We’re going to lay out a bunch of products that you should skip next time you’re pushing a shopping cart around, and some you should spring. Some of them may be a little obvious, but some may surprise you – one way or the other, you’ll get the best out of your next shopping trip.
Skip Laptop Computers
If you're in dire need of a mini-computer to get work done or complete upcoming homework assignments, Walmart should be one of your last choices. Their no-name options seem like affordable purchases, but they're cheap for a reason and you'll get what you pay for.
If you're interested in gaming, Walmart is still a bad option. Even brands like ASUS, Lenovo, or HP are frequently at higher prices than you can find elsewhere, and if you want something specific, you're probably going to be out of luck. You're better off doing your research and going to Amazon or Best Buy for anything more than the direst needs.
Skip Pet Food
If you have a big dog at home that goes through the Kibble, you're going to save a lot of money by buying it in bulk. Walmart frequently has smaller portions at relatively higher prices, and those costs can add up. For the most part, buying in bulk will substantially reduce your shopping bill for almost any product.
Trust us – your dog won't be able to tell the difference between the name brands and the cheap bulk options. If there are worries about the food staying fresh, buy some sealable containers and keep the air out. The quality at Walmart is fine, it's just the cost that will get you.
Most of the time, batteries are pretty much the same. Energizer, Duracell, and Panasonic are all essentially the same product. However, store-brand batteries are a different story. They don't have the pedigree the name brands do, and for good reason.
A package of batteries from Walmart will cost you the same amount as a bigger package from Sam's Club or Costco. Even if those batteries don't last as long, you'll have a hundred of them, so you're still good for a while. Another option is the Amazon basics batteries, which have proven to stand up to the test of time and are cheap to boot.
Skip Fresh Fruit
Who doesn't love grabbing a bag of fresh oranges or grapes to add something healthy to the next few meals? Well, be careful when buying from Walmart. A lot of their “fresh” fruit is anything but. They can be mushy, covered in gnats, and sometimes even have mold.
The prices are above average, and the selection isn't great unless you like basic fruits like apples and oranges. There are plenty of other stores that keep fruit fresher, have lower prices, and carry things like limes and grapefruits. If you are intent on buying from Walmart, make sure to check each piece of fruit well.
Skip Gift Cards
Leaving aside the fact that gift cards are a rather thoughtless and impersonal gift, there are other issues beyond. Scammers have recently started copying down the numbers from the cards and waiting for someone to activate them. Suddenly, the thief has free money and the buyer has nothing to do about it.
If you have to get a gift card, we recommend buying them online, whether that's the physical kind or an electronic card. Cash is another option, and it gives the gift receiver more flexibility. Otherwise, check out some of the better products in our article, and consider them as a cute gift for a loved one.
The problem is that high-quality fish is pretty pricey, and if you're willing to shell out for Walmart cuts, you might as well go somewhere else. Fish also brings some risk due to parasites or worms, and Walmart tries to keep things as cheap as possible.
Depending on your location, you won't have a great selection, either. Fish is a healthy option in your diet, but you're better off at a Costco or a dedicated grocery store – you'll get more options for lower prices, and you're likely to get higher quality, too. If you have to buy fish at Walmart, spring for the canned tuna.
If you've recently moved into a new house, you might think it's a good idea to grab a table or chairs from Walmart for a low price. But with furniture, what you pay for is what you get – those low prices translate into below-average quality. Even IKEA is going to be a better bet for the cost.
Walmart furniture always looks like it's going to break, and you'll feel nervous putting anything heavy on it. We're not saying it's never the right purchase, but there are lots of better places to get something that will last. Do your research on reviews for each piece you're interested in, and it should save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Skip Brand-Name Diapers
Diapers are a fact of life, and there's no way to get around them unless you're dedicated to doing a lot of laundry. You might think that Walmart is a good place to stock up on this essential, but you'd be wrong. There's usually a markup for buying at the brick-and-mortar store compared to buying online, but you're also getting less for your money.
Walmart usually sells smaller packages, which means more trips. Online retailers like Amazon have lower prices, and most of the time your babies won't be able to tell the difference. Shop around for the best prices while preparing for your bundle of joy.
Can't wait to find out the latest about sitar music, the wonderful world of hammers, or the latest advances in toilet paper? Magazines are a great way to do it. But stay away from the rack at Walmart – you'll be paying egregious amounts for last month's magazines.
Most of the information you'll want will be online, but if you couldn't possibly wait, you might as well go straight to the publisher – you'll be saving something like fifty percent compared to the price you'll find at Walmart. You also might want to get a subscription, which reduces the total cost a great deal for the first year.
Skip Organic Food
Organic food is a good way to make sure you're only putting the best in your body. However, there's a reason it tends to cost more – production takes a lot longer, and the variety is going to be far less. Furthermore, “non-organic” foods are far more widespread for a good reason.
