Why do some SAHM's insist they have to shop at Walmart? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not trying to be critical. I am just really trying to understand why I keep seeing posts that say in order to continue to be a SAHM they have to shop at Walmart. I have several SAHM friends and I have fairly low incomes with alot of kids and we manage to stay away from WM.

Why do you have to shop somewhere that really does so much damage to children, women and families? I really want to know.

Can't you buy second hand? if money is the issue?

Thanks, Michelle
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#2 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 07:46 PM
 
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Well, I am not a big fan of Walmart though I do shop there sometimes. In my case, it's because Walmart is literally the only store in town. We have a few grocery stores, hardware stores, a drug store, etc. But there is no other place in town to buy clothing, household goods, or the myriad of other things Walmart sells. When I can I try to go into the city (40 minutes away) because I do prefer to shop at other places. But when I need something in a hurry, Walmart is my only choice.

Oops! I just reread the OP and realized that my reasons had nothing to do with financial, so my post is probably completely irrelevant!
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#3 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 07:46 PM
 
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Well, I can give you my situation. In my town, there are 2 grocery stores, a Walmarta few dollar stores a couple pharmacies and a JC Penney.We try to get most of our household good from the grocery store or the dollar stores around here, but if my child needs clothes or aomething along those lines, I will go to Walmart. I don't have enough money to pay for clothes and shoes and such at a department store, and I have not learned how to sew well enough to even attempt to make anything, so for those occassions I will go to Walmart. We try to avoid it is muxh as possible, but it is not entirely avoidable for us.
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#4 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 08:09 PM
 
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I despise WalMart and would never shop there...BUT I'm lucky enough to be able to spend extra time (and money) doing business with locally owned businesses or more "responsible" chains (like Whole Foods, etc.) I see the necessity of shopping there as a part of a continuous cycle of poverty and dependence. Think about it: Wal Marts especially flourish in smaller towns where they are basically the only game in town (I saw this first hand in the late 80's in the tiny Texas town where I went to high school). They undercut prices so that they put other smaller stores out of business. They hire people at just above minumum wage and keep their working hours low enough so that they aren't eligible for Wal Mart's overpriced "benefits". It just seems that they create the kind of situation that makes people dependent upon them. So, although I won't shop there, I can see why other people are put into a situation where they have little other choice.

Allison
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#5 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 08:18 PM
 
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Well, I basically said that on the other thread so I'll answer. It's not so much that I have to shop at Walmart in particular as my need to get the best deal on whatever it is that I'm buying. I buy the meat that is on sale for any given week (at the grocery store, not Walmart), I buy a lot of clothes for my kids at Target because they are much cheaper than dept. stores, etc. Sometimes I will go to Walmart for paper towels, laundry detg., t.p., etc. because it is cheaper, sometimes by a few dollars, than the grocery store. I don't really have the luxery of going to Whole Foods and spending $4 on 6 rolls of organic recycled t.p. or some such nonsense, nor $30 on a onesie made from organic cotton for the baby to be. So for the most part, yes, I can avoid Walmart, but are the other stores I'm shopping at (Target, Ralphs, Old Navy) any better? As far as I know, dept. stores, Gap, other expensive clothing stores and Target do not pay thier workers a living wage or offer great benefits either. I even remember Gap having been accused of having sweatshops overseas a few years back. So where are we supposed to shop? Is it anywhere but Walmart? There is a serious lack of small independantly run stores that are anywhere in the vicinity of reasonably priced in my area. The only clothing stores I can think of that are independantly run in my area are wildly expensive (like a boutique that sells children's p.j's for $80). Um, I don't think so. I will spend a couple extra bucks on say, books or cd's from a local bookstore, but why should I spend $3 extra dollars on laundry detg. from Ralphs as opposed to Walmart when they are both big corporations?
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#6 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 08:20 PM
 
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I am fortunate to have many other options and don't shop at WalMart. However, I know that not everyone has many options. I don't know if you shop there or not, but it is very, very cheap! You can really make your dollar go far and provide for your families needs. I wish that everyone had good options, but I know that the prices, availability, and selection are all a major draw for those that don't have a lot to spend.
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#7 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok Walmart is cheap but what about buying at yard sales and consignment or thrift stores?
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#8 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 08:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourgrtkidos
Ok Walmart is cheap but what about buying at yard sales and consignment or thrift stores?


Never seen TP at a garage sale. : sorry, i had to.

