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I work at a Staples that happens to be next door to a Wal-Mart. On lunch breaks I tend to go over there and just browse.

Around January when the economic crunch started I noticed a flood of additional people start going there. The store was packed with everyone tightening their budgets and shopping at the cheaper place.

Yesterday I went there to walk around and was actually offered customer service. Twice. Traffic at that store has now cut back so far they are having cashiers walk the floor doing customer service.

People are now too broke to even shop at Wal-Mart.

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c_eagle March 19th, 2009
it does seem kind of quiet in there lately...

oddly enough, prices seem to be higher there this last month or two also, which may be part of the problem (except milk which was surprisingly almost half off today.. that *never* happens!)

I don't quite understand how stores and restaurants wouldn't get a clue and get prices down to bring people in. Gas prices are half of what they were, and several managers told me last year that's why prices went up.. so why aren't they going back down? goofballs... ;/

At least one place we dine *never* raised their prices through all of it, and we can still have an entire meal there for about $3 .. ($6.50 for a meal for two). It's a huge contrast to every place else, usually $7 and up per person.

In this economy, thank goodness for sale items, store club card specials, and the 99.9cent store :|

titanic March 19th, 2009
I've been thinking of checking out "Hometown Buffet"or other places for a cheap meal "on the town" but havent eaten there in years.

c_eagle March 19th, 2009
Hometown Buffet and SoupPlantation are our favorites for that. Both have email clubs with deals, and both have local flyers in the mail or newspapers giving usually at least $5 off, or two-for-one deals. A full priced meal is about $20 to $25 for two, but we usually eat for $12 to $15 with the special offers at those places. Koo Koo Roo is our 3rd choice, and that is about $17 after mom's senior discount.
Other places we frequent:
Wendy's = $14
Carl's = $17
Boston Market = $16
Old Spaghetti Factory = over $20
the chinese place I mentioned before = $7
a local mongolian bbq = $17
Denny's (if it gets late)= over $20 unless coupons
McDonald's = $12
a local mexican place = $16

There's a few other places.. the average is $15 to $20 for those. I like to try to keep it under $15 most often.
Remember when a whole meal was $3 ?
:/

c_eagle March 19th, 2009
It's worth mentioning, the items we get at the Starlight Express (the chinese dinner) are:

a big scoop of rice
a big scoop of chow mein noodles
teriyaki chicken (7 or 8 nice chunks)
broccoli with beef slices
tofu and cashews
green beans and carrot strips
a few other veggies and a fortune cookie

I should weigh this thing some time.. it's huge! probably 3 or 4 lbs of food.

shockwave77598 March 19th, 2009
I would love to watch Wal-mart have problems from its size and bad treatment of its employees. Over and over they've been caught paying people for 19 hours a week so they don't have to offer any benefits, but making them work 35 hours a week with no overtime pay. While it's not a sweatshop situation, it's dancing around the few protective laws we have left. So I don't shop there - I won't reward a company that won't take care of its employees, and certainly doesn't take care of their customers.

desertcoyote March 19th, 2009
Man. Well, our local Wal-mart is one of the few stores still doing OK- many others around here have gone out of business.

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