The Worst Foods From Walmart You Should Never Have in Your Kitchen

Some people love Walmart, others hate it. But most agree the discount store has rock-bottom prices on groceries. Not all Walmart foods are created equal, however. Whether they’re a waste of money or horrifically unhealthy, these are the Walmart items you should steer clear of, including one common grocery staple you should avoid at all costs (page 9).

1. Seafood

Raw salmon fillet

The store’s seafood collection just isn’t on the same level as the chain’s competitors. | OlenaMykhaylova/iStock/Getty Images

While Walmart’s seafood selection has come a long way, but it still has a lot of work to do as far as both quality and sustainability. Fish like salmon is much healthier when it’s wild caught versus farmed, and some Walmart fish offerings are very high in mercury.

Next: If you need to snack on the best, snack elsewhere.

2. Name-brand snacks

Great Value family pack

The cheapest way to go at Walmart: Great Value in bulk. | Walmart.com

You may see name-brand snacks on the shelves for a lower price than you would at your neighborhood grocery store. But the Walmart brand, Great Value, is usually even cheaper, and typically, it’s a better deal all around.

Next: A cautionary tale on healthy habits

3. Vitamins

Vitamin bottles

Amazon may be the best option for vitamin purchases. | Mario Tama/Getty Images

Compare prices before buying vitamins at Walmart, especially gummies like Vitafusion MultiVites. Amazon often beats Walmart in cost and variety — plus, you can have them delivered to your door.

A scary situation with Walmart vitamins and herbal supplements: An investigation led by the New York Attorney General found only 4% of tested products showed DNA from plants listed on the labels. Walmart ranked the worst — compared to Target, GNC, and Walgreens — with many supplement containing DNA from other random plants.

Next: Two foods for the price of one

4. Pizzadilla

The Great Value Pizzadilla

Get this crazy creation at your local Walmart. | Walmart.com

For roughly $7, you can eat a pizza and a quesadilla at the same time. This may be a college student’s dream, but based on the Great Value Pizzadilla’s nutritional info you should avoid it at all costs. One small slice is nearly 400 calories and has 1,770 grams of sodium. The price seems ideal but no Pizzadilla flavor — Mexican, Carne Asada, or Chicken Enchilada — is worth it.

Next: This breakfast deal isn’t so sweet.

5. Maple syrup

Maple syrup in glass bottle

Buy it in bulk and go to Costco. | iStock.com/showcake

The Krazy Coupon Lady, an expert on Costco deals, did the math and found pure maple syrup costs half as much at Costco as it does at Walmart. Not only is maple syrup from Costco cheaper, but it also tastes better. “It’s a no-brainer,” Costco expert Kerry Acker told Today. “It’s 100 percent real maple syrup, and it should last up to 6 months in the refrigerator.”

Next: Don’t “stew” on this price at Walmart.

6. Broth

Tortilla soup

It’s hard to make soup without a little stock. | iStock.com/bbourdages

Not only does Walmart lack broth options other stores provide (organic, vegetarian, etc.), but its broth products also cost more than Aldi’s. Next time you make a big pot of stew or soup, look to Kroger for the broadest selection or Aldi for the cheapest prices (by about 10%). Then, use a frequent shopper card to drive down the price even more.

Next: Your health is at risk with this breakfast item.

7. Honey Smacks Cereal

Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal

Walmart has an extensive cereal aisle, including Honey Smacks. | CBS DFW via Youtube

It doesn’t matter how much Honey Smacks cereal costs; just don’t buy it. In June 2018, the FDA announced a multi-state outbreak of salmonella linked to the sweetened, puffed cereal sold at Walmart stores. So far 71 people across 31 states have reported the illness, with 24 consumers being hospitalized. The FDA advises you throw away any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, regardless of box size or distribution date, purchased from Walmart.

Next: Save this purchase for Costco, too.

8. Vanilla extract

vanilla extract in a bottle and pods

Costco has this baking staple for less. | fermate/Getty Images

The Krazy Coupon Lady found that vanilla extract costs $0.62 at Costco versus $1.84 at Walmart. A 16-ounce bottle from the big-box store will last you a long time and many believe the quality is far better than Walmart’s.

Next: Where’s the beef? Not here.

9. Ground beef

ground beef in a bowl

Walmart beef is likely low in quality and high in price. | iStock/Getty Images

Aside from the fact that it may not be the best quality, Walmart’s ground beef usually isn’t a good deal. Compare it to other discounted stores in your area, like Aldi, who beat out Walmart’s prices on ground beef by 15%. Aldi also offers more affordable options on ground beef and other meats with “no added hormones, antibiotics, animal byproducts, or other additives,” according to AOL.

