Why I Don’t Shop At Walmart (and why I prefer Aldi)

Why I Don't Shop at Wal-Mart

This week a reader asked me why, if I am The Frugal Girl, I don’t shop for groceries at the store that has “Always Low Prices!” as its slogan. That’s certainly a fair question, given that Walmart has a reputation for being a money-saving place to shop.

I rarely set foot in Walmart (usually only on vacation, when I have to get by without my beloved Aldi!), and it’s not because of some strong commitment to ethical shopping, though I understand the downsides of their business model. No, I avoid shopping at Walmart mostly because I don’t like shopping at Walmart, and because I can save more money on my grocery bill by employing other frugal strategies.

Here are a few things I dislike about Walmart.

  • The store is enormous. I know that this is one of its selling points (you can buy motor oil and cilantro at the same store! Woo!) but I loathe the size of Walmart’s stores. If you’re buying orange juice and then remember you want some bar soap too, you have to trek all the way across the store to do so. This is no big deal if you shop by yourself, I guess, but when I have all four kids with me, the last thing I want to do is traipse around a huge store. Aldi and most other grocery stores are much less overwhelming in size.

 

  • It’s really, really busy. I hate shopping with crowds, I hate waiting in long lines at the register, and I hate having to park a half mile from the store (again, I don’t hate walking, but walking through crowded parking lots with my 4 kids makes me very nervous, as other drivers are less than careful sometimes). At Aldi and Weis, and I can always find a close parking place, the aisles are not crowded, and I hardly ever have to wait in the check-out line for more than a few minutes.

 

  • The prices aren’t overwhelmingly cheap. Of course, items are less expensive than they’d be at a nice grocery chain, but Walmart’s prices are not nearly as low as Aldi’s prices are. And even at a regular grocery store I can often find deals that beat Walmart’s deals simply by buying the items that are on loss-leader or similar sales. I know Walmart offers a price-matching policy, where they’ll give you the sale price on an identical item if you bring in the flyer from a local grocery store, but this is a major hassle both for me and for the cashier and I am not remotely tempted to incorporate this into my weekly shopping trip.

I suppose you could say that both my dislike of Walmart and my love for Aldi basically stems from the fact that I prefer to keep things simple and low-key.

Walmart is huge and hectic, whereas Aldi is small and simple.

I like that there is one brand of milk at Aldi, one jumbo pack of toilet paper, one brand of butter, and so on. Because Aldi stocks a limited number of items, I don’t have to stand there calculating pi to the 20th place in order to find the best deal on toilet paper…I just buy the multi-pack and move on.

And because they stock a limited variety of items, their store is delightfully small. If I get to the end of the store and remember I forgot something in the first aisle, it’s no big deal. You can only get so far away from the first aisle in such a small store!

I know I said I don’t avoid Walmart on ethical grounds, but I do feel more comfortable supporting Aldi than I do supporting Walmart. Aldi’s pared-down business plan allows them to hire fewer employees, which means they can pay them fairly well.

Also, their money-saving model causes them to be more environmentally friendly than most stores…they stock only foods that sell well so that they don’t have to waste food (this, of course, earns them points with me!), they employ energy-saving measures in their stores, and they don’t give disposable bags away (they sell paper bags, which encourages people to bring their own bags. I bring cloth ones with me each week).

P.S. I would be remiss if I ended this post without acknowledging that my avoidance of Walmart comes from a place of privilege. I don’t live in an upscale area (it’s not that kind of privilege!), but I happen to live in what you might call grocery shopping heaven…there are two Walmarts nearby, of course, but there are also about 10 other grocery stores within 5 miles of my house, which means that I have the luxury of choosing exactly where I want to shop. I know not everyone has the plethora of choices I do, and that in many places, Walmart is the only place to shop.

So, what do you think of shopping at Walmart? Love it? Hate it?

Comments

  1. says

    I generally only go to Wal-Mart as a last resort (if I need an ingredient I haven’t found elsewhere) or if it’s 3 a.m. and I’m baking (my way to de-stress) and need something. Otherwise, I too am not a fan of the crowds. And another random thing, in most grocery stores, their produce and freezer sections are cold, but the rest of the store is okay. I’ve found that Wal-Mart is cold all over, and my poor little veins hate it! Random, but something I always have to keep in mind if I don’t want to ache from the cold.

    • Kristen says

      You know, that’s another nice thing about Aldi. They have doors and lids on almost all of their refrigerated/freezer sections (to save energy), which means you don’t have to experience a blast of cold air when you’re buying milk and eggs.

  2. Renee says

    I totally agree with you. Wal-Mart is COLD, overcrowded, too big and too convenient. Most times, I go with a list…toilet paper, syrup, tomato paste…and walk out with that cute little shirt that cost $3 and a box of cheezits in addition to “my list”. I have not been to an Aldi yet, but I’ve just moved to an area where I think I can find one! I’ll try it out.

  3. Kathi says

    I used to love Aldi when we lived in Germany. Unfortunately we don’t have one here in Huntsville. I hope they expand their locations.

    • Erica says

      I’m not sure how far you are from Decatur but there is an Aldi there at 1000 Beltline Rd SW # G2, Decatur.

      Try it out it’s wonderful!

  4. says

    Aldi’s is my go-to store for staples – flour, sugar, butter, chocolate chips and graham crackers. I heart that they’ve started that Fit & Healthy line, and they have giant fudge bars that rival WW’s flavor, if not the price. However, it’s my second choice. I usually hit the loss leaders at Meijer, since they double coupons. I’m also much more impressed with Meijer’s produce. And, after a bad experience many years ago with Aldi’s sausage, I have a hard time buying meat there. As for Walmart, um, you’re right. It’s brilliant for them to place the shampoos/soaps on the other side of the store from the groceries, because I’m sure those extra steps we make past the books and clothing boost impulse buys, but for me it’s just an irritant. I’ll be happy to use their Site to Store if it’s the best deal on a particular item, though. The bottom line is, it’s all about saving money. Realizing WM wasn’t the be-all and end-all of frugality was a lesson a long time coming. You believe what you hear (“Always Low Prices”), and it’s hard to chisel through the hype.

  5. Gail says

    Living in a rural area, my grocery stores are limited. Walmart is usually it, although
    I would much prefer a “real” grocery store. I don’t like that Walmart doesn’t pay their employees well.

  6. says

    I second the hugeness of Wal-Mart. Definitely not a fan. In my little Fareway I can get everything without having a panic attack. They offer carry-to-your-car service which is a good option for people juggling a lot of kids, or enough groceries to feed a lot of kids. :) They also offer a low-price guarantee, so even if I can get an item cheaper elsewhere, they will match it. So why bother chasing around for the lowest price?
    So yeah, Wal-mart is reserved for late-night emergencies, which I don’t have many of because I meal-plan.

  7. Monica says

    I understand your point of view. We moved from So. CA to Wal-Mart country almost 4 years ago and my, it was a shock. Early on I really missed my upscale grocery stores and it took some time to get “climate-ized” to shopping at Wal-Mart, and a super center nonetheless (happens to be closest to our home). But now that I know the layout of the store (and yes, it’s huge), and for our area, is much more affordable than the other grocery store chain, I continue to shop at Wal-Mart. It is what it is, as many things in life are.

  8. Erin says

    Kristen, Thanks for answering my question!! i really appreciate your time and experience. I would really like to limit my Walmart excursions to a minimum. The temptation of buying things we don’t need is always an issue there. I am trying to decide what my better choices are. I live in a small town and the choices are few. The Aldi is about 25 minutes away. There is a Save-a-lot close by but it is not the best kept store. As far as the larger chains we have Food Lion and Shop n Save. I think I will try Aldi’s once a month, Save a lot the other 3 weeks and Food Lion for the “Brand” items I might need. I am curious to see how much this will impact my budget.

  9. says

    Even though there’s 6 grocery stores within 10 miles, we also shop at Aldi because of the prices and the limited selection. We sometimes shop at Super Walmart just because hubby works there and we get a discount :) When we move to North Carolina sometime this year, the nearest Aldi will be like 40 min. south of where we’ll live and there’s like 2 Super Walmarts 30 min. north. We’ll still be going to Aldi, even though not every week to save on gas. Maybe have like a bi-weekly shopping trip.

    • Lynne says

      What exactly do you mean when you say “there’s like 2 Super Walmarts…”
      Do you mean you like Super Walmart?
      I noticed you said something else at the end of your post.
      What did you mean when you said “Maybe have like a bi-weekly shopping trip.” What is a “like” bi-weekly shopping trip?
      In case you didn’t know:
      Know how the word “like” is supposed to be used. There are only two correct usages:

      Similarity – “This tastes like chicken.”
      Enjoyment – “I like this movie.”

      • Kristen says

        I think she was using it in the colloquial way that many of us do. I may not type very many likes, but goodness knows I say that word awfully frequently in my day-to-day conversations. :)

        (And that’s despite me knowing that it’s not a technically correct use of the word!)

  10. Lori says

    We almost never go to Wal-Mart, which I’d like to say was a conscious ethical decision, but really is just because DH and I both dislike it there, and because, unlike most people in the U.S, it seems, we don’t have one nearby.

    I agree about the size. Especially being 9 months pregnant now, I really, really appreciate how small Aldi is. I can actually manage a shopping trip without feeling like aI need a two-hour nap when I’m done. When we do our big shopping at Meijer, there is so much walking around and, as you mentioned, having to trek across the store for a forgotten item, that I am pretty much done for the day after shopping.

  11. Jessica says

    I’ve tried to stop shopping Wal-Mart more for ethical reasons now, though I am happy to hear they have models in place for more eco-friendly stores and practices. I am trying to give more of my business to smaller stores that are local and have a hard time competing with Wal-Mart. I usually go to Giant Eagle for hard to find, specialty items and use their weekly circular to find good sales. I also like Giant Eagle because the way their check out is set up allows me to easily give the ‘bag boy’ my own bags, rather than at Wal-Mart where the carosels make it difficult. There is an Aldi and Sav-A-Lot in the area that I will use as well depending on my needs. I do usually end up at Wal-Mart to buy a few items I can’t get at the other places like whole wheat flour and some frozen pretzels that I can’t find anywhere else.

    I can totally understand not wanting to cart 4 chilren around a huge store, and Alid’s are nice and compact!

  12. says

    I live in an area with limited options on grocery stores – a small local market, couple of chain stores, and a Walmart. I do my weekly shopping at the small store that still has packers that carry the bags out for you. Their prices are a good deal lower than the other super market chains in the area and sales prices compete with Walmart’s every day prices – except for paper products and household cleaning items. Those I continue to purchase at Walmart as needed or at Sam’s Club on a quarterly basis when we travel out of town to see a specialist.

    One thing I don’t understand about the Walmart complainers is if Walmart’s pay is that low – why are there some many workers that have been there easily 10 plus years at my local one???

    • says

      I used to work at Walmart, and I think I can answer your question about pay. I don’t think they pay that much lower than any other grocery store or other similar job. In fact, when I worked in Alabama the minimum wage was just under $6 and hour and I got $9.
      I think the reason those people work there for a long time is because they continue to get raises every year, Walmart does have good quarterly bonuses, and, maybe, they just don’t have anywhere else they are qualified to go to. With paid vacation for fulltime people, why would they start over somewhere else?
      That’s just my experience, anyway.

  13. says

    What a great question! I do not like Walmart for groceries either. Same reasons apply, too big, too crowded. We tried to do grocery shopping one time, thinking we would save money. But did not like it. I’ll go to Target once in a while but not for all my groceries, only when several of our items are on sale.

