As I wandered the aisles and crunched the numbers, I briefly entertained the thought of opening a restaurant. Why the entrepreneurial thoughts?
We joined Costco.
We’d been spending bookoo bucks each week on groceries, so my husband suggested we join the warehouse shopper’s club. I was hesitant. I’m frugal—I break into a cold sweat when money and I part ways. And while these “clubs” may offer a better cost per ounce, the amount of ounces I’d have to purchase would require me to cough up the big bucks.
Still, feeling wealthy one rainy day this summer, I told the kids that instead of going to the library for our weekly dose of free books, we were headed to Costco.
Steering clear of the electronics and toy aisles (no need to open those cans of worms), I soon realized our main problem with bulk food purchases: We don’t have a lot of freezer space. In fact, between what was in our pathetic side freezer already (mostly frozen chicken thighs, a few unlabeled Tupperware containers filled with various leftovers, and some freezer-burned popsicles), we had about one-half shelf left. So there went buying any “bulk meats” or frozen foods. And we prefer to buy produce from our local markets.
So here’s what did make it into our cart:
A five-pack box of mac and cheese and box of 36 pudding packs (yeah, my kids pleaded for both of those). Plus eight cans of tuna, two quarts of pancake syrup, a gallon of milk and a gallon of orange juice.
My one really good “grocery” find? Four pounds of butter at the best price I’ve seen anywhere in about three years. Only when I got home did I realize that they were packaged as four one-pound blocks, not individual quarter-pound sticks, making for fun guestimates when measuring for recipes. They also make us feel like giants when we put one block on the table for buttering the rolls at dinner time.
Then my kids spied a 100-pound bag of rice; its amazing cost-per-ounce savings had me briefly entertaining thoughts of opening a Chinese restaurant. I realized one really should have a family of 10 (or more) or an eatery to benefit from the grocery section of this membership warehouse.
So what else did we buy at Costco? Lots of soap:
-Bath soap–16 bars, and a new brand for us. We hoped we’d like it, because we sort of committed to it for a while, what with 16 bars and all.
-Laundry detergent, 144 loads’ worth.
-500 fabric softener sheets.
-Dishwasher detergent. 120 cycles’ worth.
And there went my whole weekly food budget. For tuna, pudding, mac-n-cheese, some milk, OJ, pancake syrup and huge blocks of butter. Oh, and plenty of cleaning stuff to keep my family smelling extra nice for months.
Some might say that’s worth the membership fee.