Mom Of Five Buys All Of Her Family's Food In One Or Two Costco Trips Per Year

Mason Joseph Zimmer
mom speaking in front of stockpiled food
youtube | This Mama's House

Considering its wide selection, labor practices, and how much its "everything in bulk" business model can save customers money in the long run, it's not such a surprise that Costco seems to have such a dedicated fan following.

But even though half the point of shopping there is to come home with a big haul you can use for a long time, it can still be a little surprising to hear about customers who manage to get all of a year's shopping done in just a couple of trips to the store.

So when a mom with five kids made a splash online by doing just that, it wasn't hard to predict that so many people would have some questions about how and why she does it.

And while there are some serious resources that need to be in place to make this idea work, she swears by this strategy when your family is as big as hers is.

Over the past two years, Tabitha Kelley from Michigan has been documenting her parenthood adventures through her YouTube channel called This Mama's House.

woman walking into Costco and waving
youtube | This Mama's House

And as she explained in a video going over her most frequently asked questions, this is around the same time frame that she and her husband started amassing big enough hauls from Costco to last her family for months at a time.

In a video featuring the most recent of these hauls, she said the goal is for the food to last for six to eight months.

And while we can see in an earlier video that it wasn't unheard of for these trips to occur in the company of some of her five kids, the couple now gets a babysitter on days where they go shopping.

shopping cart crammed with goods as child sits on seat
youtube | This Mama's House

That's not only because adding five kids to a massive shopping trip can only make it more complicated, but also because cart space is at a premium for the couple and each shopping trip is an all day affair.

As Kelley put it, "We left the house at one o-clock in the afternoon and I was not done putting things away until 11 pm."

To get all that food together, it takes about eight carts, two checkouts per trip, and a lot of help from both Kelley's Suburban and her husband's pickup truck.

woman standing in front of stockpiled food with price superimposed
youtube | This Mama's House

And while storing this food seems like a logistical nightmare, Kelley said their basement provides enough space at a fairly even temperature year-round to make this arrangement feasible.

She also said that there's a 14-cubic foot freezer down there to keep the perishables from going bad.

Kelley said that despite getting enough food together to cost $5,100 during her most recent trip (the other $500 was spent on a jungle gym for her kids), she and her husband are very serious about avoiding food waste.

In her words, "It requires a lot of effort on my part, with organizing and meal planning."

woman speaking in front of stockpiled food
youtube | This Mama's House

But for the family, this effort and time investment is worth it because while $5,000 is a lot to spend on food at once, they ultimately save money because this aggressive storing and meal planning leaves little reason to bother with takeout or other "frivolous" expenditures.

And while they partially shop the way they do just to get it all done at once, Kelley said their bulk shopping is also done in the interest of emergency preparedness.

As she said, "As a large family with five kids, we don't ever want to be in a position where we don't have enough food to feed our family."

h/t: YouTube | This Mama's House

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