A lot can be said about Walmart. It’s a huge chain. It has got everything under one roof. Prices are not that high compared to other stores. But a lot can be said against it as well. But rather than joining the chorus of voices exposing the hidden secrets about Walmart we’ll focus instead on food. In particular, the types of foods you should never ever buy at Walmart. Why food? Because unlike other cheap or defective products you could get there, food has the added disadvantage of causing serious health problems.
10. Ground Beef
We start with the most obvious choice. Ground beef. Why ground beef? Well, because most people flock to the meat section at Walmart drawn by the cheap prices. But as we’ll know more and more through this article, when it comes to food, cheap is something you should avoid at all costs. The real problem here is that the Walmart ground beef isn’t really that cheap. Compared to other discounted stores, Walmart ground beef sells on average at 15 percent higher price tag than in other stores. But if it was just the slight price increase then we wouldn’t be talking about it here. It’s actually more serious than that. The beef you get here is not of the best quality. If you care about your health and what you put in your mouth you’d steer clear from ground beef with added hormones, antibiotics, and other animal byproducts. Needless to say, the cattle that provide the meat weren’t raised in the healthiest of conditions. And since ground beef is just small flakes of beef, there’s no guarantee that you won’t find high concentrations of fat and soft tissues in the ground beef. So you might think you’re getting a good deal here, but actually, you’re not.
There’s an open secret that all retail chains embrace and follow. Almost on a daily basis, prices of goods tend to change. Some items go up while others get slashed. You’ll know about this if you follow their ads in the printed media and online. But while the grocery stores like Walmart will advertise the slashed prices and discounts, the other items that get a temporary spike remain hidden like a nasty surprise. In fact, most likely you won’t even know you paid extra for the eggs because all you think of is how you got the milk cheap. And that’s how the chain can afford to cut prices while still making a profit. The few cents that go off one item get added to another item. What has this got to do with coffee, you ask? Well, coffee in Walmart is one of those consumer products that the retailer seems to treat as a luxury item. Big brands of coffee like Folger almost always sell for higher prices than in other chains. So it seems it’s the store’s policy to always pile up the cents and sometimes bucks on branded coffee while they cut prices on over-ripe bananas and fresh produce which is way beyond its fresh days. Now, remember this price juggling process because we’ll meet it more often in the coming items.
8. Baking Ingredients
We mentioned the price juggling game that grocery stores love to play with their customers. But there’s also another game played out in the open under our very eyes. It’s the store-branded game. Walmart, like many other stores, likes to sell various items under its own brand. They’re usually cheaper than big brands and with that price cut comes a downgrade in quality. Because something has to give. Now the problem here is that the store puts itself in competition with all the other, more famous, brands it puts on its own shelves. And how to convince the customer to buy the Walmart branded flour or sugar not that other more popular one? You pile up the cents and bucks on the price tag of that branded product. This is why you should avoid the baking aisle at Walmart. All the branded baking ingredients like sugar, flour, salt, or even baking powder are more expensive than in other grocery stores. But what if you’re already in Walmart and you need ingredients to bake that pie or make that cake? Well, your best option is to buy the store-branded products and to buy them in bulk. That way you can really save some serious money.
7. Low-cost Pork
Now here’s something that sells for less at Walmart than at other stores. We’re talking about low-cost pork. Yet you should never buy it at Walmart and we’re about to tell you why. But first, we need to lay out some facts about how business is done. When you as a customer pay less for a product this means someone else needs to shoulder that loss. It can be the store in the price-juggling game we already talked about, or it could be someone else. But in the case of low-cost pork, it is always low-cost. That means prices don’t change there. It is always cheap no matter the day of the week or the time of the day. And it can’t be that Walmart is selling at a loss here. So what gives? Well, it turns out that the farmers are the ones who have to carry the price cut. Since Walmart is the retailer giant it is with control over a huge chunk of the market, it can lay its own terms on the pork producers. Not only does Walmart set the prices it buys the pork at, but it also sets the quantity. Now you might say, why don’t those farmers sell to someone else? The thing is, there’s no one else willing to buy the same quantities Walmart buys. So as a farmer, you either sell to Walmart or you don’t sell at all. And since Walmart wants to keep the customers happy with low-cost pork, the farmers end up footing that bill.
6. Peanut Butter
Who doesn’t like peanut butter? Only those who are allergic to the stuff, I’m guessing. But for the ones who find it delicious and can’t possibly think of their life without it, peanut butter is a staple of every pantry. So why shouldn’t you buy it from Walmart? It has less to do with the quality as the price tag. Branded peanut butter is good everywhere. But some retailers sell them at higher prices than others. This applies to Walmart. For some reason, Walmart considers peanut butter one of those luxury consumer products that should be sold at a higher markup. Maybe it’s because of its popularity. When consumers like a product and clamor over it, this is a good sign for the retailer to add a few cents to the price tag. Still, costumers buy it, then the price goes up a little more. It’s not a big price hike that you as a customer would notice. But it still adds up to your grocery bill. Even chains known for their high prices like Target, sell peanut butter for less. So to save yourself a few bucks every week, take peanut butter off your grocery list when you head to Walmart.
