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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

From the Midway:Making choices

Monday, March 10, 2008

This past weekend I went to a grocery store in one of our area's smaller communities to pick up some items, just to get me by until I had a chance to get back into Cherokee and hit a bigger store.

While doing my shopping I saw a box a cereal that I like and picked it off the shelf. Upon further examination I notice the sticker price. $5.69 for that said box of cereal.

At this point in time I determined that I really did not need a box of cereal. By the way, it was not a big box of cereal, not jumbo, not family sized, just a regular box of cereal.

What in the world is happening around here? When did cereal become so expensive? Did Tony the Tiger recently become divorced and has to make alimony payments? Are his kids going through college right now?

Now granted I know that items in a small town grocery store are usually a bit higher than in a big city like Cherokee, but come on. This is not new technology; Kellogg's has been making flakes for over a hundred years now. So why does a box of cereal cost so much?

It may be the freight cost. Gas is through the roof and does not look like it's going to come down any time soon. Maybe cereal is not as popular as I remember it to be and they don't make as much any more.

Well these thoughts are all decent guesses but the real answer is that these small town businesses just can't compete will the big dogs. Your Wal-Mart's and Hy-Vee's buy their products in bulk and many small-town grocers don't have that option. The have massive warehouses that can deliver goods at a moment's notice to a store almost as fast as the items come off the shelf.

They have thousands of customers that come into their store every day where as a little guy will be lucky to see a thousand people in a few months in their stores. So when a chump like me walks in they have to max out their cost of a product. It's really sad in a way. People like to support their small town businesses but the truth of the matter is we really can't afford it. We have to go to the bigger town and shop at the bigger stores. It a vicious cycle.

How smaller town have any kind of local economy is amazing. There just aren't any more butchers or bakers, shoe cobblers, a general store where you can get your mail and your spring seed for planting your garden. Bigger companies like Wal-Mart with it's monstrous size offers a lot and has been moving toward having Main Street inside it's stores. They have fast food joints, barbers, eyeglass repair, pharmacies, grocery stores and electronics all under one roof. Instead of spreading your money around to many different businesses we are giving it to one mega-company.

I can't wait until Wal-Mart starts to build apartments on top of their stores. That way when you wake up you can just roll out of bed and go to the elevator, ride it down stairs and you will instantly be in the store. Just imagine the time we could all save?

I always feel a little dirty walking into a Wal-Mart. Knowing that your money is going to a mega corporation makes me feel sick but the items in the store are so cheap. So there you go. That's the state that we're living in.

So it really comes down to choices. I can shop at a monster store where everything is cheap or shop in a store in a small town where it cost more and my dollars stay around town.

So yes, I support shopping in smaller towns. I just have to save up for awhile before I do.

Mike Leckband
From the Midway