Walmart has long been known as a low-price leader. In response to fierce pricing competition from smaller rivals like Aldi and Kroger, the retailer is slashing prices even lower, and coming up with new ways to keep their customers happy.
Whether you’re shopping at Walmart for groceries, back-to-school staples or gear for your next backyard barbecue, these items are always cheaper at Walmart. Learn the tricks to get the most bang for your buck inside.
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Walmart is the most popular grocery store in America, with about 25 percent of the grocery market in the U.S. The retailer gets consistent low marks for quality and customer service, but rock-bottom prices keep grocery shoppers coming back for more.
Personal finance expert Brett Anderson does his own shopping at Walmart — especially for pre-packaged items, like soup, cereal and other pantry staples. For example, a 21-ounce box of Honey Nut Cheerios at Walmart is $3.64 vs. $3.99 at Target, and a can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup is $1.29 a can on Amazon (where there is no bulk pricing), vs. $1.25 for a single can or 87 cents each for a pack of four at Walmart.
Did You Know? You Can Bargain at Walmart
In 2011, Walmart began investing in higher-quality beef for their stores, so you can cook perfect steaks at home. The retailer had traditionally only sold lower grades of meat to keep prices low, but this new investment created a surge in demand, driving the price difference between low-grade and high-grade beef to 19 cents, up from 3 cents.
You can find ground beef for under $3 a pound at Walmart, compared to over $4 on AmazonFresh. Roast beef averages $9.98 a pound, compared to $10.99 a pound at Vons. If beef isn’t your thing, you can find other meats at super low prices, like cans of tuna for 75 cents each, compared to the same product on AmazonFresh for about $1 each. Chicken is also just as cheap at Walmart: boneless, skinless chicken breasts are about $2.43 a pound, while AmazonFresh sells them for $3.20 a pound.
Just over 9 percent of the American population has diabetes, according to the Center for Disease Control. And people who use insulin to control it can spend over $700 a year on this life-saving medicine — more than triple what it cost in 2002.
Like many other medicines, the price of insulin can vary depending on where you get it. In an interview with Consumer Reports, Dr. Jeremy A. Greene said Walmart is the cheapest place in the country to get insulin because high demand keeps the retailer’s prices competitively low. According to Greene, Walmart sells Novolin N for just $25, whereas the same product, without a coupon, can be over $160 at competitors like Walgreens, Target and CVS.
While Insulin prices are always cheaper at Walmart, there is one distinct difference. Diabetes patient Roger J. Willard said, “Walmart’s insulin comes in vials, so you have to use syringes. It’s not as convenient as the insulin pens, but it works for me. No other pharmacy or store beats the price — a lifesaver for many.”
You can get your traditional 4×6 photos printed for as little as 15 cents apiece at Walmart. The retailer also offers specialized prints, like posters starting at $5.86, high-gloss metallic prints for $7.44 and collage prints for as low as 9 cents each.
Target’s prices for products other than standard photo prints is almost twice the price: posters start at $17.99, metallic prints start at $14.99, regular prints are 29 cents each if you want to pick them up at a store and collage prints start at 15 cents. Costco also has a photo center, but its prices still aren’t as low as Walmart’s: Regular prints are 17 cents each, the smallest metal print it offers is $33.99, posters are $6.99 each, and collage prints start at $1.79.
Walmart even beats Costco on Bounty paper towel prices. A 12-roll pack of Bounty Select-a-Size double paper towels sells for $17.47 at Walmart, which comes to about $2 apiece. The same size case sells for $27.99 at Costco, or about $2.33 a piece.
Vons also sells a six-pack of these paper towels — which will save you storage space — but they’re a whopping $19.99 per package, or $3.18 apiece. If you have the room for it, you’ll save a bundle by buying this household necessity in bulk at Walmart.
Read More: 6 Odd Things You Can Buy at Walmart
Newborn babies typically go through about 10 diapers a day, leaving many parents feeling a pinch in the wallet. Walmart offers the best price on these vital necessities, with Pampers Swaddlers diapers in size 1, for babies 8-14 pounds, just 17 cents each.
Amazon sells the same diapers for 20 cents each, and Target has them for 22 cents each. These numbers might seem insignificant, but when you’re going through over 300 diapers a month in the beginning stages, every cent counts. Also, look for Walmart coupons as well to save even more on diapers.
