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Moral question about shopping at Walmart


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I have big moral issues about Walmart. One, because they sell guns, which I am completely against (and, in my store, they are right next to the toy dep't.). Two, because they are so horrible to their employees, especially disabled employees (and I have volunteered with groups trying to train people with special needs for jobs, and have seen how Walmart treats them, and how they hire them, then fire them as quickly as possible, so that they have them on their hiring quota, but don't have to keep them).

 

My dilemma: I have beyond no money, and they are really, really cheap. I know my financial life would be easier if I did shop there, but I feel, morally, I can't. My dd9, who is as conscious of these things as I, I would say, is completely against going there, even more so because, recently, we had been given a gift to go there, and found their beta fish dying (their employees were told not to take the time to open their cups individually to feed them--their third strike for us).

 

We are at the point where we eat beans and sandwiches at the end of the month. So, honestly, wwyd?

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I applaud your wonderful stand. For many, many reasons, just two of which you have mentioned (and lack of insurance for employees, overseas labor, putting moms and pops out of business and the list goes on), I avoid Wal-Mart all I can. I shop Target, Publix, and Sav-On.

 

However, I agree with posters who say, feeding your children is much more important than taking a social stand, for now. If you can limit your trips and buy only what is truly cheaper and necessary there, than you are doing the moral thing -- taking care of your kids.

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I have big moral issues about Walmart. One, because they sell guns, which I am completely against (and, in my store, they are right next to the toy dep't.). Two, because they are so horrible to their employees, especially disabled employees (and I have volunteered with groups trying to train people with special needs for jobs, and have seen how Walmart treats them, and how they hire them, then fire them as quickly as possible, so that they have them on their hiring quota, but don't have to keep them).

 

My dilemma: I have beyond no money, and they are really, really cheap. I know my financial life would be easier if I did shop there, but I feel, morally, I can't. My dd9, who is as conscious of these things as I, I would say, is completely against going there, even more so because, recently, we had been given a gift to go there, and found their beta fish dying (their employees were told not to take the time to open their cups individually to feed them--their third strike for us).

 

We are at the point where we eat beans and sandwiches at the end of the month. So, honestly, wwyd?

 

 

 

There is no love lost between me and Walmart, let me tell you! I appreciate your stance and your desire to stick to your guns (no pun intended) on this one. What I'm wondering is if there is a resource for less expensive food that you haven't yet considered. Ideas -- though I'm not sure how any of this sits with you or how accessible any of it may be:

 

1. Coupons and/or "dated" products at your local grocery

2. Shopping for seconds at the farmers' market

3. Working somewhere like a farm in exchange for food. Aly could come, too.

4. Creating some other source of income for yourself to offset the high cost of food right now.

 

 

None of these ideas is as easy as just caving on your commitment to avoid Walmart. But, in the end, your integrity around that issue may be the most valuable thing of all.

 

Peace and good wishes to you!

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I, personally, have no issue with WM, but it seems as though your experience and beliefs have led you to make a decision, which is great! I believe you can find, along with using coupons and shopping sales, equivalent prices at grocery stores, drug stores and dollar stores.

 

A good friend just told me about http://www.couponmom.com. It is a FREE "grocery game" style website. You match coupons to store sales to get good prices on the things you need. It may work on a stock-piling system (meaning you buy a lot of certain things now and use them over time so you aren't buying that item as frequently). I haven't actually explored the site, but my friend seemed impressed - she's more into grocery gaming than I am. But, it might be worth checking out!

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I, personally, have no issue with WM, but it seems as though your experience and beliefs have led you to make a decision, which is great! I believe you can find, along with using coupons and shopping sales, equivalent prices at grocery stores, drug stores and dollar stores.

 

A good friend just told me about http://www.couponmom.com. It is a FREE "grocery game" style website. You match coupons to store sales to get good prices on the things you need. It may work on a stock-piling system (meaning you buy a lot of certain things now and use them over time so you aren't buying that item as frequently). I haven't actually explored the site, but my friend seemed impressed - she's more into grocery gaming than I am. But, it might be worth checking out!

