Saturday, July 19, 2008

Costco Is A Black Hole

Really. It is. You walk in there, and by the time you manage to suck yourself out of there, everything in your wallet has been left behind.

I swear, they must pump something in to the air when you walk in that lowers your inhibitions and opens your wallet. That or maybe I need to not go there after my belly dancing class, considering I'm usually pretty hungry by that point.

Today I went there for one thing. I should know better. Who goes to Costco for just one thing? Unfortunately, Little Miss had a string of streak accidents yesterday while at my parents' house and was out of underwear (and when I mean out of underwear, I mean she was wearing a pair of Mister Man's).

Raise your hand if you think I succeeded in my mission (meaning purchasing toddler girl underwear and only that)? No one? Really? Ok, fine. Who thinks I succeeded in at least part of my mission (getting the toddler underwear but maybe having a few other things sneak in)? You all are awfully trusting.


I succeeded in none of it. As I got near the section where they stock the underwear, I passed an endcap that had educational books. (Not that I didn't just buy a ton of books from Usborne last week or anything.) They teach skills from Pre-K through (I assume) elementary school. I saw grade 4 in there, but really didn't pay attention except to kindergarten and grade 1. The books concentrate on handwriting (letters and numbers) and telling time, etc., which is something that Mister Man loves to practice. So those two books went into my cart.

As I searched where the underwear should be, I saw some really cute socks. Little Miss could use some new socks, as she's starting to outgrow her old ones. So yeah, they went into the cart, too.

I didn't see any underwear there, so I searched the clothing stacks thinking maybe, just maybe, they'd moved it rather than stopped carrying it. No such luck, but I did find a cute little dress for me. And I need some new summer dresses. Ok, maybe I don't need it, but I could really use it. Or so I convinced myself. Item number three entered the cart.

I gave up on the underwear at that point, and the smart thing to do would be to walk out then. But it was a Saturday morning, and they had samples. And I was hungry. So I meandered up near the samples. Actually, they had some really good ones. The croissants were so soft and pillowy. The peaches unfortunately weren't very ripe. The gouda was incredible, but I talked myself out of it knowing that I already had a bunch of cheese at home (yay, me!).

The rest wasn't as memorable, probably because I was busy filling my cart. The blueberries looked lovely, so I bought the two and a half pound container (granted, I'll eat the majority of those in the next two days -- I love blueberries).

And the cherries were relatively inexpensive, so the three pound container was an easy sell.

Ditto with the bananas, as they actually had ones that were fairly green. Yes, I'm unusual in that I like bananas only before they're fully ripe.

On Wednesday, I had grilled some pineapple for supper swapping but didn't have enough for my family. My husband was jealous that the other two families were getting it, so I had to buy more pineapple for us, right? Tomorrow night's dessert.

Last night, we ate at a neapolitan pizza, which was fantastic. I honestly thought about getting a second pizza for dessert. (I didn't btw -- but I'd had only oatmeal and one of the small cup of rice soups before that and I was starving!) I realized that I had yet to make pizza on the grill this year, so I have to do that soon. I have pretty much everything I need to make the adult pizzas, but I was out of mozzarella for the kid pizzas. Yep, the two pound block of mozzarella came home with me.

I searched for Nutella then, as I'd recently discovered that they had stopped carrying that, too (BOO!). I didn't find it, but I passed the dried fruit and realized that we were out of my dried cherries for my granola. Guess what happened.

Then I remembered a friend of mine telling me about a Morningstar product that was made from spinach and a great treat and had been sold at Costco. I searched and searched and found no spinach treats. I did, however, find an item that appears to be in the process of being discontinued -- chicken and vegetable risotto. I love risotto. I make it myself, and it's relatively easy to do. But I never make it in the summer, as I hate having my stove on for that long heating up the house. This product was precooked and just needed to be heated. At the about-to-be-discontinued price, I had to try it.

Darn Costco. Tell me I'm at least not the only person this happens to. Granted, nothing I bought will go to waste, but I went in there for one thing and one thing only!

Of course, I also saw the rotisserie chickens at Costco. I didn't buy one, as I knew that Caputo's had them on sale for $3.98 per (as opposed to Costco's still relatively decent $6.99). At Caputo's, I did well. I bought only the chicken and the butter on sale for $1.98. Even though they have incredible produce, I managed to restrain myself.

Then I had to go to Target to look for some laceup gym shoes for Little Miss for her soccer camp for next week. I eventually found some, but not before I found a few other things. Fortunately, girls' toddler underwear is still carried by Target, so I was able to cross that one off my list.

See what Costco caused? Fortunately, I think the effects have worn off, and I no longer feel the need to find things that I could use but don't need. Well, at least for the moment!

Edited to add: After all that shopping, would you believe that when I went to make a three cherry cobbler type dessert (I didn't use a recipe, so it doesn't have a name yet) dessert, I was out of cornstarch and had to send my husband back to the store? Oops.


Angela July 19, 2008 at 3:25 PM  

It's not just you. I went into Publix today, WITH a list, and came out with only the items ON my list (okay, plus just a couple things) and managed to drop $250. Sigh...

PS I am very interested in how your supper swap works. Do you participate in that all the time? Sounds like a GREAT idea and I've heard of those, but never knew anyone who actually does it. Would love to learn more.

Anonymous July 19, 2008 at 3:44 PM  

I've been there with you. I don't even have a membership anymore, because each item always averaged out to about $10 a piece. 10 items in you cart? There's a $100 bill. I can't afford to buy in bulk!

I don't know how many times I've gone into Target or WalMart to buy diapers and wipes and leave without them. Sigh.

Karen July 19, 2008 at 4:23 PM  

It's not just Costco. I went to Wal-Mart this morning for elastic and cording to finish the crib set. I came out $35 the poorer.

Angie's Spot July 20, 2008 at 9:59 AM  

I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one who shops that way! :-)

angela | the painted house July 20, 2008 at 2:37 PM  

I understand completely!

I am so with you on the green bananas.

Thank you for the book suggestions! I have been gobbling up the High IQ book--scared straight. So your boy likes the workbooks, too?

MaBunny July 20, 2008 at 4:36 PM  

LOL MIchelle! Now I remember why we don't have a costco card! I can't stay away from the clothes/books section.
Hope you had a great weekend!

Michelle July 20, 2008 at 6:07 PM  

Angela - I'm so glad to hear it isn't just me! At least you managed to get the items on your list! Yes, I do supper swapping all the time. I'll do a post on it sometime soon (making a draft note of it now).

Jaci - The only good thing is that when I buy the items at Costco I DO use them, even if it takes awhile. So I don't go shopping AS often, except for fresh fruits and veggies.

Karen - You're making a crib set, too? Is there anything you don't do?

Angie - Fortunately, we aren't the only TWO people who shop that way. That or the other nice ladies here are just trying to make us feel better!

Angela - Phew, my husband keeps muttering about me whenever I eat green bananas thinking I'm the only one! I've never met another green banana lover. And yes, he LOVES workbooks. At our casual outdoor church service/supper last night, he spent the majority of it (when not playing on the playground with the other kids) working on the kindergarten workbook. I REALLY like the ones I got at Costco yesterday (by BrainQuest). Very comprehensive!

MaBunny - It's hard, isn't it? The only way I stay out of the books section is because I am about three months behind on my newspaper reading, and 7 months behind on magazines, and STACKS of books are waiting for me, too!

anymommy July 20, 2008 at 11:06 PM  

Costco always chews me up and spits me out too. I even take all three kids with me to try and avoid browsing. It can't be done (avoiding browsing, they make their carts so freaking big I swear you could take 11 kids with you).

Jules July 21, 2008 at 1:22 AM  

Yup. Sad yet true. I have Costco-itis too. *sigh*

Michelle July 22, 2008 at 11:22 PM  

Anymommy - nope, no way to avoid browsing. Like I said, I went again yesterday for a specific item and ended up coming home $62 poorer WITHOUT the one item I'd stopped in there for.

Jules - I'm beginning to think that we ought to start a support group. I'll start. Hello. My name is Michelle, and I'm addicted to Costco.

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