Dh likes one kind of hair gel. I get that at Wal-Mart. (can't find it anywhre else) Other than that, I try super hard to stay out. A locally owned grocery is opening up closer to us and I can't wait. I like to shop at their old location and plan to start at their new location. Less gas!

Clothes are from the 2x a year mega consignment shop or mail order/gift. No children's thrift stores in town, and I haven't bought anything new for me in a year except 1 pair of maternity pants.

Yes, Walmart is super cheap, but you get what you pay for. I need my kids clothes to last through 2 seasons- not happening at Wal-Mart. I do not want to spend all day inside their store trying to get out for the crowds. I am trying to think of something there I can't get elsewhere other than the hair gel.

Our farmer's market is 8-12 on Saturdays during soccer season. : But I don't get my produce from Wal-Mart.
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#9 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 08:47 PM
 
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I bought almost all of the boys baby clothes at consignment shops, but try finding them in size 3T and larger and it's not so easy. The Goodwills that I've looked at have only horribly run down clothes in those sizes since so many people will sell the few nice ones that they have left on ebay. And in my experience, ebay isn't that great a bargain for kids clothes once the shipping has been factored in. Maybe I'm missing something, but I have seen clothes on ebay go for MORE than they would in the store once the shipping is factored in.
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#10 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 09:22 PM
 
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I don't shop at Hell-mart because I LIKE it. I shop at that black hole because I cannot afford to go other places.


Here is an expmle. I need dishwasher soap. I can pay $1.97 at wal-mart for a box of this that will last me almost a month. OR I can pay $3.89 at Safeway Or $2.99 at Freed Meyers OR $3.50 at Thriftway OR $3.99 at Albertsons Or$3.78 at Roths. Now, at these other places and pices I have mentioned..it is the size of box that will only last me two weeks. So then I will have to buy the next larger box..so just add another dollar to every price I have listed.


This price comparison applies to pretty much every product we use. For Example, Cat food at Wal-mart is $7.47 for a 40lb bag. I have four cats, and they would like to have food. If I buy 40lbs of catfood at the feed store I will have to pay about $10.00 for it. If I go to the grocery stores listed..it is always over the price from wal-mart.

Toilet paper costs me about $4.64 for enough to last me 2 months.

I buy disposable diapers as i don't have many cloth AND because my son pees very heavily in his sleep I buy over night type pants for him. Diapers at wal-mart are $5.74 for a weeks worth for Emily, and a package of 17 overnight pull ups for Paul is $9. something..cannot recall the exact change amount. I know if I bought diapers for Emily at Safeway it would be roughly 13.00 for a weeks worth. Think about that .The choice between $5.74, and $13.00 for the same amount of a product. Which one would you choose if your weekly grocery and etc. budget was about $125.00 ??

yes, I realize how awful a place wal-mart is. But right now, that is the way things are. I am glad to know you and your friends do well enough in YOUR area to avoid having to go to Wal-mart. My hat is off to you alll.

However, this is my reality. I have options of other stores and they cost a considerable mount more. I spend every week searching throiugh the sales adds,.carefully making out my list, trying to spread my money out and buy things that we relly must have, and also trying to save about 10 or 15 dollars so we can go to the pool and swim or somewhere else 'fun' for my son. I mean, just because we don't hvae a lot of money does not mean he has to miss out on stuff just so I can join the " I would NEVER shop THERE!" club.

I assume you are not trying to judge, but the way you stated the title relly has me feeling very judged and a little angry. I don't ENJOY going to wal-mart, it makes my stomach hurt being in there and I hate the entire thing..but when I have to keep with in a budget then either we go to wal-mart and have enough stuff to make it through the week or month or what ever, or we go elsewhere and run out of stuff and then we can just go stand in line with the rest of the struggling people and wait for our box of food. Or even more fun, borrow toilet paper from family. Gee, what fun that would be.

I am glad you do not have to enter wal-amrt. i wish I could avoid it, and I try to not go more than twice a month...but please understand that you have to do things at times to save money..even if they are not that great.


And if you don't like me using disposable diapers, then please feel free to send me some large cloth ones..because i have a few but not enough to go past about 3 days and i cannot afford to get any more. Pleaes don't think i enjoy the darn things any more than the next person.

I do what I must to get by and if I could do better I would.


ps. i also do shop at the local goodwill, the kiwanis , the local resale shop, and any yardsale I can get too....but if I cannot find it used, then my next option is wal-mart..sorry. failure once more i guess.
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#11 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 09:31 PM
 
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I do all my shopping at walmart. They have a super WM here and we get all our groceries there. I dont buy clothes there tho, I go to the thrift store or I get theings from my friend.
WM is LOTS cheapre than albertsons. I am not going to go the another store that is more expensive just because so many people say Walmart is evil.

