Saturday, August 27, 2011


How come every time I go to Costco, I seem to spend $200? It seems like a law, or something. Granted, I only go to Costco once every six to eight weeks because I *HATE* going to Costco, I *hate* the inevitable lines, I *hate* the full parking lot with all the crazy drivers trying to run over you, I *hate* all the crazy Asian ladies inside who'll run right over you with a cart brimming to the top if you dare get between them and whatever bargain item they're going after... the place is a bloody *zoo*. So when I go there, I stock up on mass quantities of whatever I need, so I don't have to go back there for a while. Like 96 cans of tuna. Hey, a penguin needs his fish, yo.

Err... I guess I just answered my own question :).

-- Badtux the Shopping Penguin


  1. Get a business account and go early. I don't believe they ever asked for proof of mine (although I really do have a business) when I got it.

  2. Early. Ugh. That word. Like most computer people, I'm not a morning person :(. I'll continue dodging crazy Asian ladies and waiting in long lines if it'll keep me from having to get up one minute earlier on a Saturday morning :).

    - Badtux the Late Penguin

  3. Early is 10 am, but there are no business hours on Saturdays, only Monday through Friday.

  4. At 10AM on weekdays I'm at work, miles from the nearest Costco. So that doesn't work for me, alas. Oh well! I'll just have to dare the lines at Costco on weekends. But where else can you get a 7 oz can of tuna? Certainly not at a supermarket, all they sell there are the teensy little 5 oz cans that are too small to make any of my recipes taste tuna-y!

    - Badtux the Tuna-lovin' Penguin

  5. Oooh, I got out of Costco yesterday short only $150! That's a personal best, the bill typically runs more than $200. Like Tux, I hate the lines, the aggressive shoppers, and I really hate the backups that form around the sampling stations.

    But I do like the prices. Besides, where else can my allergy-prone self buy Kleenex by the 10-pack? :-)

    Oh, and WHINE: They had Christmas stuff out. In August. It is still August, isn't it?????

  6. Speaking of tuna, how close does everyone else look at the ingredients label? I noticed a while ago that most of the cans have "vegetable broth" added to the meat. While it may not be as bad for ya as some folks may claim, I don't like the idea of having fillers/whateva added to my food when it can be avoided. Just the fact that the stuff with the broth costs about 1/2 as much as the stuff without it is enough to make me pause and take note.

    'cause when it comes to food...especially meat...cheaper isn't always better.

  7. The locally grown equivalent to Costco has the cheezy name of "The Real Canadian Superstore," I supe you not. Same "mass quantities" business model as Costco, but a bit more downscale in its selections like Sam's Club, with heavy emphasis on store brands and generics. No joiner's fee, though. It's where I went to buy $500 worth of canned goods for my earthquake/zombie apocalypse survivalist stash. I wouldn't go there for any lesser amount because who wants to spend an hour on line behind people buying enough food to run their Indian restaurant with -- for a store based in whitebread Canada, it's got a great selection of ethnic foods -- if I'm only getting a bag of groceries?

    There was a huge Italian grocery in Melbourne called Mediterranean Market where I'd do the same multi-hundred $$$ purchases. It was one of the wonders of the culinary world, with features like two lengthy aisles packed on both sides with EVERY kind of pasta you can imagine, from manufacturers all over Italia. The place reeked of bacala, Italian salted cod, when you walked in, but the pong was part of the charm. We also stocked up on disaster supplies there (gave most of it to a charity food bank when we emigrated) but it was cooler stuff like organic chickpeas from Sicily and vacuum-packed bricks of polenta. No Asian ladies there, though -- just wizened little old nonnas. They've got better manners while driving their shopping trolleys.

  8. Karen, yeah, Kleenex by the 10-pack, I have the same problem, as a cat-owned penguin allergic to cats (eep!).

    Purple, just looked at one the cans from Costco. Yeppers, "Vegetable broth". Sigh! That said, it certainly *tastes* like tuna, and it's a bigger amount of tuna than you get at the supermarket, so (shrug).

    Bukko, sounds more like a discount grocery chain than a Costco equivalent. Unless you can get tires and buy an air conditioner there? In any event, I'm curious about your "whitebread Canada" description, given that a large percentage of the people I saw on the streets in downtown Vancouver last time I was there were East Asian (and, hilariously, were wearing heavy jackets despite the fact that the temperature was only 60F or so, a long-sleeve flannel shirt was rocking it for me). Granted, outside the city proper appeared pretty darn whitebread, but it'd seem to me that in Vancouver itself you should have a reasonable amount of ethnic grocers and restaurants and such?

    BTW, I'm curious, what's the difference between polenta and that old staple of the American South, grits? I must admit to never being fond of grits as a child (heresy!), I had to be bribed with peaches or other fruit into eating them (or make cheesy grits!), but it appears to me to be roughly the same concept? I tried grits as a camping food as an alternative to oatmeal, it was easy enough to prepare but hard to choke down even when butter buds were added to it, I suppose scraping some hard cheese into the grits with the edge of my knife would make it better but I wasn't hauling hard cheese back then because hard cheese doesn't survive Arizona heat very well (works better in the Sierras where it rarely gets above 70F), it turns into a slimy mess, ick! The instant grits with dried fruits in it are semi-edible, but you can't get those out here, sigh. So I went back to a Cliff's Bar with instant cocoa spiked with instant coffee for breakfast on the trail. Oh well!

    - Badtux the Grocery Penguin

  9. I live about four miles from the world's largest Costco -- in Seattle.

    My main reason for going is gas, and the fact that they have THE best car wash evah. (only $7.95 with the Costco card)

    Once in a while I do venture inside the store to hit the meat and fish departments.

  10. Re: the difference between polenta and grits -- polenta is just finely ground corn, as far as I know. No lime treatment to make it into hominy, as in grits. Therefore, polenta is less vitamin-y than grits. But it's got a nicer colour, and you can do more with it than eat it as mush. In Italy, we'd often get it served grilled, which you can do if you make it on the dry side and then throw it into a pan. The Italians are creative with their polenta, mixing it with cheese, topping it with sauces, all sorts of things nobody does with grits. Although a creative Southern cook could have a helluva good time doing "nouvelle grits."

    P.S. One thing I learned from that Wikipedia article is that polenta wasn't always made from corn. (Which would only be natural, since Italians wouldn't have had it before 1492.) The used to make it from ground beans and other pulses. I still trust Wikipedia if it's something on a politicaly neutral topic like food. Not so much if it's pertaining to abortion, climate change, and such.

  11. But, they have a great senior center in the patio crap section!


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