The $300 Store
Honey, we need toilet paper . .

June 3, 1999

Zoe and I went to Costco this evening, also known as the $300 Store. So named because we never seem to get out of there for under $300.

Some of you are gasping. The rest of you are shaking your heads in that knowing way.

Tonight was a personal best. We got out of there for $17.52. OK, it was $168.52, but I had a $151 return. We would have gotten out for even money if not for the Avia's I got. But they were $17.99. How could I afford not to buy them..

This time I had a list. Eight items. And I was sticking to it. Sort of.

Usually we go and I have an idea of what I want, I mean need, but feel compelled to walk up and down all the aisles. Then I see a package of 2000 of those plastic tie things, in assorted sizes, for $9.99. God, what a great deal. How can I not buy those. Plastic storage containers--36 for $19.99. Since 90% of my Tupperware is in Zoe's bathtub I really need that. A 75-gallon container of teriyaki sauce. Yeah, we'll barbecue. And on and on it goes like that.

We then end up with two carts, each weighing-in at about 300 pounds, and a bill topping the $300 mark. I've been tempted to use one of those skip-loader kind of things but I feel all that space would be too much temptation to buy things that I don't really need.

It's not so bad now that we have a bigger home and place to store the 24 rolls of toilet paper and 12 rolls of paper towels, but I used to buy in bulk and we didn't quite have the storage space. This used to irritate Chuck no end. I couldn't stop myself though.

I come by this bad habit naturally. My father, who lives alone, goes to Costco probably once a month. He buys in bulk and has lots of room to store what he buys. I'm better off then him. He doesn't usually remember that he already has three 2000-load boxes of detergent at home already and will pick up another one.

My sister Karan doesn't go to Costco. She goes to my dad's house and does her shopping from his reserves.

I don't know why I have this fascination large quantity purchasing. It's such a great deal I guess. I love a bargain.

When Chuck bought his Land Cruiser all I could think was that I could go to Costco and buy as much as I want and not have to worry about how I was going to get it all home.

Don't be fooled. I can get an enormous quantity of bulk items in my Volvo (sedan). We've left the parking lot in my car with the items in the trunk packed in like sardines, and the baby in her car seat all but smothered for all the packages in the back seat.

There is one thing I don't like about the Costco shopping experience. . . they seem to think that you don't need bags for any of your items. So you get to the car and, instead of all your items being neatly stowed away in convenient boxes or bags, they're all there, each item, individually. Not so bad for that box of 20,000 paper plates. That's pretty self-contained. It's the smaller stuff. The 10-pack of toothbrushes. The three jars of tomato sauce. The 100-pack of hot-dogs.

But none of that deters me. I put on my comfy walking shoes, grab my cart, and dive into bulk purchasing heaven.

Until next time. . .