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#1 of 13 Old 08-14-2006, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My mom emailed me this morning asking if I want to go to Costco with her. My mom goes there a lot and sometimes I go with her. I then logged on to MDC to see a big thread on that in TAO and it got me thinking.

I think Costco is dangerous for some people. Heck, *shopping* is dangerous for some people but stores like Costco are just over-doing it I understand it must be great for some but for someone with the tendency to clutter or hoard it's just a bad idea. My mom's house is highly cluttered, boardering on hoarding. I don't know what she does with the stuff she buys from Costco but she seem to go there a lot.

So, is there anyone here who doesn't go to warehouse stores for the same reason?
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#2 of 13 Old 08-14-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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The thing with Costco is that it isn't the sort of store that's overloaded with all sorts of random junk. They keep their shelves stocked with just a few thousand products (as opposed to upwards of 10,000 at your average wal-mart), all of it good quality.

The trick with Costco is to go around the outside edges. That's where the food and such is. The middle floor has books, clothes, toys, etc. If you don't go in the middle, many of the big "clutter" items are gone.

Also, I go in there with a list, and stick to it (well, mostly). You might go with her the first time, don't commit to joining until you see if they have enough stuff you can really use.

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#3 of 13 Old 08-14-2006, 12:08 PM
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Yup, I share a membership with my mom.

We go there about once a week to buy....groceries, gas, sometimes a hot meal, eat samples, develop pictures.

I do almost all of my grocery shopping at costco. What this means is that we eat alot of the same foods, but the quality is higher per price than at a regular grocer.

For example, during the months of June July, our average weekly menus was all natural chicken sausages, fresh wild salmon, chicken thighs, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, papaya, brocoli, organic salad mix, organic milk, premium vanilla ice cream, cereal. These are the things we buy over and over. When I read the thread on weekly grocery bill, most people are spending less than we are, but are eating things like beans and pasta alot. There is no way we could afford eating four cups of cherries a day in season and a papaya a day for me, if we shopped at a regular grocery store.

Oh, and all that other stuff? It's convenient when you need it. Gold toe socks for DH at the cheapest per unit price I've ever seen, highest quality underwear and t-shirts.

The one argument I would have against costco is that it is not "local", so I am buying non local produce. OTH none of the stores in my area are, and the only natural large grocer is 30 min highway ride away, while costco is a 4 min drive.
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#4 of 13 Old 08-15-2006, 07:16 PM
 
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MIL is a hoarder and really, really likes Costco. Of course, she really, really likes Walmart so there's no accounting for taste...and all that...

But yeah, I think Costco really enables the hoarding mentality. Why get one container of dish soap when I can get 6 SUPERSIZE containers!? Well, maybe because it takes us 8 months to go through one regular-size container? But MIL definitely falls into the 6-supersize-containers category, and this is where Costco enables the hoarding; you can't even BUY a single container, ya know?

We just don't see the use because, well...for example...we bought a box of ziploc bags and it took us over 2 years to go through that box. It was a big box and we have a small house. I'd rather buy baggies more often and have more space in my drawers.

Our membership lapsed about 4 months ago but we can still use the card at the gas pumps, which is all we've ever really done there anyway aside from a few careful purchases (the stainless steel cookware...we so don't regret that purchase...) that we could have made through someone who had a membership already.

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#5 of 13 Old 08-15-2006, 08:46 PM
 
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We don't go to Costco on purpose.

We just don't need to buy in bulk. For example, laundry detergent - we use maybe 2 containers of laundry detergent *a year.* Why on earth would I need to buy in bulk? Same with tp - I just buy two things of tp when we need it and it lasts for months.

We are trying not to buy frozen foods, instead buying fresh local fruits & veggies, so that wouldn't help us.

I feel so strange since it seems like everyone around here has a Costco card, but it just doesn't fit in our lifestyle. We had a membership for a while and it just wasn't worth the hassle of the crowded store, crowded parking lot, massive amounts of stuff, etc.
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#6 of 13 Old 08-15-2006, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikirj
Why get one container of dish soap when I can get 6 SUPERSIZE containers!?
That's what I was thinking. My mom's house is very cluttered (I don't think she's a hoarder but it's bad). She never buys one of something when she can buy 6 or 12, yk? So Costco is a dream for her. If I ask her to pick something up for me I always get multiples. Like once we had a stomach bug and I asked her to bring over some paper towels. Now, we don't use paper towels except for really messy things (like vomit, dog accidents or the cat's puke -that's it) so when she came in with a big, 12 roll package I was staring at it like where the heck will I put that and how long will it take us to go through it! :

If you're a generally organized person and can buy 6 supersize containers of soap and actually USE them that's great. Clutterers/hoarders are likely to either #1 lose it in a pile somewhere and have to buy more #2 Go to the store the next week and see a soap that's a different brand/different color/different scent/on sale and then buy that (repeat ad nauseum).

