Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a list maker. If I go to the store to buy more than three items, I write it down and take it with me. Or at least I make a note on the electronic note pad on my phone so that I can remember what I need to purchase. And it is not just to ensure that I don’t forget to buy something, it is more to keep my time in the store as guided as possible. I am an impulse buyer. So as you can imagine, shopping at Costco is difficult for me.
After about 18 months away from Costco (I let my membership lapse), I am back again. I just couldn’t stay away. I feel like not buying in bulk is showing poor fiscal responsibility on my part. As any business school freshman can tell you, buying in volume drives the price per unit down and it just makes good sense. Right? That’s what they told me. And I saw the Costco documentary on Netflix.
But Costco has interfered with my habit of making lists, and for a store like Costco, you really need a list to prevent yourself from having the “Vegas Casino Experience” where you walk in at dawn and leave when it’s dark outside. I mean, you could spend hours in there. Trust me, I have. Did you know that they have pet supplies and electronics and pharmacy items all within a three-aisle span? If you want it, they have it. If they don’t have it, then you don’t need it.
Bulk-Buying Utopia. All For 55 Bucks A Year.
I can’t even begin to make a list for Costco. What would it say? Nine pounds of chicken…check. Seven pounds of bananas and a gross (that’s 144 for you rookies) of paper towels? Definitely need those. I want to build a fort made exclusively out of Brawny. That would be a strong damn fort and it could totally withstand a flood, you know? In fact bring me a pallet of those. I’ll never need to buy paper products again.
So my trip to Costco today took me a grand total of 14 minutes, and that includes having to go to the membership desk and get my new photo taken. I bought six items and three of them were giant bags of coffee for the office (it was my turn to make the coffee run and I don’t even drink it really. I prefer Diet Coke thank you very much).
The other three…protein shakes, a giant two-compartment blister pack of chicken strips and a four-pack of orbitz gum in the little plastic container thing that fits in your car cup holder. I mean, I only have one car, but maybe I want to fill both front console cup holders with gum. And maybe I can put the other two in the back seat flip down armrest cup holder thing. Crazy? Nah…I just like fresh breath.
But in my 14 minutes at Costco today, it got me thinking about something that I never thought about before. Did you ever think that warehouse stores are making us fat? Our ancestors didn’t have to buy cafeteria-sized quantities and they were skinny, or at least skinnier. Now we have Costco and Sam’s Club and BJ’s and now we are the fattest country on the planet. Our penchant for large quantity purchases has turned us into large people, at least that is what I think. Now I don’t think it is the sole cause, but maybe it’s a factor. Someone do a study on that. I’d throw my 55 dollar Costco membership allocation towards it to help fund that study. Let me make a list of the reasons why.