 

The Coupon Mom is a good site for picking up a few things here and there, but I think the Grocery Game list is much more extensive (can you tell I coupon too much!). However, I absolutely LOVE her Virtual Coupon Organizer and use it all the time, whenever I can't find a coupon I need. I could just kiss her for putting that one up!

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Two, because they are so horrible to their employees, especially disabled employees (and I have volunteered with groups trying to train people with special needs for jobs, and have seen how Walmart treats them, and how they hire them, then fire them as quickly as possible, so that they have them on their hiring quota, but don't have to keep them).

 

 

I'm not gonna tell you you should shop at Walmart if you have strong moral convictions against doing so. (I'm not going to tell you you shouldn't either.) I wonder if what you've observed of their treatment of special needs people is really across the board or if it varies greatly store by store. The Walmarts which I have shopped regularly seem to be pretty good to their employees with disabilities and keep them around for a long time. My mom works for KETCH and sometimes helps with job placement for clients. I've never heard her complain about Walmart, though I have heard her complain about other companies. I'll have to ask her about it directly.

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It may be quite difficult to pitch out WM in one fell swoop. But, make it your mission in life to be absolutely sure that you are aware of each and every other resource available to you.

 

I can't say that I have gone completely off of Wal Mart, but I am making an honest effort to go there as little as possible in my rural-town-in-the-middle-of-no-where. I can happily say that I am going there *much* less than I used to.

 

We're to the point where we are going to start purchasing some things wholesale, and I'm looking into a buying club that turns out to be not so far away. I can also get (some) good deals by buying bulk at a co-op if I'm careful (it's an hour away).

 

Of course, the dilemma remains about just how moral every other store is or isn't.:001_unsure:

 

I commend your efforts!

 

~Lisa

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I agree with you about Walmart, and I almost never shop there. Try this instead: www.thegrocerygame.com. You can use their coupon system to get Walmart prices or better at the regular grocery stores. It's easy to do and not too time consuming after you get going.

 

I would stick to my guns. But I am financially drowning and trying to hold on to a property I own to save the elk.

 

Jet

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Is this just the Wal-Mart you shop at, or every Wal-Mart? The fish at our stores are well-taken care of, and the employees too. There are a considerable number of employees with disabilities that have been there for years. Wal-Mart is the number 3 employer in our county, and they do a very good job (at least within our county...I can't speak to other stores).

I can't help you with the guns thing, we have no problem with guns, but if I was truly against all guns, I could imagine that being the show stopper for me. Our Wal-Mart sells only guns for hunting, which people around here use to hunt for food. We live in a very depressed area, and this makes the $ for many people go much farther.

If you're truly against Wal-Mart, I would try to find another store to shop at.

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A few other options might be these. I have no information about their business practices, so they might be better or worse than Walmart.

 

-Dollar Tree (our keeps a nice selection of staple products)

-Dollar General (again cheap prices, similar to Walmart)

-Freds (this is a regional chain of stores similar to Dollar General, but better selection and prices, imo)

-Aldi's

 

 

Another option which is not meant to offend anyone in anyway: If you are a woman of faith, pray as you go through Walmart. Pray against the things you disagree with, pray for the employees, pray for customers that are having a bad day. I often take the time to silently pray through Walmart. It usually starts with "Lord, get me through the parking lot without getting hit by another car." :D

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My quick reaction is that other stores may be just as bad, but you are not aware of it. Of course, you'd be aware if they sold guns, but how would you know if they treated the handicapped badly? Or maybe another store has even worse environmental policies?

 

In the end, you have to make your own decision. I hope you come to a decision that works for your family!

Peace!

