I’m afraid I inherited my “to-the-penny” gene from my mother. I can be on isle 6 getting the large can of spaghetti-O’s and I will make a mental note that they are $1.89 and a full a basket, 12 isles, an one hour later when they ring up $2.03, I will stop the presses and send the cashier on an expedition to prove that I am being cheated out of 14 cents. Yep, don’t get in line behind me, EVER. If I am not trying to keep my kids from loading up the basket with “extras” I am haggling over prices. Now, I hadn’t been couponing really, but I have decided in light of some reality TV that its time to bring back the envelope full of bargain makers. So if you see me in Wal-mart, just save yourself the frustration and get behind someone else.
If you know me, or you’ve read my blogs, then you might have figured out that I live in a small town, I have lots of kids, and very little money. Mix these together, and Wal-Mart inevitably becomes a part of day-to-day life. Despite the fact that I am there 4 times a week, I think Wal-Mart tops the list of necessary evils in the world.
When I think about it, I miss the little Wal-Mart our town used to have. The people were friendlier, it was easier to get in and out of there, and right next door was HEB with its fresher produce, better meat, and overall lower grocery prices on everything and anything fresh. But our town wanted a SUPER WAL-MART. Wal-mart was going to help us save money and live better.
Save money? Live better? Really?? Their meats are injected with 6 – 12% solution of preservatives which means I am paying by the pound for salt water and brine to keep me from smelling the fact that this meat is past its prime! (Don’t take my word for it, I looked it up after opening a package of meat that smelled dead, and I toted it back up there so they could smell it too, but hey, check it out for yourself.) HEB honestly cut fresh meat every day, and not only did we taste the difference, we felt it. When you eat better, you feel healthier, but like I said our town is small, and it didn’t take long for Super Wal-Mart to put HEB OUT-OF-BUSINESS!
But what’s new, Wal-Mart built an empire putting others out of business. Only, when Sam Walton was still alive, Wal-Mart seemed to have a heart. That heart died with the old man, because now it’s just a cold calculated business that puts on a fake smile in efforts to trick us into thinking they care, meanwhile shards of glass in their dog food are weeding out the pet population. (Is that a Bob Barker approved method of animal control?) They don’t care… The Walton’s are still one of the richest families in America. They’re laughing all the way to the bank. A simple Google search and you could spend hours reading about their discriminating practices, their penny pinching, their years of cheating women out of equal pay and benefits, but I’ll leave you to Google that later. (Here are some of my googled links to start you off: Wal-Mart is pure evil, the high cost of the low price, 5 of the Nastiest Examples of Wal-Mart evil)
Between the meat that I find to be disgusting, and the lack of ethics I consider the corporation to hold, I try my best to shop elsewhere, and yet, where do I find myself every other day? Yep, Wal-Mart. It’s down the street, and our small house doesn’t have room for me to stock much, so I can only shop for about 2 or 3 days at a time. (Let’s hope my upcoming kitchen-remodel rectifies that somewhat.) For the most part, it’s cheaper to shop there. Still, I cringe every time I pull into the parking lot. I think what brings forth my agitation is the simple fact that they work so hard to be deceitful. I’m just not falling for their “ROLLBACK” scheme. It’s a hoax. Recently I watched the price of the off brand white sandwich bread go from 88 cents a loaf to $1.12. A week later it was a dollar, with a big huge “ROLLBACK” tag….
No, Wal-mart, you didn’t roll back, you didn’t even get back to the fair price, you simply cut down on the margin at which you were inflating… But watching that bread reminded me of a conversation with a dear friend a decade ago, She said “if I ever complain that bread’s too expensive, please just shoot me” and with my big mouth, I said “me too. I’m sure we can afford bread! Always…” Given that I just complained about the price of bread, I really hope she doesn’t have a gun, or that she has forgotten that conversation….
Wal-mart used to have its good points. It was once very easy to make returns or exchanges. You didn’t have to have the original package or the receipt, you could just get what you needed to fix the problem and they took care of the rest. (Side note: Have you had issues returning something, and the store wants the “original packaging”? I’m so sure! As if we are going to all have storerooms, where we’ve kept the boxes to every item ever purchased! That makes total sense…)
But in looking for the silver lining on this cloud, I will still say that Wal-mart’s canned goods and household items are typically well priced, reliable products. I got my toaster, and my microwave in Wal-mart, and they work just fine. The best thing I ever got at Wal-mart, hands down, was my husband. Yep, I got him at Wal-mart, too. (Sometimes I have wondered if I could exchange him.)
Long story short, I was 19 and sporting some braided pigtails that day in my Popeye the Sailor-man T-shirt. I was considering giving the college-X a round 2, when my sister suggested I try a replacement model instead. I countered with my belief that I wasn’t capable of finding a boyfriend (typical young girl, riddled with low self-esteem), when she lifted the hood of my car and decided to play “damsel in distress”. Sure enough, the boys came running, and just as I had gotten her point, along with a good belly laugh, we decided to drive away when just one more boy stopped us in our tracks with his offers to rescue us.
And rescue me he did… He managed to get my number, take me on a date, and within a week we lived together. One day I will tell you all about our first date, but for now, let’s leave it at this: I found my baby-daddy in Wal-mart, and so far, he still works!