Dude, where’s my cart?

The obligatory weekend trip for groceries means for me to hit the Costco. As an Elk Groover, the closest location to me is the South Sacramento store. Yep yep y’all, we’re going to South Sac.

Unfortunately, the only thing this store has going for it is that it’s a Costco that’s closest to those of us in the south side of the county but north of the cattle.

The staff are very friendly, but the store itself is wrought with overcrowding, rude customers and people who line up for free samples of orange juice and bacon, and then loiter in the middle of the aisles like they’re partaking of a United Nations relief mission. When you’ve finally navigated through the Dixie Cup buffet, you get stuck in a horrible feeder line system at the check out that also falls smack in a major thoroughfare in the store, so people with arms full of Christmas ornaments are running crosscurrent through the lines to get through.

The indoor food court is just as overcrowded as it is unsanitary. The time it takes to wait in line for the $1.50 hot dog and soda while you study the story told by the tattoo on the back of the neck in front of you, is worth more than the $1.50 you’ll spend. And, because people have had too much of a good thing back in the store, people also loiter around the soda vending machines refilling their cups of soda after every sip and making the rest of us wait for sweet flavourless bubbly. You also do not want your food to touch the picnic tables (complete with umbrellas) in the indoor sitting area, lest you disturb the flies. Besides, good luck pulling your food off the table once it’s been placed there and permanently affixed by old ketchup.

To top it off, last weekend, as I was browsing in an aisle, someone jacked my half full shopping cart and disappeared into the crowds. My bad. I forgot to padlock my cart to the shelf when I turned to browse.

My recommendation: go to another location. It might take longer to drive but you’ll save that time in the store, with a more pleasant experience.

Costco South Sacramento
7981 East Stockton Boulevard
Sacramento, California 95823
Rating: *

24 thoughts on “Dude, where’s my cart?”

  1. From a Natomas perspective, I’d suggest the one in Woodland or the one in Citrus Heights. Much less crowded and huge of course. The on near CalExpo is a total zoo and messy and can be, avoid that one.


  2. Tell me more about this “feeder line” you speak of?

    But, seriously, the one good thing about Costco is that whenever you are feeling down in the dumps about the economy and where the world is going simply head over to your nearest location and you will be instantly greeted with the hustle and the bustle of commerce in full swing.

    That, or anywhere in Roseville…same result.


  3. Excellent review. I’ve been to this location and it’s awful. I personally gave up Costco a few years ago when I realized that I couldn’t get out of there without spending $400 on taquitos and cookbooks.


  4. The samples loitering is the worst. We had a good experience at the White Rock location a few weeks ago at like 4pm on a Friday. It’s a smaller location and we were in and out in no time. Costco is really all about finding the slow times…


  5. I toured a few costco’s two weeks ago. I started at the Cal Expo location and ended up at the Roseville location looking for a flat screen tv (helping a girlfriend shop).

    Roseville was just as much a mess as the Cal Expo location, but the service was excellent. We had no fewer than three employees searching the “racks” for the TV we wanted.

    Eventually they found 27 units of the model that we wanted, up in the racks. TV’s are selling so slowly, that Costco can’t even clear space on the floor to display all of the models they carry.

    By Far the nicest Costco around is in folsom. I’ve considered driving there just because it’s clean and uncrowded and there aren’t long lines (even on saturday)


  6. Each time I drive by the South Sac one and see the giant line of people waiting for cheap gas I think, “Hell no! I would never hit that Costco.” The Woodland one is worth the trip. Its clean, organized, right off I-5, and most of the customers are friendly. Then again you an always just swing by a Target. Chances are what you need is there and at a reasonable price without having to turn your garage into a bulk item storage center.


  7. Yep, any time I want to see the ugly face of humanity (literally and figuratively), I go to that Costco. People are so dang rude you’d think they’d spent most of their life in some cellar deprived of food and drink, pushing and shoving and yes, cutting in line, to get some sample of a shu mai or meatball that’s cold in the middle.


  8. Are we all five years old? I stopped caring about the samples about 3 years ago. I realized that I know what prepared packaged talapia, and lasagna tastes like. They do not give you enough to fill you up. So why not boycott the samples? This has me thinking about my Costco and Sams Club memberships. I have the same problems everyone lists. I am guaranteed to buy something stupid that I don’t need like pajamas, or computer speakers. I can’t leave without spending 200 dollars. I don’t partake in the free samples. All the foods that make the clubs great is loaded in Partially Hydrated Oil, and High Fructose Corn Syrup which I now try to avoid. Checking out is a pain. I suppose I am quitting.


  9. Cotsco is great if you have a huge family to feed, own a restaurant, or are having a huge BBQ. I still have a jar of olives that I am sure someone emptied an entire orchard to fill. If I need to go, I’ll drive to Folsom.

    I prefer The Nugget, Taylors Market, Corti’s, and Raleys….oh, and Safeway.


  10. Not really. It’s a random anecdote to try to boost the impression that south Sac is ghetto (big insight there), when it was most likely a case of mistaken carts…which is not so rare to be worth posting about. Getting your cart jacked after you’ve paid for it would actually be interesting.


  11. The food court @ Rancho Cordova’s (White Rock) Costco is outside, so it takes on a special “flava” in summer. They even have “Don’t feed the birds” signs up. Timing is everything at the clubs. Folsom Costco is pretty clean and the attitude is much better than White Rock and Mack costcos.


  12. On the recommendation of others here, we went to the one in Woodpile over the weekend. It’s on the east side of Wood-land, so it’s only about 10 mins further than the Airport, which if you live in Downtown or Natomas is 10 mins less than waiting to get into the parking lot at the Expo Parkway store.

    I parked a scant 5 spaces from the front door and there were lots more spaces to be had. Inside it was clean, well stocked, organized, and not very busy. I didn’t even need to wait behind 4 unattended crumb-crunchers for my DiGiorno pizza sample. We waited behind one other cart in the checkout and did not wait while the guy at the door compared our receipt to our cart (he didn’t catch the 50″ tv I put in my pocket, though).

    All in all, worth the drive, and I doubt I’ll return to the Expo Pkwy, White Rock, or Citrus Heights Costcos again.


  13. Off topic, I know, but does everyone know you can purchase your snack items at checkout inside the store and then use the pre-paid line outside to grab your items?

    I also am told that you can take a standard Amex card (not the Costco branded one) and swipe it at the gas pump to authenticate yourself as a member. I don’t roll with the Amex to verify this.


  14. I was deeply depressed due to personal impact on this current economy. The truth of the matter is South Costco sucks! Thank you good folsk for cheering me up!


  15. One nice thing to note, the economy is flourishing at the busy COSTCOs. I wonder if these “not busy” COSTCOs are a sign of the times. At least the Stockton Blvd COSTCO will stay in business and employ many. I happen to like that place and the diversity within.


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