Joys Of Homeownership: The Big Box Store

One thing about owning a 1929 house with a yard, as opposed to a 1999 new construction condo, is that you get quite familiar with the large box home retailers. We have lots of Home Depots around us and a Lowe’s about a 20-minute drive into a suburb. We have new homeowner 10% off coupons for each. And we’ll certainly be using them!

I was in a Home Depot Wednesday morning around 8:30, and in addition to the fascinating quantity and variety of goods (amazing even in comparison to grocery stores, Alex (where does he find a Wegman’s in northern Virginia?) and Don!), it’s a veritable cornucopia of people watching. Bleary looking new homeowners like me rubbing shoulders with contractors and builders procuring supplies for their crews, and with gardeners out in the nursery preparing their spring beds now that spring has come to Chicago.

Which made me enjoy all the more walking out with frou-frou paint chips and tile brochures, high-tech latex gardening gloves, a “Grass Hog!” weed whacker, and a really cool palm sander.

I must be a homeowner now; I own a weed whacker and a power tool that comes in a nifty case with a cool logo on it!


9 thoughts on “Joys Of Homeownership: The Big Box Store

  1. They just recently opened a Wegman’s in Sterling, VA. The place is always packed and you have to drive around for 10 minutes looking for a parking spot. Great place to go for lunch with your coworkers, insane variety of excellent food. That is when we aren’t enjoying the Indian buffet at Minerva that Tyler Cowen enjoys so much 😉

  2. Wegman’s in Virginia?!? But Stirling is a bit far out for grocery shopping for someone in Alexandria. Hmm… the nearest Walmart with grocery is also pretty far out (in Fredericksberg).

  3. We got pretty excited when Wegman’s opened here, in State College (PA). We also got a new Wal-Mart superstore at about the same time, so a cozy little grocery oligopoly got a good shaking-up. Wegmans is good, but whenever I go down to visit my friends in Fairfax and Reston I’m sure to hit Trader Joes and Whole Foods. I *really* wish we had one or the other here.

    Another point: Wegman’s has an edge in upscale foods, cheeses, breads, and imported food (it’s the only pace around here that sells HP sauce), but their “run of the mill” groceries are a fair bit more expensive than at the Giant store.

    BTW, a Wegmans is opening soon in Fairfax

  4. I really dislike Wegman’s, living as I do now up in Ithaca and being from North Carolina. It’s endlessly frustrating to see their huge assortment of upscale foods and various rare imported goods, yet the utter lack of familiar basic staples and foods present in every grocery store in North Carolina. Imported food from Europe, Asia, everywhere, certainly. Southern food, never. Of course, they’re just responding to customer demand, but it’s still frustrating. More frustrating than if they only had a smaller or more “normal” selection of food.

  5. My wife swears that we can never get divorced because she can’t figure out how to get the weed-whacker to work for more than 5 minutes at a time(and I will be the first to admit that weed-whackers are the problem, and not Mary Jo).

  6. Sounds like Wegmen’s has moved quite a bit more upscale since I last semi-regularly patronized them (I was in Ithaca when Wegmen’s opened their big store there, right next to the shiny new and about as large Tops which had opened about a year earlier).

  7. Side note: I recall talking with an economics grad student (I think he was in the Cornell Ag school rural econ program) who had been surveying food prices–the opening of the two large supermarkets had forced down prices all over the area.

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