Costco Wholesale is a student’s best friend

Utilizing an underrated resource in Charlottesville


A little over two miles from our University, tucked away in the far-reaches of Charlottesville, stands a warehouse. It’s massive and home to an array of products. Those hefty shelves are stocked with countless different kinds of bread, three-packs of lint-rollers and a field of free-for-all food samples. Yep, I’m talking about Costco.

In this student’s opinion, Costco is the most underutilized resource for students. Most students flock to the big-hitter in the Charlottesville area — Kroger. Now, I love Kroger as much as the next kid. On the off-chance that I need a small-portion of something, I’m all about Kroger. Let me tell you, though — I prefer my items in bulk. It means less trips to the store, which means I have more time to allot to my studies. Bet you never thought of Costco as a time-saver, huh?

If you’re like me — on a budget with student loans galore — Costco is the place for you. No longer do you need to resort to peanut butter crackers or protein bars for dinner. Nope, not when you have Costco in your corner. At every turn, there’s an employee handing out samples — in other words, free food. All you need is a few a few well-designed disguises and you can hit those sample stands — multiple times. In no time, you can get a three-course meal — totally for free.

Now, that’s not even counting the food court! The wide-variety of menu items is enough to satisfy every craving — plus, the prices are crazy low and rarely change! I’m talking $1.99 for a massive slice of pizza and $9.95 for a whole 18-inch. Is that not every college student’s dream? A cost-effective, high-volume pizza party? Costco is the key! You know, as long as you don’t mind clogging your arteries a little bit.

Not only that, but Costco has a large selection of clothing for men, women and children. I’ll admit, it can be a fight to find the must-have pieces, but I’ve gotten my hands on several gems. Anyone who knows me knows that I wouldn’t be caught dead without my blue pleather jacket. After four years, the fabric is starting to peel, but it was absolutely worth the $30. The clothes are usually a hit-or-miss, I’ll admit, but their endless supply of socks and underwear is the absolute greatest. It’s true that most college girls are exclusively interested in a mess of lace and silk, but not me. Nope. I’m a 21-year-old miser. I’m all about the path of least resistance — the path of cost-efficiency.

The real benefit to Costco is the return policy. All you need is the item and corresponding credit card — then, total reimbursement. It’s that easy. No joke — I’ve seen someone return a dead plant. Kudos to them, I say. When I first arrived at the University, I bought a mini refrigerator for my dorm room, and it’s been with me ever since. It was bought with the understanding that it would be returned — pending my graduation here. Scarily enough, that day will be here in seven short weeks, but I’ve grown overly attached to Freddie the Fridge. If I have it my way, he’ll be accompanying me to graduate school this fall.  

Now, I don’t mean to suggest that Costco is solely for college students. Absolutely not. Costco is for all — for those not wanting to loosen their purse strings, those with big families that need big portion sizes or even those that are addicted to the $1.50 hot-dog-and-soda combo. My point, though, is that students tend to overlook the warehouse, writing it off as the shopping center for the older generation. Those students are missing out. Take advantage of the untapped, high-volume, cost-effective gold mine. Find a friend with a membership card and get shopping.  

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