Milledgeville offers a good selection of stores, which operate under the private enterprise system. Prices for goods and services are fixed. Clothing size and food quantities are marked on the item. In general, store hours for most of the year are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shopping malls, supermarkets, and drug stores often have extended hours to 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., or even 24 hours-a-day. Any items you cannot find in Milledgeville, you should be able to purchase in Macon or Atlanta. Macon and Atlanta have international food markets, where you can find many foods from around the world. Some stores, especially grocery or pharmacies, have discount cards offering special prices and sales upon using these cards. Often these stores offer special sale prices that can vary weekly. Coupons are often available at these establishments or through local newspapers.
TYPES OF STORES
- Convenience: BP, Texaco, Shell, etc., carry a limited selection of food and small articles at high prices, along with gasoline. Often these stores are open 24 hours a day.
- Department: Belk, J.C. Penney's, etc., carry a wide variety of merchandise, clothes, shoes, housewares, etc.
- Discount: Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Family Dollar, etc., offer equal or lower prices on a variety of items.
- Drug Stores or Pharmacies: CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc., sell toiletries as well as prescription drugs.
- Grocery or Supermarkets: Piggly Wiggly, Kroger, etc., carry food, laundry and cleaning supplies, paper products, and personal need items.
- Specialty: These stores carry different types of one item (shoes, furniture or fabric, etc.); prices and quality will vary from store to store.
HELPFUL HINTS ABOUT SHOPPING
- Prices are fixed; trading and bargaining do not work (unless you buy a car). If you do not want to pay the price, you may look for the item at a discount store.
- "Shop Around" – compare prices at several stores before buying.
- Use a cart or basket; putting items in your purse or pockets is considered stealing ("shoplifting").
- Keep receipts so you can return unused or unwanted items; some stores during sales, however, prohibit the return of sale items.
- Look for newspaper "Classified Ads" for unusual or used items, e.g., furniture. Also look for coupons and weekly sales papers inside these publications.
- Some stores offer a unit price along with the sale price. The unit price tells you how much per unit (volume, weight, etc.) you are getting per dollar. Even though the sale price may be higher, the unit price may be lower meaning you are getting more for your money.
- Textbooks are expensive; buy used books when possible.
There is a sales tax in Georgia on most items sold. The tax in Milledgeville is currently 7% of the cost. Therefore, if an item costs $1, you pay the seller $1.07.
It is customary in the U.S. to tip your server of food deliverer for their services. You do not tip at fast food restaurants like McDonald's, but any sit down establishment where a server waits on you, it is customary to tip 15%-20% of the price of your meal. Servers usually do not get paid minimum wage and instead get paid less, approximately $2.13 an hour.