7 Life Lessons Learned from Shopping at Costco

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Costco?


Let me give you some suggestions to get the ball rollin’.

~ $1.50 hot dogs (plus soda)

~ churros

~ ice-cream sundaes

Yum, yum, yum. 🙂

You can probably tell I love visiting our neighborhood membership warehouse club (as defined by the Costco.com website). And when I say visit, I mean visit. You don’t go to Costco just to shop, you go for the whole experience. The food (free samples, people!), the entertainment (ie. self-playing pianos) and the amazing selection of products. It’s a happy place for adults and kids alike.

A trip to Costco also provides an educational experience. There are actually many life lessons you can learn from shopping there, as I’ve come to realize over the many years that I’ve been a member. Let me share some of these lessons with you. 😉

7 Life Lessons Learned from Shopping at Costco

#1 – It’s a jungle out there. You’ll meet all types of people in this world and most of them will be nice and considerate to you. However, don’t be surprised when people show a different side of themselves when they think you are in the way of what they want. In these circumstances, be the bigger man (or woman) and step out of their way. You can always get the next free sample.

#2 –Patience is a virtue. You will need to wait a lot during your lifetime – to finish school, to meet that special someone, to get your dream job (or any job), to have kids and to hope those kids you were blessed with will grow up and no longer need you to wipe their behinds one day. So take a deep breath and practice waiting in whatever stage you’re at right now, even if it’s just for a free sample cup of a Vitamix smoothie (the only green thing your kids will willingly put in their mouths). Patience is one thing you can never have too much of.

#3 – People value patience. Even if people don’t want to be patient themselves, they value the trait in others. So yes, the guy making the Vitamix smoothie sample will notice you (along with your eager kids) waiting on the sidelines for a sample and may even hand you a cup over the horde of customers fighting for theirs.

#4 – Bigger is not always better. You may be tempted to compare what you have – house, budget, car, family, social circle, job – with what your neighbor, friend, relative or acquaintance-who-friended-you-on-facebook-friend has. But know that having a bigger anything often means having bigger responsibilities and worries as well. Sometimes life is a lot simpler when you stick to the small, manageable things. That way you don’t end up with a half-eaten extra large bag of chia seeds in your pantry.

#5 – Don’t get distracted. Know your plan and stick with it. If you need to meet a deadline, don’t go online. If all you need to buy is toilet paper, don’t go near the frozen food section. If you decide to try a free sample, do so and walk away – fast. Don’t get talked into buying an extra large bag of chia seeds because they are the latest health food trend and everyone’s eating them.

#6 – Choices are not refundable. You may be able to return a used Christmas tree or queen-sized mattress at Costco one whole year after you bought them (true stories!), but you cannot – I repeat, cannot – refund the choices you make in life. So choose wisely. And just as you would read reviews for any big ticket purchases you make, be sure to listen to the “reviews” of your friends and family when making those life-changing choices in life (ie. your potential spouse).

#7 – Enjoy the little things. It’s the little things in life that make up the bulk of your life. The hugs you give and receive from loved ones. Winding down a busy day with an episode of your favorite TV show. Curling up with a good book. The warmth of the sun on your face. A fresh, cinnamon-y churro at the end of your shopping trip. Take time to be present in all these little moments and you’ll find so many big reasons to be thankful for in life.

On that note, I think I’m going to make a visit to Costco today!

Since it’s Friday, here’s The Cure’s song, “Friday I’m in Love” for your dancing pleasure. 🙂

What’s your favorite thing about shopping at Costco? 

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