Holly

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Just offering this as another option, but if your finances are that tight, would you possibly qualify for assistance (food stamps, WIC)? Food stamps have been a life-saver for us. The nearest WMs don't sell anything but processed food - neither the cheapest nor the healthiest option - so we don't generally buy there, and the prices aren't any better than the loss leaders at the supermarket. We also find good deals on dairy products at Trader Joe's.

 

Good luck to you!

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I would say it's the same here, i figure if they were so bad to work for - the retired folks in my area wouldn't be working there. They are a huge employer for the them it seems - and by shopping there, i'm helping my family keep costs down, and giving the people that work there hours.

 

Wal Mart uses "Customer Based Scheduling" (so does most other big retailers - the software analyzes the sales figures and schedules based on it), SOOO, unless people are going there and shopping, those people won't get hours. The more you shop there, the more you are helping the employees feed their families!

 

Th one manager at the one i go to (I have 3 to pick from) is even very pro-HS'ing, he gave me red cabbage for DD to have for her science experiment. He used to be a 6th grade science teacher, so he quizzed me on what we were doing.

 

I've been in ones i won't go back too, but they are a blessing for our area here. I haven't lived here long (4.5 years), but i don't think they ran "a lot" off here - we had not a lot to start with. And, the retirement community just got "their own" - they asked for it to be built, gotta love a parking lot full of golf carts :D

 

You have to do what is best for your family at this point, and only you can decide what that is...

 

:grouphug:

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I shop at Wal Mart very, very little. I really don't think I am spending more money at Kroger. I shop Kroger's sales and I think I take my money pretty far. I also try to hit the farmer's market and look for roadside stands. I would like to start buying local beef, but I have not yet because you have to buy such a large quantity at a time. I am working toward transitioning to doing so, however.

 

I can't seem to walk away from Sam's though. I want to, but I do believe if I stopped shopping at Sam's my budget would take a hit. I have certain items I buy there that I just can't come close to matching the price on elsewhere. I feel terrible about supporting any aspect of Wal Mart's corporation.

 

On the occasions that I do duck into WalMart I compare prices in my head and while this and that might be cheaper, something else might be higher and I think it balances out in the end. I doubt my local Kroger is going to win any awards for how they treat their employees, the employess don't look overjoyed. But I feel worse about WalMart because Kroger does not have the world impact that WalMart has with its purchasing power.

 

Have you read The WalMart Impact? It is a very good read. Not terribly surprising, really, but it can strengthen your resolve if you are so inclined already.

 

Your shopping practices will not change the world, but sometimes doing the right thing when it is challenging changes us. And that can be worth a lot right there.

 

Good luck. I am a happier person when I avoid WalMart.

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... I would like to start buying local beef, but I have not yet because you have to buy such a large quantity at a time. I am working toward transitioning to doing so, however. ... quote]

 

Kelli, my friend and I split a side of beef since this was less expensive than each of us buying 1/2 a side. Final cost was around $413 each. I believe the cost per pound worked out to be a little over $5. The cost is high but the difference in quality of meat and quality of life for the cow is huge.

 

And when I prepare happy cow chuck roast, it probably turns out to be not much more expensive than factory cow chuckroast after I trim off all the visible factory cow fat.

 

We cannot afford to buy organic and free range for all food items.

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... I would like to start buying local beef, but I have not yet because you have to buy such a large quantity at a time. I am working toward transitioning to doing so, however. ... quote]

 

Kelli, my friend and I split a side of beef since this was less expensive than each of us buying 1/2 a side. Final cost was around $413 each. I believe the cost per pound worked out to be a little over $5. The cost is high but the difference in quality of meat and quality of life for the cow is huge.

 

And when I prepare happy cow chuck roast, it probably turns out to be not much more expensive than factory cow chuckroast after I trim off all the visible factory cow fat.

 

We cannot afford to buy organic and free range for all food items.

 

 

I think that is about what it costs here too.

 

I am able to get local milk, it is not strictly organic but it is fresh and I feel good about the dairy's practices. I am able to get free range eggs as well at a good price.

