Thursday, March 26, 2009

A successful shopping trip

Shopping in Japan is quite an experience. Stores here are filled with eclectic school supply items, stationary of all sorts, and almost every store has some sort of play land or amusement park area for kids of all ages to enjoy.

While I have enjoyed shopping in Japan for stuff that I can't find in the states, I would like to go shopping and find some of the things that I would buy back home.

Not an easy task. The base has a general store where you can find everyday necessities, but if you don't buy it the day you see it, (even if you don't need it right away), the next time you go back, it will be gone.
I am not exaggerating. I think I started shopping for Easter supplies and candy right after Valentine's Day because a friend told me that sometime around March, all the supplies would diminish.

Don't get me started on the commissary (the base grocery store). I can't exactly stock up on groceries because I don't have two refrigerators and, hello? Expiration date?

Even though I'm complaining about shopping for favorites from back home, I did have a good shopping experience today.

While Arjun was at the CDC, Rowen and I went to Costco. I love Costco. I shopped at Costco A LOT in San Diego.

But it wasn't for bulk food items. Or at least not for bulk dry food items.
The San Diego Costco always had the best fresh fruit for a reasonable price which my boys practically lived on. And I felt good that they were eating so healthy.

Some of the other things I loved about the Mission Valley Costco:
  • Photo Center. They have the BEST photo center. Our professional photographer in San Diego even recommends going there to develop her session pictures. And so cheap! If you live near a Costco and are not using them for photo development, try them. You will love it! I haven't developed photos since I've been here b/c there isn't a place to do so. I've printed a few off of my printer, but not enough to fill an album. That will be a BIG project when we return to the states.
  • The book selection (for adults and kids) and the prices!
  • Toys, which were really only available around Christmas, but always cheaper and sometimes unique from what I would find at Target.
  • Wine selection-it's the best! many other items, I could go on and on!

Costco was especially great at carrying miscellaneous items-you know the ones I'm talking about. A pack of 1000 stickers, a three pack of swim goggles, lawn chairs for kids, a children's crayola fun pack, a ten pack of sticky hooks....

Today, I found some of those great misc. items!!
  • Kiddies to Go toy bins. These are fabulous. They are the cutest red toy bins that have a long handle and a deep bin for toys and also have wheels! The boys have had the best time taking toys from one room to the next or just carting them around empty. (We're still working on them actually filling the bins up with toys during cleanup time :)
  • A children bench for the backyard. I didn't realize I needed this until I saw it. And then when Rowen sat down on it, I was sold. All the playdoh, crafting, painting, and other messy activities, including lunch can now be done outside! Weather pending, of course.
  • Preschool activity books. The bookstore on base is AWFUL!!! It's not even a bookstore, it's a SMALL section of the main store, one you would find at Walmart or Target. Not enough, in my opinion. So I found these great activity books for Rowen, which are fun but also educational in the 123's and ABC's, especially important since he attends Japanese school.
  • Chocolate croissants. These are not necessarily misc, but they are delicious!
  • Clip on flash lights for backpacks or what ever else kids want to use them for...
  • An orgnizational closet for the laundry room. Self explanatory and a much needed addition to the room.

We had a good shopping trip today. All the items we purchased are things we could have found back home and could have put to good use.

An added bonus: Rowen was well-behaved and a pretty good shopping companion.


  1. I haven't been to Costco for a while. let me know when you go next time and I will join you!

  2. I will! It is so much fun there!

  3. Hey, love Costco too! And I have a tip, we use Kodakgallery online for photo development and they ship here very quickly. Just thought it WOULD be an overwhelming job to wait till you're back in the States! I also have a friend who gets her photos in a photo machine out in town and they are awesome quality. I can ask her exactly where it is in case you're interested.