perform, many of which can save you a TON of money on prints, photo gifts, passport photos, and even old VHS video transfers. So I decided to take a deep dive into everything Costco offers and found 11 clever “hacks” that will really maximize your savings at their photo center, but perhaps more importantly, save you a bunch of time.

11 Costco Photo Center Hacks That'll Save You Money and Time

1. Use the Costco App for Quick Uploading

Upload photos from Costco app

Rather than going to Costco and using a Photo Center Kiosk to upload your photos, just download the Costco app and upload photos directly to your Photo Center account from anywhere in the world.

After opening the app, you’ll need to sign-in to your Costco account or create a new one to access the Photo Center.

Tip: You’ll need your membership number to make this happen.

From there you’re free to upload, edit, and crop your images and select what you want to do with them.

The whole process is quite simple and the app is fairly intuitive.

2. Turn Off “Auto Correct” for Better Pictures

According to a Costco employee on this Reddit thread, the “Auto Correct” feature is ON as a default and can seriously skew your photos and even override any edits you made.

He recommends turning it OFF to start, then checking out your photos that way first.

He also said that if you’re at a Costco kiosk, just ask a tech for help as it’s not super easy to find where to turn it off.

See Also: 7 Ways to Essentially Get a $60 Costco Membership for Free

3. Take Advantage of Home Delivery (Especially on Prints)

Many Costco members fail to realize that you DON’T actually have to visit the warehouse to pick up your pictures or photo gifts.

This is a total no-brainer, especially when ordering prints as standard shipping to your home is completely FREE.

The only time you’ll have to pay a shipping charge is if you order prints 11 x 14 inches or larger.

4. Home Video Transfer is a Steal

Costco Video Transfer

Do you have a bunch of priceless VHS home video tapes laying around rotting with each passing year?

It’s time to pull them out, blow off the dust, and have your local Costco convert them to a digital format that will preserve them forever.

Not only will they convert VHS, but also BetaMax, Hi-8, Digital8, DVCAM, and MiniDV.

They can also convert 8 mm and 16 mm film as well as old slides and even printed photos.

Pricing starts at a reasonable $19.99 for the first 2 hours of conversions.

5. Cheap (But High Quality) Art and Image Gallery

Costco Art Gallery

According to this Reddit thread, the Costco Photo Center has an extensive art and image gallery which allows you to browse prints and photos by category and have any of them made into a custom sized print for your home.

The example from the Reddit thread was a glossy 20 x 30″ print of Ko Hong Island for ONLY $9.99.

The original poster then went to Michaels and got it framed with a 40% off coupon. She ended up with a beautifully framed print for less than $40.

She also picked up a 16 x 20″ print of a sea turtle that only cost her $6.99.

6. Passport Photos are a No-Brainer

Cheap Passport photos

The Costco Photo Center will take and print 4 Passport photos for only $5.99.

Much cheaper than the majority of independent photo labs.

The best part is they can develop them while you shop and you can pick them up on the way out the door.

7. Copyrighted Photos Often Slip Thru the Cracks

Not sure if this a positive or negative, but I was told that copyrighted photos usually don’t get pulled unless an employee is really paying attention.

Your mileage will vary by Costco location, and employees on shift, but I figured I’d mention this.

8. The Reason Many Pro Photographers Use Costco is REALLY Surprising

The final product at Costco is so good that many pro photographers use their photo service, even instead of photo shops that ONLY do photos.

But the reason why was fascinating to me.

Again, according to a Costco employee on this interesting Reddit thread, “We get a lot of professionals who print with us for the same reason. They find the more dedicated photo shops have “bias” with their prints. Which makes sense. They have a way they like to develop through their years of photography while we are…just in a Costco, lol.”

While I never considered it before, this makes sense as pro photographers want their art to shine through and not what the developer “perceives” as their vision.

9. Refill Your Printer Cartridges While You’re There

Refill Inkjet Cartridges at Costco

Did you know that Costco can refill your empty inkjet cartridges for about $7 – $10 depending on the brand?

Not only does it keep empty cartridges out of your local landfill, but it saves you a ton of money compared to buying new ink.

Brands they currently support include HP, Canon, Epson, and Brother.

Just bring your cartridges to the photo center and they’ll refill them in about an hour.

10. Most Centers Don’t Develop Old Film Anymore

Costco stopped developing film at most locations as it just wasn’t profitable as the world has moved to digital photos.

But if you’re old school and still need film developed, many retail spots still do it.

The most popular stores that still develop film include Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.

11. Take Advantage of Costco Photo Before It Goes Away

Lastly, many Costco photo centers struggle to make a profit and most barely break-even.

Because of this, Costco has been closing some of their centers across the country in recent years.

Takeaway? Use ’em before you lose ’em.

BONUS Tip: Photo Gifts Compare Favorably to Shutterfly

The pricing on photo gifts with Costco is VERY competitive when compared to other online services likes Shutterfly, TinyPrints, and Snapfish.

