I should not go to Costco, because I cannot go to Costco without spending at least $200, and I never (seriously, never) have $200 to spare.

But I love going to Costco. I’m like a drug addict about it; I know it’s bad for me, but I do it anyway. The rush of Costco, the visceral in-the-moment thrill, always overrides the knowledge that I’ll regret it later.

Everything is so big there, you know? Like, you walk in and there’s this acre of impossibly large high-definition televisions. And across the aisle from that? Men’s dress shirts for less than $20 a pop.

And what’s that over there? Seven pounds of New York deli pastrami? For only $40? That would go great with this oversized $60 bottle of bourbon that I’m trying to talk myself out of buying. Wait, let me crunch some numbers. At a regular store, that same amount of bourbon and pastrami would cost $350. And here it’s only $100? Why, I’d be a fool NOT to buy it. I’ll be able to live on bourbon and pastrami for months!

And so forth.

Such are the complex mental gymnastics required for what, at any other store, would be a simple grocery trip. I was there last weekend. Here’s what I bought, along with notes as to how much I actually needed it:

Two dog beds for $27 apiece. Necessity: High. The dogs ate their old beds almost a year ago and have been sleeping on a pile of blankets.

One dress shirt for $18. Necessity: Moderate. I didn’t want to do laundry, and I was out of clean shirts.

One 1.75-liter bottle of Bulleit bourbon for $56. Necessity: Moderate. We were out of bourbon at home, but we still had rye and scotch. We could have always just gotten some Jim Beam for, like, one-third this cost.

One 1.75-liter bottle of Kirkland brand vodka for $23. Necessity: Low. We have a two-thirds-full bottle at home, and we only ever use it for bloody marys. This was classic Costco “dear lord, that’s a good deal” impulse buying. Stupid Costco.

One log of goat cheese so big that not even the wolf Fenrir, swallower of worlds in Norse mythology, could ever finish for $6.49. Necessity: Low. We had goat cheese in the fridge already.

Two giant tubs of Kirkland Greek yogurt for $7. Necessity: Really high. Have you ever had this stuff? I regret buying so little. Fenrir would eschew world-swallowing altogether if he had Kirkland yogurt instead. I just know it.

One fresh salmon filet that will serve at least three for $17. Necessity: Low. I wanted chicken wings but was convinced to buy this salmon instead.

A 186-ounce bottle of Kirkland brand laundry detergent for $14. Necessity: High. We do need to wash laundry. Otherwise, we’d be buying Costco shirts every week.

And I think that’s about it. With tax, it was just over $200. Of that, maybe $100 or so was really necessary. But on the plus side, we can have bloody marys and goat cheese every night for the rest of the year.

— The Indoorsman