It’s a common practice to be skeptical of Walmart. One of the largest retailers in the United States is also the home to some shady business practices, turmoil amidst store closings and layoffs, and some less-than-stellar products. However, if you’re shopping on a budget and need to save money on household goods, it can also be one of the best places to do so.
We know that Walmart furniture isn’t built to become the next family heirloom, and that you’re better off buying an HDTV online or at Best Buy instead of this big-box store. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the other potential savings the store has to offer. After all, millions of people shop at Walmart everyday. Even if you purchase most of your groceries and clothing at other locations, there are deals to be had if you look in the right places.
We took a look at some of those items, and compared prices with places like Amazon, Target, and other big-box stores. In these nine cases, Walmart comes out on top …
1. Baby products
Having a baby can put a serious strain on your previous budget, thanks to the miniature-sized everything that’s now required. You might not want to purchase everything here, but the reality is that your bundle of joy will be growing at a rapid pace for several years. Your stash of newborn onesies and teensy socks are just going to be misplaced, spit up on, or otherwise put through the wringer, no matter where you buy them from. For the basics, you’ll save some cash if you buy them at Walmart.
According to Cheapism, the store continues to beat out Amazon and Diapers.com, particularly if you buy items like diapers and wipes in bulk. A 216-pack of Pampers infant diapers sells for $39.97 at Walmart, compared to $43.58 on sale at Diapers.com and $58.99 on Amazon.
2. School supplies
Staples might have great back-to-school sales, but Walmart can’t be beat on notepads, pens, and pencils all year round. As The Krazy Coupon Lady documents, this is especially true for supplies geared toward elementary students. One-subject notebooks can be as low as $0.17, while glue sticks sell for just five cents. Folders, composition books, and kid-friendly scissors can all be bought for less than a dollar, as can large bottles of Elmer’s glue and Crayola markers for all those book report projects they’re sure to have throughout the year. For less than $5, you’re likely to cross everything off that dreaded back-to-school list you got in the mail.
3. Name-brand snacks
Does your kid refuse to eat any cereal besides the one that has Mr. Lucky Charm himself on the front? Will he only eat his carrots if bribed with a Fruit Roll-Up? If you’re looking to save money on name-brand foods from brands like General Mills, Quaker, and Kellogg’s, Walmart is still one of your best options. Discount stores like Aldi are great for slashing your grocery bills, but they rely on their store brands to do so. If you’re looking for national brands, Walmart has your back — often for a steeper discount than your regional grocery chain.
It might be a random note, but Walmart consistently beats prices for these popular building blocks compared to other toy retailers, Slickdeal.com’s Regina Novickis told GO Banking Rates. At Slickdeals, members post deals online, with the best of the bargains getting featured on the home page. “Over the past year, our deal community of 9 million has front-paged more Legos deals from Walmart than any other merchant, including Target and Toys ‘R’ Us,” Novickis said.
5. Coffee and tea
As CBS reports, Walmart has increased its efforts over the past several years to bring in more products that are fair-trade and environmentally friendly. You can now find fair-trade options at the retailer for a similar price as big-label brands. While most grocery stores rarely run sales on our caffeine staples, the prices are often cheaper at Walmart than your regional grocery chain. “For example, my favorite brands of coffee and tea are both 27 percent less at Walmart,” Stephanie Nelson, savings expert at CouponMom.com, told GO Banking Rates. In addition, Walmart accepts coupons for those items, making them even cheaper.
6. Laundry detergent
Along with its fair-trade efforts, Walmart has also begun to make small strides in reducing its carbon footprint — and helping shoppers to do the same. Several years ago, the chain began only carrying concentrated laundry detergents, which use 50% less packaging and reduces the amount of fuel used for shipping as well. Environmental concerns aside, the prices often can’t be beat, either.
“You’ll find the lowest prices at Walmart for name-brand laundry detergent when comparing prices at both brick-and-mortar and online retailers,” said Jon Lal, CEO of BeFrugal.com. The store will occasionally be beat when Amazon has a sale on detergents, but otherwise you’re likely to save the most money at Walmart — even if you’re splurging for Tide. A mega-size 150 fluid ounces of Tide (for 96 loads) sells for $17.99 at Walmart, compared to $33.99 on Amazon.
7. Photo prints
Printing out memories on 4×6 photo prints is consistently the cheapest at Walmart. If you order online and have them shipped to your home, prints are as cheap as $0.09 each. Even ordering prints for the one-hour pick-up option are often cheaper than at Walgreens, CVS, and other drugstores. You might have more options for your holiday cards at online sites like Shutterfly, but basic prints on those sites start at $0.15 or more. When you start ordering photos from a big trip or special event, a large number of prints can equal significant savings if you order them at Walmart.
8. Disposable razors
Did you forget your razor at home while on vacation? Find the nearest Walmart for a pack of name-brand disposable razors at the best price. In some cases, Walmart’s deals can be 50% less than drugstore prices, Coupons.com’s Jeannette Pavini reports. Amazon is able to match the price of Gillette’s 4-pack of disposable women’s razors of $5.37 at Walmart, but it’s significantly cheaper than CVS’s price of $7.99.
Cheapism reports that you can also find other shaving supplies for less at Walmart, including blades or electric razors.
9. Some beauty products
It’s safe to say that stores like Sephora and Lush are going to have several tiers of beauty products above what Walmart offers. However, if you’re looking to try contouring for the first time or pick a daring shade of eyeshadow without spending a fortune first, the store provides quality products that won’t break the bank. Walmart offers products designed by model Kate Moss and actress Drew Barrymore, along with Kim Kardashian’s hairspray — minus the tab at one of the Kardashian’s Dash boutiques. If you’re itching to try a new look, Glamour provides the details on some of the items you can purchase from the retailer.