Some people love Walmart, some people hate Walmart — but everyone can agree that their prices are often better than any other store, and that includes the grocery department. If your local Walmart carries groceries, as many do, you’ve probably noticed their rock bottom prices.
But not all Walmart foods are created equal. Whether it’s because they’re unhealthy, outdated or just plain worthless, some Walmart foods just aren’t worth the money you’ll save. These are the items you should make sure to steer clear of.
Name brand snacks
You’ll probably see name brand snacks on the shelves for a lower price than you will at your neighborhood grocery store. But Walmart brand (Great Value) are usually even cheaper, and typically, they’re a better deal all-around.
Next: Don’t eat fresh here.
Unfortunately, Walmart produce often isn’t the best — it’s usually not very 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: Check those expiration dates.
Foods with a short shelf life …
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.
… or foods with a long shelf life.
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: Where’s the beef? Not here.
Aside from the fact that it may not be the best quality, getting your ground beef from Walmart usually isn’t a very good deal. Compare it to other discounted stores in your area, like Aldi.
Next: Got what, now?
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: Don’t go nuts.
This is another department where Trader Joe’s beats Walmart in terms of price. Nuts are a nutritious snack, but if you get them at Walmart, you’re spending more than you should.
Next: Think before you make your next PB&J.
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 (and even Target) will sell it cheaper.
Next: Go big or go home with this product.
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: This isn’t a food, but it’s still a good cautionary tale.
Compare prices before buying vitamins at Walmart, especially gummies like Vitafusion MultiVites. Amazon often beats Walmart in both cost and variety — plus, you can have them delivered to your door.
Next: It’s worth your time and health to splurge on this elsewhere.
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 items they sell are very high in mercury.
Next: This deal isn’t very sweet.
In this case, it’s simply better to buy in bulk. The Krazy Coupon Lady, who’s an expert on Costco deals, did the math and found that pure maple syrup costs half as much at Costco as it does at Walmart.
Next: Save this purchase for Costco as well.
Some baking staples, like flour and sugar, are definitely good deals at Walmart. But the Krazy Coupon Lady also found that vanilla extract costs $0.62 at Costco versus $1.84 at Walmart.
Next: Here’s something you should buy at Walmart.
Great news for wine lovers
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.
How to find the best deals
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.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!