Out and about at Wal-mart

Last Wednesday, the doctor approved me to drive again. So, on Saturday, I ventured out alone for the first time since Charis’s arrival. Since driving to OKC takes 35 minutes, I opted to go only as far as the new Wal-Mart store in Mustang, a town about 18 miles nw of us. It was nice to have a little time to walk around and look at things without any children along.

The thing that made me want to blog was the differences I have been noticing lately in prices at different Wal-mart stores. The ones I shop at are generally between 10 and 20 miles from each other, but the difference in prices can be pretty amazing. Here’s an example: A couple of weeks ago, Mark bought a large can of baby formula at the Wal-mart closest to us. It cost $22. A week later when we had to go to the pediatrician’s office, we stopped by the Wal-mart 10 miles closer to the city. I bought the formula there and paid only $18 for it. On my little outing to the new Wal-mart, about 5 miles closer to the city, the formula was priced at $19. I’ve been told several people that Wal-mart’s prices vary from store to store based on the competition in the area the store is in. This makes sense, but I was really amazed at the spread on one particular product.

One final note: when I was a teenager, I remember going to the grocery store with my mom. We would run into people she knew, and she would stop to talk. I would be standing there, listening to the conversation. It would almost always include content about the price of potatoes or lettuce or some other grocery item. I would think to myself, “Is there nothing more important to talk about than the price of groceries?” Now, 20 years later, I am talking about the same things in cyberspace. I have become my mother!

5 thoughts on “Out and about at Wal-mart”

  1. Glad you got to have a little outing by yourself. Hope you are continuing to heal and feeling better. Not being able to drive for a while was a drag, wasn’t it? After Claire was born, I had to send my mom the the airport on a shuttle van instead of driving her because I hadn’t been cleared to drive. That made me so sad (well, the post-partum depression didn’t help either!).

    The price differential thing is pretty interesting. Our chains are so spread out, I’ve never compared, say, one Target to another. I’ve noticed a lot of variation in gas prices based on location, though. Believe it or not, gas is cheaper in the city than the suburbs.

    Please post some more photos of your newest cherub! 🙂

  2. I, too, find myself many times saying that very phrase that you ended your blog with! You know, only buying something when it’s on sale or walking into a clothing store and touching everything you brush up against. It’s true madness! I was embarassed half to death by her 20 years ago, but now that I’ve BECOME her, I must have gotten over it!
    PS-Congratulations on the new arrival. And I absolutely love her name!

  3. your account of the price difference on baby formula was riveting. Have you considered a career as a novelist?

    Just teasing. BTW, I got that same weird Doug comment thing. I was trying to interpret it in light of the specific post I had made, but I guess it’s just a blog disease going around.

  4. Being in a town that supports two Wal-Mart Supercenters, I have noticed the price differences.

    Items are typically higher at the Supercenters than they are at the regular Wal-Mart store – consumable items like paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc. I don’t know if the grocery-store aspect of the Supercenter causes them to have to raise their prices a bit, but when I’ve lived in a town with a regular WM and a Supercenter WM, some things were markedly different in price.

    In Illinois KMart and WalMart were having a price war with their Carnation Follow-Up formula. I could get the 12-oz can at KMart for 3.50 and for 3.25 at Wal-Mart. I’ve never seen it that cheap anywhere else, ever. So it pays to shop around!

  5. Laurel,
    I have been planning to post some photos, but I just haven’t gotten to it. Should be up by the time she goes off to college . . .

    Thanks for the congrats (and appreciating Charis’s name). When are you going to get a comment system on your blog?

    You shouldn’t tease that way. I am a sensitive artist (wimper, wimper).

    You are right about shopping around. It just gets harder to do the further you live from civilization– as you may know now that you are in Monroe and not the burbs of St Louis.

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