Walmart is known for its low prices, but not all of its bargains are good deals. Here are 15 Walmart bargains that aren’t really even bargains at all.
15. Pet Food
The good thing about buying pet food, especially if you purchase it in bulk, is that it doesn’t expire for years. But, unless you have a designated place in your home to stash several pounds of dog food, you might want to skip this purchase at Walmart and use a “subscribe and save” program — like the ones offered by Target and Amazon — instead. You can set up a scheduled delivery, and not only will the “subscribe and save” program help you save space, but you’ll save money on your purchase as well.
14. Generic Supplements
Whatever you do, DO NOT purchase generic supplements from Walmart. According to New York’s Attorney General, some of the herbal supplements found at Walmart either didn’t contain the ingredients advertised on the bottle or contained ingredients that weren’t even listed on the labels. Although Walmart claims to have resolved the issue with its store brand supplements, it’s best to avoid them anyway just to be on the safe side.
And, if you’re worried about Walmart’s generic medications, don’t be. According to Benjamin Glaser, editor emeritus at DealNews, generic medications are usually identical to their name-brand counterparts.
13. Fresh Produce
When it comes to certain grocery items, Walmart receives two thumbs down. One thing customers consistently complain about is the quality of the store’s “fresh” (notice the quotation marks) produce. The quality and cost aren’t all that great, Kendal Perez, savings expert at coupon website CouponSherpa, told GOBankingRates. “I often find better prices on produce from my local Sprouts Farmers Market,” she said. And, when it comes to organic produce, you might want to skip this purchase at Walmart, too. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s often have better deals.
12. Great Value Dishwasher Gel
According to Consumer Reports, you should avoid Great Value dishwasher gel like the plague. Yes, it may be inexpensive, but it’s also ineffective. Consumer Reports did a test on the gel and found out it was unable to successfully remove food and water spots from dishes, despite the fact that Walmart says on its website that it’s “tough on grease, stains, residue, and can even remove dry, stuck-on food.” It also says that you don’t even need to pre-rinse the dishes.
The verdict is in. If you want the best deal on batteries, head to Costco. They “have the best rate on the largest pack of batteries,” Kerry Sherin, a savings expert with Offers.com, told GOBankingRates. That’s especially helpful around the holidays when you most likely will need to load up on batteries for the kids’ Christmas gifts. But, it doesn’t have to be Energizer or Duracell. Even Costco’s store brand, Kirkland, has some good deals on batteries. In fact, Consumer Reports said that Kirkland brand AA batteries are the best deal and the only brand to earn the “Best Buy” check mark.
10. Meat and Fish
Walmart customers consistently complain about the quality of the store’s meat and fish. In fact, Consumer Reports surveyed more than 50,000 people and found out that of all the customer complaints about the store, the most common among them was the quality of the meat and poultry. Additionally, Reddit user Equisi wrote that she purchased two pounds of salmon fillets from Walmart, took them home, and fried them, but she couldn’t eat them because they sucked and had “no taste.”
9. Road Bikes and Skateboards
Professionals and amateurs alike agree that buying a bicycle from Walmart is a bad idea. In fact, a Reddit thread about Walmart bikes revealed that they’re made using cheap components, they’re unsafe, and you’ll likely spend more time pushing them than riding them.
As for Walmart skateboards, they can be cheaply made, too. A 2015 YouTube video shows pro skateboarder Chris Joslin trying out a Walmart skateboard. After a few tricks, the skateboard split right down the middle. Joslin’s advice? “Friends don’t let friends buy boards from Walmart.”
8. Great Value Maple Syrup
Sure, Walmart maple syrup isn’t all that bad. In fact, it’s actually quite good. But, in all honesty, you can get better-quality syrup from Trader Joe’s. While Consumer Reports ranked Great Value maple syrup as “good/very good,” they ranked Trader Joe’s 100% pure Vermont maple syrup as “excellent.” But, not only is it of better quality, it’s also a bit cheaper. Trader Joe’s Vermont maple syrup is $0.11 cheaper ($1.06) per 1/4 cup than Walmart’s Great Value maple syrup, which is $1.17 per 1/4 cup serving.
