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Saved $16 but feeling a little guilty - Page 6

post #101 of 411
Gee, thanks, BabyMakes4.

I can't tell you how glad I am that someone was paying attention and I'm even more glad that somebody out there agrees with me.
post #102 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
What you said really feels dismissive to the plight of others, why is it that we can care about people half way around the globe but have no compassion for our neighbors?

Shay
tyvm shay

not to mention the familys that rely so much on companys like walmart staying open in order for them to get a paycheck, iregardless of how small, to keep providing the basic needs for their familys.
post #103 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbigailsMomSarah View Post
What would you do, or have you done?

Shopping has become such a hard thing to do!

In general, what I do is this (not necessarily all applies to school supplies):

1. First decide if it's something we need. Is there another widget that we already have which could substitute? If not, move on to #2.

2. Is it something I need to own or could we rent or borrow it? If we could rent or borrow it, we do that instead of purchasing it. If not, move on to #3.

3. Can I find it used at a garage sale, estate sale, flea market, thrift store, etc? If so, we do. If not, move on to #4.

4. Can I find it at a locally owned business? If so, we do. If not, move on to #5.

5. Can I purchase it by mail order? If so, we do. If not, move on to #6.

6. If all of the above aren't options, then we purchase it new from a non-locally owned store.

In the case of school supplies we have a fabulous little hardware/general store within 3 blocks of our house. : They carry darn near about any household item I could ever need. In fact, we shopped there this morning to pick up some cheesecloth and vegetable peelers. Their parking lot was FULL and there were two long lines at the cash registers.

I have absolutely no idea whether or not their employees have great health benefits and don't know if they discriminate based upon race, gender, etc. I know they stock items from countries other than the US. They may not be much more ethical in many regards than the local big box store.

Was my purchase more ethical than driving across town to shop the local Super Wal-Mart. I have no idea whether or not it was based upon the value systems of other families.

I do know that I was at #4 on my list.

I make choices for my family based upon my values and morals.

I wish I had a scorecard for every business in my community, but I don't.

I try to make choices that don't contribute to low standards of living for my neighbors (whether they're next door or across an ocean). I try to make choices that don't contribute to the harm of another person. I try to interact with ethically responsible people. Heck, I'm trying to BE an ethically responsible person.

Ultimately I believe you need to be true to your values and morals.
post #104 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
It sounds, to me, just like most frequent complaint people have about WM: "They don't provide their employees with decent health insurance." What Mom & Pop place offers major medical? We are in a health care CRISIS in this country, and, whatever WM failings may be, it is emphatically not the job of a retail chain to solve our health care problems. We need single payer, government run, universal health care- that is not a job for WM.
I agree, my dh just got a new job at a private family owned chain of casinos, they do not provide decent or afordable healthcare that we can afford on my dh's full time $10.50/hr job. I can't afford $180 a month to come out of his check for a family plan, on top of co-pays on drs visits and prescriptions, not to mention what they DONT cover. Especially when my son and dh both still qualify for medicaid where we dont pay a cent on anything. So I go without healthcare again.
post #105 of 411
Not to mention all those other non-Wal-mart companies that pay so little that families still qualify for medi-Cal or whatever it is called in your state.

When I worked in California, I (and all my single mom co-workers) qualified for food stamps and medical benefits until my first raise. After my medical benefits kicked in, despite my raise, I broke even.

At the time I only had 1 child. My coworkers with several children continued to qualify for free medical benefits for their children and for food stamps. I don't hear anyone complaining about that company, but their employees are receiving the same subsidies as Wal-mart employees. And we had a union.
Granted, not a very good one. :

Wal-Mart is not to blame for the health care crisis, our government is.
post #106 of 411
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post
And while we're at it, how offensive is this title? Just because we try to save money does not mean we have no ethics.

Any other thread that assumed so much or had an insulting tone would be removed, but because it's acceptable to slam people for shopping at Wal-mart, it's OK to call us unethical?



You don't live here, and you don't get to tell me what is and is not ethical in my situation.
I'm sorry you find the title offensive. I didn't mean it to be at all, and I will change it. What I meant was my shopping at Wallmart vs my ethics. I'm not at all saying that people who shop there, for what ever reason, have no ethics. As I pointed out in my original post, I do have other options and I still shopped there because t allowed me to save $16.00. Again, I'm sorry if I offended you.
post #107 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbigailsMomSarah View Post
I'm sorry you find the title offensive. I didn't mean it to be at all, and I will change it. What I meant was my shopping at Wallmart vs my ethics. I'm not at all saying that people who shop there, for what ever reason, have no ethics. As I pointed out in my original post, I do have other options and I still shopped there because t allowed me to save $16.00. Again, I'm sorry if I offended you.
'salright. You really didn't. I just find it funny sometimes that the things I say are

No sweat. I think we are sometimes so afraid of not being PC that we get ridiculous in our efforts not to offend. Your original intent is understood.

