My love/hate relationship with Walmart . . .

As you all know, I have issues with Walmart.  They have been documented here and, more hilariously (this is one of my very favorite blog entries ever!)

Today was a good Walmart day.  Andy and I went to Walmart to pick up some basic supplies after we’d wrapped up school today.  (Teachers and homeschool moms, any tips for teaching prepositions?  Andy and I are really struggling right now.) Ian and Tim gladly agreed to do the dishes and flip laundry while we were gone.  Hah, silly boys, they think I forgot their Latin today.  (They’re not going to be real happy in the morning, but, I got two loads of laundry out of it.  I found a copy of Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus, in Latin for them to translate this month.  Should be fun.)  Dan was gainfully occupied with a paper he has to turn in tomorrow, so he was excused.

Andy and I usually have fun together and today was no exception.  The child can talk and talk and talk and he never notices my eyes rolling into the back of my head.  But, for the most part, he’s interesting and kind of funny.  I split my list in two and gave Andy half.  Yes, I’m a bad mom, I let my nearly 10 year old go off in Walmart.  But, he is a tough kid and he did not have his own cart, so he was constantly checking in with me as he brought items back to the cart.

I sent him on his merry way and was surprised when he came back within a few minutes.  Oops, I had given him the half of the list with “cheap cooking wine,” beer for Mike (the good stuff) and beer for Mom (the cheap stuff).  Even I draw the line at a 9-year-old marching through Walmart hauling a six pack of Blue Moon.  We traded lists and got to work.

In about 20 minutes, we were done and in line for the check out.  Tuesday afternoon in the middle of Super Walmart is a pretty slow time.  I have to say that the woman in front of us in the checkout line was one of those master coupon people.  She had a little file box and everything.  It was amazing to watch her technique.  I suck at coupons, I’ve tried and I bow to those that have figured it all out.  She checked out with an overfull cart of groceries for just under $40.  I wanted to applaud, but thought that would make me look kind of stupid.  Looking back, I wish I had applauded!

As the cashier starting scanning our groceries, we talked about the amazing coupon lady.  Andy interrupted with the usual question, “How much, Mom?”  All of the boys and I play this game – whoever comes closest to the total gets the first Frosty (Wendy’s is on our way home and I bribe my kids with Frosty’s).  I was only buying the usual stuff and hadn’t been paying too much attention to prices.  I said $115.  Andy guessed $98.  The cashier joined in, scanned the conveyor belt and said, “Oh no, I’m going to go with $132.”  Well, our total was $133.27.  Impressive, huh?

Part of what I bought was canned sliced potatoes.  $.25 per can.  I usually keep a handful of these for nights when time is tight.  At $.25 per can, I bought 20 cans.  It takes 5 cans to feed just our family for one meal.  The cashier asked me what I did with them.  I told her I fry them in butter with a lot of salt and pepper.  The edges get all nice and crusty.  She asked how many people in our family and I told her.  Turns out she has three teen boys to feed as well.

There was no one in line behind me so we had a really nice conversation about how to feed starving teen boys.  Basically, potatoes, rice, grits and a variation of spices.  Ramen noodles and hard boiled eggs came up on the list as well.  It was so nice and strange to talk to this woman.  I sincerely doubt we have anything else in common beyond our boys, but that is a big bond.  And, on most of my trips to Walmart, I never would have had the time or opportunity to talk to this woman.

During our conversation, Andy offered up a couple of dead-on impersonations of his older brothers.  The cashier and I howled.  I guess being a mom to teen-age boys is a universal bond.  They are all goofy and hungry and weird.

Anyway, I feel like it’s only fair to put this side of Walmart out there.  When’s the last time you hugged your cashier after you’ve paid.  I know, me too.  I’m not a hugger, but sometimes, it’s what works.

8 thoughts on “My love/hate relationship with Walmart . . .

  1. Prepositions…

    get a stick out of the back yard, get a lego man.

    He can be:

    on the log, under the log, behind the log, beside the log, near the log, over the log, under the log, between two logs, etc.

    And you can find a list of about 25 prepositions and then just make him memorize them…but the log thing works well (for me in 6th grade it was a frog and a log)

  2. I like Claire's ideas!

    We usually define prepositions as “Things you can do with (insert boy's name here) and his chair.”

    He can be on it, under it, beside it, between them, etc.

  3. Were you behind me at the checkout? I'm a super coupon lady AND Mom #2 and I always play the “guess how much” game at the grocery store too.

    She always wins that one. I'm too absent minded to keep up with what's going on in the cart, she can add like nobody's business.

    She usually says Money is her favorite subject, LOL.

    Baby Boy doesn't come with us . . . we leave him at home so that we can call him every five minutes and ask “how many cans of this” or “how much of that is left in the box” because we're too lazy to make take proper inventory when we leave the house.

    I guess you've never been to Wal Mart in Texas. The cashiers talk your ears off. I have to hush them up so that I can watch them ring up my groceries. I'm always watching to make sure I'm not being overcharged for anything their scanning.

    Who knew grocery shopping could be such a scientific math intensive adventure? 😉

  4. Some days I miss Walmart..

    Here we have the O store (that is what Americans call it.

    I use cupons about half the time. But, then again I am paying almost $4 for a half gallon of milk.

  5. Thanks Claire!

    Mom #1 – you guys sound like the shopping dream team! I do the same thing with the older boys -I call constantly to have them “check stock.”

    Sabrina!!!! $4 for a 1/2 gallon of milk????? Ugh. How do you do coupons in Japan, do they have English versions or what?

  6. Amy, I just love your boys. Thru the years I always wondered HOW MY boys could eat as much as they do, and I ALWAYS think of you. lol!

  7. Canned sliced potatoes? That must be a southern thing, as I have never seen or heard of such a thing. I have seen canned whole potatoes.

    I just checked Wal-mart's website, and found the canned sliced potatoes, but they are not in our store or anywhere around us. (Usually gives us stores up to 100 miles away when I search something.)

    I wish we had them, that would be a staple!

    Kitchen Table Learners

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