Monday, March 21, 2016

Costco - The Magical Land Of Bulk!

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Costco - The Magical Land Of Bulk
Anyone else fed up with spending $200 every time they sneeze in the general direction of the supermarket? I am. Goddamn, my kids can eat  - they're like two impatient chimps who have just completed a holy month of fasting. It's ridiculous. I buy what I think is more than enough at the start of the week and surprise, surprise we have a whingey, whiny 'cupboard is bare' situation long before the week is out.  It's like living with two Pacmen. So from a family budget perspective, I feel like there's a) the mortgage, b) the school expenses then c) the damn never-ending grocery bill.

I'm on a mission to shop cheaper and for better quality produce than my local large chain supermarket. *cough* Woollies *cough*.  Not only do I feel completely touched up at the checkout whenever I leave there, but I've also found myself walking away with more droopy eggplants and brown avocados than I care to count. Meh. Annoying. So as part of my mission to check out more economical options (you know already of my love for Aldi if you've hung around here for a while) we recently signed up for Costco. I know - sound the trumpets! I had my fourth visit there this week and I can finally say, I'm getting the hang of it. By getting the hang of it I mean successfully walking out of there having NOT spent $600.00 on stuff I really didn't need in the first place - to achieve that takes quite a bit of practice as it turns out.

From the minute you walk through the (ridiculously oversized) door, it immediately feels as though you've been magically shrunk by some kind of Costco wizard. The trolley is huge. The aisles are massive. The shelves are high and everything comes in a giant box of twenty items, not just one. Just so you know, you don't go to Costco for a packet of this or a tin of that. Come prepared to buy four hundred of this or that; more than you ever thought you could possibly need. Absolutely everything is sold in bulk with the exception of basketball hoops, surfboards, dishwashers and fridges. Yes - whitegoods. And tyres. And other weird random shit.

The first time I set foot into the giant magic land of bulk, I went crazy. I totally convinced myself that I needed twenty packs of Japanese seaweed and a cardboard box full of protein balls as though my life depended on it and without thinking of my eski-sized pantry or my modest budget, I over-purchased. In my two most recent visits though, I've gone through that giant wizardy door with a well-considered plan. Coffee, pasta, shampoo, cheese. And maybe more protein balls cos they kinda worked out. You also need to have your willpower engaged - by comparison, you know when you holiday somewhere beachy, you always come home with a sarong you've purchased but you never wear again? Well Costco can suck you into the same game.  My advice is - if you don't need it, don't buy it!

If you've never done the Costco thing yourself, I should also warn you that if you have zero storage space in your home, you're going to get all excited while you're there, but you'll have a conniption when you get home as you try and work out where the hell you're going to store your 45 bars of soap and 12 boxes of pearl couscous. Admittedly, I do this every time and yet I still somehow manage to return to Costco on my next visit and convince myself that I have a plethora of magic empty cupboards waiting at home to greet me and embrace all of my bulk purchases.  In reality we have NO storage and therefore our garage looks like an NQR store - currently it's brimming with pallets of passata, large sacks of rice, an endless supply of toilet paper and vats of fabric softener.  But, on the other hand, we have our staple items for months to come and we've definitely saved some dough in the process.

So pretty much, Costco is a win if you keep your head down, know what you can store and know what you really need to purchase.

Have you done the Costco thing yet? If so, are you an over-shopper (like most of us mugs in there)..?! What's the most ridiculous item you ever bought? (Two words - Japanese seaweed. You could never be a bigger idiot than me).


  1. I lived in Atlanta for eight years and when we moved back to Sydney in 2001, the two things I missed most were Wholefoods Supermarkets and Costco. (Well, decent hashbrowns and buffalo wings too but that's a whole other tangent!) hands down they have the best meat in Sydney and the smoked salmon is so cheap it's ridiculous. I separate it into small baggies and freeze and my husband has an easy lunch option for weeks to go with the bagels and cream cheese. I love all the random crap in the middle and have bought quite a few clothes for myself. My son loves the Japanese seaweed so you can offload that in my direction! Fortunately, we have lots of storage space otherwise I'd be using the boxes of 5000 sandwich bags as side tables.

    1. I too have the 5000 sandwich bags too, Daniela! (Another item stored clumsily in our garage). I imagine anyone who's lived in the States would see bulk shopping as a way of life - it seems us Aussies are just catching on. Hallelujah! Thanks for your comment.

  2. Costco and big box shops like this are really quite the Godsend. You save so much by buying in bulk and keeping things in storage. As long as you keep an eye on those expiry dates!

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