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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Carried Away at Costco

        Three hundred sixteen dollars and ninety-six cents!  Have we gone mad?  How did we walk in that place, spend an hour and a half, and walk out the door leaving that much money behind?  And what we have to show for it is an oversized shopping cart full of oversized quantities of household commodities.  This is not your typical visit to the grocery store.  This is Costco.

        You may have been there, or to Sam's, or to one of the other big box retailers as they are called--and for good reason since you don't just get small quantities of anything, but you get cases and big boxes.  Texas size quantities suitable for feeding armies.  This might be great for big families, but for just my wife and I it always seems to border on the ridiculous.

         Sometimes I've seen the Indian couple that run the convenience store where I sometimes stop to grab a lottery ticket shopping at Costco for goods to supply their store.  After a run to Costco I look at my shelves and cupboards and wonder if maybe I should put a sign on my front door and open a neighborhood grocery. We could probably do it except I don't want a bunch of weirdo neighbors wandering through my house buying toilet paper and canned goods.

         This is ridiculous.  I've got more sardines and endamame nuts than any reasonable person should ever have.  What do you do with endamame anyway?  They looked kind of tasty and I had heard that they were supposed to be healthy, but I guess I shouldn't experiment with five pounds of weird little soybeans that I've never tasted before.  Well, at least I like the chocolate covered almonds that came in the seven pound jar.

       Then there's the five hundred and fifty square feet of aluminum foil.  After I wrap the outside of my house in it I should still have plenty left over for kitchen use.  I hardly ever use aluminum foil, but that was the only quantity they had.  Well, that is, unless I wanted to get those rolls that are like three feet long and then you still have to buy two rolls of them which is probably seven hundred square feet or so.

          Since I got the foil, then I had to also get the giant packages of plastic wrap.  There's so much plastic wrap that my wife and I could have each wrapped ourselves up in it--don't ask me why, we just could have.  Why heck, we could have had the weird neighbors come over and all of us wrapped up in plastic wrap and toilet papered the whole neighborhood.  Then after we were done we could have sat around drinking instant breakfast and eating chocolate cake.

           Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that chocolate cake.  I see those chocolate cakes everytime we go to Costco and I threaten my wife that I'm going to buy one.  Well, since my birthday's this Saturday my wife went ahead and bought a chocolate cake.  She'll help me eat it, but guess what I'm going to be eating for lunch and dinner for the next few days.  If you guessed chocolate cake and instant breakfast you're close.  You forgot endamame nuts-- I'll have to eat a few of those as well.

           Breakfast is covered.  I got the institutional size carton of eggs and four pounds of bacon.  You can't buy just one pound of bacon at Costco.  You have to buy four one pound packages wrapped in plasic wrap.  At least they found some use for their plastic wrap.

            So now my cupboards are pretty full.  The only problem is that they are mostly full of the same things.  At least we have food.  The coffee and sugar should last a few months.  I'll have four meals of corned beef hash (they have some great canned corned beef hash at Costco).   And my wife has seventy bottles of water--I say my wife because I drink water out of the tap.  I never could figure out that thing about buying water.   And just in case my buddy, Stephen McCarthy, ever stops by to visit I've restocked my supply of Grand Marnier.  And if he doesn't ever stop by then I guess my wife and I will wrap ourselves in plastic wrap one night and drink it ourselves.  Whoopee!   What a wild party!


  1. I know just what you mean! I can't walk into Costco without spending at least $100. We do like that edamame, though! The kids eat it, as is, as snacks.

    My husband's sister lives in Kenya. When she came over to the States for a visit, we thought that maybe she'd need some we took her to Costco. Talk about culture shock!

    Mystery Writing is Murder
    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

  2. LOL. We love Costco and Sam's Club. Why would you buy stuff in the average sizes when you can get it in bulk...really?
    As to that chocolate cake, my family has several birdays close togther so we buy it and have a "birday week." The cake lasts. ;)
    (btw, the best thing about these stores is really good prices on the books)

  3. `
    >>[I've got more sardines and endamame nuts than any reasonable person should ever have.]<<

    Ha!-Ha! rLEE-b, this made me laugh out loud (and I don't think I've ever even heard of endamame nuts).

    This might well be my favorite "Tossing It Out" Blog Bit thus far. It was so loose and casual and... and... I'm not sure - free-spirited or something - that it has introduced a new mood to "Tossing It Out." A sort of previously unexplored Goofiness. And you know how I feel about Goofiness. It's what I do.

    I can't help but wonder if the author of this piece hadn't had a glass or two of that Devil's Drink, Grand Marnier, before sitting down to write. If so, keep drinkin' and writin'. And if not, then you don't need that Devil's Drink at all, so... send it my way.

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" Stephen

  4. I try and avoid Sams at all costs because I can spend so much money in there without even realizing it! For 2 people it will never all get eaten,I rationalize and say we'll have people over but we never do!

