Not long after my last post was written, I found out Costco was indeed extending the same offer to military families as Sam's Club--access to their club warehouses without paying for a yearly membership. This is a very generous offer by both corporations and we are indeed very grateful. I would advise you to call your local Costco and make sure they are apprised of this temporary change. It takes awhile for this kind of information to trickle down, apparently.
In my eagerness to show my appreciation, I grabbed my regular shopping list and headed to the Costco in Ogden. It has been more than 13 years since I last stepped inside a warehouse store. Boy, was I ever unprepared! It was more than overwhelming. I spent over an hour attempting to shop for a week's worth of groceries with increasing tightness in my chest. There is absolutely no concept of shopping for a week in a bulk grocery store. You have to think ahead a month or more. As I shopped I continued to stress about how much my final bill might be and had to constantly reassure myself that it may be expensive now, but I won't need to purchase meat or cheese or eggs or butter for at least a month. The prices were really quite good, when broken down by price per pound, and I was thrilled to find not only organic, natural foods, but several different sheep's and goats' cheeses. Many of the items were indeed priced better than the commissary, and we may end up purchasing a yearly membership when the government shutdown mess is resolved.
Personally, I would not recommend purchasing produce from Costco, as it was more expensive per pound and was prepackaged in units that were more than could actually be used before spoilage, unless one were willing to can or freeze, but still not cost effective.
I purchased, what I believe, may be my very last box of diapers for Lil' Lamb. 210 diapers should get us through potty training in November. I also picked up a very nice pair of ski pants for Wingnut Jr. at a really great price. It was a win-win, even with all the stress involved.