At Walmart, you can practically find anything you’re looking for, all for really low prices. From outdoor gear to organic food, the aisles are endless. The store is designed to make you “Save money and live better,” and while the “save money” part is pretty accurate, if you want to live better, there are certain things that are best to avoid. Here are 10 Walmart Foods You Should Absolutely NEVER BUY (Part 3).
10. Great Value Oreos
Ah, Oreos. Arguably one of the world’s best cookies. Iconic not only for its perfect balance of chocolate wafers and cream filling, but for the ever-popular twist and lick method of eating them, and the indescribable joy you get when you dunk one in your glass of milk. Basically, Oreos are it. It should then only make sense for Walmart’s Great Value version, the Twist and Shout cookies, to come at least a little close to the real deal, even though they have really big shoes to fill. However, it looks like the only thing it pays homage to is the eating method. Other than that, these coolies are just a bad replica of a good thing. For many people, this Oreo rip-off shouldn’t even be compared to the real cookie – they don’t measure up. In a Krazy Koupon Lady 2018 online taste test, the name brand and the Walmart brand faced off to find out which one was the best. Needless to say, Oreos won with flying colors. They were said to be “the clear winner in look, texture, and taste” when matched up against the Twist and Shout impostors. Another reviewer on Youtube, Food Snot, has dared to compare the Great Value ones to “crunchy brown cardboard.” He even went as far as saying that yes, these cookies will have you shouting, but “you’re going to be shouting ‘give me an Oreo!” Not a very friendly review, but probably the most honest one out there. These cookies might be a great value for the price, but is it really worth compromising the taste? Are they even worthy of the milk they’re being dunked in?
9. Generic Cereal
When you start your morning with a bowl of your favorite cereal, you know it’s going to be a good day. It’s quick, convenient, and overall an easy way to fill you up. It’s all about the comfort and the good taste that cereal brings. Notice how we said “good taste” and not tasteless? Well, if you get the generic cereals at Walmart, you will probably get the latter. It’s a known fact that the original brand is almost always better than a knock-off version, but in the case of cereal, it couldn’t be more true. Business Insider compared four different name-brand cereals with Walmart’s Great Value equivalents in order to find out once and for all who does it best. Unsurprisingly, in no case did they find that the Great Value brand even came close to outperforming the original. The experiment included Apple Jacks versus Apple Blasts, Honey Bunches of Oats versus Almond Crunchy Honey Oats, Lucky Charms versus Magic Treasures, and Cinnamon Life versus Cinnamon Crunchy Oat Squares. In general, they all have a similar appearance, but the textures and flavors don’t even come close to matching up. The generics are usually way more sugary, resulting in a much sweeter cereal. If that’s what you’re after – an extra sugar rush – then saving that $1 might be worth it. However, if you like your cereal with a normal amount of sugar, and a familiar taste and texture, then you’re better off with the real ones.
There is something foodies of this world ought to know, and that is that Kool-Aid pickles are a thing. Yes, pickles brined in a sugary fruit punch in giant unrefrigerated jars have been spotted at the finest gas stations and convenience stores of the Mississippi Delta. Right there next to the pickled eggs and pigs’ feet. The very unusual combination seems to have brought forth a lot of mixed feelings. Some people claim that while the sweet and sour taste can take you by surprise at first, it soon becomes surprisingly pleasant. While others are simply appalled by the idea of sugar-soaked, candy-flavored dill pickles. Let’s just say they’re certainly not for everyone. And we can’t blame Walmart for trying to stay on top of trends by coming up with their very own version called Topickles. Clever name, but clever flavor? Not so much. The reaction hasn’t exactly been the most favorable – at least, not as favorable as Walmart would’ve expected. The words most commonly used to describe these pickles are probably “hideous” and “stomach-churning.” A pretty accurate description, to be honest. According to The Impulsive Buy: “The combination of lukewarm sugar water, wilting cucumbers, and a ton of vinegar results in a scent comparable to rotten produce doused in Kool-Aid… a sickly sweet odor that keeps alternating between hummingbird nectar and a compost heap.” So, yea, not exactly the kind of endorsement that makes a product fly off the shelves.
7. Snack Cakes
Again, Great Value not the same as great taste, and that includes their snack cakes. Then again, the bar isn’t really set that high when it comes to snack cakes, to begin with. I mean, who has ever thought of a Twinkie as fine cuisine? Real or not, snack cakes fill the need for a quick sugar hit on-the-go. However, there are still some standards to uphold. Like, for instance, a certain level of taste and quality. Devil’s cake is supposed to be soft and gooey, but at Walmart, they’re described as old and stale. Apparently, they also leave a “disgusting oily coating in your mouth”. Not very enjoyable sounding, that’s for sure. As for the Swiss Roll, it’s not much better. With a chemical-like creamy inside and a weird sandy consistency, they probably shouldn’t even be touched with a ten-foot pole. If you were looking for a cheap version of Twinkies, you might be disappointed, as The Golden Crème Cakes have been compared to plastic foam and “sponge cake soaked in oil.” And, perhaps considered Walmart’s worst snack cake of all, the brownies, which some shoppers have been kind enough to call one of the most horrible things they have ever eaten, saying they tasted like play-dough. In other words, Great Value snack cakes are probably something that you should avoid at all costs.