  5. Elizabeth --- $100!!! How can you leave only spending that much? Those door checkers always make me go back if I've gotten less than $150. On a serious note, I couldn't help but think of places in the world like Haiti as I shopped and looked at all of the other carts so full of food. We in this country are so blessed by plenty.

    Emily -- I've always wondered about the books. Come to think of it I have bought some books there. Usually they don't have the books that I really want. I didn't go to the book area this visit and probably a good thing. But as I passed, I looked longingly at the stacks as I made my way to the snack section. Ever notice how they put the books next to the snack section?

    Stephen -- I'm glad you enjoyed it. I've been trying to get to some level of goofiness and I was having fun with this one. This piece was the result of being at my church admin council meeting until 11 PM and not having my blog bit done for Tuesday. I just rushed it off without too much thought -- pure spontaneity. Kind of like those essay tests you have to take in college or elsewhere. I've often wished I could have my essay tests back because I usually felt like they were pretty darn good. I just hope they weren't too funny, but on the other hand. And I didn't touch the Grand Marnier-- I'm saving that for you. Well, then again, I might have some if I get the urge--I can always get more.

  6. LOL!
    I think that's the reason why we do not have a Sam's Club membership. There's only two of us - we'd have no place to put the stuff and couldn't go through it fast enough.
    We USED to have a membership and I hate to discourage you, but we never spent more than $50 a visit.

  7. Ha! Yup, pretty much the same thing at BJ's, where my wife and I shop. It's great for the essentials, and the large cuts of meat, but you sure can get carried away with impulse buys. Good thing ours doesn't sell liquor, otherwise I'd really get myself in trouble...

  8. I read this with a smile on my face, here in the UK we get "Buy one get one free" or a huge reduction off of many different items, I always seem to go for these then on reaching home find I have more than enough of the "Cheapies". Shopping for me is a nightmare as I still think I'm shopping for 2 not just me.

    Take care and have fun shopping.

  9. We have a Sam's and Cosco's. We never miss the opportunity to browse the isles and free sample the goodies between shopping. Yummy!

    Happy early birthday!

  10. We need so little 'stuff' ~ for happiness ~

    "stuff' clutters our vision ~

    Consciousness of Space ~ Consciousness of Self

    Thank you for sharing arlee bird ~

    ~MC ~

  11. Have to comment on this one, since I worked 5 years at Costco. When I was at the Food Court all the customers were happy because hot dogs and a drink are 1.50. Then I worked at the door and hated it because all the customers (we actually call them members) were upset on the way out, examining their receipts and scowling. So I loved the food court where I could be around happy people. I love Costco!!

  12. LOL! I've only been in a Costco once. I'm not sure if it's a benefit or a drawback of living in a small Canadian city, but we have to drive 4 hours to get to the nearest one :)

  13. L. Diane -- Actually I used to prefer Sam's, but I closed my account when they closed my nearby Sam's and it was no longer easy to go there.

    Simon -- We looked at the liquor section, but I wasn't tempted. Well except for that Grand Marnier.

    Yvonne -- I used to be really bad about those sales. My cupboards would be overflowing. I have improved now that all my kids have moved out. We don't go through food very fast now.

    Tamika-- Thanks for the birthday wish. I was surprised to see them giving the samples on a weekday. I thought they only did that on weekends when I usually go. On a Saturday it's like going to a fair or something. I swear some people must go to Costco and have lunch on just the samples.

    MC -- what more can I add? We do have too much stuff and always want more. Ah, for a simpler life.

    KarenG -- I've never eaten at Costco, but I see a lot of people doing it. I have to admit, I like Costco as well.

    Jemi -- You probably need to take a truck when you go to Costco so you can stock up for several months. How far north in Ontario are you anyway? How many Costcos are up there?

  14. You're right on with your assessment. We can't get out of Costco without spending at least $100 every time we go. I thought folks didn't drink the tap water in LA (or so my friend in Culver City told me!)

  15. Tap water in L.A. I don't know about, but here in Pico Rivera the city gets water from its own well and it's pretty darn good in my opinion. Actually it's apparently won some awards in nationwide water competitions (didn't know there was such a thing until I heard about that).

  16. Oh, that chocolate cake! I would move heaven and earth for that succulent treat.

    Since I have 3 kids, 3 dogs, and my husband and me, Costco is a good fit for us. I love Costco, mainly for all the gourmet items I can get at a discounted price.

    And my husband loves that hot dog and coke deal.

    The only thing I hate is their unusual hours. They close quite early on weekends which is a bummer when you're a busy family and you make it to Costco in the early evening only to find out they're closed.

  17. Joann -- Costco is always a morning excursion for us. They don't open early enough for us. We like to be safely at home well before dark.


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