On topic-as many of us have pointed out, we can't know 100% of the practices of all of the places we shop, so we just do the best we can. And until I see compelling evidence that Safeway's (or KMart's or Walgreens') made in China junk is somehow superior to Wal-mart's made in China junk, I think the only people who can really say they are boycotting are those who only buy locally made goods.
post #108 of 411
O.K. I've spent the last 45 minutes reading about buying crayons at walmarts. I am socially responsible and I know that Walmart has a very bad reputation for a variety of reasons, however I want to point out my involvement with wallyworld.

In late August 2005, Katrina hit and we are all aware of the devastating days that followed. Hundreds of people from N.O. were bused to Dallas and then on to our little town to be housed at the local fair grounds. These folks were the most needy, tired and traumatized group of people I have ever seen. Several of my students and I collected supplies to be taken to the fairgrounds for the people staying there. They were first taken to the YMCA where they were able to shower for the first time in a week. The problem was that originally only 100 to 200 people were supposed to be there, but the number was over 500. Bedding, clothing, personal hygiene items, underclothing, cleaning supplies, etc. were needed. Once we were there, it was obvious that so much more was needed. We called other students and parents and collected as much in donated items and money that we could. Several parents and I went to the local walmart (the only place that we could find all the items we needed). When the manager found out what were doing (I had a tax exempt certificate from school that he had to o.k.), he donated tons of stuff for us to take to the make-shift shelter for the evacuees. We went back to the fairgrounds with three truckloads of necessities for these folks. Pillows, sheets, air beds, diapers, maxipads, t.p., towels, washcoths, 5-gal coolers, dry Gatorade, notebooks, pencils, crayons, shampoo, soap, etc. etc. etc. Our student organization was just one of many groups that brought items and tried to help, but I absolutely had a new respect for Wal Mart, at least our local Wal Mart. There are grocery stores in my little town and I prefer to buy groceries there most of the time, but there are some things that I have to get at Wal Mart.

Saving money allows me to write $100 check (anonomously) to area families that lost everything they had in a fire. MY sons gave up new shoes so that we could do that. I was proud of their social actions, too. We all make our own choices based on our particular circumstances. We will all have to answer for our choices eventually, so we need not judge each other.
post #109 of 411
I stopped shopping WalMart the week our local news station did a store on prices in the local WalMart stores. Basically they went to 3 stores in our area, one a poor area, a middle class area, and a rich area, and the results stunned me. So much so I had to go check to be sure their price checks were correct. Which Walmart store had the lowest prices? The one in the rich area. The highest prices were in the poor area. Was it just a few cents? No there was a $3 difference on the same size and type of Tide. Milk prices had a difference of a $1. The news purchased 16 items at all three stores and the rich area store total was $41 something. The middle class store was $48 something and the poor area store was $59. Why the price difference? They asked a socialogist why there was a price difference and he said it was because the poorer people don't price shop, travel to shop, and just shop at what is close to them which after Walmart runs out other business its just them to shop at. After the story ran I hit three stores near me which would fall in the same three classes and my results were the same as the news station.

After this I research Walmart company and decided that for my family Walmart was not an option for us to shop. I know this is a decision that only you can make and I don't hold any ill will to anyone that does shop at Walmart. However I could not and would feel guilty if I lowered "my" standards and bought something from that store.
post #110 of 411

Back to the OP

It sounds like she went to WalMart and bought a bunch of loss leaders. WalMart didn't make any money on her transaction. They were counting on her buying a bunch of crap she didn't need while she was there.

Now if WalMart is punishing their suppliers in order to have loss leaders is a different question but I always thought it was like grocery stores. They put the stuff out to entice you in and hope that you'll buy more stuff when you're there.

I know that Staples does the school supply thing too. I went there the other day and spent 42 cents
post #111 of 411
Well, that's a good question.

If all you buy at Wally World are the loss leaders they advertise, are you supporting their business practices, or are you sticking it to the man?

I can see that working if I'm actually disciplined enough to just buy the items they lose money on. All of the shopping is concentrated in one area so once I've made the commute to town everything is within a couple of miles.
post #112 of 411
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post
Well, that's a good question.

If all you buy at Wally World are the loss leaders they advertise, are you supporting their business practices, or are you sticking it to the man?

I can see that working if I'm actually disciplined enough to just buy the items they lose money on. All of the shopping is concentrated in one area so once I've made the commute to town everything is within a couple of miles.

I only bought the items i stated above, and that was after checking adds for other stores back to school sales.

