As a suburban dad of three small children, including an infant, I’m compelled to share this life hack and end this debate…

Most people think of Costco only as a big-box retailer — good for suburban expeditions in the minivan to stock up on industrial-sized quantities of household staples at competitive prices.

Costco is great for that. But it’s also great for single-item purchases both big and small, such as televisions, stereo systems, eye glasses, automobile tires, patio umbrellas, tulip bulbs and more. It’s even great for typical convenience purchases, like gasoline, a box of baby diapers, coffee beans, a book of stamps, a case of beer or a bag of chips.

“But Costco doesn’t have an express checkout lane, so small convenience purchases just aren’t worth the hassle,” say naysayers. 

That’s true, but it doesn’t matter. Science proves that express checkout lanes are less efficient than regular ones, anyway. Second, Costco checkout lanes are like fast-food order lanes in that they are extremely efficient. Similar to scratching an itch, progressing swiftly in an efficient checkout lane is actually satisfying.

But if you really can’t stand to wait in a checkout line, full-cart Costco shoppers usually are sympathetic to single-item shoppers. I was one of those good Costco members on a recent Saturday morning with a lady who wanted to purchase a single bag of pita chips (pictured here).

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.