Every mom should have an option to stay home with her children, regardless of income

Why You Should Never Shop Walmart or Dollar Stores

So, we’ve all heard Walmarts’ slogan.

Save money, live better.

But is that really the truth?

There's a lot of truth in this! We stopped buying patterned leggings at Walmart for our girls because the patterns wash away! Many things are made so cheap that you find broken ones before you buy at Walmart! Apparently I'm not the only one who's learned. Find out why Consumer Reports agrees! Wanna save money? DON'T shop Walmart! Why You Should Never Shop Walmart or Dollar Stores If You Want to Save Money

Why You Should Never Shop Walmart or Dollar Stores

My true story begins with a simple garden hose. One that I still have nightmares about.

Several years back, our family needed to purchase a garden hose. After checking out several stores, we found Walmart to be the cheapest in price. It was only $18 and everywhere else was $25 and up. So, of course, we bought said garden hose.

Within 1 month, said garden hose started leaking in several places for no reason. We ended up having to replace it. Yup, you guessed it, we went back to Walmart, and got another garden hose, but this time, opting for the more expensive one, thinking it was just the brand. And yet again, in 3 months, IT started leaking.

At this point, I had been seeing a theme. Everything we bought from Walmart was cheaper, but wasn’t lasting very long. My aha moment had come. Walmart purchases the lowest quality items available, so they can keep their prices low in cost, but as greed would have its way in man’s heart, they are actually higher priced than a lot of other stores, including Fred Meyer, and even some department stores!

After that, I swore to myself that I would never shop at Walmart again (and thus never even bothered to take that garden hose back; it honestly just wasn’t worth it).

Have I kept that promise?

You bet. 3 years in running. I bought myself a nice garden hose that cost $30 at a local home improvement store and 3 years later, I have had NO leaks. It still looks and works perfectly. *update: it’s 5 years later and still no problems!

The point of this story is to convey the message that if I would have kept going to Walmart and buying garden hoses at $25 every 3 months for 3 years, my total FOR ONE ITEM would be a whopping $300! Gasp. The home improvement store hose, cost me $30. I have saved myself, $270 in 3 years by one simple purchase.

Now some people at this point may argue that I should just keep going back to Walmart and make a return. To those people I would say that it’s not worth the time. If I know something is going to break and that a store sells junk, it costs me far more than money to keep having to deal with this issue.

The time it takes as well as the gas and frustration to keep returning a product, it makes absolutely no sense to me why I would want to put myself through that. Why not purchase a garden hose one time and save time/money/aggravation through the next several years. In fact, since I stopped shopping at Walmart, there is very little I’ve ever had the need to return!

And that’s a blessing!

Not only is the wait time in the return lines extremely long, when I had to return things at Walmart, I’ve had very unpleasant experiences.

One time, I literally walked from checkout directly to the return counter because I missed something I should have taken out of my basket. It was a water filter, and I guess hard to prove it wasn’t opened. The return lady gave me such a HUGE hassle to return it. She questioned me several times, “Has it been opened.” I told her to look at the time stamp on the receipt or view the camera’s if she didn’t believe me. I’m not a fraudulent person and that was the last straw. Tired of being treated like a criminal, I never returned to their store. Yes, they have a lot of returns because they sell junk. And yes, some people do take advantage. But I’m not a criminal and I had proof I didn’t do anything wrong.

In a similar situation, I was returning a Dyson vacuum at another local store for $465 as I found it cheaper on Amazon (it had never been used and I still had it sitting there in the box). My receipt expired and the computer wouldn’t work for the return for some reason. They gave me the benefit of the doubt and gave me cash back, all $465. NOT a voucher for store credit, not sneering at me or treating me like a bad guy. They honored it. Walmart had trouble honoring a $20 return. The difference to me is clear.

Major money-saving tip:

Looking at the longevity and calculating prices based on how long something will last you, rather than solely looking at the price and making a decision from there, will save you the most amount of money! Doing so has not only saved me massive amounts of money, but also time!

Think about it like this.

If you buy a $1,000 car that will last you 6 months, then have to replace it, and you keep buying $1,000 cars that last 6 months, in 5 years, you will have spent $10,000 and not have a car! If you buy a car that will last you for 5 years for $5,000 (real scenario’s here!), you are saving $5,000! Does this now make sense?

Now, you may be wondering if this story will relate to all your items you buy at Walmart. Outside of groceries, I would say yes! And even with groceries, I’d caution you. Each item you buy may be cheaper, but its NOT the most cost-effective and there is a HUGE difference. I have even found that somehow the brand names at Walmart are no where near the quality of the off-brands at other stores, so I am saving even more!

What I used to buy at Walmart and where I get it now….

• Pull ups and diapers that always used to get peed through –> I now buy through ePantry and at Fred Meyers. Getting them through both source for free. You can find out how I get them through ePantry for free here and how I get them at Fred Meyers for free here.

• Groceries –> I have found Winco to be the cheapest in our area, even cheaper than Walmart!

• Beauty supplies –> I make some beauty supplies, purchase through Younique, and use essential oils for some as well.

• Household supplies like cleaners, etc. –> I get most of these supplies through ePantry (garbage bags, sandwich bags, dish sponges, cleaners, soap, dish soap, candles) and my essential oils.

• Vegetables –> I started a garden and grow things like zucchini, chives, onions, etc. Next year, I want to plant tomatoes (anything that is super expensive in the store). You can reuse the tips of some fruits and veggies and stick them in water to regrow them! Here’s a list of 7 fruits and veggies you can regrow.

• Kids Clothes –> There have really only been a few times I’ve bought kids clothes there at Walmart. The times I did, they broke down quickly (got holes, stains that wouldn’t come out, which costed me more in stain remover–the good brands don’t seem to stain for me and I rarely use stain treatment now, saving me even more). I started buying only Children’s Place, Old Navy, and Gymboree. I get all my kids clothes for free, by taking the money I make from selling them after the kids grow out of the clothes and buying new ones with that money. You can read all about my 50¢-$1 system here.

• Paper products such as paper towel, toilet paper, and paper plates –> Paper towel is cheapest at Staples. I can usually get a BIG roll for 25¢-48¢ for Bounty Basics brand. Paper plates are cheapest at Winco, and toilet paper is cheapest at Staples and Fred Meyer during their sales. I get a 48-pack of Charmin big rolls for $5-$6.

• School supplies and paper –> The cheapest school supplies here are found at Walgreens, ShopKo, and Staples. We have been able to score things like school glue for 25¢, 4 glue sticks for 50¢, rulers for a quarter, 4 erasers for 25¢, package of #2 pencils for 25¢, composition notebooks for 48¢, 200 lined paper for 75¢, nice plastic pencil cases for 58¢, scissors for 25¢, character folders for 25¢, 1 subject spiral notebooks for 19¢, see-through 1-inch binders for $1.26, and so on.

• Gardening supplies –> I find the cheapest gardening supplies at discount stores like Ross, Tuesday Morning, as well as ShopKo during their sales

• Movies –> I usually get these online on either Amazon or eBay, depending on which is cheapest

• Toys –> I score most of our toys in July and after Christmas at local store clearance sales. I also shop on SlickDeals to find deals basically everywhere and due to finding SlickDeals, have saved an incredible amount of money for our family on just about everything. If you’re looking for some great deals for Christmas, you’ll also want to check out my gift guides, because I love sharing all those great deals I find to save you money at Christmastime. I just found 705 pieces of K’nex for $20 on Amazon!!!!!!!!!! My kids love those things!

• Furniture –> For furniture, I like to shop my local furniture stores as I know how to haggle and can get in there and get deals you can’t get anywhere else. I go into my haggling strategies in my new book, How to Become Financially Free (coming August 29). This book teaches you all about how to get out of debt, step by step, from my own personal starting point, being homeless and having $30,000 worth of debt to being debt free and living a very affluent life on $18,000/year. Now I make more than $18k/year, and still live on very little because I’ve become very good at saving money and spending wisely. All of this and more is discussed in the book.

• Homeschooling books –> I used to buy homeschooling books at Walmart and at the time they were around $5. Now, since I get my ink and paper free at Staples, using their ink rewards program (turn in your used ink cartridges for store credit), I print them offline and save myself money, and we only have to use the pages that we like and are relevant. Sometimes in the books that I used to buy at Walmart, the books had a lot of paperwork the kids already learned or didn’t need.

• Dollar Items –> If you’re looking for dollar items, I like to visit local craft stores. Places like Michaels, JoAnn’s Fabrics and stores like that, usually have a great dollar section and from what I’ve seen, they are a LOT better quality than dollar stores. Here are some things my daughter picked up at Michaels our last trip there.

craft store Michaels

I’d also say that if you’re looking for a cute birthday present for a girl, something like this would be fantastic and will only set you back about $8. Be sure to check their store ads too, because a lot of times, they have 40% off coupons and yes, you usually can use more than one coupon (one coupon per item!) Technically, if you have a 40% off coupon for a dollar item, that means it’s really only 60¢.

Not only is that cheaper than the dollar store, but it’s also a lot better quality and will last your family longer! On that particular shopping trip, we had 4 of the 40% off coupons, so everything in that picture above, cost us only $6.40 + tax.

• Shoes –> For shoes, I used to be on my feet 8-9 hours a day working in banking, so I needed something super comfortable. I tried many different shoes for comfort and longevity and Skechers are my favorite. Second favorite is Fila’s. I get Skechers at Famous Footwear (they have a card that saves you money, a nice clearance section, and a newsletter to save you money as well).

I also get Skechers at Fred Meyers on sale (rarely do they have them in stock though) and through the Skechers website, which has great sales and I shop out of season for clearance to stock up for the next season. If you join Skechers Elite, which is FREE, you get free shipping and coupons for shopping with them. I usually end up paying $15-$20 for sandals, $25-$30 for tennis shoes, and $40-$50 for snow boots. I also like Ugg and Bear Paw brands for snow boots and slippers. I usually get those on Amazon or find great deals through Slickdeals. Around Christmas-time is a great time of year to stock up on brand name slippers for cheap prices.

If you are ordering online, be sure to go through Ebates for cash back (if you’re not already signed up, you can get a $10 free gift card for using my link-no strings attached!) and use your Paypal debit card as well, where you’ll earn an additional 1% cash back. Ebates and your Paypal debit card can be used together in the same transaction, thus furthering your savings!!!

Now please understand that because I was a reseller for so very long, I know where all the best deals are and what stores have the lowest prices on which items, but that doesn’t mean you can’t! Just make a list of the things that you normally buy and for a while, every store you go to, start writing down their prices. After a while, you will begin to learn where things are cheaper and you WILL learn how to save more money than you are at Walmart AND get much better quality to boot!

This garden hose became a huge turning point in my life and taught me a valuable lesson. Cheapest is rarely the best. My motto from then on, became ‘get the best quality at the lowest price possible.’ So, whereas a person learning to save money uses the cheapest laundry soap, I use Tide and I pay the exact same price they pay for theirs. In that example, since making that simple switch, I have only had to throw out 1% of my children’s clothing that I used to have to throw out. The clothes would get a stain, I couldn’t resell the clothes when they had grown out of them, etc. So, I actually pay less considering that fact. When not considering that fact, I pay the same amount.

Listen, if you’re thinking you’re saving money by shopping at Walmart and dollar store, this is a pretty huge blow. I get it. It was pretty major for me too. But, there’s hope. I will show you exactly HOW to save money on EVERYTHING you buy. On this site, I teach you how to REALLY save money and live better…one deal at a time, one principle at a time.

