The Crazy Suburban Mom: Walmart, really?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Walmart, really?

 This is kind of a long post and if you don't want to read it, the basic thing I want to know is...

Is going to Walmart really a way to save money?

Retro Tuesday got away from me this morning.  I needed to bring Pandora in so they could look up her dress and see what in the world is wrong with her air conditioning.  Turned it on over the week-end and instead of getting cold air I got something more like hot nose air.  

What this is about though is, I've seen those Walmart commercials where they say you will save money if you shop there but I just thought they were saying that.  I don't live especially near one so I never investigated the possibility that the saving money at Walmart thing was fact not fiction.

After dropping off Pandora I passed a Walmart on my way home and stopped.  I needed to stop on the way home because I was out of deodorant.  Not low, out. Yesterday, actually.  I even printed a coupon for Dove Ultimate before I left because deodorant now costs something like a hundred dollars a pound, have you noticed that?  I'm not even kidding.  Do the math.

So I found a $2 off coupon for the Dove stuff and when I saw the Walmart on my way home I figured, what the heck, and went in.  First thing I saw in the store was the twin to the half-gallon plastic bottle I got for iced tea about two weeks ago. And it was marked $1.  I paid more than twice that.  Than I moved onto the deodorant aisle trying not to look at anything else because I was already aggregated about the tea bottle thing.

The regular deodorants were at least a dollar less and the clinical strength deodorants (for all of us super soakers and yes, I usually buy them which is why I know they cost $100 a pound.  I suppose they cost so much 'cause they have to work so hard. Although that's still ridiculous.) were at least two dollars less.  I have to be honest, I was floored. 

I took my computer printed coupon up to the cashier not knowing if they'd take it, some stores don't (I mean, come on, A&P - Times are tough could you please take them?) and she did.

This deodorant...


...cost me $1.71

I think the last time deodorant cost me that I was wearing a gym suit.  Or I was smoking in a girl's bathroom instead of wearing one.

I got what I went in for and didn't buy anything else, didn't even look but what I want to know from everyone is...  Is this the way it is?

Are the standard prices really lower? And should I be making a trip that's out of my way (although not crazy out of my way) to shop at Walmart?

Because based on my ten minute trip for that one thing it sure seems like it.

Is going to Walmart really a way to save money?

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16 Comments: 5/4/10, 12:54 PM  

Oh you're gonna get a lot of Walmart haters commenting on this post. LOL

Walmart is notorious for mistreating their employees.

However, I worked their part time a few years ago to make some extra cash and they treated me fine.

But I'm not illegal and I speak English (first language!! LOL)

But, they are always like that. Ever since Sam (founder) had the 5 and dime. They promised to buy in bulk so they got cheap rates.

So yeah, until I'm filthy rich? Walmart is always my first stop on the list. :) 5/4/10, 12:54 PM  

there* not their... oy. lol

The Crazy Suburban Mom 5/4/10, 1:06 PM  

Tina, Seriously, like I'd notice the difference between their and there? LOL


Babes Mami 5/4/10, 1:18 PM  

I agree with Tina, there is a bad rep with employee treatment. I used to try to avoid WalMart bc they are 'big box' and put everybody out of business blah blah blah but you will save money. I can get stuff cheaper there then with coupons at the grocery store, not everything but lots of stuff. WalMart is such a big corp that they are able to negotiate with companies and say that they want to pay X price and most places will bc they are huge!

Also, I recently saw something where WalMart knows about the bad rep they get and they are taking steps to become greener and better.

I live 2-4 blocks from BiLo, Publix, WalMart and Whole Foods so I'm able to check everyone out. Plus the WM near us is smaller, it isn't a 'super' and they seem a little more eco concious so maybe they really are trying.

I'm rambling. But YES they will save you money an yes you are going to get a lot of WM hater comments lol.

Vonlipi 5/4/10, 1:50 PM  

I go there about once a year. and I always feel guilty about it. Here in Quebec employees from a WM wanted to bring the union in and WM decided to close the store instead.
At one point the only plus size clothes I liked were from their brand George, but they shrunk the sizes or I gained more weight. I haven't been since I lost some weight.
The customers are really rude and egocentric in Vaudreuil so sometimes I'd rather pay 10cents more for a can of cat food than have to face those hicks with bad attitude.

Petula 5/4/10, 1:54 PM  

I often find great deals at Walmart and with coupons it's extra great. Sometimes I notice that things are a little less expensive at Kroger than Walmart... So IDK.

Brenda 5/4/10, 6:26 PM  

I have found, by comparing prices with several grocery stores, that you can save a lot of money by shopping at Walmart. When I switched from Albertson's to Walmart, I saved at least $40 every week. Now, I do most of my shopping there, and then I shop at 5 other stores based on their weekly store circulars(because some of those sales prices beat Walmart). If you want to know more, you can see my blog posts about my weekly shopping trips.