The chemicals used make them bug-free and bigger. If you really want to make sure you eat organic, Walmart isn't the place to do it. You can find them out there, but they still use pesticides, you know. You can't believe everything they tell you, so make sure to do thorough research.
Skip Rotisserie Chicken
If you're out shopping at Walmart, you might be tempted to pick up a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken to cut down on your dinner prep time. It's not the worst decision you could make, but there are still ways to save money and fill up that will work better.
First off, the prices at Walmart and Costco might be similar, but the size of the chicken at a place like Costco is going to give you more birds for your buck. Also, when people talk about Walmart rotisserie chicken – words like “bad taste” and “too salty” seem to come up a lot.
Skip Generic Cereal
Most of the time, buying generic bag cereal is going to help you save on your weekly grocery bill. You get more for less, and the cereal is usually similar – if not identical – to the name brands. However, Walmart's generic cereal tends to leave a bad taste in people's mouths. Literally.
The Great Value cereal that Walmart sells is often said to be the worst of the worst by consumers and researchers. Saving money is one thing, but you might as well just skip breakfast entirely if it's this bad. Having a healthy breakfast is important, so it's fair to allocate more of your budget to eating a delicious and nutritious start to the day.
Nuts? What's wrong with getting nuts at Walmart? Well, this is one of those gray areas that pop up sometimes. If you want a bag of cashews or some peanuts, Walmart is fine. Nuts won't go bad unless they've been sitting out for a really long time, and the prices are reasonable.
The problem comes if you eat a lot of nuts – buying in bulk from other stores will save you a lot of money. Walmart's selection also isn't the best when it comes to something like this – head to your local Costco or Sam's Club and pick up bigger packages.
Skip Ground Beef
There are lots to love about ground beef. Still, you might want to skip it if you tend to shop at Walmart. Reports claim that the beef Walmart uses is lower quality than a lot of other stores. Since their beef is ground and packaged at a plant rather than right there in the store, it lacks the freshness you'll get from a different supermarket.
Reviewers also aren't kind to this meat, saying it's rubbery, fatty, and that it takes a long time to break down. It's also more expensive, costing a dollar less per pound at Aldi. Overall, it's not the worst purchase you can make at Walmart, but it's worth avoiding if you can.
Bedding? What's wrong with buying bedding at Walmart? Well, like a lot of the stuff Walmart makes, it's supposed to be cheap and mass-produced. There are some things that are worth spending more money on, and bedding is one of them. You don't have to get one-thousand-thread Egyptian cotton sheets, but the stuff from Walmart will be harsher on your skin and will probably wear out faster, as well.
The bedding at TJ Maxx and Target has been found to be of higher quality with similar prices. It's worth your while to spend a little more for more comfortable nights.
Skip Name Brand Soups
Surely name-brand soups are a safe bet, even at Walmart? You'd be right, but you'd also be paying more. There are several products where the generic and name brands are the same exact thing, and soups are one of them. Sure, Campbell's tastes great, but Walmart's Great Value brand is the same formula – it might even have been packaged at the same plant!
If you like soup but want to save some space in your budget, skip the names you recognize and get the store-brand stuff. Take a look at the labels if you don't believe us – they'll have pretty much identical ingredients.
Skip Party Supplies
So you're throwing together a bash for a kid, a friend, or your dog. You head to Walmart to pick up party supplies – but you've already made the mistake right there, buster. Party supplies are made to be used a single time and then tossed, so why pay top dollar?
Go to the dollar store and get everything you need for less. Walmart's prices can't beat the savings stores. If someone in your family wants a themed party, remember that the Disney or Iron Man items will come with an additional markup. If you have a specific vision for your party, Walmart is consistently reliable, but for a small do, better to save your money.
Skip Organic Milk
While Walmart has taken steps to extend its organic milk selection recently, it's still not the best place to pick up that healthy moo juice. While Walmart tries to present itself as a cost-saving store (and it succeeds in some places) the organic aisle isn't going to do your pocketbook any favors. Organic milk is already going to run you more than the traditional stuff, and Walmart adds more on top of that bump.
A recent study showed that organic milk at Walmart will cost you more than budget stores like Aldi and might even go above fancier stores like Trader Joe's. As always, it's a great idea to look around for the best prices.
Skip Great Value Toilet Paper
As far as name-brand toilet paper like Charmin goes, Walmart is fine, with on-par prices and a similar range of package sizes and selection. Their name brand, Great Value, is another story. It's a good option if you need to save for something, but the quality leaves much to be desired.
Consumer Reports have ranked the Great Value toilet paper not just in the bottom half, or in the back ten percent, but trailing behind everyone else when it comes to quality. It scored nine out of a hundred. There are plenty of stomach-turning details, and it has even been known to cause pipe problems after flushing.
