Monday, February 28, 2011

The Sacred Halls of Wally World

I'm not a huge fan of Wal-Mart, but I occasionally step into the store because occasionally there are things I can buy at Wal-Mart that I can't really purchase locally at a better price.  Even so, if I can avoid Wal-Mart, I will, not for political or other reasons, but because I just don't like the experience.

It comes down to this: lots of folks shop at Wal-Mart for the bargains, even though I've seen them price some stuff higher or equal to the local retailers.  Wal-Mart is always crowded, which means I have to deal with lots of people and lots of lines.  When I go to Good Foods, I deal with a smaller place that may or may not be crowded.  The food is organic (or marked conventional) and I know where it comes from.  They love featuring local foods and products.  They take pride in offering good produce and foods.  And yeah, they cost a bit more sometimes, but not always.

I had gone into Wal-Mart to get meds for one of my dogs.  It had been put back on the shelf so I had to wait.  So, I went looking for organic and local stuff.  Wal-mart does carry local products, but it is often hard to find them unless you know where to look.  I did score some extra Wheat Montana flour at a good price, local egg noodles, and organic cereal at a decent price.  The prices were good.  The experience, not so thrilling. I felt like I was back in Denver, and in Missoula, that's pretty hard to do. 

As usual, the whole thing took much longer than I had planned.  I realize that Wal-Mart has a place in the retail world -- and I'm more likely to buy TVs and other electronics there because of the price break.  But honestly, if I had my choice, I'd choose a smaller store over the big warehouse store. 

I like being able to pay not a lot on things, but at some point the quality factor and the community factor comes into being.  Wal-Mart fills a gap that we have out here in terms of certain types of goods.  But at the same time, I won't buy meat and vegetables there that I don't know the origin -- or don't approve of the origin.  My buffalo comes from Montana.  Same with the beef and pork, as well as my chickens and the deer I hunt.  Most of the butchering happens at places I do business with -- I've met the owners too. 

My husband -- who never liked eggs before he ate our chickens' eggs -- had eggs in a restaurant at a hotel and was stunned at how bad they were.  I think commercial eggs have no taste; even the organic eggs seem to not be as good as my own chickens' eggs.  Food I get from the farmer's market is so much better than the food you get in the store. 

I know I'm not the only one who thinks this.  And maybe that's why at least in Missoula, we still have small businesses even though we have two Wal-Marts.

1 comment:

  1. So true about walmart.. Kind of frustrating at times. It is the best place - generally - to buy house 'stuff' - dish soap, movies--AND has one of my favorite local wines for the best price. *sigh* :)

    I love your llamas - they are cutenesses.