Vegan's Chronicles + [vegan product]

Costco in Korea: love or hate?

I don't have a Costco membership, but my sister does. Since her US membership apparently works overseas, we decided to put it to good use while she's here by checking out the Costco by Sangbong station.

Costco trip

As soon as I stepped into the building and all its concrete warehouse-glory, I was transported to my former days in Cali when my sister and I would browse around Costco out of sheer boredom, just to eat all the free samples (this was before I went veg). Seeing so many American products in Korea, from chocolate bars to cheesecakes, to shampoos, was quite bizarre. Not to mention, the sizes! After getting used to the petiteness of things in Korea (smaller coffee drinks, tighter parking spots, shorter people... ), I was taken-aback by the jumbo sizes of everything. I didn't think twice about the proportions back in the US, but after living here for so long, it was rather shocking... . and also totally thrilling!! Picture a 5ft-tall Korean girl pushing a shopping cart the size of a couch, looking around with big googly eyes (o.O) and gasping out loud with every turn, and that's probably exactly what I looked like.

Even though most of the goods weren't vegan, I was still able to find quite a few that were!

Costco trip

Yes, American Oreos are vegan. Healthy? Um, that's another story... ^^

Costco trip

Bags of Kettle Krinkle Cut Chips the size of my torso. Literally.

Costco trip

Pretzels...

Costco trip

I almost bought one of these huge boxes of vegan Veggie Snacks, but they were rather expensive...

Costco trip

These Riceworks chips are apparently vegan. If there's one thing I regret not purchasing on this Costco trip, this would be it.

Costco trip

Cinnamon Apple Straws. No idea what these are meant to taste like, but they're animal-free.

Costco trip

They also have plenty of over-sized Korean products jumping on the Costco bandwagon, like these boxes of puffed rice snacks.

Costco trip

Ahhh! The nut isle was insane...

Costco trip

... as was the spice isle.

Costco trip
Costco trip

'Post Raisin Bran' and 'Heritage Heirloom Whole Grain' flakes were the only animal-free cereals that I found.

I saw so many things that I wanted to buy, not necessarily because I even wanted it, but because it was vegan, and because I wouldn't be able to find it outside of Costco. However, once I got to the checkout counter, I realized I had to do some major editing, so I ended up taking many of them out. Sigh~ Even though I didn't think I was buying that many things, I still ended up shelling out over 80,000 won! I keep telling myself that they will last a long time (especially the spices), but it was still a lot to spend on groceries in one go.

Anyway, incase you're curious, here's what I bought:

Costco trip

A 5-box pack of Carr's Crackers, 6 cans of jumbo black olives, a huge package of flour tortillas, kim (dried seaweed), 2 boxes of Organic Heritage Whole Grain cereal, a monster sized container of Taster's Choice instant coffee (coffee geeks, don't judge!), cinnamon, basil, and vitamin C.

Costco trip

This is now taking up half of my freezer space, but I'm excited for all the burritos, no-queso 'dillas, and tortillla pizzas I see in the future.

Costco trip

These should last me a while, right?

Well, that was my 'big' Costco adventure. In the end, even though shopping at Costco was undoubtedly a lot of fun (save for the crowds and long lines), I came away feeling thankful that I don't have a membership of my own because if I did, it would just be dangerous. I can see how big families can benefit from Costco, but for a single gal like me, it's not exactly worth it, and I tend to think it encourages over-spending and over-consuming. Plus, where would I store such colossal boxes in my tiny Seoul apartment? :)

So my question to you is, do you have a Costco membership, whether in Korea or the US? Do you think it's worth it? What do you buy there?