Thursday, April 17, 2008

Randomness Of The Day


katieo said...

Well, I might get burned for this comment, but here goes:

We are self-employed and have pretty bad insurance (not great coverage, high deductible, high copays, pay 30% anyway, etc...) I'm positive we actually pay quite a bit more in premiums alone than what our actual medical expenses are. But we've been uninsured in the past and I would much rather have a high decductible and bad insurance than no insurance at all.

Here's the thing. Even IF we make more money next year, and the year after, and so on, we will ALWAYS pay out the nose for insurance. And probably pay more and more to get adequate coverage.
Since we have switched to "cash only" lifestyle, Walmart has really helped us. If we weren't able to shave off that chunk of money from our grocery bill as well, as banning my Target trips (boohoo...Target, I'll be back...) I have no idea how we'd be able to afford coverage.

I know there are a lot of things wrong with walmart. I KNOW. I'm just throwing this out there that there are a lot of people and families in circumstances whether temporary or permanent that have really benefited from their beyond-cheap prices. Not just to save a buck, but to be able to feed their families.

Now, I'm not justifying any of the things that are wrong with Walmart, just saying if you only had a very low SET amount of money to spend on groceries to feed your family, you (not you, the general you...) might to look at Walmart in a different way.

*ducking and running*

Mrs Furious said...

I don't have a problem with that. And it is a good point. Having an ethical dilemma about where you shop is a luxury dilemma and, believe me, I get that.

I talked more about Target/Walmart but it got cut off! They really aren't that much different. Now I'm sure there are regional price differences but I think we've all been more than a little deceived by Target's marketing. There grocery prices (in general) are 10-15% below grocery stores and in line with Walmart. And in general their prices on all items are within 1-3% of each other. Yet Walmart is perceived as being signifcantly cheaper and Target is perceived as charging 10-20% more for groceries than a typical grocery store. I found all this infor online after doing a tremendous amount of research the other day.
Ours doesn't sell groceries really... not a Super Target so I can't speak to that here.

As for health insurance... we've been there. For a couple years I didn't even have maternity coverage! Thank God Mr F got the terrible day job BEFORE Kid became epileptic!

katieo said...

And in general their prices on all items are within 1-3% of each other.

That's interesting. We've got a Super Target here and I've found the Archer Farms brand is usually similar to the noncommercial Western Family brand at our local grocery store. It might be regional, but Walmart usually beats both hands-down. In my experience, it's been at LEAST by a margin of 15%. (that's comparing normal prices...not sale prices...)

Although it IS a lot easier to spend more money at Target (for me anyway). I'm never going to pick up a t-shirt or pair of pants from walmart, but target? oh yes. I wonder if you actually only bought the store brand and ONLY groceries if the spending comparison between walmart and target would be tighter.

I talked more about Target/Walmart but it got cut off!
lol...I wondered.

(oy. maternity coverage. don't even get me started...)

Julie said...

Having an ethical dilemma about where you shop is a luxury dilemma and, believe me, I get that.

I was just thinking that, too, for myself. I know I am quite fortunate.

Also, for some areas, Walmart is the only option as a place to shop.

Hey, I am still working on going fully organic, getting rid of the plastics and banning the HFCS. I'll get to the stores that I shop at next:)

Katieo, I still go into Walmart. I just don't have to as much now that I don't buy diapers. My Walmart is so I said before, I am the most attractive person in the store...except when you are there, then I am the second most attractive person:) We are Walmart Babes:)

Ok, I am just putting off the nightly ritual of getting the kids showered (no more baths, they are older), read to and to sleep...better go. My husband is actually waiting for me!

Anonymous said...

Also, for some areas, Walmart is the only option as a place to shop.

That's me.

Mrs. F
I'm heading into Walmart tomorrow. I'll be armed with my pad of paper and looking for the organics. :)
I'll report back tomorrow afternoon/evening.

Is it okay to post my findings here or should I email?


Nutmeg said...

I also totally get that certain ethical dilemmas are luxuries.

But I also know that Walmart's pricing strategy (like that of many other large chains) is one that is specifically aimed at essentially putting smaller stores out of business so there will BE no other places in the area to shop.

In that vein, when I bought an oven, I paid 50 dollars more to buy it at the home appliance store up the street. I buy cold cuts at the deli on the corner, even though they are more expensive (though I can walk) etc. etc. I am by no means perfect, and when I need caulk or paint my first instinct is to drive 5 miles to the home depot before I remind myself that there is a (crazy, weird, ridiculously small) hardware store three blocks away. Sometimes I still go to home depot and drive RIGHT PAST the local hardware store.

I DEFINITELY don't think people who shop at Walmart (or Target or home depot, etc.) are doing bad things though. You just do what you have to do.

But patronizing local businesses is an extremely important thing to me, and Walmart is the antithesis of that.

And they don't have the salve of cute clothes that Target does.

Mrs Furious said...

thanks! Go ahead and post them here... I'm sure other people are interested ;)

I've actually never been in a Walmart. I'm surprised there isn't the same impulse to buy as at a Target.

Julie said...

I've actually never been in a Walmart. I'm surprised there isn't the same impulse to buy as at a Target.

Oh trust me, when go into Walmart, you want to get out of there as fast as you can.

Mrs Furious said...

One thing I miss about living in the city was having small local businesses mixed into our community.

Yes I understand about Walmart's pricing strategy and that was my original reason to boycott them when I started in high school... but after researching Target I just want to be clear that Target is operating the same way. And, interestingly, many communities invite Target and give them huge tax breaks to open up their stores.... even though they do displace small local businesses and then staff their stores with part-time employees and so do not replace the jobs lost.