Of course, *my* biggest problem is not warehouse stores but used stores : I was just thinking of this when my mom asked if I wanted to go to Costco with her.

(and as an aside, I didn't know Costco sells gas. That must be a regional thing because I've never seen that at this store - we're in NJ)
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#7 of 13 Old 08-15-2006, 11:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShannonCC
Now, we don't use paper towels except for really messy things (like vomit, dog accidents or the cat's puke -that's it) so when she came in with a big, 12 roll package I was staring at it like where the heck will I put that and how long will it take us to go through it! :
The same exact thing happened to us! It took about 18 months and I was not shy about using them (we'd usually been really stingy with them).

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#8 of 13 Old 08-16-2006, 02:12 AM
 
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Costco is one of the few stores I can go to and NOT get overwhelmed. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it's because of what a PP said--there's so little variety, I can't go crazy and buy too much.

We buy basics there--TP, laundry soap, bananas, frozen veg, canned goods, etc. Just avoid the seasonal temptations (like the Chocolates from around the world) and you can be ok.

Ironic for someone fighting hoarding, but there ya go. (...I do have several boxes of ziploc bags from the last time I bought them there...but we do use them and we have storage for them).

www.confessionsofahoarder.blogspot.com

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#9 of 13 Old 08-16-2006, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miss_sonja
We buy basics there--TP, laundry soap, bananas, frozen veg, canned goods, etc. Just avoid the seasonal temptations (like the Chocolates from around the world) and you can be ok.
www.confessionsofahoarder.blogspot.com
This is another reason why we go! When it's about time to give our babysitter a gift, I know Costco will carry something she loves. For Easter it was gourmet truffles beautifully packaged in a reusable pink/brown box and bag for 1/4 - 1/3 the price of a mall shop. Plus save a couple of hours that a mall trip would eat up, even if it's only 5 min from the house.

Re: ziplocs, I haven't bought a box in years! Since we seem to accumulate leftover bits and boxes from people moving, renters, deli lunch meat bags, etc.
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#10 of 13 Old 08-16-2006, 01:46 PM
 
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I admit, I am a Costco-holic. We go there to buy basics as well. Why spend $35 on a bucket of laundry soap when you can get Kirkland brand for $12? We also get dishwasher soap, TP, diapers, wipes, shampoo, paper towels, paper plates. And we use them up. The TP, wipes, and paper stuff we buy about every other month, but the soap we get every month and diapers twice a month. I hate that we use so many consumables, but dh and I are seriously too busy and exhausted to keep up with reusables. Plus we just don't have the space right now. When we ge our house next year we will be starting over.

But Costco is my favorite store for buying gifts. I love their big kids' clothing and book section and computer software. They're not always "cheap" according to my pocketbook, but usually their specialty items are of pretty good quality and reasonable prices.
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#11 of 13 Old 08-16-2006, 06:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kangamom
But Costco is my favorite store for buying gifts. I love their big kids' clothing and book section and computer software. They're not always "cheap" according to my pocketbook, but usually their specialty items are of pretty good quality and reasonable prices.
Yes, the gifts are great. Easy peasy too, to find food gifts that look nice and are high quality. We long ago decided to only give edible gifts to people like garbage collector, postal carrier, teachers, etc. It's something they can regift easily if they don't like it but heck, who doesn't like chocolate?

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#12 of 13 Old 08-16-2006, 07:45 PM
 
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We long ago decided to only give edible gifts to people like garbage collector, postal carrier, teachers, etc.

That is actually a great idea. How simple. why didn't I think of that?
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#13 of 13 Old 08-17-2006, 01:05 PM
 
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We don't have a costco locally (only Sams and they are part of the Walmart corporation which I have banned myself from being a part of) but I do go when I visit my parents. I can see how the hoarding can be encouraged from these types of stores, but when we go, we don't focus on "stocking up"- we do focus on getting good deals. They carry many organic foods for lower costs, silk soy milk for less than the other stores, large containers of real maple serious for fractions of the costs, etc. We also sometimes buy clothes there, both for the kids and for DH and myself. Last time my mother bought a pair of linen ann taylor pants for me for $15. We purchased a wonderful wooden sandbox that OneStepAhead carried about 1 1/2 years ago for half the price. They actually manufactured a small number of them for the costco stores to sell. I don't ever look at the toilet paper, household suppllies and the like or cosmetics/bathroom supplies mostly because we try to use earth-friendly products (both reusable as well as biodegradable and chemical free) as much as possible.
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