    • says

      We have a Wal Mart and Safeway only in our area and we prefer to use Safeway the Wal Mart in our area is huge (superstore), it HOT not cold, and the first 5 days of the month there is absolutely no way you can maneuver the isles there are so many people there, although Safeway is more expensive with coupons I can usually get good prices on sale items

  14. Erika says

    Oh, I agree with you about avoiding Walmart! I used to go there because their prices were cheaper, but I would find that I’d stop in for one or two things and then end up spending $100 in toiletries, home goods, etc. It seemed that since I thought the prices were good, I would buy unnecessary items. Now I just go to CVS or RiteAid for, say, just deodarent or toothpaste, and leave with just that. Even if the price for those one or two items cost more, I spend less.
    Also, I can’t deal with the inconsiderate people and unruly kids that seem to be at Walmart. I have no problem at all with people who take 4 well-behaved kids shopping – actually, I’m really impressed! But it seems like in Walmart especially people let their kids run wild, and it’s so annoying! That, and the people who take their giant carts and leave them in the middle of the aisles, and then give you a dirty look when you excuse yourself and ask them to move over… Oh boy, I am getting the heebie jeebies just thinking about it!

  15. says

    Kristen,

    I pretty much limit my shopping at Walmart to when I need multiple items that I would otherwise need to get at separate stores (motor oil and cilantro).

    I have access to a military commissary which is the lowest prices around (40-60% discount). I do the bulk of my shopping there.

    Ironically enough, there is a Super Walmart and Aldi across the street from each other. There is another grocer chain around the corner from me. If I need something between commissary visits, I’ll probably go there.

    But, like you….I detest the long lines and lack of close parking at Wally World.

    Aldi also has good employment benefits (at least that’s what I’ve heard). And I like the way they manage to keep stray shopping carts out of the parking lot with the quarter deposit…genius!

  16. says

    I normally shop at Walmart for everything except for meat. We recently had an Aldi to open here and I have only been there a couple of times. I am not a snob to off brands, but I wondered how the brands they have compare to the “walmart brand”. I am going to grocery shop there this week to do my own comparison. Thanks for posting this today!

  17. says

    I dispise shopping at wal-mart. I have a 2 year old daughter and a 6 month old daughter, and another girl on the way. I swear everytime we go there we leave with a cold! Even if we disinfect the buggy, use disinfectant wipes and foam on the kids before going in and when coming out, we all still get sick after a trip to wal-mart. Wal-mart is a HUGE store with PLENTY of registers, but they only seem to have 3 or 4 open no matter what time of day it is. Why have all those registers if you will only have 3 or 4 open? And the self check out lines are always filled with people who haven’t used it before and it seems to take forever. When you have two kids under the age of 3, and are already run down from being pregnant and chasing the kids all day, the last thing you want to do is stand in a long line while they whine and cry. It’s just too stressful. I will stick to my coupons, and Food-lion or Bi-lo. If Aldi were closer to my home, I would be shopping there instead.
    I just wanted to say, I came across your story the other day on the 700 club and I really like your blog!

  18. Jacqueline says

    I guess I’m biased because we’re a Walmart family. My husband has worked there since I met him when we were in college. He started as a cart pusher/cashier and has moved up through the ranks from there. He has ALWAYS been paid better and had benefits I did not have when I was in equivilant positions at other well-known retailers. Walmart gets a lot of bad press on the “ethical side” when in reality they’re doing more to make themselves sustainable (ecologically and otherwise) and a good corporate partner than other stores that get good press for being so “green” and “employee friendly”. Most of that bad press comes from union groups that are irritated that Walmart doesn’t force unions upon its non-management employees.
    As for shopping there — we are lucky to have what is known as “Neighborhood Markets” in our area. They’re new and basically just the grocery side of a Super Walmart. It’s much less crowded and similar to a Kroger or Giant Eagle type model but the prices are much lower, especially on items like cleaning supplies and pharmacy items. I don’t fool with coupons and b/c my husband is an employee we get an additional discount on taxed items (non-food and around the holidays we get the discount on everything). I don’t bite the hand that feeds, and with the extra discounts and convenience of shopping in a Neighborhood Market I’m a very happy Walmart shopper.

  19. says

    I don’t like the long lines or the crowds. It is annoying. I try to get most of my groceries on sale at my local grocery stores. I go to Walmart or Sams about once a month to stock up on can goods and other things.

  20. says

    I totally agree with you. My reasons for not shopping at Wal-Mart are mostly ethical (though, like you, I must acknowledge my privilege here–I’m not condemning anyone who shops at Wal-Mart, especially those who have no choice), though I also find that I just a) don’t like the store’s atmosphere and b) don’t find prices to be considerably cheaper.

  21. says

    I love Walmart, never have a problem ad matching Aldi ads (and the closest Aldi is three towns away). The cashiers have so many people ad match that they are familiar with what’s coming and rarely even ask to see the ad if I go later in the week. I used to drive to Aldi anyway, because you just can’t beat some of their prices, but I hated that I could never find everything I needed and ended up at Walmart anyway! I usually go to Aldi about 2 times a year and stock up on canned items. Last summer I started gettting produce at the farmers market and my garden and canning it myself (from jars bought at 2nd hand stores-woot!), so now I really only have a need for Aldi about once a year. I also like that Walmart brings in nearly 50% of their produce from local growers-if feels good to support the little guys even when I’m shopping at the big guy.

  22. melissa says

    I do not like shopping at walmart. They are not that cheap. And thier employees are not friendly. I feel if I’m supporting someones salary, they need to be helpful and friendly.I do get thier loss leaders if I have a coupon and I get the item for free. I currently travel 30 minutes out of my way to shop at Winco. Their prices are low and have a great bulk food dept. That way I only buy what I need and no waste:) Wich they had Aidi’s(mispelled) on the west coast. Thanks Kristin for your thots!

  23. Vir says

    I live in Canada, across the border from Michigan, and I admit that I’m a walmart shopper but mainly for items like shampoo, soap, etc. The walmart near me is crowded but clean, the staff is pleasant, and many of their grocery prices are competitive. However, the walmart’s I’ve visited in Michigan are the complete opposite – unhappy looking workers, the store’s messy, nothing in stock, etc. So i’m guessing a person’s experience will vary depending on the store.

  24. says

    I’ve not shopped Walmart for 5+ years. I don’t miss it one bit! That was one step we took in getting out of debt. Like you said it’s too big, for me it has WAY too many options, and we would often just go there to buy things because we were bore. Other than Walmart we only have 2 other grocery stores, one that thinks they are the only place to shop on the planet (and their prices show it…they are expensive) and Save-A-Lot, which is my preference to do my grocery shopping, as there are less options and I don’t usually get tempted to buy things I don’t need. I buy everything at one of these 2 stores, non food items included. I also avoid Walgreens and other bigger stores like Target, for some of the same reasons we don’t shop Walmart. I prefer to shop as locally as possible…..mom & pop stores are the BEST! (even if I spend a little more.)

  25. says

    I have a Walmart about fifteen minutes away, which here is one town and a ridiculous hill that burns up gas like my little compact is an SUV. I don’t usually shop there, due to said hill, as well as your list as well – especially the hugeness of it and how tempting it is to look through clothes, or fabric as well while I’m there.

    I finally bucked up and did a price comparison, and once gas was factored in I saved less than $2 per trip, which I usually go one once every week or two. Granted, that adds up eventually, but I’ve decided to shop in my town unless I’m already in Walmart’s area – our local Savemart is much smaller and easier to navigate, and I generally feel better about shopping there than at Walmart. That feeling might change once we get our supercenter about 5 minutes from here and minus the big hill, so we’ll see.

  26. Kris K says

    I do all I can to avoid Walmart, but I still shop at Sam’s some (business membership, I pick my things up when I get my work’s things). I can not handle the crowds, noise, wait, sheer size of the store and quantity of choices. It’s overwhelming to the senses and is more choas then I prefer. I’m fortunate to have two bent and dents close to us that have really helped to feel the gap (organics are always so cheap there, they don’t know the brands!!). That along with the farmers market, local health food store, amazon on occasion, local “yard” eggs, and our own garden we are doing ok.

    Our Walmart doesn’t carry local produce either, I seldom find things not in a package from the usa, let alone our state. Sad.

  27. Shannon says

    How funny! I’ve never even heard of Aldi before today but I looked on their website and it looks like there is one a couple of miles from me. I will definitely have to check that out!

  28. Jonathan says

    There are 6 grocery stores within 5 miles of my home. There is a small Walmart neighborhood store about 7 or 8 miles away. I only stop there if I just happen to be near there and need something. If it were closer to the house, I might consider it in my normal shopping. As it is, keeping up with the sales at 6 stores is enough.

  29. WilliamB says

    I do not like to shot at WalMart.

    My primary reason is ethical: I don’t like the way WalMart treats its employees. Discrimination, split shifts, lack of training, inadequate staffing and all its resulting problems, did I mention discrimination?

    My secondary reasons are personal: the store is too darn large so it takes a long time to learn what’s where, and it’s too easy to buy things I didn’t intend to buy.

    • Jennifer says

      What groups does Wal-Mart descriminate against? I’m not asking because I disagree, I’m just curious. At the two Wal-Marts I’ve been to most, they seem to have a variety of races and ages working there. Not to mention people with disabilities such as those in wheelchairs, etc. Is this just a regional thing?

  30. says

    I have to say, the lines and customer service at WalMart is enough to keep me away. I have to say, Aldi’s quality can be disappointing…enough that I haven’t been back. I know a lot of people who swear by Aldi, maybe I’ll try again.

    • Kristen says

      Ohh, I do! That picture is from our grocery shopping trip on vacation, when I didn’t have my reusable bags available (I did actually bring them on vacation, but they were packed with stuff…I use them as luggage bags!). Every other shopping trip of the year, I bring my own bags. :)

  31. Wendy says

    We also mostly avoid WM for similar reasons – size, crowds, register lines. I am spoiled though, by living in a big city. I have at least 7 options in a 3 mile radius, and even more as I go outward. We have found that some things at WM are less expensive, but generally we can save more by shopping the adds and using our coupons (we have found that our Target sells tea varieties for less than any other store…at their regular price, so even less with a coupon – I am always cold and a big hot tea drinker). We really need to do a price book.

  32. Rachel D. says

    I try not to shop at Walmart for personal reasons…I know that if I go into walmart with my husband and kids then I will easily have double or triple the amount of things that I needed. Times that I go alone, I hate how large the stores are, the lack of employee help (especially when you go for something that is locked up like an electronic item), the overall rudeness of employees and other customers. It is not worth my aggrevation. I also have found that the prices of many of the staples that I buy for our family can be bought cheaper at Kroger or Meijer or even Target (which is not a superTarget, just a regular one). Typically the only time that I feel I have to go Walmart for shopping is when I am going to get a present and I don’t even go into the food part of the store if I can help it.

    I am blessed to live within 10 minutes of Kroger, Target, Walmart, Meijer, Giant Eagle, and Aldi. I choose to go to Kroger mainly because with their sales and produce I find the best bargains for what I buy my family. I do shop at Aldi once or twice a month to stock up on canned veggies, frozen waffles and a couple other things. I had to slowly convert my husband into allowing the Aldi shopping as he didn’t like the stores he had been in before, but I have slowly converted him into an Aldi believer.

  33. says

    When the WalMart supercenter opened in our town, I shopped it. It was cheap. Lots cheaper than the 3 other grocery stores (I’m not kidding – 3 grocery stores in a town of 40,000+ — Dillon’s by Kroger, Food 4 Less and Aldi). Within the last 6 mos. a HyVee store has opened and finally brought some competition to town. Dillon’s (my fave) has lowered their prices, added to their selection and is currently making improvements. Now I’m back to being a regular shopper at Dillon’s and I love it. I only venture to WalMart for non-food items as they are way cheaper there. My list is short when I go to WalMart and I only have to shop 1/2 of the store so it doesn’t take me long — in and out. Period. WalMart is a killer on the finances if you shop w/out a list and wander throughout the entire store!