 

What frustrates me is that organic produce is nearly impossible to find. When I ask growers what they spray with they look at me like I have two heads.

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Strangely, we don't have much here. Kroger, Food Lion & Walmart. Food Lion doesn't have much, Kroger I love, especially their produce, &, being diabetic, vegetarian & on an incredibly strict diet & budget that is beyond important to me.

 

So, yes, I do get food stamps, $267 a month, & I cannot spend a penny more on food. To feed two people unhealthily, it can be done, but I can get one bag of produce and it is $70!

 

And, yes, this is country, if nit world, wide. Walmart is infamous for its hiring, then firing of people with disabilities--not older people, who usually have their own ins and don't care about full time. Also about not giving full time or ins or other benefits, +++++. And, although they now only sell hunting guns, they sold hand guns as long as they could and had the most lax regs allowed by law (I'm sure we can all recall a few lawsuits).

 

I have not shopped there in years and years, but for certain things, such as meat substitutes, which we use a ton of (soy products) they are about $1 cheaper per box (25%), plus many other things. Kroger was closer, but they have gotten outrageous lately.

 

& I have looked into Kroger--they give a lot back to the community, do hire and keep disabled and elderly, offer full benefits and pay 15%-20% more than Walmart. Oh, and no guns or beta.

 

Also, just having the beta in the cups goes against what is considered humane, and Peta got a bunch of places to stop, but Walmart refused. It was only my walmart that told me about not feeding them, but the same employee also told me when they remodeled, about three months ago, they didn't want to take the time to empty the tanks for all of the fish and flushed ALL OF THEM!

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We are beginning to find that Kroger, a large grocery chain in our area, is beginning to compete with Wal-Mart on prices. Wal-Mart has opened up some grocery store only type businesses here and I think they're feeling threatened. If you have a large grocery chain in your area, you might try doing some comparative shopping and creating a price notebook. Maybe you'll be surprised to find that, especially with coupons, you can come out just as well elsewhere....

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I have not shopped there in years and years, but for certain things, such as meat substitutes, which we use a ton of (soy products) they are about $1 cheaper per box (25%), plus many other things. Kroger was closer, but they have gotten outrageous lately.

 

!

 

 

Oh, I know what you mean!!! Soy meat substitutes are outrageous in our markets too. I rarely buy them anymore, Boca burgers are considered a treat at our house!!

 

Perhaps you could just fine tune your bean cooking skills? I am having to do this just because the dollar does not stretch as far as it used to. I am thinking of making a list of the best of the best recipes for each bean type and then rotating through them every week.

 

If you have to buy a few things at WalMart, so be it. I agree with you in principle, but you have to feed your family. And I do still duck in there from time to time and I admitted that I cannot kick my Sam's habit just yet.

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Oh, I know what you mean!!! Soy meat substitutes are outrageous in our markets too. I rarely buy them anymore, Boca burgers are considered a treat at our house!!

 

I have found tofu tremendously cheaper, & you get a pound while companies like Morningstar Farms are whittling their pkgs down to 8 oz--but my diabetes meds give me food aversions--first it was soda--I can't drink any, which I know is great, & saves me a ton, but I cannot begin to explain my emotional withdrawal from diet coke! Then it was string cheese, which I have loved since college. Now it is tofu. If peanut butter goes, I will starve :(

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It's hard for me to advise you what to do, because I don't totally share your convictions. Not that I agree with all of Walmart's practices, but I think there are bad things about many companies; it's just that most are not publicized as widely as Walmart. I don't really expect to agree fully with the morals of most businesses-- I despise the fact that Borders carries pornographic magazines, for example, but I still shop there. I think Dunkin Donuts has the worst customer service known to man, but if we want donuts, we're okay with getting them there. I'm fine with that, morally. I guess ultimately I don't feel that I have to agree in principle with a certain business in order to shop there (there could be hypothetical exceptions, of course.) But though there are things about different companies that I may not like, I haven't felt strongly enough about them to keep me from shopping where I can get the best prices for the most convenience.

