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#1 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Time to revoke my bleeding heart liberal card. I went to a Wal-Mart for the first time Sunday. : I know, I know, there is a special place in hell for me, right next to the Democrats in Florida who didn't bother to go out and vote in the 2000 election.

This seems a good place to make with the excuses. Many of you know my family is one our tour of the USA for a few months. Less than three weeks into the trip and we hit a town with major Blue Laws. There was nothing open in the entire town except a mexican restaurant (which couldn't serve us a margarita, but that's a whole 'nother thread) and Wal-Mart.

I've never been to a Wal-Mart before, but now that I have I can see why and how they hook poeple in. This Wal-Mart in Southern Idaho was the Hummer SUV of stores. It was the size of Delaware, and it provided any service you could imagine, photo portrait studio, pharmacy, auto repair, pharmacy, eye exams, it had a fast food restaurant inside, a bank, a whole supermarket and then all the stuff I'd expect to find at a discount store. I walked through the craft section, big mistake, they really do have very low prices on many scrapbooking things I would normally have to wait for a 40% off coupon from Micheal's to get.

Still when we got back to the hotel, I felt the need to shower.
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#2 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 12:03 PM
 
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You went, you saw, now don't go back.
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#3 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 12:04 PM
 
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ok,.. heres the real test... Did you buy anything? truth or dare :LOL
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#4 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh man, that's the most embarassing part. : We went in for diaper wipes, and dice. I also had in my mind I needed to get a package of thank you cards, so I'll pretend that's what I was shopping for. But really the cards could have waited. We came out with...

-Diaper wipes
-Oranges
-Yatzee, Texas Holdem Edition, which has the dice DH needed.
-Two packages of stickers for scrapbooking
-A glass for DH to have a beer in while we are at a hotel or something.
-A package of Thank You notes.

I was soo soo bad.
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#5 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 12:18 PM
 
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Well, if it makes you feel better I was there 2 days ago :

It seems they are the only place open when I have time to shop. WHy is that?? I think that is how they get you. Plus, with all the stuff inside they want to make it so you don't have to leave.

I mean, getting your serviced can be a drain on time if you have to wait. But is it a drain on time if you can do your grocery shopping, gift buying, and get a family portrait??

Yeah, they are good at sucking...you in...and just generally...

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#6 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 12:20 PM
 
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yes to the low prices, yes to having everything but

NO to their inferior quality goods & service. Lack of actual attachment to any (incl ours) community:
http://www.willthomas.net/Convergence/Weekly/China.htm

& heaven help me when in one I've always become overwhelmed by the atonal noise factor, the lighting & the sheer mountain climber mindset needed to get a bottle of shampoo (hint: don't look near the soap in that grocery section;~) AND one other item. It's like a rat research maze.

Quote:
“China is an important partner in Wal-Mart’s success”, said Scott. Since opening its first store in Shenzhen in 1996, Wal-Mart has had a fast growing retail presence in China. Additionally, for more than 20 years China has provided quality products to Wal-Mart stores around the world. Wal-Mart now has 40 stores in 20 cities around China and employs more than 20,000 associates. Last year Wal-Mart sourced US$15 billion in Chinese merchandise on direct and indirect basis for its 5,500 stores in 10 countries. China’s rapidly growing economy continues to create unprecedented opportunities for retail corporations like Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart hopes to contribute to China’s economic development. The US$ 1 million donation for establishing China Retail Research Center is an example of Wal-Mart’s long term commitment to China.
Nothing against the Chinese, but what about economic growth here? what about quality goods made here? I'd rather spend the extra buck or 5.

May be off-topic, but
I once used my husband's debit card instead of my own & was asked to wait for a supervisor to come over.
"It's for your own protection" said the woman at the counter. Talk about the wrong thing to say to me.

I'm so sick of "for my own protection" rules & fear tactics in America.

I asked if she'd already charged me. She said yes. I said well, do a return. She "can't," so I said "well, I've paid, I'm leaving, if there's a supervisor looking for me, she'll need to head toward the pkg lot, that's where I'm headed." Argh!

I especially like when, for MY own protection, the teenager at the local market "checks" my signature. The local handwriting expert brigade. OY!
(is our baby coming today or what? gotta stop ranting & raving )
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#7 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 12:30 PM
 
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the teenager at the local market "checks" my signature
OT:
But let the teenager check your sig. Because if she doesn't, and the sigs are obviously different, she doesn't catch it, and call a manager over to look at it, you contact your credit card company, and it was a fradulant purchase, the store gets a chargeback, the teenage loses her job! And it is entirely possible that she REALLY needs that job!

