Six Ways Costco Will Kill You or Make You a Better Person

Whatever doesn’t kill you builds character, right?

I love shopping at Costco. At least, I love the value that you can get from shopping at Costco. It’s a great way to save money on things you’re going to buy anyway and stretch your dollar.

If I’m not careful, the experience of shopping at Costco will get the best of me. It can be a high-pressure situation, and it’s easy to get angry and impatient.

It’s not worth getting worked up over a shopping trip. I’m better than that, and if you’re reading my blog, I’ll bet you are, too.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / snyfer

Here are six character traits you’ll need to successfully shop at Costco.

  • Spatial awareness. Fitting things into the shopping cart is only the first challenge. Then you need to load everything into the car. And you need space in the fridge, freezer, or pantry to store it when you get it home. Plan wisely.
  • Patience. Everybody but the Fire Marshall is at Costco on Saturday. It will take time to find a parking space. You’ll have to carefully navigate the crowded aisles. You’ll wait in line while you check out. You’ll wait in another line to leave the building. If you don’t already have patience, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice it.
  • Cooperation. It’s a busy place. Everyone else is in a hurry, too. There are no traffic lights in the parking lot, no lane markings on the floor to tell you which way the carts are supposed to go. It’s all self-organized. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t be afraid to yield the right of way.
  • Contentment. Costco doesn’t have the wide range of brands to choose from that other stores do. Your choice often comes down to “take it or leave it”, you may notice a bit of repetition in your menu for a while. If this challenges your need for Variety, just remind yourself that you’re saving money that you can spend on Variety in other ways.
  • Good at math. Some of the deals are incredible. Some represent only minor savings over what you’d spend at the grocery store. If you have to throw out half of it, did you really save money? (Sometimes, it’s still worth it—that’s the incredible thing.)
  • Disciplined spending. You can’t shoot from the hip when you shop at Costco. You need to plan your spending in advance if you want to buy a six-month supply of oatmeal. Yes, you will spend less on oatmeal over the next six months, but you’re spending it all up front.

Shopping at Costco brings great value, but that value doesn’t come for free. It takes discipline, planning, and strength of character. If you want to get the most out of it, make sure it’s not getting the best of you.

It’s nothing unique to Costco, either. Every day, we go out to battle, and part of what we’re fighting for is to develop the strength of character to fight with honor. If we can practice on the little things, we can prepare for when the stakes are higher.

If you can keep your head when all about you
  Are losing theirs and blaming it on you…

Rudyard Kipling

And whatever you do, remember not to go shopping there on an empty stomach.

Question: How does shopping at Costco bring out the best (or worst) in you? Share your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

About

Colter writes software and blogs about personal growth and productivity. He lives in Silicon Valley (California) with his wife and children, recently took up golf, and watches mostly British TV shows.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. For more information, see my comments policy.

  • Phil Sharp

    I love costco, but not in person. Google Express is the way we get all the benefit of Costco without all the pain. Highly recommend it!

    • Absolutely! I love Google Express! Even when I need to go to Costco in person, I’ll still place a Google Express order for everything I can. It reduces the number of things I need to pick up in person.