Grocery shopping for a big family - What do you get for $500 at Costco?
By: Kerry Lyons | Published Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 7:13 PM | Updated Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 7:13 PM
This week it happened again. Our groceries disappeared. Just like that, POOF! They were gone. The emergency reserves of peanut butter and jelly? Gone. The only bread left in the house? Those nasty end pieces that no one one will eat. The only fruit? A lemon. Slightly moldy. The only snacks left for camp? A few measly fruit roll-ups... the ones we'd deliberately passed over for weeks because the humidity leaves them so tightly rolled they inevitably incite a toddler tantrum.
With a possible Lyons Den famine bearing down on us, I did what I had to do. I went to Costco. At 4:00 on Friday while the sun was shining and the pool was calling. As I crammed my protesting kids into the car (not all five of them, just the "big ones" while the "little ones" were napping), I could feel my temperature rise, my pulse quicken, my temperature shorten. I hate Costco. I love the pool. What in God's name was I doing?!
Well, if men are hunters and women are gatherers, I suppose I was gathering. Providing. That's what I was doing. At least that's what I told myself. I had to go to Costco and as it turns out, I had to spend $500 to stock our shelves, fill our pantry and ensure a good rotation of satisfactory snacks for my little campers. The dollar amount still shocks me. What did I get for $500, you may wonder? Well, quite a lot. I think it's fair to say we won't need snacks until September. And, we'll have some basic provisions for oh, perhaps a week or so. Since I've been told it's of interest, here's a quick glimpse of how we filled our cart...
Milk, Eggs, and juice boxes galore,
Saline solution, cereal bars, granola bars and more,
Cheerios, Chobani, chicken and cheddar too,
Gogurt, Fruit Snacks and boxes of goldfish (two!).
Laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent and a box of Bounce,
Toilet paper, paper towels and apple juice (size: 64 ounce!).
A watermelon, blueberries, bananas and pears,
Bread, broccoli and a couple of sweet au pairs!
Ok, gotcha. I didn't really get any au pairs. But seriously, for $500, you'd think maybe they'd throw one in! Especially since the sticker shock left me in such a bitter mood. The kind of bitter mood that caused me to drop a quiet F-Bomb when someone nicked me in the ankle with their cart. And again when it rolled over my toes, administering the final blow to the the pedicure I got in April (I suppose it's time for a new one anyway!)
I should also mention that I got six pairs of footie pajamas. And some books for an upcoming birthday party. While these items were admittedly impulsive and won't fill our pantry, they were necessities in their own way and truly, they were a bargain. I think there's some merit to my role as a gatherer. And typically, I embrace it. However, given the surly mood and battered bod this trip to Costco left me with, the moral of the story is this: When the sun is shining and the pool is calling, GO! For heaven's sake, the pool has a snack bar and the kids won't starve! Once again, a lesson I learned the hard way. Although, on the upside, there won't be any tantrums over sticky fruit roll-ups this week!