If you want to pick up a two-liter or a pack of twelve cans, you could do worse than Walmart. However, you could also do a lot better. The Great Value selection is decent and is a lot cheaper than the name-brand flavors, but that's because Walmart has increased the prices of things like Coke, Mountain Dew, and Pepsi.
Even taking that into account, there are other places that have lower prices on store-brand and name-brand varieties. A fridge pack at Walmart will usually run you six or seven dollars, but there are lots of places where you can get two for that price.
Skip Video Games
It's fun to head to the local superstore and see what new titles are on sale, but if you're a gaming connoisseur, Walmart isn't the place to build your collection. Digital distribution has been leading the pack for a few years, easier and quicker in almost every aspect.
If you love hard copies, there are almost always better prices at Amazon or your local used game store. Even if you have to have a fresh copy, Walmart is a place you'll want to avoid, with deals few and far between. There's nothing wrong with their selection, it's just that we believe you can do better.
Skip Snack Foods
There are lots and lots and lots of snack foods in the aisles at Walmart. There are even some things you can pick up that have pretty good prices. But there is another option, one that you might not think about. Dollar stores sell cheap goods at rock-bottom prices, and they excel at snack foods.
They often stock big packages of name-brand products for only a dollar (or around that amount), which means they're almost certainly going to be a better price than at Walmart. However, the selection won't be fantastic, so if you're after something specific you might be out of luck.
If you're after a camera to help you capture family moments while you're on the road, or you want something to create memories when you're at concerts, sure – Walmart is a fine place to shop. If you want a professional camera that will get your hard work into museums or flood your Instagram page with followers, you're better off looking elsewhere.
Walmart's workers aren't trained on anything more than the most basic of basics about cameras – if they have the knowledge at all. And you can't blame them, there are endless products and it's impossible for employees on minimum wage to know the ins and outs of each one. We all have cameras on our phones nowadays anyway.
Skip Maple Syrup
Few things go together like a stack of pancakes and some maple syrup, but shopping for the latter at Walmart is a mistake. The Great Value style is cheap, but it's mostly corn syrup and other artificial additives. If you want that, you can go to other stores and find it even cheaper. Unfortunately, Walmart just misses the mark here.
Go to Costco and get a bigger bottle for much less. If you'd rather get the fake stuff, there are still plenty of stores that have more economical offerings than Walmart. One way or another, it's almost always a good idea to skip this aisle.
Skip Straight Talk
While Straight Talk – a cellular service that Walmart sells – might be nice if you don't want to get locked into a plan or contract, there are lots of reasons why it's best to avoid this service. One of the biggest problems is their customer service.
People have said that it's really hard to get hold of anyone, and it's also common for the company to charge more than people were expecting with no obvious reason why. They might save you money compared to some other cellular services, but you might be better off just dropping your cell coverage for good.
These cheap, gaudy stuff won't last long, and won't look that good, either. The more expensive stuff is going to be REALLY expensive, into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and we bet you'd have a better time at a true jewelry store if you're dropping that much cash.
We can't say it loud enough: don't shop for an engagement ring at Walmart. Local jewelers will have more options and better construction, and you'll probably pay less, too. Plus, going back to your jeweler for resizing will be a far better experience than trying to get anything out of Walmart.
Skip Store-Brand Supplements
This one is for your health. Studies have found that the supplements under Walmart's store brand have inconsistent amounts of vitamins and minerals. Something like health and wellness is best left to the professionals, even if it means spending a little more than you'd like.
If you're taking them for your health, avoid Walmart. They might be fine if you just want more vitamin B12 in your diet, but if you need them for a specific reason, do your research and find out which supplement is going to be the best bang for your buck. You'll find that Walmart's store brand is something you can avoid in the medicine aisle.
Sure, most of the toys that are found in Walmart's stores are just as high-quality as other stores, but you'll probably end up paying more for them. Think about how long your kids play with a toy – is it a long time? Keep the family budget happy by buying used toys or searching for deals online.
Even for toys that aren't flying off the shelves, Walmart often hikes prices. Would you rather risk your life on Black Friday, or would you rather sit at home and do your shopping from the comfort of your couch? Given how infrequent deals and sales are at Walmart, there just isn't much pull to buy games from there nowadays.
Skip Pure Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is a constant friend in the baker's cupboards, but buying it at Walmart isn't worth the money. Sure, their Great Value variety is cheap, but it doesn't last long and it doesn't have a lot of flavor. Other grocery stores carry their store brands for cheaper prices, and the name-brand stuff is going to be a better option.
Here's a better option: make your own! Some vodka and vanilla beans will do the trick. The vanilla beans will cost a little more, but you can get a lot out of making your own. If you're not that dedicated, there are for sure great middle grounds between that and Walmart.
Skip High-End Perfume
Most of us aren't thrilled with the idea of smelling like a Walmart, but you can still buy perfume there. The problem is that fragrance goes for high prices at Walmart. We don't know how Walmart gets away with this stuff, but the numbers will shock you.
