Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Great Wal-Mart Debate

I have read several posts over the past year regarding some people's complete and utter loathing for Wal-mart. Personally, I like Wal-mart. And, if you are like me, and do 99% of the grocery shopping in your family, you find what ever ways possible to save money in this area.

It seems to me there are several methods for saving money on groceries. First, is the coupon method. That means I have to get the Sunday paper every week, sit down and pour over all the coupons; decide which ones I will use now or later; clip them; save them; and go through the whole lot each time I make my gocery list. It wears me out just thinking about it. You can just use them regularly or wait until your store of choice has double or triple coupons. I have saved a ton doing this in the past. But, I'm not sure we even ate all of the groceries. Some days it was about the great deal I got.

Secondly, you can just base your menu for that week on what is on sale. I was never good at this. I have a rhythm with my menu planning. The meals have to go in a certain order, and we rarely have a dish twice a month. (With a few exceptions.) Again, this just doesn't work for me. Not to mention the fact, that to get the great deal, you have to have one of their stupid cards. Which brings me to 2A. I DISPISE the frequent shopper card.

"I'm sorry, we are in the process of moving. I can't locate my card."
"Oh, that's terrible! Let me just have your phone number."
"Nope, not under that one.
"Try, 940-321-xxxx"
"Nope, not that one either." (We have changed numbers a couple of times in the past 5 years)
"Don't you just have an emergency card you can swipe? I really don't want to pay an extra twelve dollars for my goceries today because you don't have my blood type on file."
"Sorry, we're not allowed to do that anymore."
"Good gravy, just give me a new thing to fill out."(I was nice to her since I know it isn't her policy.)

Did I mention I DISPISE those stupid cards?

The third method is buying in bulk. I don't recommend this unless you have a large family and even larger freezer and extra fridge. I save so much money at Costco and Sam's I'm broke by the end of the trip. I do love those stores though!

The last method, and the best in my opinion, is shop at Wal-mart supercenter. No cards, low prices on almost everything and no cards. You can even use the coupon if that works for you and save a little more. But, the nice thing is that I don't have to. I can go in, pick up all my groceries, a pair of socks at a reasonable price, and not blow my whole grocery budget.

I went to Tom Thumb this morning. I love Tom Thumb for the clean store, nicely kept shelves and fabulous customer service. Everyone today was so nice. Helped me when my bag of frozen veggies popped open and even loaded my goceries into the car. I really contemplated whether or not I would make the switch---until I remembered every item was about .20-.30 more--even if it was on sale.

So, I will stick with my Wal-Mart. Like the saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Or, extra cash in pocket is worth a new outfit, or something fun for the house, or a dinner out, or...


Shelley said...

Amen! We shop at Wal-Mart too. If I had my way they would change their parking lots to be more like Target, but for the savings I will park out in the middle of nowhere.

mommyof4 said...

Same here I love walmart! It is bad at christmas though; you just want to grocery shop and everyone and there mom is buying christmas presents!

Stephanie said...

I love Walmart. I go 2-4 times a week...sometimes more. The savings are unbeatable and the convenience of having EVERYTHING under one roof is a plus for me. I don't know what I'd do without it!

EclecticCraze said...

Yup I like Walmart too...I agree with the shopper cards thing...those are annoying. I have never been able to get into the coupon thing...Walmart for me!!

Addie said...

I agree! I Love Wal-mart and shop there all the time. Personally, I think the "we-hate-wal-mart" thing is more about looking cool than anything else.

Leslie said...

we shop wal-mart. not as much for groceries though. But my Dad, since the Super Wal-mart opened in Athens has conducted his own personal boycot of it. Not my family, just my dad. Anyway, one year my mom made him go because it was around Christmas and she needed some things, so he caved. He came back with ALL THIS STUFF. His justification was that if this was the only time in his life to go he needed to make it worth it. Anyway, I never recall my dad buying clothes for himself, but he did the day he went to wal-mart--LOT OF CLOTHES!

PEZmama said...

Personally, I'm not a big fan of WalMart. I have seen/heard some interesting reports about how WalMart is managed. But, I've also heard that WalMart has enlisted a bunch of independent ecomomists to study their effect on local communities, so I will be interested to see what they come up with.

And I am not a fan of the cards either... why don't they just put stuff on sale and be done with it?

I don't know if you have Meijer where you are, but I could go on and on about how much I have saved there...

Susie said...

Okay, I am definitely not a Walmart shopper. I guess up North the stores are a little nicer than in South Texas. We have one Walmart near my home and it doesn't have groceries, the store is rather dirty and the lines are always long. My shopping time is often my quiet time and I love to have a clean, calm environment. Let me also say I don't have my kids with me when I shop. HEB is definitely my choice. It's really all we have in Corpus. If however a new Super Wal-mart pops up around the corner, I will definitely give it a try.

dana said...

I used to do alot of my grocery shopping at Wally-world because I thought it was cheaper and I thought that I didn't have the time/patience to do the coupon thing. Now I do the Grocery game and all of the hard part is done for me and what time I do spend is very worhtwile as I am spending about 90.00 a week for a family of 6+. I have lots food in my house and I get things free all of the time(and that is everything toiletries-laundry all of it) as opposed to 150.00 or more ,plus all the fast food and last minute trips to pick up a few things that we no longer make. I challenge you to check it out and if you decide it is for you let them know I sent you.

2boysmama said...

It's true you can get some good deals at Wal-Mart, but you still have to be a smart shopper. You can't assume you are geting the cheapest price at Wal-Mart. When a new Wal-Mart opens they do have lower prices in town than anyone else, but as time goes on they raise their prices. Sometimes you wind up paying more at Wal-Mart. Other things that drive me nuts about Wal-Mart: I can never find everything I want, I always find too many other things that are interesting (there go the savings!), going in there with kids is impossible (either they beg for toys or the store is too big to shop before they get whiney), and you can never get checked out (hello, you have 30 registers but only 3 checkout people!) Anyway, I despise shopping at Wal-Mart, but sometimes it is a necessary evil.

Robin said...

Ya know, I totally agree with all of the above. I generally get the same things over and over again so I know exactly how much I am spending or saving. I ALWAYS buys something else, so I guess I don't really save anything as much as get more for my money.