For anyone who finds the end of Blockbuster a joy to behold I say unto thee, verily, dumbass, the Digital Age is all flash and false hope that will disappoint and endanger. It is convenient. So is McDonald's. And about as healthy. What did we lose when the video stores closed? Physical copies. Personal recommendations. And a “special event” that was planned, executed and enjoyed ( not that Blockbuster was small or personal enough-I speak of the retail segment in general ). It is the same with the death of book stores.
Web page surfing takes away the experience we enjoyed, either as the only place in the mall I could go to as the women folk chattered and clucked among the clothing, or the weekly treat of spoiling yourself with special entertainment the TV could not match. Going to Amazon or Netflix and scrolling through thousands of offerings? It isn't the same ( and not just because Hollywood is cranking out extra special levels of crap. Even the latest Mel Gibson, “The Madman And The Professor”, better than months of mediocre pap, simply wasn't a must re-watch masterpiece it could have been ten or more years ago ).
Like the actual lives of most Americans it is all quantity and near zero quality. Did the Romans eat faster and faster, puking more and more in between courses, in a vain attempt to enjoy more luxury as the city decayed around them? Did the Nazi's in the bunkers stay drunk as the Soviets got closer, hoping their last days of excess were better than reality? The death of retail video is also the death of Hollywood ( the death of The Walking Dead-the last season, once again, degenerating into episodes to endure rather than enjoy-might portend the end of the smaller Hollywood brethren surviving out of the state of California ).
The death of analog. Hollywood went to crap, retail went to crap, books went to crap, our political system went to crap, all about the same time after 2008. The death of the old system ( malls in business for fifty years going to crap wasn't because Amazon-it was the death of the anchor stores which is the beginning of the death of the Big Box Stores ). Nobody is even beginning to believe grocery stores are going to fail. But if they are attached to a failing over indebted over stretched version of K-Mart? Sure.
When Wally takes a big puke, how do Po Boys survive? I don't actually believe things will be that much worse for you. The simple fact is, almost every single thing in half the store is complete and utter low quality garbage. I don't say this as a snob. In certain things, low cost products are fine. If I don't habitually saw wood, how high of quality of a saw do I need? I hear you say, buy once, cry once. And I don't disagree. What I do ascertain, however, is that we are no longer in a position to treat EVERY single product like that. On a reduced budget, you must sometimes trade longevity for budgetary considerations.
Fact-unemployment is high. Fact-it will get much higher. Fact-you can't always get what you want. In a lot of cases, middlin quality is the best you can hope for. Almost nothing on the merchandise side of Wal-Mart is of middlin quality. That whole half of the store is a black hole for money. In almost every case, a little shopping around buys you three times the life for only twice the money. You SAVE money buying outside Wal-Mart. How about food? That is much tougher. Not AS tough as it used to be however.
Long ago Wally switched from generics to brand name. I grant you, their brand names are cheapest. But who the Hell is such a luxury dripping Yuppie Scum they can afford brand names? Not I. You can, usually, get cheaper generics in the Yuppie Grocery stores than you can buy brand name at Wally. Yes, in a few instances brand name is better. Libbey's corn was five times better tasting than any other brand name and ten times better than generic. In some generics it tasted like I was eating deer corn.
That is rare, at least to me, without any refined taste. One great thing about decades of company consolidation is that your generic item is made by the same idiots making brand name items. Usually. So you buy generic. Whoopie Pickles. You abused little First Worlder. Now, for those already eating generic from Wal-Mart, most times you can survive buying on Yuppie Grocery weekly specials. The Loss Leaders ( because of those, a lot of times you are paying less than anywhere else. This is when Wally's “always low price” bites them in the ass, as they never have specials ).
You will have to start stocking up on all food items, so that you can go six months without visiting a grocery store ( start at one month, work your way up ). This means you never buy EXCEPT on the sales. Plenty of folks sell used freezers because they suck too much energy or they look ugly. Is rotation a PITA? Of course. I'm sorry, were you under the impression that saving money was easy? Haahahaha! You are so cute when you discover reality for the first time.
The stuff you need to buy daily or weekly? Well, you'll have to shop around. That means for a lot of us, a bicycle. Which you need anyway. You were saving money JUST driving to Wally. Now you'll need to save money by pedaling around and comparison shopping, buying the cheapest. Your days of assuming Wally is the cheapest are over. I'm not going to pull out the stale and overused “gardening”. This article is on substituting where you buy your food. And everyone is aware of farmers markets and such.
Some items you can create. This will be a high up front cost. It will take two years for my newest grain grinder to pay for itself, but less if I shopped for the flour at Krogers instead of Wally. It frees me from Wally's low price, by its eventual much lower price. Dehydrators and pressure canners can help for buying produce on sale, if you are really a bunny. Or even meat, if you worry about the grid going down. The empty jars are cheaper at Wally, unless you bulk buy them at the end of the season from ranch/farm supply stores.
Yes, you'll have to stock inventory to beat the cost of Wally. Is that such a bad thing? Hell, it is a guarantee that Wally is ALWAYS out of something you need anyway. You had to stock up from Wal-Mart. There is no difference if Wally closes down! We can break this unnatural dependence on a company that hates us and has been screwing us for a decade. It won't be simple, a little less easy, up front costs. But you do it now while you can still cheat at Wally, or be forced to do it quickly and not as cheaply when they bankrupt. Good luck!