6. Rotisserie Chicken
Everyone knows about the revered $5 rotisserie chicken sold at Costco. It’s probably one of the best things to buy there. At Walmart, you can also get a $5 rotisserie chicken, but the price tag might be the only thing linking them together. At Costco, the chicken is big. Like, four and sometimes five pounds big. But, at Walmart, it’s a much smaller, baby version of the bird, coming in at only about 3 pounds. But the size is not the only thing that disappointed customers. A lot of reviews say that the taste is not so great either. Some even say that the meat tastes overly salty and a little burned. Of course it’s salty – there are about 690 grams of sodium per serving as opposed to the Costco chicken’s more reasonable 460 grams – which is why the Costco chicken remains superior for many. The lack of flavor and substance has also been an issue with Walmart’s chicken testers. Rotisserie chickens are supposed to be large and juicy, yet, this one is small and fatty, not at all living up to standards. Plus, you never know what kind of chicken you’re getting until you’re already at home. In some cases, you might get an overcooked and dry chicken. In others, it can be alarmingly undercooked. It’s like a game of chicken Russian Roulette. Forrest Gump might even say that life is like a Walmart rotisserie chicken; you never know what you’re gonna get.
5. Great Value Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese in a box is a classic staple for college students as it’s easy-to-make and cost efficient. It’s something that practically everybody has in their pantry, ready for a rainy day or a weekly treat. No matter how much of a “cheap alternative” it is, it’s still supposed to taste good! With mac and cheese, usually, even when it’s bad, it’s good, but sadly, the Great Value Mac and Cheese from Walmart does not fit this bill. Actually, it’s one of the worst generic brand offerings you can buy at Walmart, at least, according to the website The Grocery Game. Sure, boxed mac and cheese is supposed to be a weird orange color, but there’s always a limit to how much orange tint is acceptable. Along with a concerning bright color, it doesn’t really taste very cheesy either. It’s been described as having a faint stale, almost freezer-burnt taste. Even reviews on Walmart’s website aren’t too lovey-dovey about the product. Most simply express how salty and gross it is, while others complain about the “sour after-taste” that comes with every bite. To add even more cons to the list, the nutrition facts on this box aren’t exactly ‘nutritious.” With 30% of the recommended daily sodium, it’s one of the most unhealthy boxed mac and cheese brands on the market. At the end of the day, nothing can beat Kraft, the tried and true, OG boxed mac and cheese.
4. Great Value Granola Bars
By now, we’re all pretty much aware that anything off-brand is probably going to be of lesser quality. Granola bars are usually only bought for two reasons: convenience and taste. The Great Value Granola Bars fit the convenience part, but as for the taste, it’s a whole other story. Their taste – or rather the lack thereof – cannot compete with the flavorful bars of more prominent name brands. Some reviews have said that these bars were too dry and too sweet to eat and that they weren’t even worth the little money saved. Just because something is cheaper doesn’t mean it should taste cheaper, which is exactly what the Great Value brand feels like. For instance, the Great Value High Fiber Oats & Peanut Butter Chewy Bars were tested along with 24 other snack bars, and let’s just say the results weren’t especially – ahem – positive. From an artificial and stale flavor to gritty or tough textures, they did not win any points in the quality department. Another blind taste test was done between Great Value and the Nature Valley trail mix bars. Again, the results were not good. A weird pepper taste and a lack of fruit were some of the comments that came out of it. Basically, when it comes to granola bars, Great Value is not the way to go.
3. Big Burly Breakfast Sandwich
Starting your day on the right foot sets the tone for everything that follows. To ensure that the rest of the day goes smoothly, some fruit, protein, or even a little sweet can be a perfect choice. However, if you want to start it off with a bang – and not necessarily a good one – then you can get the Big Burly Breakfast Sandwich, available at Walmart. This beast is a massive breakfast faux-pas composed of half a pound of bacon, fried eggs, and processed American cheese, piled high on twin slices of “Cinnamon Swirl French Toast.” This is a huge breakfast sandwich that makes a McMuffin look tiny. Each sandwich packs an unimpressive 26 grams amount of fat, as well as almost 1200 milligrams of sodium – which is more than half of your recommended daily allowance. Oh, and a good old dose of saturated fat, because this sandwich wouldn’t complete without it. This bad boy has 7 grams of this arterial-hardening fat, also more than half of your total daily recommendation – at least, according to the FDA. All of these health hazards, and it’s only breakfast. You might be better off just making a healthier, homemade breakfast sandwich, so you can control the amount of waht you put in it.
Walmart is known for its really good deals when it comes to common products, especially groceries. Almost everything is always cheaper there than at other stores, which is the perfect way to bring in constant stream of customers. However, just because some stuff is cheaper doesn’t mean that it’s always the best deal. Let’s take nuts, for example. Nuts are the perfect, practical, and healthy snack to have around. You can get a lot of Great Value prepackaged varieties, but the real jackpot when it comes to nuts is buying in bulk. Filling up your bag from the bulk bins at your local grocery store or natural food market is way more economical, especially since you can get way more nuts, of your choosing, for a lower price. And, you even save on packaging waste since you use your own jars and bags to load up on your favorite nuts. You can also head to stores like Trader Joe’s, which have better deals on products like these.
1. Pet Food
If you’re a pet owner, you probably want what’s best for your little furry friend. The best toys, the best treats, and the best food. And sometimes, quality means spending a little more on the essentials, like kibble. In order to get nutritious and worthy pet food, you can’t just stroll down to your local store and expect the best. Meaning, it’s not at Walmart that you’ll find the best pet food. A quick look at the ingredients of anything in the pet aisle at Walmart will tell you just how unhealthy it is for your pet. Even though Walmart sells some of the lowest-cost dog food products on the market, it doesn’t always mean that these products are the safest. A lot of dog food products have been recalled in the past, and surprisingly enough, it’s often among the most high-quality and premium brands that these recalls occur. Buying any kind of pet food at a low cost always brings with it some risk, mainly because producers are constantly trying to cut their prices to stay competitive. Keeping your pet’s safety in mind should always be a priority and never be compromised. Plus, you get smaller portions at a much higher price than you would just about anywhere else. For the sake of your pup, don’t buy their food at a place where you can also get a quart of oil and a barbecue set.