A blog about "nothing"!

Thursday, March 31, 2016


I'll start this out by saying that I'm not a huge fan of Walmart.  I have issues with how they treat employees as well as some of their merchandising methods.  But I live in a medium sized community with only a few shopping options, and on certain things, Walmart not only has the best price, but sometimes it's the only place I can find some of these items. 
Unfortunately, our Walmart is what they call a SuperWalmart.  Not only is the store huge, but so is the parking lot, and it can take you almost as long to get in the store from the parking lot as it does to do your shopping!  Ridiculous.  For that reason, I only go there about once a month because not only is it hard on my poor, wonky knee, but I hate wasting that much time for shopping.  Plus it is clear on the other side of town, so it can take me as long as 15 minutes to get there, depending on traffic.  I remember many years ago someone I know saying that she shopped in the grocery store that was closest to her home even though it was more expensive because "my time is worth something too."  I have to agree.
Last year we had the winter from hell.  Again, thanks to my bad knee, I worry about falling.  If I injure it any further, I'm more than likely looking at surgery, and not only do I not relish that thought, because of several factors, neither does my doctor.  So I'll do whatever it takes to keep from doing that!  I try to time my shopping around the weather forecasts at that time of year, but sometimes even that isn't always foolproof.  Enter Walmart.com
I'd ordered things online from Walmart before, but when their site first started, it wasn't a full offering of everything (or almost everything) they sold.  Now you can get just about anything they sell in the store through their website.  I decided to give it a try, making sure that I met their $50 minimum to get free shipping.  About a week later, my order arrived on my doorstep.  Talk about convenient!  I was hooked.  Now I order from them about once a month.  So far this year, I haven't set foot in their store since early January.
So, what do I order you ask?  I have a list of staple items that I regularly order.  Breakfast cereal, gluten free pasta, tissues, toiletries, you name it.  And I almost always order a large package of toilet paper because that quickly adds $13 to my cart, and let's face it, you ALWAYS need toilet paper.  It's not like it's going to go bad either.  Periodically I order something that isn't grocery either, recently I ordered a bunch of nightshirts because I needed them and the price was good.  It's not difficult to come up with $50 worth of stuff.
Just because...
Any caveats?  Yes, there are a few.  Not everything is available on their website.  I'm not sure why, but I suspect it's perhaps because some items are more difficult to ship than others.  Obviously, perishable items like milk, vegetables, meat, etc. aren't available.  They sometimes have stock issues, with items being out of stock for extended periods of time.  You also have to pay attention to make sure that the item is actually being sold by Walmart and not by another outfit because that can result in additional shipping fees.  And you also need to know what you have been paying for an item at your local stores, once in a while I'll see an item turn up on the website for way more than what it would be if I just went to the store and bought it.  Fortunately for me, most of the items I buy are fairly stable in their pricing.
The benefits:  saves a ton of time (driving to the store, wandering around to find things), saves you money because you aren't as likely to put impulse items into your cart and it's delivered to your front door! Sometimes it's interesting trying to juggle that box into the house if it is a large one, but it still beats having to push the cart to your car, loading multiple bags into your car and then having to carry them all into the house.  And the boxes--wow!  They aren't flimsy cardboard, they are super sturdy and are great boxes to reuse for storing things or shipping items that might need extra protection.  At the moment I have one sitting in my dining room that I am saving for a craft project once I get to feeling better.
Over the past few weeks, shopping online has been a godsend.  I haven't felt well enough to go much of anywhere.  It's also my husband's busiest time of year, so I hate to make him run to the store to get things when he is already kind of frazzled.  Point and click has made it possible for me to get a lot of our essentials (and a few not essentials LOL)  and not have to bother him.  He just has to pick up perishable items and the rest turns up on our doorstep. 
I have shopped online since the 1990's, but I have to say that sites like this have definitely changed the way I shop in recent years.  Statistics show that traditional brick and mortar stores are seeing a decline in business due to online shopping, and I can see why.  I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing though.  To me, online shopping can be a tremendous time saver, allowing someone to spend more time on more important things.  To those who may have problems with mobility it gives them the ability to shop without fear of injury, or better yet, avoiding the frustration.  If you have ever had to shop from a wheelchair or assisted someone with a wheelchair, you know exactly what I'm talking about!  I don't know that online shopping will ever completely replace traditional shopping in a store, but I think it will absolutely continue to change how we shop in the coming years. 
Do you shop much online?  And if you do, what do you shop for and what are some of your favorite sites?


dan said...

I think that Walmart doesn't exist in Italy. My husband knew it and told me it is a really huge store!
I often buy online, especially clothes . My favourite site is Yoox. At the end of the season the prices are pleasantly lower than initial ones...
It's funny for me thinking that you can buy food online!! Not very common yet in Italy...

Flo said...

It is huge! Especially the ones that sell groceries in them.