In my last post I mentioned that I only allow myself one purchase at Target, which is a big box of baby wipes every 2 months or so. I mean this very seriously when I say I don’t shop (read: don’t let myself shop) at these kinds of stores. To illustrate my point, I will share a story of my most recent trip to Walmart.
The week after Easter I was getting ready to go to the grocery store. I wasn’t actually planning a trip to the store this week (I usually go every 2 weeks), but due to an unfortunate misuse of the calculator on my iPhone, I actually ended up $30 under budget for that week. This may seem like a “win” but Dave Ramsey always says, the goal isn’t to be under budget; the goal is to allocate all your funds so you have a zero-balance in the bank, and then and use those funds accordingly. Also, we didn’t have any food because we already have a small food budget & just stretch it as far as possible every shopping trip. Needless to say I had to return to the store the following week.
My plan was to go to my usual HEB (if you live in Texas, you know the amazingness that I am referring to); however because of the way my errands worked out that day, I ended up on the Walmart side of town, and against my better judgment, decided to go there. So, with a $30 budget and a list of only $30 worth of groceries, I unintelligently entered The Store.
The following is an absolutely true and accurate depiction of my visit to Walmart.
Don’t judge me.
Walk in, grab a cart. Pull out list. “Oh I wonder if they have a tinted window sticky for the back seat. I’ll go over there before I do the grocery side.” Walk toward baby section. Pass the Dr. Pepper 12-packs in the middle on sale for $3!!! “Sweet, they’re $3.98 at HEB. I’m getting two.” Throw it in the cart.
Continue to baby section. Go by way of Easter candy sale aisle. “OMG. If they have Cadbury mini eggs on sale, I’m getting them.” Scrounge the aisles for 10 minutes. Find 2-lb bag. “No price tag? I don’t care. I love these. Besides, they can’t be more than like… 2 bucks.” Stop and tell lady in the aisle how much I love Cadbury mini eggs. “Yes, I know my baby is absolutely precious, thank you.” Proceed to add chocolate to my cart.
Continue onto baby aisle. Find tinted window sticky. “It’s only 5 bucks for two! Awesome deal!” Throw it in the cart. “Maybe I’ll see if they have a transitional sippy cup for Baby J.” Don’t find it, which is probably an act of God trying to keep me on track. “Ok, I came here for groceries. Get back to business woman.”
Return to grocery side of store. Get all the things on the list. Get to the meat section. “A three pound bag of frozen chicken for $8 or a 6 pound bag of frozen chicken for $12? Duh, I’m getting more chicken for less!” Throw it in the cart.
Look for ground beef. Decide this is the time to try ground turkey. “Oh look at this, a three pound package of ground turkey for $8! That’s wayyy cheaper than ground beef!” Throw it in the cart.
Wrap around to produce section. Decide as long as I’m there, I’ll get some fruits and veggies to make a new batch of purees for the munchkin, even if what I have will still last me a week or so.
“Apples for $1.27/lb, I’ll take 6.”
“We’ve been out of green beans for a while. I’ll get a pound and a half.”
“Oh these pears look good! I bet that will help with Baby’s constipation too. I’ll get 8 because I’m not sure how many ounces of food these will make.”
At this point, I realize I’m over budget and need to leave before I do any more damage. Walk toward registers. “Oh these avocados are on sale! He loves avocados and I haven’t given him any in a while. I’ll get 6.”
By the way, I can only buy produce in even numbers. I don’t know why.
“Ok, it is really time to leave. I don’t even know if I have the money on my debit to cover this.”
At this point, I finally made it to the register. Now, my budget was $30. I didn’t take cash because I was certain I could stick to my budget and I’m really smart like that.
The damage? $114 and some change. That’s right. I went almost EIGHTY FIVE DOLLARS over budget. None of the items I told you about were on my list. There were a few similar but less memorable moments that I didn’t share, but I think you get the picture. And by the way, the 2-lb bag of Cadbury mini eggs was $5 on sale from $10. Still feel like I got a deal on that…. Not.
And that, my friends, is why I don’t shop at Walmart.