I wanted to give you the weekend recap today, but I have to save that for tomorrow.
Instead, I am giving you what I call a little “culture shock” feeling that will never go away completely.
Since the first time I came to the US, I always thought that the supermarkets here are enormous, although we do have pretty large supermarkets in Germany now as well. I think it was always less the size of the store itself rather than the sizes of the grocery packages. Man, the first time I went shopping in a US supermarket, I was shocked to see the containers with a gallon of milk. Are we supposed to pretend we run a coffee shop at our house or why in the world would you buy a whole gallon! of milk?
That’s when I looked around me and realized that people were actually buying more than one container. Oops!
Obviously, shopping every day is not what people do. They stock up.
That’s why the average fridge is like twice as big as the ones that we have in Germany.
There are many items that I would go to the supermarket for on an [almost] daily basis. One of those things is milk. Or fresh bread. Or meat. Or fresh veggies. I really do like the idea of buying everything fresh.
And can someone explain to me: Why in the world is fresh lunch meat over the counter cheaper than the pre-packaged stuff in the refrigerated section? Makes no sense, but is fine with me :)
But I digress. I was talking about the phenomenon of “buying big”.
So, I went to Costco with my roommate today. The epitome of buying in bulk. I couldn’t help but stare at the dimension of the store and my eyes grew larger than some of the packages that I looked at. There were HUGE packages of pasta that could last me for the next five years, ridiculously big packages of frozen chicken and whole cases of lettuce. Sure, it’s cheaper than buying those heads of lettuce individually, but who can eat that much salad to use them up before they start to rot? Unless you have to feed a family with ten+ children, I don’t see how this could be in any way economical to buy those huge quantities of things.
There are a few exceptions, of course. Do you want to know what I ended up buying? A big box of granola bars :) 48 bars in one box, to be precise. Anything that keeps well is of course a bargain buy at Costco.
So what type of shopper are you? Do you stack up or buy fresh?