On a side note, a year after my aha moment, Consumer Reports reported that a person could go to 5 major dept stores and get lower costing items than Walmart, including JC Penny’s, Sears, and more. Don’t take my word for it…take theirs!

Walmart is like welfare. It’s designed to keep people poor. The second you have any money, welfare cuts the amount they give you in food stamps or cash aid, leaving you with nothing, so you’re never able to get off the system they created. Saving money at Walmart is a myth. Consumer Reports doesn’t lie. Buying something over and over again at Walmart is just keeping people poor. How do I live such a great life and have more than most on only $18k/year? By NOT shopping Walmart, by NOT being on food stamps and cash aid!!

Be sure to check out my new book, where I show you the exact steps of how I went from being homeless to well off. Grab your copy of How To Become Financially Free on Amazon here.

There's a lot of truth in this! We stopped buying patterned leggings at Walmart for our girls because the patterns wash away! Many things are made so cheap that you find broken ones before you buy at Walmart! Apparently I'm not the only one who's learned. Find out why Consumer Reports agrees! Wanna save money? DON'T shop Walmart! Why You Should Never Shop Walmart or Dollar Stores If You Want to Save Money

There's a lot of truth in this! We stopped buying patterned leggings at Walmart for our girls because the patterns wash away! Many things are made so cheap that you find broken ones before you buy at Walmart! Apparently I'm not the only one who's learned. Find out why Consumer Reports agrees! Wanna save money? DON'T shop Walmart! Why You Should Never Shop Walmart or Dollar Stores If You Want to Save Money



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Comments

  1. I learned the lesson the first time I shopped there. In my case, I thought I got a great deal buying clothes. It turned out, it was all money wasted.

    • When I was going to college for my business degree, I found out that Walmart employes child labor overseas and pays these kids 12.00 a month for 12 hour shifts a day.

  2. I only shop at Walmart for things like mustard, mayo, canned goods, dental floss and a few other items. I don’t purchase clothes or electronics as they don’t withstand time. Thank you for your article.

  3. Yes! We never shopped there often, but we stopped buying at Walmart when we realized that EVERY single thing we bought at Walmart broke. So, we only buy cheap at Walmart when quality doesn’t matter ($5 dvd bin)

    Otherwise, we watch sales/coupons and go to Fred Meyers.

    • I had very much the same experience. Every off-brand thing just ended up breaking in a very short amount of time, so I started buying the quality brands, and outside of things like Huggies, etc. I found THOSE things were always breaking too. So, I started finding stores local that offered quality OFF brands to save money. My favorites are Costco and Fred Meyer, but Fred Meyer is the cheapest here, so I canceled Costco. Just gotta find the local stores that work for you, but it sounds like you are doing fantastic at saving your hard earned money! 🙂

      • I used to buy my favorite pens at Walmart. They came in a large package – I thought I was getting a deal. Then, one day I was at the local college bookstore and decided to pick up a couple of extra pens. That is when I noticed how much more ink was in the pen!!! The Walmart pens had 1/3 less ink from the same brand!! They must make deals with the manufacturers. I’ve never bought them at Walmart since and I’ve greatly reduced what I purchase there.

        • Hmmm, that’s crazy that the pens would have that much less ink. I think it’s really important to check the little details like that. Thank you for sharing Susan.

        • Walmart buys ‘seconds’ which is why your pens had less ink. I’m sure you paid full price, too. Further Walmart’s electronic devices are also seconds. I would never purchase a flat screen TV or other electronic device from them. “You get what you pay for” is definitely true when shopping there.

          • We’ve bought several tvs, dvds and radios from Wal-Mart. They are still working. Even the tv/dvd combos we bought the kids ten years ago. We bought the wii and games there and their are not seconds.

  4. Excellent point! I rarely go to Walmart any more. I stopped grocery shopping there when I found out that almost all their meats are treated with nitrate preservatives, which makes them last longer, and is one of the reasons their meat is less expensive. That was sort of my “aha moment.” I get better quality food at Crest (an Oklahoma grocer) and with a few coupons (not extreme coupons) I can keep my grocery costs the same or less. Then I watch sales for items I need like cleaning products, garden hoses, etc and get them at the sale price.

  5. Interesting read! I have to agree! Someone recently turned me on to Walmart “price matching” which I tried this week. I ended up spending exactly the same as I normally do without price matching at my usual store! I knew there was a reason I avoid Walmart! 🙂

  6. You are justified in your assumption that products at Walmart are a lesser quality than at other stores.

    I worked running a RV store years ago and my boss cornered a representative of a major toilet chemical manufacturer, at a trade show, asking why we could find their chemical at Walmart for less than we could buy it from them. The rep was very honest that the chemical at Walmart was majorly inferior. Walmart wants to sell at a certain price and companies will make a lesser product to sell to them so that they can still make money, unfortunately they will still sell under their brand name. I found this to be true also with the hair gel that I buy. At a salon when I check the ingredients; they are a much higher quality and it has no silicone. At Walmart the same brand has silicone. Bleh!

    • Thank you for sharing Catherine. That is exactly correct and as consumers, we must be educated! I know a lot of people’s argument is ‘well, Walmart does still sell brand name’ but I’ve found the brand names aren’t always the same AND I can get those same brand names at my regular stores, so why make two trips: one to my normal store where I can get everything I need/want and then to Walmart to buy their “brand names.” Thankfully, I’m in an area with many other choices, but I have been in a spot where Walmart was my only shopping choice, and that totally stunk! I wasted so much money on that company. When they changed their couponing policies a few years back, I left and haven’t shopped there since! The #1 thing I’ve noticed, I’m not replacing things near as often! My store of choice is so much more CLEANER. Every single time I went to Walmart, I caught something, pink eye, colds, etc. It’s just not clean. So, even if it WERE more expensive where I shop, it’s worth it! LOL

      • This is just incredible!! I had no idea that companies would make an inferior product but still sell it under their brand name! I could see that Walmart products were inferior but it just didn’t make sense sometimes. I don’t often go to Walmart and I think I won’t be going anymore at all! Thanks so much for the good info!

    • They also sell supplements from brands like Cellucor. My boyfriend works at GNC Live Well and has people come in all the time and won’t want to dish out the extra money for something they can purchase at Walmart. Just for fun we went and compared the products, the one Walmart sold was significantly weaker.

      • Just in case you didn’t know; GNC has been ordered from the FDA to test their products because they have been selling products that were not what they claimed it to be.

      • Just an add-in to this comment. I found the same thing, I was using diet pills, and was buying them from Walmart. I went to GNC once, as I was out of the pills, and a Walmart wasn’t in my path of errands. When I got home, I was surprised that GNC’s supply had much more in the bottle, I picked up the Walmart one and it was diluted down! Each pill had just a fraction of the GNC brand. Well, no wonder that they didn’t work too well! I used the GNC bottle and lost the 10 lbs. that wouldn’t budge with the Walmart amount. Walmart has the worst meat and produce department out of anyone, I also prefer Winco or Costco for the majority of my grocery/sundry shopping. I get my clothes at thrift stores in the better neighborhoods, can you believe I got a Chanel sweater for $4.00? I wear it with pride.

  7. I buy at Walmart items that I can price match groceries so I don’t have to drive clear across town to the store that has the sales Ad.Nothing but price matched items.Otherwise I buy everything else non food items at yard sales & thrift stores and if the price isn’t right on an item I am prepared to walk away and have done so.I haven’t set foot in a Kmart or Target in years.Only Walmart and thats to get price matched food items because its closer than Save a lot store.I buy nothing else there

  8. Excellent post! It’s crossed my mind that cheapest isn’t always best, but I haven’t always put it into practice. Found you on Pinterest, BTW. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Sharon. It took me a long time to figure out. Wasted so much money at Walmart. Not as much at Dollar Store, but same principles. I used to buy exclusively from both places and kept wondering why I didn’t have any money. It was like a lightbulb hit! So, I tested the theory. I still shopped there, but bought only brand names. It got better, but I was losing money, so I stopped altogether for a month, and a funny thing happened. All my stuff I bought started lasting longer and I was actually saving money. I’ve found, and had friends tell me as well, that even Walmarts’ name brands are not the same as the name brands other places. Not sure how they do it, but it’s like the cheapest version goes there. For me, even places like Costco and Fred Meyers OFF brands are better than Walmart’s NAME brands! Closed my Costco and just shop at Target and Fred Meyer for the most part. Thankfully, we have a lot of great stores here with good quality. I personally love Tuesday Morning. Good prices, quality items I don’t have to replace every 5 seconds. 🙂

      • This is really great advice, and I had no idea about Walmart tactics. It sure makes sense though and answers a lot of questions.

        Thank you for writing this article!

        Eva

  9. Walmart and Kroger are very nearly our only options here, but we don’t buy anything besides kitty litter at Walmart. I don’t care for Walmart clothes at all, but I’ve found that Kohls actually has the all time worst quality clothing.

  10. I had to learn the hard way with shoes. My son got brand new Walmart shoes before school started. By month 2 of school, the sole was disconnecting from the rest of the shoe. His PE teacher asked if we got his shoes at Walmart because, “I’ve noticed that all the kids who got new Walmart shoes at the beginning of the school year need new shoes already.” I tried to find a pair for myself too. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this but a lot of Walmart shoes feel like they’re made out of a heavy duty “paper” material. Anyway, after I couldn’t find any “non-paper” shoes for myself at Walmart, and after my son went through 2 pairs in 4 months we decided to pay extra for higher quality. I’ve had Skechers that I’ve been wearing for 7 years, still in good condition, and my son has a pair of Nikes. He even noticed the difference. After a few months of wearing them he said, “Mom! I still have tread!”

    • Wow, thank you for sharing. That is crazy the shoes only lasted 2 months! I’ve had my Skechers for years and years as well. They are the only brand I will wear. With the kids, I buy them used for a dollar or two, so not a big deal if they break. As I come across them, I just stock up. I like to grab 2-3 used pairs for each season knowing one will probably break and sometimes two, but only good brands. Famous Footwear seems to have some good brands too and they are always having deals. It’s so easy to buy shoes online if you plan ahead. 🙂 Kids are a little trickier with seasons and their growth spurts, but better to buy extra shoes at $1-$2 at a yard sale than to buy a brand new pair at $20. I haven’t been yard selling in two years now though. I might need to get on that. lol. Thank you for the reminder. Always like to stay ahead. 🙂

      • I was told that shoes are the one thing that you should never buy used for your child. If you look and more importantly feel the inside of the shoe, you can notice the shoe has conformed somewhat to the previous owner’s unique foot.

    • Yes, it is a very common problem with their shoes. We went through the same thing for an entire year and in the end we decided to switch to Target for the gym shoes that stay at school and Famous Footwear or Shopko for regular shoes and my 11 year old son now only needs 2 pairs of shoes a year and the ones that stay at school he ends up wearing that whole school year and the entire summer. By then they are too small, but not falling apart. My son can be rough on shoes and the ones from Walmart wouldn’t last even a month. And sadly I was a single mom who learned that lesson the hard way and not too quick either. I have been trying to convince my friends who are now single mom’s, whose kids are younger and hopefully this article will help.

      • Wow, one month! That’s crazy! :/ I like Famous Footwear as well, especially their clearance. 🙂 That’s where I usually get my Skechers. 🙂

  11. I’m not sure if it’s just Walmart or Dollar stores – I will say I’ve not had the experience you’ve had – and I’m sorry you’ve had it. That said I don’t like Walmart because of the big store mentality and such BUT I bought a laptop there almost 2 years ago and it’s still going strong (well not the camera but that is on HP and I need to call them) but it does what I NEED it too. Usually we only go to Walmart and such for things like TP, toys, bath and personal products and some food stuff we rarely buy shoes (synthetics) or clothes. I’ve had clothing from upscale places fall apart before and even after just one washing!

