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Buying in bulk

January 16, 2010

Costco amazes me, it truly does. From the huge selection to the absolutely enormous quantities of food you can by, it’s always an interesting shopping experience.

Did you know that we had Costco in Korea? There are actually a few locations around the country — some friends and I went a few times and it was a decent place to buy American products, although at a high mark-up. A double box of Cheerios, which sells for about $6.00 at a US Costco, went for 16,000 won ($14.24).

On my first full day back in America, my family went shopping at Costco and it was seriously overwhelming to have that much choice. And that’s not even getting into the samples! We’re talking full-size brownies, cups of soup, plates of crackers and hummus. A smart person would plan her shopping trip around lunchtime to make a meal out of free samples.

Walking through Costco recently, one display transported me immediately back to Korea: bulk kimchi.

Now, this little display can’t even begin to compare to Seoul.

This isn't a fancy warehouse store, just your typical street market.

In the same way that grocery stores have meat and fish counters, Costco Korea has an entire section devoted to kimchi. Although it’s most popularly (and famously) known as pickled cabbage, there are a whole assortment of vegetables that can be pickled and called kimchi — radish kimchi is actually my favorite.

Needless to say, I didn’t feel the urge for a bulk jar of kimchi.

What did I need a huge amount of?

Oh yes, Quaker Oats. Be still my heart.

10 pounds of oats. For under $10, that’s easily half a year’s worth of breakfasts, if not longer (since I usually use 1/3 a cup instead of the standard 1/2 cup serving). Not too shabby… It certainly makes my mornings a little brighter!

Off to donate blood — there’s a massive blood shortage and especially in light of the tragedy in Haiti, it’s important to do what we can to help both people down there and our fellow citizens.

What do you buy in bulk? Local efforts to help Haiti

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2010 9:24 am

    This is hilarious, and as a life-long expat born and raised and still living in Saudi Arabia, I can TOTALLY relate! I don’t know what I’m going to do the first time I’m back in the states at a grocery store, or, oh my god, a Whole Foods. The choice will be so overwhelming I’ll probably just go catatonic. Costco would blow my mind!!!

  2. January 16, 2010 5:45 pm

    YAY for wordpress!!! I ❤ Costco!

  3. January 16, 2010 6:45 pm

    I agree and your blog was valuable. Most foodies forget that great savings can be captured at both Sams Club and Costco. I enjoyed my visit very much and thank you for sharing your experience with me. I shall return back again soon for another bite of this apple.
    You can visit me at

  4. January 16, 2010 6:56 pm

    I am not sure you can call it buying in bulk, but I currently have two 12 ounces bottles of Tabasco – one for home and one for work.

    I get their catalog – and they actually sell a 32 ounce jug for like $50!

    I believe I would be served divorce papers if I brought that home! 😀

  5. January 17, 2010 9:41 am

    I have never been to Costco! But I imagine I would buy oatmeal in bulk there. When my in-laws were in town, they took us to Sam’s club and we bought some boca burgers in bulk 🙂


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