You Bought That at Walmart?!
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I have a frugal confession to make; we do our grocery shopping at Walmart. I know, I feel so dirty just typing it. Mind you, you’ll not see our faces or choice of apparel gracing the pages of People of Walmart, but I am still not proud of shopping there. In the end, it all comes down to money. We shop there because they price match, are nearby and just have the lowest prices around. While there are many deals to be had by shopping at Walmart, especially for someone that likes to be frugal, I’ve learned one very important thing over the last decade of shopping trips to Walmart – not everything should be bought there. Here’s what tops my list of things I would never buy at Walmart.
Let me start off by saying that not all clothing at Walmart is bad, but come on, is there anything there you’d want to be taken seriously in? I am not one for high fashion and will do what I can to be frugal in my clothes shopping, but much of the clothing at Walmart should be passed on. If you’re looking for something to work in the yard in or work out in then I think you’re fine, but I certainly would not buy something I intend to wear to a client meeting at Walmart.
We don’t spend big nor do we buy often when it comes to high-end electronics, but when we do, it’s not at Walmart. They do have some decent buys if you’re looking to buy more lower to mid-range electronics, but if you want that sweet SLR camera or 60 inch TV then you’d be better served looking elsewhere. Their associates do not pretend to be experts and the level of service will be lacking if you’re a high needs customer. We’ve chosen Best Buy and Costco for our high end electronics grabs.
Don’t Get Your Taxes Done at WalMart
It always drives me nuts when I see the tax kiosks when we shop at Walmart. While their tax kiosks started in just a few stores, they are now present nationwide. One stop shop sounds great, doesn’t it? Wrong! The only service they offer is a 1040 EZ, which can be done by many in 10-15 minutes. This is not to mention the fact that they can conveniently put your refund on a prepaid card so you can spend away. I am also choosing to avoid my rant on the fact that many of the people staffing these kiosks are not true tax professionals, but simply individuals inputting data into a system.
I was guilty of this in college, but not any longer. Can you say cheap! The furniture, if you want to call it that, is serviceable at best for a single guy in college, but not much beyond that. Not only is the furniture cheaply made, but it also been shown to be environmentally bad in the past due to using wood from protected animal habitats. They have until sometime this year to straighten it out, but it’s just another reason why I’d look the other way in buying furniture at Walmart.
Ok, so this one is just a little on the lighter side, but do you really want to buy lingerie at Walmart? Mind you, this section has significant input from Mrs. Frugal Rules, so don’t shoot the messenger. From what I am told the materials are terrible and overall very uncomfortable. If you’re looking to wear something nice, then consider looking elsewhere as the savings are not worth it.
I love to be able to stretch our grocery budget, and the fruit at Walmart can provide for that – in one sense. The fruit there generally is cheap, but it has no shelf life which results in loss of the benefit of any money savings. We buy bananas and apples there because our kids vacuum both of them up, but anything else lasts a day or so at best. We’ve learned our lesson to avoid anything berry related as it molds within a day or anything like a pear or peach because they’re rock hard and have no flavor. Now we buy the bulk of our fruit elsewhere to get better quality.
What’s your take on Walmart? Do you shop there and if you do, what are some of the things you will not buy there?
Photo courtesy of: Ron Dauphin
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.
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