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#8 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 01:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miababy
Nothing against the Chinese, but what about economic growth here? what about quality goods made here? I'd rather spend the extra buck or 5.
And another thing, everything we import adds to the liklihood of importing "stowaways" as well: like the Asian Longhorn Beetle http://www.uvm.edu/albeetle/ which is causing the City of New York to remove lots of trees in this town. It also is scaring the maple syrup producers of the Northeast.

No predators here. But a whole new species. Just what we need.

So, hey, anyone think low prices are more important than trees? The shade they provide in a hot city? The maple syrup? The wood for our furniture? The air-cleaning?

Don't buy stuff from container stores.
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#9 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 01:42 PM
 
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there's a reason it's called the "evil empire"......
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#10 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 01:48 PM
 
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I'm worse. Not only do I go to Wal-mart once every 6 weeks or so, I buy DIAPERS there! *gasp*
My older two make the stinkiest diapers at night and if I wash them with the baby's diapers, I just can't get them smelling good unless I run them through with copious amounts of baking soda like 3 times. It's a pain in the butt. So I put them in the cheapest disposables I can find. And that's Wal-mart's brand. I've looked at stores around me like Fred Meyer and Target but I can get twice as many diapers for my dollar at Wal-mart. I usually escape with diapers and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or two - nothing more.
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#11 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 03:25 PM
 
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Im just waiting for the day that evil corp comes to SA. Then we're doomed...
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#12 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 03:41 PM
 
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Welcome to the Dark Side!

Seriously, I am slowly but surely weaning myself off of Wal-Mart, thanks to reading MDC!

For example, I did not shop there at all this weekend! I shopped at a local grocery store (a small local chain of three stores). I actually saved money by not shopping at Wal-Mart, contrary to al their tv commercials.

How does that happen? I bought food! I wasn't distracted (seduced?) by other non-food crap that is not on my list! I had no idea why my grocery bill was so out of control until I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart. Now, I go grocery shopping and buy GROCERIES instead of inpulse-buy crap (flip-flops, shorts on sale, make-up, etc.).
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#13 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess
Time to revoke my bleeding heart liberal card. I went to a Wal-Mart for the first time Sunday. : I know, I know, there is a special place in hell for me, right next to the Democrats in Florida who didn't bother to go out and vote in the 2000 election.

This seems a good place to make with the excuses. Many of you know my family is one our tour of the USA for a few months. Less than three weeks into the trip and we hit a town with major Blue Laws. There was nothing open in the entire town except a mexican restaurant (which couldn't serve us a margarita, but that's a whole 'nother thread) and Wal-Mart.

I've never been to a Wal-Mart before, but now that I have I can see why and how they hook poeple in. This Wal-Mart in Southern Idaho was the Hummer SUV of stores. It was the size of Delaware, and it provided any service you could imagine, photo portrait studio, pharmacy, auto repair, pharmacy, eye exams, it had a fast food restaurant inside, a bank, a whole supermarket and then all the stuff I'd expect to find at a discount store. I walked through the craft section, big mistake, they really do have very low prices on many scrapbooking things I would normally have to wait for a 40% off coupon from Micheal's to get.

Still when we got back to the hotel, I felt the need to shower.

LOL yeah, our superwalmart has all of those things except the bank
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#14 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 04:38 PM
 
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artgoddess, IMO it's OK since you came clean here :LOL

I have been in wal-mart a handful of times in my life and I have found nothing appealing about it whatsoever. I feel very fortunate that I'm not in a position where I'm forced to shop there.

I've always felt the need to shower after leaving too!

namaste.gif

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#15 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 06:07 PM
 
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OK - so help me here. I agree that Walmart is not the best corporation (and possibly the worst?) on the planet. I'm all for fair wages, fair labor, etc... But (and this is completely honest and serious) how do you, on a single income, afford to shop at other stores? We are not "hurting" for money, but I have a strict grocery budget that I must stick to. If I shop at the local food lion, I pay, at times, TWICE AS MUCH for the exact same items on the grocery shelves of walmart. It hurts me to think of unfair practices, but it also hurts to pay $5 for something that would cost $2.50 at walmart. Unless I cut back on our eating (and we are already vegetarians who eat very little to begin with and i cook alot from scratch), what can you do? I clip coupons (when I can find them for the items I buy!), but I haven't found anything else that could even come close to making up the difference in cost. I DO NOT buy convenience items and I don't buy anything there that isn't food except laundry detergent, dish detergent, toilet tissue, and soap/shampoo.
So, I'll confess I'm at walmart once a week. Help me find a way to stop!
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#16 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 06:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackson'smama
..But (and this is completely honest and serious) how do you, on a single income, afford to shop at other stores? We are not "hurting" for money, but I have a strict grocery budget that I must stick to.
Do you live in a home with a yard or in an apartment? If you have a yard or access to a community garden with individual plots, you'd be SHOCKED at how much stuff you can grow in a tiny space. I live in NYC and know lots of people who do this. I've been in some neighborhoods and seen a 10' x 20' yard with all the space that isn't the walkway CRAMMED with tomato plants and basil (usually Italian neighborhoods in Brooklyn).