One investigation found that the perfume available at Walmart.com came with incredible markups – as much as a hundred percent more compared to some places! One of the fragrances was sold for a whopping six hundred dollars, while it was easy to find for a mere half that in other places. We're speechless. Walmart, what are you thinking?
Skip Gift Bags
For those of you that are hopeless at wrapping gifts, a gift bag makes it simple to create a good-looking gift without covering yourself in tape. You might think there's nothing wrong with stopping at Walmart during December to make the holidays that much easier but think again.
The bags from Walmart are nice, but that's not what's really important, is it? Instead, stop by a dollar store and get a bag for half or even a third of the price, and use what you saved to make sure those gifts are perfect. They look nice, but is the high cost worth it?
Skip Small Kitchen Appliances
Walmart has plenty of fun little toys for your home and kitchen, but you must be strong against these impulse buys. You're almost certain to find them at lower prices online, and there's going to be a much wider selection of styles and colors to boot.
The appliances at Walmart look shiny and new, but the selection isn't really all that great. Plus, many online stores offer free shipping on purchases like appliances, even small ones. Finally, returning your online purchase is a lot easier if you aren't a fan of it. Dealing with returns in store is a lot more work and hassle.
The tires you're going to find at Walmart aren't bad. But they're the exact same tires you're going to find at any other car shop or retailer. The prices aren't all that bad, either – you can probably find them for cheaper, but you could find them for more, too.
The thing is, other shops will give you much better benefits. There are places that will offer free tire balancing or rotations, but Walmart doesn't offer anything like that. If you have a flat right outside a Walmart, you won't have many better options, but if you have the time to shop around, best to avoid the supercenter.
You're either going to get no-name TVs that are cheap and don't last that long – or aren't made with the same kind of quality – or you're going to pay out the nose for a name brand when you could find the same model elsewhere at a lower price.
When it comes to buying these big purchases, do it from home. Shop around online for the best prices, and don't ignore online retailers like Amazon or eBay. You're going to be happier with your purchase, and your wallet will have a bit more in it to spend on some of Walmart's better products..
Skip Wrapping Paper
Most of the time, Walmart's offerings are cheap and low quality, but this example flips the script. Wrapping paper is supposed to be thin and easy to manipulate but for some odd reason, Walmart seems to sell wrapping paper that is thick and difficult to use.
Instead of paying five bucks for a roll that you' will dread using, go to the dollar store and pick something up for far less. Even if the paper is thin and flimsy, that's kind of what you want, isn't it? Best of all. You can mess up as much as you need to.
Let's be honest, not a lot of people are going to Walmart to pick up a novel. It's kind of a weird choice from a department store. The selection is pretty dry, so if you like books that do something a little differently than the status quo, you're going to be disappointed.
It's a much better idea to hit up your local Barnes and Noble – better yet, forge a relationship with a local bookstore if you're a big literature fan. The selection is going to blow Walmart out of the water, they're far more comfortable, and prices might be better, too.
Skip Printer Ink
It's called liquid gold, but it isn't oil – it's printer ink. It's expensive no matter where you look, but Walmart might be the worst of the bunch. It's going to be hard to find ink at what normal people consider affordable, which means you should keep your eye out for deals online or coupons to take the price down a little bit.
There are options online, including off-brand ink, but beware of that sort of thing. No matter which way you go, you're going to have an easier time finding budget-friendly ink anywhere compared to Walmart. Plus, you don't want to print a really important document only to find the ink is faded and skimpy.
Skip Large Appliances
Walmart makes a lot of noise about its low prices, but there are some things that are worth shelling out for, like large appliances. Think washers, dryers, or dishwashers. They're always going to be more on the expensive side, which means it's best to shop around and find the item with the right features and at the right price.
You'll have to have some patience, but eventually, you'll be happy that you didn't get the first thing you saw at Walmart. Even if you're interested in something at Walmart, you might be able to find it at lower prices elsewhere.
Skip Greeting Cards
A greeting card is always nice, but you don't need to pay top dollar for something someone will likely throw away as soon as they get it. Go to the dollar store instead, and pick up a simple, classy design. It's way better bang for your buck.
The important part comes from what you write inside the card – make it a heartfelt, meaningful message, and nobody will even think to care that your card isn't the fanciest or funniest one of the day. Even a blank card, at a fifth of the cost and with the proper words inside, is worth more.
Who buys physical CDs? Today, most just pick up the digital version. It's a lot cheaper, and you don't have to go to the store to do it. Types of vinyl have come back into vogue, but CDs are becoming rarer. That's just one of many reasons not to spend money on music at Walmart.
There are high markups compared to online shops or iTunes, and many people claim that Walmart sells edited versions of the music with no indication if it's been altered. Most towns also have music stores with greater selection, more knowledgeable staff, and lower costs. Overall, you're better off online.
