Walmart. There, I said it.
Can I come right out and say that I really, really hate to go to Walmart? I know some people love it - practically live there. They love the one-stop shopping, lower prices, overall convenience. I know this. I have no deep-seated philosophical, moral, or political convictions against going there. I know they buy so much from China (as do so many other retailers, though), that they don't pay their employees well (but that level of retail really doesn't pay well), and there is just something creepy about such a huge corporation. I read a book a year or two ago The Walmart Effect, which detailed how Walmart has affected different economies, even the environment of areas that provide their goods. It is incredible how far-reaching it is.
Still, I am shallow enough that while this lingers in the back of my mind, it is not enough to keep me away.
I don't know what has created this repulsion that I feel - maybe it is the lighting? Or having to walk 1/2 mile from the toothpaste to the toilet paper? Or that if I take the kids in with me I am going to end up standing in the Lego aisle telling them I want to leave NOW and no, you are NOT going to spend $12 for a set you can put together in 5 minutes and I don't care if you DID bring your own money.
Can I show how really shallow I am by saying that while I know I am called to love everyone, I really have a hard time with the people who are wearing their PAJAMAS and slippers in Walmart. There, now you know!
But today, I am faced with a choice. I have a church fellowship tonight, a family Christmas tomorrow, and a homeschool mom Christmas party on Monday. All of these events involve me bringing finger foods.
I have just a few things I need to make my life complete. I need:
black and color printer cartridges, so that I can print up the Christmas cards
envelopes for the Christmas cards
some sort of decorative containers for Christmas cookies
disposable bread pans for pumpkin bread and pound cake
some gift cards
a couple craft things for projects that I think I will have time to wrap up this weekend
some art supplies to round out gifts to our nieces
several small, but necessary, ingredients for the preconceived "finger food" list I have prepared
Now, I could go to Metro Office Suppy - a locally-owned store - for the printer cartridges and envelopes, and probably even the paper/art supplies. Buying those items there, instead of Walmart, could reasonably cost me $10-15 more. Walmart really has them on printer cartridges, at least in my limited experience.
I could then head over to Schnucks, my very favorite grocery store, to pick up the groceries I need, and the disposable pans, and probably find something to put the cookies in. I can get the gift cards there, too. This is going to cost me about $10 more, by my estimate.
Still left with craft items, I could always try Joann's and probably find what I need, though still at a higher price. And I really don't like going in there, either. There are never enough cashiers and they give me a hard time about the educator discount. If I can't find the art supplies at Metro (an iffy proposition) I should be able to get them at Joanns, but they will be at a premium. Not certain of the price difference, but I know that in the past when I have bought things there and then compared them, they were definitely higher than Walmart.
Some of these items (like the gift bags) could also be purchased at Dollar Tree.
There is always a chance Walmart won't have something I need (I am thinking the right size envelopes could be problematic) and that I will still have to go someplace else. But, it is a pretty slim chance.
So, therein lies my dilemma. I will also note that we are expecting a HIGH of 28 degrees Fahrenheit today, so I am going to be driving around and hopping in and out of a cold car. And I also only have about 2 hours to do this in, as I am dropping the boys off at my mom's house and don't expect her to make them lunch today. Extra time, extra gas, extra money.....all to buy products that are manufactured overseas, no matter if I purchase them from Walmart or Metro.
But there probably won't be anyone in their pajamas in Metro Office Supply.....