Friday, June 8, 2007

My Love/Hate Relationship with Costco

I just got back from a trip to Costco. I mentioned in a previous post about my year long boycott of the store and what I felt I had learned from doing it. Many of my friends know about my conflicted feeling about shopping at Costco. Paige recently sent me a hilarious link to a blog about a woman trying to fit everything in her car after shopping there. I think I am saving money and they do carry great produce and special "only at Costco" items but I am still struggling.

Today, I had all four kids with me. My kids are well behaved in public and Costco has those neat two-seat carts, which keeps toothsomes 3 and 4 happy. So, I mention that only because with everyone with me, the whole trip is slower and every time I go to Costco, I have this dream of just getting in and out without a lot of fuss. It never happens.

Just seconds after walking in the front doors, I am hit with Costco frenzy. It is always SUPER busy and I am surrounded by other shoppers (many with young children like me) and we seem to constantly be bumping into each other as we grab and try not to throw our backs out as we lift the super-sized items we are purchasing into our carts. The carts (super-sized themselves) fill up quickly and I feel like one of those contestants on a cable channel trying to move a large, heavy, rock from point A to point B. As I pass other people's carts, I see things in them and think, "That looks great! Where did she find that? I could really use that in my house." It can be a case of Diet Coke, a water slide, Newman's Own "just for Costco" juice--it doesn't matter.

Then, there is the dilemma about refrigerator and freezer space at home. "Do I have room for the case of Bagel Bites that my kids just tasted as a sample and love in my freezer? If I buy, that, I will have to put back the Pot Stickers and those sound good to me." "When did I last purchase milk? Can I fit 6 more gallons in at home?"

Finally at check-out, as I write the HUGE amount on my check, I always question is this really saving me money? The whole drive home (Costco is about a 20 minute drive away from my house), I always have buyers remorse of something I purchased. "Yes, the artichoke heart/spinach spread is tasty but if I eat the whole thing, I am going to have a heart attack." And once home, I am exhausted and feel like I need to eat a super-sized bag of something I purchased. Anyone else have Costco issues?


jo said...

Lots o' people, consumerism in giant form, and high ceilings. I have issues with Costo, only I think mine are more of the clinical kind. And, I always go on the gross-sample sample day. Why can't I be there when they sample the snackwell fudge bars?

love.boxes said...

I don't have costco issues, but I have a small family so if I buy the large freezer bag full of something, I won't ever use it so I mostly just buy canned goods and things for my food storage. I appreciate the savings especially on things like tissue and toilet paper.

I also like their business practices a whole lot better than Walmart. I have a friend who works for Costco who tells me that he is paid and treated so well, he'll never quit. And so that makes me like Costco too.

Paige said...

I love my new Costco in Lehi. It's about 1/2 as crowded as the ones in Orem and Sandy, where I used to go. Much more relaxed and so much nicer to not have to stand in line for 1/2 an hour. Here's why my kids love Costco:

Lindsey said...

Yes.....I have been boycotting for about a year+ now, too. But, I have gone once or twice with a friend for ward activities stuff and it's the equivalent of my mouth watering and my stomach growling. It's like I've been fasting for a year and must eat everything in sight--including big pack of batteries and family size shampoo.

I still remember when someone said, "Do you really need a Costco card? There's only 2 of you." That was before I had kids. And I totally thought I needed one.

New obsession: weekly trips to Target.