If you need something last-minute for a trip, by all means, pick something up from Walmart. However, if you're looking for something that will last, it's best to try a different option. Good luggage is an investment, and the budget options that you'll find from these stores are often not the best options.
A broken suitcase during a flight is going to make your next vacation or business trip far more of a hassle than you had ever imagined. If you're worried about the high costs of luggage, a good suitcase can usually be found at Amazon or REI for less than a hundred dollars.
Skip Photo Printing
While it may be a convenient option to head to Walmart to print, there are more economical ways to print out the pictures you want. Shutterfly and lots of other sites allow you to print dozens or hundreds of pictures for a fraction of the cost from the comfort of your own home. There are often coupons to find to take the price even lower.
You don't even have to get them printed off to display them in your home – digital photo frames let you hold hundreds or even thousands of pictures, cycling through them without touching a button.
Skip Disposable Utensils
Plastic utensils make a lot of things easier, but you need not buy them at Walmart. The quality of the items is good enough, but you're going to pay more for something that will just be thrown away in the end. Unless you're really throwing a big party, it might just be more worth it to use what you've already got.
A big event already costs a good amount, why make it more? Head to the dollar store and get them for half the cost. If you need a lot, stop in at a Costco for bulk supplies. If you're worried about the environment, it might also be a good idea to skip the plastic utensils altogether.
Skip Vacuum Cleaners
Most of the time, Walmart's vacuums are far overpriced compared to other stores and especially compared to shopping around online. The reviews on these products aren't endearing. While they may look like they check all the boxes, only a few of them are actually worthwhile purchases.
There are some low-cost options that will do in a pinch, but they likely won't last long, and they probably won't clean that well, either. If you for some reason find yourself inside one of these stores the day after Thanksgiving, you might as well pick up a vac, but otherwise, there are lots of better ways to find one.
They're one of the fun new toys that tech people just have to have. And we get it. They let adults play like kids and people don't think they're weird - just techies. Like other electronics from Walmart, the selection isn't going to be great and the options are usually going to be cheap.
Even the low-cost options are said to be not worth the price, even as a gift for a kid. Check out the options available online and find a price that works for you. You'll also be able to get more information about the different drones that you can pick from with this tactic.
Skip Phone Accessories
We've all stopped by Walmart to pick up a new charger or a pair of earbuds. Most of the time they stop working before too long, and the cycle repeats itself. Not to mention they're often overpriced thanks to Walmart – they know that you need them, which means they know you'll pay what you have to. 'Tis the way of capitalism.
The way to deal with this is to keep your eyes open for sales on brand-name products, which will pop up from time to time. You can also go straight to the source like Apple or Samsung, or find them for less on Amazon.
Skip Camping Supplies
What could be so bad about getting camping supplies at Walmart? Primarily, it's because the selection is often lacking. Sure, you'll be able to pick up the basics, but if you're after anything other than that, you'll be out of luck. Plus, prices for this outdoor gear at Walmart are usually going to be a little more than at some other stores.
If you have the time to shop elsewhere, elsewhere is probably where you should go. Dedicated outdoor stores like Dick's Sporting Goods or REI are going to have a much wider selection and more knowledgeable employees, and you might find lower prices, as well.
If you need something for a kid's school project, you can probably find it at Walmart. However, many people find their arts and crafts selection to be rather lacking. Furthermore, the items that you do pick up are more likely to be cheap and not the best quality.
If your kid wants some paints for a rainy afternoon, sure – but if you're someone who is trying to hone artistic skills, it's not the proper place. Go to a true crafts store to get better equipment. You may have to pay a little more, but your hard work will actually last.
Skip Wood Products
When it comes to things made out of wood, you're going to have a hard time finding something you like for the right price – and the right quality. Most of the stuff they sell is made out of particleboard, the cheapest and lightest wood product available, but it's also incredibly frail.
It usually doesn't even look as good as IKEA. Good furniture can be expensive, and finely-crafted wood furniture is no exception. Still, a cheap plywood bookshelf that costs you twenty bucks is going to look like it, and it probably won't last. If you don't need or particularly care for the highest quality furniture, you won't strike a bad deal at Walmart, but manage your expectations.
The problem with getting dinnerware from Walmart is they cut costs by shelving the cheapest of the cheap. If you need to bulk up your collection a little bit so you don't have to wash bowls or plates every other day, they're not a bad bet, but if you need the good stuff for Christmas dinner, this isn't the place to get it.
If you're after cheap, there are other options better than Walmart. If you really want to cut down on your spending but need dinnerware, stop by a dollar store and find something that will be really cheap. If you want higher quality, there are also other options.
If you want shoes that are going to last you the rest of your life, you're going to have to look somewhere else. High-quality, hand-cobbled shoes aren't going to be sold here. The shoes at Walmart fall apart after a short while, especially if you're dealing with kids' shoes.
