Big box stores are the black-hole of shopping, am I right? You go in for milk and 5 hours later you walk out in a dazed state with 15 bags of stuff and you are not really sure what happened. Sound familiar? I try to avoid the big box store vortex as much as possible, so I only stop into Wal-mart once a month or every other month if I can make it work. I also only go in for a few select items. I have my list, I shop with blinders on as to not get distracted by all of the shiny things, and then I check out as quickly as possible. Not only do you have to be careful to not get sucked into the seasonal or shoe or whatever section is your weakness, you also need to be wary of prices. Big box stores are cheaper on average, which means not on everything. If you are a sale shopper and coupon clipper, chances are that soup you were about to buy is on sale at your grocery store, this week, where they double coupons, and you could get it for free. Now, this does not mean you should avoid these stores all together, they have their place and usefulness. I personally buy things like hand soap refills, and toilet paper there because they have the best price that I can find. Also things like shoes and overnight diapers for my two-year-old. They have the sizes I need, and prices that fit my budget. Do I buy everything there, definitely not, but some things are just cheaper at the Wally World.
So, bottom line, make big box stores work for you - price match, use your coupons, check those prices, and make sure to stick to your list, or you might just emerge with more stuff than your trunk can hold and a blown budget.
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