Becoming Debt Free in 2009

January 5, 2009

Wal-Mart worth the cost?

Filed under: Shopping — ambercouric @ 10:37 am
Tags: ,

I know that most people stand on one side or the other of the Wal-Mart good/bad fence.  I decided to download the movie that Deb of  The Writer Bee  mentioned in a previous post.

After watching the movie, I started thinking about all the things I buy that I could get from Wal-Mart but usually get from other stores. Items that aren’t grocery items. My son’s contacts are purchased from a locally owned optometrist office, our prescriptions are purchased from a locally owned pharmacy, dog toys, food and treats are purchased from a local dog/cat specialty store and plants from a local nursery.

I also talked to a couple of people who have either worked for Wal-Mart or work there now. I asked specific questions concerning information that was on the video. I was surprised by the answers. Unfortunately, most of the answers I got mirrored what I saw on the video.

But in looking at the big picture, I believe that saving money is not worth the price of my community. I also believe that I need to go further in determining where I want my shopping dollars to go. Just because another store doesn’t get the bad publicity that Wal-Mart has received doesn’t mean that it is community friendly.

I will be researching the stores that we shop to determine which ones are really community friendly.

One place that I know to be one of the most community friendly businesses in my area is Chic-Fil-A. They consistently support the arts, the school system, the animal shelter, and several other causes.

So for me, shopping Wal-Mart is not worth the cost.

Is there a particular business that you find to be community oriented?



  1. I for one am anti-WalMart. I do not shop there, nor have I ever. My boyfriend is the same way (he’s even more anti-WM than I am!). Their censorship practices, their homophobic, very right-wing christian policies, their destruction of the local environments and small community-run businesses are all part of the reasons why. Then you read about lawsuits by their employees!

    I have read posts by other frugal shoppers about how much they save at Wal-Mart. However, it isn’t worth it to me. Have to vote with my dollars on this one.

    I haven’t seen that video – I’m going to have to check it out. Kudos for you, and keep strong. Somethings aren’t worth the bargain price (you get what you pay for).

    Comment by debtmaven — January 5, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

  2. I won’t shop at Walmart just to save a few bucks, I believe they harm our communities and economy. Cheaper is not always better, especially when it comes at the expense of our neighbor’s jobs. I remember listening to a radio interview with a man who owned a small fan manufacturing company. The company had been making fans in the US for decades and was a walmart supplier. Walmart told him he had to sell the fans for $20 or lose the contract. He couldn’t possibly make fans in this country for that little so he moved the factory to China, it was that or lose the family business. His 200 employees were out of a job.

    Comment by Miss M — January 5, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

  3. I don’t go because it’s always a mess. It makes me stressed out!

    Comment by Movingonup! — January 5, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

  4. Walmart has its problems, and you are right to vote with your dollars. It is also good to look at all sides of an issue, and it sounds like you did good to actually talk to people that work(ed) there. They also do some good however, and this article on their response to Katrina in Louisiana is an example:

    Is that enough to offset the other? I don’t know, but I am grateful for it. I lived in N.O. three years, and know a lot of people that suffered and were helped by Walmart (and many others).

    I find it ironic in of all places, New Orleans was helped out by a company that is considered anti-community when the community of New Orleans was unable to help itself in part because of all of the political corruption, infighting, and greed that it is so known for.

    Anyway, my two cents. For the record, I rarely shop there.

    Comment by Over the Cubicle Wall — January 5, 2009 @ 6:14 pm

  5. We dont shop at Walmart. Is it cheaper well yes, but at what cost. I find that I pay more at local shops but its worth it to me and my husband…he is a staunch anti walmart person. Its not just that they buy there products overseas its what they have done to business and how they treat there employees.

    just our opinion though

    Comment by kelly — January 5, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

  6. Good luck with the research. I’m interested in what you find out.

    Comment by rtc — January 5, 2009 @ 10:02 pm

  7. I don’t generally shop at Wal Mart, either. I saw the documentary, too, and it freaked me out! They do some sketchy, sketchy things. For what it’s worth, though, I have a good friend who works PT at Target and she says it’s the same there. She says they just hide it better. Food for thought.

    Comment by Ash — January 5, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

  8. Our town has successfully held Walmart off so far. I’m not pro or con Walmart and haven’t seen the video. Having said that, once Walmart is in your town, aren’t those are local people who work there and local people who are hurt by any sort of boycott? That’s such a tough call and I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it yet.

    Comment by SimplyForties — January 5, 2009 @ 11:29 pm

  9. On another note…why don’t you get your contacts online? I get mine from VisionDirect or CoastalContacts and they are the same lenses but for cheaper than at the doctor…even after shipping costs.

    Comment by lulugal11 — January 6, 2009 @ 10:53 am

  10. My husband works for Wal-Mart (as did I years ago) and they take great care of us and our community. They give A LOT of money to local charities (especially food banks)and community organizations. Our insurance premiums are lower than anyone else I know and they offer a lot of opportunities for their employees to better themselves. Now, I don’t agree with everything they choose to do but they are definitely not the evil company that so many think. Just thought I’d put my two cents in….

    Comment by Melani — January 11, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

  11. I would recommend reading the book ‘Big Box Swindle’ – I’m not sure of the author. It explains about the practices of many big box stores – both good and bad. If only half of what is written about in that book is true it’s pretty depressing.

    I find that when I shop locally the majority of the businesses go above and beyond what they need to and also really know their products. In the larger stores it can be hard to find someone to help and those you find are not always happy to help.

    Comment by jc — February 3, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

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