Costco, you may annoy the crap out of me at times with your slow moving minivans, hordes of shoppers, and shrieking children, but I just can’t quit you. For me, a small twinge of excitement precedes each Costco trip. This tells me that my love will endure, no matter how many times a tiny yet fiercely determined elderly woman rams my ankle with her cart en route to the pretzel dog sample station.
I definitely have my issues with car culture and rampant consumerism, which obviously makes me a bit conflicted about Costco and its big box ilk. However, as a native Arizonan I learned to drive on AZ’s broad, gridlike streets in AZ’s broad, gridlike, parking lot dominated cities. Parallel parking isn’t really a thing there; I wasn’t even required to parallel park in order to receive my driver’s license. Hence, I cannot deny that I do love me a parking lot. And not some Trader Joe’s parking garage of death bullshit: a good parking lot = wide lanes, wide spaces, two-way traffic allowed everywhere at all times. Costco’s parking lot, though admittedly road rage inducing at times, delivers.
In addition to the parking lot and the obvious shit like paper products and cheap liquor, a brief list of glorious things to be found and experienced at Costco:
Samples: OK this is obvious, but Costco’s sample bounty is amazing and I have to call it out. You can easily make a lunch of samples, if you aren’t trying to save room for pizza, fro yo, or the ever-mysterious Chicken Bake offered up for cheap at the Costco Café/Chez Costco/whatever it’s called. Insider tip: the samples are not just around on weekends, when the crowds make me want to shank someone. I was just at Costco on a Tuesday afternoon and there were delicious samples galore.
Socks: The clothing items are usually fairly atrocious but my favorite lounging socks ever are from Costco. I don’t remember what brand they are, but refer to the photo and if you see these, scoop them up by the bushel. Oh so warm and cozy.
Healthy food items: Of course there are fatty treats galore, like the horrifying frozen cheeseburgers my mom used to ply me and my sister with, but there are good deals on healthier, less processed stuff too. I always look for Amy’s and other organic frozen meal options, an organic frozen berry blend that I put in smoothies, Laughing Cow cheese, organic whole-wheat pasta, and organic nut butter.