The Better Half and I decided back in November that we would let our Costco membership expire. Such a decision is nothing short of sacrilege to some of my 9 readers, but we had good reasons. One, we had no big expenditures in the way of home improvements on the horizon...so the Executive Membership with the lure of 2% cash back made no sense. Downgrading to a regular no cash back membership stopped making sense as well when we started to find a lot of the items we buy at Costco going for much less at the Bonney Lake WinCo. The WinCo is also easier to get to, especially after church. The nearest Costco stores are in Covington or Federal Way. The parking lot for the Covington Costco is a tragedy of misused space and poor planning, while parking in Federal Way is nothing short of a destruction derby. So, no more Costco.
Unfortunately, buying butcher block items at WinCo is hit or miss. A lot of things appear as if they had the '$2.00 off this package NOW' stickers removed that morning. I've been told that isn't the case, but all of the packaged meat looks to be of dubious origin. I'm sure it's all fine, but I'm not playing that game. As much as I love Top Foods, I don't like having to feel as if I need to take out a line of credit in order to shop there. The bakery, deli, and butcher at Top Foods are awesome, but you pay a premium for awesome. The Albertsons off of A Street is the Mos Eisley Cantina of grocery stores...a wretched hive of scum and villainy and teenagers shotgunning beers inside the walk in cooler. I'd rather be caught shopping at RadioShack than Safeway.
The above put us in a tough spot, but we did last a whole two months without a wholesale warehouse membership...but here's the thing...the kids have to eat. Yeah, it sounds crazy, but it is true...especially my kids, with diet preferences that make pandas appear to be culinary daredevils. My kids eat the following in hard to fathom quantities - grapes, berries of all sorts, apples, eggs, oranges, bananas, broccoli, carrots, bread, and cheese. Oh, and Annie's Organic Mac & Cheese, Kraft products simply will not do. All of that is healthy stuff, but it can be expensive when not purchased in bulk...especially berries. The girls will mow through a large clam shell of blueberries quicker than a school of piranhas picking apart an unlucky missionary that fell out of a canoe deep in the Amazon. Have you seen how much blueberries go for at regular grocery stores? Exactly...
So, last night I was with Jossy at WalMart, buying her a new bicycle helmet. There was a stand at the front of the store offering a $20.00 Gift Card for signing up for a $40 Sam's Club membership. I bit. We are once again Sam's Club members, which we had been for years before letting that expire so we could make the jump back to Costco. It's all very complicated...
Anyway, Sam's Club is a lot like Costco, just more depressing and not nearly as busy. It's also easily accessible from the train station, so if I need to run in there after work to pick up a depth charge sized container of maple syrup or a cinder block of cheddar cheese I won't have to go too far out of my way. Like Costco, it's impossible to get out of there for under $50.00, even if you go in just to buy butter...warehouse stores have a knack for making you want stuff you may not necessarily need.
Next year we will once again assess the need for a wholesale membership. Perhaps then the girls will have stretched their palates to the point of trying pasta with red sauce, and if you aren't buying Newman's Best by the barrel you are getting taken for a ride, suckas!
2 weeks ago