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Hello. My name is Paul and I’m a Costco-holic. Or maybe not. I mean, if it means you aren’t one if you really find it to be a practical thing to have in your life, then maybe I’m not. But I do kind of obsess over the whole money savings thing, so maybe I am. And I do spend the intervening weeks between trips slowly making up a list of things we’ll need to get when we go next. So it’s all practical, right? That doesn’t make me an addict, right?




I have to admit that I enjoy shopping at Costco. Well, not the actual act of shopping there, because regardless of when I go, or whom I go with, the place always seems to be filled with idiots who can’t push their cart in a straight line and have no regard for any other living soul. But when I leave, and get home with my purchases, I start to feel the satisfaction of the trip.


Yes, I still go over my receipt after each trip and analyze it to see how much I saved by buying the 80 pack of fruit snacks, or 10 pounds of chicken breast at a time. This last weekend’s trip probably shaved $50 to $70 from the family grocery bill, and that makes me happy. But there’s also pride over things that I’ve bought that really are useful and well worth the effort.


Like the box of 500 Ziploc sandwich bags. This time, I got them for just about $5.50 for the whole box, and if the trend holds, I won’t need to buy any more for the rest of the school year. Those, thankfully, are packaged with 4 smaller boxes in the large box, or else using them would be painfully difficult.


And I’ll admit to it: back in October before the great Peanut Butter panic of ’11, I hoarded four huge jars of Skippy. I estimated they’d last until April–six months of fixed price, gooey, peanut-buttery goodness. We just started jar number three today…Right on schedule. I get six weeks of peanut butter for $4.


Then there’s the 12 boxes of Kleenex I got for $13. And if you know anything about my family, you must know this: we can go through Kleenex as if it were ketchup.


Or I can relish the 144 ounce jug of ketchup. Or…Just don’t ask. Except I will say it was only $4.50.


But my greatest find has to be the bag of flour. Okay, granted, it’s a 25 pound bag. And my container on the counter only holds about 5 pounds. But I bag the rest in gallon Ziploc bags (which conveniently hold about 5 pounds each) and stash them so I almost never run out of flour. Oh, and the price? $7. I could spend that on 10 pounds at Cub. Yay me!


I know what you’re thinking. It’s exactly what I was thinking before we dove in to the whole cult of Costco: what the hell am I going to do with 25 pounds of flour at a shot? Or a 8-pack box of Ghiradelli brownie mix? Or the box of 35 Fiber One bars?


The answers found me and have slapped me in the face and called me an idiot. We’re spending less on food as a family, spending less on things like garbage bags, storage bags, dishwashing soap and Kleenex, and we have to go and get it less. We have food for snacks, lunches, dinners for a couple of weeks, and it takes a while for my hungry tribe to work their way through it.


Stupid economies of scale.


We got the reminder in the other day that our membership is up in a couple of months. Jenni made fun of me and asked if we were going to renew the membership. It was a joke because we already knew we were going to re-up. Even before I got to our rebate check in the envelope.


So lucky you…You’ll get more Costco entries here for another year.


See you tomorrow.