Look At Me! Up Here on My Soapbox!

On Saturday I chilled out on the couch for a bit watching TLC. I watched one episode of What Not to Wear in which Stacy & Clinton pulled off one of the better make-overs that I have seen them do in a while. I mean they took this woman from Ms. Super Duper Frumpy Queen to pretty dang gorgeous. With Carmendy’s help too. Oh and the new hair stylist guy, whose name I don’t recall (I miss Nick) Anyway, they are so awesome.

And then I watched Trinny and Susannah (the Brit version of the same show) make over an American woman who was a staff sergeant but when not on duty, dressed like…. (how shall I put this?) a whore.

Unfortunately because I was not far enough behind and because these were not recorded “events,” I had to suffer through some commercials. And worst of all. For Wal-Mart.

I don’t think I’ve ever really gone into it here on the blog but we are NOT Wally World shoppers.

The MAIN reason for this is because we (meaning Tim and I) feel that they represent the “race to the bottom” with their focus on the lowest possible prices, ultimately lowering everyone’s wage across the planet. You cannot have THE lowest prices without low cost and those come at a price (loss of MANY, many American jobs and the cheapest labor in OTHER countries). Case in point, Levi’s used to be made in the USA and partly because of their dealings with Wal-Mart they no longer manufacture any jeans in the the U.S.

We find it quite ironic that this retailer has managed to market itself primarily to the people whose jobs they have compromised.

Coupled with the fact that their stores are usually not well kept, many of the products they sell no longer represent the quality that they used to, and their lack of employee benefits (another way to keep that LOW, LOW price), we choose to stay away.

Anyway, despite my distaste for the store and the company’s business practices, I do like it when they prove me right.

The two commercials that I had the pleasure of viewing today (multiple times) really just lit my fire right up, as they both prominently featured junk food and food laden with trans fats and preservatives (which we do our best to avoid in this house – and please don’t get me wrong, we still do get some, just not nearly as much as many American families, I presume).

The first commercial asked something like “why spend $5 at the drive thru when you can get the same food (junkity junk junk JUNK) for your family at Wal-Mart for only $2 a person?” The ad featured Sunny Delight (a drink VERY close to soda that has barely any real juice and tons of HFCS and artificial crap), Jimmy Dean croissant, egg, sausage and cheese sandwiches (at 430 calories a pop, with more than HALF from fat – 26g) and Yoplait yogurt (that is full of sugar and adds another 170 calories). Easily a 700 calorie breakfast. BUT FOR the LOW, LOW price of $2.00 a pop. Go ahead! Please eat and drink one of the worst breakfasts you can to start you and your kids’ day. It’ll be fun and CHEAP! (excuse me a moment while I picture the Wally World smiley face with a big ole greedy smirk for a mouth…)

And the second commercial I had the pleasure of watching (from Wally World again) was for… well, I don’t really even know because I was mad again within the first .5 seconds. An aisle FULL of boxes and boxes of Jolly Ranchers and Milk Duds and Sugar Babies and DOTS and Whoppers and NO, I am not kidding you. With some sort of wireless devices mixed in. Get your sugar overload and your blackberry all in one place! WHEE!

Now I know I get my fair share of sugar. But these items are considered ‘treats’ in our household and why oh why can’t they feature something else in their ads? Something slightly healthy perhaps. I’m extremely sensitive to this because I come from a family that has weight issues and therefore my children may eventually have them as well. I don’t want them constantly flashing these images of JUNK in front of my kids, or me for that matter. But they obviously insist.

And just to add insult to injury, intermixed with these ads was a commercial for Brawny paper towels where some toddler has just made a HUGE mess in the kitchen with Cherrios and milk. Once he’s “finished,” his father cleans up the mess with these MOST AWESOME EVER paper towels with a crazy smile on his face. Yeah. Right. Like that would ever happen. And again! I do NOT want MY toddler getting any crazy, Cheerio and milk splashing ideas. I’m sure he conjures up enough of those in his own cute little head, thankyouverymuch.

Some of you may say I should just turn off the t.v. but then I would miss Trinny and Susannah pulling on some woman’s knickers and that’s just not fair.

And some may say I’m a hypocrite if they looked in my freezer and saw the frozen waffles I feed my boys. But c’mon, I know they aren’t NEARLY as bad as the things Wally World is touting as the LOW price, wonderful breakfast for MY family.

What makes me really sad actually? The fact that many people will go out and buy those exact items and feed them to their families on a daily basis because Wally World said so and because it’s CHEAP. And THAT fact is just really hard for me to stomach. No pun intended.


1. I know my family still buys products that are made overseas. These days it’s pretty close to impossible not to. But I feel this company was the one to really catapult many of this country’s retailers into that buying position.