    • I have to agree with you. There are some things I don’t buy there, mostly stuff that looks cheap. I buy must of my clothes at thrift shops, where they are far cheaper and have already shown to have some durability.

      If I buy children’s shoes used, I buy only those where I can see and feel they have had no significant wear. My 16 year old, 5’10” daughter has personally entirely SKIPPED shoe sizes, I know I donated several pair of shoes that never saw her foot, except to try them on, as she had out grown them before she actually wore them.

      As my daughter is VERY athletic, I never bought her used athletic shoes, even in first grade, when she started playing basketball. It’s important a child, or an adult, wear his quality athletic shoes, of the proper type for the sport, to protect from injury. I have had good luck shopping sales, at famous name brands, and sports authority. I will not buy cheap sports shoes. I just try and not pay through the nose.

  12. Love this and totally agree. I hate Walmart. I hate how I feel when I’m there, I hate that you can never take just one trip to Walmart because without fail something will have to be returned. I hate how much unnecessary stuff is in my face when I’m trying to get the things I need. I hate that I can’t find good brands (especially in the food section). I think it’s been 2-3 years since I’ve stepped foot inside a Walmart and I hope I’ve seen my last trip there!
    I’m really not a negative person, can you tell?
    Thanks for this post, I found you through ahalogy!

    • Yeah, there are a lot of issues. In several different states I’ve shopped at Walmart way back when I shopped there, it was just always so filthy dirty. Every single time I went to Walmart, I ended up getting sick. I could literally pinpoint it. It was a running joke in our house. I’m sick…did you go to Walmart in the last couple days. Oh, you know, I did. Soon, it became a SICK joke, pun intended 🙂 and between that and the prices not being as low as they claim (they started out low, but over the years they crept up to the same as Target prices and Target was clean!!!!) it became common sense to stop shopping there. There’s only one item that is cheaper for me to purchase at Walmart than anywhere else that I buy, so I buy it online. Since I stock up when I buy, I only have to purchase there once every couple years and I don’t get sick shopping online. 🙂

  13. Here was something that I figured out… I have 4 huge sons and a husband. In the summer we went broke trying to keep everyone hydrated. I thought I was being smart when I found the local dollar store had 2 liters for a dollar regularly without a coupon. Then I found knockoff sodapop at Walmart for 84 cents per 2 liter. But the 2 liter bottle seems smaller. And not as full. Then I found 2-liters at 79 cents each at where??? K-mart… OMG!!! They are always there. And the kinds vary. But they are regular size and they are as full as namebrands. WOOT!!! This taught me to be choosy about every single purchase. BTW found you on Pinterest! 🙂

    • LadyNonaLuna, yes! I love your story. I know that a lot of people think I’m nuts sometimes that I compare everything. I compare the smallest of details like how full something is, how many oz, etc. I had a friend argue with me about how she was getting a better deal on her shipping tape at Costco a while back. But, I happen to have a Costco price list, how much everything I buy is, the weight, oz, etc. And I know I get that particular deal better on eBay and the quality, though a ‘weird’ brand is better and a LOT cheaper. So, when she was out of tape, she contacted me for the info. to purchase online, saving her a bundle on the cost of the item as well as sales tax! Call me crazy, but every single penny counts, and they DO try to trick us in small ways like that. Ways that most people wouldn’t even think about. That’s their job! Great for you that you noticed that!!! For water, you might consider a water filter machine. You can pick one up fairly inexpensive and over the life of it, it’ll save you money. You can get refills and the 5 gallon jug almost anywhere. It’s usually right outside the store, as you’re walking in. The water is around 35 cents per gallon. So, for 5 gallons, you’re looking at less than $2. Grab a couple of those 5 gallon jugs and keep them filled and you won’t run out. 🙂

  14. I’ve noticed that kind of thing at Walmart recently. But they weren’t always that way. I have my Huffy bike that I purchased there 20 years ago and it’s still going strong. I also have clothes I purchased at least a decade ago that are still going strong as well. But the last pair of jeans I bought started to rip through only 9 months after I purchased them.

    • DB Landes, Yes, your are 100% correct. Walmart USED TO BE the cheapest around. Though, over the years, even the news has said they got greedy. They starting inching up their prices little by little, and people like me, who know their prices inside and out and keep lists, notice. The older products were much stronger, lasted just the same as everywhere else, etc. but times have changed. It’s sad what greed will do. When I still shopped there, I found that places like Target were much cheaper AND the stores were clean, Target had store coupons and a price match policy. Forget a coupon? No problem. Bring it and your receipt in the next time and they will give you CASH BACK for that coupon!

      One of the other major concerns I had shopping at Walmart was a lack of integrity at the cash register. Seemed like every shopping trip, there were 2-5 items that rang up incorrectly, overcharging me. A deal is only a deal if that’s really the amount you pay! Do most people watch as things are being rung up? Do most people audit their receipts? I think it’s a sly trick they may just do on purpose. I don’t find any other store doing this near as much! I call that, highway robbery! The store employees seem to be SO UN-friendly. Store is a mess, dirty, filthy. These are some of the reasons I stopped shopping there. I shouldn’t have to fight someone to get the same price that is advertised on their shelves EVERYTIME I shop somewhere! I started taking pictures of the shelves, but you know, WHY should I HAVE to do that! It’s their responsibility to have it ring up correctly. Too many problems = it’s not my time when I can go to A, B, and C stores and get a much better experience with the same prices.

      With that said, I happen to know that Walmart does NOT pay their employees well. So, why SHOULD the employee care? Go the extra mile? That makes me mad worse than anything else. Pay your employees what they are worth! They have food they need to get on the table too! Meanwhile, men at the corporate top get rich and all the people at the bottom suffer, painstakingly to help them get rich. It’s disgusting! The same is true in banking, especially at U.S. Bank when I worked there. I’ve just seen too much to support that kind of behavior.

      • As an ex- Wal-mart employee, I can tell you we, the employees, seem to be the only ones getting the good deals because of our discount. I worked in Customer Service and I could tell why someone was returning something before it was out of their mouth because it had come in before. The sad news is, people use Wal-mart as a rent-a-center (or should I say free center) and punch their cards for the five-finger-discount club.
        That was why employees couldn’t take your word at the price on the shelf when it rang up different; anyone could say it and get it for cheaper and then the upc office would be issuing price adjustment paperwork out the ears (though now we can so long as it’s only a few dollars difference.) As for why it wasn’t ringing up right, most stores are underemployed because corporate doesn’t understand how many people are needed to run the departments and sometimes, they don’t even have time to pick up the items people changed their mind on at the register.
        We become very jaded up at customer service. I’m not saying we think everyone who comes in is a thief but it doesn’t help when management goes above our heads and the heads of our floor managers to give a customer with no receipt their money back on an item such as a TV without the paperwork or a mattress for twenty-dollars they didn’t want to exchange because they had been using it and now needed the money. The rules are there to keep people from stealing but it is by those very same rules we have to turn away the honest people. There were people I genuinely felt sorry for because we couldn’t help them and it was obvious they weren’t trying to make the quick buck while in the other hand we have those same honest people returning pools straight from their back-yards sopping wet before the return is due. We couldn’t send it back wet and we didn’t have the space to dry them.
        I suppose what I am trying to say is, respect is a two-way street and there were customers I enjoyed seeing and everything was fine, even with it being our first meeting. But there were some customers who acted like spoiled children for not getting everything and a bag of chips. I even had one fellow associate tell me she had a woman in her line where the little girl had been telling her she needed to potty even before they came up to the til. Before the transaction finished, the little girl just went in her pants and her mother did nothing to clean her up nor the mess on the floor. We don’t mind holding something (so long as it isn’t Black Friday sales/closing time) for the ten to twenty minutes it will take for you to get to the bathroom and back. We have some who want us to hold things overnight or as far as next week and that we can’t.

        • You are so right! I think Wal-Mart employees are so mistreated by customers. My sister works there and I can’t believe what people want to return and how they treat her. Someone wanted to return a gallon of milk and yelled at her because she wouldn’t. There was a half a cup left in the jug and they were returning it because they couldn’t finish it before it went bad.

  15. I save a ton of money buying things at the dollar store. Especially with greeting cards, party supplies and cleaning supplies.

    • Greeting cards are definitely cheaper there than anywhere else. Thankfully I found a post on Craigslist of a TON of handmade greeting cards for 10¢ and 25¢ each, so I stocked up like crazy on them and bought about $90 worth. I’m set for a long time. lol. For the cleaning supplies, I get them free through doTerra. I did used to buy the pet carpet powder you sprinkle on before vacuuming at the dollar store, but I noticed the last time I went (the last product I bought there), the size had drastically reduced, by a LOT. So, it became the same price for me as say Target or Fred Meyer. So, I was able to cross that store off my list as well. I also used to get bubble envelopes from them for 50¢ each, which is a lot cheaper than in regular stores for my eBay business, but again, I found Kraft brand online and have been buying there ever since. They come out to be 28¢ each online, so saving a ton there too. There’s not anything there at the dollar store that I buy that is cheaper. I used to get some plastic bowls at the 99¢ store when visiting family in Cali, but found the same bowls now at Target in their $1 section as well. For me, Target is cheaper than the dollar store because I save 5% with my red card! 🙂 The total for a dollar item at Target with the red card in my state, including tax is $1.01 and the dollar store is $1.07. It may only be 6 cents, but if I’m buying 20 bowls, that’s $1.20 savings, basically buy 19 items, get one free. heeheee!

  16. If you keep the receipt, you can return the item and exchange it for a like item for free. So, box the receipts just in case. I have shopped at WM since the 1960s. It has drastically changed. Poor old Sam is spinning in his grave!!!

    • Yes, it is very much that way Carol. Same with Disney once Walt died. Totally different direction, and not for the better. As for returns. First, it doesn’t seem worth my time to fight them. I always seem to get someone to fight me. I remember one time, I was watching her ring me up at the cash register, and turned my back for a minute and something got stuck on my conveyer belt that I didn’t order. Some sort of water filter. It was laying on top of the cart, so I checked my receipt and it was like $30ish. So, I asked the cashier, but it was already done. I had to go to returns. So, I had my full basket of groceries, went straight to returns and told them. They treated me like a criminal! I told them what happened. She gave me such trouble. “Well, why did you buy it?” she asked. She didn’t believe me obviously. I told her nicely but firmly, “Look, the date and time are right there on the receipt. I’m not trying to rip you off.” She still didn’t believe me. She opened the box, examined it for what seemed like 5 mins to make sure I wasn’t just giving her a used product. Now, I could see how that would be possible with a water filter, to return a used one, but my receipt had the time and date like minutes ago! Check the dang security camera’s for pete’s sake! Ugh. Apparently, with my soft voice and my friendly smile, I look like a criminal.

      As for exchanging for a like item that the new item will break on me again, no thanks. lol. Tried that a few times too. Nope, nothing will ever get me back into a Walmart store. Unless I get a gift card there or something, and then, I’ll go straight to the register and buy a gift card with that gift card to somewhere else!

      • Not defending the cashier, but I work at Macy’s and I have had old ladies in wheelchairs trying to steal. They would pick up a $100 knife and switch the ticket with a cheaper item, and when you question them about it they would run. Also, I have had customers buy top name brands in the store then go into the fitting room and switch the tags of an old item and new item and put the tags on the old item so, they get the new item for free. I’m sorry you had to go through it, but there seem to be a lot more dishonest people then honest people shopping out there.

