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Share to PinterestThe Worst Things to Buy at Walmart

The Worst Things to Buy at Walmart

By Jo Marshall
Share to PinterestThe Worst Things to Buy at Walmart

Millions of people around the world visit Walmart to find bargains on everything from groceries and housewares to prescription drugs and shampoo. Chances are if you need something, Walmart has it — usually at a lower cost.

While you can find some surprisingly high-quality goods at Walmart, a notable number of products have higher costs, lower quality, or carry potential health risks. It's probably better to grab these items somewhere else.


Skip the over-salted chicken

Share to Pinterestpoultry department at Walmart

After the often tiring experience of grocery shopping, few people want to go home and cook a meal. A pre-cooked rotisserie chicken is an easy, inexpensive way to feed your family after a day out.

However, multiple websites rated Walmart’s rotisserie chicken last in terms of flavor, while Costco’s usually came out on top. Both usually have prices around $5. Meanwhile, Walmart’s chickens typically weigh in at about three pounds, while Costo’s can weigh up to five. Walmart rotisserie chickens are also bursting with sodium at 690 grams per serving.


Avoid the low-quality meat

Share to Pinterestbeef at walmart

Walmart is many people’s first choice for a variety of goods, it shouldn’t be anyone’s go-to for meat. Ground beef, in particular, is better almost anywhere else. Many organizations, including MSN, have performed price comparisons and found that Walmart’s ground beef is more substantially expensive than other retailers’ options.

Plus, Walmart’s meat is much lower quality. Look no further than the customer reviews to see complaints of excess fat, gristle, and rubbery sections. Some people have even found intact arteries in their meat.


Check elsewhere for the best nuts

Share to Pinterestgreat value brand peanuts on white background

Walmart isn’t the worst place to pick up some nuts to curb your cravings, but it’s also nowhere near the best. Great Value nuts are simply not affordable, especially when comparing them to competing brands.

At Aldi or Trader Joe’s, you’ll save several cents on every ounce of nuts. You can also visit your local grocery store and fill up bags from the bulk bins to eliminate waste and get the exact amount you need.


Walmart’s not great for fish, yet

Share to Pinterestperson selecting frozen fish

At the turn of the century, Walmart committed to selling only fish that met the Marine Stewardship Council’s standard for sustainable fishing. Despite it being over a decade, Walmart has yet to meet its own goals and still sells fish from non-sustainable fisheries. Plus, Walmart’s fish is plagued with poor reviews, some of which mention slimy textures, foul smells, and unappetizing textures.


Seek out other batteries

Share to Pinterestracks of batteries in a store

There are dozens of reasons to be cautious when buying batteries. Some don’t hold charges, others can damage devices, and some may not even be new. In Walmart’s case, batteries are almost always at a higher price than they would be at a competing store.

In some cases, Walmart’s prices are almost three times higher for products like Duracell AA batteries. If you want the best bang for your buck, purchase from bulk stores like Costco.


Not-so-fresh produce

Share to Pinterestproduce section in big box store

Organic produce has become a massive industry in recent years and Walmart has actively been increasing access to these goods. However, rival stores like Aldi and Trader Joe’s regularly beat Walmart’s prices on organic fruits and vegetables.

Plus, Consumer Reports has repeatedly found that Walmart produce is among the lowest quality available on the market. This is largely due to staffing shortages and an inability to manage the decaying produce.


Consider other options for diapers

Share to Pinterestdiapers for sale at big box store

For products that you’ll need to purchase regularly, stores like Walmart are almost always the worst choice. Sure, you might save some money on individual purchases, but the costs will eventually add up.

Bulk stores offer larger amounts at a lower cost, and sites like Amazon Family offer subscription services that save you money on each purchase. It costs a lot to care for a baby, so add up your costs and save money where you can.


Don't buy generic cake mixes and other baked goods

Share to Pinterestbaking isle at walmart

Not all of us are professional bakers, so there’s no harm in grabbing a cake mix for a fun, easy dessert. You might want to avoid Walmart or at least stick to the name brands they carry, though. Great Value cake mixes are notorious for their poor taste and texture. This even applies to broader baking products like flour, sugar, and baking powder.


Understand the cost of maple syrup

In terms of quality, Walmart’s maple syrup is actually respectable. Consumer Reports rated their pure maple syrup as “good/very good” when reviewing syrups from numerous companies. However, Walmart’s maple syrup is notoriously pricey. Other maple syrups are less expensive and maintain a similar quality level. Beyond that, you can get an even higher quality and more budget-conscious syrup from Trader Joe’s.


