Tag Archives: Wal-Mart

Oddity

Yesterday Joe saw a Rolls Royce pulling into the gas station at Wal-Mart. He said the car was one of the vintage ones with the fancy grill on the front.

That’s Texas for you.

Eccentric millionaire? Chauffeur? Thrifty person who can afford a hand-built automobile after a lifetime of conserving money?

Obviously, not a snob.

Boy, would I like to know the rest of that story!

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Filed under Cars, Humor, Texas, Transportation

Made in the U.S.A. – Scotch Tape

3M Scotch Magic Tape

Not all tape is made in the U.S.A., but 3M Scotch Magic Tape is.

It is currently on sale at Wal-Mart for $.75, along with other back-to-school supplies, which makes it a good time to stock up for all the gift wrapping this Christmas.

There are other generic tapes that are made elsewhere and are cheaper, but if more Americans were willing to spend a little bit more, then maybe we could save more American jobs.

I’m thinking about this a lot, since my husband has told twice in the last week that some of the people at his place of work have been laid off.

Please, buy American whenever you can.

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Filed under America, Current Events, Made in the U.S.A.

Made in the U.S.A. – Dusting Powder Update

Update on the dusting powder:

While we were out this weekend, I looked again at Walgreen for dusting powder. They have Jean Nate and a few designer perfume boxes – all more than I wanted to pay. The clerk and I commiserated with each other about the dearth of the selection.

Good old Wal-Mart.

Spring Fresh Dusting Powder, Lavender scented

$1.68 and that includes a puff.

And made in the U.S.A.

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Filed under Femininity, Made in the U.S.A., Thrift

Made in the U.S.A. – Green Rugs

When I needed new rugs for the bathroom, I looked around at Wal-Mart for something a little more versatile, something that wouldn’t scream “this crazy lady is using a bathroom rug by the front door”. And I needed them to be machine washable. Our home has carpet only in the bedrooms so, we have several rugs around the house (under my computer chair, in front of the doors, by the wood stove, etc. ) and I like them to be of the same type so they can be used interchangeably.

After finding these at Wal-Mart about a year ago, I bought four and have been very happy with them. Recently I decided to buy a few more but our local Wal-Mart no longer carried them. So whenever I was in a different W-M, I would go to the housewares department and see if they had them.

(Now you’re probably thinking that this crazy lady was going from W-M to W-M just looking for rugs, but I wasn’t. However, when we need things when we’re traveling, that’s where we go. )

We went to Tulsa to see my mother for Mother’s Day. When we needed to get some snacks and stretch our legs, we stopped at a Wal-Mart in one of the little towns off I-35 and eureka! I found them. These newer ones are a little larger and a slightly deeper green but in the same tone, so they’re still okay to intersperse. And instead of $6.00 each, they are $9.00.

If green scatter rugs are something you’re in the market for, check these out. They’re stocked with the runners and larger rugs and not in the bathroom towels/rugs area.

These fit the bill:

1. Although no one will mistake them for Neiman-Marcus closeouts, they look just fine to me.
2. The price is right.
3. When the dog is naughty or we track in mud, I just throw them in the washing machine, then hang them up to dry. Occasionally if I need one quickly, I’ll toss them into the dryer with a dryer sheet for static; but I imagine they’ll last longer if I don’t do that too often.
4. They’re made in the U.S.A. – which really puts them at the top of my list.

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Filed under Made in the U.S.A., Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Shopping, Thrift

Made in the U.S.A. – Wrapping Paper

Buying American made products is important to me. I believe that it saves jobs here at home. It’s very troubling when I think of all the great merchandise that we made and now it’s gone overseas. Mostly to a communist dictatorship.

Some have given up even looking for merchandise made in the U.S.A. but it is still out there. We just have to look for it.

One of my plans starting in 2010 is to feature an American made item every week.

Please participate!

At some point I might add a Mr. Linky, but for now just leave a comment and/or a link to your page if you feature something on your own post.

Today’s item is wrapping paper at Wal-Mart. As always, read the labels because some with the same looking packaging reads Made in China.

These are domestic. And additonal good news is that they were a real bargain. Sometimes I pay a little more for domestically produced things (I’m willing to pay a little more for my neighbor to keep his job), but these were marked down 75%. Normally $5.00, we only paid $1.25.

What is your American made find?

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Filed under America, Made in the U.S.A., Shopping, Thrift

Some Family History & Shopping Locally


Both sides of my family have roots in small business. In the past it was groceries – the kind of stores that are now called “Mom & Pop”. My brother has always had his own business but is now retiring; my sister’s family has their own. Joe and I seem to be the only ones who’ve stayed solely in the corporate world.

My maternal grandfather had several different country stores – not at the same time – in western Kentucky. The last one was in Iuka; in 1937 there was a massive flood (I think 7 states were affected); when everything they had, including the store, stood under flood water for 2 weeks, he retired.

1937 flood at Iuka,Kentucky; White building is Sexton's 2 story grocery store

Bart Sexton at Sexton's Grocery, Los Angeles 1930s


My mother went to Arkansas briefly and worked in her cousin’s store in Wiener. Then a year in Texas and on to California to work in her Uncle Bart’s grocery store in Los Angeles.

