The Costco Virgins

When my daughter/best friend/shopper extraordinaire decided to make her maiden voyage to Costco in Ringwood, I volunteered to go with her.  She was about to cater for a large party on the weekend, so a foray seemed like a wise tactic. I  donned my sensible walking shoes in readiness for the mission. I added one smallish basket to the car boot, and Rachael packed a few cold freezer bags.  Nothing could have prepared us for the shopping overload that was about to occur.

Domaine Chandon, $22.00
Domaine Chandon, $22.00. Lovely bubbly from the Yarra Valley.
Crab Claw meat, $9.95
Crab Claw meat, $9.95 a tub. Mini Crab quiches?
Adelaide Hills Brie. $11.95
Adelaide Hills Brie. $11.95
Lots of blinis- just add smoked salmon, mascapone, dill.
Lots of blinis- just add smoked salmon, mascapone, dill.
Perffect for making our own slab of gravlas. tasmanian salmon fillet.
Perfect for making our own slab of gravlax. Tasmanian salmon fillet.

My son, her brother, sent plenty of amusing texts along the way about buying toilet rolls in bulk, prompting plenty of jokes about gastro and pausing for the obligatory photo shoot in front of the 48 roll packets ($20.00). Apparently everyone succumbs to these.

Rachael and the gastro pack!
Rachael and the gastro pack!

There were some wonderful bargains to tempt us and plenty of deviation from the list. What list? Rachael forgot to bring her spreadsheet which covered all the elements of the party, so $400 later, and she still hadn’t acquired all the party ingredients yet managed to fill the car boot just the same. That’s the problem with Costco.

Large 500gr tubs of mascapone at a bargain price.
Large 500 gr tubs of mascapone at around $6.00 Perfect for a big Tiramisu.

We spent four hours in the place, and only left because our trolley was full, our legs and backs were aching and we were dehydrated and slightly deranged. A desperate phone call was made to Rachael’s in-laws to organise a kindergarten and school pick-up as Costco had hijacked our day.

I'm trapped in Costco, please pick up my children.
I’m trapped in Costco, can you please pick up my children?

Rachael is a funny girl. She found a handy party pack of plastic wine glasses for $12.69 which contained 99 pieces. ” Why 99 pieces? Just to f.. with your head?  And what’s with the random price?” Other jokes were made about buying sanitary products in lots of 200, but we won’t go there. Only these outrageous little distractions kept us sane in this shrine to American commerce. That, and singing the old song Moscow, with Costco thrown into the chorus lines. Next time we might wear our Eurovision costumes and carry a large water bottle to stay level headed.


The amusing women on the exit gate commented on the length of our stay and I promised never to come back ever again. They laughed loudly, knowing that I probably would.

Blue Mussels, 2 kilos for $9.95
Blue local Mussels, 2 kilo for $9.95

The Fine Print. Rachael paid a $60 annual membership fee to shop here. There were some bargains in the deli section but these reduced prices are offset by the ‘unauthorised’ purchases that most people will make. Most of the pre-packaged bulk food items would probably taste ‘industrial’, and these turn up on many a cheap cafe menu, I suspect. Although it was a fun day out, it is a bit like Ikea, overwhelming and just too big.

Revisit the Moscow tune here: