5/18/08

Busy Moms on a Mission - Shop, Share & Save!

Excuse me sir, could I please get some help picking up these 200 tiny grape tomatoes that I just dumped out of my cart?” I asked, pleadingly with one of Costco's checkers, as I was standing in the check-out line.

You could hear the Costco staff muttering under their breath, “Why lady … why?” as the tomatoes were being stepped on, squished, and were rolling around the cement floor. But then in Costco-fashion, the workers came rushing to my side - broom, dustpan, and all.

My friend Kristi and I had decided that morning that we were tired of buying produce at Costco and having it go bad on us. As in – we didn’t eat it fast enough, so we’d end up dumping out the last portions. So we tried something different.

We did our shopping trip together, with a goal of sharing and saving some money.

Off we went to Costco, barely finding a parking spot. Hitting the store early, it seemed everyone else in our town was thinking “Costco,” because of the 100-degree weather we’ve had. We squeezed into this tiny parking place (with tires up on the curb – oh well!) and practically jogged up to the store. We moms were on a mission!

I’ve shopped at Costco with my friend Hoppi in the past, as we’ve shared items between our two households. Keeping these ideas in mind – this is why shopping with a friend has worked well for me:

· You get fresh ideas, from one mom of hungry kids to another
· You try something you’ve never tried before, but always wondered if it was good
· You can buy bulk items, divide them in half, and then split the bill
· You can share a little bit of what you bought with your friend, just for a “try”
· You can compare prices together
· You will always have a good laugh or a good cry

As the drama continued, over in Kristi’s line, a man behind her dropped 5 cartons of eggs! What a mess that made, and along with my grape tomatoes smeared to the floor – we both couldn’t wait to get out of the store. We stopped off at the deli line and shared a yummy Costco turkey wrap! Delicious! Then we headed out to load up and head home.

When we got to Kristi’s house, and as I began to open up the back of the Suburban, the whole pack of FUJI apples went rolling out of the back – into the driveway and down the street!

No!!” I screamed, having had enough shopping drama for the day.

We divided our peppers, green beans and sweet peas – into Ziploc bags - gave each other a hug, and decided we needed to do this more often.

Yes, we were 2 busy moms on a mission.

So why not shop, share and save a few bucks – and do it with a friend? What are your secrets for saving and sharing?


(Photos: Fun at Costco. Kristi is an ex-neighbor, running partner and a great friend!)

25 comments:

ellen b said...

That's a fabulous idea! Loved the photos...

~nanashouse~ said...

I only wish I could look as beautiful and glamorous as I shop at Costo! I would have to have many transplants in order to look so great!!

Sandy said...

Nana, we're never thinking "glamor" - we're always thinking HUNGRY KIDS! And how fast can we get in and out of Costco? LOL!

OKGardners said...

Hubby and I have started tying our bags shut before we unload them to the back of our SUV. Thus avoiding the inevitable spills on the parking lot, driveway or garage at home. It really works and saves frustration!

Betty in Oklahoma

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

I've done the same thing... buying in bulk and sharing AND spilling things on the ground! :-)

Just last Friday I spilled the can of coffee all over the counter, my kitchen floor and myself. Thankfully I was the only one home so there was no one to see the incident (or track the mess around before I could get it cleaned up.) :-)

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

What a great idea.....minus the spilling of produce all day!!!!
Well, look at all the laughs you have when you look back to the trip!
Karla

Grace said...

and i thought i was a disaster in the supermarket! i've had my share of goofy moves, but i've never dropped 5 cartons of eggs (knock on wood)...poor guy! poor cleaning crew! :)

Classic MaMa said...

excellent idea. I'll have to try it out. :)

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Sounds like Costco is starting to skimp on their packaging.

Either that, or you guys were set up for a Candid Camera moment.

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

My friend Tarrah and I did the dividing thing when I lived in Vermont. I was a member of a food co-op which meant buying in serious bulk! We'd split 50 pound bags of sugar, and flour. Big bags of rice etc. It was fantastic, and quite a money saver as well. Thanks for reminding me that I can do this with Costco ( the nearest one is 3.5 hours away but I still go!). All I need now is some friends to do this with! It's hard when you move... friends don't magically appear, but I'm working on it! :)

-Andrea

Polly said...

Sandy,
I only buy produce at Costco. It is the best! But I too had things go bad on me. I tried the Green Bags advertised on TV and low and behold, they work! So if you don't have a friend to shop with one day, you might want to try out the Green Bags. I've seen them at grocery stores around here (Raleys) in smaller quantities.
I agree, you look pretty glam doing your Costco run!
Polly
Carson City, NV
marypauline at stankus dot net

Andrea said...

ACK! That sounds like way too much excitement for one shopping trip!!

Shawna said...

Fabulous Idea! Thanks for the tips and the trip down the grocery lane!

Kim said...

One idea for sharing and saving is the It is a little different than shopping together, but still a chance to get together and save money. I recommend the book, "Cooking Among Friends". Great recipes, ideas and help in starting a food swap. I believe the website is cookingamongfriends.com

Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall said...

That's just too funny! I hadn't thought about shopping at Costco with a friend and splitting the buys. What a great idea! I'm calling my sister right away:)

~j~ said...

Oh my gosh, that was a Lucy and Ethel moment for sure but of course you girls are such hotties! what a fun post Sandy! I laughed at all the little mishaps because didnt' it make just the best day ever!? Fun, fun post.
love j

GiBee said...

That's something I would do -- tomatoes AND eggs! Too funny, but great advice!

Barb said...

Miz Sandy ALWAYS looks good, whether she's digging in her garden, squishing tomatoes underfoot at Costco, or hosting friends at one of her fabulous dinners!

ValleyGirl said...

Wow, good thing you didn't have a couple of toddlers to keep in line yet, too!! Sheesh, that's almost too 'exciting' a grocery trip!

I think shopping together is a fabulous idea. We don't have anything like a Costco or Wal-Mart near where we live, but occasionally, when we're visiting our families in the city, my MIL and I will head to Costco. We used to split stuff when we lived in the city, but now, not so much, unless, of course, it's non-perishable stuff. I miss being able to do that more often.

Mrs. Jules said...

This is a fabulous tip...need to go get a Costco buddy. ;)

G. said...

What a terrific idea. Every time I come over here, I get inspired by one of your great ideas. Thanks for sharing!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

You are some good looking moms on a mission! My sister and I split Costco food and produce all the time. Such a great way to save food and money! Loved this post!

Blessings,
Melissa

Jen said...

My mom and I do this. We go once a month....it is a good idea.....we buy bulk tuna, salmon, produce and share it all...potatoes, peppers....you name it we share it.....

Tarrah said...

What a great idea. My friend Andrea and I did this all the time with other stuff but never costco for some reason :)

I love costco though, I have withdrawls if I wait too long.

Come over, I have a giveaway going on and I would love an idea from you even though I get plenty from reading your blog, I could never have enough :)

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

Y'all are clumsy! :) Keep a hold on that food!

Glad you can still smile at the end of an adventure like that.