So, they didn't make any additional money off of me.
post #113 of 411
I dislike walmart here (liked it in Idaho, and loved Sam's Club), so I make the choice to go elsewhere, but I do make a conscious decision to go and get certain things. Software, movies, health and beauty, certain food items - items that are mass produced and sold elsewhere, but way cheaper at walmart. I find myself shopping there less and less every month, but the savings for some things cannot be beat when we have the budget that we do.
post #114 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderwahine View Post
tyvm shay

not to mention the familys that rely so much on companys like walmart staying open in order for them to get a paycheck, iregardless of how small, to keep providing the basic needs for their familys.
How about all of us who can spare it spend a few extra cents on things and support stores that pay a living wage and provide benefits? I'd prefer my business support costco hiring an extra employee than Walmart.

Quote:
On topic-as many of us have pointed out, we can't know 100% of the practices of all of the places we shop, so we just do the best we can. And until I see compelling evidence that Safeway's (or KMart's or Walgreens') made in China junk is somehow superior to Wal-mart's made in China junk, I think the only people who can really say they are boycotting are those who only buy locally made goods.
What about the girl who checks you out? Care about her? Care that she just got an abnormal pap and can't do anything about it because she has no health insurance?
post #115 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbigailsMomSarah View Post
I only bought the items i stated above, and that was after checking adds for other stores back to school sales.

So, they didn't make any additional money off of me.
Then I think your conscience should be clear.

It's no different than buying the loss leaders at the grocery stores. My mother has been doing that for years, though she has a lot more stores to choose from than I do.
post #116 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
How about all of us who can spare it spend a few extra cents on things and support stores that pay a living wage and provide benefits? I'd prefer my business support costco hiring an extra employee than Walmart.



What about the girl who checks you out? Care about her? Care that she just got an abnormal pap and can't do anything about it because she has no health insurance?
You're still ignoring the fact that many businesses in the US have lousy or no health insurance. Why is it that Wal Mart is the only one people talk about? I worked in food and beverage for 15 years and never had health insurance unless I had a day job in the corporate world also. I drove a city bus and many of my union coworkers qualified for medi-cal and food stamps. Our family plan for insurance was so much that most of the single moms had their kids on medi-cal so they would have a paycheck left.

The girl in line at Wal Mart was in the same boat as me, so yes, I did care, but it was more commiseration than sympathy.

I've been a paycheck away from being homeless. I've lived with a child in a single rented room hoping my car would start every morning so I could keep getting to work. I've lived on Ramen Noodles. Don't tell me about poor and uninsured, because I've lived it.
post #117 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
How about all of us who can spare it spend a few extra cents on things and support stores that pay a living wage and provide benefits? I'd prefer my business support costco hiring an extra employee than Walmart.



What about the girl who checks you out? Care about her? Care that she just got an abnormal pap and can't do anything about it because she has no health insurance?
providing benifits does not = employees being able to afford them

i could get an abnormal pap tommorow and be screwed because my dh's full time $10.50/hr job doesnt provide affordable sufficent enough health plans that we as a family need, so my son and dh have medicaid and I am uninsured.
post #118 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by klg47 View Post
Are their prices really *that* much lower? It seems like some things are cheaper, but some are more expensive, and it doesn't really make a huge difference.
Depends on what you're getting. Generic Sudafed's $4/box at Walmart, or the equivalent generic is $7-$10 at Target or Walgreens or the local grocery. Same with the generic Claritin. When I need those to function from April-July, price makes a huge difference.

Canning supplies are also less expensive at Walmart - only place that can beat their price is an online store, but then you have to pay shipping (although I typically get my jars from my local grocery for just $.40-$1 more per box).

Found some "local" hot dogs at Walmart on a fluke last time we were there (no preservatives, only made across the state), and they were less than half the price my local grocery charges. So we froze the extra packages for later.

Some things we do buy are cheaper there, so we have a perpetual list going on so when we eventually do make it over to Walmart once a month or two we know exactly what we're getting (and we haven't found it cheaper anywhere else yet). Oh, and WM also carries those foil muffin cups - the paper ones are a disaster in my house, so I can only use the foil ones. WM's the only store in the area that actually has them, so I don't have a choice there.


ETA: Whoa, I hadn't read past the first dozen or so replies. My bad. Feel free to ignore me I suppose.
post #119 of 411
[QUOTE=bigeyes;8755004] I am not going to pay double just to satisfy an urge to feel superior to Walmart shoppers.

QUOTE]

It is so not about this, and if you still think it is, well, you really don't get the gist of this thread at all.

If you have to buy milk at WalMart b/c there is not other alternative, that is really sad. That's what you have to do. But don't be so defensive and say the rest of us are snobs are trying to feel superior or some such nonsense. That is coming from your own issues inside, whatever they may be.
post #120 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbowbird
It is so not about this, and if you still think it is, well, you really don't get the gist of this thread at all.

If you have to buy milk at WalMart b/c there is not other alternative, that is really sad. That's what you have to do. But don't be so defensive and say the rest of us are snobs are trying to feel superior or some such nonsense. That is coming from your own issues inside, whatever they may be.
Have you actually read the whole thread? Because there most certainly is an air of superiority among some posters who choose not to shop at Walmart.
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