Today I went to Wal-mart.
I'll stop and let that sink in.
Oh wait, you don't know me in "real life." So you don't know how surprising that statement should be.
Let's just say that I've never had a kind word for Wal-mart. To be fair, I've only been there three or four times (before today). But each of those shopping experiences was negative. There is something about this store that just rubs me the wrong way. It's instantly headache enducing. The lighting. Those ceilings. The floors. The colors. The way everything seems to be crammed on the shelves. Even the way the store is organized irks me. There was always a line. With a surly checker. And the other shoppers! I've noticed some doozies at all three Wal-mart's I've known. You know how if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all? I'm not going to say anything about a few of the people I encountered at each of these Wal-marts.
Today, I needed some things. So I buckled Nicknack in his Cowmooflage car seat (love that thing!) and headed toward the freeway. We have two Targets, each about 15 minutes from our home. I drove toward our preferred store and spaced out to the extent that I found I had missed my turn and was going south on I-5. Oops. On a whim, I decided to drive another 15 or 20 minutes to the new Wal-mart my friend recently told me about. I didn't have directions and got lost trying to find it. By the time I arrived I was kicking myself for bothering. I should have just gone to my trusty and beloved Target.
As I pulled in I noticed that this was a "Super" Wal-mart. You probably already know what this means, but I did not. This Wal-mart has groceries!
I rolled my eyes. "Gross," I thought. They probably don't have any of "our food." Meaning cage-free eggs, low-salt tuna, reduced sugar granola bars, whole wheat bread that tastes just like white, "Simply Jif," etc. Friend, they had it ALL! Every turn of the cart found me oohing and aahing. "They have THIS?!" "They even have THAT!" "I'll take four of these." "At this price, I might as well stock up on those." I wasn't brave enough to peruse the meat section, but by the time I got to the last grocery aisle I had a nearly full cart. And I just went grocery shopping two days ago!
There wasn't even a line at the checkout register! It was just like Target. I spent $200. Again, just like Target, where I always go in for a few items and come out with a cartful. In fact, when I got home, I found the shopping list I'd forgotten (as always) on the counter. I crossed off all the items I'd found at Wal-mart. All TWO of them. Yes, that's right. I still need to go to Target.
I still don't know what those Wal-mart people were thinking when they designed and decorated the store. But I now understand why people shop there. I'll probably be back, in a couple of months. I'm feeling adventurous lately. Earlier this week (are you ready for this?), I was on my way to the butcher and I drove by one of those "Grocery Outlet" stores that my mother-in-law frequents, and I pulled in! I just parked and grabbed a cart and went in, like I'd done it a million times before. I wasn't even embarassed. I found some amazing deals, too!
Yes, I'm quite the daredevil these days. What's next, the dollar store!? A garage sale!? Value Village?! We'll just have to wait and see. (But probably not.)
By the way, I'm not making fun of dollar stores, garage sales, Value Village, or the moms who frequent such places. If you are a bargain shopper, I salute you! You are finding good deals, saving money, and blessing your family!