A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Trip to Costco

We really needed some printer ink and computer paper, mostly because Alycia, and her never ending quest to "learn", requires her to print off all these academic type papers. Geesh - reading is for chumps. Normally this is the kind of thing that we'll pick up at Office Depot or Staples or a store of similar ilk, but on this fateful day we were possessed by an adventurous spirit and decided to venture to Costco. We knew that our required items could be cheaper there and we had also heard that the gluten free cake they carried was being discounted and was on sale until it was gone. This spurned us into action.

I hadn't been to Costco in years, maybe as far back as when it was still called "Price Club" here in San Diego (anyone else remember back that far???). But I drove by Costco on occasion, and on even rarer occasion, went to the hardware store in the Costco complex and marveled at the amount of cars and number of patrons pushing huge loads of food/crap to their giant SUVs. And considering our backyard fruit/veggie production, our friends at the local farmers market and our very rare trips to "mainstream" grocery stores, Costco related fare was never really something we were missing out on. The allure of participating in an orgy of consumerism was too much to resist just this once, just one time I wanted to spy inside the golden temple. And Wow!! were we not disappointed.

In case you haven't heard of Costco, Costco is a membership club and you need to have a member card to even get in the door, and part of the reason for going was around Christmas my Mom added me to her business account and gave me a card. I was extremely skeptical that the dues on the card would be fully paid and I'd be able to use it, but after a call to both my Mom and Sister, I was assured that the dues were paid in full and the card was active. More on this later.....

We went to Costco on a Friday night, not exactly the type of place for a hot date, but then again, I have been known to schedule Valentine's Day outings to the dump for free mulch. Alycia seems to think that these types of trips are funny and enjoys telling her colleagues that we went to Costco on Friday night or that I surprised her with a romantic weekend trip to the landfill. Luckily Costco was fairly manageable on a Friday night and we parked and moseyed on in.

The first items in the Costco are all the big ticket electronics and I considered telling Alycia that she could have a new flat screen digital TV, and I'd buy it, but only if she'd be able to lift the box (which at least 4 ft x 3 ft and weighed Lord knows how much). I decided this was probably a mean idea, though it would have been funny...

We scored cheaply priced printer ink and paper, then wandered through the food isles, picked up some good cheeses that were significantly cheaper here in bulk, and we could break them up and freeze portions of them for later. I also kept an eye out for large jars of pickles or pretzels. The big glass or plastic jars are great for storage of all the weird flours that gluten free baking requires. Instead of a cupboard full of random messy sacks of brown rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, etc., its much neater to have a bunch of jars that can be arranged and stacked. Sadly the only thing sold that fit this bill was a 5 gallon jar of pickles. Alas, we don't eat that many pickles.

After wandering around, we found the gluten-free sale cake, grabbed a bunch of them, scoring some Honey-Nut Cheerios, a giant sack of chocolate chips (for baking), and a Carbon Monoxide detector as well and headed for the checkout lines. It was at the checkout line that I heard the line I remembered so well from my childhood: "I need to get a supervisor" and then the subsequent - "there's a hold on your account". Aaahhh yes, I remember them so well.

Faced with the prospect of ditching our burgeoning basket of goods and having to endure another shopping experience at another store, I sucked it up and reluctantly forked over the $140 to renew the business account for my Moms business, knowing that at the very least I could walk out with my 5 pound sack of chocolate chips and valuable printer ink. I also knew that this would cement my "don't believe anything that my family tells me" theory and give me some complaining capital next time I saw the fam. Good times.

We topped off our date night with a visit to the Costco snack stand where we each got a frozen yogurt, which even though it costs only a buck, is 20 ounces or so. It wound up being large enough that even after two attempts to finish it, it still lurks in my freezer.

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