Health supplements can be anything but healthy

Share to Pinterestwoman standing in front of supplements in box store

If you’re looking to buy your vitamins and health supplements from Walmart, skip the generic versions. The New York Attorney General’s Office found that several major retailers — including Walmart — were selling branded herbal supplements that didn’t actually contain any of the ingredients they claimed to use. Some even contained potentially dangerous additives instead.


Peanut butter is oily

Share to Pinterestgreat value peanut butter

While there's nothing inherently wrong with grabbing your peanut butter at Walmart, you should probably skip the Great Value brand. There's a good chance you'll spend more money on a worse product.

Many people have complained about Great Value peanut butter's texture and taste, claiming it's basically vegetable oil. Others find that the food has an aftertaste similar to charcoal.


Toy costs are through the roof

Share to Pinteresttoys department at walmart

Walmart was once a great place to get toys thanks to a large selection and competitive prices. This is no longer the case. Many visitors report the department fails to provide an adequate selection while the prices keep growing. In comparison to online retailers, there is almost no reason to pick up toys at Walmart.


Coffee is bland at best

Share to Pinterestcoffee packages at a walmart store

If you're a coffee drinker who really only cares about getting a bit of caffeine in your system before work, Walmart's Great Value coffee is perfectly fine. However, people who buy beans for the flavor should look elsewhere.

This brand's coffee tends to be bland, despite the fragrant beans. Some people also complain that Great Value K cups are too thick for their machines to punch through, leading to water spillages and wasted coffee.


Ketchup exclusively for vinegar lovers

Share to Pinterestgreat value ketchup at a walmart

You might also want to skip out on Great Value ketchup, especially if you're used to other brands. While the price is usually pretty fair, customers complain about the product's watery consistency and weaker flavor.

However, the Great Value ketchup variety with less sugar and sodium scored the worst in taste tests, with participants describing it as bitter and vinegary. Even those who enjoyed the classic Great Value ketchup were not fans of the "healthy" option.


Double-check the additives in bacon

Share to Pinterestbacon at a walmart store

In terms of taste, Great Value bacon tends to score pretty well. Its price is also reasonable and is usually lower than competitors'. The issue stems from the nutritional info, which reveals a number of substances that help "pump" the product to give the package more weight and make the meat look more appealing.

Reviews also find that the slices vary wildly in thickness. While this bacon isn't bad in a pinch, you're better off choosing another brand.


Buy bulk pet food somewhere else

Share to Pinterestpet department in a walmart

You have almost no reason to buy your pet food at Walmart. The store typically carries fewer brands than other retailers and in fewer sizes. Rather than spending more on smaller portions, consider bulk stores like Costco that allow you to save a significant amount of money on a greater amount of food.

Some businesses will even offer regular pet food deliveries while still costing less than Walmart.


Don't come back for razors

Share to Pinterestbeauty department at walmart

If you're looking for a good disposable razor or one with replaceable cartridges, Walmart is a great choice for a single purchase. The store often has sales on these products that allow them to edge out other retailers.

However, if you plan to buy replacement cartridges or disposable razors regularly, it's almost always cheaper to use a subscription service or a specialized retailer.


Never buy jewelry from Walmart

Share to Pinterestcouple looking at a jewelry cabinet

It can be tempting to pick up some jewelry at Walmart, especially because the costs are often far lower than you would pay elsewhere. But there's a reason for this: the quality is also significantly worse. If you're looking to save a bit of money on a jewelry purchase, try looking for some handmade options at a craft fair or market or on sites like Etsy.


Skip the unreliable luggage

Share to Pinterestluggage section at a department store

The last thing you want while traveling is to have your luggage fall apart. As it so happens, that's the exact risk you run when buying luggage from Walmart. According to Consumer Reports, Walmart scores among the worst stores to buy luggage from, largely due to the poor quality of the products and less than ideal prices.


Your automotive needs won't be met

Share to Pinteresttires and automotive department walmart

Many Walmarts offer a surprising number of automotive services and supplies, and it can seem pretty convenient to get your shopping done while also getting your oil changed. Unfortunately, you're likely to pay more money for worse service.

For example, competitors tend to have lower prices on tires while also offering free rotations and balances for the lifespan of those tires.


