Walmart is oftentimes our go-to for all things grocery; with its impressively low prices, it can be hard to resist picking up just about everything there during your shopping trip. However, there are some items that you probably shouldn’t put in your cart during your next Walmart visit — find out which with this list of 10 Things NOT To Buy at Walmart Right Now!
10. Organic Produce
It’s hard not to want to do all your grocery shopping at Walmart, considering the department store manages to provide its customers with such convenient and tempting deals. However, the produce section at Walmart definitely leaves something to be desired, both in terms of the prices of products and the quality of the fruits and veggies themselves. You might think that Walmart’s new campaign of selling fresh, organic, and in some cases locally-grown produce may sweeten the deal, but this only gives America’s favorite superstore the excuse to charge a pretty hefty premium for no pesticides or hormones in the food they’re selling you. In most supermarkets, organic food does tend to cost more, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise — except for the fact that Walmart loves to mark down just about everything – except their produce aisle. For the quality you’re getting (which has been described by customers online as being mediocre at best), you’d be better off choosing Trader Joe’s or Aldi for cheap and organic foods. Better yet, you can support another business and buy your fruits and vegetables from a local farm or orchard store in your area, where you can probably find the same produce — or better — for a lot less than what Walmart is charging. That way, you can help out some small businesses and be confident about where your food is coming from without paying a small fortune for your organic groceries.
9. Jumbo Raw Shrimp
Walmart’s super-cheap bagged shrimp may be tempting at first, but there’s a bit of a dark story behind that ridiculously inexpensive price tag. If you take a closer look at the country of origin listed on the back of the bag, you’ll likely find that these cheap crustaceans originated in Thailand — where shrimp farming is notoriously linked to the exploitation of workers, including child labor. These workers are paid extremely low wages and are often treated as commodities by their overseers, which is why the product they produce costs so little. If that wasn’t bad enough, shrimp farmed in Asia and Central America are also raised in unsanitary conditions and given antibiotics. These hormones oftentimes carry unsafe chemicals that may leave residue in the shrimps’ bodies, and can cause potential health concerns if consumed. Though several news articles have been published about this concerning topic, Walmart continues to carry this inexpensive item in their stores (and, as a result, is essentially turning a blind eye to the whole ethics part of this debacle.) If your budget allows, it’d be a much better idea to pay a few extra dollars for shrimp that have been raised in better conditions; that way, you’ll be getting a higher-quality product without contributing to the exploitation of workers overseas. It’s important to keep the origins of your food in mind when shopping at any cheap department store; those good deals have to come from somewhere, and sometimes it might just be at the expense of another human being’s livelihood.
8. Great Value Big Burly Breakfast Sandwich
During a time when we’ve been staying indoors as much as possible, it’s completely understandable to want some comfort food to cope with the woes of quarantine — however, the Great Value Big Burly Breakfast Sandwich is just way too much, even on the gloomiest of mornings. The sandwich contains a whopping half pound of bacon on top of fried eggs that have been smothered in highly-processed American cheese, all shoved between two thick slices of cinnamon French toast. This sounds pretty mouthwatering, but starting off your morning with the Big Burly Breakfast Sandwich might as well be like playing Russian Roulette with your arteries. This breakfast beast has a whopping 1200 milligrams of sodium, which uses up more than half your daily intake. Even worse, it has 7 grams of saturated fat, which is once again wasting half your daily intake on your first meal of the day. With a nutrition label as shocking as this one, you’d probably be better off eating literally anything else to start your day. Walmart may not be the place to buy the healthiest foods around, but they definitely have better breakfast options than the Great Value Big Burly Breakfast Sandwich. For the sake of your lunch and dinner (and your cardiovascular health), you should probably pick something with a more modest sodium and fat content to grab for breakfast.
