10 Things You Think Are Cheaper at Walmart — But Aren’t
Everyone loves a good deal. But while budget shopping and Walmart practically go hand in hand, is it always the cheapest? We found out which key items you can score for less elsewhere.
Things In Bulk
“Sometimes when we buy in bulk, we wind up throwing the ‘bulk’ of what we bought in the trash; no one needs 10 pounds of honey mustard,” says Rachel Cruze, a financial expert and author of Love Your Life, Not Theirs. “But there are times when buying in bulk is the best way to save.” According to Cruze, one of those times is when you buy household goods at warehouse stores like Costco, which are generally cheapest across the board. “Stock up on things like paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags and cleaning products to save money in the long run,” she says. Here are a few other money saving tips that don’t work.
For the holidays or birthdays, why spend a lot on gift wrap? Stock up on wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, tape and all of your gift-wrapping needs at a local dollar store. “While Walmart does have some good deals on these items, dollar stores are still cheaper,” shares Cruze. “And don’t forget to save all of the gift bags and bows you receive during the holidays to save money next year!” Find out 12 more workshop supplies you should have been buying from the dollar store all along.
Diapers, Wipes & Other Baby Supplies
When it comes to babies, especially newborns, it’s true what they say: Babies are expensive. “I use Amazon’s ‘Subscribe and Save’ option when it comes to baby goods that I know I need to continuously restock, like diapers and wipes,” Cruze says. That saves you a couple of dollars each time, which makes a difference because those little ones go through them so fast. “Plus, the convenience factor of having them delivered to your door before you need them is priceless!” she says. These are the strangest things you can buy at Costco.
“Around the holidays, parents are stocking up on batteries for the presents Santa will be leaving under the tree, so it follows that Walmart and supermarkets tend to have a high markup on them,” says Cruze. “You’re better off buying batteries in bulk at warehouse stores like Costco.” These are the Kirkland products you should always buy at Costco.
Just because a piece of furniture, from a bed frame to an end table, is inexpensive doesn’t mean it’s a great deal. “If you’re redecorating, do your research before you snag the cheapest piece of furniture you can find,” says Cruze. While furniture might be cheapest at Walmart, you should think about the quality and how long it will last. “If it’s not going to hold up for at least a few years, you might wind up spending more money in the long run,” she says. Instead, Cruze advises searching for items through an online retailer like Overstock.com, since they typically don’t have the overhead costs of brick-and-mortar stores. “Or,” she says, “you could consider saving a little while longer to purchase something that will last.” Another option is to refinish the furniture you already have, and lucky for you, here’s our expert refinishing furniture guide.
If you are in the market for new tires, try Sam’s Club or Costco, says Sara Skirboll, RetailMeNot’s shopping and trends expert. “They will be a little cheaper than Walmart,” she says. “Plus, Costco offers their members free tire balancing and rotations.” Check out these 15 things you’re not buying at Costco, but should.
If you’re looking to purchase organic fruit and vegetables, Trader Joe’s and Aldi usually have lower prices than Walmart, according to Kiplinger. “Amazon Prime members should also check Whole Foods, as membership qualifies you for exclusive discounts on select items,” adds shopping expert Trae Bodge. Also, says Bodge, if you shop at Whole Foods with your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card you’ll receive five percent cash back on your purchases.
It’s hard to compete with Amazon for paperbacks. “For example, You Are a Bad*ss is on sale for $9.60 at Amazon and $14.60 on Walmart,” Skirball notes. If you’re looking for hardcover books, “they are typically around the same price on both sites,” Skirball says. Here are more things you should always buy on Amazon.
While Walmart is competitive in electronics pricing, their prices aren’t always the lowest, says Bodge. Before investing in a 4K TV or a Google Home device, take a look at the same item at competitors like Amazon, Best Buy, Target or Newegg. “You just might find a lower price elsewhere,” she says.
According to Bodge, you can find a broad selection of gift cards at Walmart stores and at Walmart.com, with brands like Dunkin’ Donuts, AT&T, Starbucks and Nordstrom. While this is certainly convenient, you’ll be paying full price. Instead use an online aggregator that collects information from multiple sites like GiftCardGranny.com, which has thousands of gift cards at a discount. Next, don’t miss the 15 things you’re not buying from Walmart — but should.