the thing that drives me nuts is that i prefer to buy from lumber yards and use mom and pop hardware stores, i'm 100% for small business (i'm a small business), but many times i just can't do it.

i had to buy a water shutoff valve for under a sink and there was a hardware store 1 mile away from me and a big orange about 2-3 miles away. i went to the hardware store and paid over $11.00 for one, they were about $6.00 at big orange.

in an emergency i'll pay the extra, it kills me to use these big box stores but i have to. luckily my lumber yard has contractor discounts and it brings the price a lot closer to the big box stores prices. i also have discounts at one electrical supply and one plumbing supply but i'm not always near them.

and YES....prices are getting crazy at the big box stores also.

and one last note.....my GL and WC insurance went up a total of almost $1,000 from last year and i've never made a claim.....maybe i should just give up and go live in a communist country.