Mrs Furious said...

The only one near-ish to us is in a terrible neighborhood so I can believe that ;)

Nutmeg said...

I totally know Target does the same thing.

But they have cuter clothes and brightly lit aisles so it FEELS better.


Anonymous said...

Costco is actually only a little over 18 miles away (in Brighton), still gas however. I like to buy paper products and Ghiradelli chocolate brownie mix there!! Triple chocolate! Its not a place I get groceries, they'd all go bad before we'd eat them, but we do also get bars of soap and big containers of refill stuff and some medicines, toothpaste. Things I really hate running out of. You need storage space for all that however, which I know you are short on. It is an interesting place to wander about once in a great while for us. If you like the company, you should check it out sometime. Also, they have some organics, and if you were entertaining, it would be worthwhile for bigger amounts of things you might choose.

Mrs Furious said...

it's funny you say that because that is what all the research kept coming back to... and how that shapes the consumer's perception of Target. I am such a sucker for Target marketing... it's like they are in my head reading my mind!

katieo said...

Oh trust me, when go into Walmart, you want to get out of there as fast as you can.

and Julie, Walmart Babe? LOL! It's funny too, whenever I go in I consciously try to be overly kind to my kids. I will *not* be one of those mothers I see every single time there...yelling at her kids...

Julie said...

I will *not* be one of those mothers I see every single time there...yelling at her kids
Oh, I know, Katieo...I cringe when I see it happening.

Mrs Furious said...

oops I meant to say 40 mins not 40 miles.
I don't know if I can add another store into my rotation... maybe if we had another freezer...

Julie & Katieo,
wow you guys are making it sound really appealing ;)

Julie said...

Mrs F, you don't know what you're missing.

Keep it that way;)

why am i still up? I have to be up with the kids so early. I get sucked into blog world. And I still don't even have my own blog...

Anonymous said...

Okay...I'm back from my trip to Walmart. :P

I have to say this...go EARLY in the morning...not so many scary peeps. :)

I'm really a bit disappointed. Walmart does not have their own Organic line. The store I went to does NOT have a lot of organic options either.

But, here is what they did have...

Horizon $6.33 gal/ $3.98 half gal

Egglands Best $3.88 doz

Quaker Instant Oatmeal $3.56 8 pk

Cascadian Farms
Honey Nut O's(10.4 oz box), Oats & Honey Granola(17 oz box), Cinnamon Raisin Granola(17 oz box)$2.98 each

Nature's Path
Flax Plus $2.98/13.25 oz box
Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch $2.98/12.35 oz box

Autumn Wheat $3.24/17.5 oz box
Cinnamon Harvest $2.50/17.5 oz box
Strawberry Fields $3.24/10.4 oz box

Domino Organic Sugar $2.04/24 oz bag

Gold Medal All-purpose $4.58/5#
Hodgson Mill (White & Graham flours) $1.98/2#

Newman-O's $3.46
Fig Newmans $3.46
Earthbound Farms
Organic Raisins
$2.88/6-1.5 oz pk
$2.28/6oz bag
Cranberries $3.38/4 oz bag

Annie's Mac & Cheese(all varieties except Creamy Deluxe) $1.14/6oz box
Creamy Deluxe $2.46/11 oz box
Kraft Organic Mac & Cheese
$1.64/6 oz box

Aunt Millies Organic bread
$3.97/28 oz loaf
THIS WAS THE ONLY ORGANIC BREAD at the store I went to. There were no bagels or hamburger/hot dog buns that were Organic. :(

Purity Organic Oranges $4.44/4#
(on sale for $2.88 today)
Lemons $3.98/2#
Grapefruit $5.48/5#
Earthbound Farm(EF) mini Carrots $1.88/1# bag
EF Carrots $0.98/1# bag
Openheimer Organic Kiwi $2.44/4 pk
Pero Organic(PO) Bell peppers $4.97/3 pk
PO Zucchini $3.98/2 pk
Sunripe Organic Cherry tomatoes $3.58/10 oz
Organic Girl(OG)
Baby Spinach
Herb baby Romaine
Baby spring mix
All are $3.48/5oz


Julie said...

Wow, I can find better prices at the regular grocery store where I live.

Mrs Furious said...

Thank you!!!!
Fascinating. I think everything you priced is actually more than I pay at every other store. Nuts!
I really appreciate all the leg work! :)

Anonymous said...

Not a problem at all.

I wanted to thank you for posting about the organic & store issues. I really have never thought about either. When I was leaving the store today I knew why it never crosses my mind...the organics are just not readily avaliable to me.

We do shop the farmers markets every spring/summer and we also "shop" in my grandparents huge garden. But, once fall ends we start to run out of all our fresh(frozen) goodies. :P

You've really opened my eyes to many issues. Yes, I'm admiting, publicly, I WAS an uninformed consumer. But, no more. I will change my ways where & when possible.



Anonymous said...

I think the organic prices are a bit more here in Mid-Michigan because there really isn't any competition for them.


Mrs Furious said...

Oh you are welcome... I'm happy to be discussing it and it has made me have to re-evaluate my feelings for Target.

It does seem we are really fortunate to have the selection we have here. My mom has a house on the Huron side near the thumb and she can't get anything organic at her store but she has the ability to garden and get Amish produce.

Thanks again... I really appreciated it and now I don't have to obsess over it anymore ;)

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