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  • Writer's pictureKasi DeStefano

The shopping trip that changed my life

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I recently took what feels like my first step to becoming a hoarder. My friend invited me to go to Costco with her, a place I had never previously visited. I accepted for two reasons: number 1 I had literally nothing else to do that day and number 2 I heard they give free samples away and if there is one thing I love, it’s free stuff!

The first thing I felt when I arrived when they opened at 10 a.m., was anxiety. The parking lot looked like they were not only giving away free samples but stacks of cash. I couldn’t get a spot anywhere near the building. I parked in what felt like two towns over, and made the trek into the store. I was greeted by a woman named Jeanie who asked for my ID. I explained to her that I’m not a member but was joining my friend who is, to walk around and take a peek. She assured me that after taking a “peek” (her air quotes not mine), that I would most certainly become a member. “Sure thing,” I said as I walked past her and mumbled something to myself about her being wrong.

As I grabbed a cart I looked around and I knew there was no way I was joining this place. First of all, I don’t need five gallons of anything and it seems like everything comes in a minimum of that. There was a woman who zoomed past me with so much Mountain Dew in her cart, I’m surprised she still had teeth. I finally saw my friend and she started to take me on the grand tour. I’m not going to lie, it took me all of six minutes to fall in love. I had no idea that they had so many things. From birth to death, Costco has you covered! From baby diapers to adult diapers, decorative baskets to caskets they have it all! Seriously, they had a pink casket that was so cute I had to stop myself from buying mine and keeping it in the garage. My thought process was that it could be used to store our Christmas decorations there in the meantime and my husband’s thought process was that I lost my mind. He vetoed that one immediately. The whole way home I felt like I missed the deal of a lifetime. You have to admit $1,149 is a great price and it was pink outside with a pink velvet interior…STUNNING!

I somehow got separated from my friend and went rogue. I was buying things I didn’t know I needed and the price was right! I was so excited I forgot all about the free samples. Every single section I went in had something I needed. I found a garden gnome in the lawn and garden section that I took home and named Richard. I bought enough feminine hygiene products to take me into menopause. For some reason I bought a veggie tray that could feed 20 and polished it off all by myself on the hour car ride home. I was so stuffed I felt sick. This seemed normal at the time but now reflecting back, not so much. I bought a kitchen sink, bidet toilet and enough cheese to constipate me for a year. I picked my dog Pepper out a new bed that could fit an English Mastiff on it. She looks like a little bean when she sleeps on it and it makes me so happy. At one point I had to talk myself off the ledge. I was getting so overwhelmed and excited my panic attack was having a panic attack.

I was doing my best to remain calm but all hell broke loose in the underwear section. I came across a brand I had never heard of before, Carol Hochman. I found high waisted, full coverage undies that have built in tummy control. This really isn’t my speed but something in my gut told me to get them. The first thing I did when I got home after throwing up the veggie tray, was try on those underwear. Let me just tell you, my life changed in that moment. I will never wear anything else. I may look like a Grandmom but I feel like a star! They are not only supportive, they are extremely comfortable. Carol, I don’t know if you will ever see this, but just know there is a special place in heaven for you. If you are ever looking for an underwear model, I’d be happy to do it because that’s how confident I feel in them!

By the way Jeanie was right. I not only got a membership, I upgraded to an Executive account so I get two percent back on all of my purchases. By my calculations, I’ll be able to pay my mortgage off with the check I get at the end of this year! I look forward to Costco trips so much. Even my little one loves going because the pizza is delicious. My only fear is that if I keep spending money there, I might need that casket sooner than later. I’m pretty sure my husband will send me to an early grave. Although, I know I will be going out in style!

Kasi DeStefano was a longtime resident of Hammonton who now resides in Florida. She is a former smoker and a current shopaholic. She can be reached at


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