Costco sells photo mugs for $8.99, photo book for $19.99 and personalized calendars starting at $9.89.

Try and beat those prices…it’s gonna be difficult.

Ask the Reader: Do you use Costco’s photo services? If so, what do you like best about the services they provide? Any money saving tips I may have missed?

By Kyle James

We Untangle the Ulta Return Policy and Answer ALL Your Questions

June 24, 2020 by Kyle
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The return policy at Ulta Beauty appears pretty darn lenient on paper, but when I started digging a little bit deeper I discovered that it’s not as lenient as it may appear. Specifically, your mileage may vary (depending on the store) when it comes to returns beyond the return window and how they are handled. Hopefully this article will answer all of your questions and make your next Ulta return a breeze.

Time to Untangle the Ulta Return Policy and Answer ALL Your Questions

How Long Does Ulta Give Me to Return Stuff?

180 days.

This use to be 60 days but they extended it to 180 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I will keep this article updated if they revert back to a 60-day return window at some point.

See Also: 12 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Save Money at Ulta Beauty

Can I Return Makeup That I Opened and Tried?

Ulta chat session on returns

Their website made no mention of returning used items so I hit up their live chat and asked (see above screenshot).

I asked if I could return makeup that I used for a couple weeks but decided I didn’t like.

Surprisingly, the answer is YES.

I even asked if they monitored such returns and could deny my return if I returned too many “half used” beauty items and was told there was NO limit.

But buyer beware, if you do this all the time they’ll probably flag your name and information.

Can I Return Something After 180 Days?

According to this Reddit thread you CAN return something (for store credit) after the return window has expired but your mileage may vary by store.

Manager’s seem to have the final say and it’s save to assume they are more likely to deny you if you make frequent returns, used significant amount of the product, or you’re flat-out rude.

Also, it’s worth noting that you must have your receipt or proof of purchase for these types of returns.

Is My Receipt Necessary for a Return?

If you’re within the return window, NO, you don’t necessarily need your receipt.

If you are an Ultamate Rewards member or have an account they can look up your purchase that way.

If they can’t locate your purchase in their system, they’ll give you the lowest selling price of the item in the past 90 days in the form of store-credit.

Also, they’ll ask for a valid photo ID if they CAN’T find any record of your purchase.

They’ll use your information to track your return history and can deny future returns if they feel you’re abusing their return policy.

Are Any Items Non-Returnable?

According to the Ulta rep that I spoke with, the only items that CAN’T be returned are broken products.

Meaning items that you took home and broke and was NOT the fault of Ulta.

Everything else you can return.

Can I Return Online Purchases In-Store?

Yes, absolutely.

Just bring in your packing slip or original email confirmation as your proof of purchase.

The same return window applies to online purchases.

What About Returning In-Store Purchases via the Mail?

This might be an option for you, especially during COVID-19 as many shoppers want to stay out of stores.

To make it happen, you’ll need to call Ulta at 1 (866) 983-8582 and they’ll email you a return mailing label and further instructions.

What Happens to My Ultamate Reward Points When I Make a Return?

You’ll get them all back immediately after you complete your return.

Keep in mind that if you used your points, and bought several items, you’ll only get back a proportionate amount of points.

What If I Used a Coupon on My Purchase?

If you return an item bought with a coupon you’ll ONLY get back the amount of money you paid out-of-pocket.

Also, you will not get back the actual coupon or one of equal value.

Can I Get Cashback with a Gift Receipt Return?

No, Ulta will NOT give you cashback if you request it.

But they’ll be more than happy to do an even exchange or give you store credit for a future purchase.

What About Returning Items from Ulta Resellers or Dealers? 

Only items bought from an actual Ulta location, or from their website, can be returned.

For all other sales of Ulta products you’ll have deal with the 3rd party seller directly.

Can Someone Else Make the Return for Me?

If the person has your receipt or Ultamate Rewards card there shouldn’t be any problems.

But…I’ve read online of some folks being told the original purchaser must make the return so it seems your mileage may vary from store-to-store which is disappointing.

3 Ulta Beauty Policy Hacks That’ll Make You Feel Like a Genius…

1 – You GOTTA sign-up for their Rewards program – The simple fact that they track your purchases so you’ll never need to keep your receipt makes it worth it.

Then throw in the fact that you can build up reward points that’ll score you free stuff makes it a total no-brainer.

2 – Avoid Return Shipping Costs – There is ONLY one way to do this and that is to bring your online purchase to an Ulta Beauty store to process your return.

3 – Always Try to Return Items (Even if past the return window) – Their policy is pretty lenient and most locations let you return stuff for store credit well beyond their stated number of return days.

So take advantage of this and always try and return items rather than throwing them away.

The biggest problem with Ulta is that the policy tends to change depending on the store or employee you’re dealing with, so your mileage may vary when making a return of a product you’ve had a long time.

Ask the Reader: What’s been your experience returning stuff to Ulta Beauty? Let me know in the comments.

By Kyle James