Even if you take good care of them, they probably aren't going to be in your rotation for a very long time. Still, if you're okay with shoes that won't last too long, Walmart isn't a bad place to shop. Since kids will outgrow shoes quickly, they're the ones who should get their shoes from here.
Walmart swimsuits are mass-produced in specific sizes, which means finding something that will actually fit you isn't going to be easy. There's another problem: As the year ramps up toward summer, Walmart raises prices on swimsuits.
That's not uncommon, but it's been found that Walmart raises the prices more than other places. If you buy during the spring, you'll be paying a premium for something that might not even fit you, and might not even last the entire summer season. You can risk buying a swimsuit at the end-of-season sale, but that means you're waiting a year to wear it, and who knows if it will still be your style?
If you've ever been to a Walmart, you're probably familiar with the bargain bin of movies and shows that are full to the top with sad excuses for films. You might even find a nice deal inside – four Clint Eastwood movies for ten dollars, perhaps.
Unfortunately, though, these are the cheap, scratchable discs that wear out after a few years. Also, for the price of a ten-dollar movie, you could pay for a month of your favorite streaming service and watch all the movies you want, without having to drive to the store. Media is really being dominated by the digital market, and it makes it hard to justify buying anything in-store these days.
Skip Souvenirs and Postcards
If you're on vacation and need to grab souvenirs for friends back home, Walmart isn't the place to find them. If the receivers ever find out where you got them, they would immediately seem like last-minute options that might leave a sour taste in your friends' mouths.
It might be tempting to go to Walmart for shopping during a trip, but you're more likely to find something that actually has the spirit of the place in small local shops. There's a good chance you won't have to pay as much, too. You might need to buy groceries from Walmart but look beyond for gifts.
Skip Sports Memorabilia
Depending on which sport or team you're looking for, you might be able to find plenty of memorabilia at your local Walmart. However, it's never going to be the highest quality, even if it would look good in your man cave. It's mass-produced and colorful, but if you want something really good, go somewhere else.
More unique options will require you to go to places that aren't department stores or supermarkets, or you may have to look online. Thankfully, there are lots of people who love to make decorations for their favorite teams. If you're really dedicated to having a nice bit of memorabilia, you're better off going to a dedicated store.
Skip Sportswear and Sports Equipment
If you're really focused on your performance, then the stuff from Walmart isn't going to cut it – it will be uncomfortable, and it probably won't last. If you are a newbie, though, Walmart's selection might actually work for you. If you're trying out a bunch of new sports, some inexpensive gear that won't last too long isn't such a bad choice.
You're better off shopping online or going to a dedicated sports store. However, this can come at an advantage – if you know something is going to get damaged, like knee pads while learning to skate, buying cheap and then replacing them might be the most economical approach.
The pillow supporting your head can make or break a night of sleep. Even with a pillow that has been reliable, you can sometimes wake up to find that it has failed you at last. Here's a good rule of thumb – spend top dollar on the things that are going to be under you. Tires, shoes, chairs, mattresses, and even pillows.
Walmart pillows might not break the bank, but they might end up breaking your back if they don't work for you. This is an important enough decision that it warrants more thought than simply on price. Do some research first and then go shopping for the perfect pillow - elsewhere.
For a lot of people, coffee is coffee. For those that know better, they stay away from Walmart for their morning cup of joe. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a sack of beans from Walmart if you're out, but if you're trying to save money, you're better off shopping elsewhere.
There are stores that will sell the same amount for lower prices, and you could find bulk stores like Costco that let you buy much more for similar amounts. You'll often have an easier time figuring out where the beans were sourced from, and that means you can pick your favorite blends better.
You don't need to worry about the quality of the shampoo at Walmart – pretty much all shampoo is going to work the same as long as you use it the right way. Still, shampoo at Walmart is going to run you a little more than many of the other places you might buy it. There's also the fact that there are some cheaper brands that use lower-quality ingredients.
Your hair might not be the most important part of your health, but it's still a good idea to do what you can to preserve it. A little bit of research will help you find the right bottle.
Skip Pre-Paid Phones
If you're traveling – or you're on the run from a rogue spy or something like that – pre-paid phones can really come in handy. There are some plans that don't allow roaming, meaning if you use your regular phone, you'll end up paying out the nose. Prepaid phones have a low price per month, so they might work in your budget too.
Your time to talk is limited, and the services don't include many extras. Be careful, or you'll end up paying more for something that was supposed to be a cost-saving measure in the first place. For kids' first phones, however, or if you need an extra phone for whatever reason, these may work.
Spring for Great Value Hazelnut Spread
Who doesn't love a jar of Nutella? It's one of the things that Americans pretty much have to have in their kitchens for snacks, desserts, and more. Still, if you want to keep your budget from crying out in agony, head to Walmart and pick up a jar of the store-brand stuff.
