Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Costco Travels: I have been to 107 Costco Warehouses!

Hi everyone!

I just got back from another month long trip, (back in Colorado) and I realized I have not updated my "Costcos I've Been To" map that is on my blog homepage, so I sat down and updated the map to reflect that I have now been to 107 different Costco Wholesale warehouses across 22 different states (including DC!), and 5 different countries!! (Checkout the map and zoom out to see more.)

Ahhh!!!!! I am so excited!!
(And I'm also more aware than ever just how crazy I am... LOL!)

I must admit I am a little bummed I didn't keep a closer eye on how many different warehouses I had been to because I would have totally had a major celebration when I got to my 100th warehouse. (Which by my calculations, I believe #100 was the Brooklyn, NY warehouse from back in May...) But whatever, I still celebrated going to my 107th Costco which was the Gypsum, CO warehouse last month! Gypsum also marks the LAST warehouse in Colorado I needed to visit before I could add Colorado to my list of states that I have been to ALL of their Costcos!

So far it's a pretty short list:

  • Delaware (piece of cake since there is only 1 Costco!)
  • Washington, DC (yes I know it's not a "state" but I'm still counting it, and also DC only has 1 warehouse too)
  • New Mexico
  • Colorado

As of July 1st 2016  Costco Wholesale had 705 warehouses worldwide so I'm about 15% of the way through visiting all of them!

I also decided in addition to the themed posts about various holidays & seasons, and product reviews I blog about, that I am going to add a series to my blog I like to call "My Costco Travels" where I highlight Costcos that I have visited. (Basically exactly how I did my "Costco in the UK" post).

I already post a LOT of pictures and tidbits on social media during my travels (follow me on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook), but I have not done a great job at posting thorough and detailed posts with regards to my travels. (Oops!) But fear not! There is no need to wait for me to make another exciting trip - I have a back log of notes & photos I can pull from to create posts featuring the likes of:
  • Costco in Colorado! (coming this weekend!)
  • Costco in South Carolina! (coming early Jan 2017!)
  • Costco in New Mexico!
  • Costco in Salt Lake City!
  • Costco in Los Angelos!
  • Costco in San Diego!
  • Costco in the Bay Area!
  • Costco in Seattle!
  • Costco in Vancouver Canada!
  • Costco in Australia!
  • Costco in Mexico!
  • Costco in New York City!
  • Costco in Minnesota!
  • Costco in North Carolina!
  • Costco in Pennsylvania!

And of course many more places as I continue to travel the world in search of yet another Costco to explore.

Here is a little sneak peak of how the My Costco Travels posts will look:

Welcome to Costco Warehouse #637 in Gypsum Colorado!

On the last Saturday in October a friend and I drove all the way out to Gypsum from Denver. Gypsum is 133 miles west of Denver making it just over a 2-hour drive on I-70. On the way we stopped at Moe's Original Bar-B-Que in Eagle, CO. (Because rule #1 of shopping at Costco: Don't shop hungry. Because you, and your wallet will regret it). Moe's was absolutely DELICIOUS. I had the smoked turkey breast sandwich with potato salad, collards and banana pudding on the side. Yum! Moe's actually has locations all over the country, so check out their website and see if there is one near you!

Okay back to Costco. First thing I noticed walking in is that the Gypsum gas station has DIESEL fuel!!! Not many Costco gas stations carry diesel, but using the Costco app you can filter Costco locations by diesel to find a location nearest you. (Don't have the Costco app yet? Search Costco in the App Store or Google Play to download it!) Fun fact: Gypsum and Timnath are currently the only 2 Costco locations in Colorado that have diesel fuel at their gas stations.

Once inside a new warehouse I kind of have a system that I usually stick to in order to see everything.

My first stop is almost always Electronics
I browse to see def they have anything cool I haven't seen at other warehouses and to see if they have any good markdowns.
  • Like this Marshall Bluetooth Speaker which was $10 off:

  • And these Marshall over-ear Monitor Headphones which were marked down:

Then I check out the sunglasses in Optical
Because I am still trying to find a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses to replace the pair that I bought at the Kona, HI Costco a few years ago but then lost this summer in NYC :( #RIPsunglasses

From Optical I head off to the land of Office Supplies & Housewares 
I'm kind of obsessed with office/school supplies and I love looking for new pens, markers or colored pencils
  • Like this Staedtler Coloring Set that was marked way down:

  • And this Prismacolor Scholar pen & pencil starter kit - also marked down:

I also love finding great deals on place settings and cookware. In fact back in January I came super close to purchasing a set of Le Creuset bakeware and mailing it home from the Livermore Costco in the Bay Area b/c the Costco price was THAT AWESOME. But I bailed on the whole idea after I realized 1) the shipping costs would probably offset the amazing Costco price and 2) the hubs might freak out if i started buying & mailing home EVERY cool thing I saw at a Costco. But I digress...