7. Great Value Mac and Cheese
Boxed mac and cheese has become one of the most hotly debated topics in the world of inexpensive meals, among kids and grown-ups alike. Although you could make a case defending just about any boxed mac and cheese, the Great Value mac just doesn’t seem to hold its own against any other brand. Customers report Walmart’s take on what is supposed to be a classic inexpensive meal as having a weird and sour taste, with some even claiming that it tasted like sawdust — yikes. Although fans of boxed mac and cheese are all too familiar with that slightly chemical taste that comes with eating cheap meals, no one can justify a sour, sawdusty flavor. Factor in the radioactive orange color that tastes completely artificial instead of cheesy, and you have a new level of bad mac and cheese, making the Great Value Mac and Cheese a very disappointing buy for hungry college students and kids alike. If you can pay the extra money, you’re much better off getting the Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese, which customers describe as tasting worlds better than its competitors. Though it may be one of the more pricey options in terms of quick meals, the cheesiness and lack of artificial flavors in Annie’s mac make it completely worth a dollar or so more than its Great Value competitor. Although Great Value can be a good generic option if you’re looking to cut your grocery bill in half, save yourself the disappointment and opt for another boxed mac brand.
6. Rotisserie Chicken
Though Walmart’s rotisserie chickens are temptingly cheap, their price does not excuse their subpar flavor. Walmart chickens cost the same at Costco — around five dollars — but weigh up to two pounds less than their wholesale competitor’s. Not only that, but numerous online sources cite that Costco’s chickens taste a whole lot better than Walmart’s, with one particularly scathing review describing the taste of Walmart’s rotisserie birds as “burnt, salty meat.” In contrast, Costco has gained a notorious fanbase for their chickens, with their inexpensive and delicious rotisserie being mentioned all over websites like Facebook and Reddit. With Costco’s devotion to keeping their chickens fresh, it comes as no surprise that they’ve gained a cult following; by contrast, some people say that Walmart will keep their chickens out for more than two hours before selling them, making them taste dry and stale despite their high sodium content. Although Costco has proven that it’s completely possible to make a cheap chicken taste delicious, Walmart has yet to follow in their footsteps, making their rotisserie taste pretty awful by comparison. If you’re still looking to buy chicken from Walmart, get it raw and cook it at home — chances are, it’ll taste better that way.
You might think that gummy vitamins are a pretty safe bet to buy at Walmart, but it’s probably better to skip looking for supplements at this major department store. When pitted against other retailers that also sell vitamins and supplements — such as GNC, Target, and Walgreens — Walmart ranked last, likely because of the deceiving packaging of vitamins often sold at Walmart. Though the packages of vitamins at Walmart appear to contain certain natural ingredients from specific plants, they weren’t exactly as advertised. Investigations led by the New York Attorney General exposed that many of Walmart’s supplements contained DNA from plants that weren’t even listed on the label, with a marginal 4% of the supplements actually matching what was written on the package. This is definitely concerning for people who use supplements regularly, and probably reason enough to stay away from Walmart if you’re looking for safe, reliable vitamins. However, cost seems to factor in, too; despite Walmart claiming to have the best prices, their vitamins are a bit pricier when compared to some others on the market. Walmart also doesn’t have much variety in their selection, which can be tough if you’re looking for a specific vitamin or supplement. You’re likely to find a wider range of reliable and inexpensive options on Amazon, where you can also opt for auto-renewal and save a few extra bucks.
4. Bargain Coffee Brands
It’s understandable that some people may not be loyal to one coffee brand, but if you’re looking for the best price for bargain coffee, you won’t find it at Walmart. Value brands like Folgers and Maxwell House can often be found elsewhere for cheaper, meaning that you won’t be getting the best deal possible if you shop for it at Walmart. Since bargain brands are inexpensive to begin with, it makes sense that Walmart wouldn’t mark them down as much as they tend to do with their other food and drink items, allowing them to pocket a bit more money from what they’re selling. If you’re a fan of bargain brands, you can find them at better prices on Amazon or at other discount stores like Aldi to give you the most bang for your buck. However, people who enjoy drinking from high-end coffee brands can definitely look to Walmart for some great deals; with brands like Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee often getting marked down from their originally expensive price points, coffee junkies who enjoy a particular blend can get a great deal on their favorite brands. Walmart has a pretty big coffee selection to choose from, so you’re likely to find what you’re looking for if you’re hunting down something specific. All in all, coffee at Walmart is pretty hit-or-miss when it comes to getting the best deal, so be sure to check their website before shopping to make sure you’re getting your caffeine fix at the best price possible!
