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Walmart’s business is built on the idea that it is cheaper than competitors – something that was proven false in 2013, when Target beat out the retail chain in a head-to-head price competition.
When shopping on a budget, different retailers offer different benefits. Walmart’s price match policy means that it has some of the best deals around.
However, as other retailers offer bulk packages and certain higher-quality items, Walmart is far from the only store where customers can save money.
At the end of the day, there are some items that you should permanently ban from your Walmart shopping cart.
Here are 12 items you should never buy at Walmart.
1. Gift cards
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There are a wealth of ways to get incredible deals on gift cards, but shopping at Walmart isn’t one of them.
The Cheat Sheet recommends checking out sites like Card Cash and Raise where buyers can re-sell unused cards at an even more inexpensive price. Or, you can almost always get a better deal by buying from a bulk retailer, like Costco or Sam’s Club.
2. High-definition TVs
- REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Walmart’s price match service means that it often has the lowest price around. However, that doesn’t always mean the best bang for your buck.
“Walmart’s HDTVs are at ‘low’ prices because they are the lower-quality versions than those sold elsewhere,” Lori McDaniel, senior content manager for Offers.com, told Go Banking Rates.“Get higher-quality at low prices at a warehouse store like Costco.”
3. Brand-name diapers
- Thomson Reuters
While financial firm Kiplinger notes that Walmart has great prices on its store-brand diapers, it found that parents can save by shopping on Amazon for brand names like Pampers, Huggies, or Luvs.
“The price difference per diaper is small – about three cents to eight cents, depending on the brand – but a few pennies can add up to big bucks as you go through hundreds of diapers,” writes the firm.
4. Organic produce
As organic has become increasingly popular, Walmart is facing increased competition in price and quality.
Kiplinger found that Aldi and Trader Joe’s consistently had lower prices than Walmart on organic fruits and vegetables. Consumer expert Clark.com recommends shopping for organic produce at Trader Joe’s, Kroger, or Aldi over Walmart.
5. Party supplies
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If you’re having a party, you should be hitting up a dollar store, not Walmart.
“Walmart has an entire aisle dedicated to party supplies, but these items are more expensive than other discount retailers,” Valencia Higuera writes in Philly.com. “According to my research, you can stock up on party supplies at the Dollar Tree for far less. Purchase invitations, balloons, party favors and decorations – all for just a buck each.”
6. Maple syrup
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The Krazy Coupon Lady – an expert on Costco deals– reports Costco’s pure maple syrup costs almost half of what you would pay at Walmart. House brand Kirkland’s maple syrup costs just $0.32 an ounce, compared to nearly $0.56 for Walmart’s non-organic option.
7. Organic milk
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Kiplinger reports that it has found less expensive organic milk at retailers including Aldi, Trader Joe’s, and even Whole Foods. That’s right – a grocery store nicknamed “Whole Paycheck” is beating Walmart’s prices, at least in this area.
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“While the price might seem right, given how many hours are spent in bed, a better quality can be found at a comparable price at merchants such as T.J.Maxx, Ross and Home Goods,” Regina Novickis of Slickdeals.com told Go Banking Rates.
And, with recent concerns about knock-off Egyptian cotton plaguing the American bed sheet industry, it’s better to play it safe than waste money when it comes to your bedding.
9. Vanilla extract
At Costco, vanilla extract costs just $0.62 an ounce,reports the Krazy Coupon Lady.At Walmart, it’s $1.84.
According to Go Banking Rates, sales at traditional grocery stores often yield better deals than shopping at Walmart – something that was backed up by Kiplinger data.
Ground beef, for example, was $1 less per pound at Aldi than Walmart.
11. Wood furniture
Walmart’s inexpensive wooden furniture comes with hidden costs.
“Their furniture may be cheap, but if it only lasts a short time, you will spend far more money in the long run,” home decorating expert Kathy Woodard told CBS MoneyWatch
12. Hair supplies
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Hair supplies are another thing that customers should buy at dollar stores, according to Philly.com. Instead of paying $2 to $5 on hairbands and clips, go to the dollar store and get the same things for just $1.