      • Not defending the clerk at Wal-Mart but this is a problem for a lot of stores in our area. Not just Wal-Mart. The problem is the thieves work in pairs. One goes back and buys the item and steps outside with his cart. His buddy then hands him a used water filter, in your case, and takes the new one from him and they put the used in the box for the new one. They are quick. They can do this usually in less than a minute sometimes 2. First guy then goes back in with cart and receipt and returns item he bought in error. It is frustrating for the store. My husband works at home depot and this happens all the time. Many stores, home depot, target, lowe’s, shopko, wal-mart, etc ask a lot of questions and require your drivers license and contact info in order to get an exchange or refund.
        Some stores only issue store credit but then the crooks take the gift card outside and find someone to sell it too to get the cash they want.
        It is awful what they do.

        • Jacqui, yeah, I definitely understand there are a lot of crooks out there. I feel like, ultimately, everyone answers to God not me, so I don’t let it bother me. 🙂 (I’m in no way saying you are, just to be clear 🙂 just saying what I personally do). <3

  17. I can coupon and do better on groceries for price and quality elsewhere, but for many items it’s the most convenient and least expensive. I’ve bought Walmart garden hose and not had your experience. I don’t buy my kids athletic shoes there, but I have 3 pairs of wedge flip flops I paid $2 each for (clearance) that are on their 3rd summer and going strong. My Walmart jeans are a few years old and lasted as well as name brand we’ve purchased. I think it comes down to being a smart shopper wherever you go and checking the quality. I sew and know what to look for when clothes shopping. Some things like baking soda, cat litter, plastic hangers, etc – I just want under one roof to save gas and time.

  18. I used to work for a manufacturing company that made hunting products and the like. The materials we used for those items that shipped to walmart were of much less quality than those sent to the sporting goods stores. I wouldn’t buy anything important from there. I found out that walmart had demanded my company use the poor quality materials.

    • Sorry to hear that. It seems to be the same story we are hearing over and over from different companies. They are using poor quality for the Walmart bound items and higher quality or for the other stores. I always wondered about that, because I’d buy say Pull ups from Walmart and my son would pee right through them, yet went to another store, bought Pull ups and he wouldn’t. This was years and years ago, but after a few things like that I wondered if it were possible. I think that Walmart just tries to get the product out there to the masses and make the most amount of money. They are not looking at how it’s actually costing the public more in the long run. Honestly, my life has become SO much simpler now that I buy high quality items. I buy it once and it lasts me for years. I don’t have to replace it, or deal with it breaking. I read a lot of reviews when I’m buying something unfamiliar to me, especially on Amazon. Most of the things I buy are online nowdays. Even on Black Friday. For the past several years, even before it became popular, I did all my Black Friday shopping online. At the moment, there’s no sales tax and it’s so simple. Thank you so much for sharing Carrie! 🙂

  19. I don’t really agree with some of this. Walmart like similar stores have products that are lower end and don’t last. But name brand food not being the same sounds boarder line paranoid. In my area walmart is cheaper on food and some other items I can never or rarely find coupons for. Target only pans out for me if I have coupons plus red card. Though I like target brand freeze bags, moisturizer and clothes better.

    • You are so right! I think Wal-Mart employees are so mistreated by customers. My sister works there and I can’t believe what people want to return and how they treat her. Someone wanted to return a gallon of milk and yelled at her because she wouldn’t. There was a half a cup left in the jug and they were returning it because they couldn’t finish it before it went bad.

  20. I fully agree. My husband & I quit shopping there years ago. The products are cheaply made (hence the cheap price), checkout lines always long (waste of my time = money) and the stores were always filthy. I can do just fine at Target and my grocery store. Occasionally I will go to the dollar store, but for random items like foam board which at
    $1/sheet is a much better deal for my craft projects than the $3-4 comparison at the craft stores.

    • Sarah, thank you for sharing. 🙂 I definitely can see how Dollar Stores would save on things like craft items. For me, my problem with that store was that it’s so easy to get lured in to buying a lot of things you don’t need. I’d walk in, think I was just going to buy a couple things and walk out with $30-$50 in my cart. $100 was my biggest checkout there. I started getting mad at myself. Like, why did I go so overboard. For me, it was the whole thought process, “I’m saving money” but the things I was buying, I’d start seeing cheaper or the same price elsewhere. Then, when I wanted to do a return on an item, even WITH my receipt, they don’t allow that. They make you trade. Well, I don’t want to be forced to buy something, I’d like my money back. So, I started staying away from the store at first just to save myself money, $30-$50. I’d rather overpay on one item than not be able to control myself with $50. Eventually, as I got better at scoring deals, I didn’t need to go to the Dollar Store anymore. The last time I went there, years ago, I remember being so incredibly thoughtful. Like, I can’t return this, will it break, it is REALLY a better deal than I can get at my regular store.

  21. I haven’t shopped Walmart in awhile, but I’ve purchased major electronics there – all still working great. What I DO like about Walmart is their very liberal return policy. I was recently browsing laptops on Amazon and many buyers had complained about getting lemons which they then had to send to the manufacturer for repair (and pay shipping) or return to Amazon and pay return shipping and get charged a restocking fee. Electronics purchased at Walmart can be returned with no questions asked, no restocking fee, no shipping fee to have it serviced and you don’t even need your original receipt if you purchased with a credit card. Many shoppers browse Amazon to compare prices and read the reviews, but they buy at Walmart because of their liberal return policy.

    • Jane, I’ve heard their return policy is liberal. I’ve personally never experienced that. Just get treated like a criminal each time I try to return something. When I saw opened and taped back up underwear (yes, underwear!) on their shelves passing it back through as new, full price, I figured it was a very liberal policy. But, here’s the thing. I think that they wouldn’t need to be so liberal if they just sold quality merchandise. If I buy something and I keep having to use their return policy, why buy there? Like when I go to Target, their returns are clearanced, so we know exactly what we’re getting. It really bugs me that Walmart (and other stores too) put the returns back on the shelf for full price. When I buy something new, I want it to be new. Otherwise, I’d go buy used and save 1/2 the amount of retail, you know….Buying something for me and having to return it all the time is a waste of my time. When I purchase something, I rarely return because I buy quality, know what I’m getting, etc. When I’ve returned something, it’s still new, unopened. I just didn’t need it, I’m not returning it because it’s broken, beat up. I know a lot of people take advantage of Walmart’s return policy, because I’ve seen open communication about that online. It’s sad. Why would Walmart open themselves up to all that? I guess I just feel like Walmart is not honest with me when they do things like that. Like they don’t care about their customers, whereas Target is willing to take a loss to provide me quality items.

    • Liberal is certainly not the word for the west coast. Fifteen days with receipt. After that, the electronic is in the hands of the manufacturer, which sadly can mean their warranty isn’t in place yet and they will just tell the customer to return to the store, though they can’t. And don’t get me started on the extensions; people think that means they can return it to Wal-mart a year out and pick up a new one right off the floor. Frankly, if a wood-stove/heater-thing lasts for over a year, I’d say that was a Godsend.
      And only managers can look up transactions period. At the desk, at least in my store, we couldn’t look them up at all and had to do them all as no receipt. Only when it was for a manufacturer warranty or some circumstance without a return would management look it up. And forget it if it was cash.

  22. Never say never. I have gotten plenty of great deals from the dollar store and Walmart. I think you just have to know what to look for. Dish cloths, sponges, brushes and other cleaning supplies are a great buy at the Dollar Tree. Also party supplies and coloring books. And I find the cleanliness and politeness of Walmarts depend on the location. The one near me is a nightmare but the one near my mom’s house is clean and has nice employees. My computer is a cheap emachine brand that I bought at Walmart for my mom but she never used. I have been using it for 3 years now and it has fewer problems (none) than my Dell had. The jeans I bought, however, stretched out and ripped in the seams. Some people have bad experiences and some have good.

    • I agree! I have a list of products I only buy from dollar tree because they are so much less expensive and the same quality as what I would buy elsewhere. You DO have to be discriminating though, because the store is a mix of quality and cheap. Also, I’ve found I have to check the products each time I go. For example, I used to buy lint rollers there (we have a dog who sheds tremendously), but the last time I went, the rollers where literally falling apart in the bins. I have a hard time keeping track of sales/coupons and not having it consume my time so this is the best way I can use my time AND money with my family.

      As for walmart, I’ve never had much luck there. I prefer to shop sales at other stores or buy spices/flour/etc in bulk from Whole Foods. WF has the absolute best prices on spices I’ve ever seen. (That’s right. I spend $60 a week on groceries buying organic produce, grass-fed/pastured meats from Whole Foods without using coupons. It is super tight, but workable.)

      • I think Dollar Tree’s cards are a pretty good deal. I don’t buy them now because I purchased in bulk a while back, but I used to buy them there. I agree with it being hit or miss. I think for a birthday party, it might be good if they have the themed products, because you’re just going to throw them away after the party anyway, but you really gotta know your products. I used the buy the carpet deodorizer for pets when you vacuum, the sprinkle powder kind. It was a huge box for a buck. But, the last time I went, it was WAY smaller. Like by a LOT. Now, with the size difference, I get it for the same price as my regular store. That was the last thing I bought at Dollar Tree that was cheaper, so for me, now there’s no reason to go.

        Wow, they just built a Whole Foods here. I’ll have to check them out!!! Thanks for the heads up. That sounds great. 🙂 How many people are in your family?

  23. I have had some problems with some Walmart merchandise I’ve purchased deteriorating quickly, but I could say the same for most stuff I buy anywhere else nowadays. We live in a toss-away society and things seem to be made to fall apart quicker. And I have never been treated like a criminal for returning an item. They just shrug and go through the process. It’s sad to see that some people have this
    experience but it isn’t an absolute. The best degreaser spray I’ve ever used was bought at the dollar store.

  24. Dollar Tree does have some good items for a quality price. For example, I buy cleaning supplies, greeting cards, party supplies, soap, shampoo, and candles there. Walmart is good for frozen food, spices, office supplies, and canned goods. I save on produce and meat at Aldi and a local grocery store called Shoppers. For clothes and shoes, I prefer going to discount stores like TJMaxx.

  25. I do not like walmart at all. My husband works for a national beverage company. He was working as a salesman and walmart was one of the stores on his route. Walmart treats not only their employees horrible but their vendors too. It is sickening to know what goes on behind the scenes. We do not like their stores and do not shop them. The stores are dirty, understaffed and do not sell american made products like they one did eons ago. Sadly this company is contributing to the poverty in america. Go to youtube and type in Walmart Food Stamps and you will see what I mean.

    • I know. I mean, I can’t really say all that I know and what I’ve heard those who work at Walmart tell me on a public forum like this, but it brings tears to my eyes knowing how most Walmart employees are treated. However, I will say this, if a person feels it’s morally wrong to buy merchandise from a sweat-shop in China, they might want to research Walmart. It’s totally a personal conviction, there’s no right or wrong. I’m not judging anyone in anyway. MY PERSONAL OPINION is that there are too many reasons for me to ever go back there.

  26. I agree with the Walmart issue. I avoid Walmart like the plague, but sometimes I have no choice but to go there. Like when I’m cooking dinner really late and the grocery store down the road is closed. I hate doing it, but sometimes I have to.
    There are some instances I’ve found that the dollar store is a great place to shop. I buy some cheaper candles, vases, and sometimes floral picks from there. Also, some of their cleaners work well, too.

