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Sam’s vs. Walmart

I have always been curious as to how good of a “deal” Sam’s Club is. I remember from my marketing classes that Sam’s was a master of making one think that he or she is getting a deal by buying straight from the warehouse. Did you know Sam’s Club stores, when they first opened, hired guys to drive forklifts around the store? These guys didn’t actually do any work; they just drove around the store to give the customer the feeling of bargain shopping in a warehouse. True story. To compare Sam’s and Walmart, I broke down everything into cost per unit or per ounce. I also threw in generic brands out of curiosity. My ridiculously nerdy spreadsheet containing all of the data can be found here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6959229/samsvswalmart.pdf) The comparison:

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Walmart vs. United Supermarkets: a statistical breakdown

I, like most of you, sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and ponder the Walmart dilemma. If I factor in my time, is it actually cheaper to shop there? So, I decided to conduct my own little experiment. I bought the same items at each store and timed my trips. I started the timer when I entered each parking lot and stopped it as I exited each parking lot. If you think this is nerdy you should see my spreadsheets comparing the finances of various republican parties (here you go: http://www.tommechler.com/media/party-finances-2007-2009-b.pdf). Anyhoo, here are the results:

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Good news economy, the Wood family is single-handedly propping up the stock price of Walmart.

 

So, we ventured into a sad new world yesterday. June 9, 2010 will go down in the history books as the day when “remember that time when we only needed one shopping cart?” entered our vocabulary. As it turns out, kids eat a lot of food…A LOT OF FOOD. Even worse, I fear that our oldest is on the brink of a discovering that we aren’t required to buy Great Value brand everything.

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Business

The IRS: A Model of Efficiency

So, I spent a good chunk of my day (11am-1:30pm to be exact) hanging out at the IRS. 2 reasons: problem #1 My refund was $2,000 less than it was supposed to be. Problem #2 I received a random refund check for overpayment of business taxes for $27. Two days later I received a bill for underpayment of business taxes for $27 + late fees. Awesome. Here are some observations during my time:

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