07/24/2014 04:28 pm ET Updated Sep 23, 2014

10 Things I Learned From Shopping at Target and Costco

I am nearly 60 years old and have rarely shopped for clothing for myself. My mother who passed in October of 2013 would buy lots of stuff for me and let's just say I relied on the kindness of others (not strangers, but whoever I was dating at the time) for the remainder of my clothes.

I recently ended a 17 year relationship and my ex helped out for awhile with getting me clothing. I needed, not wanted clothes because having lost 220 pounds since 10/2011 and 150 pounds since 8/2012, not even a belt would cinch up my pants and my underwear was too big.

So I started shopping for myself. Everyone seemed to use Target and Costco so I decided to follow suit. Here is what I collectively learned:

1. They are both the hardware stores of their generations in that they have most things.

2. If you know where something is located, no problem, if you don't, the customer service representatives cannot help with most things.

3. You don't have to buy everything in bulk at Costco.

4. You don't have to have a receipt and returns are easy at both places.

5. Using a credit/debit card tracks your purchases but makes returns easier.

6. Everyone shops at both places, regardless of socio-economic class.

7. You can buy clothes at both places.

8. Having shopped at Target in multiple cities, they are all alike.

9. Regardless of what is on your list, you will get more and rarely spend under $100.

10. You will see something you didn't think you need but once you see it, you will realize that you do want it. Two words, "impulse control."