( .Y. )
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Chest freezers are a lot less wasteful. Some people convert them into fridges for the same reason.ReplyDelete
I shop by bike too - latest outstanding "sale" buys were about 30 lbs of "kinder chocolate" I snagged thinking of European food laws making sure the stuff's gonna be essentially repackaged Lindt, right? Wrong - it was *eastern* european standard and almost pure tooth-rotting sugars. I left that trove out by the sidewalk and it was gone in no time, to rot some bum's teeth lol. At least it cost me only the effort of picking it up, likewise about 20 lbs of "survival muesli bars" which aren't bad, if muesli bars are your thing. I'm not into muesli bars, really, but the birds like 'em.
But for pay-money type shopping, indeed you need to shop around. Ethnic markets are very definitely your friend here. Wal's is good too but as you say Jim, you have to shop around.
Bums don't have teeth, so your chocolate was merely a kindness ( sugar issues from liqueur withdrawal ) rather than a backhanded hate :)Delete
I likes Wally spam, eat a couple cans a month. Sometimes sliced and fried in the pan, sometimes on the grill, and other times I chunk it up and mix it with mac n cheese, etc. But my favorite way is to just slice it up "raw" and make a nice fat sando out of it. A slice of havarti cheese, some mayo, on whole wheat. good gaw, don't git no finer. No one ever accused me of being a snooty ass!ReplyDelete
When I do my monthly Rural King/Kroger/Wally excursion it usually takes about 3 hours including travel time cause I compare costs/quantities/ingredients on everything to get the best deal.
Hey, guess what? 2 weeks ago out of the blue Kroger sent me a batch of coupons cause I was a good customer. Amongst them were freebies. Yep. A bottle of Kroger brand salad dressing, a bag of salad, a can of soup and a few other things. All of the coupons I used amounted to a little more than $15 knocked off the bill. Today I got another batch of Kroger coupons in the mail. Christmas in September! Yayyy!!! Walmart better get their shit together if they want to keep my attention.
Wally is busy thinking of new ways to Jump The Shark. I'm sure they won't disappoint us finding new ways to go Full Retard. Free entertainment!Delete
Nightshift here.....after a long hiatus. Couldn’t get the google thing to let me post so here I am. I don’t like Walmart either but I live 20 miles from a snobby little artist town and they think their crap doesn’t stink. The country grocery 15 miles away is on average a dollar higher on everything. Chunky soup? $1.25 higher. Bread? $1. Everything. And the other choice in town thinks their toilet paper and everything else is gourmet. So I reluctantly have to shop there. We did have one cheap store in the country, they even still gave credit to the folks on a monthly check but it burnt down.ReplyDelete
Glad to see some of the old regulars her. Spud, Mohave Rat, and a couple others. I’m still trying to catch up on a couple years of wisdom. Jim, the hair still looks magnificent.
Hope you find the writing has improved. Yeah, lesser of evils. I wouldn't support a store that priced crap that much higher, either. Few of us are made of money. I usually have no issues paying 10-20% higher, just to deny Wally, but I sure wouldn't pay double either. I went into Albertsons yesterday. They just re modeled, again. This time to put in a Starbucks. Three in a town of 16k ( with another three or so Mom & Pop places ). Anyway, country store prices. $2.50 for a FIVE pound bag of regular Russels. Hamburg on sale $3.33 if you bought a three lb tube. I was headed to the feed store, so it was just a curiosity thing to see the new look. I couldn't believe how crowded it was, too. These people are all crazy. Oh yeah, the Starbucks is kitty corner from a casino. With another Starbucks inside. Jesus weeps.Delete
I live close to a snobby little artist town too and almost never go there. South central Indiana.Delete
Should have said "population 18k". Wishful thinking this dump would hurry up and shrink.Delete
Wally at my neighborhood market installed automatic pedestrian gates at the entrance to deter dashers out thru the in door shoplifting. They have security devices on the laundry detergent jugs, in addition to bar soap in locked cabinets, there is cameras with a glowing white l.e.d. spotlight type light and playback video screen in the actual aisles (can meat section example, I wave madly at the camera like a dork on occasions) to show you the loyal shopper that there is no trust and they are in your face watching you, of course just measures to keep costs down for you and all. It is indicative of a corporate goliath spending a lot of capital with tech, a.i. measures etc, to plug up loss and shrinkage losses, as they can no longer eat or absorb the typical retail shrinkages with a contracting up retail arena. Business does have to evolve, but I don't expect TSA level clampdowns on my uber shopper experiences. New normal, check, got it.ReplyDelete
How is one supposed to clandestinely pick a nose, scratch an ass or rearrange the twig and berries with all this security around?Delete
Starbucks across the street from Starbucks
A gravel-voice comedian of the jewish religion did a bit about that after a visit to Houston, seeing a Starbucks across the street from a Starbucks.
His conclusion == it was perfect for the dementia crowd.
As they finish their coffee and exit the Starbucks, they see the Starbucks sign across the street, and think "You know what would go great right about now? A nice cup of Starbucks coffee!"
Ha! In my burgs defense, you can't actually SEE the other Starbucks as a gas station is in the way ( and one is inside the casino, the other fully advertised ), but I still see End Times written all over this development.Delete
When movies (or books) start preaching and stop entertaining they start sucking. When Thor becomes a girl, just because? Yeah, not so much.ReplyDelete
I picked up a story back from the 1970's a few years back - Lucifer's Hammer. Dang, but that's a FUN book.
Thor became a girl for a very good reason. The studio was making too much money, so they had to pussify super hero's to lose money, for the tax write off.Delete