Wooden furniture isn’t built to last

Share to Pinterestsign marking furniture section in walmart

Good wood furniture looks elegant and can last you a lifetime. If it's particularly high-quality, it may even become a family heirloom. However, you’d be lucky if Walmart’s wood furniture options lasted you longer than a couple of years.

They use much lower-quality wood, like particleboard and plywood. While you might be able to save a bit at first, it’ll cost more in the long run when you have to buy a replacement.


Avoid anything phone-related

Share to Pinterestelectronics department in a walmart

Walmart is one of the worst places to buy phones, phone accessories, and phone plans. Their plans provide some of the lowest speeds of any carrier while also scoring the worst in customer support.

In terms of devices and accessories, Walmart tends to charge way more than the standard retail price. Shop around online and look for deals before popping into your local Walmart for even a new phone case.


School supplies are limited

Share to Pinterestschool supplies stationary at walmart

Every year, millions of people rush to Walmart to get themselves or their children ready for school. Walmart typically has affordable prices and a decent selection of school supplies, but there are a few issues to consider.

Notably, everyone else will also be shopping for supplies and Walmart is probably their first stop. Unless you've got the inside scoop on stocking times, you probably won’t have much to choose from. Additionally, it’s almost always cheaper in the long run to buy things like pencils and paper in bulk from another store, rather than getting the smaller packages from Walmart.


You won’t find good kids’ clothes

Share to Pinterestkids clothing department in walmart

Walmart is a great place to get basic kids’ clothes. While they’re often lower quality, they’re also much cheaper. With the ways kids grow and play, they would tear through more expensive clothes as fast as the Walmart options, so there's no need to spend tons of money.

However, their selection for nicer clothing options is limited at best, so you’ll want to stop somewhere else to prepare for picture day or for a special gift for your nephew.


Head to a specialist for TVs

Share to Pinteresttelevisions for sale at walmart

With the cost of new TVs constantly rising, it can be tempting to stop by Walmart and pick up one of their more budget-friendly options. However, the quality of these TVs often matches the cost. While you can sometimes find better quality options, it’s usually best to shop at a store that specializes in electronics and appliances.


Shop online for video games

Share to Pinterestvideo game gift card in walmart

The days of popping into a store and purchasing a game are slowly fading into the past. With modern efforts to shift into a purely digital market, brick-and-mortar video game retailers are getting left behind.

Not only does Walmart have a much smaller selection of games, but they’re often much more expensive, as well. Either shop the digital marketplaces or pick up physical copies elsewhere to save yourself some cash.


Find a better mattress

Share to Pinterestwoman inspecting a mattress at a store

An old piece of advice states that you should only spend top dollar on the things that separate you from the ground, such as your mattress. Considering you’re going to be spending about a third of your life on a mattress, shouldn’t you get one that provides maximum comfort?

Reports say Walmart’s mattresses are low quality and the last thing you need is a spring in your back or a tear in the foam. Plus, a bad mattress can affect your sleeping posture, giving you more aches and pains when you wake up.


Ozark Trail is fine, but not great

Share to Pinterestsleeping bags on a Walmart shelf

Walmart’s Ozark Trail brand of outdoor and camping equipment does have its uses. The products are often inexpensive and plentiful, so you can grab what you need in an emergency.

Unfortunately, Ozark Trail is also far less reliable than other brands. As any experienced hiker or camper will tell you, comfortable gear that is warm, waterproof, and durable is the key to a good experience. Ozark Trail’s products also tend to be heavier than other brands, which is a huge negative when you’re lugging them around the great outdoors.


A poor selection of appliances

Share to Pinterestwoman inspecting washing machine at store

Walmart carries all kinds of products, but it doesn’t always have the best variety for every product. For example, you can buy some major appliances at Walmart. Unfortunately, your choices will be much more limited than at a shop that specializes in these products.

Additionally, you typically have fewer service options for any appliances you do buy at Walmart.


Overpriced and limited wrapping paper

Share to Pinterestrolls of wrapping paper

Wrapping paper, gift bags, and other present-prepping materials is a difficult topic to tackle. Some people treat their wrapping as an art form, wanting the experience to be part of the gift. Others simply need something that a kid will tear into in a matter of seconds.

Either way, you’re better off not getting your products from Walmart. Those who take gift wrapping seriously need higher-quality options than are available at Walmart. Other people can get bulk options from other stores that will last them years and save them tons of money.



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