 

So, for me, I would say shop there anyway. I don't believe you would be hurting anyone, if that is your concern. But, only you know how deep your convictions really go. If shopping at Walmart is something that truly, genuinely goes down to your core as being *WRONG,* then I can't advise you to go against that. But I would make sure that it is that sort of heartfelt, true, solid conviction before taking that stand.

 

Erica

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I worked at a corporate headquarters for a discount retailer for several years and heard firsthand the horror stories about Walmart. I had to go a lot while I was working there to research the competitor, but haven't stepped in one since I left my job. The people in the individual stores may be very nice people, but the management at corporate are scum, frankly. They bully and beat up their vendors to get you those low prices because they can; they're the biggest and those vendors need Walmart. I would do whatever I had to to not give them a nickel of my business and I truly think by shopping around, you can find just as low prices at other retailers. Granted, they all probably have some ethical issues, but Walmart is the worst as far as I'm concerned.

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I really want to recommend The Wal Mart Effect. I thought it was very fair and it did not paint WM as evil, but it was pretty honest about the singlemindedness of Wal Mart (lower prices at any cost). Everything cost something. Nothing in life is free or even really cheap. If you ask yourself how does WM keep lowering prices in today's economy, if you stop and think about what that massive buying power really means, it can get a little uncomfortable to shop there.

 

WM's business practices were not so bad for a small corporation. Sam Walton's original plan was not that bad. But now WM is huge and it is not taking seriously the impact it has on the world. From the empty factories in America to the sweatshops of Asia, to the salmon farms in South America....WM is changing the world and not in positive ways. That huge buying power could be used as a change agent for good but it rarely is.

 

And it is not just WM, other large and small corporations do business the same way as WM. But they do not have anywhere near the power and reach of WM and that is one reason why WM gets the heat. They do the low price game on the largest scale and it does the most damage.

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Strangely, we don't have much here. Kroger, Food Lion & Walmart. Food Lion doesn't have much, Kroger I love, especially their produce, &, being diabetic, vegetarian & on an incredibly strict diet & budget that is beyond important to me.

 

 

 

Wow, you do have lots of restrictions. If I were in your situation I would likely find a very part time job to help pay for groceries, and purchase them at Kroger.

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Wow, you do have lots of restrictions. If I were in your situation I would likely find a very part time job to help pay for groceries, and purchase them at Kroger.

 

But on food stamps, sometimes the part time job makes them cut your food stamps and you end up having even less money for food.

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Of course, the dilemma remains about just how moral every other store is or isn't.:001_unsure:~Lisa

 

And this is what it all boils down to. The question for me, is not 'do I approve, morally, of every small or large thing that a corporation does', but what is their overall objective. I think, as with most corporations in America, WM's goal is to make money. Therefore, I have no qualms about shopping there.

 

FTR, I've had WM's in my backdoor since I was a pre-teen and I don't see the terrible conditions others mention here often.

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Your shopping practices will not change the world, but sometimes doing the right thing when it is challenging changes us. And that can be worth a lot right there.

 

I hate to do it, but...I'd like to politely call time-out here. I know what you *mean,* but...still, I think it's better not even said.

 

We *have* to believe that one person can make a difference. Otherwise, no one will try. And we *know* that if all of us together decided to stop shopping at WM, *that* would make a difference.

 

Now, I still shop at WM. I have heard rumors that I can ignore, etc., & I specifically avoid threads like this one because I don't want to get convicted. Things get ugly when I get stubborn! :D

 

But my goodness. WM is so bad just on the surface that dh & I practically have to have a fight just to agree to go there on an errand. Not that he has convictions against it, just that he doesn't like to go. He told me last night he felt "Walmartted." He could barely manage to check out, & we hadn't even been there that long.

