Monday, January 08, 2007

Hey, big spender

This was going to be an email to Liz at MysteryMommy, but it was getting soooo long, I thought: POST! (And I know she'll see it here, anyway.)

Anyhoo, Liz and I were emailing back and forth about going to Costco. I just got a membership and was asking for tips from Liz, the seasoned professional Costco shopper. She advised in part:

It's really easy to get seduced into buying more than is actually useful for your household. Beware of the great deals on, say, ketchup. You will never, ever use enough before it expires. On the other hand, if you have enough sealed storage containers, you can buy their 25 lb sacks of rice, sugar, and flour.

I think NSAH would kill me if I came home with 25 pounds of anything (unless it was 2 his 'n' hers bowling balls).

(And even then, he'd look at me funny.)

Thanks for the tips, Liz. I'll need to steel myself, I know. For example, I went to Target this afternoon with a 4-point list:

1) diapers for ALB ($20)
2) extra nipples for baby bottles ($8)
3) diet soda ($4.50)
4) instant oatmeal ($3.50)

This was a $36 trip. I got out of there $110 lighter.

I wound up buying everything on my list. Plus:
  • a dozen washcloths (on sale for $3 total)

  • a new dayplanner (hey, I'd been using the same one since I was a junior in high school--I was due!)

  • dated inserts for said dayplanner

  • snow boots for AB (thus ensuring we will get no snow this winter)

  • four pairs of sweatpants for ALB... at just 98 cents a pair! How could I not get those?

  • a magazine holder (a cheapo $2 one for AB's room)

  • a Beatles shirt (on clearance) for AB

  • some breastmilk storage bags

  • some (admittedly expensive) dog treats for Small Dog

Lord help me in Costco.


Blogger KLee said...

Thank God we don't have a Costco here in the hinterlands. Sam's is bad enough. And don't even get me started on hom much money Target can suck away from me! Who else do you know could blow $45 in the freaking *dollar aisle*?!?! Me, that's who. Hey -- they had Mickey Mouse stuff! Had to get those cool boxes of stickers -- one set for the scrapbooks, and one for the kidlets at school. Also, who could pass up four Mickey -n- Minnie cereal bowls and fork and spoon sets? Also, gotta have three or four packages of those darling Mickey Post-It notes! ....grumble, grumble....Target...grumble....dollar in the HELL did I spend $45?....grumble.....still....

10:50 PM, January 08, 2007  
Blogger kenju said...

The foods are pretty good at Costco. *You know who* put me on her membership, and a new Costco opened here just before Christmas. It is true that you can overstep your budget very easily - so be careful.

11:14 PM, January 08, 2007  
Blogger Quinn said...

But the real question is, will you name your bowling ball "Homer?"

11:17 PM, January 08, 2007  
Anonymous anna said...

I always know that it is time to leave Costco when I find myself seriously considering purchasing a laminator.

1:31 AM, January 09, 2007  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

KLee, the Mouse has its own siren call. I went overboard in the Store of the Mouse before Christmastime.

Kenju, I love their pies and other baked goods! Nice of YKW to put you on her membership.

Quinn, I promise to steer clear of any men named Jacques. But I will keep drinking mimosas.

Anna, I think THAT will be my barometer, because I have often thought a laminator would be useful (and then I've thought, "What?!"). So, when I find myself putting one in my cart, I will think of you and get outta Dodge.

8:40 AM, January 09, 2007  
Blogger Gina said...

Well, the good news is that things don't really go on sale at Costco. They send out the occasional coupon book and that's about it.

But 98 cents for sweats! I must hie myself off to Target in search of similar bargains!

3:23 PM, January 09, 2007  
Blogger liz said...

I can see you're going to have issues with Costco. Be strong. Be brave. Be able to ignore the honkin' huge swingset for only $989.

And then go to the container store for the whopping big containers to fit the 25lb sacks of rice, flour, and sugar.

4:07 PM, January 09, 2007  
Anonymous Madeleine said...

I was just at Costco today. My list had 5 items. I came out with at least 10. If I had seen the laminator I'd have stood in front of it for 10 minutes and considered calling My Love to ask if I should get it. All the kiddy artwork we have lying around! Laminated! It'd be awesome.

