• Last Updated:
  • Sep 25th, 2017 11:47 am
Tags:
[OP]
Banned
Aug 9, 2017
166 posts
159 upvotes

Costco's weird spell

For some reason, every time I walk in, I buy things I would never dream of owning otherwise, Adriano Magnifico writes

"We stare at the garbage can.

I lean forward and run my hand over the top of it again and the top opens, almost magically. How stupid, I think. Who needs to have a battery-powered garbage can with a top that opens with a simple wafture of a hand.

I look at my wife. She continues to stare at it, considering this miracle of garbage collection.

"It changed my life," a middle-aged lady standing beside me says, her male partner nodding affirmatively. Where did she come from?

We both quizzically turn to the lady and her partner.

"I mean, I thought it would be stupid, but I can't imagine what I would do without this garbage can," she says more excitedly. The male nods like a happy cocker spaniel.

My wife is drawn in by the couple. "Does it really work?" she asks, now intrigued, passing her hand over the lid to watch it wondrously open.

"Oh yes, it's so convenient. And my dog has no idea how to get into this garbage."

Must be a stupid dog, I think, but she's hooked my wife.

We are in Costco.

We recently upgraded our standing to "Executive Costco Cardholder," a special distinction reserved for … well actually … for anybody who wants to shell out an extra $55. Not sure why we did this, aside from the fact that we can accumulate points faster to pay for our executive privilege.

In my normal life, I scrutinize purchases and budgets, often looking for the most minuscule of cost savings.

I'll travel across town to get a bargain on canned tomatoes, but for some reason, I fall under a weird spell in Costco and become a consumer-mad idiot, buying items that I would never dream of.

I convince myself to stock up on household items and odd things that make little sense unless I'm running a restaurant or organizing block parties for a living.

The smart ones, the planners, get together and plan their Costco excursions. They plan with whom to share and divide six heads of lettuce, eight LED light bulbs, a pound of fresh garlic or 10 lbs of ground turkey.


I'm not that organized. A few months ago, we bought a 1.36 kg jar of chopped garlic. Six months later, we've used maybe a tenth of the jar.

Don't get me wrong. We've bought a lot of useful things in this warehouse. I don't know what we'd do without our plastic outdoor shed, two large-screen TVs, basement flooring and those enormous tomato cans.

My wife leaves me to check out the baking aisle. She has come today to find a favourite pumpkin-loaf mix that she heard through her Costco connections was available this month.

I begin my usual search for a food-sample table. Saturday is full of these.

I wander over to the videos and bestsellers space.

My wife snaps me out of my daze. She walks to the end of the aisle, beckoning me to follow her. "I want you to check out this streetlamp."

A streetlamp? What the hell do we want with a street lamp? I thought you were coming for pumpkin loaf?

I follow my wife and pass the plastic sheds. I notice a couple staring at the plastic Fisher Price-like shed for adults, the same one I bought last summer. The man wanders into it. The woman simply stares, armed crossed.

I instinctively stop beside the couple.

"You know, this shed has been awesome for us. And so easy to put together. Will last forever," I say.

They nod appreciatively, ask me a few questions and decide to buy one. Only $1,000. They begin a search for a giant cart to transport their whimsical bounty.

I stand, wide-eyed. What have I done?

I back away from the couple and look for my wife. I catch up to her. She is staring at a street lamp in an adjacent aisle. My god, it's a real solar-powered street lamp. I can't help but join in on the fixation.

We must leave, we can't stand here any longer. I grab my wife's elbow and pull her to the main aisle.

I push our cart quickly toward the cashier.

"What's the rush?" my wife says, skipping after me. I don't listen, and lean on the cart with urgency.

The lines are long, but we pay quickly with a cluster of helpers working the till area.

$737.00. Ouch.

That's the most we've ever spent in this place, except for the shed purchase, of course, but that one doesn't count.

I stare at our cart full of buys. Should I really eat that much popcorn? What's the point of three computer cartridges? How many light bulbs does anyone need? Hey, how did those taquitos get in my cart? I just noticed that the garbage can comes with an extra mini-magical receptacle – bonus.

I turn my cart toward the exit. My wife talks casually about the streetlamp, maybe next time, she says.

I am not listening. I am only interesting in a Polish sausage and pop for a measly buck and a half, the last leg of the Costco journey.

My wife parks our cart and stakes a table.

My mind drifts to Brian, my neighbour, who bragged at a block party that he only spent $127 during his last Costco visit. He was the talk of the barbecue.

I wait in a snake of a line for my special hot dog.

Membership has its privileges."

Your text to link here...

Make sure to read the comments at the bottom of the article...
You can save even more by NOT spending ;)
49 replies
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2017
1428 posts
756 upvotes
Lol, for someone who will drive across town for a deal on canned tomatoes... He clearly doesn't get the best bang for his buck by joining a website like RFD

Otherwise, he would not be buying "useless stuff" at Costco he hasn't got a real clue as to why he needs

He'd KNOW the 97 CENT & ASTERISK RULE... And his cash / credit outlay at Costco would be significantly less

Since joining RFD, we no longer go into Costco and fall under that "weird trance"... We go in for items on our list and scout out the 97s & Asterisks, and make far more INFORMED & RATIONAL buys

Our Costco Shops have consequently gone down several hundred dollars... And we are in & out a lot quicker too.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 5, 2001
10756 posts
1274 upvotes
Edmonton
The folks in the article are the same ones who hand a credit card to their kids at the mall for back to school clothes, don't bother to check fuel prices when their tank is low, and simply decide where they want to go on vacation regardless of airfare seat sales or errors.

