Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Black Hole

First off, I have to say, I am not a great bargain shopper. I mean, if there is a bargain, and I see it, I am on it. But I don't get the newspaper, so I don't get the grocery store adds, and therefore, I don't really know what is "on-sale" around me. Recently a woman in our stake held a RS meeting about such activities and I have to admit, although I am 'interested' in this 'theory' I just have a hard time making it come to fruition. It is hard enough to get my laundry done around hear much less peruse hundreds of pages of adds for the things I WANT to buy. Not just things that I COULD buy. For these reasons I am a big fan of COSTCO.

These people have got their whole marketing ploy IN THE BAG!! First, they tell you, that if you buy in bulk, you are saving money. I do have to admit, we go through a lot of diapers, formula (we just dropped that recently) laundry detergent, meat, cheese and milk in this house. And when you see that your kids have dusted an entire Costco box of Quaker Granola Bars, it starts to feel like a bit of an accomplishment! Doesn't it?? It feels like you just might be saving money until you hit the check out stand and it is a good $200 just to get out of the store! What on earth did I just buy? Milk laced with GOLD??

Now, maybe some of you are like me, and think . . . well, it is kind of food storage at the same time. I could grab that giant box of mini-wheats in an emergency and feed the entire neighborhood! So, you rationalize the dollar figure by assuming that you are doing yourself some kind of favor in the long run, and maybe you are.

What I REALLY love doing at Costco, (aside from testing all of the samples) is seeing what other things people are buying in BULK. It is amazing isn't it? I consider the things that I buy to be fairly run-of-the-mill family fare. But have you ever seen the grandma pull up to the check out counter with the giant plastic box of garlic cloves? Or the man with a flat of Crisco-- and nothing else? What exactly are they DOING with all of that stuff? Has any one ever purchased the giant container of Shitake Mushrooms????? (I have to admit, I have thought about it. . . I have! I cook a lot of Asian dishes.... OK???????)

Anyway, one of the other great marketing ploys Costco has is the 'cash back' plan. We got our beloved check in the mail just the other day. It was for $156. My husband and I were arguing on the way there about the ACTUAL value of the check. He says it is $156 (sucker). I instantly look at that as $56 because $100 of that is going right back to my Costco membership just so I can have the membership that actually pays me back. . . hmmm. . . so, I spend $$$$$ at Costco last year and all I get back is $56??? I guess that is going to buy me a couple of bags of bulk chicken. There! I have done it!!! I have saved some money!!!!! Ha.

Now, I will follow Gab's lead. What is in YOUR costco cart??


gab said...

Wow there must be a shopping thing going around blogland. I just read Mique's post about coupons and feel like a loser.

I do not use coupons, I don't have a Costco membership and I am sure I waste way too much money when I shop.

I do go to BJ's...our local bulk store and I stock up on flour, sugar, chicken breasts and paper products. I always get a headache when I go there though.

abbyandcompany said...

I just have to say that I HAVE bought the giant bag of Shitake Mushrooms and I have lots so come over and take some. Heaven knows I am definitely NOT using those lately. Now that the MANGOS are back, I would say about 8 cases of those are in my cart. Once I find my american express card.

Elizabeth Caldwell said...

Didja know....

that you can access all the weekly ads online (contact me if you want the links) and then create a shopping list of the best deals from all the stores and then go to Walmart and make them price match all the ads?

I spend about $150 for 2 weeks groceries for a family of 3. Not too bad I think :) It takes me about an hour to prepare for a shopping trip but it is worth it!

mmmm maybe I should blog about this :)

Not quite the Bradys said...

Oooo, that price-matching at Walmart thing is the best sentence I've read all week! I just want to kiss that Elizabeth Caldwell. I wonder if the Walmarts in This Place That I Live will do that...?

Now, about the huge plastic jar of garlic: don't knock it!!! : ) I actually buy garlic that way. It is WAY cheaper over the long run. I just put the whole jar into my freezer and use it as I need it. I don't have to peel it, don't have to mess with the paper-y stuff, and garlic that is cold doesn't make your hands (or your frig/freezer) smell bad. AND my FAVORITE thing about it is that frozen garlic cloves are actually MUCH MUCH easier to put through a garlic press. I know that's counter-intuitive but it's true.

My favorite thing that I see OTHER people buying at Costco is the 10# can of tuna fish. I can't see a good reason to eat 10 oz. of tuna fish, even starvation would be debateable. How are these people USING that much tuna before it's not good anymore? I mean, even with a family of 8 we don't eat that much. And who in their right mind wants questionably old tuna? Questions for the ages....

Paige said...

I confess I have no control so I can't go to Costco. I end up with $100's of 'bargains" like books, toys, clothes my kids don't need but are cute, and so much delicious fruit it goes bad before I can eat it. Oh, and lawn furniture i don't like but it's on sale!

We just got our check too. It was fabulous.


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