I'm not kidding. That takes care of a lot of the summer/fall grocery bill. And then there's cold frames for the winter. They can be made from scavenged stuff.

Obviously, this is an impossibility for someone in an apartment with no community gardens.

But, I'm offering outside-the-box ideas...just to get started.

It isn't only about finding a better retailer...it can be about changing the question.
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#17 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 06:46 PM
 
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right now, we're in a house, but no yard to work with so we have tomatoes on the deck. i've planted a small garden at my mom's house 1.5 hours away but we've had a ground hog and rabbit problem. fortunately my squash, cukes, and peppers are surviving. adios broccoli and beans. i've put up fencing now, but it's hard to manage a garden from this distance.
we used to garden at our old house and we're planning a move soon that will also make it easier. i don't have much of a green thumb - i couldn't even get a decent tray of lettuce going this year?!?!?!
we buy all of our dairy and eggs at whole foods (organic only) and a vast portion of our produce as well b/c that's what i use to make babyfood. so walmart gets our business for the small amount of household products we buy, and the "staples" like beans, rice, flour, etc...
so, even with our unfortunate gardening problems so far, we do plan to make a dent with the produce spending, and that would free up money to shop elsewhere, but it's still hard to pay double. i know that sounds rotten and selfish, but it is hard to do.
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#18 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 07:03 PM
 
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Do you qualify for WIC. For my family size of 5, we spend about $200-250/month on all grocery items aside from WIC. I buy as much organic as I can. All tomato products, produce, rice, etc. are usually organic.
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#19 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 07:03 PM
 
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We have a health food store that is about 25-50 CENTS over Wlamart...and I'm talking organic! It is small but has some things to offer without a huge price difference.

Sometimes you can find local farmers that let you pick things for X amount a bushel or whatever. Contact a local farmers community and find out.

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#20 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 07:12 PM
 
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no we don't qualify for WIC. i spend $250 a month for 2 adults and an almost 8 month old baby! what am i doing wrong????? Please help me. I know this is probably crossing over somewhat to the frugality board, but hopefully it won't get moved b/c this has so much to do with NFL. i am new to NFL and I want my family to move in that direction very badly b/c those are the values i want my son and future children to have. i live in a "gated community" (don't worry...we're moving). we moved here b/c of my job and it was actually the cheapest housing in the county. this county has NO TRAFFIC lights - so you'd think rural=cheaper. very untrue. the community is mostly northern retirees who apparently have all the money in the world plus we are 30 minutes away from a city, so the one grocery store has the monopoly. i do my grocery shopping in my hometown when i visit my mom (1.5 hours away). there are two grocery stores in that town, one being walmart. i've been to several surrounding towns and cities and haven't found a store/farmer's market that offers pricing (the dollar amount paid for the product, not the actual "cost" of production) even close to walmart.
i do try to buy the local produce that walmart carries and i buy whatever organic stuff they sell.
so, any advice you can send my way to become more NFL - particularly in the food/grocery category is greatly appreciated.
i read elsewhere about buying from thrift stores, ebay etc...for other items. e.g. clothing. so i have another question. if you buy GAP second hand, is that considered OK? just curious...
thanks to anyone who can send me in the right direction!
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#21 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 07:31 PM
 
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She said 250 ASIDE from WIC. That isn't that much for a family of 5 at all. So doing it all onyour own for 250 for 2 adults I don't think is bad.

The hints I've been given...buy in bulk for things you use often. Meal plan. I spend less at the grocery store if I go for specifics. We spend about 350-400 for a family of 4. That is without help (we had WIC last year) and we eat pretty well now. Lots of fresh produce (I found I actually do better budget wise buying fresh and not frozen or canned) and most things from scratch. My boys eat quite a bit already. I'm very nervous for when they are teens. Luckily they love fruit and veggies. At least if they are going to eat a lot it is good for them

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#22 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 07:51 PM
 
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They're scared of Switzerland. They have 'em in Germany but, the Swiss scare Walmart. (It would be the long legal battles to have more than a hundred parking spots, the cost of the land, the money in environmental an urban evaluation, protesters, the fact that Swiss consumers generally dislike cheap products...) I think it's kinda funny. It's economically very un-interesting for them to come here. :LOL

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#23 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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The Wal-Mart here reeks of rubber and fume smell. I hate it-- been in there twice, both times with MIL who "needed" an Alaskan souvenir.

