I lack the shopping gene

I went to Costco for the first time in a decade and one fact was driven home hard. There is absolutely no reason for a single woman like me to ever go there. Ever. A family of four, maybe. A family of six, absolutely. But a single person like me who is shopping for herself – not her business or for a party – and only herself? Bad. Idea.
They do have things there. Individual things that you only need one of and that you’d only buy once, like books and gazebos and Christmas trees. I’m talking about going there for grocery shopping. After one trip, I’d be like those extreme couponers who have a year’s worth of toilet paper and chocolate chips in the pantry. Do you have any idea how long it would take me to get through a 2 kg bag of chocolate chips? And I like chocolate!
I was taught a simple truth as soon as I was old enough to have and spend my own money. It’s not a sale unless you were going to buy it anyway. And really, I had no intention of buying half a gross of anything. The prices are great if you buy 12 rolls of paper towels versus 3 rolls in Safeway, but the extra $9 I’d save would be sitting on a shelf in a basement for the next six months instead of being in my bank account where I could use it. I’d enjoy a movie or a new book a lot more than staring at a shelf of cleaning supplies.
I don’t like to shop at the best of times. I’m a precision shopper. I go out with my list of specific items I need to buy and a list of stores where I could conceivably find said items. And then I shop until one or the other lists is exhausted. If I find the items before I visit all the stores, I win. If I run out of stores before I run out of items, then I go without. I wince when I need to grab a cart. I can’t imagine shopping at a level where I’d need a trolley!
Costco was a great experiment but it was an experiment that won’t be repeated anytime soon. For one, even if I did want to prepare for the zombie apocalypse, buying in bulk is a great way to save money overall but the overall price tag is steep! For another thing, that place was HUGE. It’s a freaking warehouse – literally! That was a lot of walking and now I’m all shopped out.

3 thoughts on “I lack the shopping gene

  1. Holli

    I actually love going to Costco, even though I’m a household of two, for the simple fact that I don’t have a car. In one fell swoop (and with the help of a generous friend who is not so transportation challenged), I can have a year’s worth of paper towel, Bounce, and toilet paper and not have to worry about lugging them home on the bus for a full twelve months. Bliss.

    But, like you said, it does come at a price. I always hope to get out of there having stuck to my $100 budget. It never happens. I always spend $200 or more, even if I stuck to my list. In the long-term I’m sure it saves me money, but in the short-term it is painful.

    For some reason, I am always exhausted in Costco. There seems to be something in the air there that just makes me want to sit down. And have a drink. And maybe a hotdog. And, ooooh, look, is that a sale?

    1. Elle Post author

      A $100 budget – in Costco? No way! I’d be looking at $500! I went with a friend with a membership too and it was neat but it would never make sense for me to get my own. I listen to coworkers who go on a bi-weekly basis and all I can think is “why?”

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