    • I totally get it Kristina. I meal plan, but I’m either not doing it well enough or the kids are eating the foods (perhaps a little of both), so I’ve learned to grab a couple extra meals’ ingredients that are shelf friendly, like maybe something to make chili, which uses more canned food and a seasoning packet, so it won’t spoil. This way, in a pinch, I don’t end up at the store for 1 ingredient, wasting time, gas, and money. Then, after we are out of meals, I can easily just go grocery shopping for a week. I know someone who is at the grocery store every other day and buys only a couple days at a time. Her grocery bill is massive. Staying away from the store as much as possible has really helped me personally save money, especially since I’m tempted to buy things that may just be money suckers, like my favorite, Artichokes that cost $3 each x 3 = $9! 🙁

      • I am a big Aldis fan. Almost all my shopping is done there. Since I do not coupon I do ad match at Walmart about every 2 weeks. I stick to my list and get in and get out. I make my own laundry detergent and the ingredients are cheaper at WM. We have a very nice WM with very nice cashiers. As far as the DT goes I do buy quite a bit from there. All party supplies,they have a great degreaser agent. Toothbrushes etc. I also buy lots of personal items for our xmas boxes at xmas time and to donate to shelters. I do watch the sizes of everything. I really like the Scotties brand kleenex 120 count for $1. I buy 10 boxes at a time for my kids school and home use. If you have a budget and stick to it I really do not care where anyone shops,

        • That’s a great idea about gathering up the supplies at the Dollar Store for Christmas boxes for the shelters. I know they are always in need of tolietries like that! 🙂

  27. I just found your site and was very interested to read this article. I have to say though, I was pretty disappointed. I agree that for a lot of items, especially ones that will get heavy use, it might make sense to pay more somewhere else to get a better quality one. However, Walmart has good prices on kids clothes, school supplies, cleaning supplies and many grocery items. Also diapers and wipes. My elementary aged kids have grown up wearing clothes from walmart and we have never had any problems with their clothes. We bought all of their diapers and wipes there and were very pleased with the results. Not only that, but for many people, the reality is that they can’t afford to shop elsewhere. I know my family couldn’t afford to purchase these items elsewhere. While I am happy for you that you are able to avoid shopping at Walmart and are able to get good deals on what you purchase, I think you could have focused more on that point of the article and a little less on how awful Walmart (and by extension, the people who shop there) is.

    • Thank you for sharing Laura. I do not believe that people who shop at Walmart are awful, so if anything I said reads that way, I apologize. For me, I have found that Walmart was keeping me poor. If I am to take my responsibility before God seriously, to teach other women how to save money, I have to talk about the bad as well as the good, although not always pleasant for me. Years and years ago, before extreme couponing became popular, Walmart was my favorite store. I shopped them several times a week, but saw a slow decline in quality and the prices kept going up. Because I shopped there a lot, and in the wee hours of the morning when most customers were still sleeping, I saw a lot more than most. I have lived in Oregon, Cali, Idaho, and Washington and in all states across the board, on this side of the US anyway, I’ve found the same problems. It may be different elsewhere, I surely hope it is.

  28. I’m not sure where to shop. I want good quality groceries for the lowest price. I have Wal-Mart, Publix, Big Star, KMart, and Foodland. Any tips on any of these? I know “No” to walmart. 🙂

    • It really depends by area and store. I’ve heard Ruth have great things to say about Publix. We don’t have one here. Kmart is generally way too expensive, unless there’s couponing there I’m unaware of. Here’s a cheat sheet of prices to look for. What I do when determining which store gives me the best prices is to make a chart of all the foods I buy on a regular basis and then write down the prices at each store. Then, I can see where is giving me the best deals on most of the food I buy. Then, I just shop there. I’m not into driving to 100 stores to get the best deal. I generally stick with 1 or 2 and that gives me a pretty good range of good deals. I’ll make you a free printable for comparing prices within the month and post it for ya! 🙂

  29. I just bought an $18 cat cage carrier and as soon as we put her in it, it started falling apart! The PetSmart manager said “You get what you pay for…”
    But the clothes I’ve boughten have lasted so far. Bought them earlier this summer. I did buy black shoes for work there and they lasted just fine. I would love to shop at Target, but unfortunately in my small town, Walmart is the only choice (besides a couple smaller stores like Dollar General, Save-A-Lot, IGA, etc). There are only a couple Walmart employees that are actually friendly lol.

  30. I am on an extremely tight budget, and can’t afford anything but the basic necessities (food and toiletries), so I pay very close attention to price per ounce and how much I get for what I pay…etc. I buy all of my canned goods with case-lot sales at my local store, and buy some things at Costco, but for most of my shopping, Walmart is the cheapest (with price-matching), and the quality is good too. In fact, I’ve tried every other diaper out there, but nothing beats the parents choice diapers for me. Not even Amazon Mom WITH the subscription is cheaper than their extra large box of diapers for $19, – Even Costco’s $6.00 off coupon doesn’t make their diapers cheaper than Walmart’s big box of diapers! and…like I said, the quality is the best I’ve tried (I’ve tried Every.Single.Brand out there….except the really expensive organic ones). And my store is newer and in a nice area of town, so I feel like it’s pretty clean and well kept. That said, I take note of your hose experience and will keep that in mind for products that I will eventually be able to afford (we are currently in need of a new hose after I drove over the end of ours and smashed it flat!).

  31. I totally agree.. What people dont realize is that at the same time that something goes on “rollback” there is two more items getting a price change to go up. They may make your tooth paste 50 cents cheaper.. But your deodorant just went up a dollar without u noticing. They put up those little flags to let u know what is advertised and on rollback.. But of course there is nothing to tell u when sonething goes UP. Walmart is a HUGE company because they are pros at paying their employees wayyyy too little and tricking people into thinking they are helping u save money so u can live better. Research says the majority of their employees that are over worked and exhausted are on food stamps and family assistance.. When sam walton died his kids took over and are nothing but GREEDY.. Enough said

  32. Like several others who posted above, a friend of mine is the manager for the the Hanes Her Way brand and for 10 or 15 yrs Walmart has strict specifications that they require for the Hanes Her Way products in their store – more cheaply made of course. I can’t stand Walmart – it ruins my day going there and at 57 yrs old I just decided life is too short and I shop too little for this. I hate what they stand for and how they treat their employees – the Waltons are the richest of the rich and they pay their employee so little they must go on public assistance – and then we end up paying anyway. What a racket! No thanks! I rejoined Costco because I get great values on dog and cat food, gasoline, and several other items especially when combined with store coupons. I do Bulk Food elsewhere and whatever little remaining at my local grocery a mile from my home. I firmly believe you get what you pay for – Used to shop Aldi’s but it scares me where their food comes from. The only thing left I buy at the dollar store is name brand whole wheat bread for $1.00, bags, bows, and the little solar toys.

    • We are Costco members and although the overall quality of their food there is very good, DO NOT purchase their Costco’s Kirkland Signature (KS) hot dogs. I used to eat their hot dogs at the food court when they had Hebrew National hot dogs but when they switched to their KS brand, I couldn’t understand why I had to run the the rest room right away. Until I went to the cooler and looked at KS hot dog’s ingredient list. They say they are all beef hot dogs. Look closer. The 1st ingredient is beef, The 2nd ingredient is maltodextrin. Do you know what the primary ingredient maltodextrin is used in? It’s used in the product Benefiber. Do you know what Benefiber is? A laxative! No wonder I was trotting to the rest room so quick after consuming one of their dogs. Speak about adding fillers to their products! But I will have to say Costco has the BEST return policy bar none. No arguments, no problems.

  33. I go to Walmart for cat litter and juice boxes. They have the best price on both in my area. That’s pretty much the extent of my shopping there.

  34. I totally agree. I grew up in a household where we were not allowed to go to Walmart at ALL. My father works for the Union & strictly just will not spend his money at non-Union establishments, it really made my family mad. It was a joke (but serious) rule in our family not to even bring up Walmart because he would go on a tangent about how awful they were & how he has never known an establishment to be so cheap & to treat their employees as horrible as they do. We would roll our eyes & when I got out on my own, of course I went to Walmart for EVERYTHING & thought my dad was insane because everything was “so much cheaper”, I was the crazy one. After years of pretty much only buying from Walmart, I noticed that I was always buying way more than I set out to buy, I would constantly be unsatisfied with my purchases & then started noticing the prices creep up on everything. I had a friend take a job there & he quit within a month because they were working him insane hours & his pay actually decreased by $.50 an hour after his first paycheck without even so much as a notice. He told me all about how their products are cheaper than other stores, made overseas & how their price system REALLY works. Their prices have skyrocketed over the past few months. But what really took the cake (& made me even apologize to my dad for making fun of him for all these years) was an incident I had there when I bought a pair of gloves, took the tags at the register because it was freezing outside & got stopped by loss prevention at the exit, pulled into their side room & was accused of STEALING the gloves I had just paid for! They were extremely rude to me & treated me like a criminal. I tried to show them my receipt & told them I wanted to see the camera footage of me paying for the gloves, they wouldn’t hear it. I made them call the on duty manager in & I told him I’d take civil action for harassment if they didn’t let me see the footage & let me leave. He did & I left (WITH the gloves I paid for). I had been getting fed up with them for some time but since that happened last year, I haven’t stepped foot into a Walmart!

    • Thank you for sharing Hannah. Everything you’ve said matches what so many others say. Unfortunately, they also have a huge budget to pay people to say nice things about them and cover their tracks. I honestly don’t know how they get away with all they do for so long.

  35. We moved from an area where we only had Walmart and one other grocery store, which was over 25 minutes away, and now we drive 10 minutes and have a huge selection of stores with quality products in our new location.
    We had come to Rarely shop at walmart until about a month ago when the Walmart Falcon Jet came into my husbands work to get routine maintenance and updating done to it. First for the walmart store making the Walton’s their huge amount of cash one would think there would be more than just a slight wobble a couple times that if you look really hard it does slightly look like a “w”. I wasn’t expecting the logo or the smiley face or their slogan on it but just something more saying that this plane was made possible because of Walmart and all us suckers out there buying from them. My husband showed me the dog couch/bed custom made for Mr Walton’s dogs that cost more than our house did. The 80sq ft of carpet in the Falcon cost $110K. This is when we made the decision to NEVER shop at walmart again.
    Sometimes it is tough, since I have shopped there for over a decade now, but I stop and remind myself the items are cheap and the only one who seems to be “living better” are the Walton’s.

  36. From reading The Tightwad Gazette years ago, I learned about cost per use and when buying something of quality matters. Some items are investment items that should be good quality so they will last for years such as large appliances, power or garden tools. Thus the cost per use is very low. We bought a Sears Craftsman garden hose because they are guaranteed for life. The nozzle I bought for it isn’t made as well as in the old days (more plastic) but luckily they replace it for free as I’ve had to replace it twice, no questions asked.

    • That’s great Joan. Yes, my Dyson is acting a little funny too and I’m just about to call them as it’s on warranty for 5 years. Love free warranties! 🙂 Saves a lot of money, you are right!

  37. I love this! Finally someone is bold enough to say this! It is so true. You know I spent a long time wondering if I was crazy!? I was certain Walmarts brand name products were inferior to other stores. My bars of soap, rolls of toilet paper, paper towels, etc, were always smaller than, say, Target. For the exact same brand! Thank you for confirming I am not the only one out there that has noticed this!! Awesome post. Pinning it now.