 

Then, once in the relative safety of our car, I began going over the receipt, because it seemed too high. Sure enough, they'd charged us for a $10 item one time too many. We sat there in stunned silence at the prospect of having to go back in. We were both going over in our heads, w/ as little $ as we've got right now, would we go back into WM for $10.

 

Finally, I agreed to go. And my very chivalrous dh thanked me, a 9mo pg woman, for saving him from the awfulness of it. Then he thought better, offered to go in, insisted he'd go, & accepted when I just got out & went, lol. The line was LONG, & I did like Elegantlion--I prayed for ea person in line in front of me, for the checkers, etc. "Lord, please give that woman divine revelation re: how to do money orders." LOL

 

Is WM the evil super-power they're portrayed to be? I certainly don't know. I wouldn't put it past them, but...I really don't know.

 

What I do know is Kelli is right: I'm happier when I don't go. My time, sanity, physical safety are worth more than...well, actually, sometimes WM *is* a good deal...although...I wonder...could I get better life & car ins rates if I swore to never even go near a WM parking lot? :D

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I haven't shopped in a Wal-Mart in 7 years. Yes, it's been tough. Yes, I've gone without until I could get to another store that sold what I needed (JoAnn's, for instance) but I just can't be complicit in their horrible practices when it comes to their employees and their labor.

 

I applaud you......I really do! I say stick to your convictions. There are ways to feed your family on the cheap without Wal-Mart. They want you to THINK that you must shop there, but why play into their game?

 

BIG HUGS!

Astrid

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I hate to do it, but...I'd like to politely call time-out here. I know what you *mean,* but...still, I think it's better not even said.

 

 

 

I'd like to politely ask you why we need a time out and exactly what I said that would have been better not even said?

 

I was answering the query of the OP, I am very curious as to what faux pas I committed here.

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I'd like to politely ask you why we need a time out and exactly what I said that would have been better not even said?

 

I was answering the query of the OP, I am very curious as to what faux pas I committed here.

 

Maybe "time-out" was bad word choice? I complained earlier today to dh that our bedroom was "putrid" when what I really meant was "so hot I'm going to gouge your eyes out." ;) <--That guy is really winking. I *promise* he's not missing an eye!

 

Anyway, I just meant that it's not a good idea (is that too forceful? see, I'm trying to be polite, but instead just coming across like a loon) to say that the actions of ONE person don't make a difference.

 

You said that a person's shopping habits aren't going to make a difference. I know what you mean: economically, the choices of one person are too miniscule to matter. BUT if we all gave up acting on conviction because of this, we'd never have the great heroes who *did* manage to change things via the actions of one person, which went on to inspire the actions of others, etc.

 

Thus. I think we should not *say* that the actions of one person do not make a difference. In most cases, they make *little* difference. They're not going to change WM's practices, for ex. BUT, if OP inspires her daughter to make better choices & say a couple of friends, & those 3 in turn effect a few more people...we have to *hope* that doing the right thing matters.

 

Not that you said that doing the right thing doesn't matter. I realize that your comment was limited to the economic scope of a single person's consumerism. I'm just saying...I think we should be careful of saying that things like that don't make a difference.

 

Does that make better sense? Sorry about the "time-out." I really am amazingly bad w/ language, considering my field of...erm...expertise...if you could call it that. :lol:

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At the time, we were definitely pinching pennies. I was working part-time, and we were still trying to recover from the financial hit we took when my husband was unemployed for a few months and then under-employed for another year or so.

 

Nonetheless, I had one day when I walked out of Wal-Mart knowing in my heart that the ability to buy cheaply wasn't worth it. I just felt slimy pushing my cart to my car, and I couldn't go back again.

 

What I found was that, if I simply bought carefully, I did about as well elsewhere. I haven't set foot in a Wal-Mart for at least four years, and I don't miss it.