Stew is a favorite dish for everyone. It doesn’t trigger allergic reactions like peanut butter and is a light side dish no matter the season or weather conditions. If it’s snowing outside, a hot bowl of broth will warm your core and get you all cozy. When it’s too hot and you don’t feel like eating but still have to, a refreshing bowl of stew will set you right. So what’s wrong with Walmart broth? Lack of options is one good reason to look elsewhere. You don’t get organic varieties, vegan options, or different flavors. This limited list doesn’t inspire much appetite to make broth as much as you should. You can’t have tomato soup all the time. Or feast on mushroom chicken broth every time you crave a bowl of the stuff. Variety is the key to a good and healthy appetite. Other grocery chains offer a wide variety of options when it comes to broth stocks. This is especially true of the branded stew like Kroger. In addition, Walmart sells stew at higher prices. It’s not clear why. Maybe it’s the price you have to pay to shop in a popular retail chain. But is it really worth it?
4. Maple Syrup
Before you jump in and say that maple syrup is inherently expensive and that you don’t care about the price. You just love the stuff so much you would pay for it any asking price. And it’s true, real maple syrup is as expensive as molten gold. And for a good reason too. The good stuff can turn a bland and tasteless pancake into a real meal that melts in your mouth and ignites fireworks in your brain. So why wouldn’t you give out your first born for a bottle of original maple syrup from Walmart? Well, for one thing, the price is in cash and customers’ babies are not a recognized currency at Walmart or anywhere else. Secondly, not only does Walmart sell maple syrup at a high markup, the stuff doesn’t even taste good. And that one is easy to verify for yourself. The next time you need to buy a bottle of maple syrup head over to Costco. The maple syrup not only sells at almost half the price, it also tastes better. Go ahead and dip your finger in there. Now taste it. Doesn’t it taste better than the Walmart product? Now you can explore other chains and find out which one has the best maple syrup. It’s a well-worth-it quest.
3. Great Value Pizzadilla
Pizza is not the healthiest of foods. We know, it’s delicious and you can’t get enough of it. It still is an unhealthy food choice. But if pizza is unhealthy, wait till you hear about Walmart’s Great Value Pizzadilla. It’s a concoction made in the deepest dungeons of the grocery chain and being healthy is the least of its concerns. Even a small slice of the thing has more calories than you’d want to consume. Let me demonstrate. You know how sodium is bad for you as a cardiologist would tell you. One slice of Pizzadilla has 1,770 grams of sodium. That’s about 70 percent of the recommended daily intake of sodium. And that’s just one slice. By the time you finish up the whole package, your heart is about to explode while your vital organs are on code red. And we still haven’t talked about the calorie count yet. One slice will pump 400 calories into your system. And we know what you’re thinking. The thing only costs $7. It’s cheap and combines two of your favorite foods, pizza, and quesadilla. It also comes in various flavors. Mexican, Carne Asada, or Chicken Enchilada. So why should you say no to that cheap deliciousness? Go back to the beginning of this paragraph and see if it’s worth sacrificing your health for.
Vitamins are of dubious benefit. Ask any health expert and they’d confirm this statement. Rather than having a vitamin pill, you’d do yourself and your health a whole lot more by increasing your intake of vegetables and fruits. Guess what? You’ll get a healthy dose of vitamins without paying an arm and a leg for it. Fresh veggies and fruit are generally less expensive than a bottle of packaged vitamin capsules. That doesn’t mean that bottled vitamins are totally useless. Sometimes you need certain vitamins that you can’t get naturally from food. Vitamin D, for example, is one such vitamin that doesn’t come from food sources. You can only get it from the sun. So what’s wrong with vitamins in Walmart? They’re useless. Seriously, they have no trace amounts of the ingredients declared on the labels. A study found that only 4 percent of the ingredients were actually there. So what’s the remaining 96 percent then? Who knows. Maybe it’s a placebo. At least we hope it’s some harmless component like flour or something. The point is, avoid these vitamins and supplements and turn your shopping cart to the fresh produce section for a healthy dose of fruits and veggies.
Generally speaking, seafood is less healthy than it used to be. Blame on it ocean pollution and the dumping of industrial waste in the oceans. Of particular interest are the high level of mercury in fish and other types of seafood. Even fish oil isn’t safe anymore. This applies to farmed fish as well. Wild salmon is considered healthier than salmon grown in farms. Walmart has always had a problem with its fresh produce sections. They’re understaffed and the quality of the product is not up to snuff. Now to be fair, Walmart has done a great deal to improve the quality of the products and the prices. But there’s still more that needs to be done to bring the chain on the same level as the competition. The fish that sells at Walmart has a higher concentration of mercury than at other chains. It might have to do with the seafood suppliers the chain contracts. But whatever the reason, you should shop for seafood somewhere else until Walmart addresses this crucial problem.