  38. I don’t fully agree as I believe it depends on what you are buying at Walmart. Right now I am wearing jeans from Walmart that I bought for work 3 years ago. I am a school bus driver so they don’t get a lot of wear and tear on them. i also wash them in Extra brand detergent, a low cost brand. They wash just fine and have lasted for 3 years and counting. I don’t like supporting child labor on products from foreign countries but at the time the jeans were in my budget and have held up well. I also shop at other stores for clothing too.

  39. I do shop at Walmart, but I wanted to mention something that I came across recently. I bought Q-Tips at Walmart recently and when I went to use them, I noticed they were very flimsy and much cheaper than the way they used to be. I went on their facebook page and noticed many others complaining. I mentioned it to a friend, and she stopped by Dollar General to pick up a pack and test it out. To our confusion, the DG pack was the old, normal, sturdy ones. I called Q-Tips to ask if they’ve changed anything and they told me no. I am convinced, after comparing both and buying several boxes, that they sell Walmart a cheaper version!

  40. I love Walmart. For things like name-brand shampoo, conditioner, antiperspirant, laundry detergent, paper towels, cleaning products, etc. you can save a lot of money compared to most grocery stores. At this point in my life I work full time and don’t care to spend hours couponing. Just not worth my time. I can count on Walmart to have good prices and to generally have a good selection of items I need. With that said, obviously you get what you pay for. I wouldn’t buy most of the clothes in Walmart… that just isn’t my scene. I buy from actual clothing stores. Same with furniture and electronics – I buy from specialty shops usually. But for bulk items, many food items, and toiletries, Walmart is fabulous. I’d also like to mention that in general, generic products aren’t as good as the name brands… regardless of what store you’re buying them from. Brands exist and last for a reason… people trust them to be good and their products reliable. I’ve tried to cut corners and buy generic before, and I’ve regretted it. Like I said, usually you get what you pay for. Dollar stores are ok for specific items, but I do not spend a significant amount of time or money in dollar stores so it’s quite negligible in my budget.

  41. I definitely agree. You get what you pay for. Even though Walmart has some really great low prices you may end up paying more in the long-run because you will be replacing the items in your house sooner than necessary.

  42. I wrote a post on this called Frugal vs. Cheap. Our experience was when we bought a pair of running shoes for my husband at Wal-Mart. We bought the most expensive pair they had. They gave him blisters and fell apart quickly. They were awful! We went to a shoe store and got him a more expensive pair that is not only more comfortable, but he is still wearing them.

    It pays to buy quality when you can!

    When it comes to the Dollar Store, you need to pay close attention to the sizes. They are often much smaller thus you are actually paying more.

    • Yeah, I’ve found that at the dollar store as well. I used to buy pet carpet deodorizer there and one day I went in and it was like 1/2 the size. I priced it at my local Fred Meyers and Fred Meyers was actually cheaper and I didn’t have to make a second stop at the dollar store, wasting more money in gas, so I stopped shopping there. As with any store, we have to really scrutinize those oz and have a price sheet with us and calculator. I love your attention to detail. Awesome job!

      • Thanks for the compliment, Sarah, but I can’t afford not to pay attention to the details. All of those oz’s and pennies add up!

  43. I hate walmart. Typically when I do shop there (there is a walmart express near my apartment) I spend more than if I were to go to Trader Joes for Groceries and Walgreens for dry goods (paper towel, toilet paper etc). The last time I went it was a holiday so I had no choice because my Trader Joes was closed, I spent probably DOUBLE what I would have at Trader Joes on the same things… After that I’ll never go back, the quality is terrible, the variety sucks and its cheap but not really in price.

  44. I price match my groceries and household items from Walmart. I have a family of 7 and if I followed the $100 a person rule I would spend $700 a month. By price matching my monthly budget is $400. So I spend $4800 a year instead of $8400, a savings of $3600. So I would have to say Walmart is not making us poorer. I do not coupon because we eat whole foods, lean meats and produce. If they start making coupons for sweet potatoes sign me up! You do need to be careful at the dollar store but some items are worth it, like pregnancy test, foil food pans, some of the make up, gift bags and movie treats. You can use both stores to save money if you’re wise. I wouldn’t buy my kids wardrobe form Walmart but a filler shirt for a couple of bucks is awesome. A pair of play shoes for $5, why thank you! A rainy day art project from the dollar store, life saver!

  45. I agree with you in most respects. Sadly, I have found that paying more for a product, even at a supposedly better store, does not guarantee a more quality product. For example, the soles of my husbands name-brand shoes (not purchased at Walmart) began separating after less than a year of use. The name of the game has become “make what sells” rather than “make the best.” According to a friend in the appliance industry, large appliances are now being designed to wear out after only 7-8 years so that you have to replace them. The same is true of mattresses–they used to come with 30-year warranties and now the recommendation is to replace them after 7 years. Cars are being designed so you can’t work on them yourself. And there’s a reason you still see ancient pickups on the road–cars used to be made to last, too.
    Which brings me to a point on which I disagree with you–cars. I consider any car purchase a gamble. And I can gamble money I have, or money I don’t have. According to Edmunds.com, you can expect a brand new car to last at least 3 years without major repairs. No way I’m spending $20,000 I don’t have on a car that might start breaking down after only 3 years. And unfortunately, after doing quite a bit of research in the used car market, it doesn’t appear that a $5000 car necessarily has any advantages over our $1600 car. People sell their cars for a reason, and it’s not usually because they’re awesome. So we choose to go with low stakes, low returns gambling,haha, and go with a car that my husband can repair (having no mechanic’s training).

  46. As a former 1 HR Photo employee at Wal-mart (circa 2001) I completely agree with this article. While my employment experience was typical retail at a store level, I did see how regional and corporate and a store level management handled people and it’s sad and I truly believe the mentality of “the customer is always right” is also a horrible way to run a store.Another peeve I have with WM is the customer mentality that they have bred. While working there I witnessed extreme customer manipulation (Customer is always right!! HA) all for the sake of keeping them happy. Regardless, unless my immediate photo lab manager was there to back us up- you were pretty much brow beaten for the sake of the “customer is always right”. This means WM customer base has learned to be complete and utter arseholes. They know how and when to throw a fit to get a $50 gift card “for the inconvenience” or unbelievable refund that pretty much violates the refund/return policy. For that and MANY other reasons I have chosen not to buy stuff there. I refuse to buy their food, products, clothing, and really any difference in price- is more than made up at Freddie’s. Their crap is worse than it was 14 yrs ago when I worked there. It’s disgusting really how disposable their products have become. My husband and I have pledged to NOT shop there and haven’t gone there regularly for over 5 years. I live in the PNW where we have Fred Meyer (LOVE them) and other choices- Thankfully! My home town in the mid west pretty much just has WM though so unfortunately they have made their mark on the country- running out mom and pop stores- stores that used to sell farm local produce and such at normal prices. Even when we moved to a much smaller town, I attempted to shop there and it’s always horrible and if I don’t walk out empty handed because of not finding what I thought I might or balking at the price, I end up giving up because of the usual 2 cashiers and long lines. MORE people need to get on this – unfortunately many cities and towns across the country – WM is the ONLY option. It’s a huge injustice the way WM has both bloated and stunted the economy by simply being, and allowed to do so.

  47. What if the item is the exact same brand? And it is cheaper at Walmart? Then would you buy it there? A good example is pregnancy tests. They are much cheaper at Walmart than at other stores or pharmacies in my town. We don’t have Target. I prefer to shop at Costco because of their great return policy but then they are known for the impulse buy. That is even worse than Walmart.

    • I wouldn’t. I buy quality products and can always get them cheaper elsewhere. With Target, if you have their RedCard Debit Card, you get 5% off and free shipping. So you can still shop there online with a lot of their products and get free shipping to your door. Practically any store online you can get free shipping. I literally NEVER pay for shipping. 🙂

      • I am not a fan of walking into Walmart, but ours are clean, and service is friendly. We’ve not had the same experience you have, and our Walmart purchases have lasted well. I don’t buy athletic shoes, most meats, or bras there. We’ve bought TVs and computers that have lasted just as well as those purchased at specialty stores, and it seems to me to be a matter of paying attention to what you’re buying and taking care of it. I know how to get comparable and better deals at other stores, and my daughter wore lots of Gymboree for less than Walmart prices. However, time and gas are worth something, and being able to get poster board, spray paint, cat food, and a couple of grocery items under one roof without the 10 mile drive to Target is pretty appealing at times. Dollar Tree is a savings for specific things, but you need to pay attention to sizes and know prices elsewhere.

  48. I’ve had trouble with Walmart’s returns as well. Thank you for this article!

  49. While i do love walmarts prices ive learned to shy away from certain things like kids clothes and shoes they are terrible quality and honestly i find great deals at better stores such as gap or target…. I recently bought my kid a pool and it had holes in the inflatable part so back to the store it went because $45 was not so cheap for a blowup pool that didnt blow up…..thanks for this post

  50. Lumber Liquidators purchases 3rds off the dock in China. This is why they are able to offer such low prices. However, these 3rds have a multitude of problems, which is why they aren’t being sold at the same price in reputable stores. It wouldn’t surprise me if Wal-Mart and the Dollar Store had similar buyers of 3rds–factory rejects.

  51. While I don’t shop at Walmart for a multitude of reasons, here my main beef: I get absolutely NOTHING for shopping at Walmart. I can go to Kroger and spend $100 on groceries, and I can get Catalinas, great deals on loss leaders, .10 off every gallon of gas per $100 spent, and I get Kroger coupons mailed to my home that I can actually use- like $2/8 on produce or $5/15 for meat. At Walmart, all I get is $100 worth of groceries. Walmart cares as little about their customer loyalty as they do about their employees.

  52. Hey,
    I’m so glad you are talking about this. There are multiple reasons why I avoid WalMart. The quality is certainly one. While in college a professor told us that WalMart has so much control over the market that they tell the supplies what the maximum is they will pay for a product (usually less than they would change). The supplier is left with 2 choices. 1) don’t sell through WalMart 2) lower their prices. They will usually find a cheaper way to produce a product in order to get it on WalMart’s shelves.
    In other words, you may find a coffeemaker at Kohl’s or Target for $30. What appears to be the same coffee maker is only $20 at WalMart. But, what you didn’t realize is that the WalMart coffee maker is produced with cheaper materials and so it doesn’t last as long.
    I don’t know about you, but this seems all sorts of backwards to me. I think people would be wise to follow your advice to just purchase quality products to begin with.

  53. Girl it is so refreshing to see an intelligent person who believes the same way I do. I do not shop at Wal-Mart. They are out for Wal-Mart only and are putting the Mom and Pop stores out of business. What ills me more than anything is that you can\’t go anywhere without hearing Wal-Mart referenced in a conversation. People ask me what I do when they find out I don’t shop at Wal-Mart. Like I’m a freak or something. lol I probably haven’t shopped there in over 10 years if not longer. I haven’t missed it. I have many options available to me.

  54. Absolutely! Not only that, but quality shoes are better and necessary for your entire body and future health issues. Even pricey shoes are not created equal. It’s very individual. Shoes are a regular purchase to splurge on!

  55. I normally do not comment on any websites or anything but I am sooo happy you have said this. The welfare systems keep you HOSTAGE. God Bless you. This is sooo true!