    Interesting note about Aldi’s — I’ve shopped it before and I don’t mind it. I always found it a hassle to need cash but since I’ve gone to an all cash grocery budget since late Dec. 09, I may need to go again and re-visit it. Thanks for the nudge. Also, we hosted a foreign exchange student in 2006-2007 who was from Germany. She was thrilled to see Aldi’s as that is their main grocery store in Germany….the upscale grocery store! Who knew?

    Here’s an interesting read about WalMart’s recent produce initiative. We must admit that big box retailers can have a huge impact on the general population.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/201003/walmart-local-produce

  34. says

    I do the majority of our shopping at Walmart, but I have to say that after seeing your photo above, I shuddered. That’s my life!

    I do find the best prices for the things we need there and it is convenient to my house. We do have several other options for shopping in our area, but their prices are WAY too high. I also go to Aldi about once a month for staples like butter, sugar, flour, cream cheese etc.

    I do not like the meat at Aldi or Walmart. The bulk of our meat purchases come from watching ads like a hawk and then pouncing on a good deal. I stock up and freeze. Meijer also has great deals on discounted meats each week, but you have to time it just right.

    I totally see your point about shopping in such a large and crazy store with 4 kids. I’m lucky enough to do the bulk of our shopping while the oldest is in school, which leaves me with only one 2 year old to wrangle.

    Great post…nice to see what everyone’s opinions are and how they deal with shopping.

  35. says

    I actually do most of our shopping at Walmart and the local farmers market. It is convenient for us, and try as I may, I’m not much of a coupon clipper!
    They also are much more environmentally friendly than many people think. If you happen to be there again, take a look at some of their packaging (only concentrated laundry detergent for example), their “Locally grown” produce signs, their brand clothing made from “transitional” fields (to encourage farmers to transition to organic) and the sheer number of “made in USA” products that they have.
    They are also the first large company to start requiring their suppliers to show a “chain” of production so consumers know what really went into that “organic” product.

    I think its fabulous and should be applauded that a retail giant has realized the importance of sustainability. They have to potential to reach a vast number of people who otherwise may not have ever been concerned about being “green”. I only wish that they would stop with the plastic bags all together…no matter how much everyone would whine and complain about having to pay for them :)

    USA today article on Wal-Mart Sustainability.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2006-09-24-wal-mart-cover-usat_x.htm

  36. Aimy says

    Love your comments. Aldi is the closest grocery store near me. Although I must admit, I go to a local (not close) ethnic store Valle Produce 5 miles away. It has the ethnic variety of Italian, Asian and Spanish items that are staples for dinner at my house. And of course, my beloved Trader Joe’s. I do this because I am sensitive to many food additives and it has affected my health. So I need organic and such.. I do know that Traders owns Aldi or vice-versa.
    You are so informative and rational about your reasons on shopping Aldi. Where are you getting this info. Sorry to sound so stupid, just wondering, since I know how busy you are. Well, I am a new Frugal Gal fan and will enjoy your insights through this journey called life.
    In Him.

  37. Karen says

    HATE IT! I don’t generally us “hate” but I am ok with it in this instance. I can’t get out of there in less than 3 hours. It shouldn’t take 3 hours to grocery shop! When our Walmart first became a Super store. I thought, how great – one stop shop right? BOO! I ended up abandoning my cart in the checkout line after 3 hours of fighting the crowds in the isle sand standing in line in the checkout with the slowest person checking out. AAAHHH! Haven’t been back since. I am not blessed with an Aldi so I don’t really know what that’s all about but I shop Giant. It’s the best grocery store around me in terms of quality and cost. Plus, while giant is a chain of sorts, it is personal enough that they know me there. I like when I am remembered!

  38. says

    I agree with you whole-heartedly! I also live by numerous amounts of grocery stores, including 2 Walmarts. I don’t like to go into Walmart because there are SO many temptations for me there. If I go for groceries, then I’m sure that I’d look at the clothes, then remember to get something for the bathroom, etc. I ONLY go there if I can get some free items, is that cheap of me?

  39. Kate in NY says

    Wal-Mart has ruined scores of local businesses and decimated small towns throughout this country. They go into towns, receive tax incentives for opening stores, put the local businesses out of business, then pay their workers pathetic wages – their employees are actually encouraged to go on welfare to supplement their meager incomes (which ends up costing the taxpayers money!) Sure there might be some cheerful long-term employees, but Wal-Mart is absolutely notorious for their violations of labor laws. They might have some “eco” packaging and locally grown produce – but this is somewhat akin to McDonald’s offering up baby carrots in their Happy Meals. Good press, but irrelevant in the larger scheme. Sorry to rant – this is something I feel so passionate about! It IS possible to shop frugally AND ethically. Even Costco is actually a much more ethical choice on a number of levels – they treat their employees far better, have rigorous health requirements for the meat they purchase, etc. I wish we had an Aldi’s here, but Trader Joe’s is pretty handy for most of my purchases.

  40. says

    There is only one Wal-Mart in all of Portland, and every time Wal-Mart tries to build a store, the city and local communities successfully block it.

    An interesting read is Barbara Ehrenreich “Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America.” In this book, the author worked a number of different low income jobs, and shows how it’s almost next to impossible to get ahead on minimum wage. One of the jobs that she took was at a Wal Mart. It doesn’t out-and-out bash Wal Mart, (which would be easy) as much as spell out how Wal Mart’s business practices are different, and how that affects the employees.

    I used to go to Wal Mart when I lived in Albuquerque and I thought it was great fun. Sooo cheap! Sooo much to look at! Of course, this was before I had kids and when their schtick was how their merchandise was made in the U.S.A.

    Katy Wolk-Stanley
    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

    • Julia says

      Katy, I’m so glad you mentioned this book. I read it several years ago and learned a lot. It strengthened my resolve to never shop at Wal Mart. In addition to those issues mentioned in the book and their effect on “Mom and Pop” shops, I’m also so sick of their recent “greenwashing” campaign. I shop at our amazing local chain, Puget Sound Consumer Co-op here in the Seattle area. Also, Costco’s HQ is located 10 minutes away from my house and I know they treat their employees better.

      • Julia says

        P.S. I also shop at Trader Joe’s about 2 times per month, and also at a local small grocery store a couple of times a month because I can walk there from my house and I don’t want them to go out of business! As a vegetarian (85% vegan) eco freak, it’s really hard for me to find much to eat in a conventional grocery store. At the moment I am reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals”, which will make you think twice before buying meat from a conventional factory farm at ANY grocery store in America. It is beyond horrifying.

  41. says

    I personally HATE walmart and don’t think they are that much cheaper than other places. Once in a while they might have a good deal on something but in order to not be trampled to death for the product, I have to go there at like 4am which is unappealing to me. Also, it is too big, too much, too much everything!
    As a Canadian, I am not a fan of Walmart at all. They seem to kill all the small timers around here but a lot of people love them. I make a point of staying away.
    I also loathe the idea of buying shoes and pickels in the same place. I don’t know why but I just do. That is my two cents. I also heard that Target is coming to Canada in 3 years. Also, not a fan. Too big, too much and will be competing with too many other stores here. I am not pleased with the idea.

  42. Jennifer says

    I shop Wal-mart..my only other choices are Publix & Kroger…Wal-mart has their cost per calculations posted on every item at my store, so you dont have to pull your calculator out!

    • WilliamB says

      Jennifer (assuming you’re in the US) all grocery stores are required to post unit prices. Stores do play a bit, using per ounce on one size and per lb on another, but the law is quite clear.

  43. Kristy says

    Ha, ha, ha today I recived my new Walmart credit card and I am ready to go to shop, but reading your article I am going to think twice. My husband hate how long time I take admiring everything in the store, everything looks nice…I finish buying things what I don’t need. My Aldi is like 35 minutes from my home :(

  44. Jen B. says

    I LOVE Aldi, but since I moved to Florida, we no longer have one nearby. The closest one is about 1 hour away. I’ve debated if it’s worth it to drive up there once a month to shop for staples/pantry items. I miss it dearly!

  45. Charisse says

    what about sam’s or costcos. I stopped going to walmart regularly and only rarely go. My neighborhood supermarket won me by sending store coupons and they have double coupons everyday under .50. they love when I send them opinions about their store. I do hate going to the store periodically for a staple item like flour or cheese. i love certain items in bulk what about you.

  46. Linda Walmer says

    I concur with you on every point! The store is huge and I do not go there unless that is the onlyh place I can get what I want. It is always crowded and forever dirty and messy.
    I would rather pay a higher price than shop at the big Super Walmart in Stockton, CA.

  47. Meleah says

    No Aldi’s where I live, but I’d love to check one out someday :) For now, it’s Walmart for me! Have any other alternative store ideas besides Aldi’s?

  48. Melinda says

    I have to say, I am a Wal-Mart shopper. I like Wal-Mart. However, I also have to say, my family and I have mostly lived in smaller towns, through the years, that do not have a lot of options. Locally, now, we have a United Supermarket and a Wal-Mart Super Center. While I understand what you are saying about the hassle of the enormous size of Wal-Mart and how difficult it is to drag four kids around (I have four of my own), I also remember that it was a much bigger hassle to drag my kids to more than one store, just to save a few cents on a can of beans. To me the convenience of “one-stop shopping”, outweighs any of the negatives. I also understand some of the other girls comments that shopping at Wal-Mart causes them to spend too much time or too much money, which I agree can be true and has been true for me in the past. I think that anywhere you shop can be a disaster, however, if you don’t have a list and stick to it. To be fair with what some are saying about the crowds, I do have to say that is one thing I really don’t like about Wal-Mart. We happen to live in a smaller town with a pop. of about 13,000 and our own Wal-Mart. We live just 15 minutes south of a town of about 400,000. I HATE shopping in the WM’s in the larger town near us for that very reason – crowds. It is a pain finding a parking place and a pain getting past all the people in the store. I am very fortunate that the local WM has a much different vibe and is much less crowded. And I can usually find things, seasonal/holiday items, that the larger town stores have run out of. I also want to say that our local grocery store, United, is a VERY pleasant place to shop. Very friendly, clean and well managed. I will shop there on occasion, if I am in a hurry and only need a few items, and need to get in and out quick. The main drawback is that their prices can be a lot higher than what I would pay at Wal-Mart. All that being said, I think it is all a matter of perspective. Every Wal-Mart is not the same and every local grocery store is not the same. Friendliness, price and convenience is varied from location to location, just as personal preference is varied from person to person.

  49. says

    I am trying new things now. I used to only shop at Save-On (canada) and Safeway. Now, Safeway is way too expensive for me, though it is within walking distance to my place. My town’s Walmart has only within the last year become a “supercenter” where they have a grocery store. I still find their prices higher than everywhere else. They have a few deals, of course, but on everyday stuff I find that they nickel and dime you just enough so that they make multibillion dollar profits. I try to shop a few stores around town, use coupons and get a few deals. Walmart is not usually on my list for groceries. When in doubt, I go to my tried and true Save-On where I know I will find everything I need at a reasonable price. People of Save-On Foods, your endorsement now complete, feel free to compensate me in any fashion you wish ;)

  50. says

    I don’t shop at Walmart for a couple reasons. One, because there simply isn’t one nearby (we go to Safeway, even though it’s a little more expensive, because it’s just two of us and it’s OK for now). I also don’t shop at Walmart when I have the option because I used to work there, and choose not to support them because I don’t like the company. But all your reasons (and the other commenter’s) about it being too crowded, taking too long to shop, waiting too long in line…are all true as well. It’s just too much of a hassel, and I would much rather spend a little more money because in the end, my time is worth something too!
    When I was near a super Walmart (and when I worked in one) I regularly preferred to shop at Target because it was a supermarket too, had reasonable prices and was nowhere near as crowded as Walmart.

