WALMART: Save Money, Live Better?

Well, this is the last post I’ll make before I head off to start  my 3rd year of college. I can’t believe it! I feel like I should write a bunch of sentimental things, but that could take forever and it’s already bittersweet enough as it is to be going back, so I’m going to talk about Walmart. Yes, good ol’ Wally World.

Because it’s a new school year is upon us, I’ve been doing a lot of shopping at Walmart. You know, picking up random odds and ends to decorate my apartment: paint, storage bins, pictures, the list goes on. I’ve realized that I have to go to Walmart with a list, if I go in just to “look around,”–well, actually…I never go into Walmart to just look around. My point is, because everything is advertised so well and highlighted with such “low” prices all of the items look appealing. I find myself saying, “Oh! This could be good for (insert scenario here)!” or “Man, I’ve always wanted (insert item here)!” But let’s be honest, I don’t really have a legitimate scenario in mind, and I don’t really NEED whatever random quirk I happen to find interesting. Just stick to your list, Jayna!!

But that’s how Walmart gets you. The store just makes everything look so…good. And by the end of your “quick trip” you’ve spent $80 and are sulking and griping as you leave the store because you might be “living better,” but you definitely haven’t “saved money.”

However, this blog post doesn’t really have to do with Walmart as a whole. What I really want to focus on is the last place you visit in Walmart before you leave the store. Checkout line…Duck #4 goes out to you:
So, like I said, I’ve been going to Walmart a lot recently. Because of this, I’ve spent a lot of time in the checkout line. Not only because I’ve been to Walmart so much, but also because the store only ever has 4 lanes open for 30 customers with carts full of groceries and other such items. 

Have you ever noticed the types of items that are at the checkout line? I mean, really noticed? There’s candy, chips, magazines, gum, soda, and gift cards. Sometimes there’s a bit of variation, but for the most part the above list sums up what’s offered.
Here’s the issue, *usually (*disclaimer: what I’m about to say isn’t ALWAYS the case) the items at the checkout counter are items that you don’t go into Walmart to buy. Walmart is too big of a store for that. BUT, the higher up-important-boss people know what they’re doing. It’s at the checkout counter, while you wait for the family of 7  with 2 carts full of diapers, eggs, and Sunny-D to pay for their groceries, that you start to think about random things. You think about how long the line is, why the family with 5 children decided to go grocery shopping at 10pm, what else you have to do for the rest of the week, how mad you are that you forgot to return your Redbox DVD, etc.
THEN…
Your mind wanders to the items on the shelf. You think, “Man, I haven’t had a Kit-Kat bar (sings jingle in head) in a while. Ehh, but it’s so late.” Then you look at the magazines. “The Royal Family is so pretty! Ugh…another weight loss add? Yeah, I’m sure she lost 75 lbs in 2 months by drinking that fancy shake! Man, I should work out more. Hmm…those Doritos look tasty, I could go for a snack. But I just said, ‘No’ to the Kit-Kat…” Your mind is quiet for a bit because you have to move up in line. It’s almost your turn to pay. “Maybe I can just settle for some gum. But what kind do I want? Meh…” Turn to your right. “Oh,  Jim’s birthday is coming up! I should get him a gift card, but which one? Does he like Olive Garden? Maybe I should just get him an iTunes gift card. Wait, does he even own an iPod?” 

And then….BOOM!
Before you know it, you’ve added People Magazine, that Kit-Kat bar, bag of Doritos, pack of gum, and a $20 giftcard for Jim’s birthday that isn’t for another month to your cart!
Walmart, what are you doing to us? 

Now, like I’ve said. This isn’t always the case. You learn to say no. It’s not that hard, but it takes practice. Sometimes you just need that one snack, right? It’s funny though, don’t you think? What’s funny, Jayna. Well, I’ll tell you. Walmart only opens a few lanes in the store so you’re forced to wait at the checkout counter for a while. In those moments of waiting, because you’re surrounded by junk food and “hot models” you get hungry, remember that you’re on a diet, realize you don’t look like the models, and then buy the junk food anyway because you feel bad about yourself and say that “one day won’t hurt.” The justification for buying those last minute checkout counter items is, “well, everything else I bought was so cheap, so I can splurge on this magazine and candy bar!” WRONG! 
It’s a twisted logic we have. But don’t scoff, you know you’ve fallen into the trap too…

It’s a problem. The struggle is real, people.

[Lord, help me to be wise with my money and remember what’s important in life.]
❤ Amen

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