A thirteen-ounce jar of Nutella is a little more than three and a half dollars, while the Great Value option is closer to two bucks. Plus, the taste is so similar that a lot of people won't even be able to tell – there's a good chance the mixture is exactly the same
Spring for Great Value Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a wonderful thing to add to any meal or treat, and the mixture is so easy it's been around since the nineteenth century with few changes. While the name-brand peanut butter won't ever break the bank – even the big jars – you can still end up saving by going to a store like Walmart and getting the store-brand stuff like Great Value.
Normal brands will cost something like three-fifty, while a store-brand option could be as low as half that. Despite how packed the jars are, a family can go through peanut butter quickly – keep your weekly grocery bill lower.
Spring for Equate No-Metal Elastics
Long hair, don't care? Lots of people do which is why they need to use hair bands. Really, one hair band is as good as any other, so grab some of the store-brand Equate options to keep your beauty costs low. You can buy these in bulk, and that's vital for anyone who knows how easy it is to lose these things.
A fifteen-pack of Goody Ouchless bands is about sixteen cents per unit, while the Equate brand brings that cost down to twelve cents. The quality is identical, and you get it for a fraction of the cost. You're going to be losing those bands all over, so spending less is a good idea.
Spring for Equate Cotton Swabs
Cotton swabs are pretty hard to get wrong. It's a paper rod with a ball of cotton on each end. There, there's all you need. You get these things in huge packages of five hundred, and you're throwing a few of them away every time you get them out, so why pay premium prices?
The name-brand cotton swabs will cost almost four dollars for a pack that size, but the Equate brand brings it down to just above two dollars. There's zero difference between the name and the store brands, so there's no reason not to get the cheaper option.
Spring for Great Value Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer
Adding a little bit of sweetness to your sugar is so traditional, drinking it black is often seen as strange. Just because a coffee creamer costs a lot doesn't mean it's right for you, so give the Great Value flavors a try. Many people will say it tastes just as good – or better than the name-brand options.
You're also bound to save on the bill. The name-brand options reach toward five dollars for each bottle, while a bottle of the same size from Great Value is going to be more like three and a half dollars. A dollar saved is a dollar earned.
Spring for Great Value Chocolate Chips
There might be a special event for which you want to use the good stuff, but if you're just baking cookies for your kids or work, there's no need to overspend on the ingredients. Plus, supermarket cookies ensure consistency, so if you know you like Walmart's ones, you're in luck.
Great Value chocolate chips from Walmart are simple chocolate chips, and you can get them for an average of fifty cents less per bag than the leading brand. Plus, there are lots of flavors to choose from – semi-sweet, dark chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate, and more. The savings are going to add up.
Spring for Great Value Chewy Variety Pack Granola Bars
Grabbing a treat for the car right before a long road trip? You're probably going to be at or near a Walmart to stock up on the essentials anyway, why not grab Great Value granola bars? A pack of twenty-four bars from Walmart costs just a couple of bucks, but a pack of the same size from Quaker will cost more than twice that – upwards of six dollars.
The Great Value pack has plenty of variety, and they're an optimal size for giving to kids who need something to munch on. You can also bet that you'll find flavors that you like, too.
Spring for Great Value Salsa
Ah, salsa. It's great on tortilla chips, tacos, eggs, chicken, and watermelon. Oh, just us? Your loss. Thankfully, it's pretty darn hard to mess up salsa, since the ingredients are so simple and readily available.
If you want to lower your spending, picking up Great Value salsa instead of the name brand like Pace Picante is a great option – a twenty-four-ounce jar of the name-brand stuff is almost three dollars, while the Great Value option is a dollar less on average for the same amount. The difference in taste is impossible to tell after it's been in the slow cooker for a few hours.
Spring for Equate Blonde and Silver Shampoo
While a lot of the shampoo that you can find at Walmart will be overpriced, this is the exception that proves the rule. The blonde and silver shampoo is designed to make bright hairs look even brighter, and the special formula can be costly if you're shopping at the wrong place. A brand-name version of this shampoo could cost you in the double-digits for a sixteen-ounce bottle.
If that seems like a lot, you aren't alone. The Equate version of the shampoo costs, on average, half of that lofty price. Still pricey compared to basic shampoos but designed to get you looking your best.
Spring for Great Value Cooking Oil
Oil is oil. If you want to pay more for a name-brand bottle, be our guest, but the name is the only thing you're paying for. If you need a lot of the stuff for a fish fry or a cookout, you're better off buying the cheaper options and saving money for the actual food.
It doesn't matter where you get it, all your oil is going to be the same. A gallon of name-brand Wesson oil will cost more than ten dollars at your local Walmart, while the great Value option will save you a good few dollars. Plus, the quality is exactly the same.