  51. says

    Oh Kristen… What a brilliant post on Walmart vs. Aldi!

    In Wyoming, we didn’t have an Aldi, but we did have a Walmart. My parents shopped there and I just refused after a while. It seemed each time I was in there, there were screaming kids, kids crying, kids running around knocking things off shelves, there were LOTS of people (and how many times can you honestly say “excuse me” in one day?). Not only that, the store IS very large, I can’t ever find an employee when I needed something from a top shelf or when something was out of stock, etc.

    Now that I’ve moved to Chicago, there’s NO walmart’s within the city limits! It made my year! So to get to a Walmart, i’d have to drive for 25 minutes, none are super walmarts and they all close early!

    Aldi, however, is on my street, about 5 minutes away, and I know all the cashiers by name now. They love working there, I love shopping there, and they have everything I need. There’s enough variety for anyone who wants a simpler life.

    Hell, to throw this in there, I’ve lost 15 lb. in 3 months since I’ve been shopping at Aldi!

  52. says

    I don’t shop at Wal-Mart or Sam’s for ethical reasons. I don’t miss it, and I save more money than I ever have. I don’t shop at Aldi very often either because it takes about 25 minutes to get there. This summer, I am focusing on getting food from farms and farmers markets and doing some preserving. I’m really at my wit’s end with the food industry right now….but that’s a long story!

    Thanks for the post! I do try to shop at Aldi when I am in the area.

  53. Eleanor says

    I “hate” Wal-Mart- in fact, I call it “Squall-Mart” because there always seems to be at least one squalling baby within my proximity. Also,as you pointed out- it’s just too big. Overwhelming in size and in sensory stimuli. Can I save a few cents there? Yes, but I can do about the same (or better in many cases) by sale shopping and couponing at Target, Walgreens, and Publix, all of which are within walking distance of my home. (Wal-Mart is not.)
    When Aldi opened in the Atlanta market, in my section of town they chose a location which is directly across from Wal-Mart. Marketing genius in my opinion!

  54. says

    I don’t usually like to go to Wal-Mart because I always end up buying more than I need or want to. There’s always a “Oh, I forgot I wanted that” and before I know it, my bill is up to $30..$40..You get the point :)

  55. Cynthia Story says

    I live in a rural area. I do drive, but at the present I don’t have a vehicle. So for now I have to get a ride to the store from one of my neighbors or from a friend or relative. I shop at Wal-Mart for convenience and that is where I get my prescription filled. There is a smaller grocery store not too far from where I live. And there is a Aldi’s right across the road from Wal-Mart. I could utilize the smaller stores more often and help stretch out my money.
    Thank you Kristen for helping me become more aware of smaller grocery stores that are not that far from me and include them when I do my big (first of the month)grocery shopping. It’s not going to really inconvenience the person who gives me a ride. And I know in God’s time I will have another and much better vehicle. It could be Today.

  56. says

    We are just getting these Super Wal-Mart’s here in Southern Ontario, and I have to say that I completely agree with you with respect to grocery shopping. I don’t like it at all and when it comes to prices, they really aren’t that cheap! We went once and we spent about $40 more than we usually do. It’s big and busy…so pretty much the same reasons.

  57. says

    Your post was almost a direct quote from a conversation I had earlier today! I went to Walmart last night because I needed food for the Young Life group I was hosting and a slow cooker (my little one died, and I must have one for the queso). I was so miffed by the size of the store, and yes, I forgot the napkins, so I had to trudge back to the far corner of the store, which was a mile. We used to have Aldi in Houston, but not any more, so I don’t have that option, but Walmart is just too big for my taste. I’m a Kroger girl, in most cases.

  58. DeeDee says

    My husband I found that when we shopped at Walmart, are grocery bill was always higher. The last time we did our weekly grocery shopping at Walmart we both were mad because we used our list and our coupons and our bill was more than we had anticipated. They do not double coupons which is probably why it was higher. We both said this is the last time we doing our grocery shopping at Walmart. I too, hate how big it is, the parking lot is a nightmare, people don’t slow down when you are crossing to get in the store. It’s a fight to get a parking spot people will cut you off just to get the spot they have their eye on. We usally go to this store if we have to buy ink cartridges for our printer, if I need something for scrap booking or the garden section. We do like, Walmart brand charcoal, for a large bag it’s cheaper than most stores. Just my opinion. DeeDee

  59. AlwaysLearning says

    I never shop at Walmart…..as a matter of fact I rarely shop at any grocery store as I belong to a local CSA, a couple Co-Op groups, raise my own chickens and grow some of my own fruit and vegetables. Although I eat mostly organic, I find that I spend about the same as I would buying from my local grocery stores. If (on the very rare occasion) I need to supplement from the grocer, I choose Fred Meyer or Safeway and buy from their organic sections.

  60. says

    I don’t shop Walmart much because like you I am spoiled with choice! I (heart) my local Meijer store—even though it’s gigantic, it’s very clean,all the cashiers know me and my kids by name, and they have the best produce in our area.
    That said, I don’t hate Walmart either. I think there is a good side to Walmart stores being that if you are in a small town or a depressed urban area, they are the only ones with a supply chain to get you what you need, esp. produce. Also, I read somewhere that they are actively engaged in reducing their carbon footprint, with things like “right size” packaging, and that’s something I totally support. I have never been to my local Aldi though, so now I feel like I want to give it a try!

  61. says

    Six years ago when I was living in the Metairie/New Orleans area, I found that the Super Wal-mart’s there had an excellent selection and the grocery sections were just the right size. However, I then moved up to the Portland area of Maine where I discovered a completely different Super Wal-mart; these are completely useless. Unless I am shopping for soda, junk food, or paper goods, there’s no point in going. I am a pescetarian — technically a seafood-eating lacto-ovo vegetarian and the Super Wal-marts up here barely have more produce than a gas station convenience store. The canned vegetables aisle is more about bulk than about variety. Even the snack food aisles have very limited variety. I have, however, noticed that you can buy about 10 different kinds of Pepperoni pizza or 8 different kinds of meat-lover’s pizza and about 2 kinds of veggie pizza or 1 kind of cheese pizza in the frozen section. If it weren’t for all of the vegetarian-friendly restaurants around, I’d think Mainer’s are anti-vegetables. If you shop at Super Wal-mart, you are definitely eating on a limited, plain meat and potatoes diet. Whenever I see the commercials talking about how people can save so much extra per month shopping at Wal-mart for groceries, all I can think is they save because there’s nothing to buy.

    And I miss my Blue Bunny yogurt I used to buy in New Orleans too.

    • Melissa says

      Hey there, I live in the Metairie/New Orleans area. I do go to Walmart for the things that I can’t get at my local Save-A-Lot. I guess that is this areas answer to Aldi LOL. I love save-a-lot and they have printable coupons on their web site for their own personal brands as well as major brands.

      • says

        When did they get a Save-A-Lot? And where did they manage to put it? I use to go to the 24 hour Super Walmart on Veterans Blvd. at 2 or 3am to get my shopping done. New Orleans was a great place for an insomniac. I’ve had to really adjust up here where things actually close around 9 or 10pm. Especially now that I live in a semi-rural town — there are cows 2 houses down from me instead of a bar in my apartment complex! :P

    • says

      Maine is anti-vegetable, except for potatoes – which I picked there as a child. Many northern rural areas are just not on the five a day plan! I haven’t been to Portland in awhile, ut remember some really good markets, so who nees Walmart? Although it is super-busy at the ones I’ve been to in Maine.

      • says

        I haven’t really seen Maine as “anti-vegetable”. A lot of the people I’ve met are either vegetarians or semi-vegetarians. Although, I imagine that you are correct about the northern rural areas. ;) They are more the hunt ‘em and eat ‘em types, which is probably why all those wild turkeys are hiding in my back yard. :P Unfortunately, I do have to drive 30 – 45 minutes to get to a grocery store from my house; I only work in Portland, which by the way does not seem to have a Wal-mart of its very own. Why is it that Portland’s main shopping area is actually in South Portland, a whole bridge and town away? (And even further away from where I live. :/) I’m looking forward to the Farmer’s Market starting back up.

        At least my dog likes to ride in the car and we make a whole day of it. He thinks we’re going visiting. We go to the dump and he barks at everyone while I empty the back of the Jeep. Then we go to the Pet Store and buy puppy food and kitty food while the people inside worship him. Then we drive to the grocery and he barks at everyone in the parking lot while I buy groceries. Then he gets a treat while we drive home. After I unload the Jeep, he takes a nap because it’s been a hard day.

  62. says

    I don’t like to do my grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. I find the quality of their produce to not be as good as my favorite local grocery store, Publix, and (after several bad experiences) I do not trust their meats. That said, I do shop at Wal-Mart for a number of things including toiletries, paper products, cleaning products, and occasionally some dry and canned goods. I know a lot of people find it difficult to shop Wal-Mart because of the size of the store and the temptation to buy unnecessary things. This used to be a huge problem for me, but now that my local Wal-Mart has been redesigned, I can park closer the “grocery” side of the store, and can get everything I need without venturing over to the home goods and electronics.

    All that said, I agree with almost everything non-Wal-Mart shoppers have said. I hate the crowds, the parking, and the super long lines to check out. But until I can find a store that matches Wal-Mart’s prices on my brands of make-up and toiletries, I will continue to shop there.

  63. kristin says

    I don’t mind Walmart. That’s where I do 95% of my shopping. I like that I can get groceries, cleaning supplies, health and beauty stuff, and diapers all in one store. I do go to Kroger for a few things, but would never buy all my stuff there as it would cost me double. They are so much more expensive than Walmart. My favorite place to shop is Meijer, but the closest one is an hour away, so my Meijer shopping trips are special occasions. :)
    I used to shop Aldi and I’m not opposed to shopping there, but I like the bigger stores with more variety and name brand items.

  64. Leslie says

    Great post on the Walmart vs Aldi! You made me laugh about the motor oil and cilantro in one-stop shopping . . . . although, to me, sometimes it’s worth it to lug the kids around in the store to get those items instead of in and out in the car (if it’s only those couple of obscure items, that is!) LOL I’m an avid couponer and I use Aldi’s prices as sort of a guide. I rarely shop at Walmart, personally just because I can usually beat the price at the local grocery store with a coupon or at Aldi without a coupon.

  65. Julie says

    If you have not tried shopping at Aldi and do live near one, give it a try. I have shopped there for almost 15 years. It has helped me get through some rough financial times. Even now that financially we are doing better, I think that it is still a good option for our family! It really helps us to cut our expenses! I do realize that it is not everyone’s favorite store, but it works for so many!

  66. Carla says

    I used to shop at WM all the time. I was growing discontented with them, though, for a number of reasons. Eventually, I’ve quit. Occasionally we still go into our SuperCenter when we absolutely cannot find an item anywhere else in town and don’t want to drive an hour to find it, but that is a last resort. This has become something of a personal crusade for me. I think WM’s business practices are execrable and do not choose to give them my business any longer.

  67. Laura says

    I live in the town in our area big enough and well-enough located to have the local walmart. But most of our needs are met by other establishments in town, although for some things there’s only one alternative in the area. Pretty much the only things we need walmart for are office supplies and electronics, and sometimes fabric, when we can’t make the hour-long drive into the Cities. And we just about only brave the walmart on weekday late nights — and even then, my husband has threatened to buy a separate junker car, paint it blaze orange, and install a rollcage in it just for navigating their parking lot.

