Loyal Readers, I have a bit of an unexpected moral dilemma on my hands. As you might be able to tell from the graphic at left, I am not a fan of WalMart. I think that WalMart is bad for any community. They don't bank locally so the money they take does not get funnelled back into the community they are in. They undercut small locally owned businesses and force them under. After that, they are the only game in town and they are free to do with they will with you.
But, perhaps most importantly, WalMart attracts a certain kind of shopper with a decidedly unappealing sense of decorum and style. And, you can guess how that offends the sensibilities of your BloomingtonGirl.
Normally, I avoid shopping at any WalMart in order to avoid going against my personal belief that they are bad BAD BAD and of course, to avoid having to be rub elbows with the dreadful WalMart shoppers.
But, the other day, I am ashamed to say, I shopped at a WalMart. Not only did I break my moral and aesthetic codes. I opened up a whole new can of moral dilemma worms. How did this happen?
On Sunday, I had to pick up the dog from the kennel and I arrived about a half-hour earlier than they open for pick-up. The kennel is on the other side of town, so I didn't want to go home and come back. I had some grocery shopping to do for my mega-baking projects this week and decided to use my half-hour wait to do that. I started to drive toward an area nearby where I thought there would be a supermarket and I immediately came upon the new SUPER WalMart. There it was, at the ready and so very close to the kennel. I wasn't exactly sure where the nearest Kroger or Marsh (our regional chain stores) were and I didn't want to spend very much time looking for either one. So, discarding my convictions and distaste, I decided to pick up a few baking staples at the evil WalMart. Just a few dry goods and I would do the rest of my shopping at BloomingFoods. What could it hurt, right? I am a drop in the salty sea to the likes of WalMart.
Let me just say that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and that my good intentions were to spend very little money and to spend very little time in the Devil's Den of WalMart.
Let me further say that I failed at these intentions and opened the door to a Siren call of selling my soul for savings
Five minutes into my shopping, I completely understood why people flock to WalMart. Quite simply, their prices are incredibly low. I was stunned at how much less they were charging for my baking staples - high end chocolate, great butter, good flour, my favorite kind of brown sugar that you can't even get at other stores around here - you get the picture. And Quaker Oats were materially less costly than at other supermarkets. No small thing when one considers what a high volume item it is in this kitchen where many, many deservedly famous Oatmeal Jacksons are turned out regularly.
As I placed item after item (okay, several of each item after several of each item) I started to get a little giddy. Could my favorite ingredients really and truly be purchased at such a discount? I sped up and down the aisles, experiencing the pleasant surprise of one low price after another. I kept my purchases to baking supplies only, but I gotta admit that it wasn't easy. It took a whole lot of discipline to not stock up on a whole lot of other things. I figured that I really needed to remove myself from the tempting situation to objectively think about the whole shopping at WalMart concept before I committed to buying things like breakfast cereals (the prices!!) and the like.
And think about it I have. Sadly, I have to admit that I want to go back and do all my staple shopping there on a regular basis. The savings are just too good to resist.
On the other hand, how can I live with myself for shopping at WalMart? Or even worse, how will I manage to save face while I get down from my high horse?