Spring for Athletic Works Leggings
If you're dedicated to the athleisure lifestyle, you know that costs can start climbing if you're looking at name-brand options. High-end brands like Lululemon can charge you up to a hundred dollars for a single pair of everyday black leggings. Eye-popping, is what that is. Don't break the bank by buying something that is just one part of your outfit.
Walmart's Athletic Works brand offers similar-if-not-identical gear for a mere fraction of the cost – sometimes as low as fifteen dollars. Also, you can't go wrong with their quality. If you're looking in all the wrong places, there are socks that are more expensive than that!
Spring for Equate Brand Medications
You might think that paying for medication that keeps you alive or healthy is worth paying the right amount, and you'd be correct. However, the FDA requires all medication manufacturers to use the same amount of active ingredients in their products, and that means the extra cost for name brands is just paying for the label.
The Equate brand is just like every other brand, but you won't have to pay as much as the name brands. Medication can be a big part of your spending depending on your medical issues – don't make it any more expensive than you have to.
Great Value Spices
According to many spice experts, the taste difference is impossible to notice, and the smaller jars you'll find will keep batches from losing their potency quickly. Spices are pretty consistent no matter where you get them, so there is no point in splurging for something so mundane.
As an example, a three-fourths jar of pumpkin pie spice will run you almost two-fifty at Target, while a full two ounces from Walmart will be just over two dollars. That offers plenty of savings for someone who knows they'll be doing lots of cooking. Also, these things last ages, unless you're hosting a dinner party every night.
Spring for Certain Kitchen Gadgets
If you want to keep displaying fun new stuff from out of your kitchen, you'll have to get the fanciest new toys. There are several experts that recommend plenty of appliances such as handheld mixers or SodaStream. These are great products, and Walmart stocks them all, as well as so much more.
A lot of the time, the prices are cheaper than other places, and even if they aren't, Walmart often offers a price match guarantee on a lot of the stuff they sell. That means if you're looking for the right products, the store will discount the difference, which saves you money and makes shopping easier.
Spring for Makeup Removing Towelettes
Taking all your makeup off often takes just as long as putting it on, unless you have some of these handy makeup-removing towelettes. If you want a fresh face for your next night of looking good, Equate brand beauty supplies are often a lot cheaper than the leading brands. They are just as good as any name-brand, and at a way better price point.
A two-pack of Equate Beauty Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes goes for just a few bucks at Walmart, but just fifty of the towelettes from Target will cost you close to double that. Get more, save more, and make sure you always look clean and ready to impress.
Spring for Wine
You're probably thinking: “Who would buy wine at a Walmart?” Well, as it turns out, more people should. In 2018, Walmart introduced something called the Winemaker's Selection, which brings out the best reds and whites and offers them to customers at about ten dollars below the average price for a bottle of wine.
It probably won't be the toast of the town in France, but if you need something to take the edge off a long day of work, you could do a lot worse. You can even find some fancier varieties and a few different varieties of rosé. Overall, this is a great deal.
Spring for Storage Bins
Are you looking to declutter your life a little bit, or stash stuff for an impending move? Walmart has your back. They offer plastic storage bins that won't hurt your moving budget and will make the big day a lot easier. they're at a great price, too, so you really can't go wrong.
Twenty-seven quarts of space will cost you only a few dollars, and they're clear, so you can see what's stashed inside without having to empty it out. At that size and with those features, most other stores will cost you anywhere from ten to fifteen dollars, at least.
Spring for Bubble Wrap
Planning to ship something that needs a little bit of extra protection? Bubble wrap is the way to go, but it can be a little pricier than you expect. If you take something to the UPS store and ask them to wrap it up, it might cost you anywhere from ten to twenty dollars.
Go to Walmart and buy a package of Duck bubble wrap, however, and you'll only have to pay five bucks for one foot by thirty. If you do a lot of shipping, buying bulk bubble wrap will end up saving you money. This is especially a great deal for those who run small businesses where you need packaging.
Spring for Optimum Nutrition Gold Protein Powder
Bulking up has never been easier now that whey protein powder is becoming easier to find. Most protein powder will be pretty much identical, with maybe a few changes here or there. If you're just looking for extra protein in your diet that doesn't require cooking up a steak every night, you might as well go with the cheap stuff.
Walmart sells big packages of protein powder that you can mix into shakes, milk, or water. The prices are often a lot cheaper than at dedicated health stores or other supermarkets. They have a great selection of flavors, as well.
Spring for Frozen Produce
While Walmart isn't the place to shop for a lot of the fresh stuff, the frozen aisle deserves your attention. Frozen fruits and vegetables are usually picked and frozen when they're the freshest, which means you have a good chance of getting your money's worth. The prices are reasonable and there is no point in going elsewhere for the same quality.
They retain their flavor and nutritional value for much longer while they're waiting in the freezer, which means you don't have to watch them go bad while they're sitting out on the counter or in your fridge. Walmart's prices are no worse than anywhere else, so stock up.