  68. Melissa says

    I would like to say as a mom who has had a screaming baby at the store that sometimes it just happens. And if the baby is bothering you then you can bet the mom is past the stressing out point and is just trying to get what she needs. I wish we had an aldi where I live. My mother-in-law said it helped her a lot with 6 boys and a husband in medical school. She said that was a place that she new she could get good food even if it is not the name brand. I do go to walmart sometimes when I know I need a lot of household stuff and a few groceries and do not want to drag my son through two stores. But I always end up missing something because I passed it and did not have time to go back. Shopping there I have to carve out at least an hour of time. I have also found that the produce is not as good as other markets. I have at least 6 options when it comes to groceries but the prices are just about the same. I do enjoy smaller markets because i feel like the people that work there really know their stuff.

  69. Sharon Lea says

    Thanks. I adore Aldi. Did you know they are German owned? I always talk to the store manager of anyplace I shop. So Walmart is totally out. These Aldi employees live in my neighborhood, shop their own store and know me by name. In these times that is absolutely wonderful. They are sharp buyers which appeals to my own frugal ways. Last week red grapes were $l.68 a pound at Hy-Vee. They were big and sour ( I always try one before buying, haven’t been arrested yet). They were $.70 a pound at Aldi, small and sweet as any grape I have ever eaten. There is just no choice. I too live within close distance to our 3 major grocery store so have great choices, but I always start at Aldi and fill in at the others. I really enjoy supporting them. They treat me like a valuable customer and I always thank them for their work for they really hustle. Blessings to you. Sharon Lea

  70. K. says

    great post! i have to option of both — and several other local/regional stores (with higher prices but generally great service). normally, i get about 80% of my items at Aldi. then… head to Wal-Mart to pick up the remaining items. (usually, the Great Value brand.) since they have been remodling many of the supercenters, i find that the selection is very limited … and the prices are higher. we have a local farmer’s market that only runs at certain times. sooo… i try to go there when it’s available. i think if people would take a stand against soome of these big-box places, the corner grocery store/market could make a comeback. :-)

    wanted to share this article: http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/15/news/companies/walmart_dropping_brands/

  71. says

    I used to shop at WM for groceries…until I got married and started shopping for two people for 2 weeks worth of food. I was shocked at how expensive my grocery bill was!! I am fortunate to have many grocery stores a few miles from my house and I’m also able to shop at the base commissary since my hubby is in the Air Force. I will say that WM does have some good sales on their clothing, especially for kids.

  72. says

    From my house there are 4 grocery stores within 15 minutes of me: 2 Wal-marts and 2 Homelands (they’re only in Oklahoma except for 1 in Kansas); there is also a Target with “expanded grocery” with is not much. One of the Wal-Marts and 1 of the Homelands are VERY, VERY dirty so I don’t shop at them. The other Homeland is pretty clean but the produce generally sucks. The other Wal-Mart is further away but because Target is so expensive in comparison, I choose to shop at Wal-Mart; Homeland is generally 10-30% higher as well.

    We don’t go to church on Sunday mornings and that’s when I *try* to go because it is much less crowded. I also don’t generally take more than 1 kid with me if any at all. I work outside of the house 40-50 hours a week, as does my husband, so I have to shop on the weekends. I guess I’m just used to it so it doesn’t bother me as much. Furthermore, it’s my little escape from the chaos of having 3 kids ages 5 and under! And DH *wonders* why it takes me 2 hours….

  73. andi says

    i don’t like Wal-mart for the same reasons. I wish we had an Aldi’s, my parents have one where they live and I go every visit.

  74. Holly Peyton says

    i totally agree with you on Wal Mart. Its just me and my husband so not to many to buy for but, i find i buy more stuff that’s not necessary in walmart cause its everywhere. And I hate if i forget something I have to across the store for 2 miles to pick up something. Also I like to buy some organic things and they don’t have as wide of selection as that. I do my toiletries, soap, detergent , and everything like that at walgreens. Walgreens has great deals, somtimes resulting i get things for free if you get the sale paper and do it just right. For everything else I go to Brookshires that huge and awesome here! Im so jealous cause I wish Tyler had a Weisers or and Aldi!!! So No to wallyworld

  75. HeatherS says

    I shop several stores including WalMart. I also shop Aldi and Kroger. I shop Kroger for their produce and the fact that they double coupons which I combine with their sale prices. I hate that our Kroger is often very busy and they clog the aisles with so many displays that sometimes only 1 cart can get through at a time which causes a line of people waiting to get into an aisle! Drives me nuts. I’ve even complained to the manager (I’m sure it’s a corporate issue though) and I’m not one to do that.

    I shop Aldi for most things except meat and fruit. Our Aldi has great veggies but terrible fruit and I get free beef from my IL’s farm and all other meat comes from a local butcher shop. Wal Mart is great for me for certain brand name items we like that I don’t see many coupons for. Gotta have my Jiff and it’s way cheaper at WalMart than Kroger. Also shop WM for certain clothing needs such as undies and socks and most toiletries.

  76. Tina says

    Don’t really have a choice, there every week…that or it would be one of two small and ridiculously priced groceries. No chains…bah!

  77. april says

    I too have grown very tired of shopping at Wal-Mart! I love Aldi’s and for those of you who have never shopped there, I learned in on emy my marketing classes in high school that they have the freshest produce of ANY chain grocer out there! When store go to pick up their produce they get to get it by order of their reputation with the produce companies. This means they always pay their bills on time etc.This makes Aldi’s the first trucks lined up to get it!

  78. Dawn says

    I am not particularly fond of Wal Mart, but I don’t have much of a choice. Where I live, there are very few grocery stores and they are all very expensive. I have had some bad experiences at Wal Mart, but I try to expect it, so that I am pleasantly suprised when it goes well. I do have a young daughter and she will occasionally scream at the top of her voice, which is embarrassing, but she does that when she’s happy . She apparently finds the giant store to be a fascinating place (She is 15 months old). People talk to me about her and say how cute she is, with or without the screaming. However, I am from Alabama, and I don’t know if it is a southern thing, but the “crowds” are not ususally intimidating to me, because a lot of the people are really friendly.
    I am not a Wal Mart lover. I would like other choices, but I try to make the best of my situation. I make it a weekly event and expect all the issues mentioned by previous posts. Though, afterwards I am always ready for a nap, but fortunately so are my children. -Dawn

  79. try2bfrugal says

    I agree, It’s to big and crazy. I can understand why people like but it’s not for me. I live in southeastern massachusetts and I love to shop at Price Rite. They always have the best prices by far. They don’t except coupons by their prices are still better. Price Rite says you save 1/2 off and I usually do. Try it if you have ione in your area!!

  80. Claudia says

    I buy at Savemart that is walking distance…the staff is very nice but the prices are really high!! I only buy the meat I am going to consume that day, sometimes they have a sticker for quick sale and they discount a couple of bucks, but its rare..When I can I buy at Costco, but only some items that I KNOW are a very good deal, the cheese in two pounds package for 6 dollars, the box of two gallons of milk for 5 dollars, the bag of chicken breast nuggets for 12 dollars (they last forever) the roasted chicken for 5 dollars, the big shampoo bottle with pump, last forever too!, sandwich jam, salami, bologni deals in two bags, eggs, the package of smocked oysters. And the one dollar 20 cents hot-dog and soda, Also the gas in Costco is like 30 cents cheaper per gallon. Other than that is the same price that other stores and they make you buy a big amount at a time…plus the value of a membership..

    I get the little stuff in the 99 cents store, sometimes they have fresh vegetables, cans of tuna, sodas. Juice powder I get it in Rite Aid, for one buck the box. So you need to find several stores to find the deals. Wall Mart, well only if I need hard to find stuff I look there…

  81. AnneT says

    The Wal-mart in my town is at the northern end while I live in the eastern end and close to downtown, so I only go there if I’m in the area any way (the Canadian Tire store is across the street from it). But it is too big, too jangly on the nerves, and too pricey for groceries. I’m a big fan of No Frill here in Canada, which is the discount end of Loblaw’s. The Price Chopper here also has good produce and meat specials, when I don’t find what I want at the Farmer’s Market. My Satuday loop is: Farmer’s Market, No Frills, Price Chopper. It’s less than 5 miles in total and I can usually get my shopping done in less than two hours — and that’s for two weeks of groceries. I’m shopping just for my husband and myself. I also I have a huge preserve pantry that I stocked up over the summer.

  82. Joyce Howden says

    I only drive (20 minutes) to Walmart when we need all those toiletry items (shampoo, toothpaste, etc) and kitty items. I don’t think their prices are that cheap to make it worth my while driving there. And the largeness of the store is another factor, actually all of the things you mentioned. My husband and I shop at Save-a-lot and Price Chopper. If Aldi was closer (it’s also 20 mins away) I would shop there. Save-a-lot is on the same line as Aldi. Small store. No bags unless you buy them. One brand of each item. I went to an Aldi in Germany and their stores are exactly the same. It was cool to see.

  83. Kate in NY says

    Reading all these comments has made me realize what a bind so many of us are in right now. Because of the recession, we have stark or reduced budgets and we NEED to find the best deals for our family, period. But every time we shop at Walmart, we are supporting a mega chain that shuts down hardworking American businesses, pays its workers peanuts (so much so that many employees must turn to government subsidies), gets 70% of its products from China (I looked it up!) and pays its executives obscene, truly obscene bonuses. And I am not even getting into the environmental issues, or the obesity epidemic fueled by cheap, processed foods . . . but we have to feed our families, right? Such tough choices – which is why it has become my personal crusade to grow as much as my own food as possible, to bake bread, to raise chickens, to start canning produce (haven’t learned that one yet, but in time . . . ) Self-sufficiency is one way out, as I see it. Great thread and comments!

    Kate

    • Miranda Hunt says

      This is great to read!! Thanks Kate in NY!!! Our families are doing the same thing and it’s so expensive to eat healthy! I have to buy our Organic foods at target because Kroger has a very limited selection and we buy our meat from a local farmer (grass fed and organic). And of course Aldi’s!!

  84. says

    I pretty much love Walmart. lol When I am really bored and don’t feel like sitting in the house, I will go to Walmart. My city has 2 of them and the one on my side of town became 24 hrs about 2 years ago, so now its even more convenient. If I go late at night like 9pm or later, there’s way less people. I just love it because you can get everything in one place (aside from some groceries). I like to check out shoes there, and clothes as well. They have that George line that has some really nice stuff and for good prices.

  85. Jennifer says

    Walmart gets WAY too much of my money each month and it has to stop!

    We are just getting into the thrifty living and will be making our very first trip to Aldi tomorrow :) Our nearest Aldi is 20m away, but I am curious to see what all the hype is about. I have a lot of friends that love Aldi as well :)

  86. Skye says

    I live in a small community where there is a regular walmart, save on foods, safeway and superstore (loblaws). we shop at superstore alot because every other week they have a spend $250 get $25 off. I find i can get everything i need there from diapers to shampoo, clothes and kitchen wears. We usually spend $800 a month on misc, including food and junk. Your blog has inspired me to cut down and be more frugal so I made a meal plan and a list and tomorrow i hope to keep it under $200 for the next 2 weeks worth of food. I only shop on paydays so the $100 a week doesnt work for me as well. We are also going to save the difference.

    We shop at walmart once in a while for gifts and clothes(when on sale) but not often. I get my art supplies and quilt stuff there. I don’t like how busy it gets and Superstore is cheaper where I live in BC Canada.

