I really do love Costco. Not only is it the only place I know of where, for $1.64, I can get the best Polish dog and 20 oz drink, but it also means I can buy stuff in great quantities so I never have to think - do I need toilet paper? Because I’ve still got 102 rolls stuffed under my bathroom sink.
But there are two things that I hate about Costco:
1. It seems impossible to walk out of the store without paying at least $50. A friend of mine at church calls it the $100 store (rather than the Dollar Store). I’m happy to say that I’ve exercised extreme restraint in all my trips to Costco thus far, but it sure was a close one today. I hemmed and hawed over the little 100% juice boxes. It was a good price! But my mom reminded me that I don’t let my kids drink that much juice anyway. Why would I buy that many juice boxes? Who cares if they were 100% juice. But I pick up a side of beef (I actually just bought ground beef at a great price - Costco has good meat), throw in some milk, bread, cheese, a bottle of shampoo, deodorant, and BAM! I’m up to $50. And that’s because I didn’t just buy a small block of cheese, I bought enough cheese slices to make sandwiches for my entire block. For the whole week.
And this leads me on to the second thing I hate about Costco:
I commonly refer to Costco as the Mecca of American consumerism. And everytime I enter I pray that I will maintain control and not buy everything that I want. Fortunately you have to pay cash at Costco. They only accept their own credit card, which we don’t have. And I’m grateful. I agree with Dave Ramsey that it’s much easier to spend a little bit more than you intended when you use a credit card. We’re very careful with our budget, but we’re not perfect every time.
Today my big issue was with Precious, my nearly 4 year old girl. She loves pink. And sparkles. And she absolutely adores anything that is pink and sparkly at the same time. And she loves Disney princesses. She frequently pretends to be Cinderella or Little Mermaid. Today our local Costco was selling a set of Disney princess shoes. Not just one pair, but a SET. So one pair of shoes for each of the princesses - Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beautiy, Jasmine, and two more but I can’t remember which. They were pink, sparkly, and featured her favourite pretend people. What more could a girl ask for? I didn’t hear the end of it the entire time we were there. Mom, can I have the shoes? I want the shoes. I need the shoes. They’re sparkly. I like sparkly. I want the shoes. Can I have the shoes? Please? My birthday is coming up. Please? Please?
I told her numerous times that I would make sure to write it on her wish list (which is currently about a mile long) and reminded her that we can’t get everything she wants and that we have to be wise with our money. I made every effort to teach a lesson, but I’m not sure it worked.
It wasn’t until the very end that she saw that Grandma had stuck the box of shoes underneath our trolley when she wasn’t looking. So now she’s like the cat that ate the canary. She’s just walking around with this look that says “I got the shoes!! I’m a real princess!”
So, Costco, thank you for the cheap meat. And thanks for the gallon of shampoo. And a big thanks, too, for the opportunity to increase my prayer life as I pray for strength to say no to things I don’t need!