Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hmmm, maybe I do need a casket and 100 pounds of pretzels...

I went to Costco after work today, and as usual, I had to fight off the urge to spend $1,000. I love Costco, and have found few who disagree with me. Sure, I'd rather shop locally and avoid the big-box stores, but for Costco, I have been known to abandon all principles. Some battles will never be won.

Costco has a funny way of making me think I need something. If I'm sitting at my house or in my office, I can think of only a few things I need that I don't already have. But as soon as I get behind the oversized grocery cart and show my card to the gatekeeper of joy, my needs suddenly change. So I wonder how many people's needs change as soon as they see that Costco now sells caskets. Who says, "that's a pretty good deal on that casket. Even if I don't die soon, that could be pretty cool at my Halloween party."?

I'm a seasoned enough Costco shopper by now that I know not to buy things I won't use, it's just having the ability to realize that some quantities are just unrealistic. I bought Zip-Lock bags in 1999 and am nearly halfway through the package. And I have to be careful not to buy something I know nothing about. I recently bought a package of deodorant that I later found out I didn't like. If anyone needs 72 sticks of Degree for Men, I'll cut you a deal. I actually think I bought so many that it came with company stock.

But I think it goes without saying that most people's favorite part of going to Costco is the free samples. Some people even walk in the exit and sneak through the checkout lanes to go and just eat samples. Those are the people who wait anxiously by the table with their kids for the lady to take more Bagel Bites out of the microwave. I don't like to slow down too much, because I don't want to feel obligated to hear the whole sales pitch. Because nobody can say no once they hear, "these are breakfast egg rolls with bacon, sausage, cheese, eggs, and Cheerios. No trans-fats and they're excellent when dipped in ranch dressing. 124 servings per package, and they're ready in 20 seconds in the microwave." Now that she has skillfully appealed to my gluttonous side (while tricking me into thinking they're healthy by saying there are no trans-fats), my impatient side, and my sense of adventure, it takes everything I have to walk away.

And even if I am able to decline her amazing offer, I don't want to disappoint her. I always act interested. "Where are those again?" And after she tells me, I act like I'm going to get some out of the freezer. As soon as she looks away, I run for my life. I just have to be careful I don't see her again before leaving the store.

Of course, there's so much more to love about Costco, but I only have so much time, and you've probably already quit reading. Things like self-checkout that conveniently announces to the entire store what you've bought; a hot dog the size of an actual dog and a soda for $1.50; and the best cotton socks ever made. Could I be the only one who loves Costco this much?


  1. Oh Dave, you make me laugh! So glad I stumbled across your blog. Now I can keep tabs on you and remember the good ol' days. Here is my blog if you are ever interested to see how Hank and I reproduced the cutest kids ever :-)


  2. Hahahaha I do that with every single sample! I've learned to try not to make eye contact. You defintely can't go back for seconds. If you do, do you try to pretend it's your first time? Or do you say "mmmm, hehe, these are good"? I even feel guilty saying thank you because I feel like they hate their job because of people like me... Especially when I have no cart and two items in my hand that I'm just gonna drop off on a quiet isle as I leave.

  3. The times that I would wait for the sample giver to change shifts so I can lung in and get another. Or the times when I send my kids up to get a sample when I know darn well that they won't like it, but it ends up in my hands. I could totally feed my family on that stuff. If this country ever goes into a depression I know that I can sneak my kids in there to grab a sample. I would just have to train them to grab an adult nearby to have them stand in as a parent. Cause you know eating a sample requires adult supervision.

  4. i am happy that you are blogging again.

  5. Let's talk about that deodorant...

  6. The thing about the samples for me is, if you don't take the food, it's like turning down a treat from your grandma. And then once you do eat whatever they are selling, you really can't turn down grandma again and not buy it.