    • WilliamB says

      Skye – have you ever checkedprices at your store when it’s not around pay day? Some places raise their prices around pay day (boo hiss).

      • Skye says

        No I haven’t done that. I will have to try it. I have found some things have gone down in price in the past few months. Milk was almost $5 a gallon and now it is back to $4. Everything in Canada costs more then the US. I have a friend who goes to Costco in oregon(?) every few months and i get her to pick me up some dried potatoes cause $8 for 16 pouches is alot less then here and we don’t have the same brands. I was also told walmart in the US sells their clothes for alot less then here as well. I can’t prove it. Don’t have a passport of Drivers Licence.

  87. Nicole says

    Great post and comments!

    I’d never heard of Aldi’s until I started reading your blog – research confirmed that there are no Aldi’s in Canada. Bummer. I live in an expensive city on a tight budget, so I have to make every penny count. That means Costco and Wal-Mart – because they have the lowest prices for what’s on my grocery list. I avoid the crowds by shopping first thing in the morning on a Saturday. I’d like to utilize the Superstore more (for their hormone & antibiotic-free meat department), but I find the locations inconvenient. It’s rare for me to shop at IGA, Save-On Foods or Safeway because they’re more expensive – but sometimes what I need is there. I do the best I can.

  88. EngineerMom says

    I don’t shop at Walmart any more.

    In college, it was the only store near the campus that sold things like shampoo, the cheap plastic shelving that practically every college student buys for his/her dorm, etc. There was a little corner grocery store, or one could take the train downtown to West Side Market (combo indoor/outdoor farmer’s market combined with more permanent fixtures like a cheese store) for food items, but if you wanted to get tampons, you pretty much had to go to Walmart. I hated it. It was always a mess because the people in the neighborhood didn’t care about the store at all – if one of their kids knocked something off a shelf, they’d just leave it on the floor. If someone spilled a drink, they’d just ignore it – no one would tell an employee so it could be cleaned up. The employees seemed to not care much either. No matter what time of day, or what day we went, the shelves were completely disorganized, and there were always these shady-looking kids and older men hanging around the entrance.

    I thought maybe it was just that store, but I’ve been to two other Walmarts in two other major cities, and my experiences have been very similar – shady characters hanging around the entrances, disorganized store shelves, and general sense that the employees and customers don’t care about the store.

  89. sue says

    I shop everywhere, and don’t discriminate. I’m in SoCal, and there are no Walmart Supercenters where I live. But even if there were, I wouldn’t buy meat and produce there. I shop and Walmart with coupons, just the other day, I got $30 off of my bill. I buy kitty litter and the food items that I need, and I work off of a list. I do the same at Target. I buy my produce from ethnic markets, and watch the special at the chain grocery stores for meat. I also patronize Big Lots, 99 cents only stores, and Dollar Tree. If you work strictly from a list, you can really save. I’m currently on unemployment, but I’ve always been frugal. I clip coupons from the paper, and print them out from the internet. When I go to the store, my coupon holder goes with me, along with the list I’m working from.

    As far as I’m concerned, Walmart is a large employer, and they give people jobs. I never go to Trader Joes, Whole Foods, or Henry’s Market. They’re very expensive, I’ve never seen anything that I want to buy in there, and I’m too cheap to spend my money there.

  90. Lola says

    I once decided to get my groceries at WalMart. I wanted a honeydew melon but they only had cantelope. OK. I got the cantelope. I wanted to buy some green onions but they only sold them in packs of 5 bunches. I only needed one bunch, but they were inexpensive and I didn’t want to go somewhere else so I got the whole pack, knowing I would waste them. I wanted whole-milk riccotta but they only had low-fat. By the time I got to the 6th or 7th item on my list that they didn’t have I threw up my hands and abandoned my cart out of frustration.

    The produce stinks and the prices are not much better (and often a lot higher) than the Winco store I normally shop at. Plus, I too hate how big the store is, the long lines, crowded parking lot, and find it deeply weird that you can buy food the same place you can buy underwear and and house paint.

  91. Terry says

    I also agree that shopping at Walmart requires a lot of walking inside and outside from the parking lot to the car. However, I have found personally that the Great Value does work for our budget and it’s been difficult finding prices that are competitive (or maybe I haven’t done my homework fully). Additionally picking up my prescription, getting an oil change and then some light grocery shopping has not been all that bad. But I have to admit I have been really pooped afterwards.

  92. ah says

    Walmart? I am 30 miles from Walmart. If we have to go down to C.C. in Ca. for any reason, we, hubby and I will swing by there. In my town are four stores to buy food. One is high end, even more so than Walmart, two others even more so than the first. There is a small treasure here, I call it, the G.O. store. Its a mark down place, and many items are at the end date time. Freds the biggest store, will not take electronic coupons, so those are out. Our area is so small, there are no double or triple coupons. So those are lost to me. So our meals and things we buy rotate around the G.O. store. I can buy a name brand item, for one third, and I know this is a good deal. Like you, I would like to share the knowledge I have about shopping. I come from an even more narrow angle than you do.

  93. says

    I, dear ladies, am a Wal*Mart employee .. and one of the biggest Aldi fans there is! I cannot shut up about Aldi and blog about it as well! People come up to me telling me they haven’t shopped there in years until I blogged about it and it tickles me to pieces that I’m bringing them even more business. I love my Wal*Mart, don’t get me wrong .. I do purchase some things there but, I build up my pantry at Aldi. My husband and I plan our trip there (it’s 30+ miles away from our small town) and then, plan our other errands around that.
    And let’s not go there about the screaming babies .. my God, some of us even say under our hushed breath to take them kids out of the store and get them in control. It’s so sad .. :-(

  94. Elizabeth says

    It’s been odd to read all the comments and hear that super Wal-Mart is MORE expensive than normal grocery stores. I live in the suburbs of Los Angeles and our “local” super center is about half hour away. I’ve only shopped there twice, but the prices are rock bottom compared to Von’s (Safeway) and Ralph’s. I’ve only been a few times, but I’ve walked out with a full cart of groceries (healthy groceries I might add, not a cart full of top ramen :) ) for $40 – something I can never seem to accomplish at a “regular” grocery store. My super center is 24 hours I’ve always gone at midnight on a Friday and it’s always been pretty empty.

    Now, in all fairness, I don’t coupon, nor do I scour grocery ads, so I’m not sure how it could truly compare if I did those things. I work full time and go to grad school full time, so I really don’t have time to search all over town for a rock-bottom price on cereal. I also live in a small apartment with minimal storage, so it’s hard to really purchase items in major bulk. (On a side note, I know we’re all busy – it’s just that couponing falls low on my priority list for me personally.)

    I do a lot of shopping at Fresh & Easy (The best way I can describe it is as a poor man’s Trader Joe’s) and at Trader Joe’s. Neither are the cheapest places to shop, but they carry specialty items and are fairly healthy and reasonably priced. They also have a lot of pre-made or easy-cook items, which come in handy on days when I’m out of the house for 12+ hours.

    While I like Wal-Mart, I wouldn’t be crushed if they disappeared…just as long as I can still go to Target.

    I wish we had Aldi’s out here – it sounds like a great place to shop! I think I’ve rambled on enough. I just had to put my 2 cents in :)

  95. Christy Hickman says

    I agree. I have a large family and I can find better deals at other grocery stores by buying on sale and/or using coupons. I don’t like that it takes me forever to shop in Walmart not matter how many children I take with me! ..BTW I noticed that there will be an Aldi opening in TX soon; can’t wait to try it! Oh, I was wondering if that was you on the 700 Club, Feb. 23. or another Frugalgirl? Sorry, I caught the tail end. I was a nice interview!

  96. says

    We usually shop at one of the Loblaw’s chain stores – No Frills (my husband calls it No Thrills, cause it’s pretty basic) or The Great Canadian Superstore, which also carries housewares. They have the lowest dispensing fees in the area at their pharmacy. Because they offer discount programmes if you are enrolled in one of their banking schemes, it is possible to get up to $20 off gas after a month’s shopping, and percentage savings on either groceries or some big-ticket item (cookware, for instance.)

    The Walmart is across the street from the Superstore, and we’ve been in once – to buy a Christmas gift. Even if I need something, I won’t go to Walmart. I really needed, of all things, a shorter slip. No place had it but Walmart. I pinned up the hem on my longer shift, then looked through the closet the other day and found a shift-style nightgown of the right length. I am ntorious for clothes re-using, so the summer nightie has become a slip instead.

    About that Christmas gift. My friend needed to buy a white shirt for her son. We went in, found shirts priced at $12, but none in his size. We hunted all the racks, and I quickly spotted the desired shirt but out of its packaging – no packaging in sight! I guessed that someone had swapped a more expensive shirt into the cheaper priced package. But this was the last one in that size, so I suggested we take it to customer service and have them price it. (Walmart/Christmas – long lines, right?) Customer service looked it up by tag code, priced it and rang it up! Our whole Walmart expedition took less than fifteen minutes. I think that is a record.

  97. Olathe Mom says

    Wal-Mart gets a thumbs down here, as well.

    I also use quite a bit of ground beef in cooking, and find that Wal-Mart beef has an odd texture…my kids and I agree that it looks like ground worms! Yuck! :)

    Loved the 700 Club interview, very inspiring. Thanks.

  98. Amy Steinbrook says

    I understand not going to Wal-mart of groceries but where do you get your Health and Beauty cheap. I have tryed The Dollar General but you pay more than Wal-mart. If I get all this figured out is it going to be a miracle!

  99. Judy Whittimore says

    Wal Mart is no cheaper on the things I buy. I avoid the store because of the rude crowds who think they are getting a big bargain. Also, Wal Mart takes money from our local owners. Stay away from that place because you end up spending more because you tend to buy junk you don’t need.

  100. stephanie slattery says

    I also dislike Walmart but for other reasons: (1) the layout of the store is really bad in that if something is on sale, it’s in a square fence in the middle of a giant aisle that is nowhere near where the item usually is in the store (i.e. hard to find); (2) the most annoying thing about Walmart – the sales people are never to be found and when they are, they are not helpful!

  101. Rebecca says

    I do step into Walmart for some items that I cannot get elsewhere in my town. I much prefer to put my budget money into ValuKing and Aldis. They are my two must have stores in my town. I also will head to one of the other established grocers when I can see a good deal that they are having. I shop from a list and am ready for specials when they can be found. ValuKing says I can save 40 percent on my grocery bill. I like their coupon too for 5 dollars off spending of 50 or more dollars. That helps too.They also take coupons which Aldis does not which is ok.

  102. Isabella says

    I do not shop at Walmart’s for all the reasons that you stated. Besides, I just don’t think they are that well stocked. I stopped in one in our large city on my way home one day to pick up some curling ribbon 3 weeks before Christmas. They didn’t even stock it! I found it easily at a Dollar Store. I looked around the store a bit and thought, “What is the big deal about this place?” Since then, I avoid it entirely.

  103. says

    Not a Wal-Mart shopper. I can get things for the same price or cheaper usually at other places. Plus, I’m an avid coupon shopper- getting things for free/making money off of rebates/store money etc.- and Wal-Mart is TERRIBLE with coupons. They don’t train their cashiers, they don’t know their own policy, and I have to wait in line for 10 minutes to deal with all of that to boot. I also don’t like the energy of the place- dirty and garishly lit, piles of stuff everywhere, overworked and underpaid employees that are naturally less helpful and less friendly as a result, blech.

    I go to Newflower, Sprouts, or Kroger. Here in my area the Tom Thumb or Albertson’s is laughably expensive when you compare their ads to the previous three. I seriously don’t know how Tom Thumb stays in business.

