I had no idea it was so regimented. You have to show i.d. (membership card) to get in! And your receipt to get out!
So of course the first thing I had to do was buy a membership, which I got discounted because I have an AmEx card. That didn't stop them from trying to get me a) to buy an "Executive" membership or b) to get ANOTHER AmEx card that would give me further discounts at Costco. The constant pressure to upgrade to "Executive" was a bit tiresome - I was given a spiel at the checkout and then another spiel by a guy who looked up my "shopping history" after I'd been through the till (of course, I had no history until yesterday). With a straight face, they said "oh, it pays for itself; all you have to do is spend $2500 in a year and your membership is free!" Um.
I guess for a family, it would be distinctly possible to spend that much. For me, shopping only for one person? Not likely.
I spent $250 yesterday, but this is what I bought:
5 pounds of ground beef, to be divided into bags and frozen for doggies to have cooked with carrots and celery dolloped on top of their kibble.
a packet of 6 chicken breasts, to be frizzed, and then eaten one by one by me.
two packets of four curry chicken dinners, one Thai and one Indian, to go in the freezer for evening meals when I don't want to cook.
a packet of 6 crab cakes. I ate two of those last night, and they were delicious.
A big container of sun-dried tomato pesto sauce
a carton of 12 1 liter boxes of the juice I use to make smoothies with
a carton of 12 1 liter boxes of chicken broth for soup
a carton of 12 cans of mushroom soup (always useful for tuna casserole or other comfort foodie delights)
a big bottle of ibuprofen
a big bottle of vitamins
a black cashmere turtle-neck sweater
a grey cotton hoodie
a pair of Calvin Klein narrow wale cord pants, which I picked off the rack without trying on and delightedly discovered were not only a perfect fit but are likely to become one of my favourite pairs of pants.
I don't know how often I'm likely to go there. Something tells me that they're probably evil, but they sure are inexpensive. Now I know where people get some of the things they bring to potlucks - for feeding big groups, it's stellar. As it is, these supplies will last me about three months or more - so I'm unlikely to return there anytime soon. And it's a long drive out there. But - interesting cultural phenonemon.