Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Year Without Wal-Mart

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not affiliated with Wal-Mart or any of it's trademarks, names, places, employees, or stores. I have NOTHING against Wal-Mart and have been a faithful shopper there as long as I've had money to spend! This is merely a social experiment and blog project. Please don't sue me.


I have spent a LOT of money in Wal-Mart (WM) over the years. The lure of the place is amazing. Everything you need in one, giant building. But, can I go one year without shopping in Wal-Mart? 

First off, this will be very difficult because I take my disabled father grocery shopping once every 2 weeks or so, and normally we go to WM. However...that doesn't mean *I* need to shop that day. I can merely be a chauffeur and cart pusher.

Second, I am starting this challenge not because I have some bone to pick with WM as a big, giant conglomerate or big business. I actually am a fan of big business. Especially a big business started by one little man with a dream. Has the final product changed from his original vision? Sure. But that's to be expected as time goes on and he is no longer around to run it. But this project has nothing to do with politics, fighting for anything or against anything. I do not care to Occupy Wall Street or Un-Occupy Wall Street. I run my own handmade business, so I understand the need, desire, drive to push products and sell an item. I'm down with that. Me and Sam Walton are A-Ok.

Third, some people that I care for very much work or have worked for Wal-Mart. This project has nothing to do with those people and they should know I love them and they can still bring me half price candy anytime... :)

I am starting this challenge because, A) my husband thinks I spend too much money at WM. B) I WOULD rather buy local or handmade. C) I just want to see if I CAN.

So here's a little background of my family and hometown situation and rules I'll set forth for myself:

We are a family of four, two adults and two kids, and one fat dog. We live in a fairly large town on the Northshore of New Orleans, LA and have plenty of access to local and chain grocery stores. I am an avid Amazon shopper (see, told you, no issues with big business.) Three of the four of us are Gluten Free.

I can do this.

1.) I am allowed to set FOOT in WM. As I said, I need to take my father grocery shopping, and he may need to go to WM.

2.) If I must shop in WM, I must account for it here and confess WHY I had to. (and could I really have avoided it?).

3.) I must keep receipts of all money spent, so we can attempt to compare to previous year's Wal-Mart purchases. Not necessarily, to share all my financial business with you all (although, I do heart you all, you don't need to know EVERYTHING!) But for myself so I can see if I notice a significant difference in our budget. My husband does the bills so really he will be the one to notice this.

4.) This will all tie in my goal of "A Handmade Year," which involves, making what I can make, buying handmade what I cannot make, and buying local what cannot be handmade. Also, doing without if it cannot fit any of those descriptions.

5.) I still get to go to Target, because, well, I love my Target and you can't make me not go. Baby steps, baby steps.

Think I can do it? Want to join the challenge with me? Think I'll lose money? Save money?
I admit...I'm scared. I'll probably make one last maniacal Wal-Mart run on December 31st, just to do it...

I don't suspect I will miss it terribly. I think once I get used to changing my shopping ways, it won't be that bad.

It is on like Donkey Kong.

I'm on a mission...

The challenge starts January 1st.


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Anonymous said...

GOOD LUCK! Although honestly, if your wal mart is anything like mine--its way less stressful to go to Target...just a better layout to account for the crowds.

Robin (RsIslandCrafts) said...

I do the majority of our grocery shopping at a neighborhood walmart just around the corner from our house. For me it is so much cheaper than the other grocery stores. We have way too many grocery stores but nothing "local" or Mom and Pop type places. I did make myself stay out of walmart for other purchases this year. I know I bought several things that we really didn't need. I also have switched to mostly handmade for gifts. My friends and family prefer handmade so it works out really well for me.

I hope your experiment works out well for. I'm sure once you get used to it you won't miss it much.

Rahshell said...

I look forward to following your progress! We are also a family of 4 that is mostly GF, totally dairy and nut free and WM locally doesn't really support that. If could commit to it I could probably stay out of there too, not sure how helpful that would be to my budget though :) Good Luck!!


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