Saturday, February 20, 2010

Live better? Save money? Better comparison shop

Yes, I know this rant will have limited appeal. Some communities in the United States have been successful at keeping Wal-Mart out of their towns, and certainly any furr-ners who have happened to wander here won’t be heading out to Wally World either.

It was an amazing thing for us rural folks when Wal-Mart arrived in the town down the road some years ago, because suddenly we had access to a major store with everything we could possibly want or need at a reasonable price. This was a big deal. A Very Big Deal. The nearest comparable store – K-Mart, or Target, or Monkey Wards (oops, sorry, Montgomery Wards), or Sears, or JC Penny, or... was 90 miles away. Now we only had to drive 25 miles or 16 miles, depending on which town we wanted to drive to. Sam Walton, whose vision Wal-mart was, had a brilliant idea, and we loved shopping at his stores.

Then Wal-Mart became new and improved, and the one that was 25 miles away transformed into a  SuperCenter with food. And this was even better. Wonderful produce and an incredible variety of food items that none of the markets in town carried.

Then Sam Walton went the way of all flesh and was buried, and Wal-Mart began to change. It has become less and less fun to shop at Wal-Mart.

In the meantime, finally, other companies wised up that money could be made in rural towns, within the last 5 years or so, a Dollar General Stores was built in our town. And we have discovered that stuff at the Dollar General Store is often cheaper than it is at Wal-Mart.

On our last shopping trip to Wal-Mart, we left the store without getting 6 items on our list because the store no longer carries them or else the shelf was empty. An empty shelf at Wal-Mart! Sam Walton would be spinning in his grave if that were possible. We went looking for sauerkraut. We buy most of our canned goods by the case at Aldi, but sauerkraut is a seasonal item and is not available at Aldi during the winter. Apparently not at Wal-Mart either. We found one variety of sauerkraut on the shelf – and it wasn’t the generic Wal-Mart brand. It was 92 cents!! For a can of Sauerkraut!!! We didn’t buy any. The next day at the Dollar General Store, he found sauerkraut for 65 cents.

People who believe the advertisements and automatically assume that things are cheaper at Wal-Mart are assuming wrong.

I guess this is my second cranky post in a row. I am not planning to make this a trend; just need to let off a little steam.


Paula said...

Sounds like our town, our Wal*Mart, our Dollar stores.

Cloudia said...


Aloha, Friend

Comfort Spiral