We are very poor now. IN the old days, a couple years ago, I shopped only at henrys, a whole foods market. And if $$ permitted it, I would drive 45 mins to the co-op to get organic foods.
But $$ does not permit it. So in the meantime I shop at WM. call me bad, but I like WM and have no problem going there. I am tired of reading things saying that those of us who do shop at WM are terrible people.
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#12 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 09:54 PM
 
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Not every necessity is available second hand.

Why don't you take those posters' word that this is the best they can do and don't have the options that you have?

And occasionally there's something decent at WM that is Not available elsewhere for more....

"What will you do once you know?"
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#13 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 10:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourgrtkidos
Ok Walmart is cheap but what about buying at yard sales and consignment or thrift stores?
I try to buy at those places, but the reality is, that you can't always find everything you need at a thrift store or yard sale. or at least not the ones around here.
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#14 of 313 Old 07-10-2004, 10:37 PM
 
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FWIW, Albertson's is the store leaving town- maybe they will leave your area next? I can not belive how expensive they are! Surprise surprise they aren't doing well??
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#15 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 12:38 AM
 
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#16 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 01:17 AM
 
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Sometimes I will go to Walmart for paper towels, laundry detg., t.p., etc. because it is cheaper, sometimes by a few dollars, than the grocery store. I don't really have the luxery of going to Whole Foods and spending $4 on 6 rolls of organic recycled t.p. or some such nonsense,
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#17 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 06:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by my~hearts~light
I've read a few of these threads about walmart. I just don't get it. I can see why some boycott it for the NIP issues but I do not accept the other reasons I have heard for this. Wages ect.... No one IS FORCED to work there. Yes, it may be their best option and pay crapola but it's still optional. I've known alot of people who worked at walmart and no one ever complained. I guess I just don't really understnad why I should spend extra money when walmart employees think it's good enough to put up with. If they didn't i'm sure they could find the door. Is there something I missed?

Well said!

As far as shopping thrift/consignment shops and yard sales goes, sometimes it's really hard to find stuff secondhand, and some people just don't *want* to buy secondhand. Also, as a few other people have mentioned, there are some things that you can't buy secondhand, like TP and other household items.

Overall, WalMart has lower prices on just about everything. It's also the type of store that carries just about everything, and that makes it really convenient. It's so much easier to be able to buy everything that you need in one place, rather than having to drive all over town to several places, especially if you're a busy mom.
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#18 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 09:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by my~hearts~light
I've read a few of these threads about walmart. I just don't get it. I can see why some boycott it for the NIP issues but I do not accept the other reasons I have heard for this. Wages ect.... No one IS FORCED to work there. Yes, it may be their best option and pay crapola but it's still optional. I've known alot of people who worked at walmart and no one ever complained. I guess I just don't really understnad why I should spend extra money when walmart employees think it's good enough to put up with. If they didn't i'm sure they could find the door. Is there something I missed?


I've worked for WalMart before, and various places that "treat women and children like crap et c et c" ..
I guess it's just subjective. Not ALL walmart stores are anti-NIP, and not ALL walmart employees will say anything about it. It's the few that do who give the whole a bad name. Our front-end supervisor used to bring in his twins on his days off so their mama (who worked in ladies' clothing) could nurse the munchkins, instead of him giving them bottles.

Yep, the wages are crappy. But you know what? They're not that hot anywhere else, either. VERY FEW companies that provide retail or grocery services pay a living wage - as a matter of fact, the only one that I can think of is Trader Joe's. When your only options are $7.25 an hour or food stamps/TANF/welfare (and that only for a limited time), what choice do you have? Please please please stop blaming the companies for the country's lack of support for its' people.

For some people, it IS the only option. I'd love to shop more at our local natural foods store, but honestly? With 5 kids and another on the way, DH, Me, two dogs, a mortgage, and regular monthly bills.. I can't afford the $7 a lb for flour - or even the $10.99 at the grocery store for 20lbs. I go to walmart, and get 20lbs of GOOD flour .. for $3.99.

Why should I pay $1 a roll for tp, or even $.50 a roll for tp, when I can get *20* rolls for $3.00? We're potty training three kids right now, and we go through a LOT of it.

WalMart as a company was really crappy to me, I'll be the first to admit that. I was fired for a dress code violation in my 90-day trial period. But honestly? That's MY fault. I chose not to remove or cover a piercing with a band-aid because I'm allergic to medical grade adhesive.

