Clash of the Titans: Meijer vs. Walmart

I've always been a very dedicated Walmart shopper. It's convenient, relatively cheap, and I don't have to worry about competitive pricing - they've almost always got the best deal. But lately, there's been a little competition. Meijer had a great sale on Fiber One cereal (a Clean Food, might I add?), and I just had to take advantage of it. I took Andrew along, we loaded up on cereal and cans of pop for the store, and proceeded through the checkout. And that's when everything changed.

Meijer has those great penny rides at checkout - the ones that cost fifty cents at Walmart.They're close enough for you to be watching the scanner while watching your kid ride. And Andrew is now big enough to reach the coin-drop from the back of the horse (or dinosaur, if you're at lane 12). So I can hand my kid ten pennies and keep him occupied? Sold!!!

Isn't it funny, how it's always the little things that make your day?

Oh, and Meijer has shopping carts that have little TV's in them, that show cartoons. Those cost $1, which is then donated to Children's Hospital. I haven't done that with Andrew, but I think my mom did when she was visiting in January. As I recall, it was a flop...Andrew's a little too scattered to focus on a cartoon for very long, and there's just too many fun and interesting things to destroy/beg for in a grocery store.

So I guess I'm wondering how long it's going to take for Walmart to get on board with the kiddie entertainment. Is it worth slightly cheaper prices to give up these little mommy-perks? In most cases, I'm the frugalista that would give you a resounding "NO!" to that question, but now? Well, let's just say that, as Andrew gets older, these things get more and more attractive. And I'm tired of being penny wise and pound foolish. If it takes a smidge of stress off my day, and it's something worthy of bribing Andrew with for good behavior, well, it's off to lane 12 with a fistful of pennies for us.

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