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On Saturday morning, Rick and I were watching our four very lovely children play together and we thought to ourselves, “Where could we bring these darling exquisite children so that they stop trashing the whole god damn house?”

And then like a beautiful beacon of light in a cold dreary storm, we came up with it.


Now this might sound like a normal outing for those of you who live on this actual planet but neither Rick nor I had ever walked into a Costco. In fact, I had a strange suspicion this was the reason our marriage was working.

But desperation will cause any couple to throw away the foundation of their partnership for just a few hours of child entertainment.

So off we went. Now I had heard BIG tales of this place. I heard about free food samples that could fill your belly for days. Organic chicken that was so affordable that somehow you made money by buying it. And kid clothing that actually came with a free child.

Let me just say, Costco had me at the shopping cart.

I was actually able to sit my twins side by side in the front of the cart, both strapped in.

(Normally, in a grocery store, I have to put one twin in the front and the other in the main part of the cart. Of course, I try to quickly throw food on the twin in the main part to weigh him or her down but somehow that twin always ends up wriggling free, standing up and demanding to run madly through the aisles.Β  The solution is obvious. Buy heavier food or go to Costco.)

And the samples at this place! I learned that human beings will try anything if it’s handed to them in a small paper cup. Tomorrow, go fill some Dixie cups with a passion fruit seafood gumbo guava smoothie and I promise you’ll get some takers.

At one point at the store, there was a moment of tension as customers waited for a new batch of biscuits but I really don’t think the woman in the tennis skirt meant to elbow that small child out of the way.Β  And if she did – well, they were biscuits after all.

In the end, it was clear we were novices.

After an hour and a half of shopping, we left with only two items in our cart.

Drink yogurts and grilled chicken tenders.

Because sometimes you just don’t need a 40 lb container of honey pretzel twists. But it’s nice to know they are there.

34 Responses to the costco virgins

  • Nicole says:

    I swear that was one of the reasons I chose Costco over other stores, giant grocery carts that could fit both my kids (I have irish twins πŸ™‚ now that they’ve outgrown riding in carts, I hardly go. Added bonus, that place is so big if your potty training child decides it’s a good place to pee, odds are very few people will notice (not that it happened to me, more than once or twice at least)

  • Brownowltwins says:

    Why don’t your twins fist fight in the side by side seats in the cart? Must be my wonderful parenting that make mine go tooth and nail after each other every time. I get loads of the stink eyes from other shoppers. Maybe someday they will realize thy are twins and supposed to like each other??

  • Ooooh, Costco is my favorite place ever. I even went on a date there once. Although that is kind of inaccurate, as I had been dating the guy for a while, but we went there on a Friday night, shopped, and had $1.49 Hebrew National (the best) hot dog and soda combos for dinner. Romantic! I do not understand how you got out of there for under $200. Seriously. Go back. You will become a member of the cult like the rest of us.

  • Kerri says:

    One of the reasons we shopped at Costco was the double carts! Especially helpful still with our second set of twins (foster) and then our third set of twins (foster). Also with the number of people in our family, bulk is good/necessary! Mind you my money aware kids still price compare & will let me know if something is actually cheaper somewhere else…eg: jarred apple sauce! The sample thing works as I have purchased items after taste testing & if we do it right, they eat enough so I don’t have to pay to feed them! Just kidding!

  • Wow! I am impressed you left Costco with only two items on your virgin trip. My husband takes our girls to Costco every weekend for the entertainment factor and because we have a few staples we need every week. Not everything comes in oh-so-large packaging. Did you see the wine section? Decent.

  • MN Mama says:

    We learned fairly early that our picky eaters would eat just about anything in a little cup at Costco. However, it did not translate to eating that item at home. We are more cautious in what we buy there but we love Costco.

  • melissa says:

    ha ha ha Costco and IKEA = great rainy day kiddo entertainment for sure.

    ps. I love your blog… cracks me up!

  • red pen mama says:

    Oh, yeah, Costco samples FTW. My kids know to ask if something has meat in it even (we’re vegetarian). I depend on that store for lunch box staples and diapers, and seldom get out of there for less than $100.

  • Tara says:

    I am also shocked with the 2 item purchase. I am heading there today and already have a list going….which I know I won’t stick to! With a family of 6 don’t you need a zillion rolls of paper towels and toilet paper?

    • Kelcey says:

      Yes, we do. But I think we got overwhelmed by our first visit. We focused on eating rather than buying. I got home and immediately noticed that we needed toilet paper and diapers!

  • Nancy in Montana says:

    I don’t have kids and I live alone but in spite of it, Costco is my favorite store EVER! I love everything about it from the business model that it is, (ie: great employee benefits and perks plus a decent starting wage, and when their suppliers give them a lower cost they actually pass that savings on to their customers instead of just making more money for Costco), to the brands that they carry, to their own signature Kirkland brand, to the samples (best days: around the holidays and right before Super Bowl Sunday) to their store warranties on electronics, to their most excellent and inexpensive photo processing, to the best cheap lunch in town – the big all beef hot dog with sauerkraut and a drink for only $1.50! Yep, Costco is the ONLY box store that I wholeheartedly support and the store that I start missing terribly when I haven’t been there in 2 weeks, even when I don’t really need anything! I should probably find a hobby soon.

  • Doug says:

    You definitely want to take it a bit slow, but they have excellent prices and quality on the house brand of some things (diapers – the house brand is made by Huggies, wipes), the meat’s all choice or prime grade and affordable, they usually have Carters PJs and other items at a good price, and they’re good for food items that don’t go bad (soda). Also once you go there for a while you’ll realize which sections are seasonal and turn over constantly – gardening stuff, as an example. Definitely avoid the giant tubs of mayo and other restuarant sized items but it’s well worth going there once or twice a month.

  • Anne says:

    Very very funny. I especially love the bit about the woman in the tennis skirt– but also how you manage the twins in the cart.

    Somehow though, I got off on the wrong foot. When you first mentioned COSTCO (think the caps lock confused me) I read ‘somewhere in Mexico’.

  • Steph says:

    I thought I was the only one who had not been to Costco. Heard great things but I can’t imagine carrying in more groceries from the car than I already do! just remembered to vote for you again while here in Galveston on our kids’ spring break:)

  • Kara says:

    I am not a Costco shopper. I find myself anxious and overwhelmed as soon as I walk in. It’s just too big. Ceilings too high. I feel like there needs to be a map and a step stool built into every cart. I do enjoy the little old ladies with the free samples though.

  • deb ringold says:

    Next time try IKEA. They actually have a play area, or your kids can just jump on all the beds and sofas, etc. Total day out, except no free samples πŸ™

  • Becky Rice says:

    I love Costco. We used one of their services to buy our car at a good deal with no haggle/hassle. And $100 worth of gift cards for our favorite family eating spots for only $79 – score! No 40 pound tub of honey pretzels twists tho.

  • Leigh Ann says:

    Oh i just can’t quit the Costco! But the hardest part was figuring out what was and wasn’t worth buying there since i had almost zero time to go browse and our store is STUPID busy.

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kelcey kintner