Friday, April 16, 2010

Too Many Choices

I hate Costco. There, I've said it!

I know many, many people who are big Costco fans. (Are there Costco stores in the UK or New Zealand? It is a big warehouse store, where you have to buy a membership to shop there, presumably saving much more money over the course of a year than an annual membership costs.) I've been trying, but so far I'm not convinced.

Being a warehouse store, of course, the place is huge. The carts are huge. Everything you get comes in bulk. Why buy one frozen pizza when you can get five? 10 gallons of soup at one low price!!!

Everything seems like such a good deal. Even if I go in with a short list, I buy much more than what's on it because our Costco is inconvenient for us to get to, and so I space out Costco trips as much as possible. So I always figure that, if I see something I want, I'd better go ahead and buy it now because it might be awhile before I come back.

There's too many choices. It's overwhelming! And I'm constantly trying to do math in my head to figure out if they really are good deals or not. Guess what? I was an English major. Math is not my strong suit. It just makes my head hurt.

Eleanor and I went earlier this week (necessitating this rant, of course!) and I came armed with a list and coupons. I didn't think I went too far off the list, although I did pick up a few items that are perennial favorites in our house. Some things I only bought because I had the coupons, and with the coupons they would be worth it. BUT, when I got to the register, I learned that the coupons weren't valid until 2 days later. WHY does Costco send coupons out to its members, like, 2 months before they are usable?!? It drives me crazy.

So every time I go, I spend $100-200, in addition to my regular grocery shopping. I always tell myself that I'm spending money now to save money in the long run. But I'm not really sure that I've ever seen that eventual savings.

Maybe I'm just not doing a good enough job of accounting for how the money is spent. Maybe if I tracked every penny, I would be convinced. But right now, I'm thinking that I will not be renewing the membership next year.


Elaine said...

Yes, we have Costco here! Mum has been using it for years and we joined about 18months ago with MF and Barry. We usually only shop when we get the vouchers in too, and we do exactly the same as you - I'm not going to be back for a while... We do find it saves on things like nappies, washing powder and bin bags, but we also buy things we think we need, well I do anyway. When we get the vouchers in, I try to make a list and then send David on his own knowing he won't come back with random purchases. On the whole I'm a fan!

Andrea said...

I LOVE Costco! I'd say that we're buying stuff from there a couple of times every month. I even bought my glasses there a couple weeks ago. We actually don't buy much food from Costco, but I buy all of our paper and cleaning products there. I haven't bought Charmin or Tide anywhere else in years. I think I like it so much because I'm never running out of things around there house; we never have to make a late night run for toilet paper or Cascade because I have extras stock-piled in the basement. :-)

M. Lubbers said...

Really? So I'm totally out on my own for this one. It's interesting because I think I spend too much money on food, but both of you say that you like buying the non-perishables at Costco. Maybe I'll focus more on that and see if it helps. (And I also like your idea, Elaine, of sending David!)