Saving Money -- Bulk Coffee and Diaper Coupons vs. Costco Chaos

He who makes it worth the chaos.
He who makes it worth the chaos.
Boxes also make for great toys.
Boxes also make for great toys.
Big Savings or Baby Toys?
Big Savings or Baby Toys?

Why I Endure the Chaos

Even before I turn into the parking lot of Costco, my heart begins to race, my hands take a firmer grip on the steering wheel, and I begin plotting my course of action: how to get in and out of the store without losing my cool or losing my sanity. Of course, my patience is tested as cars in gridlock attempt to maneuver into parking spots as close to the building as possible without hitting the dazed pedestrians as they stagger in and out of the chaos.

I take the route as far away from the building as possible and park in the back of the lot with the one or two other smart shoppers who enjoy an extra minute of calm before they enter the chaos. After weaving through employees bringing back carts and ladies waiting with their loot for their chauffeurs to arrive, I grab a cart and we're off...here truly begins the chaos.

Every time I enter, it's almost guaranteed I'm stopped by someone standing in the middle of the walkway gawking at the items on display. I find my exit and continue moving. Most of the time, I find going to Costco a huge waste of time, until my little man needs another pack of diapers. Who would have thought such a small thing could cost so much money! I head toward the back and look at a picture of my baby on my Ipod (while keeping my eye out for cart traffic), reminding myself as to why I was a glutton for punishment...saving money.

I make it to the back, quickly grabbing two boxes of Huggies which now fill my cart. Of course, the boxes are gigantic and pricey, yet I still grab two because, to be honest, when Costo has their $6 off coupon, the price can't be beat. What motivates me more to shell out the extra cash for a second box is to postpone taking another trip into the chaos. I'll grab a box of the baby wipes while I'm at it, it's amazing how fast we go through 1,000 wipes!

Having a little man in diapers also takes a huge drain on the energy level. Wishing I had a cup of java in hand as a source of comfort, I stand and stare at the masses, plotting the quickest path to my next destination: coffee. Not just any coffee, Dunkin Donuts coffee. Knowing I can get a 2.5lb bag of delicious ground original blend Dunkin at a great price sets my feet in motion. And again, I'm into the chaos, avoiding evil stares and people throwing 'bows just to be the first in line for a free sample of crackers or juice. Of course, getting that free sample and standing in the middle of the aisle is much more important than my getting a few items and getting home to my little man in diapers.

There are not too many things that I can get at Cotco, seeing as how I don't feed 20 people every night and I don't have a storage unit to hold the Hulk sized items. Yet, having a little man in diapers doesn't leave me with a lot of time to cook, so having 10lbs of low cost individually frozen chicken breasts at my disposal makes one more item to drive me into the chaos. I grab a bag, wipe the sweat off my brow, and take a deep breath...we're almost done.

My little man in diapers likes to feed himself, Mr. "I can do it on my own". To find a healthy snack that he can feed himself at home or on the go is hard to come by. Thank God for Brothers All Natural Crisps: Freeze-dried fruit! This is an item I have only found at Costco so far, and not only does my little man in diapers like the food, he also loves to play with the box. Genius! I stock up; my little man can make a tower out of the boxes...thinking of my little man, time to wrap up this trip and get out of the chaos.

I try to find a register with less than 6 people already waiting, yet just pick one nearest to the exit. Knowing my wait will be long whether I get frustrated or not, I mentally check out by checking emails and fly away with some Angry Birds. Who would have thought that a few Angry Birds could take away the anger from waiting in a ridiculously long line!

Finally, with my cart full of savings, I see the light at the end of the tunnel: the exit. While I wait in yet another line for my receipt and cart to be examined, I get to look at the possibility of purchasing a custom casket, in the event that I died of boredom or frustration while shopping there.

As I step outside, the smell of fresh air and sun on my face, I take a deep breath and walk the extra peaceful minute back to my car. I always leave wondering if it's really worth the chaos, yet every time my little man in diapers needs more Huggies or I am in need of a Dunkin pick me up, my site is set on the chaos.

I pull in my driveway, turn off the car, sigh with exhaustion, and head to the house. Two dogs bark incessantly and jump on me as I enter. I set down my purse, push a toy car out of the way, look at the pile of dishes in the sink, glance at the stack of mail on the table, and head to the tv room. Collapsing on the couch, I give a tired smile and hello to my hubby, and see my little man in diapers smiling at me waiting to be snuggled. One minute of rest - now its time to unload the car, make dinner, get baby ready for bed, log the finances...I must love chaos...or saving money for my family.

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