Why I Can NOT Be Trusted at COSTCO

Why I can NOT be Trusted at Costco #AdriansCrazyLife Big box stores are my Kryptonite when it comes to shopping and this time I really went OVERBOARD. #ShoppingFail

I am just about the only woman I know who does not have a membership at Costco or Sam’s or any other of the big box stores.  It’s hard sometimes when I hear my friends singing the praises of the latest tasty item they’ve found there, or I see what terrific deals they find.  I’d even love to have a membership just for the GAS prices!

But I know exactly why I can’t allow myself to have one.  I have an impulse control problem.  When I find things I want, I generally BUY them, regardless if I can afford them or not.  And at Costco, I WANT everything!

  • I want the books
  • I want the CD’s
  • I want the muffins
  • I want the huge packs of meat
  • I want the snacks
  • I even want the clothes

The list is endless and it causes me to get into trouble – big time!  I went this weekend with my best friend Linda who has a Costco membership.  It was a big and very expensive mistake.  I hadn’t been in more than a year, and even worse, I was experiencing cupboard-bare-itis – which just about gurantees I will go overboard.  I tend to get very anxious if my food supplies get below a certain level and we had been going for about two weeks with very low groceries in the house.

The result – $429.32!!!   I think that’s a record, even for ME!

And I didn’t buy a single book, movie, CD, or extra item.  But I did buy 36 eggs and 6 enormous packages of chicken because I was anxious about the bird flu thing I keep hearing about on the news.  I bought enough toilet paper to last to the zombie apocolypse.  I did buy the muffins, and the steaks and the cake for my son’s birthday, I did buy two tubs of garlic butter and some stuffed chicken breasts because they were giving out free samples.  Not sure if I did it out of guilt or because they tasted so good, but into the cart they went.

Fortunately, everything I did buy is stuff that we will eat.  I didn’t buy anything terribly frivolous, I just bought waaaay too much.  Both our upstairs and downstairs freezers are CRAMMED full and we will eat well for weeks, but I also spent all my available cash for the next two weeks (I’d just gotten paid too).

That’s the lesson for me.  Two weeks of being broke will give me a good long while to think about it and it will be probably another year before I even stick my nose into a Costco again.  But I have to watch other stores too – WalMart and Target are triggers for me, even the Dollar Store.  Something in my brain just translates CHEAP to FREE and then I have a nasty surprise at the cash register.  I can go to Nordstroms, Saks Fifth Avenue or even Dillard’s and never have a problem because the prices are just high enough to trigger the warning buttons in my head, but discount stores are my Kryptonite.

I think it’s smart though to have an awareness of what my triggers are.  I have tried to get it under control.  I had a Life Coach a few years back and this is one of the things we worked on.  She had me fill my cart full of things I wanted and then we talked about each thing any why I wanted it as I went around the store putting it all back.  It didn’t help for long.  I have tried making lists – sometimes that works to some degree, but many times it doesn’t.  When I go into WalMart to get something for my kids – I always alert them to watch me for impulse purchases.  That helps too, but I usually come out with at least ONE thing I don’t really need.

Usually, I just give my husband a list and stay the heck out of the stores.  Or I buy stuff online.  For some reason, I have much more control that way.  I do need to figure out some strategy.  I don’t think our budget can handle many more $400 shopping trips!  How about you?  What’s your red flag for spending?

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  1. Have to admit, I love Costco. I’m not much of a spender by nature, but Costco always seems to have some good deals. At the same time, I will say that if you keep going every week, some of the “excitement” starts to wear off, and then it becomes more of a grocery/supply store. Besides, once you fill the freezer, you can’t fill it a second time!

    • I don’t think I can afford to go regularly! I’d be in the poor house… But I do need to do a better on grocery shopping. I purchased a grocery shopping E-book from one of my blogger friends (about two weeks ago) and I haven’t even had time to read it! But I’m going to get better at it. I hope so any way!

  2. Ok going to admit it here…. I grew up living very close to my grandparents that raised 12 children during WWII in London. She saved everything that could be reused, NOT A HOARDER….. She was frugal, and she always had a stocked full pantry. Butter was always on hand. Why you ask, because that woman worked her ass off and did I mention she raised 12 kids during a ration WWII!!!!!!

    So I kind of lived that with her. We will NEVER run out of butter 🙂 My shopping list is in my head and I shop at Woodman’s, Look it up you will die!!!!!! I spend around 250 to 300 every two weeks and that stocks the freezer and pantry as well as the bathrooms with soaps and what not…..

    This past month I didn’t shop for four weeks, and it proved to me that our house can sustain us for a full month!!!!


    PS I can’t go into Target…..


    • Wow Ray, that is an AMAZING story. I just can’t wrap my head around raising 12 children during the difficult time of WWII London. I’ve been learning about that recently and it was an incredibly difficult period. I can see why that would turn her into a very resourceful person. I think I need to hit a happy balance between too much shopping and not enough money. I keep reading all these stories about all my frugal friends who can live on $50-$75 a week and I need to realize, I am my mother’s daughter – ha! I am smart about money in some respects, but I don’t think anyone will ever call me FRUGAL. I like to splurge too much and if it results in a $400 Costco bill once in a while, I just have to plan for that.

  3. Yep…I know what you mean. We go to Costco every week and are always on the lookout for something new or we wind up with something we didn’t go in there for, especially when all the food samples are out. Stopping by from SITS Saturday Sharefest.

    • I would think being a food blogger, you would be even WORSE than me. I’m not a big foodie, so I don’t care all that much about this kind of food or that kind. When you are tuned into food like that, I’ll bet its like Willy Wonka’s Candyland for you!

  4. Great article. I love Costco, but I can’t leave it without dropping a some real cash! Still, I go.

    • Yeah, I do love the place. Sometimes I want to just sneak in there and grab a few packs of those muffins. But, if we’re going to stay out of the poor house, I gotta give it up! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. At least you know what your kryptonite is and know to usually avoid those stores!

    • Yes, that’s the main reason why I shared that post. It is embarassing for a finance blogger to admit that I don’t have full control of my money, but I think it might help people to look at their own spending in a different way and see that we always have the choice to avoid the store altogether. I have some SAHM friends who are always talking about their Target addiction, but I don’t think it ever occurs to them to just not go. It’s like their form of entertainment or something!

  6. You are totally speaking my language! I have both a Sam’s and a Costco membership…but I have to totally limit when I go there and how much money I spend because I go crazy too! I love getting good food for a good deal!

    • Glad it’s not just me who struggles with this. I was pretty embarrassed and mad at myself for going so overboard. On the other hand, I’ve really enjoyed having a nice selection of food in the house. I think I don’t do the shopping thing well in general. Need to improve on it!


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