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Darn you WalMart!

July 11th, 2008 at 09:19 am

I try to shop at Wal-Mart as little as possible. yes, I'm one of THOSE people. I really think your money is your vote, one way you help decide what kind of world you want. In Ohio, I usually shop at another grocery because they pay higher wages and I am pretty sure they are unionized. So, I shop at Wal-Mart maybe once every two months and only when I need things like shampoo, which is soooo much cheaper at Wal-Mart that I can't rationalize shopping anywhere else.

That said, I was shocked that a bag of lentils was only 72 cents at Wal-Mart but $1.32 at the other grocery. Made me think twice. Usually the price differential on most of the things I buy isn't the great.

What to do? I heart saving money. So do I got to Wal-Mart more often and sell out the other store, which actually pays workers benefits and a living wage? Or do I just decide to pay more than I really have to for groceries?

21 Responses to “Darn you WalMart!”

  1. aevans1206 Says:

    My personal feeling? Pay more. It helps us all in the long run (but I'm kind of a socialist, so don't mind me Smile )

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    If you can afford it, pay more. WalMart shouldn't be that cheap. If they did the right thing, there's no way they could offer that price.

    However, if you go on a spending diet for a finite period of time to raise money or pay a bill, definitely shop at WalMart temporarily if you need to.

  3. thriftorama Says:

    You're right. I think I'll just stick to my regular routine of only going when I really need a bunch of shampoo and stuff. That's stuff I usually don't buy at the union shop anyway.

  4. anonymouse Says:

    I'm just playing devil's advocate here. Walmart is a national company. The prices they negotiate are based on how much they purchase from their supplier. So of course they will get much better pricing than a local supermarket chain.

  5. momcents Says:

    http://www.gatherlittlebylittle.com/2008/07/02/walmart-there-is-a-price-for-cheap/

    Check out this blog post - very interesting and there were 50 comments to the post.

    I, too, am torn between frugal and fair. I frequent Walmart monthly in the winter - we have a turtle that eats bait and when the ground is frozen, we need to buy worms. I have found that SuperTarget has cheaper prices than the average grocery store, still not as cheap as Walmart.

  6. thriftorama Says:

    The local chain isn't small either. They are pretty big and are all over the Midwest, so they should be able to negotiate good prices too.

  7. monkeymama Says:

    I honestly don't see what is so bad about Wal-Mart. But maybe I shouldn't *go there.* LOL. I personally think they get way too bad a wrap.

    BUT, on the flip side I hate the place, so I avoid it like the plague. It's dirty, it's awful, it's crowded, and the prices aren't always that great. (Though admittedly they have some very good deals). The parking lot for ours is terrible so we really try to just stay away. IT's for those reasons I wonder why it does so well.

    I like your decision though. If you were seriously going to ban Wal-Mart because of its Corporate policies I think you would have to really re-examine every single purchase you ever make. Just because it gets the most press doesn't make it the worst of its kind.

    I am with you - I will brave the place on a rare occasion for a really good deal. But for the most part I wouldn't choose to give them my money.

  8. monkeymama Says:

    o

  9. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    At my unionized grocery store, lentils are $0.79/lb. Ask your cashier whether the store is unionized. If they are, ask how many people there are in the union. Are they 75% part-timers who cannot even be in the union?

  10. nance Says:

    On the other side, Wal-Mart hires many people who would have a very difficult time finding employment. Just look around, next time you are in a Wal-Mart. I see elderly people, morbidly obese people, those who look like they may be recovering alcoholics, etc. They also give LOTS of money to charity, local needs, etc. and don't publicize it. There was a letter to the editor, in my town, from grandparents who took their grandchildren who were living with them, temporarily, after their families home was devastated by a flood. They purchased clothing and a few toys for the kids, amounting to several hundred dollars. When the manager heard why, he told the grandparents that Wal-Mart would pay for everything. I was in Sam's once, and they had many carts piled high, with beautiful children's clothing. I asked about purchasing an outfit, and was told that everything was being sent to hurricane victims, and was not for sale.
    If people don't want to work at Wal-Mart, no one is forcing them to work there.

  11. sillyoleme Says:

    I shop at Walmart, it's close and cheaper than Target and usually the grocery-only chains. But I also don't hate Walmart.

    BF worked at a national grocery store that was unionized for 5 years. Even though he was part-time, he still had to pay union dues out of his paycheck (usually about $5), even when he was just in high school. Over the years, he discovered the the union did very little to help the average worker. They only saved people's butts when they were about to get fired (even though they usually deserved it). It also made it impossible to get promoted or get full-time status, because everything was based on seniority.