7. Printer Ink
I’ll admit that I was guilty of buying printer ink at Walmart because I thought I was getting the best possible deal. But, that couldn’t have been any further from the truth. According to GOBankingRates, Paul Moyer of SavingFreak.com says that the best way to save on printer ink costs is to purchase it online. It’s “always less expensive online,” he said.
Another less expensive option is to take your empty ink cartridges to Costco to get them refilled. They’ll do it for as low as $7.99. That certainly beats buying a $25-$30+ cartridge!
6. Great Value Chunk Light Tuna
This is another item that I have purchased (I still do, to be honest) from Walmart. And, while I have never had any complaints about it, plenty of consumers have. Not only do they say it tastes bad, but some have said it comes packaged with a few extras — like ground-up bone and worm-looking parasites! Others say they’ve found pieces of skin in there as well.
One customer complained that the tuna was very watery: “I was about to make tuna salad, so my husband had already opened 3 cans when he told me it was very watery. I picked up the 4th can and shook it, and it felt like it was a can of soup instead of a can of packed tuna. The amount of tuna in the 4 cans combined was equivalent to less that the contents of 2 cans of name brand tuna.”
Although you won’t have to pay as much for furniture at Walmart as you would at other stores, it’s not worth buying–especially if it’s wood furniture. “Because it’s a lesser quality than other furniture retailers,… wooden furniture from Walmart is more likely to break or deteriorate quicker,” Carson Yarbrough, a savings expert at Offers.com, told GOBankingRates. Instead, consider going to other retailers (e.g. furniture stores, thrift shops, antique dealers, etc.) to purchase better-quality pieces that won’t need to be replaced in a few months.
TIP: Don’t discount cheap furniture from Walmart altogether. It can be a feasible option for college students.
4. Great Value Peanut Butter
This is another item that I purchase on occasion and have yet to have any complaints about it. But, many consumers find that Walmart’s Great Value peanut butter is a bit oily. “It mostly tastes like vegetable oil” and “there is very little peanut butter flavor,” one customer wrote on the company’s website. Not only that but when The Krazy Coupon Lady asked readers to test Walmart’s peanut butter against Jif, 78 percent of the readers said they preferred Jif.
3. Great Value Freezer Bags
Sometimes you get what you pay for, and this couldn’t be any more true than with Great Value freezer bags. And, even though they’re cheaper than brand name bags, you’d be better off splurging a bit. According to one consumer, the bags they purchased were horrible. “Every bag [was] ripped up the edge, almost like they were pulled apart incorrectly. Horrible quality — I’m not sure I will purchase again.”
Another customer referred to them as “the worst bags ever.” “These bags break. I bought them to put ice in because the regular storage bags didn’t seem to last long. They would get small holes in them from me breaking up the ice… sometimes the whole top just comes off. No way these are freezer bags. They must be defects.”
Now, this is one item that will definitely cost less upfront, but will end up costing you more in the long run. Yes, Walmart shoes are cheap, but that’s because “they’re cheaply made,” Perez told GOBankingRates. “Consumers can find better-quality brands for similar prices at T.J.Maxx and Marshalls,” Perez said. And, better quality means they won’t wear down quickly so you won’t have to replace them as often.
TIP: “Accessories like scarves, sunglasses and gloves are good buys from Walmart,” added Perez.
1. Gift Cards
According to the experts, you’re better off getting your gift cards at places like Costco or Sam’s Club, or online at websites like Cash Card and Raise, which all sell gift cards under face value. Or, use an online aggregator to browse several gift card websites at once and compare prices.
TIP: If you’re considering buying a gift card to give to someone else, forget about it. According to Consumer Reports, nearly one-third of consumers never even use the gift cards they receive.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with this list? Leave a comment below.