The Crazy Suburban Mom 5/4/10, 6:36 PM  

I'm reading everyone! I'm taking notes on all this too. Please leave me any and all comments on saving money and shopping that you can think of - and let me know about walmart savings too. So far seems to be what most people find


J Sedai 5/4/10, 10:00 PM  

it saved me money sometimes, but I found it hard to find some of the things I think of as regular items for my house and had to make trips to other stores to get them (like some of my "ethnic ingredients") and sometimes the meat was not the freshest looking, so I had to figure out when the best days to go were. same with the produce. but that can be at most grocery stores I've found.

@eloh 5/4/10, 10:52 PM  

I hate Wally World just for the fact that they put everyone else out of business.... I think it is akin to cutting off my nose to spite my face.

I shop there... I have too due to logistics. (And) I always "see" something I just have to have for the "price".

Something wierd happened about a month ago.... they had some decent crap bookcases for $15.00.... okay...

I figured that two of them would solve my daughters book mess... a wooden one would cost about 100.00 and if I were to make another one... the trim and paint would run 30.00... plus I can no longer do any heavy work...

The fine print said they were made in Canada... we bought two. I put one together and it wasn't that bad... I opened the second "Identical Box" and was met with a crushed and crumbly mess... the box was NOT damaged... then we noticed the fine print... made in China... we looked at the first box and sure enough... made in Canada.

We took the Chinese crap back and got another box marked "made in Canada". There were also boxes marked "Made in USA".

Go figure.

My energy levels have been pretty low... I want to send an e-mail and tell you all about the box that arrived the end of April... I got it for my birthday... opened it and ran my fingers through all the buttoney goodness whilst still in the Post Office parking lot.

Ruth 5/5/10, 3:02 AM  

90% of Wal Mart crap is made in China...IIRC Sam Walton said when he opened the place that it would always be 100% Made In America. Sad how things go...WM is OK for some things but there are others I just WILL NOT buy there. My mother bought a bucket there...broke the next day. We bought my daughter a bike there....broke less than a year later while she was riding it (she wasn't hurt, thank goodness). I bought some shower gel gave my son a rash, that's never happened with any personal care products I've bought elsewhere.

The reason why WM is so cheap is because they specify in their vendor contracts that the products be made as cheaply as possible, i.e. usually with inferior ingredients or manufacturing practices. Some vendors refuse to sell their products at WM because of this.

So yes, you save on single purchases...but you end up repurchasing things that wear out sooner than they're supposed to, so do you really save in the long run? I doubt it.

Lisa C. 5/5/10, 7:13 AM  

I'm with Ruth on that one... lol.. our WM has good prices too, but since EVERYTHING is within reasonable distance... everyone else is competing... not to mention double and triple coupons which WM does NOT do.. They other biggie for us is we're a HUGE military town, and the commissary usually gives everyone a run for their money here too..

My big issue with WM is I have NO discipline.. may go in for milk, but come out with a cart full.. /sigh/ and because my DH is always deployed and I have twin toddlers, the one stop shopping IS convenient.. soooo you pick your battles, cause the demons are ALWAYS around.. hahahaha

Mom Mayhem says: 5/5/10, 11:05 AM  

Yep Wal-Mart will generally help save you money! There was even a comparison thing on our news here awhile back that proved that :)
We do a lot of our shopping there- I'm a sucker for convenience and low prices. And like that other commenter said they are even making steps to be greener-etc. So, I don't think it's all that bad especially for those that do NEED to save $ -Pluses and minues to everything -It always surprises me how judgemental people can get about these kind of things though-Ugh.

Tina 5/5/10, 3:06 PM  

Hello! First all, I am not a Walmart "hater", however, you may think so after you read this. LOL

I too used to think Walmart was the best place to shop for the lowest prices, and for some people, it is. HOWEVER, if you are one willing to use coupons and read a sales flyer, you will find out that Walmart is actually NOT the best place to shop if you are willing to clip and USE coupons the "extreme" way.

If you simply want to be able to go somewhere, no coupons in hand and get low prices, then Walmart is your place for every day shopping.

However, if you shop grocery stores that perhaps will DOUBLE coupons, and then you use those coupons on items when they are on sale at your local grocery store or drug store, you can usually ALWAYS beat a regular walmart price.

For instance, say you want a bag of chips and they costs $3.99 at Walmart. You have a $1.00 off coupon so you go to Walmart and get them for $2.99. HOWEVER, if your local grocery store has them on sale for "Buy One, Get One" then that $3.99 bag of chips will be on sale for $1.99 and then you use your $1.00 off coupon and you only pay 99 cents!!! Clearly - better deal at your grocery store! Hope that helps! I can go on and on with how sale shopping with matching coupons will save you money everytime if you are willing to clip and USE those coupons! 5/5/10, 3:11 PM  

I think my head just exploded. lolol

jennifromtheblock,  5/19/10, 7:32 PM  

As a former Wal-Mart home office employee who had vendors signing contracts, we DID NOT specify that products be made as cheaply as possible. Where did this information come from??? It makes me laugh.

Also, if you have to do a buy one-get one PLUS a $1.00 off coupon to get a better deal than Wal-Mart, the store has raised the price so you have to wait to buy things until there is a coupon.

Also, if you take a sale bill from another store, wal-mart will match the price.
I shop other places, sams...etc...but Wal-Mart is always my first stop.

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