I think I’ve been saying for quite a while (like since the first store opened) that I wanted to visit Costco. I didn’t envisage taking my littlest 3 on my own there but I did. We survived and I’ll be back. Did I take any photos. Oh well the phone was in my ergo to take photos but juggling the big trolley, an almost 4 year old who didn’t want to sit in the trolley or hold my hand or the trolley meant that I took 2 photos.
Before I headed off I asked on my facebook page for a few tips. My readers know everything and are the best people to ask (am I right or am I right?). They said – make a list, know your prices, go on a weekday, take someone with you or leave the kids at home (I failed that one but in my defence my helper had to cancel that morning so I had planned to take an extra pair of hands).
It was a bit of a drive from our house (especially when the directions had me end up on the wrong street and have to find my way back to the store) but easy enough to do on a school day. Parking was easy, I got there at about 10.30 and parked 3 rows back from the lift, a man was finishing with his trolley so I was able to load in the kids and head off to the store. I did my membership at home ($60) and took in my print out which did save a little time but there was still a queue and no one serving us when we first got there. The husband of the lady behind me (who I had started chatting to) got to the desk and told them they needed someone on memberships and that hurried things along. So I probably spent 10 minutes in the queue and getting my card. And then we went in.
First up were cute outfits for toddlers/preschoolers at about $13 each so we got 2 of them for preschool. Some cute busy books like Monsters University, Palace Pets that have toys inside them and are great for our speech therapy and helping at home with speech. $10 each and are very handy for church so we got a few of them.
Then I had no idea where to go, at this point emerson threw all his duplo out of the trolley and a kind staff member came and helped me pick it all up and then I managed to drop it again everywhere. He was very kind and helped me and off we went. Picked up some lollies, some snacks for school and then a few of the food aisles and nappies and wipes. At this point I met up with the lady I’d been chatting to at the membership desk and she came to see how I was going and gave me some tips and products she likes.
Now after a while I couldn’t find the bakery section and my little miss wasn’t keen on walking close by me so we picked up some summer pjs and tshirts and headed to the checkout. The queues had died down so there was only one person in front of me, I had no idea which side to stand on as your trolley goes one side and you go the other but the staff were all very helpful and nice and I said it was my first time! I paid and then we were out of there. Those trolleys are big and take up some room so it did take a bit of time to get out there but we did. Now I didn’t buy a lot of food – missing from this photo were a big bag of ruffles chips, a 1.2kg bag of snakes and a big bag of violet crumbles. You all know where they have gone, except for the snakes which are in the pantry and will last us a long time.
That coconut flour was only $5.99 a bag which was probably best buy of the day and the choc chips were another best buy at $11.89 which will keep us going a while.
We had a hot dog and a lemonade, another kind man walked over and got me some straws, easy to find a table to sit down and then we were in the car and I sat in the front and fed the baby before our long drive home.
Prices – you were right that not everything was cheaper, I almost bought a big box of cherry ripes for someone who loves cherry ripes until I saw that they were $40 for the box. I also saw a huge banana bread but at $19 for the loaf I could easily make a nice fresh one at home for much less. So do pay attention to prices before you chuck it in the trolley. All up I spent $304 but that included 4 t-shirts and 6 sets of clothes/ pjs for the kids that I have put away for Christmas and I thought the Osh Kosh summer pjs were great quality. These sequinned tees were $9.99 each.
And my favourite camera was there too………
So the verdict? I loved it. I think my first trip was more just to check it out, work out what I could buy in the future, confirm that I probably don’t want to take my littlest 3 with me again (surprise surprise) and I also got the idea that it would be great to go before little lawson’s baptism and the next birthday parties. I wouldn’t go for my regular shop but I think for a few big stock ups and for parties then it will be worth my while. I also like the jumbo bags and boxes of products which when you have a big family will be great.
Tips for next time. I’ll take 1 little person with me and try to leave the rest at home. I will make my list and work out where everything is. I kind of walked in and just went left and did about a third of the store so next time I’ll try to see more. I’ll take a few more photos. I’ll make a list. I’ll mentally add up the tally as I go and I’ll empty out my pantry, fridge and freezer before I go so I can stock up.
And that was that. I hope to get back in about a months time and will follow my tips. I also love Costco Mum on Facebook where you can see people’s purchases and what’s in store.
What are your tips? Have you been? Do you go regularly? Do you have a Costco near you?