  104. says

    at the wal*mart( in MI) where I shop, you dont even have to bring in a flyer, you just say ” this costs so and so at Kroger, Meijer, Target, etc and they match it. Easy peasy.

  105. sara says

    I shop at walmart but lately they have been out of alot of regular stuff i buy ,and they have shortened the aisles. I do not buy meats there have gotten some bad meats in the past yes hamburger meat looks like warms yuk .. I buy my meats at albertson’s .. I am trying to save money like others so i might just try the gro store next shopping trip for all my needs ..Is shampoo and deo stuff cheaper at like walgreens or other drug stores ? thanks ..Sara

  106. says

    Since I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart my monthly spending has dropped. I no longer buy all the “stuff” I had to pass to get to what I needed. I also started to get into couponing and find with some planning I can get what I want a lot cheaper at Kroger.
    We don’t have an Aldi, but I try to shop at Kroger at odd times (late at night or early morning on the weekends) and the customer service is wonderful. All the managers know me and my children and really make us feel at home there.

  107. Nicole says

    Wal-mart is nightmare! Often times, there are lines to wait in line at the registers. It also seems the you never find the same thing in the same place twice. To me, the size of the store and ability to easily walk by and just grab things that aren’t on the list is a temptation and a threat to the weak willed frugal shopper ( and I am mainly speaking of myself!) The prices do not compare in the least to Aldi. So, put me under the HATE IT! catagory.

  108. Lori says

    Hate Wal-mart for all the reasons you listed! Except I’m a single, no kids. Still go there every week, but thinking about changing to Aldi. I would rather get my health and beauty from Walgreens, it is a much easier store to deal with. Since I am only buying for myself, I feel that paying a little more for certain things doesn’t add up THAT much.

  109. Veronica says

    We have a Wal-Mart in our small town and it is great……maybe cause we are a small town. So it is rarely crowded, kept very clean. I do hate going to the Wal-Mart in the city because of all the reasons you have listed. Wal-mart is not my first choice, as I can usually get health and beauty items at our local walgreens for free or dirt cheap with all the store coupons, stacked with manufacture coupons, and register rewards.
    I go to Wal-Mart for entertainment purposes……dvds, and toys that I can get for cheap with coupons.

    • Kelly says

      I was reading your reply quickly and saw “I go to Wal-Mart for entertainment purposes…” and immediately in my head I thought – your right the people watching is entertaining at Wal-Mart :)

  110. says

    I don’t like the lines and the walking from one side to the other and back again if I forgot something. But, they have started with a generic food brand… Great Value.. and have it in almost all the food types now. When it comes to these… they are much less expensive. I can buy a box of cereal from this generic that is always at least two dollars less than the brand name.. even with coupons. I pick up more and more of these. Also, they are promoting the use of the reusable bags you bring in yourself. Since we have no Aldi and most of the other stores around are just more expensive… I still use Walmart. Also, if I go certain days and times… I can catch some really good deals on the meats.

  111. Linda Walmer says

    I think it is time to stop talking about how everyone hates Walmart. Let us go on to other subjects. Why do I keep getting all the emails about the subject?
    lw

    • Kristen says

      Linda, did you accidentally subscribe to the comments on this thread, maybe? Unless you subscribe to the comments, you shouldn’t get any emails from this post except for the original email (the one with the actual post in it).

    • says

      The box for subscribing to comments says “Notify me of followup comments via email”…don’t check that if you don’t want email notifications about the comments on a particular post!

  112. says

    I love Aldi too, and they tend to be located at very accessible places (at least they do in the UK), which makes them way better than giant superstores out in the middle of no where.

  113. says

    I also abhor WalMart. I have not shopped there in over 3 years and I only miss 2 things: 1) their Special Kitty cat litter and 2) going to the toy department in the middle of the night to look around and play with stuff like the hula hoops! I refuse to go there for personal and ethical reasons, but I also hate the crowds, the stores’ perpetual states of dirtiness, and the parking lots (which must have been designed by a 4 year old).

  114. says

    Kristen, I haven’t read all the comments, but I wondered about the Pay question.
    You commented that Aldi pays their employees better than Walmart by implication “Aldi’s pared-down business plan allows them to hire fewer employees, which means they can pay them fairly well.” It sounds here as if Aldi pays their employees/cashiers better than Walmart. Is this true? How do you know this?

    I’ve wondered about this because I’ve heard the same kinds of complaints about the big supermarkets here in Poland…that they don’t pay their employees very well. However, they always seem to have a lot of employees. I’m not convinced that they pay much different than a single-owner tiny family owned store. I wonder how well they pay.

    I also thought that Walmart employees might get stock on a regular basis, which can have increasing value, esp. if they have stock splits. I’m not sure, though. I’ll go back to reading the comments now.

    • Kristen says

      From what I’ve heard and read and gathered from talking to the employees at my local Aldi, that seems to be the case (that they pay more than, say, Walmart).

      I know that when our Aldi opened, there were hundreds upon hundreds of applications for the 7 positions available (they are VERY pared down! lol).

      The fact that a company has a lot of employees doesn’t necessarily mean that they pay well…it could just mean that they are offering a lot of jobs and that there aren’t a lot of other employment options for those people.

  115. says

    Do you know why it says that there are 145 comments on this topic, but mine was listed as number 25 and I just put it up a few minutes ago? Where are the rest of the comments?

    BTW, I don’t hate shopping at Walmart. I do prefer regular grocery stores, because it seems you can get “good deals” at Publix, etc., and at CVS, by playing with the bucks, you can walk out of the store with tons of stuff free.

    However, Walmart does have overall good prices. I just always dread the thought of walking in the store if I need to pay for something (IOW, it’s a great place to browse!), because of the amount of time you have to spend in line!

    • Kristen says

      Hmmm…my blog seems to be starting over at number one for each page. That’s weird. I’ll look into it.

  116. barbara says

    I shop only at Walmart. I figure if Walmart doesn’t have it, I don’t need it. I love Walmart! The BS about not being fair to employees is union inspired and anyone that doesn’t realzes that is stupid.

  117. Larry says

    Before you jump on the ALDI bandwagon, let me enlighten you to some key aspects of the company that you’re supporting
    -The founder of Aldi is a former Nazi naval officer who is currently the richest man in Germany and the 10th richest in the world. He does not appear publically and he collects old typewriters…this is not a normal person.
    -ALDI has a horrifying reputation of violating labor laws in Europe and is gaining that reputation here in the US as well. Employees do not get breaks and they are “encouraged” to punch out for lunch but work most of that luch break to keep productivity high. The average employee experience involves threats, abuse and intimidation.
    -ALDI looks greta on paper and writes policies to cover their butt. However ask anyone who works there what the reality is.
    -ALDI employees use electric floor jacks and are mandated by law to go through OSHA certified training to safely operate these machines….especially around customers. To date, I know of no employee who was exposed to this training (although everyone one of them agreed that they were forced to sign off that they completed the training). The training is 8 hours long and must be repeated every 3 years plus supplemental retraining if there are any accidents. Simply put ALDI does not want to pay for this training and would rather hand out $50K settlements to injured customers who promise to keep their mouth shut. No bad press is good press (again).
    I worked there for a long time and reccomend that you educate yourself before you promote this horrible companies growth any further
    -When European employees threatened to unionize, most were fired. When judgements were finally passed to allow the employees to unionize, ALDI tried to secretly buy the union (Green Party Labor Union).
    -ALDI uses the cheapest, most chemically tainted cuts of meat available for legal sale. A fine example is the Smithfield brand pork products that were villified in the highly recommended documentary Food, Inc. (find it on netflix).
    -Buy a 1 pound cut of bacon and weigh it….chances are it weighs about .8 pounds. ALDI had been fined for this over and over but the pofit made by screwing customers out of 20% of their product more than pays for these.
    -ALDI has a gestapo-esque policy of forbidding employees to talk about business practices, releasing numbers or ratios. You will not find these anywhere on the internet as they go to great lengths to have them removed by threatening legal action against violators. No bad press is good press.
    -ALDI’s “special purchase” non-food items were recently part of an investigation regarding illegal child labor abuses in China. Chances are the shirt you buy there is cheap but was made by a 5 year old in a sweatshop outside Shanghai.
    -ALDI is currently being sued by over 200 store mangers for federal labor violations in the State of Ohio alone….didn’t see that on the news huh?
    -Take a look at the website Jobvent.com, a on line survey of companies by employees. The comments by former employees are illuminating.

  118. melissa says

    I have to respond to Larry’s post. Usually I try to stay out of issues like this, but I must say a few things. One this IS STILL a free country. If people don’t like working there, they can quit! So I don’t feel bad for the employees that CHOOSE to work there. If the quality isn’t great then it doesn’t sell. Consumers are not stupid. They will not buy if it isn’t great. And third, if the consumers think its a great store to shop at then they will shop at it. If it wasn’t then it wouldn’t be in business.

  119. Laura says

    I won’t shop at or use Wal-Mart products because it is morally repulsive, and I do condemn co-workers who do — we are teachers and benefit greatly from our union contract. Conveniently, I dislike it for all of the other reasons posted here, too. I do shop at Aldis, and I love Trader Joes. Regarding Aldis environmental impact, it is true that bringing your own shopping totes helps. However, I buy their plastic bags and love them. As a city resident living in a small apartment, I dont use large garbage bags, and their small bags are very durable and inexpensive. The plastic bags from other shopping centers are just more garbage so I do bring my totes when shopping elsewhere.

  120. Brianna Mariani says

    It could just be because DH works at walmart or it could just be because my aldi has nothing but fatty foods and other useless items. We go to walmart late at night and never have a problem. We also spend 80 dollars on two weeks of dinner.

  121. Cindy Brinkman says

    Gotta go with ‘hate it’. Hate is a pretty strong word so… I have not shopped Wal-Mart in 11 years on principal and ethics. Most of my circle of friends feel the same and we hang our heads in shame when we actually go there in hopes no one we know sees us there. I love Aldi’s and use it regularly for staples. Yes, the cream puffs are absolutely yummy. Ok, not a staple. The cereal isn’t up to par with my family either but most items are. Trial and error. I do get meat on special at Kroger’s for great prices and plan according to my pantry and Sunday circulars. Back to the Wal-mart thing, I do go there periodically for cd’s that on Wal-mart has a license for. Hate it but I try to go at 3 am so I can’t run into anyone I know and move very quickly. Sorry. Don’t judge.

  122. Kristin says

    I actually think I’ve read and possibly commented on this post before but it caught my eye again. Having been an employee of Walmart a few years ago, I can honestly say that they are rapidly declining in possibly every way! They spend millions to remodel stores that have been open less than 5 years yet pay their employees so little that it is difficult to afford health benefits. Even if one can afford it, the deductibles and co-pays are so high that only under emergency and/or catastrophic conditions can one use it. You don’t get medicine coverage for 2 years. I heard recently that they no longer hire full time employees in order to cut down on paying benefits but work employees just under the full time limit. Unfortunately when Mr. Walton died, so did the high morals of corporate.

    I could keep going…and have…but unfortunately I still must shop there for some things because I live in such a rural area and have such a limited budget. It pains me to give them a dime, and w hen I lived elsewhere I didn’t, but I would not recommend them for anything.

  123. Di says

    We recently moved to the south eastern Albany, NY suburbs from southern NY, outside NYC. First off, the shopping here is absolutely fantastic and if I had nothing to do all (which I don’t because I home school and volunteer and also work part time) I could go from Price Chopper to Hanniford (too expensive) to multiple Rite Aids and CVS stores to Super Target to Super Walmart to Aldi. (and that is just in my town). We live near the biggest Walmart in the country and went there for the first time today. I agree with your posts about impulse buys and the feeling of being overwhelmed. We have been to Aldi 2 times and last week I did almost all my food shopping there. It cost me a lot less than Walmart but their choices in ‘soaps and personal care’ are limited.

