Most of us here are a little (a lot?) obsessive about getting the best price for products… especially those that might be called necessities… like food.

But compulsion to get the best price has a trade off in the overall “experience” of shopping… which may be a Good Thing if it makes you NOT want to shop and spend money.

After all, the places to get the Best Price are NOT Marble Palaces looking like some Spun Sugar Confection from the Arabian Nights with Fawning Servants (Clerks) who await the barest Lift of a Finger to fall Prostrate on the floor in Adoration… and Valet Parking.

My experience has been MOST of the time the “Experience” of “Best Price Shopping” leaves MUCH to be desired.

This post being occasioned by an infrequent trip to Wally World… (OK, Wal-Mart Supercenter, but everyone has a pet name for these places… some NOT printable)… for a replacement Corelle Bowl (couldn’t find one in the Thrift Shop next to Save-A-Lot), more Rechargeable Batteries, Coffee, Malt-O-Meal Cereal, and (Forgive Me Clark Howard For I Have Sinned… head bowed clasping wallet) two DVD’s on Impulse.

My error was going in at around 7:00 PM… I usually shop Wallys very late, long after Midnight when the Rug Rats are sleeping.

I thought I’d have an easy time as it was Monday… wrong answer.

After finding a parking space near the end of Runway 4… sorry! Lane 4… I usually confuse the parking lot with the Orlando International Airports Main Runway… I trudged into the store. (Does this count as Exercise??)

Inside I grab a Cart… I would have MUCH preferred a Hand Basket (Don’t Say It!!) but unlike other retailers they don’t have them… I guess the idea is the bigger the basket you have to use the more you’ll buy… and off I go to find Housewares.

Not fifty feet into the store I almost get run down by a pre-teen yelling and racing shopping carts with his friends… full view of the registers and not a parent or store management in sight.

I make housewares and am trying to find the aisle with the dishes and after several attempts have to LOUDLY ask 2 different people to PLEASE move out of the way so I can get through… both acting like I’m the one being inconsiderate. One on a Cell Phone talking about  a Pregnancy Test and the other… I Kid you Not!!!… Changing a Diaper on a Toddler in her Shopping Cart instead of going up front to the restroom. I did NOT stay to find out the disposition of the soiled Diaper.

Found my Bowl and headed back to the Camera Department where they keep the Batteries… (My luck I’d have to go past the Toy Department on the way)…  having to dodge a very large number of unsupervised children who are taking Toys, Games, and Costumes off the shelves and opening them, trying them on, playing with them, and leaving them in the middle of the aisles… New Orleans after Katrina had less damage.

I wanted to run over to Automotive and grab a couple bags of Zip Strips and tie all of them down to carts or the roof support poles. Sometimes the idea of a License to Have Children is VERY Appealing.

Unable to locate a “Sales Associate” I was finally pointed to the right area by someone in Photo Developing and got my Batteries.

During the Bataan Death March from one side of the store to the other where the Food-Mart is I stumbled across a large display of sale DVD’s and in my weakened condition stopped and ended up putting two in the basket… $5 each… but I HAVE wanted a copy of “Footloose” for a while and a double feature of “Hot Shots” and “Hot Shots 2″.

Got an adrenaline boost for the last leg of the march when a woman with three noisy brats and talking on a cell phone in other than English knocked my basket into a candy display and kept on going without even an I’m Sorry or stopping to help pick up the spilled candy. Searched Pockets for extra Blood Pressure Pill… and regretted leaving Cattle Prod in bike.

Food area was at least uneventful… Coffee and Malt-O-Meal Cinnamon Toasters (good dry as a Snack by the way and lower in calories than you’d expect without the addition of Milk… like a lightly sweet Crisp Cinnamon Sugar Cookie).

Last Gauntlet to be run is Checkout… seldom do they EVER have enough cashiers and Who the H*ll believes that 20 items or less is “Speedy Checkout”????

Speedy Checkout is 10 Items or Less and NO Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Gift Cards, Checks, or Food Stamps… in other words CASH only… something I have yet to see at Wallys… a Cash Only Register.

At least the sun has gone down… it’s now about 8:30 PM… as I begin my trudge to the end of Runway… sorry… Lane… 4 carrying my three bags of goods for the ride home.

While I got a good deal on my purchases I will have to remember that I should NEVER shop there except after Midnight… I NEVER run into parents with loads of Obnoxious Kids and the night stockers have had a chance to at least Partially clean things up from the day shift so it doesn’t look quite as much like an Atom Bomb exploded in a Landfill and its much easier to park getting a spot much closer to the doors… Executive Jet instead of 747 Jumbo…

All-in-all… at least for this trip… I put up with a Poor shopping experience and a LOT of aggravation to save a buck or two… Sometimes… but not often Thank Goodness… I wonder if its worth it.

Photo credit: stock.xchng.