3. Maple Syrup
Whether you’re pouring it on waffles or pancakes or slipping a bit into your coffee, maple syrup is an integral part of breakfast. With how often you use it as a topping, it can get pretty expensive to buy authentic maple syrup — especially if you’re getting it at Walmart. With some Walmart locations charging up to 56 cents per fluid ounce of maple syrup, it can be hard to justify spending that kind of money on something that you or your children are bound to pour on top of any breakfast food with reckless abandon. If you’re okay with resorting to the fake stuff, Walmart also carries artificial maple syrup, but any breakfast food fan can agree that real maple syrup tastes a million times better. As it turns out, you can find great deals on tree-tapped maple syrup in other stores, with Costco being the most reasonably-priced of the bunch. Costco’s authentic maple syrup only costs around 35 cents per fluid ounce — over 20 cents less than Walmart’s! Costco also sells their maple syrup by the gallon, which is great if you have a lot of kids, or if you’re just guilty of pouring way too much syrup on your waffles every morning. Though real maple syrup will always be a bit pricier than its artificial counterparts, it feels good to know you can make the investment while saving as much as possible.
2. Organic Milk
Milk is something that just about every household has in their fridge, but you’re probably not going to find any jaw-dropping deals if you’re buying organic milk from Walmart. Though buying organic milk is a great way to get great-tasting milk without all the added chemicals and hormones, it also comes at a higher price than regular milk due to the expenses involved in raising dairy cows. From keeping fewer cows in pastures to milking them at natural production levels, it’s more expensive for farms to produce organic milk, which is why consumers often get charged a premium for it. This is to be expected at most grocery stores, but Walmart’s refusal to mark down their organic milk selection stands out from the rest. If you’re looking to buy organic, check out stores like Aldi or Trader Joe’s, both of which regularly one-up Walmart by charging up to thirty cents less per half-gallon. If that wasn’t enough, even the infamously expensive Wholefoods manages to beat Walmart’s prices every now and again; downright embarrassing for Walmart, especially when Wholefoods has established a reputation for being completely ridiculous with its pricing. When a company often nicknamed by consumers as “Whole Paycheck” is offering better deals than you in the dairy aisle, it’s time to step up!
1. Great Value Snack Cakes
No one is saying that snack cakes were five-star gourmet foods to begin with, and with the amount of unrecognizable ingredients packed into the name brands already, it should come as no surprise that the generic versions of these late-night guilty pleasures are even more questionable. Though a visit from Little Debbie can be a blessing after a breakup or a hard day, Walmart’s Great Value take on what’s supposed to be a saccharine snack has been described by customers as downright nightmarish. When customers are comparing the taste of what’s supposed to be a moist sponge cake to plasticy sand, you know you’ve done something completely wrong. While Walmart’s generic version of Hostess Twinkies have been dubbed as completely nauseating by the unfortunate souls who dared to consume them, the Great Value Brownies are thought of as being even worse. Priced within the ballpark of three dollars, they’re temptingly cheap, but shouldn’t be purchased unless you intend on testing your stomach’s endurance. With one customer comparing them to Play-Doh and another awarding them the lofty title as the worst thing they’ve ever eaten, it’s a wonder that Walmart still manages to keep these on their shelves. Snack cakes are pretty cheap to begin with, so you’re probably better off buying the brand name to start with before opting for this horrific alternative.