Next: Don’t eat fresh here.

10. Fresh produce

Lemons, limes, and oranges at Walmart

Fresh fruit at Walmart isn’t so fresh. | Robyn Beck/AFP/GettyImages

Unfortunately, Walmart produce often isn’t the best — it’s usually not fresh or local. Get your fruits and veggies at your neighborhood grocery store or farmers market, and save your Walmart budget for other things.

Next: Got what, now?

11. Organic milk

Raw Milk

You might as well buy your organic milk at other grocery chains. | Dash_med/iStock/Getty Images

Most Walmarts carry organic milk, but not for a lower cost than you’ll find anywhere else. In fact, it’s more expensive than organic milk from Trader Joe’s and even Whole Foods.

Next: Think before you make your next PB&J.

12. Peanut butter

Healthy oat bran bagel spread with creamy peanut butter.

This pantry staple can be found cheaper elsewhere. | iStock.com/rojoimages

There’s nothing wrong with getting your peanut butter at Walmart, but don’t think you’re getting a good deal. Check the competition and you’ll usually find other grocery stores (even Target) that will sell it cheaper.

Next: Go big or go home with this product.

13. Coffee

Cup of coffee

Bargain brands may have better pricing at other grocery chains. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

When it comes to coffee, buy carefully at Walmart. Bargain brands like Folger’s are often sold elsewhere for less. That being said, sometimes you can find deals on bigger brands like Starbucks.

Next: Put your “dough” to better use than buying this item.

14. Baking ingredients

walmart employee

Watch out for the baking aisle. | Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Keep walking past the baking aisle at Walmart. Experts say everything from flour to baking soda — especially if you want the name-brand versions — is better purchased elsewhere. According to Brent Shelton of FatWallet, go for the store-brand versions if you must buy your sugar, salt, or other baking ingredients at Walmart. And make sure to buy them in bulk.

Next: Don’t go nuts while shopping at Walmart.

15. Nuts

assorted nuts

Trader Joe’s beats Walmart in pricing on this food item. | Margouillatphotos/iStock/Getty Images

Trader Joe’s and Costco beat Walmart in terms of price on this one. Nuts are nutritious, but if you get them at Walmart, you’ll spend more than you should. Have a Costco membership? “A 24-ounce bag of lovely Kirkland organic pine nuts are a steal at around $24,” according to Today, “While a 3-pound bag of Kirkland almonds costs $13.” Both are better deals than Walmart’s nuts.

Next: A different way to eat your meals … that’s still a waste.

16. Restaurant gift cards

Olive Garden breadsticks

Who doesn’t love Olive Garden breadsticks?| Olive Garden via Instagram

Many shopping sites caution against buying restaurant gift cards at Walmart. They sell at full price, which seems reasonable until you do a little digging. For example, if you want a $50 Olive Garden gift card, you’ll pay $50 at Walmart. But on other sites, like Gift Card Granny, you can find discounted $50 gift cards for closer to $40 (with free shipping).

Next: Check those expiration dates.

17. Foods with a short shelf life

A Walmart employee takes bread off a pan.

Bread goes bad fast. | Robyn Beck/AFP/GettyImages

According to Michael Catania, consumer savings expert and co-founder of PromotionCode.org, foods with shorter shelf lives tend to cost more at Walmart than they’re worth. And if you’re going to buy something that expires in a few days, you’re better off going to a place like Trader Joe’s, which typically has a better selection.

Next: Then double check the expiration date.

18. Foods with a long shelf life.

tuna fish in bowl

Canned foods, like tuna, may say that they’re still fresh, but could expire quickly. | Amarita/iStock/Getty Images

Catania also says you should avoid food with an especially long shelf life. Although it might technically be “good,” it may go stale before you buy it. “Once the cereal goes stale and you throw it away, you’ve also thrown away the initial savings,” he said.

Next: Something you should buy at Walmart

19. Great news for wine lovers

Red and white wine

Like Trader Joe’s, Walmart offers some great wine deals. TSchon/iStock/Getty Images

 Do you love your vino? Great news: Walmart has an award-winning red wine that costs less than $7 per bottle. Cheers!

Next: Here’s how to get more savvy about Walmart shopping.

20. How to find the best deals

WalMart

You may need to visit multiple chains to get the best price. | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

It’s tempting to get all your grocery items at Walmart for the convenience — and at first glance, they all do appear cheaper. But first, do your research by reading blogs dedicated to deals, like the afore-mentioned Krazy Coupon Lady and The Penny Hoarder.

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