WTF? You want something Alaskan, but you're going to Wal-Mart to get some cheapie made in Indonesia with "AK" emblazoned on it in neon pink?
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#24 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 08:08 PM
 
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Oh, and for the mama trying to escape Wal-Mart-- this is my suggestion.

We used to spend a lot of money on cleaning supplies. If you just buy a buttload of baking soda and vinegar-- which cleans like everything on the face of the planet, amazingly-- you can get some big time economy going there.

We use Simple Green, too, which is MUCH cheaper than 409 or whatever people use to spritz off their kitchen counters a million times a day.

I recently switched to Bi-O-Kleen detergent. It goes a long way, compared to Tide and its ilk.

For grocery shopping, avoid buying pretty much anything that needs to come in a box. This means Hamburger Helper, Bisquick, et cetera. That stuff is wildly overpriced for what it is. Buy a metric ton of flour from a bulk bin, get some good recipes, and go to town!

And whatever you do, DON'T buy clothes there! I have never had any Wal-Mart clothes that lasted more than a washing. What a waste. Going to the thrift shop for quality, used clothes is less of a hassle and more frugal.
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#25 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 08:14 PM
 
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We usually go to WalMart once a year around the holidays just to remind ourselves what we aren't missing. :LOL

The last time we were there, someone left excrement on the baby changing table, the blue lights annoyed our eyes, two people were tackled for stealing on the way out the door, and we purchased 5 items - 4 of them were rung up incorrectly, and of course our car got dinged while parked there.

It smells like old gas station hot dogs. The old white man greeter who tries to touch your kids on the way in freaks me out.

Heck yes, I'll pay more for cereal and toilet paper.

Jen

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#26 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 09:00 PM
 
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jackson's mama: You may be victim of location. Wal-mart often puts smaller stores out of business. When we lived in Hawaii, we ended up going to Wal-mart for things every once in a while. We just didn't have a lot of options living in a rural part of an island in the middle of the ocean.
My WIC comes out to around $150/month so that probably makes a huge difference. I do have more people in my family than you so maybe we're spending about the same. What if you kept track of everything you bought for a month and tried to tweak it?
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#27 of 46 Old 06-28-2005, 09:55 PM
 
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we are definitely a victim of location...one grocery and a couple "5 and dimes" went out of business when walmart rolled into town. we plan to move soon (back to the town where i shop at walmart); however, we will be able to garden more extensively there and i've found an organic co-op farm within about a 30 minute drive.
i like the ideas of meal planning and creating a spending diary to tweak. i'll definitely try that.
we're also a victim of lack of storage for buying too much in bulk at the bins and elsewhere.
thanks to everyone for their help. any more ideas on the avoidance of walmart are greatly appreciated!
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#28 of 46 Old 07-05-2005, 03:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaroni
artgoddess, IMO it's OK since you came clean here :LOL

I have been in wal-mart a handful of times in my life and I have found nothing appealing about it whatsoever. I feel very fortunate that I'm not in a position where I'm forced to shop there.

I've always felt the need to shower after leaving too!
On a positive note, I did not see anyone beating their kids. :LOL
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#29 of 46 Old 07-05-2005, 04:08 AM
 
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Whenever I go back to my small TX hometown I wind up shopping at walmart because it's inconvenient and expensive to try to look elsewhere. You wind up driving to then all over Amarillo and then land at Wal-mart there, and could have just gone to the Canyon Wal-mart in the first place. Plus my sister works there. Hey, it's a way better job than Wendy's where she worked for several years before that.

Here there are SO many more options. If I want cheap junk I go to the dollar general on the corner, right next to the Goodwill where I buy clothes and the occasional other item.

breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling Heathen parent to my little Wanderer, 7 1/2 , and baby Elf-stone, 3/11!

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#30 of 46 Old 07-05-2005, 05:25 AM
 
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My advice to anyone who asks is PRETEND WALMART DOESN"T EXIST.
It works. That's what I did. Walmart is the closest store to me and I'm a single Mama living Wayyyyy below the poverty line. Trust me, you can do it. You will save money by not buying crap. Beans and Rice are cheap everywhere. You won't get good quality at that place anyway. Just because things are a bit more expensive elsewhere, it doesn't mean you have to go to Walmart. Why? Because there *is* no Walmart.
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