    At the chain he's at now (another national chain, but doesn't have a union), two of his department managers are under 25, and they seem to base rewards on performance and attitude, as well as years served.

    Maybe it's just me, but I don't see what the big deal is about Walmart. I worked there in high school, and it was so much easier for people to get full-time status there than other groceries in the area.

  12. ceejay74 Says:

    Interesting points, but overall it seems they're making America weaker. Here's a good interview from PBS:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/interviews/tonelson.html

    Monkeymama, if you can't afford to boycott every company that does bad things, and even if you haven't done research on every single company you use yet, I still don't think it's hypocritical to target a poster child like WalMart, who does bad things on a huge scale and is widely known to do so. If that's all you can do, at least you're sending a message that you don't like that behavior, and you hope that in the long run your actions will trickle down to a change in more and more corporations' philosophies.

    Just my opinion though, and I have been known to be wrong a time or million. Smile

  13. thriftorama Says:

    I will add that another reason I don't shop there IS because of the long lines and overall trauma of being around sooo many people. It always takes forever to check out and I am always behind someone who has some complicated method of paying. Just my luck I guess!

  14. devil's advocate Says:

    More devil's advocate. The WalMart by us pays higher wages than Kroger, Safeway or Target. I know many people who work at WalMart and like it because the pay and benefits are better. So if WalMart didn't exist do you really think all those people would still be employed, (part-time or full) what about the people overseas that you are worried about? Would they have jobs without someone like WalMart to buy the products? If you pay more for products because you can do you think those workers see that money or is it just the grocery stores like Kroger and Safeway who see the difference. The products come from the same place I doubt the workers see more money because products are being bought for Krogers vs WalMart after all it's the same brand of items that you are buying.

  15. thriftorama Says:

    I think overall workers do see the extra money. Overall, Wal-Mart pays lower wages than many retailers, and have long been considered the leader of the "race to the bottom" for US wages. As the US' largest retailer and largest company, they need to be held accountable for that. I have also read many unsavory accounts about their laughable health benefits and how they often push their workers to us MedicAid instead because it's cheaper for the company. Not r us taxpayers, mind you...

  16. Debt Dummy Says:

    been there, done that - to all of your above comments.
    at least where i live, the Wal-Marts are kinda turning around.
    I shop there for groceries 2x a month... guess what happened to me last week? Two {TWO!} associates actually asked me if I needed help, or if there was something I was looking for that they could help me find. I almost died. That's NEVER happened to me before.

    My mom works for a union grocery store - and for years, none of us were allowed to step into a Wal-Mart... but she's so mad at her store now-a-days (they honestly aren't that much better anymore, sad to say) that she even goes to Wal-Mart once every blue moon (she's normally @ Target).

    To each his own, I say.

    Oh, and we have a HUGE populatation of elderly and Winter Visitors - it's nice that they can make a buck!

  17. nance Says:

    A lot of the anti-Wal-Mart propaganda is put out by Unions. Take it with a grain of salt!

  18. Amber Says:

    I am one who does not shop at Wal-mart; it is definitely my last resource. Even though prices are a lot cheaper, I can't stand that place. I have a friend who works at Wal-mart for years and is in management and she says what you hear is true; and of course some things may not be. I find the stores over crowed, they are usually out of stock (2 out of 5 of the items I need are not in stock) I can never find any help, they are always busy and according to my friend the really do intimidate their employees in an effort to discourage unions

  19. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Our walmart is fairly new..and very clean. Groceries- quality is lacking in the fresh stuff and their grocery prices are nothing to write home about...but most everything else is very reasonable...and there is not much variety at the local competition. They also employ a disabled relative of my SIL's family. She is severly disabled and was unable to find someone who would hire her until walmart opened. She is confined to an automated wheelchair...and is now a greeter at Walmart. I guess there are pros and cons at Walmart just as there are most places.

  20. Jared Says:

    I'm in the same boat. But, I value my time. At my local grocery store, I get service. The check out is faster, they often bag, if I need something special theyíll order it for me. They are courteous. Although more expensive, itís much more enjoyable. Iíve never gone to the Walmart and left thinking, ďthatís a great experience!Ē In fact, most often the service sucks, the lines are log, people stink, you canít get help, etc. I hate it. If my time is worth $9 an hour (itís worth a whole lot more) and it takes me 1 minute to stand in line at my grocery store vs 30 minutes (before I give up and walk out) of Walmart then itís worth paying a few more cents or a few dollars more.

  21. daylily Says:

    I haven't stepped foot in a walmart in almost three years. September is my 'walmart free' anniversary. I love, love, love NOT shopping at walmart.

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