 

So, my answer, when I was in a similar situation, was that I listened to my inner voice and walked away. My family has not suffered for it, and I sleep better at night.

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YES.

Astrid

 

LOL!!!

 

Y'all have no idea what effect you have on me! I am so totally ready to ban WM, buy cloth bags, hang my clothes on the line, grow my own fruits & veggies & can them myself & store them in my own cellar.

 

Ok, that sounds snarky, but I'm SERIOUS. I've suggested to dh that he quit seminary for this very reason!! I think he hopes that these are pg hormones that will--to some extent--pass. He's w/ me on WM & cloth bags. At least, since the one carrying the ice cream broke & he got covered in cookies & cream. (He who is allergic to ice cream AND chocolate--it was rather unjust!)

 

Now. My only question is: where does Mike's fit into this picture?

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Anyway, I just meant that it's not a good idea (is that too forceful? see, I'm trying to be polite, but instead just coming across like a loon) to say that the actions of ONE person don't make a difference.

 

:

 

Okay, either I am not understanding what you are trying to get across to me or you did not understand my point.

 

One person, ten people, even a thousand people driving past Wal Mart on their way to a different store will not impact Wal Mart one bit. But that does not excuse us from following our convictions. Even if one cannot change the world, following one's own convictions is still the right thing to do.

 

I am just not seeing how saying this is not a good idea.

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I'd like to politely ask you why we need a time out and exactly what I said that would have been better not even said?

 

I was answering the query of the OP, I am very curious as to what faux pas I committed here.

 

:iagree: First, I think maybe the person who posted misunderstood what you were saying, Kelli, because she was saying basically what you did.

 

Second, I have read the book you recommended, "The Walmart Effect", but I guess I tried to block it out.

 

Third, yes, you can lose food stamps, but, more importantly, you can lose medicaid, and, as I have severe asthma, a lung disease, diabetes, 2 ruptured discs, +++, I am uninsurable, & cannot risk that, so I cannot work (+, before my divorce, when I did not have the lung disease or diabetes, my co-pays on my daughter's meds and mine were $390 a month--would be more than double that now--I would have less money if I worked full time and put my daughter in school! Not that that would ever be an option).

 

Finally, thank you all--partly, I could not live with myself, for all of the reasons I mentioned plus others some of you mentioned.

 

But my biggest worry, which I guess I didn't stress enough in my original post, was what it would say to my daughter. She knows why we don't go to Walmart, and she is even more adamant than I. I love her very strong morals, and how strongly she will stick to her convictions--she has skipped toys that were on sale at Walmart, where she could afford them, that were more expensive at Target, where she couldn't. I should have learned from her better example.

 

Have I mentioned that my daughter is my hero?

 

Thank you all, so much, for your advice--I did read it all and consider it all.

 

I love this board so much! It really is the best! :D

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Now. My only question is: where does Mike's fit into this picture?

 

Easy.....

 

~After you come in from working in your garden, sit down and have a cold Mike's while patting yourself on the back for putting the sweat equity into feeding your family well.

 

~And after you finish canning all those veggies and fruits, let the canning jars cool on the counter and reward yourself with a cold Mike's while listening for those satisfying little "pops" that let you know the jars are sealed.

 

~And once that clothesline is full of clothes drying for FREE, split the difference that you saved by not using electricity to dry your clothes and open yourself a Mike's. Sit outside by the clothesline and enjoy that very same breeze that's drying your laundry. For free.

 

And then bask in the knowledge that you're doing all your can for your family AND your world!

 

Hugs to you, Aubrey....pg hormones and all!

 

Now sing with me....apologies to Coca-Cola.....

"I'd like to teach the world to sing

In perfect harmony......

I'd like to buy the board a Mike's......

And keep them company......

That's the song I sing........

