Monday, July 20, 2009

Jack In the Box takes on Costco--So Does Cheap Bastid

You’ve just got to love Costco. They seem to have taken over a great big chunk of retail business. I’m a member and have been for about 10 years now.

We typically hit Costco once a week for some of our basics and like to take a look around while we’re there. Costco is this huge repository of merchandise. You can get “mass quantities” (with apologies to the Cone Heads of SNL fame) of just about anything.Our buying as slowed way down because of my employment situation but it’s all about saving money which we can do on some things at Costco.

If I time it right I can go to Costco and get enough "free samples" of food for a pretty good lunch. It really helps if you go there when your blood sugar is low. It took me a while to convince my wife that there can be an advantage for me to make a mad dash back to the grocery & meat department to get some blood sugar from the samples of pulled tri-tip and gorgonzola cheese. (She'll indulge it now as an antidote to Cheap Bastid crankiness).

Jack in the Box just took a trip to “Costco” for it’s newest commercial. If you haven’t seen it, take a peek. It’s a hoot:

Not that I’m anal retentive or anything (I’d say no, but my wife would definitely disagree with that—rightfully so) but I check stuff out. A few months ago, while the weather was still cool, I was thinking about buying a new pair of jeans. Now, Cheap Bastid that I am, I was checking out the Kirkland brand jeans at Costco for $12.99. I can do that math and I don’t need high fashion, expensive denim to cover my fanny.

But I could never find my size. I’m a 34 x 30. A pretty common size especially in Southern California. You’d think that Costco would be aware of the fact that there’s a lot of guys my size here—old white guys like me plus Hispanic and Asian men who are also a bit on the height challenged side.

So, Costco would get some in. And I’d take a pass. I just wanted to see how long they’d last. They always have every size imaginable—except 34 x 30. There’s 32 x 30, 36 x 30, 38 x 30, 40 x 30, etc. And all other longer inseams. A few weeks ago there were a dozen pairs. The next week none. Last Friday, I stopped for my weekly inventory and they had a whopping 24 pairs of 34 x 30. I bet there aren’t any this week!

And then last week we needed coffee. I drink Kirkland because it’s a richer and finer grind. It used to be cheaper by about a dollar than Folger’s. But Costco raised the price so that it’s now more expensive than Folger’s. I’m drinking Folger’s now.

But our favorite thing of all to do at Costco is check out the cute little kids. Ooh-ing and aah-ing like a couple of frustrated grandparent wannabes.

Maybe what I need to do is either get a life or get a job at Costco.

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