Sunday, September 30, 2007

Thank God I made it out alive.

I know that people love the Commissary Case Lot sales. But me? Well, let's just say I make a serious point to avoid them.

One, I just don't have the storage room for crates of hand soap and individually wrapped 100 calorie packages of Chex Mix that will never be eaten. But more importantly, I can't deal with the insanity. I don't know what it is about buying everyday items in bulk at a discount but it brings out the serious crazy in people. And I mean, insane in the frickin' membrane.

I happened upon my first case lot sale unawares. I was just doing my routine weekend shopping and saw people trying to drag two and three shopping carts to the back of the store. I asked someone what was going on and after looking at my like I had two heads (after all, who doesn't know about case lot sales?), she informed me that today was a case lot sale day and the Commissary had not only Huggies but Pampers! This apparently was a seriously big deal.

Pampers happened to be on my shopping list. I decided to head back and take a gander. Holy shit. What I saw that day has forever changed me.

Women and men violently pulling boxes of diapers from a tower in the middle of the floor. A Mom loudly complaining to another that she had 6 cases already and that the last case of size 3 Huggies sitting there was rightfully hers. A Dad telling his 10 year old to go steal a box of pull-ups from the cart of the lady distracted by her toddler. It was chaos. Later, I'd find out that an actual fistfight broke out over some Dora the Explorer pull-ups and the MPs had to be called.

It's true that I did get my case of Pampers that day and at a serious discount. But had my son been bigger and needed some pull-ups, I might have had to shed some blood to save a few dollars.

By the time the next case lot sale rolled around, I had reinforcements. Munchkin was a little older and CPT Dick thought it would be worth getting diapers half off. And so, I insisted that we go shopping as a family. This time, probably to avoid needless violence, the Commissary staff had created a forced path through the case lot sale. And that path was only wide enough for one cart at a time. Diapers were at the end. We crawled along at a snail's pace as other shoppers took their time examining paper towels and doing the math in their heads. When we got to the diapers, they didn't have Munchkin's size. I grabbed two cases of the next size up while CPT Dick ran interference and we got the hell out of there.

I have not yet returned to another sale. Too much stress.

But wouldn't you know, I stumbled upon another case lot yesterday at the biggest commissary in our area. I should have known the second I noticed there were no shopping carts waiting outside. And once again, I was forced along with the tide, slowing pacing through the aisles of the case lot sale just to get the makings for pasta with vodka cream sauce and a few cleaning supplies. To keep myself sane through the process, I threw cases of hand cream, dishwashing liquid and, yes, again the diapers, into my cart. For shopping that would have normally taken me 20 minutes, I spent nearly two and a half hours at the store, all-told. It was agonizing.

Later, as I recounted the day to a friend, she tried to cheer me up by reminding me of the money I saved by buying in bulk. Of course, I spent over $50, and a good chunk of my chi, to get those savings. But, really, who's counting?


Kimba said...

A parent friend of mine once told me that the cheapest diapers in town are in the very back of Toys-R-Us.

I think that is evil, but awfully darn clever.

Marine Wife said...

I'm with you on the case lot sales. I also refuse to shop the day after Thanksgiving. I accidently wandered into a case lot sale here today. The line to check out stretched to the back of the commissary. I made a dash for the express checkout...

Lee Anne said...

Case lot sales... shudder...

Kasey said...

I can't do the case lot sales. They scare me and I am afraid I will have a panic attack. I have been out of town for the past two and I am glad!

If I need to buy in bulk, I have a Sam's Club membership. It may not be as cheap, but I don't run the risk of losing any limbs every time I want diapers, lol.