2. I do not begrudge others from shopping at Wal-Mart, as I understand that some people feel their budgets afford them to shop there for many of their necessities. However, I myself choose not to patronize their stores and am most happy to take my business elsewhere and am thankful that I can.



  1. I don’t much like WM either. Where we live, WM is 30-ish minutes away and Target is an hour. So we generally end up at WM if it’s just a quick run in. But more and more I’m either A)coughing up the extra cash to buy the item at the grocery store instead, or B)waiting until I have a longer list and then going to Target. WM is just gross and messy and loud and boooo.

  2. I agree with you 100%! Manufacturing should be brought home to America! We look for the Made in the USA label, it’s rare but it’s there.

  3. oh i hate those commericals too! it is all “look our fatting fast food is cheaper than the drive through”. ugh!
    we don’t do walmart either (unless we absolutely have to) becuase wow have i had some of the worst shopping experiences there…

  4. Yeah I avoid that place. We only have one on every corner in Savannah! UGGG!

  5. I don’t go to Wal-Mart very often—and usually just for toys b/c they are cheaper there. I agree with you 100%. The stores are a mess, we don’t need to eat all that junk food, and we should buy more American.

    It boggles my mind the stuff some people let their kids eat/drink. I know we aren’t perfect, either, but my kids have never had any soda. Juice is rare, and when we have it, it’s watered down. Mostly we drink milk and water. We eat pretzels and Goldfish crackers, rarely real Lays potato chips. I think Americans wonder why we are all so obese and our kids are getting obese—WAKE UP, AMERICA!!!

    Sorry to rant. You said it all very well. The commercials horrify me because I don’t want my kids to start seeing that stuff and then asking for/wanting it…

  6. The thing that bothers me the most about WM is how they treat their workers. I read the book “Nickel and Dimed” and saw a documentary on how the low prices are achieved and I am very reluctant to support any company that is willing to exploit it’s own employees in that way. In addition, the Walton family’s charitable giving record has been deplorable in the past. We have 2 Targets right next to us but they are building a Walmart for the first time near us. I am not excited.

  7. I live on the West Coast so the first time I heard of a WM was when the character Novilee Nation gave birth in one in a novel.

    When they migrated west we had already learned of their evil ways.

    I shop at Target. :)

  8. Hey there soapy Mcsoapbox…I think this makes an excellent point.

    While I will admit that we do shop at WM, for the exact reason you state, which is to make a smaller dent in our budget…I do not care for it…and it is not pleasant.

    But the fact that they are spraying junk all over the t.v. is awful…and you’re right…people are gonna go out and by those things just because of that ad…that makes me very sad indeed.

  9. Yup! I am in agreement with you… sadly our budget is in the WalMart range, but we have really been trying to eat a lot of food that we grow (especially since their produce is sick, although now our local walmart buys some produce from local farms). The whole thing is sad. The adds are a mess, their company is a mess and their business practices are a wreck.

    Lather up, I like your soap box!

  10. ah… soap boxes are wonderful, aren’t they? You make some fantastic, fantastic points… however- just so you know, Wally World (ok, so our Wally World) does have an organic/healthy section that does sell Kashi and other products for MUCH cheaper than anyone else. And, they do have decent frozen veggies and frozen fruit, for a much cheaper price. I do buy that stuff there. But I am a Target girl, for life, and a farmer’s market dork… and I love, love, LOVE my large grocery market chains (Kroger and Meijer)- if you don’t have those stores, I am so sorry, because they are FANTASTTTIC!!! :)

    So, soap box away! :) We are all proud of you for standing up in what you believe!

  11. My mom worked for walmart, and she got a 10% discount on most things. What wasn’t covered? Fresh foods and healthy stuff. Seriously. She could stock up on cupcakes and candy bars and get 10% off, but lettuce and carrots and dairy were full price. (Well, I don’t think they’re allowed to discount dairy in PA any way, since it’s price-controlled)

  12. Good for you for speaking your mind!!


  13. I do try to avoid Walmart as much as possible…but I do have to stop in on occasion.

    It smells in there.

  14. This is an excellent post.

    We try to avoid WM as well, but sometimes we can’t help it. There produce is disgusting here, usually moldy.

    Also, the one here has BIRDS that are living in the rafters and crap all over the store.


    I can’t go into Target unsupervised because it ends badly. :)

  15. And what? They don’t make Levi’s in the US anymore? That’s way jacked.

  16. and they market themselves as so community oriented too! it’s just a scary place – no longer are they walmart, they’re walmart SUPERCENTRES!!! they’re a giant creeping mass