  56. I couldn’t agree with this more. I tried to boycott Walmart a few years ago, after watching a documentary called, “Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price”. I found it extremely difficult to refrain from shopping there. I lived in a very small community, surrounded by other small communities. I had over an hour drive to a larger city for shopping. I still live in a small community, but at least where I am now I do have options. Walmart has overtaken the small towns and areas around them. Leaving many people without options. When I started my boycott, I tried to get other folks on board…to set up a shopping system. Like one or two would go to the city to shop and others would send money and list with them…then take turns going. I couldn’t get anyone to believe they would save AND be doing what was right. Some people are so into instant gratification that they can’t see how they can save time, money, or anything else by shopping anywhere else than Walmart (one stop shopping). I still voice my opinion…and sometimes I do go to Walmart. I try not to get anymore than I have to from them tho. I am actually moving towards off grid living and making as many of my own products as possible. I am very excited about this, as it will lessen my reliance on companies such as Walmart. As far as the Dollar Store and others like it…the same holds true. Be cautious when prices are “the lowest”…there usually is a reason why. A reason that if uncovered, may not sit well with you. Check out the documentary. Remember too Sams Club is owned by the same family. I know I’ve heard that they have made some changes since the documentary…but I do not have details on them. Nor do I believe they have done enough to change for the better. Good luck to all and happy shopping!! I’m making most of my gifts for everyone this year.

    • It can definitely be tough if you live in a city where that’s the only option. Years ago, when the Christian community boycotted Walmart because Walmart was financially supporting some companies against Christian morals, I lived in a city where Walmart was it. I went to three other stores just to get around Walmart. It was during that time that I realized Walmart wasn’t as cheap as they claim to be. I also learned that by shopping around, I was actually saving more money. In my particular situation, it worked out great. Now I live in a city where there are plenty of choices. I think that it really just comes down to a personal choice and what’s right for your family. This is what we’ve decided, that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone and that’s okay. My purpose in publishing this article is to just share the TRUTH with people, as it’s my job, then let others make the decision that’s right for them. 🙂

  57. Went looking for Christmas lights for the tree. Walmart cost over 6 dollars for the same ones that I bought at Menards for 4 dollars. Wal-Mart clothes sizes for women changed. If you look at the size of a 2x tee shirt it is only a large, so you have to buy a larger size and pay a higher price. But it is not just clothes. There are a lot of things that you get taken on.

  58. Hi, I am wondering how to get a paper copy of your book. I do not have Kindle. Thank you so much! Lisa

    • Great question Lisa! At the moment, paperback is not available; I’m sorry! If you have a phone, you can download the Kindle app for free in your app store, or if you are on a desktop / laptop, you can download the Kindle app for free right on your PC from Amazon here.

  59. I live in southern IL (small town) and we have no Fred Meyers, Winco, Ross, Tuesday Morning, Gymboree or Shopko. Target is a 30 min. drive and Children’s Place is 1 hr away. Sometimes people have no alternative to WalMart or the Dollar Store. I agree that making your own cleaners, laundry detergent and other personal products with essential oils, coconut oil, etc. is a great idea for savings, better health and avoiding chemicals. I like to buy local to help our own community’s economy but sometimes buying online is necessary to find specific items. I think looking for American-made products is also important.

    • That stinks. I’ve lived in a city/state where there wasn’t a lot of options either. For me, I found other (and new) stores to love, but I can definitely understand if it’s the only option. Obviously ya gotta eat. 🙂

  60. Hi, I am trying to live on smaller budget. I was working away from home over 60 hours a week and my health could not do this any more. I want to save money and be happier, but not kill myself anymore. Thank you for some of your ideas!

  61. I love this post. When I was younger, I always bought Wal Mart everything, but would always have to go back and buy the same thing again and again and again. As you did, I realized Wal mart buys the cheapest products, thus don’t last. You save so much by buying quality the first time.

  62. I HATE shopping at Walmart because of the poor customer service and long return lines, but my boyfriend and I are moving in together and we need a place to go grocery shopping, that isn’t so expensive but good quality. Do you have any tips and suggestions on where to shop and how to plan so that we save money?

    • You might check the town you’re in and around it for options. You’d be surprised what you find when you walk into a store and realize they have really awesome stuff and you never even knew the store existed! 🙂

  63. Ah, someone young that gets it! I have lived the way you do my entire life. I also only pay cash for everything. If I can’t pay cash, I don’t need it. In order to keep a decent credit rating, I will use a credit card to make a purchase only if I can pay the balance in full. I also pay cash for my vehicles. I drive a ton so my cars are worthless when I am through with them. My 2005 Honda Civic has 493,000 miles on her, all driven solely by me.

    So proud of you! Keep up the great work and enlighten as many as you can.

  64. I shop at WM a lot. I didn’t believe they could sell an inferior product in the same box. Isn’t that fraud? The more comments I read the worse it got. I am now wondering about other discount stores. I don’t want to shout ‘conspiracy theory’ but this thought really has me upset. What about Ross and TJ Max? I shop Ross all the time; TJ Max are much more expensive for similar items. Am I really buying overruns, or are they specially made inferiors. Now I don’t want to go anywhere to shop for anything. Target is an extreme large chain store. Couldn’t they be doing the same thing? You have opened a can of worms for me. I used to shop Whole Foods and see what they are doing in NY. I will have to consider all of this. I don’t shop WinCo because they didn’t take credit cards and I don’t use checks or cash anymore. So I have never been in their store, but they are big, too. They claim to be lowest price, but are they inferior products, too. I am sorry I read all of this. Ignorance is bliss.

    • Sorry to have opened up a can of worms. It was pretty traumatic for me when I first learned all I did and when I posted this article, didn’t even know for sure they sell inferior items (suspected it and later updated the article to include it), just that sooooo many people are saying they work for a company and it’s true. They sell inferior quality products to Walmart. It’s mind blowing. I would think it’s not right, yes, but I can’t SOLELY blame Walmart, right…the companies ARE participating too! The world is driven by money and greed. 🙁

      Not sure about Ross and TJ Maxx. I tend to find their items to be good quality, so I do shop there, as well as Tuesday Mornings. Target *could be* doing the same thing, but there’s no proof. No one coming forward and their items are quality, so I’m thinking, it’s just Walmart.

  65. Overall, I don’t care for Wal-Mart. Mainly based on what it was like where I used to live. Here it is the cleanest, most friendly, and very helpful stores around. The diapers they have are the only ones, my youngest can wear. We do buy a few things from there. Everything(except the diapers!) has been long lasting, and worth our time, money, and effort. Haven’t made a return in 5 years; a couple times before that we had great service. Our store a has an excellent manager, who works well with the employees. ( I personally know several of them) I refuse to shop at our Target, they are just awful! Returns are criminal there.
    I know every store is not the same.
    I have his love/ hate relationship with all but one store in our area – and that is the local Kroger Corp store. They are the best, but they only sell food and paper goods. We go there weekly, and alternate between Wal-Mart & Aldi’s. Our Aldi’s is top-notch. Anyhow, thanks for the article. Due to our Wal-Mart being a “good” one, most people don’t believe me about what they are really/usually like.

  66. Love your blog and I agree 100% with your Walmart philosophy. I hate shopping there, I hate the way the cashiers and the customer service people treat you. Even their groceries go bad faster than from a regular grocery store.
    I have a question……. You mention in this posting that you used to be a reseller. What exactly did you resell? I’ve bought stuff at auctions and resold them on eBay hundreds of times, mostly antiques. Just wondering what you did/do. Thanks.

  67. Just about every place you shop these days sells defective products, some for much higher prices than Walmart. It’s just a good idea to be informed and try to shop smart wherever you shop. Also, lots of stores have employees who may be rude, but that’s life. I live out in the middle of nowhere, not a lot of options. I check prices at several places, including amazon, zulily, etc.. sorry you’ve had such problems. Also want to add all Walmarts are not equal. The one I go to is okay.

  68. I was looking for help and waited for a very long time in the aisle at Walmart. After calling customer service with a call button and my cell phone numerous times I found five managers in an aisle talking. I asked if one of them could help me. They told me they were talking and couldn’t help me. I left my full cart in the aisle and never went back. Walmart is gross and should be out of business.

  69. Wow! I have shop at Walmart on a regular basis and it’s crazy how you just gave me a whole new perspective on going there. I usually get the kids clothes there and it’s so true about them getting holes in them or shrinking. I’ve never had a problem with the diapers that I can remember but I hate the texture of their store brand wipes. I was thinking of getting a computer from there but now I’m probably going to try somewhere else. Where would you recommend?

  70. Hi Sarah,
    My name is Sarah too…I am a single mom..with a 2 year old…I work nights at a local hospital and my schedule is difficult because it is always changing and like you I don’t want to take away the time I do have with my son…if you could please share some advice on how to start my blogging journey I would truly appreciate it…thank you for your time.

  71. Reading the article. You don’t mention the dollar store. Nor do you mention food products, by that I mean fresh foods. I am no fan of Walmart and agree with most of what you posted. Buying the simple things like tooth paste and using coupons to buy some pretty good shampoos is far cheaper than anywhere else I have seen. The clothes I do buy at Walmart, mostly workout clothes are pretty good bargains. So I guess its all on prospective.

    • Walmart used to have a really great coupon system there, back when I did shop there. 🙂 But they changed the rules up because a lot of couponers were taking advantage. After they did that, it was always cheaper for me to go elsewhere and get better quality (like getting shampoo at Big Lots for example- they have the HUGE Pantene Pro-V bottles for like $5), but I live in a city with lots of options. I can understand for smaller cities where there are not too many stores.

  72. I am so happy that you wrote this! Poor quality and horrible customer service are just two of the many reasons I refuse to shop there. The awful way they treat their employees is another (probably why they’re so grumpy at customer service!).

    If you have Netflix it’s definitely worth the time to watch “Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price”. It’s probably also on YouTube. I’m betting that if you watch it, you’ll never want to go there again.

  73. First, I am so sorry you’ve had such a terrible time at Walmart! I only buy certain things there, such as my shampoo, feminine products, cat food and litter and a few other household items. I purchased my TV there on Black Friday and, knock on wood, it is still going great along with the stand, but that was my first big purchase from them. I used to work at a day care and got clothes there because they had some nice affordable stuff that I didn’t care if the kids ruined. I really like Walmart, but I am picky what I buy, I guess that is the difference. I would rather go to Target but it’s even further than Walmart and they are far enough out of my way where I live.

    • Exactly! I have multiple Target and Walmart stores plus just about every other big box store in my area. You just need to think about your purchase. Quality products cost a bit more, save and shop accordingly. You are using common sense and effective time management in your life. Spending time with your family is priceless!

  74. I bought a very good quality garden hose years ago when I worked at NAPA. I t has been so long ago I don’t remember the cost! But I still have it. I purchased it before I had my son & he is 35 years old! I have replaced the end pieces a couple times over the years. Still going strong!

    Just don’t shop WalMart you forgot to mention the time one saves from not waiting in the check out line too!

    • Huh, I didn’t even think about the long waiting lines. Very true. I go to Fred Meyer and they open up lanes for customers all the time. 🙂

  75. I also do not like shopping at walmart, I only go there to get cat litter and cat food (no were else sells the size i need). I do think their products a cheaply made but that is not the only reason I don’t shop in there ..i feel like its always so busy and big I can’t concentrate. I do however love shopping at the dollar tree…yes there is a lot of cheaply made stuff there…but I think there is good quality there to, I love getting trash bags, makeup, cleaning supplies, dog ropes, and all different type of stuff there..I think the key is to set quality guidelines for yourself and search for items that fit into those guidlines

  76. Love your advice.
    Never thought before about what you said about Walmart.
    Guess you could say I was a follower. Thinking that I was saving money shopping at Walmart. But you really did help clear up some things.

  77. In this article you wrote “…. I have even found that somehow the brand names at Walmart are no where near the quality of the off-brands at other stores, …!”

