First, let me say I am not pushing Walmart. I am not for or against Walmart. I will go anywhere that I get the best bang for my buck.
I would like to share my thoughts on some of the things I hear about Walmart and I’ll start by saying Chad worked there in college. I will tell you that I am quite sure he was not the model employee but he had a manager who saw his potential and worked with him. Gary talked with Chad enough to know that he had no idea what he wanted to do when he was out of college. Gary encouraged Chad to go into the Walmart management program and, mainly because Chad wasn’t beating the bushes to find a better job, he stuck with Walmart. He was promoted, made a good salary, and he definitely was not coddled . . it’s a huge corporation, but I think Walmart helped make him who he is today. In the 11 years he was with Walmart, he worked in five stores in five locations – from average to the largest to a rather small store. Those moves were good for them. They developed friendships all across SW MO and Chad found great fishing spots. 🙂
When I hear people complaining about how Walmart employees are treated, I think . . If I had to try to keep some of their employees on track, doing a good job, treating customers with respect, I might be in jail. They often hire people who can’t get jobs other places – not always to be nice but because they can’t get enough employees (and this was way before the pandemic).
The second thing I hear people say is that they won’t shop there because everything is made in China. That’s when I know they are simply regurgitating what they’ve heard others say and not paying any attention because almost every store you go into . . way too much is made in China. It’s one thing to have strong opinions but please be sure your opinions are based on facts and not on what you hear others say.
The third thing is people who will not shop at Walmart because they don’t want to self-check. Fine. We’re all entitled to our opinions. If I can save 15 to 20% on my grocery bill, go to one store that has everything I need (or . . they used to) and I have to check myself out .. that doesn’t bother me one bit. It rarely takes me any longer to check myself out that it does to go through a checkout line. As far as Walmart not caring about employees . . in my opinion, few employers care about their employees. These days, they care about retention but if there was someone else who would do your job for $1/hour less, many would not care about you. Yes, it’s sad when employees lose their jobs due to innovation (self checks) but it happens and now, with jobs being so hard to fill, those who want to work can get a job. Innovation through the years has knocked out jobs everywhere. It’s just fashionable to complain about Walmart. Chad got caught up in the assistant manager cutback three years ago and lost his job. I don’t blame Walmart. They were doing what they had to do to keep their business on the track they wanted it to be on.
My goal is to get what I need for the least amount of money in the least amount of time and be done with it. I don’t care if it’s Walmart, Piggly Wiggly, HEB . . I am not going to go to three or four different grocery stores in order to save a few cents on one or two things. I’m a one stop, get it done and get out kind of shopper.
OK . . now to the meat of this post.
Do I think the Walmart Plus membership is worth it. Yes!
The membership is $98 if paid annually, $12.98 if paid monthly.
The benefits can be found here.
We use them all:
- Gas – We use gas from the Walmart/Murphy stations.
- Scan & Go – With the app, at our stores, we can scan each item as we put it into our cart. It’s easy to remove the item if we decide we don’t want it. Then, we push the cart to the check out and go through the procedure for the register to scan the code on the phone and pay. It’s totally quick and easy to do. You don’t have to take anything out of your cart. I will often grab a handful of bags and bag the items at the back of my car. If I lived in an area where I didn’t feel so safe, I’d probably stand in front part of the store and bag my groceries.
- Free Delivery – There is no delivery charge for orders from the store to be delivered so long as you meet the $35 minimum. I do add the tip. I think the minimum recommended tip is $7. I give at least $10 because we live a ways out – not terribly far but we aren’t right in town. If my order is more than about $40, I will leave more of a tip. The tip is added to your order. I do not hand the driver money. My understanding is that the driver gets 100% of the tip.
- Free Shipping – This is where it really pays off for us. I order everything from cooking oil, to Tuna Helper, canned fruit, Mason jars, water hoses, fertilizer for the garden/flowers, safety pins, dry beans, toilet paper – anything other than frozen or refrigerated food, meat, fruits, veggies and bread . . it mostly comes from mail order.
Note #1: Walmart is not always the least expensive. Sometimes it’s Amazon, sometimes it’s Sam’s Club, sometimes it’s Vitacost. I check prices before ordering.
Note #2: Not everything on the Walmart web page is sold by Walmart and therefore, not everything falls into the 2 – 3 day free shipping category so check before ordering and make sure there aren’t shipping charges when you think you’re getting free shipping.
Note #3: Sam’s Club has a similar program. I think it’s also $99 and you get free shipping (but not free delivery from the store).
One more thing: Sam’s prices are often a bit less than Walmart but sometimes it’s the other way. Here’s an example: I was adding evaporated milk to my shopping list this week. Here are the prices I found:
Walmart: Carnation 13.2 oz. can – $1.38 each
Walmart: Great Value 12 oz. can – .92 each
Sam’s: Carnation – 12 oz cans – 8 for $9.98 or $1.25 per can
If the Great Value can wasn’t an option, I’d do the math on the two Carnation cans and find that it’s a bit less for the 12 oz. can when you figure out the per ounce cost. The cost savings isn’t enough to sway my opinion so if I were already ordering from Sam’s, I’d add the 8 pack of cans or if I were already ordering from Walmart, I’d get them from there but for the savings of 26%, I’ll order the Great Value evaporated milk.
Note #4: Not everyone shops like I do. I spend a lot of time with my grocery list/checking prices. It isn’t like I have a busy schedule! 🙂 If you don’t have the time or the desire to do that, your shopping is going to be different from my shopping. Also, if you don’t want to buy three bottles of ketchup at a time, or 5 pounds of black pepper to get the best price, then the savings at Sam’s isn’t great for you. As I always tell Vince, a bargain isn’t a bargain if you don’t use what you buy.
Note #5: Buying in bulk often saves a bit of money but it also saves a lot of time. To use the evaporated milk example, I don’t use a ton of it. If I’m making tuna helper and it calls for 2 cups of milk and I happen not to have an extra 2 cups of milk, I’ll use a can of evaporated milk and add water to make it 2 cups. If I buy 8 cans, I know I will use them before they go bad (why may be well after the “best by” date).
If you don’t have space to store food purchased in bulk, then buying large quantities isn’t for you.
I get frustrated when there’s something I want to make and it calls for something I don’t have – say pimientos or water chestnuts – so even the things I don’t use every day, I keep on hand just in case. No, I don’t have EVERYTHING but I have almost everything.
The other day, Addie said “I wish you had some mandarin oranges.” I looked at her and smiled. She said “Oh, I forgot. You’re GRANNY! You have everything!” She ran down to where we store our canned goods, found her a can of mandarin oranges, brought them upstairs with a big smile on her face.
That’s just how we live. If it isn’t the way you want to shop or keep food on hand . . that’s fine. I’m only sharing how we do it . . not trying to convince others to do it my way.