 

Stella Sexton at Uncle Bart's store, Los Angeles circa 1939


There she met an attractive young man who would come in to buy a Coke. She said he would lean against the pop box and make one of those little 6 1/2 ounce Cokes last a long time. I can scarcely believe that Daddy was ever that shy, but he must have been because he got a friend to ask her if she would go out with him. Mama told Maxine that she couldn’t go out with him until he asked her. Daddy was back over there in 5 minutes. A few years later he proposed to her riggt before they went to the Rose Bowl parade and the rest is history. Well, family history, anyway.

 

Johnnie Edens at Mingo store,circa 1945


Eventually Daddy wanted to move back to Oklahoma. After a few years they bought the little store in Mingo that my Uncle Johnnie had built, but had gone through a couple of different owners by then. Even though poor by today’s standards, my parents were able to buy the business to provide a second income. People could do that sort of thing back then. My mother said that she let my 6 year-old brother mark the items which cost a nickel with a 5 and the cents sign. Now I don’t think you can even buy anything at a store for a nickel. This was about 1949. (Funny thing about that little frame building: it’s about the only structure left standing in Mingo after the airport bought everything and demolished the community.)

 

Then in 1970, my dad and brother quit their construction business to buy a grocery store and station across from the school in Mingo. Cortez Carnathan had built it a few years previously to replace his old wooden structure. It reminded me of Wally’s Filling Station in Mayberry. The new one was very modern looking with glass walls all along the front. It had several DX gas pumps (full service only, this was before self-service), a mechanics bay with a lift and a good sized grocery area. I was in high school and worked there off and on until it was sold a few years later.

It seems to me that I have a fairly good understanding of and sympathy for local businesses. I know that having his own business made the difference between scary lay-offs that Daddy had suffered at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft and finally, prosperity. He worked hard at that store, getting there to open at 6:00 a.m., washing down the concrete pad every morning; staying there all day until we closed at 8:00 p.m. But the day was not over until all the shelves were stocked and the floor swept and mopped. Every day. He was 61 years old when they bought it and I can’t imagine working that hard when I’m that age.

So, I have a real empathy for local business and try to shop at them whenever I can. There are bonuses for both the owner and me. The local hardware store here is a good example. A can of Bon Ami costs about 70 cents more there than it does at the IGA. But, when I called to ask the proprietor if she knew anyone locally that sold firewood, she said we could have all we wanted – free – from their acreage. They even gave us a key to the gate. My friend, Patti told me they opened up the store after hours one night for an emergency plumbing repair part that cost less than $5.00. Try getting a major chain to do that for you.

Now, we’ve bought a lot more in there over the years than merely tub cleanser. We’ve bought paint and plywood, a few gifts and some things for the kitchen. Joe buys as many car parts there as he can. We could get cheaper prices at Home Depot or Autozone – and we still shop at those stores when we can’t get it here, but we want our local store to stay in business. Home Depot is never going to build a store in this town, it’s too small. If we want the store to survive, we have to decide whether saving a few dollars is worth them going out of business because they can’t compete.

The produce stand down the road is struggling. Honestly I hadn’t shopped there in a good while, but I’ve started to again. Okay, their prices are a little higher on some things than the grocery store, but generally the quality is much higher. A few weeks ago I bought the best grapes there that I’ve ever had. When I was checking out, the owner gently pointed out that the cucumbers I’d bought were past prime and she asked if she could substitute 2 others. Then she said she’d give me the first ones if I wanted them. Joe was there buying some things one night about closing and she offered him a large bag (probably 5 pounds) of West Texas tomatoes for $2.00. They were good ones, just a little overripe. He came home and made some really wonderful hot sauce (salsa).

Now, I wish that all the local businesses were like that, but they aren’t. The feedstore owner doesn’t care if I shop there or not, so I usually don’t for anything but the occasional bale of hay. I had a really horrible experience at the local beauty shop and will never go back (I was with a friend who had just lost a son, and the yacky beautician would not shut up complaining about kids). The scrapbook store owner in a nearby town is so rude that she has a reputation as far as 50 miles away. Some of the shop owners in Decatur won’t even wait on me when I go in, so I don’t go back.

This is a mystery to me and I can guarantee you my dad wouldn’t have understood it. He was always polite to customers because he knew he wouldn’t have a business without them. As Dave Ramsey says, “If you’re not making money – it’s a hobby, not a business”. It took a lot for my dad to get cranky with a customer.

Local businesses are vital to a community. I’ve read that small business is the backbone of American employment.

All that said, I still love Wal-Mart; I’ve been shopping there for over 35 years. I can’t imagine all the money I’ve saved in that amount of time.

It’s so tres chic to denigrate Wal-Mart. And the funny thing about it is
that most of the critics I hear, shop at Target or buy Microsoft or pay way too much for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. You get the picture. The media, New York and California hate Wal-Mart and make the rest of us look like cousin-marrying rubes if we shop there.

Do they honestly believe that shopping at Costco instead of Sam’s makes them superior? One major corporation over another?

If major corporations are so evil, then maybe those critics should stop buying gasoline of any kind and walk everywhere. No more clothes unless they grown the cotton (no tractors) or wool and weave it themselves.

To sum it up: both small business and big business have vital roles in the American economy and life. I support them both.

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Filed under 1930s, America, Current Events, Family, Kentucky, Mingo, Oklahoma, Thrift