    Almost ten years, there was a book written about Walmart and its business methods. One method I clearly remember is that Walmart demands lower prices each time a vendor contract is renewed. Many big brand names use different materials and/or processes to make the items they sell to Walmart than the ‘same’ products sold elsewhere.

  78. I buy a ton of organic gmo free foods like kashi cereal and silk almond milk at Walmart. The brand quality is the same as if I bought the same brand at giant eagle, just cheaper. They carry a lot of brands that are exactly the same as other stores. Just curious also about your policy on returns, would you still not come on top returning your item and getting your money back? Even if you are driving 15 miles away, you are spending about $1.00 or so in gas and half an hour of your time, so let’s say an estimated cost of $12-$13 dollars of time assuming one makes an average of $24 an hours. If the hose is $18 you are still about $4 ahead, much more than the $30 one. I have never had an issue returning an item and I was just wondering what your thoughts were?

    • I wonder to myself, if Walmart does it on purpose, you know. Having someone come back to their store to make a return, is getting them in the doors, right. And that’s the whole point of businesses. Because they know that once someone comes in the store, more often than not, they’re going to buy something…I wonder to myself, if it’s some marketing plan. After I stopped shopping there, I rarely ever make a return…mostly because what I buy works now. lol.

      • It really depends upon the management of each Walmart store – or any store really. And your attitude when you reach the counter. I personally have rarely had a problem, but I have been told I can be intimidating. At 5’10” plus heels and well dressed I guess I must have a presence that might put some people off. Regardless of one’s circumstances, be professional and if not satisfied, ask for the store manager. If that does not work out, call, email corporate as well as the manufacturer of your product.

  79. Sam’s Club isn’t much better. National brand items that you buy there are frequently inferior to the exact same items purchased elsewhere. The Foster Farms frozen chicken breasts we bought there (once) reminded me of those huge, scary birds you always see flying overhead in artists’ renderings of When Dinosaurs Roamed the Land. I wound up cooking them in a pressure cooker till they could at least be chewed, if not enjoyed.

  80. Great article, this is so true. The saying: “You Get What you Pay For,” should be their slogan. I rarely shop at Wal-Mart, and I know I am better for it. I just need to get my family to quit sending me Wal-Mart gift cards for the holidays….I am appreciative, but do not want to support the corporation. Thanks for all of the informative articles!!

    • When I’ve received their gift cards, I have just gone to the checkout line and purchased gift cards for other stores. I’m not sure if they normally allow it or not, but the couple times I’ve done it, it’s been okay. 🙂 Or could sell them on eBay too, or give as gifts to others.

  81. Yes, Walmart is an evil corporation that gave me the creeps from the first time I walked into their store. There are some very interesting videos on YouTube regarding the Walmart stores closing throughout the country.

  82. I’ve also heard that outlet stores have lesser quality items then the regular version of those stores. For instance, the quality of jeans at Old Navy Outlet is cheaper than an Old Navy store in the mall. I too buy second hand clothes and that’s one way you can tell the durability of an item. Thanks for the info in your blog post.

  83. I would caution anyone against taking the Sketchers recommendation without trying them on. I’ve tried many, many pair of their shoes; they seem to consistently run a full size large. Which is great, actually, if you have a hard-to-find shoes size at the top of the size range. But it’s beyond frustrating when you wear a five, are desperate to find a (rare) pair of fives, only to discover that vanity sizing means they will not fit. For this reason I very deeply loathe Sketchers.

    But, back on topic, you make some good points. I go to Walmart a few times a year (it’s occasionally unavoidable, particularly if you truly must make some sort of purchase at 3 am), but it’s never the most cost/quality/time efficient route.

  84. Now, I’m wondering if the reason we have had so much trouble with our printer ink lately is because we purchased it at Wal-Mart. We had to take one set back because it wasn’t allowing ink out. The next one was gone almost before we had it installed. I can never understand why the ink goes so fast – we don’t make that many copies. I rarely ever buy fresh food at Wal-Mart – occasionally canned goods or frozen. Mostly buy toiletry items and cleaning items, but now after reading a lot of the comments, I’m wondering if maybe I’m getting burned there as well. I do know that I don’t like Wal-Mart in recent years and avoid going whenever possible. Just yesterday I put in a large online order from Amazon and Wal-mart online for products. I’ll have to compare the quality between the two. Lots to think about. Thanks for your insight.

  85. Last year I bought a $2.50 jug of Xtra Vanilla Scent for 50 loads and that is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made with my money. Not only did it not clean my clothes and sheets that well, but it *shrunk all* my clothes and brand new bed sheets! I was so mad because I had just spent $30-40 in new clothes and sheets plus it shrunk some of my old clothes that I’ve had for years (my favorite cropped sweatpants 🙁 ). I’ve learned to either go with my mom’s amazing homemade laundry detergent or Tide, Purex, or Arm & Hammer.

  86. Oh Sarah, How true.
    I quit shopping at Walmart too. Did not make it as long as you did though. I lasted two years. I had purchased a pair of boots and they were probably about $40.00 and part way into the snowy winter season one of the soles started to fall away. I had regularly shopped at our Walmart and most of my receipts showed I spent an average of a couple hundred dollars every time I walked through their doors. I grabbed a receipt with two pairs of shoes/boots on them and off to make a return. Well I had grabbed the wrong receipt and the cashier used the boot tag to check the price. She never bothered to tell me the original price but the amount they were willing to pay me for my trouble (no offer of exchange for the same or any other boot) $3.00 THREE DOLLARS….. that was all. I told the cashier that I would keep the boots and have more enjoyment lighting them on fire and that it would be a long time before I shopped there again. I also reminded her that their advertising said customer satisfaction guaranteed, and that I was not satisfied. I left…………..returning after two years to another branch of Walmart but just the same… a Walmart. Sadly to purchase a gift for my daughters friend. I have shopped there probably five times in the past year now, but reading your blog has hit the nail on the head, so I may have to quit going there again. Reassess my options, so to speak. I do like the fact that it is a one stop shop… Love your site, so truly inspirational.

    • Glad you like the site and I can be used to inspire you Loretta. 🙂 I’m sorry to hear about your boot story. Did you try calling the manufacturer of the shoes. I wonder if they would replace them or send you a refund. In one of my returns there (years ago) they did the same thing. I’ve been treated like a criminal there a couple times. The second time, was the time I swore them off. Obviously, I’m no criminal and shouldn’t be treated as such.

  87. I just bought a Barbie camper at Walmart for my daughter for Christmas. It is a cute toy but it doesn’t stay together! The pieces are constantly falling off! Even my toddler will go play with it and constantly ( like every five minutes) bring me the door off the front to replace. I went and read the reviews on their website and they were very mixed. Many people were complaining about the same problems I was having. I remembered your article here and went to the ToysRUs website to read reviews there on the same toy. Incredibly, there was a huge difference in reviews. The reviews on the Toys R Us website were mostly positive. I did the same at Target. Those reviews were better too. How in the world can I be getting a totally different product? By the same manufacturer? That is crazy. I am seriously thinking about returning it when my daughter is at school one day and getting one from Toys R Us. At least it won’t fall apart when my daughter plays with it.

    • I don’t know a good answer for that Gina. All I know is that MANY people (even people who work for companies are saying that very same thing- same brand, different quality). My life used to be a mess with constant returns all the time and things would always break and I’d have to replace. I thought it was normal…until I stopped shopping Walmart. Since then, I don’t remember returning anything because it didn’t work right. For me, I learned my lesson. My hope in this article is to simply save my readers drama, time, and money, as I’ve learned to do. If only I could tell publicly all the ways in which Walmart has tried to stop this article (buying me out with money), but the truth can’t be bought, so they buy others bloggers. That’s fine…but I will still tell the truth! 🙂

  88. It’s refreshing to read the comments posted on your site. I thought it was just me who had experienced negative issues with WalMart’s (WM) return policy. Just one example: I purchased a Singer sewing machine in the month of May but didn’t open the box until July. (I’m not a seamstress but thought it would be convenient to keep such a product in my home.) Needless to say, the machine didn’t work, not 1 stitch. With receipt in hand & knowing WM’s 6 week return policy, I was not about to be deterred so I drove 26 miles to rectify the issue. After it was “explained” that WM wouldn’t be able to accept the machine, I politely told the employee to read the large printed sign posted behind her which read: “WM guarantee’s 100% Customer Satisfaction” & added that I was not 10% satisfied. I explained that I didn’t drive 26 miles burning expensive gas to return a defective product. Furthermore, WM has a lousy return policy & the next steps I would take if I didn’t get a refund, i.e., I would be sending an email to both Martha Stewart (her pic was on the box) and the Singer Co. stating my experience with WM selling non-working products with their brand names. Needless to say, I received my refund.

    The fact is, many people live in small towns with no “mom & pop-type” stores in which to shop. Either we take a chance with internet purchases or there is WM. I understand that WM’s Customer Service receives a lot of returns that are not legitimate but only by osmosis would one know who’s truthful or not. As consumers, it’s our responsibility to make WM (or any other company) aware that we will not accept their defective products.

    Thank you and others for your informative comments.

    • I’m glad you were able to get a refund Clara. I do most all of my shopping online and get free shipping. If I’m buying something I haven’t purchased before, I research reviews quite a bit before purchasing and look for top rated items. Most of the time, if something is broken, they don’t need you to send the item back, you just throw it away and they send you a new one. A good example of a problem: I just ordered a Mickey and Minnie Mouse toy set and Minnie Mouse and Dumbo came. lol. So, I called JCP and told them. They let me keep Dumbo and sent me a Mickey Mouse free of charge. This seems to be the standard for me, and with free shipping and convenience (save gas, sales tax, and time), I love shopping online. 🙂 I go through Ebates to get cash back and use my Paypal debit card (which gives 1% cash back). I haven’t been to a store to buy something in at least 3 months (I get groceries online too). 🙂 Saves me from seeing something in the store and wanting to buy it too! haha!

  89. I have not shopped at Walmart for years. Mostly for the same reasons that you pointed out but also on a philosophical basis as well, I do not like what they have done to this country. Thanks so much for bringing this to many people. I only hope they pay attention. Have a GREAT New Year.

    • Walmart advertisers have seen this article. Their solution was to work very hard at buying me out. When that didn’t work, they tried other methods, and eventually bought more advertising space on other blogs to counteract this one. Call me crazy, but fixing the problem would be….nicer. 🙁

  90. I completely agree with you. For a while I felt like I couldn’t NOT afford to shop at Walmart. Over the last month, I’ve had to return 5 items. I live 120 km from the nearest Walmart. It is NOT worth the gas and defeat I feel having to return so many items. Even the darn sewing thread. Who looks at width??? In my 35 years of sewing, I’ve picked up a thingy of thread and that’s it. When I got home from Walmart with black thread, it was so huge it didn’t fit in my needles…ridiculous. I had enough after the thread incident. In my area, we have a store called Maxi and you can get most of the same grocery items for the same prices as Walmart and they are good quality.

    I find even name brands, like Fruit of the Loom, are of lesser quality at Walmart. I bought my boyfriend some socks, Fruit of the Loom, large socks…they were for big foot, so foolish! I bought the same Fruit of the Loom socks through Amazon, large, and they were the right size. What is up?

    I wish more people would have the light bulb moment. Thanks for giving me a chance to vent!

    • That is weird about the socks being different sizes. I’ve noticed that too with things of that nature when I shopped at Walmart eons ago. The sizes said the same as other stores, but they are bigger at Walmart for some reason.