I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How I Love to Hate Thee Costco

Several months ago DH and I read about how Costco was finally coming to Australia, and to Melbourne in specific. For those living under a rock, Costo is this massive warehouse store where you can get everything from food to televisions to new tires to vitamins to other random crap. It's all in massive sizes (yes, you NEED 3 litres of mayonnaise) and supposedly it's quite inexpensive. Having grown up with the shopping mecca which is Costco, it was with some thrill and anticipation that DH and I waited for it's arrival.

The time has finally come and so we ventured down there about 4 weeks ago...and 1 hour, $600, and cartloads of crap we do not really need later, we decided we wouldn't go back unless we needed paper products again. Which, given the size of Costco products, would be one week past Armageddon. This past weekend, DH casually says, "I think we need to go to Costco... we need...stuff." Oh, okay then. Twist my arm, why doncha?

I only agreed to go if we took a list with us (a list which I knew we would promptly ignore... but I can pretend, right?) We asked the kids if they wanted to go, and two out of three yelled,'YES! Costco is the BEST SHOP EVER!!!". I think this is because the kids can ride in the Costco trolleys (whereas they no longer fit in normal supermarket ones) *and* because they are all collectively saving up to buy the 7 book boxed set of Harry Potter which they spied on our last trip there (FYI, it's $180!).

So we go, only to discover that they closed exactly two minutes before we arrived. The woman at the door felt sorry for us and told us we could go in for a few minutes but we had to hustle. So I took one trolley, DH took another and we set off in different directions. Literally, we were running down those aisles, chucking random shit in our trolley. It was like those old 'Supermarket Sweep' shows where you have to fill a trolley with the highest value of goods in the least amount of time. Anyone remember those shows?

Anyway, DH and I totally won our round. Less than 10 minutes and we spent over $300. On what, I'm not entirely sure. And therein lies the problem with Costco. Sure, you get stuff you need (hello, reams of toilet paper) but then you get all starry eyed over crap you most certainly DON'T need. I'm not convinced it's cheaper than just buying it at normal places (or especially, at ALDI)... but geez, they have totally cool crap in there. Unlike the American Costcos, you can't eat an entire meal via the samples in the aisle... but this is probably because this location is so jam-packed all the time, there is no room for those little toaster oven thingies yet.

Added bonus of the place is people watching, or more specifically trolley watching. Did you know how many people NEED 4 kilos of spinach, a set of tires, and a large cheery cheesecake? Quite a few, it seems. I'm also amazed at the people who go all the way in there to buy ONE towel. Or ONE enormous box of jelly beans. Or whatever. How do these people have the will power?! Yet more Costco entertainment is after you've checked out, watching people with fourteen kids go through 4 of those $14.99 pizzas at the 'cafe'. They also have this totally creepy looking chicken loaf thing, which every time I look up at the poster and think, "What the heck IS that thing?"

Maybe it's the American in me (wanting everything bigger and better), or the Israeli in me (wanting everything cheaper), but, damn, I just love that place.

Dear Costco, you're all fun and games until the guy hands me the receipt. And then you're no fun at all.

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