Monday, October 08, 2007

Family Shopping....Again

So, this week I went shopping with my brother and mother...and 11yo daughter. We went to Costco...a warehouse store similar to Sam's Club. We were determined to stock up on lots of stuff and share with each other the large quantities you are required to buy in order to save more money! So...with some quasi-lists in hand, we went.

I've never been to a store like this before and it was overwhelming. I quickly dismissed about half the store (appliances, electronics, meat (since we were hours from home), clothing, toys). After about an hour of shopping, we racked up three carts worth of pantry items as well as meats (for my mom and bro) and produce, and some health/beauty products. Then we got to pack it in to our van ...then unpack it at my mom's, distribute the wealth, and repack our portion into the van...then of course unpack it again upon arrival home.

Besides trying to find the best price for quality items (a daily challenge for a household), the challenge of shopping and organizing the trip and storage is what got me excited. I loved organizing the items in my downstairs pantry. But the worst part is...I'm really into using this experience as research. How do items last....are they cheaper there than it really worth it. Can you believe I spent about an hour last night creating a spreadsheet of all the items, prices, unit price, quantity, if we shared it or not, and Meijer's prices (which will take some time as I gather that information one week at a time). I think I am lost it in my quest for the most frugal lifestyle (Don Quixote De La Marketplace) opinion on Costco or any other type store will have to wait until further data can be analyzed. First impressions tell me it is worth it for families with kids who eat a lot of cereal, juice, pasta, and meat or those who prefer organic items. I also already know that buying shampoo and other like items is worth it.

Plus, it was so fun!


BelleNoelle said...

I did the same thing. Since I just moved to Champaign and hadn't heard of any of these grocery store chains before, we went to a different grocery store each week and I would enter the prices on a spreadsheet from the receipts. Finally got out to Meijer yesterday (we don't drive) and I have to say that it was the best prices and selection (and of course the farthest away.) I'm curious to see what the Costco comparison will be.

lbotp said...

I go shopping with my family at Costco often and I have to say that it is tempting to go overboard there, but really you have to be careful. My mom complains that she can't get out of there without spending at least $125. It's great for parties and specialty items -- we love their wipes -- but I have compared prices and it's not always cheaper. That said, I would LOVE to have a Costco in CU (and have blogged about that before)!