  • Gypsum had these cool Lodge Life stoneware dinnerware set and platters by Mossy Oak:

After Office supplies & Housewares usually the next few aisles are Hardware & Tools
I'm always on the lookout for marked down tools and anything that I can use in our never ending remodel.

Before heading into Foods I like to dash to the center and scope out Books & Clothing
Books & Clothing are two of the top three "departments" that I find vary the most from warehouse to warehouse (Food being number one)I usually find all sorts of different clothing items, especially climate appropriate attire and regionally appropriate sports apparel. And many Costco warehouses carry books specific to their region and or state.
  •  Like these books about Colorado:

  • And these Colorado Calendars:

The rest of the center aisle is usually packed with all of the seasonal items
Which is currently pretty much all about Christmas - so decorations, gift wrap, gift baskets and toys... (I'll get into these items in future posts about the upcoming holidays.)

After the seasonal section I like to skip up to the Pharmacy section
I like to see if I can find any awesome beauty deals, especially ones from Beautys Most Wanted - who have great products at incredible Costco prices.
  • Like this Jenna Hipp Ultimate Mani-Pedi Tool set (I already have 2 of these, one at home and one that I travel with - LOVE them!):

Food I almost always save for last
That way if I come across something that I just have to buy to try I don't have to fret about it sitting in my cart while I scope out the rest of the warehouse. Also, when I travel I try to stay exclusively at hotels where I have a full kitchen setup so that I can cook most of my own meals. For one thing eating out ALL the time for weeks on end gets real old, real fast, but more importantly with a full size kitchen I can try ANY of the awesome foods I find at Costco! I didn't buy any food items at Gypsum but I did come across some awesome beverages.

  • Third Street Organic Black Peach Tea:

  • San Pellegrino Sparkling Pomegranate Orange:

To finish up my exploration I weave my way through the Snack area (which is usually right up near the checkout lines) so I dont miss out on fun finds like these:
  • Jerky & Trail Mix combo:

  • And these Caveman bars (the coconut ones kind of taste like Samoa Girl Scout Cookies!!):

And last but never least - I scope out the Costco Food Court
The Food Courts are part of the most diverse areas of Costco warehouses and usually vary the most between different regions and different countries. In Colorado I found that the food courts carry Kirkland Signature Chili which is sooo good - especially on a cold day. (I've also seen chili in Seattle and Salt Lake City!) I didn't get chili at Gypsum but here are pictures from when I bought chili at the Parker, CO warehouse:

(of course I made a chili dog!!)

I don't always buy something when I visit a new warehouse, it's not a requirement or anything but I do usually end up finding something that I just have to have, or have to try. 

From the Gypsum warehouse I purchased:
  • Yet another Keep Cool Insulated tote bag for $6.59, b/c I am literally addicted to Costco tote bags. (No seriously, I'm actually working on a blog post all about the different Costco tote bags that I have...)

  • A beautiful $12.99 black Joseph A. Turtleneck Sweater that I actually FORGOT to take a picture of (trust me I did buy it, I'm wearing it as I type LOL.) I think it is available on costco.com if you want to check it out
  • And the Prismacolor Scholar Starter set marked down to $5.97:

I'm glad we had to stop for gas on our way out otherwise I would have missed this little gem: a Costco Windshield Washing Station!

I totally partook and cleaned off not just the windshield but all windows and the side mirrors too!

That about sums up my Gypsum Costco adventure, thanks for reading and I can't wait to share more with you!

Until next time,
the Costco Connoisseur


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Oh and for those of you following along at home - no I have not forgotten about the Sam's Club vs. Costco post that I mentioned back in July. That post is a mammoth of an undertaking, (I had to make spreadsheets!) and I just haven't finished it yet but I am working to get that one complete before the end of the year :)

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