Pro tip: Although buying diapers at the grocery store works in a pinch (we’ve all been there), don’t make it a habit. Grocery stores might charge as much as double the price of big box stores.
Walmart has a wide selection of cameras for hobbyists at any level. If you’re in the market for a beginner’s DSLR, Walmart has the Canon EOS Rebel T6 for $399. It comes with an 18-55mm lens, SD card and other accessories. Target offers the same camera and kit for $50 more, and Amazon also sells the kit for $449.
It won’t be long until families are gearing up for back-to-school shopping, and a brand new backpack is usually on the list. There are plenty of brands and styles out there, but most school backpacks have some critical features in common: multiple storage compartments, thick, wide straps and water storage.
Walmart’s top-rated Eastsport Absolute Backpack is only $13.29. That’s a steal compared to the AmazonBasics backpack for $29.99 or Target’s Embark Future Tech Backpack for $24.99 — all three are store brands. We haven’t even hit peak back-to-school shopping, so keep your eyes open for even lower prices as the summer comes to an end.
Summer is here, which means it’s time to beat the heat and hit the pool, beach or lake. This usually requires stocking up on essentials, like beach towels, which somehow always get lost by the end of the season.
You can find Walmart deals on inexpensive beach towels. Pick flamingo, tiki, butterfly and crab prints for under $6 each, or go with solids for just $3 each. Target also offers beach towels in appealing prints, but prices start around $8 and go up to over $22 each. Costco has two-packs of high-quality “resort towels” for about $20, but that’s still a lot for something that probably won’t make it to the end of summer.
6-Foot Folding Tables
Whether you’re holding a garage sale, throwing a party, camping with friends or squeezing in extra dinner guests, a large folding table is always good to have on-hand. Walmart’s 6-foot folding table is $38.99, compared to Costco’s for $67.99 and Target’s for $49.99. At that low price, you can stock up on more than one and host the next neighborhood block party.
Kids who wear school uniforms usually just need a few sets of some basic items: polo shirts, pleated skirts and chinos. This makes it easier to get dressed in the morning, but some retailers sell these items for substantially more than regular kids play clothing. Luckily, Walmart has an entire section dedicated to school uniform items, including pleated skirts for $8.97, boys’ chinos for $9 to $9.47 and polos for just over $4 each when purchased in a multi-pack.
Similar items offered by other retailers cost far more. At Lands’ End, pleated skirts are $25 to $40, boys’ chinos are $30 to $45 and polo shirts are $16 to $30 — each. Even Target’s school uniform clothing is more expensive: pleated skirts are $11 to $13, chinos are $12 to $15, and polo shirts are $7 to $13.
SodaStream Starter Kit
SodaStream lets you make soda and other carbonated drinks at home. It cuts down on plastic bottle waste and saves fizzy-drink lovers money.
In addition to the basic soda maker, you’ll also need bottles, syrups and other accessories to complete the kit, which can cost of anywhere from $80 to almost $100. Of the major retailers, Walmart has the lowest prices on SodaStream startup kits that offer the highest values. The retail giant sells a SodaStream kit, which comes with a Fountain Jet Soda Maker, four 1-liter bottles and a mini CO2 can, for $78. Target also sells a starter kit, but it only comes with one bottle and a CO2 can for $87 — almost $10 more — and the same SodaStream kit on Amazon costs $90.31.
If it’s time to refresh your child’s helmet stock for the summer, then head to Walmart for the best prices. The Razor-brand youth helmet is $14.99 at Walmart, compared to $17.19 at Target and $18.86 on Amazon. The popular Raskullz rainbow unicorn helmet is slightly cheaper at Walmart compared to $19.99 Target, but both stores are about $15 cheaper than Amazon. A basic Bell youth helmet is about $17 at Walmart, compared to $23 at Target and Amazon.
Food and veterinary care are the most expensive costs for pet owners, which are generally unavoidable, so it makes sense to save as much as you can on extras, like toys, treats and yes — beds.
Dog beds can be shockingly expensive, with some models selling for several hundred dollars. Target’s most expensive model is a whopping $319. Amazon has a wide variety of sizes and prices, but you can find a basic medium-sized bed for about $25. Walmart is still king when it comes to low prices, though, with medium-sized dog beds starting just $5.47 and “deluxe” models for $26.
All prices checked on June 19, 2017