Simply put UNINFORMED consumers.

Uninitiated redflagdeals members. Examples like this couple show how ypg and redflagdeals have failed to try and reach everyone who could benefit from visiting the website. Why we don't see more online ads and press is beyond me.
[OP]
Banned
Aug 9, 2017
166 posts
159 upvotes
I wouldn't be honest if I didn't admit that I did fall under Costco's magic spell. It lasted 5 years. I was spending $8K/year. To me anything Costco sold was gold. Fortunately, due to some events I can't reveal, I stopped being a zombie and gradually reduced the amount spent over there. Last year I managed to spend about $1K. Given the membership is $60, I paid 6% more on everything I bought but still, I'm proud I'm not a zombie anymore. I even briefly considered not renewing my membership. But I'm not at that level yet, I still need the Costco drug. Maybe next year?

I was such a zombie that even when I travelled to America I would only shop at Costco. I was glad to pay less for cheese and eggs and ... And then when I stopped being a zombie, I entered a Walmart store in America for the first time. I was hurt to find out that eggs were 4 times cheaper at Walmart. 18 extra large grade a for 72 cents. I wanted to die.

That's my story and I am now a recovering Costco zombie. Thank you God to have shown me the Light.
You can save even more by NOT spending ;)
Sr. Member
Nov 7, 2012
657 posts
231 upvotes
TORONTO
1. Make a list and stick to it
2. Avoid getting a cart and only buy what you can carry.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 6, 2005
1419 posts
259 upvotes
St. John's
This is funny but accurate.
I know a few people who are like almost brainwashed by Costco, and seem to not even believe me if I tell them how I bought something for less elsewhere (which routinely happens). There is a time and place for Costco, but it is not the be-all end-all.

I even know a guy who is convinced their profit is capped at 3% and that they're against making more than that. The rules of capitalism don't apply some would believe...
Newbie
Mar 20, 2016
96 posts
35 upvotes
Vancouver
akswun wrote:
Sep 11th, 2017 1:15 pm
1. Make a list and stick to it
2. Avoid getting a cart and only buy what you can carry.
Yes, I take one or two fabric bags.
They don't offer baskets because they know having a huge cart encourages overbuying.

The amount of money wasted at costco is crazy, can't imagine the resultant food wastage as well. Although I don't directly blame them for that.
Sr. Member
Nov 7, 2012
657 posts
231 upvotes
TORONTO
jpwkr1 wrote:
Sep 11th, 2017 2:08 pm
Yes, I take one or two fabric bags.
They don't offer baskets because they know having a huge cart encourages overbuying.

The amount of money wasted at costco is crazy, can't imagine the resultant food wastage as well. Although I don't directly blame them for that.
Common spoilages at my 2 person, 1 cat & 1 dog home:

-Spring mix(frequently)
-romain hearts(frequently)
-strawberries (usually buy from No Frills)
-bread (freeze the other loaf)
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2017
1428 posts
756 upvotes
jpwkr1 wrote:
Sep 11th, 2017 2:08 pm
Yes, I take one or two fabric bags.
They don't offer baskets because they know having a huge cart encourages overbuying.

The amount of money wasted at costco is crazy, can't imagine the resultant food wastage as well. Although I don't directly blame them for that.
Since RFD we now shop with a plan... No more ala carte (all in the cart) nonsense. We go in with a specific reason / list looking for items we either know are on sale, or prefer at Costco. Then we maneuver thru the .97s and Asterisks.

As for food waste, it bugs me, not only because it is wasteful, but because a lot of it could be avoided by either not OVERBUYING to begin with (always check Best Before Dates) and freeze stuff when possible.

Consequently the bulk of our food waste has now gotten down to Perishables That Don't Freeze Well (Lettuce - Cucumber etc) and the occasional "bottom of the jar" condiments.

And my Salad Waste has diminished since I make sure it's in an airtight container (Tupperware) and throw in some paper towels to absorb moisture. Where we used to get a week or less from Greens we now get about 2 weeks.
Deal Addict
Dec 21, 2011
3215 posts
570 upvotes
London
LMAO! So true, my Dad is one of these. Actually I know so many people. We have occasionally fallen under the spell however for the most part I am very disciplined on both out behalf when we go.
Penalty Box
User avatar
Mar 23, 2016
753 posts
199 upvotes
I have to admit I buy much more than I planned at Costco

!
"Obama is the quintessence of all that is wrong with America today.. people looking at the superficial which is skin color and ignoring idiotic behavior." - the poster AndySixx 😲 :facepalm:
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 8, 2007
4456 posts
750 upvotes
This is straight up repulsive. Both the writing style and the content.
[OP]
Banned
Aug 9, 2017
166 posts
159 upvotes
springdays wrote:
Sep 11th, 2017 6:58 pm
I have to admit I buy much more than I planned at Costco

!
I was ok the first 10 years only buying about $1K/year. But then I'm not sure what happened. I guess I let my guard down and went on a love affair with Costco.
You can save even more by NOT spending ;)
Sr. Member
Feb 22, 2016
778 posts
395 upvotes
the OP reminded me of this Weird Al song:



A lot of the OP's complaints could also apply to IKEA. The key to shopping at either place is to commit to no impulse buys. Have a list, and stick to it.
If I need a $50 bookcase, I can go to Ikea, buy it, and that's the only thing I carry to my car. Send my wife there for that $50 bookcase and guaranteed she spends $300.

Top