Monday, August 14, 2006

Tempt Me Wal-Mart

I went into Wal-Mart with a shopping list of 7 things, none of them expensive, and left with a full shopping cart that cost me seventy-two bucks and change.

I love to hate Wal-Mart, but a shopper’s comparison published in the Sarasota newspaper in May 2004 showed that even a couple who can’t buy in bulk could save 25% - 35% there. I eat mostly fresh foods, but there are always sundry items at low prices.

I set off this morning to mail the thank-you bookmark (see previous post 5 Life Lessons). I have a sore throat, but I decided that I would drive over to US 1 nonetheless and compare the sound of the Onkyo stereo mini-system and a Yamaha, located at two different stores. I’ve been lusting after the Onkyo system for 18 months, but I recently started considered whether the Yamaha might be worth the extra money. There a bit of label snobbery in this, too.

I had barely left the Post Office when I realized I was feeling too blah to deal with the sound-comparison. So I headed for the Wal-Mart Superstore; I’ve been putting off a trip because it’s not near my home.

My shopping list included sore throat spray, lozenges, cinnamon, dishwasher soap, an air conditioner filter, and that organic Hawaiian sugar that costs a good deal less here than at the Whole Foods Market or even my local Publix supermarket.

The Hawaiian sugar was out of stock, and I couldn’t get the ultra micron filter in the size I need. Going along the aisles, I snagged paper towels (I’ve been out for a while), toilet paper (can never have too much), Renuzit air fresheners (never go bad), and a new Campbell squash soup I hadn’t dreamed I needed before entering the store. I remembered all those mornings in New Orleans eating the 50-cent small fruit pies (such a deal at four bits), so I piled four of those into the cart. How about some lip balm? I’m running out of that, aren’t I? Spring water, too: I used the last of the 2-1/2 gallon bottle a day or two ago.

A Vornado air mover was on sale for 10 dollars less than any place else. I’ve wanted one of those sleek honeys since I discovered them online. I settled on a twenty buck floor fan back in May. After all, I reasoned, no matter what brand I buy, it’s just some spinning blades moving around hot air. Mom was using a Vornado when I visited her in June, and it does move a lot of air silently.

Tempt me, Wal-mart.

Looking back regretfully toward the Vornado display, I checked out – remembering at the last minute I need Windex windshield wipes for the car. Those are so handy.

It will have to wait for my next trip to Wal-Mart. Maybe tomorrow -- if I can talk myself into buying that Vornado air mover.

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