    We’ll keep experimenting. I also think Walmart has jacked their prices up a bit since I used to shop there about a year ago.

  124. Joe says

    As large crowds and long lines are on most people’s NOT-WANT-TO-DEAL-WITH list, there is one other overriding reason that I don’t shop at Walmart. The current CEO of Walmart (Michael Duke) made $35-million last year… the lowest paid employee at Walmart makes 8.75/hr and that is typically not a 40 hour week. It’s 30 hours or less per week, so then health benefits are not required.
    In 1970 the average CEO made 30 times more than the lowest paid employee. So, the lowest paid employee at Walmart will have to work 2000 years to make what Michael Duke made in one year. Walmart made $13.2-billion in profits and when Michael Duke was asked why some of that profit couldn’t be put into increased wages for employees, his response was “Then we’d have to raise prices”… and that is greed at it’s worst.
    And if Sam Walton were alive, I doubt any of these (non-founder) gunslinger Walmart CEO’s would be making these obscene salaries and bonuses.
    As a concerned (conservative) American I’m trying to understand what the Board of Directors at Walmart (and at many large corporations) are thinking. Here is the problem; the members on the Board on Walmart, are CEO’s or former CEO’s of other corporations and they tend to take care of each other. Look up “The Business Round Table” and you’ll see the potential for greed and corruption.
    So the final decision on where you shop, shouldn’t only be based on price. You should also consider whose pocket your hard earned money is going into, so buy from the local store owner whenever possible.
    This new breed of (non-founder) CEO’s focus is NOT job creation, it’s cost reduction and that equates to you as an employee getting RIF’ed (reduction in force)… these CEO’s turn profits by cutting jobs and those profits then become part of their bonus. Pretty sweet deal when you think about how little talent it takes to cut jobs and when you also realize most of these CEO’s are not the founder, but are only employees.
    American corporations became successful on selling to the American consumer. The flip side is that the American consumer is also an employee, but that is less and less becoming the case as jobs continue to be outsourced offshore.

    • Lilypad says

      Great comment, Joe. Thanks for providing those statistics. I hope it will open the eyes of some Walmart shoppers.

  125. Ken says

    Not sure if anyone reads these articles anymore since the date is from Feb. of last year. As a father of 2 girls, and primary (95%) of the time main dinner preparer. I enjoy cooking. I’m very frugal and enjoy taste. I’ve shopped everywhere: Cub, Rainbow, Target, Wal-Mart,. If Minnesota has it I’ve tried it. I recently, about 6 weeks ago, started going to Aldi. The cost saving is fantastic. Almost $80 every 2 weeks different. For instance $1.69 for a loaf of bread at Aldi it’s $.89. Albeit the loaf is slightly smaller by 4 oz I think still that’s only 6 slices different. Yes I counted. you still save if you buy 2 loaves . Canned food and the likes are .15 cheaper even when they are on sale at other stores. For me this was a big change. As far as taste goes, I wouldn’t say it’s great but just the same as the other generic brands or better.

  126. Roy says

    I tried ALDI for the first time and found it to be too limited with stocked items and quanity of items due to the lack of store space. I didn’t find them that much cheaper then Walmart since you have to buy bags and do all the baging yourself. Conclusion I prefer a multitude of items and the checkout convenience Walmart provides.

  127. Barrie says

    Yay I finally got around to reading this and I TOTALLY AGREE!!!!!! WITH EVERYTHING!! I just despise Walmart. I refuse to go, ever. The last time I went, we bought a Hot Wheels online and did the store pick up, and it still took FOREVER. I don’t understand why their store always looks so grimey too. It’s just dark and cold and dirty and everything is EVERYWHERE. No thank you!!!

    • Paul says

      Barrie…..how can I say this? Walmart bites the big one, you’re right. I would rather have a root canal than go to Walmart!

  128. Paul says

    This article was right on!. I tried Aldi’s today and that’s all it took. I am too lazy to clip coupons and put up with that nonsense, and at Aldi, coupons aren’t necessary. I am totally converted to Aldi’s now.

  129. Roy says

    I have been in an Aldi store once and wasn’t that impressed with it. I don’t like paying a quarter to unlock a shopping cart and the items available for sale are too limited compared to Walmart or other large grocery chains due to space limitations and keeping prices down when possible. I’m a diabetic so I have to look for diet foods low in carbs and sugar and Aldi does not do it for me congradulations to you if Aldi is your store.

  130. rick says

    aldis is great if you want to spend less money on groceries. but its terrible if you want to enjoy the taste of said groceries. i pretty much only buy fresh items, because that is the cheapest and healthiest way to eat. and aldis meat and produce (at least here in canton ohio) is worse than wal marts. and i think wal marts meat and produce are atrocious. there is a semi local grocery store chain in the area where i often pay a little more, but get a better quality.

    • Kristen says

      I’m so sorry to hear that’s been your experience at Aldi. Have you tried contacting Aldi to let them know about your dissatisfaction?

      I’ve had great experiences with the produce at my Aldi. Some is even better than what I can buy at a conventional grocery store-for instance, the grapefruits are WAY better and cost less than half as much.

  131. Henry Bailey says

    Why I Don’t Shop At Walmart. Walmart uses plastic bags when local stores offer bworn paper bags. At Walmart they put so few items in a bag, with a brown paper bag you can put so much more and either reuse the bag. The plastic bag you cab’t get rid of them and you have so many when you finish shoping. I know that Walmart has a box by the door for used plastic bags put they make a mess and you have to store them till you return to Walmart. Is the cheat price worth it.

  132. Laurie says

    I am a pretty new Aldi shopper. I’ve been there three times and I love it! I bought their canned green beans and French fried onion things for my green bean casserole on Thanksgiving. It was THE BEST green bean casserole I’ve ever had! The onion things were light and crispy. I was truly surprised and it convinced me that Aldi has good food.

    • Paul says

      Hi Laurie-

      I’m glad you found Aldi too. I gave up Wal-Mart a long time ago due to the crowds, waiting in lines, and no customer service. I have found going in to Aldi’s to be a quick and easy task. I also get more for my money there, and the quality of the food, as you have found out, is just as good, if not superior to what Wal-Mart has to offer. While Aldi is much smaller, you can still do your grocery shopping with what they offer, as opposed to a million choices.

      I’m glad you liked Aldi. I sure do!

  133. Simone says

    What do you think of Trader Joe’s? Have you shopped there? I like them for many of the same reasons you like Aldi.

    • Kristen says

      I do like Trader Joe’s, but their prices aren’t quite as fabulous as Aldi’s. On the other hand, you can find a lot of pretty great natural foods there for a good price.

  134. says

    I totally agee with everything you said. I don’t have to worry about my children but I am very busy so time saving is a great value to me! I also recently was forced to switch my prescriptions to Walgreen’s due to Wal Mart not using our insurance because my husband belongs to a union and the clerk told me that Wal Mart is anti-union! That sealed the deal and from now on I will avoid Wal Mart and stick with Aldi’s, Schnucks (great for 10 for $1 and double coupons), and Walgreens (you’d be surprised what you can save if you use their coupons and balance rewards program!!) who treats their employees with respect! You’re right, every employee I have encounter at Aldi is happy and helpful! Thanks for spreading the word!

  135. Desiree says

    I try to avoid Walmart by ordering my dry goods from their online site. I don’t have to park. I don’t have to wait in line. I find their online prices to be cheaper at times than their in-store prices. A lot of items ship home free if you spend $45 or more so I do just that. I love Aldi but in order to shop there I have to drive almost 30 miles one way and that totally eliminates savings. There are a couple grocery stores in my town and I try to find out what their specials and sales are in advance and believe it or not, Dollar General is a place where I can save significantly on many things. Milk is almost a dollar cheaper there per gallon than anywhere else and with a milk guzzling toddler, I really do appreciate that.

  136. John says

    For me, I avoid Walmart as much as possible. I used to be a regular shopper there but their prices are not all that great in comparision to other Pittsburgh grocery stores–Giant Eagle, local independents–Community, Shop N’ Save and the discounters–Aldi and Bottom Dollar. I used to shop frequently at Walmart, spending on average close to $100 per week on groceries and HBA.

    They raised their prices over the past 2 years and the horrible shopping experience in the Pittsburgh area is not worth it–poor produce quality, inferior quality meats that are adulterated with up to 20% solution, poorly stocked stores, bad lighting, long check out lines, and dirty and unattractive interiors plus employees that are poorly paid and exploited make it only a last resort.

    You can do better shopping at Giant Eagle, local grocers like Community, Costco and at the discounters like Aldi and Bottom Dollar.

  137. Rob says

    Wow, it’s like you read my mind! I totally agree…Aldi is awesome! If any of you have one nearby and you haven’t visited yet, get yourselves over there. You won’t be disappointed. I’ve been shopping there for a few years now and I swear that their brand is just as good if not better than the big boys.

  138. Caroline says

    There isn’t an Aldi in Vegas. I’ve looked. But there is Fresh & Easy which is small and really nice! I shop around and end up buying produce one day at Sprouts and everything else at another store. :)

  139. Freedoh says

    I only shop at Walmart…for everything. Here in Florida they are even now matching the BOGO deals at Publix and Winn-Dixie at Walmart prices. Walmart will also match any other sales. The BOGO at Publix used to undercut Walmart prices on those items, but no more. I’ve never been to Aldi—the nearest one to me is like 15 miles away in heavy suburban traffic. Walmart is just a few blocks away.

  140. Rebecca Zbezinski says

    Wild Applause, Frugal Girl!

    I dislike the business practices of Wal-Mart and do my very best to avoid their stores.

    Like you…this is not always feasible.

    Aldi’s is also ‘my store’ these days as I like to keep it simple…getting in, getting out and getting only what I need.

    Also enjoy Market District just for the high quality stuff as I am a foodie at heart who enjoys cooking.

  141. monica says

    I shop at the Walmart Super Store in Lake Havasu City,AZ and I am very pleased. I save a lot of money with the ad matches and their Great Value brand is good quality. Example- Popsicle brand sugar free fudgesicles 20pk box is $5.79 at Albertsons, only $3.92 at Walmart and just paid $2.88 with admatch last week. I do admit it is a large store, and you have to watch that some of the fresh items are rotated and not out dated, but haven’t had any real problems. I used to shop at Smiths(Kroeger) but Walmart prices beat them and to me, the budget is what it is all about. I am retired.

  142. Elvis Gilmore says

    I once bought Oat Squares cereal by Millville at ALDI. It’s practically the same as Quaker LIFE cereal. Today ALDI only carries Rice Squares and Corn Squares. Why do they not carry Oat Squares anymore? I love shopping at ALDI especially when I can save $1 per gallon of milk. I haven’t bought a full list of groceries at Wal-Mart since ALDI came about. My only problem is that I have to drive from Greenville TX to Rockwall TX (35 miles) to shop at ALDI but it is worth it. I wish ALDI would built in my home town.

    • Kristen says

      The oat squares were a special purchase, I believe. Aldi tests products with their special purchase program, and if they do well, then sometimes they introduce that product into regular rotation.

      I agree with you though-they were good!

  143. Mary Lynn Payne says

    I wanted to buy make-up today at the Wal-Mart in San Marcos, Texas. All the make-up is locked up and you have to find someone to unlock and then the store employee stands there while you look. I will no longer shop at Wal-mart, this was ridiculous!
    Mary Lynn Payne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *