LDH, I respect your feelings and there is merit there in your post.
You think you are saving 40 cents, bull shit. You are paying it out in the form of taxation to for Medi-Cal or whatever you use in your state as free medical care, while you pay your premiums.
So if we are already paying for it in taxation, then why go and spend even more of our hard earned income on more expensive prices at other stores? For me it is the bottom dollar. Dollars add up. If I can save $20 or $30 for every hundred I'd spend at a Mom & Pop or regular chain store, by shopping at Wal-mart, then I'm going to shop there. Over a month's time, for some people, they could save $100-500 by shopping at Wal-mart, depending on what they buy there. That can easily happen if you buy your groceries, paper goods and toiletries from Wal-mart. That adds up over a year and then add it up over five years or ten or twenty. Getting the most of every dollar is important to me.
Downtown in any town suffered long before Wal-mart came along. With the shopping mall came the move away from shopping in town.