I somehow, somehow managed not to pick up the $50 iTunes card for $45. Yes, really. Oh, it was hard to resist. (This was Costco in Canada, not sure if they have the iTunes cards in the States.)

6:45 PM, January 09, 2007  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Liz, you've seen my kitchen. While it's roomy, it lacks the storage capacity for 25 pounds of anything.

Madeleine, I would've caved and bought the discounted iTunes giftcards. Your will power is astounding.

8:45 PM, January 09, 2007  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Gina, I hope you find the sweats on clearance at your local Target (they ranged from 98 cents to $1.98).

8:47 PM, January 09, 2007  
Blogger Rev Dr Mom said...

Yeah, that is EXACTLY why I don't go to Costco --or rather BJs which is what we have here. I learned the hard way that it would NOT save me money.

I wish we did have a Target though. I haven't lived near a Target in almost 13 years.

9:15 PM, January 09, 2007  
Blogger La Turista said...

How do they do it, those damn Target people? It's even gotten to where my 7 year old says, "Mommy! You know we never get just what's on the list when we go to Target. You ALWAYS find something else." What a shining beacon of financial responsibilty I am.

12:16 AM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Mrs. Coulter said...

Target is a dangerous place. I rarely walk out having spent less than $100. Apparently, I even got Lyra some new arms there.

I have less trouble with Costco. I don't buy anything perishable (been there, done that) that can't be frozen or anything that is a prepared meal (the samples taste good, but rarely do you actually want to eat 10lbs of it). I focus mostly on cleaning supplies, dry/canned goods, paper products, and, formerly, diapers and wipes. The real danger point is the movies and books, which seem like such a great deal, until you realize that you've just purchased three movies you only kind of wanted to see.

11:07 AM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Mother in Chief said...

How did all of your bargains end up costing $54?? Was it those dog treats? We're suckers for our pets every time! Anyway, I love Costco, but if I only have a couple of items on my list I do NOT get a cart. I have Baby in Chief in the stroller and if it doesn't fit in the basket underneath or in my arms, then I can not under any circumstances get it. Strangest purchase: a 200-pair box of latex gloves. Father in Chief *needed* those for his bike maintenance--he'll be using those for the next 15 years.

1:32 AM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous ~Sheryl said...

Target used to be a guaranteed $100 trip, but since we've had Bug, it's now $150 -200... wtf! Who knew a baby could cost so much? We also have a Costco membership but our purchases are usually limited; diapers, chicken, ground chuck, turkey bacon and giant frozen bags of veggies.

BEWARE of the giant box of brownie mix!!

10:18 AM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger ccw said...

I can keep myself within my limits or slightly over at Target but Costco is my weakness.

I went $100 or so over my intended budget because I bought extras like, leather photo boxes, fish oil caplets, a new bathroom light, baby feeding set.

I do recommend the Costco Amex. It's money for doing shopping you would be doing anyway. Between the AMEX rewards and the executive rewards, we end up getting much more than our membership cost back every year.

10:38 AM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger OneTiredEma said...

I have been avoiding the kitchenware section for a long time--we don't need a new set of pots. Yet.

But there are things we buy there all the time (babywash, honey, raisins, paper goods). I just started buying Cheerios; even if part of the pack goes stale, you're getting twice as much cereal for about a dollar more than at the grocery store. It makes me think--and not in a good way--about how much I am overpaying at the regular grocery store.

5:20 PM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Anna said...

Hi...this is my first time here. I love your blog...very funny. I have only been to Costco twice in my life. I have the problem like you have with Target. I go in with NO list and then walk out with a cart full! YIKES. I know how you solve the problem...well we moved to England where there is NO Target. :)

Unfortunately, they have a COSTCO...stink!

Have a great week!

3:10 PM, January 14, 2007  
Blogger Anna said...

Oh, I meant to say that Judy sent me here... :)

3:12 PM, January 14, 2007  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Welcome by, Anna!

9:13 AM, January 15, 2007  

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