*sigh*
I REALLY wish that people would stop letting the minority give a bad name to ALL ..

Being a conscientous consumer is a good thing, but if it comes to boycotting a company or feeding/clothing my kids .. My kids win every time.

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#19 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 11:07 AM
 
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I"m a bit taken aback by the tone of the title of this thread. I think it's pretty crappy to judge someone by where they shop. That being said, I don't feel the need to justify where I shop or why to anyone, but I will answer your question anyway. I do most of my shopping at Sam's. Does that count as Walmart since they are owned by the same people? We are on a very tight budget, I make most of what we eat from bulk items from Sam's. Also get TP there. What I can't buy at Sam's I buy at Walmart because you can't beat the prices. I have 4 grocery stores (Publix, Kroger, another Kroger and Food Lion) all in the same area as the Walmart Super Center. Literally across the street and next door. The prices at Walmart for food are at least half of what I would have to pay at the other stores. Sometimes I have to go to Kroger (slightly cheaper then Publix) and get vegetarian items because unfortunately Walmart doesn't have what I need. I also go to thrift stores, but some of them are really scarry, and it's hard to find any decent toddler clothes. I have bought all of the new baby's clothes at thrift stores. Just yesterday we went to the Goodwill outlet downtown where you can buy clothes for $1.49 per pound. I walked out with 12 nice outfits for the baby for $1.60! Some things I just don't like to buy used. Like pots and pans, dishes, toys. So I go to Walmart, where my limited dollars go farther.
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#20 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 12:44 PM
 
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Well, I am a SAHM, not poor by any means and enjoy the whole Walmart experience so much that we will actually travel across the border to Germany just for that. I will also occasionally go to thrift stores for clothing, as DD is growing like a weed, so nothing fits for long (I also love searching consignment shops and ebay for "gently used" designer clothing). I don't think that it is a matter of money as much as a matter of being sensible with your money. I have to agree with some of the others. No one is forced to work there, and I love to get the most for my money.

Just my 2 cents.
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#21 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 01:27 PM
 
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When I lived in cities/suburbs I rarely, if ever, shopped at WalMart. I went to Trader Joes for most of my food, and then farmers markets and chain grocer for the rest. Costco for TP and other bulk buying. Thrift and consignment stores for clothes. I had access to all these places, and our money situation was decent.

Now we live in rural Arizona. Like other posters to this thread, WalMart is the only game in town. There aren't any family owned shops or grocers here. There are "botique" clothing stores, but they are very expensive. We are in a very poor county, and the thrift stores here are a joke- they hardly have anything! Our wal-mart is a super walmart and the grocery prices are way less than my other choices- Basha's or Safeway.

Walmart is a crappy company. But Safeway isn't much better- they treat their employees pretty bad as well (at least the one here). I don't see why spending more at Safeway is better somehow.

Our walmart is NIP friendly- I see women nursing there all the time. Actually, our walmart is the friendliest, most well-run wal mart I've ever been to. Not sure why- if it's management or what, but it is.

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#22 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 01:29 PM
 
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While questioning the judgmentalness of the whole anti-WM at any level of use concept, I have to say I can't agree with the "no one is forced to work there" concept either.

When your unemployment's about to run out and no one is hiring, you just may be Forced to work somewhere that you would not Choose to work IF YOU HAD THE OPTION. DH's working at the place he works falls into that "take this job or risk having nothing to live on" catagory, and while it's a far cry from a Walmart job (lab with decent pay), he did not have a choice at the time if we were going to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table.

Once Wallie world has succeeded in running the competition out of a town, or if they are the only such store in a rural area in the first place (parts of WV fall into this catagory), then they may well be the ONLY job opportunity available. I don't know about you all, but I don't call that a CHOICE.

ETA: I wish we had a Costco within reasonable driving distance. I'd drop Sam's Club for that in a heartbeat. Sunday Morning did a story on CEO pay this morning and Costco has a policy of the CEO getting only 10 times what the highest paid Floor Personel gets paid. That equates to $350,000/year. Compare that to the millions CEO "stars" are getting at other companies that aren't doing nearly so well! They pay their employees more than the WM's and such too. Unfortunately, the closest one to us would be just about a half tank trip, even with our little cars.

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#24 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 02:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by grisandole
Now we live in rural Arizona. Like other posters to this thread, WalMart is the only game in town. There aren't any family owned shops or grocers here. There are "botique" clothing stores, but they are very expensive. We are in a very poor county, and the thrift stores here are a joke- they hardly have anything! Our wal-mart is a super walmart and the grocery prices are way less than my other choices- Basha's or Safeway.

