Costco

It is never a great idea to squeeze in a trip to Costco on an overscheduled, rainy day. Especially not with two small children during nap-time. But sometimes you don’t have a choice. Which is why I drove to Costco at 12.30 yesterday with my littlest two in tow.

I found a parking spot within half a mile of the entrance. So that was an auspicious start to a potentially inauspicious outing. I jumped out of the car to get a cart. A guy walked past our champagne piece of magnificence, noted the Indiana plate, and looked at me: ‘I guess our oilsands aren’t looking so bad now’ he lectured.

I gave him a perplexed look, momentarily confused about the relevance of my U.S. license plate to the oilsands.

I’m still not really clear. Maybe it was just a comment about [American] criticism of oilsands……in light of the current oil spill? But it’s not like I had a ‘ban oilsands’ sticker on the back of my car-van. Or a ‘have you hugged your oil driller today’ sticker.

So I gave him a pseudo grin and went back to the business of unloading my sleeping boy-children.

Everyone talks about shopping at Costco like it’s some sort of money-saving mecca. As though merely entering the premises will automatically save you hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill.

But I have to say I’m not really seeing it. There are a few things I agree are definitely cheaper there than anywhere else: Annie’s Mac & Cheese, Tazo Chai Mix, Motts No Sugar Added Applesauce, Kashi Cinnamon Harvest (the best cereal on the planet) and probably the 6-pack of Pacific Organic Chicken Broth that I get every three months. The hunks of goat cheese and mozzarella are well-priced, too. And, if you can finish the 1kg container of feta, it is a good buy. But the one time I got it, it languished in the fridge for the better part of three months and we were left with rather rubbery horrendously salty feta at the end.

So much so that the Gort said: ‘I don’t like this kind of Feta.’ And now, every time he sees the little chunks of white cheese he asks – ‘is that the salty kind?’

But the produce….that’s hit and miss. Sure, the price for the huge bag of pears and apples might be good. But when you’re left with twelve pears that are hard as rocks and have no semblance of pear flavor, it’s a regrettable purchase. Same with the apples. When they taste like their flavor got detained at Customs, it’s not really worth the pennies you saved by buying a dozen.

I found a bag of carrots that seemed to be a good price. Only small caveat: the bag weighs 10lbs. I debated. I hemmed. I hawed. I walked away. And finally returned and hoisted the thing into my cart.

I mentally tried to think of the carrot-y things I could make. Baby food. Carrot sticks. Cooked carrots (blech). Carrot soup. (Yes, Johnson boys we’ll be eating Moroccan Carrot Soup within the week.) Carrot Cake. It was a risky proposition and I (still) have my doubts that we’ll be able to ingest them all before they turn into limp little orange sticks in my crisper drawer.

If I look a little tan next time you see me. It’s not because of a run-in with cheap self-tanner. It’s the carrots.

By the time we had paid for our purchases, it was pouring rain. P-o-u-r-i-n-g. We had no jackets, no umbrellas, no nothing.

So I carried the baby-laden carseat in one hand, and pushed the gynormous cart with the other. As ‘fast’ as I could. By the time we got to the car we, and our goods, were completely soaked. On the way home the Hen and I plowed through a 1kg bag of Veggie Sticks (chips).

PS. The carrot soup is delicious. Plain or with the yogurt, lemon juice, honey and cumin seed. The Hen loves it, the baby tolerated it and I rather enjoyed it. I think I’ve successfully used up an eighth of die karotten. Herr Johnson will be pleased. (Though maybe not with the soup.)

PPS. Maybe the Hen didn’t like the soup as much as I thought. I’m guessing that’s carrot soup in the mini muffin tin.


7 thoughts on “Costco

  1. Carrot soup? Putting morrocan in the name helps I suppose. Can’t wait to try it out…. Maybe we can have carrot smoothies….

  2. I’m with ya re Costco’s prices. Other than the ocassional bargain like the 3 pack of Muir Glenn pasta sauce, or the 10pack of whole wheat pasta, I never thought their prices were that much cheaper than our (admittedly awesome) grocery store. And since the CostCo is about 15 miles away, across town, and the grocery store is less than a mile away…no brainer. Though my J has no problem finishing off even the largest block of any kind of cheese I might bring home…

  3. After Nine-eleven our family drove across the border into the US. Chris forgot his driver’s licence and passport. The border officials accepted his Costco card as suitable ID to cross the border with.

  4. Missy, that’s just crazy! Costco ID? BEFORE 9/11, I flew to Montreal from the States and didn’t take my passport because a driver’s license was accepted when you drove over the border and I didn’t think a flight would be any different. They very grudgingly accepted my US driver’s license! Vicky, the pasta sauce 3 pack always comes with one roasted garlic sauce sandwiched in between 2 marinara. I tried it once but the garlic sauce did not go over well with ‘some’ of the household members.

  5. Hmmm, maybe I’ve been fooled. Their diapers are great. Milk is definitely cheaper, and salad?? forgetaboutit. Their salad is soooo cheap!!! Grapes, dried blueberries, batteries, paper products…. let alone eating lunch there! The whole fam can eat for like five bucks! Our Costco is about 5 minutes away though, so I wonder if that has something to do with it. But I regularly go there for just 1 or 2 items!

    1. Steph you’re right about the salad. Those organic greens are way cheaper than anywhere else. But unless we’re having company for dinner, I end up with a half-full container of slimy greens.

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