I am not one to make a list of “New Year’s Resolutions” and keep it posted on my fridge. It may be something that other folks find helpful, but for me, it just isn’t. However, this year I DO have ONE resolution: I WILL STOP SHOPPING AT WAL-MART!
Common sense and logic long ago left a nagging feeling that I wasn’t helping anyone by shopping at Wal-Mart, unless you count the Walton family I guess. But, you know, it is SO convenient to walk into a Super Center and be able to do all your shopping in one place. This is especially true when gas prices go up and a 10 minute drive is needed to do any sort of shopping at all. There are no “mom and pop” corner stores in my neck of the woods, and the need for a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread means getting in your vehicle and making that drive. I understand why so many of my friends and neighbors call it our “shopping mall.” You can find just about anything you need or want at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter just minutes from home, as opposed to trekking to multiple stores or driving at least 30 minutes to the suburbs.
As the year winds down, and we have made our resolution known to family and friends, the response is a look of horror – “You’ll spend a lot more on groceries and other stuff you know!” Well, we might but then again, we might not. With a membership at a Costco-like store, we can stock up on a lot of things for far less than we were spending each week at Wal-Mart. With coupons and member privilege cards at other grocery stores, we can get higher quality products than we were getting at Wal-Mart for only a few dollars more.
What my friends and family don’t understand is that our decision to stop shopping at Wal-Mart really has nothing at all to do with saving money. It is a morality thing for us. The Black Friday workers’ strikes brought to light the deplorable conditions that employees are subjected to. In our own local Wal-Mart, when the butchers whispered about joining a union – they were all cut, and the meat sold there now comes in on trucks from who knows where.
When I tell people about the Walton Family Foundation’s involvement in the privatization of public schools, they stare at me like I’m from another planet. If you, like them, don’t quite understand our decision or resolution, I’ve included a few links that perhaps will persuade you to consider doing the same.
Happy New “Wal-Mart Free” Year everyone!