As I sit here watching Hellraiser and drinking some yummy blood orange tea, I have been reflecting on a recent trip to Wal-Mart. Most people who know me, know I am not a Wal-Mart fan. So, I don't shop there, but I had a small gift card that I wanted to use and needed a few items.
I get the impression that Wal-Mart is trying to remake itself into a department store, like a Sears or Boscov's. They also cut down their crafts section and not longer sell cut fabric. I am very disappointed, as I used to get great clearance items and fabric.
I also found that they are not really cheap. Many items can be found cheaper elsewhere on sale or with a coupon. For example, I needed steak. The cheapest cut of beef they had was 3.88 per pound. It was a decent cut, well-marbled, but not too fatty. But still, I get better deals at Shoprite. I bought a 2 lb cut and got 9 cuts out of it. Another example, generic Zyrtec. They sell it for 9.88 for 14 pills. I can get it at Family Dollar for 5.00.
Today is my first day of the Compact, and I did pretty well. I just bought the meds and food I needed. I was looking around and recognised how nothing in a store is placed randomly. From the floor plans to the lighting to the end caps, it's all planned to get people to spend as much as possible.
So, three lessons here1. Bring a list and only go to those parts of the store. Don't walk around - that's what the retailer hopes you will do. They hope that their sale signs and endcaps will entice you to make impulse buys for items you don't need. Also, be careful at the register - the candy and magazines are there for that reason too.
2. Shop around (in reason). One retailer might have great deals on veggies, and another on meat. If they are local, go to each store. If it's a long drive, it may be better to just buy everything at one place (think about the cost of gas). The retailer hopes you won't go to another store though, so you will pay the higher price for veggies, even while getting a great deal on meat. They make up the difference there.
3. Go shopping on off-times as much as possible. It makes for a less crowded, less frustrating experience.