Monday, January 18, 2010

Shoppin' Large

So I just got back from my first ever trip to Costco. My mother has been bugging me for a long time that I spend way too much money buying meat, paper goods, and cleaning products at the local kosher grocery store. She's completely right. My grocery bills are insane (see previous kvetching here) but because I don't have a car, I need to shop locally. So today, in honor of Martin Luther King Day (both my mom and I have the day off on legal holidays), we hit up the Brooklyn Costco. (For all you foreigners out there, Costco is a chain of warehouses that sells everything in bulk from food and paper goods to clothing and electronics. You buy a yearly membership for around $50, and then you can shop as much as you want. Prices are noticeably lower than retail.)
The place is as big as an airport hangar, and it is crammed full of enormous boxes. You hoist these huge boxes into a shopping cart that is the size of a small sofa. The problem is that you can't just buy one or two of an item- everything has to be bought in bulk. I tried to sneak one loaf of bread onto the checkout counter, but the lady promptly took it away and scolded me for breaking up a 6-pack of bread. We spent about 90 minutes there, and walked out with $400 worth of stuff (my very generous mother paid- thanks Mom!)

So right now my living room is littered with 30 rolls of toilet paper, two dozen boxes of tissues, a 350-count bag of paper cups, and shampoo bottles that are too large for me to lift. I have to find space in my freezer for 6 pounds of chicken legs, lots of turkey and some meatballs in sauce (the Brooklyn Costsco has glatt kosher meat). My little house has NO storage space at all (our basement is rented out, there are very few closets, etc.) so I have no idea where I'm going to put all this stuff. Right now Wonderwoman is seated on the toilet paper package, and Flash has been absentmindedly weight-lifting the laundry detergent. If any of you need some extra tissues or soap, feel free to drop by. We've got plenty.


G6 said...

Ooooh, I'm salivating here!
I've never been.
Take ME with you next time...!!!

SubWife said...

Hey, this is the second time in 24 hours that someone stole my post!!! First Consumerist, now you... I expected better from you! Funny enough, this Sunday was my first trip to Costco and I came out with the opposite conclusion. Prices are better, but they are worth only for people with ample storage space.

Staying Afloat said...

Yeah, I don't do Costco much either. It's worth it to me for frequent items like juice boxes, and they actually have pretty decent produce, but impulse buys there can really take up space I don't have AND encourage my kids to use more of things than they usually do because "we've got so much of it!". So instead, I have my friend who goes pick me up my juice boxes :).

Sounds like your mom is awesome. Does she have storage space?

Anonymous said...

I don't think we have an equivalent here. Good luck with the storage.

Mystery Woman said...

I've never been there, and have been wanting to go for ages. I am definitely going to do it now. Sounds great!

Eees said...

If you need freezer storage space, you are more than welcome to store your things in ours (we have a spare freezer). One request: make sure it's out by Pesach. :)

SuperRaizy said...

Do you even live in NY?
I think that the Costco prices were better for some things, but not necessarily for everything across the board.
Staying Afloat-
My mom is pretty awesome. And she lives in a one bedroom condo with her husband. She has no extra space at all.
Just one more reason why living in America is pretty cool.
Mystery Woman-
{sigh} It's pathetic that we find shopping to be so exciting. I think we all need to find some really fun things to do.
Eees- oh my god, that is so sweet. Thank you. But I'm OK. I crammed everything into my freezer. And please try not to say the word "Pesach" to me unless it's absolutely necessary.

G6 said...

Yes Raizy, I do....
I suppose I've just led a deprived life :P

Lion of Zion said...

we're big fans of costco. but we hate spending time trying to find places to store all our purcahses in our apt.

"I have to find space in my freezer for 6 pounds of chicken legs"

did you buy fresh or frozen? the frozen is a good buy, but i stay away because it is preserved in salt water.

Anonymous said...

Love Costco and b"h we have storage space. The impulse purchases were the biggest problem but in the past couple of years of frugality I have been able to avoid them almost entirely! Who would have thought that would be possible!

Eees said...

LOL..the "P-word" makes me queasy. Will avoid it in the future. :)

Commenter Abbi said...

So glad we don't have costco here. Just do not have the extra space to store anything in my 3 bedroom Israeli apartment. I have enough trouble with a six pack of Diet Coke from the supermarket!

I put up pics on my paris post.:)