 

(now get your lighters out and sway along with me!) ;)

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Oh, Kelli! I'm so embarrassed! I don't know why we're not connecting, but I'm sure it's on my end. I really want to walk away from this thread w/ my tail between my legs, but I *really* don't want you to think I was saying what you think I was saying, which I wasn't. :o

 

One person, ten people, even a thousand people driving past Wal Mart on their way to a different store will not impact Wal Mart one bit. But that does not excuse us from following our convictions. Even if one cannot change the world, following one's own convictions is still the right thing to do.

 

That's basically what I meant. The part I meant that we shouldn't even say was that driving past WM won't effect WM, because, even though it probably won't, by driving by, we're sort-of hoping that it ultimately *will.* Kwim?

 

The actions of one person CAN make a difference. That's all.

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I feel that I have a responsibility to be a good steward of my resources by making a dollar go as far as possible. I unashamedly shop at Wal-mart.

 

In general, I agree. However, I also feel that I have a responsibility to be a good citizen and to "vote with my dollars" when I see business practices of which I either approve or disapprove. For me, the responsibility to try and make the world a better place--no matter how tiny my own personal contribution may be--outweighs my convenience and comfort.

 

Obviously, if I felt my family were truly suffering because of my choices, that would be different. But if living my convictions simply makes things a bit uncomfortable, or means extra work or effort for me in order to provide for them, I can't feel good about myself if I don't at least try.

 

My personal example: I went vegetarian 25-ish years ago. At the time, I was living in the mid-west. There was exactly one health food store within a reasonable driving distance, and it was housed in a converted railway car. In other words, small. I wasn't making a lot of money, and I had student loans and other debts.

 

I went veg for ethical, not health reasons, and the more I read and researched, the more things I felt I had to change about my lifestyle. One of the most challenging things was "personal care products": shampoo and soap and even household cleaners. At that time, pretty much every one of these products that was available in mainstream stores was developed using animal testing, and I couldn't stand that idea. Needless to say, my teensy local health food store didn't carry a wide assortment of such items, and what they did have was extremely expensive. This was before the internet--and I had no credit card--so I had to order pretty much everything through the mail with checks. It was expensive and clumsy and slow, but I felt better knowing I was not only refusing to participate in business practices I considered unethical but was helping to develop a market for alternatives.

 

Fast forward 25 years, and we now live in a world in which my local Publix stocks Boca burgers and tofu ice cream, and there are cruelty-free cosmetics and eco-friendly detergents readily available at your local supermarket and mall.

 

Those things happened because a whole bunch of us individuals "voted with our dollars" and made it clear we were a market worth courting. Together, in our own small way, we did change the world.

 

For me, that knowledge is incredibly empowering, and it is a lesson I remember every single time I drive right past Wal-Mart.

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I don't know the ethnic mix of your community but here you can often get produce and beans cheaper at ethnic grocery stores. Produce is usually quite cheap and very diverse at Asian stores if you don't mind shopping along side such delicacy's as chicken's feet and squid. Beans and corn meal (and maybe even produce) is often cheaper at Hispanic grocery stores.

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If you feel strongly against WalMart, don't shop there. There's got to be other discount alternatives in your area. Here, we have a dollar store with a full market, even fresh produce. There's also Costco, discount, but no guns and they treat their employees well.

 

It's important to stick to moral convictions. When you die and are facing the creator, that is exactly what he is going to ask you. Did you do what you knew to be right? Or just went with what was easy? Were you true to yourself?

Michelle T

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Big social and political changes (think women's vote, abolition, civil rights movement, etc) start small and build momentum over time. And those making personal sacrifices and calling for change early on are often deemed troublemaking radicals. But once the progress has been made, no one in their right mind wants to return to the old ways.

 

Note: I am not equating the significance of above social progress with the local markets anti-bigbox store movement but the pattern is similar

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I join those who are encouraging you to stick to your convictions; granted, I'm not a WM patron, nor have I ever been one, and I am not faced with your financial stress. I absolutely do not believe, though, that shopping WM is the sole or best means of stretching dollars. Be encouraged!

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