Sometimes when I plunk down my items on the conveyor belt at Walmart  I notice that the majority of the things I purchase. . . are not necessary to sustain life. I could really live without most of it. I argue with myself that those unnecessary items do enhance my life. And how can anyone deny that a $16.77 can of BigSexyHair spray, isn’t essential to happiness?. . . And although it’s a BigFatWaste of money, (akin to buying canned sticky air). . . it does have some intrinsic value. . . right? Maybe!

So, how much does a trip to Walmart usually cost you? Forty, sixty, a hundred dollars?

I’ve noticed that no matter how often I go to Walmart, or how recently I may have gone, I always manage to spend the same amount. So, I have developed a super sneaky strategy to fool myself — that makes me ecstatically happy. I just stretch out my visits to that mega store. I refuse to go to Walmart more than once a month if at all possible.

Now of course that means that my social interactions are cut way down. No more stopping every other aisle to chat with my old neighbors, or that woman that I met at the soccer field that one time. . . but the sacrifice is worth it!

I make a master list of all the things that I usually purchase at Walmart, and then I buy at least a thirty day supply. Some things you just don’t want to run out of, so I try to keep an extra stash of the essentials, but if you plan ahead and just spend a little time organizing your shopping list, you will save yourself extra emergency trips to the store. As an added bonus, you won’t be tempted by as many of those impulse purchases, or those sale items that you REALLY CAN live without.

Plus, for each trip to Walmart you avoid, you’ve saved at least a mile of walking from your car to the door, and back and forth in the store on the treasure hunt they send you on. Can someone tell me why they can’t just put all the hats in one place? Why should I have to look on end caps in hair accessories, children’s clothing, and ladies accessories for a jaunty little number?

And could they not create an app that would give a map of the store, or provide a search feature? At the very least, could we not have phones strategically placed throughout the store where we could call someone to ask where the trash bags are — just a little clue — housewares. . . paper products. . . grocery aisle. . . ? What about that lady who counts the items back at the dressing rooms? She’s not really that busy is she? Couldn’t she answer the phone and tell me where the aprons are?

I think I got sidetracked there (which is what they’re depending on when they send you on that little ‘treasure hunt’) — By the way, do you enjoy that treasure hunt? My friend who works at a large chain store says they do that on purpose. They want your shopping experience to be like a ‘treasure hunt’.  No thanks! I have plenty of adventure at home looking for lost socks and misplaced shoes.

So today’s money tip? Limit your trips to the store, and you’ll save money!! (This works with the grocery store, too!)

Or try this. When you place your items on the conveyor belt, put the things that you absolutely can’t live without first, and pay for them separately.  Then have her ring up all the ‘extras’, and just see how much you’re paying for ‘fluff’. It might surprise you! If you ever need to cut back and conserve, these are the areas where you can get creatively thrifty!

And. . . with the extra money you save, you can buy that cute hat!

Shari

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