6 Stores You Can Feel Good About Shopping At Instead Of Wal-Mart

Walmart-frowny-faceI’ve noticed that a lot of people like to complain about Wal-Mart and their business practices, yet they’ll often follow those grievances with “but I really don’t have anywhere else to go” as an excuse to shop there when it’s convenient. Sure, Wal-Mart is often really convenient when you need to buy bread, cheese, bullets, bass worms and a made in China Duck Dynasty t-shirt off the $5 clearance rack. I’ll even admit I’ve broken down and gone there because it’s just too far out of my way to buy a spool of fishing line anywhere else when I’m rushing to go fishing. However, especially when it comes to groceries, many of us have options that don’t involve giving our money to the disgustingly rich Walton heirs – and so here’s a list of places you can start giving your money to instead of Wal-Mart.

6. Winco: As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, WinCo is an employee-owned grocery chain with prices that match or even beat Wal-Mart. From their website:

“WinCo is continuing this record of success, now operating 94 Employee Owned Stores in eight states (Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Arizona and Texas) with nearly 15,000 employees and continues to grow by opening new stores and adding new members to the company every year.”

94 stores isn’t a lot, but this company is slowly expanding and constantly receives requests from people in locations around the country to build a store in their town.

5. Trader Joe’s: I’ve been in a lot of grocery stores and I’ve never seen employees as happy and cheerful as the people at Trader Joe’s. The average salary is much higher than Wal-Mart and it shows both in the cleanliness of the store as well as the friendliness of the employees. Also, if you’re opposed to GMOs, Trader Joe’s has a policy of not selling products containing GMOs under their label. Trader Joe’s has more locations than WinCo currently and even if you don’t care about ethical practices, who can pass up a decent bottle of wine for only $2.99?

4. Costco: Costco has been referred to as the “Anti-Walmart” due to both their notoriously high employee pay which is almost unheard of in the and their CEO’s support of raising the minimum wage. And where else can you get a good hot dog and a drink for only $1.50?

3. Wegman’s: Currently, Wegmans has 83 stores and employs over 44,000 people in New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New Jersey. Their commitment to the community statement is indicative of what kind of company they are:

Wegmans is a major corporate contributor in communities where stores are located. In addition to corporate giving, every store has a budget for community support. Giving is focused in these five areas:

  • Food for the needy
  • Strengthening neighborhoods
  • Helping young people succeed
  • Healthy eating and activity
  • Support for the United Way as an effective way to fund programs that make a difference

Wegmans has awarded $90 million in scholarships to 28,400 employees since the company inaugurated the Wegmans Scholarship Program in 1984. About 4,000 employees have active scholarships each year while they attend colleges and universities across the country.

2. Your local family owned grocery store: In many rural communities, the mom and pop shops have mostly gone the way of the buffalo. Local stores may cost a little more, but the money is put right back into the community instead of into Wal-Mart’s coffers.

1. Your local farmer’s market: The very best bet for fresh meat, eggs and produce is your local farmer’s market. With most of your food these days, you don’t see where it actually comes from. Do you trust a company’s word that the chickens your eggs came from were treated in an ethical way? With local foods, you can meet the dairy farmer and possibly even the cow your milk came from. With the growing popularity of locally sourced food, farmer’s markets have exploded in numbers since the year 2000.

Of course, we certainly aren’t going to change the world simply by just changing our buying habits but it is still an important step in creating a better future for our children, and the rest of humanity.


Facebook comments

  • Angel Fortenberry

    What about Whole Foods? There are no Wegmans or Wincos in Georgia. I do sometimes shop trader Joes which is enough, but the farmer’s markets are too far from me.

    • DoctorButler

      Whole Foods tends to close down farmers markets, and independent businesses.

      • really?

        Whole Foods does not close down farmer’s markets, in fact my local Whole Foods sponsors farmer’s markets in their parking lot. As to the claim that they negatively impact independent businesses, they are know for giving out loans to local businesses so they can grow. Try looking up some facts before utilizing your keyboard courage.

      • lewiston59

        In Detroit, a Whole Foods opened and it was smaller then most. It surprised everyone, it is packed all the time, they run out of items, parking is difficult but it is fantastic it is there. The only thing, just down the street an independent opened up a small version of specialty, prepared foods and meat before Whole Foods, no one went there after WF. It closed up. WF even gave out fliers at the cashiers advertising that store. Please “really?” we have been having a nice conversation here until you ended up with a mean critical admonishment to Doctor Butler. no need

    • Judy Jackson

      Whole Foods is too expensive for a family on a budget & just like the others on this list, NOT in my city.

    • hope_4_truth

      Georgia has Publix which is employee owned. Also, most Kroger stores are union and they pay their employees decently. Piggly Wiggly and IGA stores are independently owned. Lots of choices in GA.

    • Frederick Stelter

      I’d recommend Publix or look for a local co-op. Publix is employee-owned. Doesn’t get much better than that.

    • missannthrope

      Whole Foods would pay less then minimum wage if the owner could get away with it. He is an Ayn Rand disciple and he made the news big time a while back when he announced he was going to cut employees hours so he wouldn’t have to pay for their health care. He called the ACA fascism. He doesn’t believe that global warming is a bad thing either.

  • Tarnished

    Don’t forget that Costco hires a lot of disabled people, and not just enough to fill quotas. As someone who has been openly discriminated against in employment I absolutely love seeing so many disables folks in Costco.

    • Stephen Barlow

      I agree. Seemingly disabled people have talents.

      And they should be utilized.

  • lindylou

    I am a faithful Wegman, Costco and Trader Joe shopper. Whole Foods is too expensive. But you need to prove you have a paycheck to get a Costco card.

    • Pipercat

      I have a small business and went for that membership. I didn’t have a business check with me; yet, I was still able to sign up for a regular membership.

    • Vita Soprannome

      The only thing Costco wanted from me was the membership fee.

      • lindylou

        Perhaps it has changed since I joined about 15 years ago.

      • sebshezu

        I was about to say that it must have changed from a dozen or so years ago. I had a membership then and I didn’t have to show much of anything to get it.

  • Pipercat

    This is easy to accomplish. I purchased one item in the last year. This was after I went to several places first, they had the best option and I needed it for the spousal unit’s birthday. I’ve done my part.

  • KennyD

    Well ; I do MOST of my shopping at Save A Lot and Aldi’s . Also use Dollar General and Dollar Tree … Go to Wally World only as a last resort .

    • jjmchm

      Didn’t aldis just get in trouble for selling horse meet

      • dee

        It was in a frozen product from somewhere in Europe I believe and it was pulled from the shelves when they found out.

      • Paul

        It was the supplier for Aldi in Europe not the US,

      • rossbro

        The French eat horse meat.

  • Judy Jackson

    Now if these stores would open more locations. I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. NO Trader Joes, NO Costco, NO Wegmans, NO Winco in my city. The nearest Costco is an hour & a half round trip.

    • Frederick Stelter

      I would look for a co-op or farmers market. Shop small and local.

    • Joyce

      You have HEB. HEB is pretty good too: affordable organics and they pay pretty well their workers.

    • Vita Soprannome

      Austin had no TJ’s. Now we have one with two more opening. Seems only a matter of time until Dallas gets one. Surprised there’s no Costco. I think Wegman’s is Northeast only. Never heard of Winco.

    • C. N.

      Winco has been expanding in Texas, there’s two stores there now. Here’s the one in Fort Worth. Give it a try. 8000 Crowley Road, Fort Worth, TX 76134 • Ph. # (682) 730-9733

    • Dan Hamilton

      There are 4 TJ’s in the DFW area and 3 more opening soon, and like 5 Costco’s. I just looked it up.

      • Judy Jackson

        The closest Costco is an hour away from my part of DFW. Between the membership cost, gas & tollway fees, not worth the drive.

  • jjmchm

    I don’t see the problem with walmart . all these stores have someone at the top getting rich off your dollar

    • hope_4_truth

      The problem with Wal Mart is that they don’t pay their own employees enough to shop for groceries without food stamps in many cases. Many of their cashiers are making around 8 bucks an hour so they have to get food stamps to feed their families. That’s why you shouldn’t shop there.

      • Frederick Stelter

        that and Walmart comes to town and literally puts many small businesses out of business permanently and then the town finds that they suddenly depend primarily on Walmart for jobs. Then Walmart starts in with their demands or they uproot and destroy the local work economy. And the ugly cycle begins.

    • Frederick Stelter

      Walmart pays its employees so little that a large percentage need public assistance to get by. That means the taxpayers are subsidizing Walmart’s labor costs. You’re paying more, just through taxes so those low, low prices aren’t actually low at all.

      Walmart is crap.

      • Nancy Snead


    • Janice Orr McQueen

      I agree with you! I like Wal-mart prices and by the looks of the parking lot, a lot of people like Wal-mart! There’s other businesses that pay minimum wage to their employees. My Son works for UPS In Austin and started at 8.50 an hour. I think he’s at 9.00 now, that’s as a part time loader. He’s going to be a driver and will make more then but a lot of businesses get rich abusing their employees and people still do business with them. I buy my food at the commissary on post!

  • schwarherz

    Yeah, sorry, I don’t have ANY of these things near me. The nearest town with somewhere to shop that isn’t Walmart is probably 30 mins to an hour away (When you live in the great plains you measure distance in time not miles). People from the coasts tend to forget about us poor square state people when being all judgmental about our shopping at Walmart which is, again, a necessity.

    • Hope2002

      There isn’t a single grocery store or farmer’s market anywhere near you? Weird. I live in a mountain town of less than 10,000 people (when you add all the people in town and around it for quite a bit) and we have 3 local store (in three small towns) within 15 minutes, more than one farmer’s market with 30-45 minutes away, a Costco within 30-45 minutes, and Trader Joe’s within 30 minutes (to all of which we happily drive). So, it’s possible to avoid Walmart if you want.

      • Kayti Butts

        I lived in rural Tennesse for a decade and had the same problem of Walmart being the only grocery store within 30 miles for several years. (Originally there had also been a BiLo and a Food Lion but they closed.)

      • schwarherz

        I currently live in a prairie town of 5,000 people, give or take. We DO have a Safeway and another chain grocery store (Sunny’s Super Foods). I shop at safeway for groceries when I can afford it but, most of the time, safeway is too expensive. Sunny’s is even more so. But for literally any other essentials it’s Walmart or nothing.

      • Stephen Barlow

        You poor kid.
        If you have 200 Sq FT

        I can teach you how to GROW

        a winter’s worth of food.

      • schwarherz

        Yeah, don’t have 200 sq ft. Just because I live in a small town doesn’t mean I live on a farm (or even in a house for that matter)

      • Stephen Barlow

        Only in the Big Eastern downtown cities would you be hard presses not to have 10 x 20 feet to grow something of value, but it’s your choice.

      • schwarherz

        Alright, I’ll say this plainly. I live in an apartment. I do not have a yard, let alone a garden. I also do not live in one of the “Big Eastern downtown cities”.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Thanks for the new information. WHY did you EVER even READ the post if you are so exempt from it?

        Do you have a community garden available?

      • schwarherz

        I read the post because I thought there was a chance I’d be able to use the information somehow, that maybe (just maybe) one of the stores listed would be in my area. I despise having to shop at walmart and thought maybe I could get away. The reason I commented (which, I assume, is what you really meant by “why did you read the post”) was to point out that not all of us have the luxury of going to these stores, especially considering the high and mighty tone of the piece. Those of us who don’t live on the coasts simply don’t have the opportunity that those who ARE on the coasts (or in other prosperous areas, for that matter) take for granted and I felt the need to point that out.

        And no, there is no community garden available (well…to my knowledge anyway. The town is a bit of a jumbled mess)

      • Stephen Barlow

        I live 70 miles from the nearest mall and you have internet purchasing access to every store on the list!

        We have a stoplight, a gas station, grocery hardware store, a Post office and two farmer’s Supply stores. 1100 people and only old homes converted into apartments.

        The first is 8.0+ PH and I tilled 30 YARDS of sawdust and other organic matter into it 18 inches deep to get it friable. You have a balcony? You can grow in bags or pots is you really want to. I grow tomatoes under lights
        in the winter inside.

        Did you know I buy from Neiman-Marcus @ Christmas from this little crossroads?

      • Kathleen Hazelton

        I’d love to be able to grow food- I tried a garden this year and rabbits or something ate everything- I got a few tomatoes, the squash and cucumbers never made it past the flower stage, a few herbs did ok – I tried hanging bars of Irish spring soap, sprayed on cayenne pepper. I’d love some help with this- so I can do better for next year thanks

      • Stephen Barlow

        I am doing fine except for having placed the beans too close and not trellising the cukes and squash. I eating 5-7 tomatoes a day and have lost 18#.

      • Steven L Dunn

        Winters worth in 20 Ft by 10 Ft. Bull shit

      • Stephen Barlow

        I trellis almost EVERY thing. I also use the “Square Foot Gardening Method” (they have a website), Use 100% natural, liquid Fish Fertilizer and Kelp concentrate, I grew 8 cucumbers, 3 squash, 3 zucchini, 2 watermelons, 2 cantaloupes24 peppers. 20 tomatoes, 90 onions 200 carrots, 44 spinach, 60 turnips, 30 beets, 18 broccoli, 12 cauliflower, 88 dry beans in 3 – 108 SF raised beds. Oh, and 125 pea plants and 40 pole beans on netting along the fences of the back yard

        I have a 12 level dehydrator and a 20 CU FT freezer. We also can with out neighbors. I live 20 miles from a grocery and I have lost almost 30#’s since June gobbling FRESH off the vine maters 5-7 a day. I gathers 55 gallons so far and it looks like first frost will be in mid October. Oh, and a I get 2 crop damage deer tags for free each year so I never really want for meat. I usually bag them from My porch in My underwear At sunrise on the first day of the season. it costs me a $50 fine for discharging a weapon within town limits and I have to spend 20 minutes in town court but 200#’s of meat is worth it @ TWENTY FIVE CENTS A POUND.

        Google “Square Foot Gardening” and you will understand.

      • JC

        Good for you. I, however, can back up the prior claim about limited selections. I live in quite a busy area and I do not have the listed stores, either. Yes, I have a farmer’s market. But, aside from that… prices count. I detest WalMart but when counting the pennies, that’s where one ends up. Oh yes…there is a Trader Joe’s an hour from me. They are specialty foods mostly. Who guys their regular every day stuff from them?

      • lewiston59

        ‘Trader Joe’s is not a specialty food store. You find everything you need there.

      • Steven L Dunn

        No. You do NOT find everything you need there. Total bs

      • LateNightLarry

        Trader Joe’s is not a specialty food store… their selection may not be as expansive as Safeway or Wal-Mart, but they also carry products that the “big boys” don’t bother with. I have two Trader Joe’s within 20 miles of where I live, and go there in preference to WalMart.

      • Julie Wickstrom

        You are right. You have to hit another store after Trader Joes. (produce section doesn’t always have what I want) It has good deals super cheap. Pasta sauce, cheese, wine, salad bags, and some frozen food are very well priced. Last time I went to Walmart, food wasn’t priced dramatically different than other stores in the area. I had to go to a Walmart this winter once but hadn’t gone in years before that.

      • Jonette2

        I also have none of these close to me. It happens.

      • missannthrope

        Try where I live. It is considered a city, with nearly 400,000 people. But to get to a Costco or Trader Joe’s, I have to go four hours north to Albuquerque. Walmart has a lock on this area. Also, the farmer’s market is mostly crafts and overpriced exotic jams.

      • robingee

        “Walmart has a lock on this area.”

        That’s the thing, they have this dominance in a lot of places.

      • Julie Wickstrom

        That is horrible. I went to a Walmart around Christmas for the first time in many years. It was the only place around where we were visiting to buy a coffee maker gift. The store was so trashed. Besides the dollar store, a small grocery store, and some drug stores, there was not much choice of shopping. The population is somewhere around 5,000. The main town had abandoned buildings on main street.

      • Crystal Boylan Topp

        If you’re talking about Alamogordo, there are 40,000 people, including the base.

      • Kim Roberts

        When your house is a 2 hour drive one way to the nearest town, you shop where you can. You also home school out of necessity.

      • Cathy Neal

        I’m always amazed that those who live in the Midwest, the nation’s breadbasket, do not have farmer’s markets. I know most of what is produced there is grain and food for livestock but times are changing. Every town here on the coast has a farmer’s market with an abundance of locally grown fresh vegetables and fruit, eggs, seafood and fish, grass fed and organic meats, plants and fresh flowers, and specialty prepared foods. Much healthier than Walmart.

      • Steven L Dunn

        All the farmers markets I have been to have been ridiculously expensive.

    • Shelhl

      If you’re in the great plains, aren’t you then actually LIVING amongst all the farmland areas? Of all the farmers out there, there are no farmers markets? I can understand your need for the utility items (i.e., non-agricultural items), but there really aren’t other options? And, FYI, when you live in big cities, one also measures distance in terms of time, not miles.

      • chick77

        Sadly the vast majority of crops grown in the great plains are for livestock, not people, so farmer’s markets are not very common. Farmers markets have also become much more expensive in recent years, and are probably not an option for some people. I live on a tight budget and find it worth while to spend extras money on healthier food, but as a single person its easier to afford and can see how a family would have a hard time affording that. Food from the source should be cheaper than at walmart, but sadly it is not.

      • J

        I agree completely. I grew up on a diversified farm in northeast Nebraska. I was just back there for a visit. Farmer’s markets? Pffft!!! No such thing in the country. Farmers may have their own private gardens with fresh vegetables/fruits but they are growing those for their family, not for selling at a public market, which doesn’t exist anyway.

      • Most farms and ranches out here grow crops or raise livestock that gets sold to larger companies. The idea that all farms are small, family operations that grow everything and produce everything is grossly outdated.

      • Sondra Carr

        What people don’t seem to understand is that a lot of the people who regularly shop Walmart are not only poor in funds, but poor in time. They work – sometimes two jobs or maybe more – take care of kids, and have to get everything done as quickly and cheaply as possible. There are food deserts in some poor places, and Walmart really is the only viable place to get everything they need without driving hours to find all the various places that can provide the items.

        A much better approach than shaming is to offer guidance and suggestions because a lot of people don’t like shopping there but feel trapped in it.

    • Frederick Stelter

      You don’t have farmer’s markets?

      • schwarherz

        Honestly, I haven’t lived in this particular town long enough to know if there are farmer’s markets. If there are, however, it will be like every other town I’ve lived in: that is, farmer’s markets only exist in the fall. In the last town I lived in we occasionally had some fruit growers stop in town for a couple days and set up a stand somewhere before moving on to the next town but…that’s not much.

        You have to understand, I live west of the Missouri River. That means cattle country, not farm land.

      • Not every town has a farmer’s market and not every farmer raises vegetables. Farmer’s markets are worth as much as the type of vendors they have and if they 95% of their vendors sell crafts, how does that help lower your grocery bill. Farmer’s markets can also cost more than the grocery store and don’t accept EBT.

    • Ellen H.

      I live in a small town in Kansas. I manage to never shop at Wal-Mart. We have a Dillons (Kroger) that I go to, but just as often, I shop at a locally owned grocery store. We also have a great farmer’s market. I even drive to another town (about 45 minutes away) once a month to get what Dillons and Ron’s doesn’t have.

    • Mitzi Ramirez Caswell

      I hear you exactly! Square stater here too!

    • I agree completely. Some of these towns can’t support grocery stores anymore because people are not moving into the area, but moving away. And it’s not just the small towns that have a limited selection. Until last year, Sioux Falls had basically 2 choices: Hy-Vee or Wal-Mart. They have a few mom & pop places, but some of them are hard to get to, especially if you don’t have a car. Last fall, we got a Costco and it’s been a lot easier for me to avoid WalMart since then, but a lot of these small and not so small towns on the Plains don’t have five different grocery chains in one place because many of these larger, national chains don’t see profit in opening up here because of the population.

    • robingee

      I believe you. Where my fam lives in NC, there is Wal-Mart, one VERY small drug store, and a good grocery store. Also Big Lots. But that’s it. The nearest CVS is 40 mins away and no CostCo for an hour.

    • Andy

      If Walmart is what you have that’s where you shop. I certainly won’t fault you for that. What’s wrong with it there’s no local competition. Walmart killed it.

  • hope_4_truth

    Don’t forget that Publix is employee owned. Piggly Wiggly and IGA stores are independently owned and operated. There’s also Food Giant stores which are employee owned. Many more choices than just the few mentioned. No need to ever shop at Wally World~ I’d starve before I’d buy groceries at WalMart~

  • Barbara Lewis

    Thank you for this article. I am senior citizen on a fixed income but I do not and will not shop at Wall Mart for the following reasons: Their stores are not designed for seniors and handicapped people. Those little carts they have will not go from one side of their stores to the other, (if you have a motorized chair you might make it; I don’t like the way they treat their employees, some don’t even make a minimum wage salary, they have kids and have to run a household the best they can, and third and this is most important, wall mart wins both ways, they pay their workers and then the workers have to turn around and buy their groceries from wall mart. I have watched neighborhood stores have to close and go out of business all for the sake of progress. If this continues and no one finds an alternative for greedy people who could care less about employees than they do the profit margin, they may well become a monopoly and we all know what that means we will have to pay whatever the charge because we won’t have choices. The area where I shop has a Kroger and a Bi lo within a mile of each and I visit both stores depending on what I’m buying. Wall Mart just put one of their monstrosities mid way between those stores. It was not needed and they create major traffic problems. Also we have two major pharmacies in that same stretch so we don’t need another pharmacy. Wall Mart hopes to run them out of business so we are left with no choices. That’s what greed does. It ruins everything. Cities and states will give tax incentives to business for them to relocate in their state. We don’t make less and less of any marketable products in the US. We know Wall Mart buys from China. We have become a fee for service industry and that is not going to sustains us in the long run. Technology is constantly replacing more and more jobs in the US. The jobs are behind the technology because as soon as we train workers in one area, technology comes along and send those jobs right out the window and we have to start training again because technology continues to grow. I fight it however I can. I am only person but I refuse to be a part of the destruction of everything we have worked so hard to create. The top 1% or 2% of Americans don’t create jobs to help anyone, instead they invest in the stock market to make more money, They don’t build factories, or businesses. It’s like they are running a race to see who can make the most money. They are out to destroy anything that will allow the average American to earn a decent living. They only want two classes of people; the rich and the poor. They surround themselves with things and objects, mansions, cars, jewelry and whatever else money can buy. They are the type that if they passed someone that was hurt or in trouble and needed help they would simply keep on going and not give a thought about, partly because they just don’t care and the other reason is because they won’t tell the driver to stop. Yep, that’s right they don’t drive themselves its too much of a nuscience for them. And the irony of it all is this: I have never seen a U-haul behind a hearse nor have I ever seen a U-hall or bank buried with a coffin.

    • Hryflex

      I don’t know where you are, so my comment may have no impact. My neighbor, who died last year at 102, was still driving until 6 months before she died. She would call up Wegman’s and drive there. They would give her an in-store vehicle and a shopper assistant. To her credit, she would have a detailed shopping list. She could be in and out of there in 20 minutes.

      • Stephen Barlow

        GOOOD 4 alll of them

    • Stephen Barlow

      Smart girl. “if we don’t hang together, we shall surely hang separately”

      THE patriots

      were really traitors

    • Steven L Dunn

      You do not have a clue.

    • Melanie Tolar

      You got it right, Barbara Lewis ! 🙂

  • Phoebe McNeece

    In the Midwest, like Iowa-Illinois region, we have Aldi’s which is like Trader Joe’s (run by the same German family even!) and Hy-Vee and Fareway Grocery stores. It really isn’t *that* hard if you live in a decently populated area to find something other than Walmart.

    • Jenn

      Yep – I’m in southern MN and we shop at HY-Vee and Fareway. We also do Shopko for what we can’t find at the grocery stores, and stay away from Walmart as much as possible!

    • Until about a year ago, Sioux Falls had basically Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee isn’t exactly the cheapest store out there. It helps now that there is a Fareway and a Costco, but if you’re on a budget, that limits you. (FTR: I like Hy-Vee a lot. That’s where I do most of my shopping because when they have sales, they’re really good sales. It’s just that when you are broke, your dollar doesn’t go as far and sometimes, you really don’t have a choice but to go to a place where your dollar can stretch the furthest.)

  • Dane

    We go to Winco foods sometimes, I wouldn’t buy Meat there though, it just doesn’t look right to me.

  • Trader Joe’s owns Aldi as well. They pay their cashiers a lot more than Walmart and have amazing prices.

    • strayaway

      Aldi employees are relatively well paid. However, Trader Joe’s was purchased by one of the two brother, the founders of Aldi’s one of whom was, or is, the richest man in Germany.

    • S. Phillips

      I have found the quality of food at Aldi’s rather iffy, and I don’t see an association with Trader Joe’s. Are you sure?

  • Joyce

    HEB: Texas’ answer to Walmart. Better prices, affordable certified organics, and living wages.

  • kissyface

    if you are in North East Ohio or Chicago, you should check out Heinen’s. its a locally owned chain with 15 stores that is a part of the Local880 Union. Heinen’s has its own farms for their beef in southern Ohio and their cattle is anti-biotic and hormone free and grassfed. they can tell you exactly where your beef came from and how it was raised. they use many local suppliers for their produce and meats. the service is phenomenal.

    • Carla Drennen

      Another place, if you’re in the Central zone of the US, is Hy-Vee, they are also employee owned as well and have some good prices sometimes. I prefer to shop at Fareway though for most of my meat shopping, they ALWAYS have a sale going on and they have a butcher shop right in the store. The guys are always helpful and if you’re not sure what something is, just ask and they’ll tell ya. Just this month I spent less then 80 dollars with mostly meat on groceries that would have cost me about 150 bucks. Also, with Aldi, make sure you have a quarter on hand because their shopping carts will cost you a quarter to use one, you will get it back though when you return the cart. They do not accept credit cards either, Debit, check or cash only.

  • MLR

    It sucks here where I live. We practically have a Walmart on every corner and the local stores are way too expensive and I simply can’t afford to do all my shopping there. We used to have farmer’s markets and I loved them but we no longer have them. I do shop at other major grocery stores when it’s cheaper to do it and I do not price match at Walmart. I’ve been begging HEB, where everything really is better, to open a store here but so far my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Sometimes I feel like we’re Texas’s stepchild!

  • sebshezu

    Most of the stores mentioned in the discussion are not in my area of seacoast NH. We do have many to choose from though. We do have a family owned chain of Market Baskets and the prices are much lower than anywhere else. We do have a super Walmart opening in a couple of months to replace the smaller one. It will be interesting what happens to the prices of the supermarkets of in town and the surrounding towns when they do open up.
    We also do have farmers markets. Each town has their day. They have already started up. But we also have a couple of towns that have them in the winter. Either once a month or a couple of times a month. We also have year round farm stands, some of them offering their own grown beef. Expensive though. We are fortunate to have a great choice if we can afford it. I will be curious as to the prices in Walmart though, as I have never shopped for groceries at one.

    • Katie

      I grew up in the seacoast of NH and I remember Market Basket, I used to love their bakery. Hannaford’s is where I have always done my shopping when I visit as well as my parents who still live there. Shaw’s is ok but can be ridiculously expensive. No need to set foot in Wal-Mart up there and even if you want one, you still need to travel a bit to get one. You hit local chains first. I remember when Wal-Mart first arrived up there and it’s taken forever for supercenters to get there.

  • Lynn Friedman

    Also consider local farm stands.
    Are IGA stores locally owned?

  • missannthrope

    Here in Southern New Mexico, we just have a farmer’s market. The farmers are lacking there, it’s mostly crafts. Also, while it may be PC to buy your eggs there, at $4 a dozen, it’s a bit expensive. What do we have? Three Walmarts, one Sam’s Club, one small Target, Hobby Lobby, Kmart, three Albertson’s… Yeah. Avoiding the Beast of Bentonville is a bit hard in an area like this. The East Coast, with decent public transportation and lots of choices this is not.

  • yayagoddess

    The mom and pops….right. Back in the day, we had about 4 mom and pops within a couple blocks from us. When the Blizzard of 78 shut down the entire city—suddenly the price of milk–the same milk that was sitting in the cooler the day before for 35 cents a quart was suddenly 5 bucks. My caring neighbors didn’t give a damn about me or my kids.

  • jackleroyiam

    boy I live in an area where we have Wegmans and what a store! clean, orginized and the people are happy and friendly with lots of lanes open unlike Walmart ugg.

  • Dean

    I shop at ALDI food the prices are lower and the quality is consistent. I buy as much as I can there and finish up at walmart the things ALDI does not carry.

  • Mitzi Ramirez Caswell

    All well and good except that not one of those stores listed is in my small community of 12k.The closest would be 60 miles one way, add the 2 hour drive time, the price of gas, plus the higher prices in those stores it is just not feasible to shop elsewhere most of the time. My local IGA closed last year, I sure do miss it. We do have farmer’s market four months out of the year……

  • Derek Skinner

    We don’t have 6-3 and 2 and 1 are too damn expensive.

  • Terri

    The amazing thing on this thread is how really invested people seem to be who live in served areas to recognize the fact that not everyone lives in a served area. Like they get a commission if they refuse to believe that there are consumer “deserts.” I live in a mixed area; we’re 30-45 minutes from the major stores, but they’re there if we drive that far.

  • disqus_C2wcLM6Dsi

    If you knit pick far and hard enough, you can/will find things wrong w all the afore mentioned companies I will shop where I please. Besides most of those other stores do not exist in my state. Funny that my aunt that is disabled rides their handicap shopping cart w no problem ALL OVER THE STORE!!! Please stop lying to make matters worse. Ppl really piss me off wanting to run others lives. Walmart is not the only company that pays minimum wage. They are not the only place that does not treat their employes well (so you say). I know ppl that work there and they have no complaints. Leave ppl alone!!! If YOU don’t want to shop there………DONT!!!!! Condescending butt wholes.

    • S. Phillips

      The problem isn’t that WalMart pays minimum wage. It’s also that for last twenty years, they’ve been using our taxes to subsidize their workers, deliberately keeping employee hours to certain thresholds so workers need to use Food Stamps. WalMart coaches their employees to use social services, helps them fill out the forms. WalMart also has the worst record of exploiting foreign workers, insisting on price-points that practically guarantee that those foreign workers are in sweatshops. WalMart suppliers have been caught using child slaves over and over. WalMart used to have American goods and a decent company ethic…twenty years ago. Now Sam’s kids are billionaires who abuse the system and don’t care how much suffering they cause. Have a nice day.

  • Sue Pollard Corbin

    I live in a northern suburb of Detroit..There are 7 Walmarts within 5 miles of me…Have not shopped at any of them…Never will. I feel bad for people who have no real choice. so many stores have closed because of all the Walmarts here. It is heartbreaking/

  • Rod Haney

    I have never, and never will step foot inside, let alone spend money in a Walmart.
    One of the sleaziest companies on the planet.
    Boycott Walmart, Always!

  • Kim Nutt

    Unfortunately I don’t have ANY of these stores where I live, I do buy all my meat at the local grocery but can’t afford to but coffee and some other essentials there but I hate going to Walmart so I only go 1-2 times a month and mainly tha’ts for coffee and Prolosec

  • lasagna jones

    yeah, yeah, but the hard part is finding somewhere to buy things like a TV mount or an iron or a little kiddie pool. i despise walmart but make a once-a-year exception for things that i don’t want to drive all over the city to try to find elsewhere.

  • Chris

    It’s not that bad. I work there on a part time basis and I was hired at above a minimum wage. Not sure what all the fuss is about?

  • CJ

    Years ago on 60 minutes they ran a story about local small town Wal-Mart employees and managers getting together before they opened and they all chanted while they clapped their hands, “Price it low, stack it high, watch those downtown merchants cry.” It was then I started a dislike for Wal-Mart. Now with the way they treat employees I hope people will shop elsewhere. For me, Target, Kohl’s and Aldi for groceries.

  • glennmat1

    you forgot Publix the most successful and best rated employee owned supermarket chain in the USA

  • saltcay

    To the people that are complaining that Walmart is their only option, you are part of the problem. The local stores, chains, and farmers markets were there before Walmart. Walmart historically moves into an area (usually right outside the city limits so they don’t have to pay taxes to that city) their low expenses drive the other businesses out of business. If people would have continued shopping at their local shops, they would still be open and Walmart wouldn’t have a corner on the market, so to speak.

    When you figure in how much of your tax dollar is going to food stamps and welfare to the part time minimum wage employees at Walmart, are you sure you are getting the lowest price?

  • Socialmedic

    You forgot to mention Michaels instead of Hobby Lobby.

  • Bud

    None of your alterrnatives are a feasible alternative for myself. I shop at Publix. I believe they treat their employees decently (compared to Wal-Mart anyway). I only shop at Wal-Mart in the case of emergency, such as if I’m working at 3 AM and my computer monitor dies, and ther is absolutely no alternative. Believe me, I’d be happy if there was nowhere to buy a monitor at 3 AM if it would mean we could rid the US of the Waltons.

  • 2Smart2bGOP

    Love WinCo; wouldn’t shop at Walmart if they were next door to me.

  • S. Phillips

    Unfortunately, the last bit of advice only is good advice if you have HONEST farmers’ markets that have local, organic produce.
    Around here are too many “markets” that have out-of-season produce that is obviously from other places, but no labeling as to where it comes from, and no labels assuring the produce isn’t GMO. I am in South Central PA. FYI the market my husband and I went to last weekend didn’t even hide the flattened cardboard cartons their produce shipped in.

  • Rich Kingdon

    Have just started shopping at WinCo, and love it. There is a WalMart within *walking* distance of my house (and that’s close, because I don’t walk much!), and WinCo is about 20 minutes away but well worth the extra trip.

  • bln143

    i live in northern maine, often considered the forgotten part of maine. i do have 3 different grocery stores 6 miles south of me and a walmart. no costcos anywhere near. we do have a farmer’s market and several roadside stands. 45 minutes north of me there is a marden’s which is pretty much like a salvage store, a kmart, and a few other stores, and a walmart super store. i don’t drive any longer due to medical issues which now have me living on below poverty ssdi. i sincerely have no other choice for clothing and other things not found in our 3 grocery stores, other than walmart 6 miles away. if it wasn’t for the help of foodstamps i would not be able to afford food, not to mention shopping for food needs at the local farmer’s market. so for some of us not particularly liking the practices of walmart, are unfortunately stuck with them for different needs. would i like to boycott them entirely…yes!! but, financially i cannot. that’s how walmart gets us. sad but true.

  • Ty

    And where is Hyvee in this? Employee owned and a HUGE contributor to local events. During the floods they gave away free cases of water to anyone and everyone.

  • William Bruce Matthews

    We are just home from the farmers market. Three bags of fresh food and yummie Italian sausage to tonights meal.

  • Katrina Engel

    Not only do I not have any of these stores near me, I have never seen any of them. I have only heard of them because people keep telling me to shop there. I live in Northern Indiana, and we have two options, Wal-Mart or Meijer, which wants be WalMart. The reason so many people shop at Wal-Mart is that people can’t afford not to. I can, and do, get most of my food from my regional grocery chain, Kroger. But for toiletries, paper products, pet supplies, and all of that kind of stuff, it’s Wal-Mart or go without. Suave shampoo is 88cents at Wal-Mart, and $2.49 at the grocery store. That matters to my budget. I’m a working class American. I’m too poor for principle over price.

  • toucanne

    Walmart knows what they’r doing. They are targeting those of us who have little choice. Trader Joe’s and Costco are a 130-mile round trip, and we shop there once a month. I have specific things I get both places. I buy most of my fresh food at local grocery stores, and we grow some of our own vegetables. I order most clothing online. For household items and clothing needed at short notice, it has to be Walmart unfortunately.

  • Hryflex

    I guess that I am lucky. I live in an area with more cows that people, but I am within walking distance of a Price Chopper. The Weis nearby just closed, and I am really angry about that. But there is a Wegman’s nearby. The drive to Wegman’s splits the difference to both of the local Walmarts.

  • maizie

    Trader Joe’s, Wegman’s, Costco? SWOOOOON! I should be so lucky to have even ONE of those within 100 miles of me! I am stuck with Food Lion and Super Fresh since I stay out of Wal-Mart as much as possible. BTW: just heard that they found a dead body in my local Wal-Mart (Berlin, Md) with “more info” due today (Monday)…..can’t wait to see this. Oh dear.

  • Christina Lavris

    Unfortunately, I live in a crappy northwoods area with no malls and only Walmart and Shopko stores. Shopko doesn’t always have everything you need, so sometimes Walmart is the only place to go.

    I do generally do my grocery shopping at local grocers though…

  • Paul Kirker

    I live in Peoria Illinois and within a 20 mile radius there are six 6 Wal-Marts. Kroger is also big in this area as well.

  • mamayo

    you forgot Market Basket!!! It took 6 weeks for employees and customers to unite in getting Arthur T back.


    I Love Walmart…I can get just about anything i need or want 24 hours a day. If i need curtains at 4 am , Socks and Underwear at 2 am, Bug zapper at midnight,New Coffee pot at 3am, I dont do alot of grocery shopping at Walmart but i save money everything else. I put in my application there last week. If they knew how much i loved them they would hire me =)

  • EVL

    Devil’s advocate here, but when I left Walmart Stores, Inc. in 2012 as a warehouse associate, I was making $20/hr (min wage is $7.25 hr), had full health and dental insurance, a 401K plan, and Stock Options. More than half of the people I worked with including salaried management were minorities. Was it the job I always dreamed of? Hell no, and I worked my ass off to get out of there and into a much better career. Do I agree with all of their business practices? Of course not. However, there are a lot of good people who work for that company and they do great things for their local communities. My warehouse raised millions by itself for Children’s Miracle Network while I worked there. So just be careful condemning an entire company as evil. Still can’t believe they put COSTCO on here. I won’t buy a membership in order to be able to buy your products. Thanks.

  • Carla Drennen

    Another place, if you’re in the Central zone of the US, is Hy-Vee, they are also employee owned as well and have some good prices sometimes. I prefer to shop at Fareway though for most of my meat shopping, they ALWAYS have a sale going on and they have a butcher shop right in the store. The guys are always helpful and if you’re not sure what something is, just ask and they’ll tell ya. Just this month I spent less then 80 dollars with mostly meat on groceries that would have cost me about 150 bucks. Also, with Aldi, make sure you have a quarter on hand because their shopping carts will cost you a quarter to use one, you will get it back though when you return the cart. They do not accept credit cards either, Debit, check or cash only.

  • Carol Ann Hunigan Booher

    wonderful idea but there is no even one of those stores within a 300 mile radius of me..

  • Gee

    Happy to say that I regularly take the latter five options! No WinCo in this area but I love my Trader Joes, local organic grocery and the many farmers markets in the area. And have been a Costco member for over 20 years (back when it was the Price Club).

  • Gail Weaver

    When I say I don’t have any place else to go, I mean I don’t have any place else to go. The next closest grocery is 60 miles away and guess what? It is a Walmart. The Costco is 130 miles away.The locally owned grocery was put out of business by Walmart. None of those other stores are anywhere near the 130 mile closeness of Costco. Farmers markets are great for the 3 month growing season but we have developed this annoying habit of not being able to hibernate during the winter months. Add the cost of gas and wear and tear on the car and the time, we would have to go one week a month without eating to cover those costs. Sometimes when people say they have no where else to shop….they mean what they say.

  • Stephen Barlow

    I “Walmarted” Sunday.

    Had a flat tire.

    NEVER equate the corporate with the labor.

    $Ten Buck flat repair when all other’s were CLOSED

  • answer42

    Walmart first.

  • Andy

    There’s two Costco’s equidistant from pur home. There’s less traffic to one and more toward the other. We shop at both depending what else we need to do in either direction. On the route to one of them we have to pass a Sam’s Club and on any given day of the week the Sam/’s parking lot is never filled to the level of the Costco. We shopped at Sam’s until the Costco’s opened.

  • Dustin

    And I shop at WalMart just to pliss off the secular progressive unionists !

  • AC

    Not helpful for my area unfortunately. We don’t have the first 4, 3 of which I’ve never even heard of, and the local grocery stores and Farmers’ markets are sometimes 3 times higher than WallyWorld. Right now Kroger is my goto for food (out of the way, but worth it if I use their “plus” card for discounts), but I need to know where to go for all the other stuff.

  • Jim j

    You’re speaking of disabled people as though they are a commodity.