Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

The great Costco Adventure…… February 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mother of a Man-Child @ 5:00 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

shopping trolleyLast week I promised I would take the kids to Costco, in an attempt to fill the fridge and pantry with enough food to stave off 3rd world hunger in our house, at least for a short time, and keep the men-children temporarily sated.  So off we went on Sunday, to the land of the giants as my daughter described it.  I actually thought “Bunnings/Ikea for food” was pretty accurate once we arrived.

The first thing I noticed – everything about Costco is super-sized.  The trolleys (so you can fit all the stuff you don’t need in it), the shelves (they really do go up to the roof), the size of the aisles (to allow for the big trolleys), the produce on the shelves (you either buy massive sizes of everything or multiples), even some of the customers. 🙂

Our first task was to work out the layout and get ourselves oriented – no easy task at Costco.  Hats off to Bunnings with their numbered and labelled aisles and knowledgeable staff – you can always find your way to what you want.  Unlike Ikea – similarly well planned (by the Swedish masterminds), although in such a way that you just meander forward (or occasionally in circles), passing every item on the way so that you will invariably buy countless useless things for home.  A very different strategy, but equally effective.

Costco however, wasn’t quite so obvious.  It was a big open space, with the most amazing variety of stuff – I am told they even sell diamond rings! – and no obvious layout when we first arrived.  Apart from electronics we noticed the mounds of clothing in the middle (expensive over-runs), and eventually found our way to the general food area.  So we headed to one “end” and worked our way down the first set of aisles, the boys picking up lots of stuff they thought they wanted, then putting half back when they realised they probably wouldn’t consume that much American mustard in a year.

Naturally half way through, they got hungry, so they had a pit stop at the “food court” (surprisingly small compared to everything else at Costco), and rejoined me and Sister of a Man-Child at the Deli and Bakery end where we shopped the fresh food.

So what did we buy you ask, and would I recommend a trip to Costco?  Well, we were pretty clever, and really only bought stuff we know we already use a lot of – pastas, cheese slices, cereals, sports drinks, deodorant (with 3 men in the house, a 6 pack was a no-brainer), muesli bars, muffins and croissants (supersized of course).   And then mega bulk packs of washing powder (you don’t want to know how many loads a week we do).  The fresh deli, cheese and meat section had some very nice produce too – even Father of a Man-Child was happy with his Boscastle pies!

I kept reminding the boys it was only useful if we would eventually eat it, or use it, or could store it somewhere in the house.  Apparently my $385 bill was NOTHING compared to some of my friends, but hey we were Costco virgins after all.  I do plan on going back on a regular basis – the boys have been delighting in the overly full fridge all week.  And it would definitely be handy if you were entertaining a lot of teenagers.  Either way, it has saved me some money in the battle to feed hungry hordes (as does Aldi versus the other two supermarket giants).   BTW, if you are expecting super-cheap, it’s not.  You do need to know your prices, and then you will save money.

Next time I plan on going alone – just me and my supersized trolley.  I will take time to explore every aisle, and really see what’s there, and find the hidden gems and real bargains (oh and the diamonds).

It’s a shame it’s in Docklands, but I hear they are opening one in Ringwood which would suit me better.  Anyone who wants to come for a trial run, please let me know.  I am happy to take you on a guided tour. 🙂


Teenager starving in Kew! February 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mother of a Man-Child @ 5:00 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

plateAny mother of a teenage boy will be familiar with the relentless appetite of an adolescent, especially one that plays sport.  The “hollow legs” that just cannot be filled, the starvation that overtakes them 10 minutes before dinner, and sees them consumer several toasties before then sitting down to a full meal.

So the other morning, it was no surprise, although somewhat annoying, to hear man-child standing in the pantry complaining “there’s no food”!  Of course that’s not quite accurate, I am a dedicated mother who does ensure that we have food in our house – as I pointed out to him, you’re not exactly starving like some poor child in Ethiopia, they would be amazed at the variety and abundance of food in our home.  To be more precise and translate, it was not the sort of food he wanted!!

I mentioned that I had recently bought enough hot cross buns to feed the remaining Catholic population in Australia, along with other food for school lunches, and that I didn’t really think there was “no food” at all in the house.

Naturally the conversation continued (he would call it a lecture) as we got into the car for the drive to school for the 6am rowing start (yes, I repeat dedicated mother), that if there was some particular food items he wanted, perhaps he could go down the street and get them himself, or at least leave a list so the next supermarket visit could be spent buying his lordship the required supplies.

He told me he was busy with school, then rowing after school, then doing homework, and couldn’t possibly do it himself.  I told him I was busy getting up at 5am to make school lunches, fresh fruit salad, before going to gym and then to my own full time job before coming home to do domestic duties and late night work and would he like to swap!!!!

So the solution you ask?  Apart from sending him to Ethiopia for his next work experience project, I have suggested we finally venture to Costco.  He loved this idea, having heard about the vast packs of frozen pizza and various other items you can buy.  So I’ve got my membership, and recruited the entire family for a visit on Sunday.  Even sister-of-a-man child is excited about the treasures she might discover at Costco.  It seems there is no end to the “useful” things we might find in the sky high aisles that await us.  Do you think one trolley will be enough?

Anyway, I’ll let you know how our trip to Costco goes.  If it’s anything like Bunnings and Ikea, already I know I won’t leave empty handed. 🙂

I have written about their appetites before (The Locust Plague) and about how good they have it (Hotel Kew – Room for Rent)