Walmart is a crappy company. But Safeway isn't much better- they treat their employees pretty bad as well (at least the one here). I don't see why spending more at Safeway is better somehow.
Ditto on the small town stuff.

Over the last year, our consumption of paper products has dramatically reduced, so we use a package or two of TP per month (dd and ds use cloth TP and I use cloth TP when I don't grab paper TP out of habit, dh uses paper TP) and a roll of paper towels for greasy messes per month.

I do shop at walmart occassionally, but don't see them much, if any, more evil than Target, Kmart etc. I prefer Target for aesthetic reasons, but Target is over a 30 minute drive away.

And another example, our contact disinfectant is $8 at walmart and over $10 at CVS Pharmacy. IMO, CVS isn't locally owned either so why should I pay $2 more just to avoid shopping at walmart? They don't sell it at my health food store, although I could ask the locally owned pharmacy to carry it, although I don't know if they would or not (I'll have to ask though! ). See, I'm continually finding new ways to do things!

I find for me, it's another one of those things that takes time... and I'm often fortunate enough that MIL and my mom occassionally buy made in USA shirts for the kids from places like Cracker Barrel and I can find pretty good deals on quality clothes at Kohl's when they have those clearance sales. There is a good children's second hand store 30 minutes away, but I don't make it there very often unfortunately (I usually end up spending an 8 hour day away running errands in the city as it is ).

I get better all the time... but still shop at walmart once a month or so. I'm doing my best and I think making the effort is what counts. Maybe someday the moms who have to shop at wm for financial reasons will be able to make choices for reasons other than financial necessity. Some weeks we don't get to buy Organic because our grocery budget is tighter than normal. Other weeks we do okay and I buy the Organic that is available.
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#25 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 02:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AmandasMom
I"m a bit taken aback by the tone of the title of this thread. I think it's pretty crappy to judge someone by where they shop. That being said, I don't feel the need to justify where I shop or why to anyone, but I will answer your question anyway. Walmart, where my limited dollars go farther.
ITA

I don't feel I'm bad b/c we go to place like this!
Why isn't Kmart mentioned at all.
Their just as bad !
My adult DD worked both places & likes Walmart better even tho' the pay was a tad lower.
BTW- I've never had any trouble NIP in either palce -in fact, both place shave been NIP friendly !

I buy most of my babes clothes off EBAY.

Me & DH hug2.gif , adult DD lips.gif & 7 yo DS guitar.gif . 2 GSDs, 6 rescue kitties, 4 birds & a gerbil.
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#26 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 03:19 PM
 
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I do not boycott WalMart because of their NIP problems.

There are lists and lists of other reasons. Personally, I see big differences between Wal-Mart and their competitors. And, sometimes, going after the "big guy" is the best way (just like w/Nestle).

JMO,
Kay

 

 

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#27 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 03:23 PM
 
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Like I said It might not be the best choice or one that you want to make but all the same it's a choice. If that's the only job in town, that sucks but then again no one is forcing you to live there. ... They all choose to work there like it or not. Just my opinion.
And if a family is that hard up for funds, how pray tell will they be able to afford to move?

Life is full of choices, I agree, but sometimes the choices you are suggesting are Not available. I've been lucky in my life to have had choices, including supporting DH in his decision to take the job he's got rather than gambling on something better coming along, including knowing we could get help(and have) from my parents, but I do not assume that everyone has those same choices or resources available.

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#28 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 05:10 PM
 
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#29 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 05:22 PM
 
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BTW, if you were that hard up per say, wht would you do if walmart wasn't hiring?
I don't know what we'd do, not having ever been in such a position. I suspect the people that poor in areas where WM is the only merchant are the ones on welfare/TANF shopping there to stretch a buck. What they do after that? go hungry, it happens in this country.

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#30 of 313 Old 07-11-2004, 05:45 PM
 
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There is ‘choice’ then there’s ‘choice’, YK? You must know.

That said, I do think it’s a good idea to raise consciousness about bad businesses. I’ve shopped at Wal-Mart only once in my life but there are still things that I could do better with as far as supporting positive businesses.

So, I think this is about both things ~ understanding the circumstances, which persuade a person to shop at Wal-Mart AND being conscious about their policies.

BTW, I don't go for the "no one is forced to work there" logic either. I don't think the majority of sweatshop workers are literally forced to work either.

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