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Why I Don’t Shop at Walmart (It’s Not What You Think)

By Just Heather |

I’m sure you’re expecting a rant on working conditions, corporate tactics or failed customer service. And, yeah, put me down for despising all that. But, the reason I don’t shop at Walmart has nothing to do with a moral compass at all.

Sure, the customer service sucks. The stores I’ve visited are usually disorganized and dirty. Using coupons is more hassle than it’s worth. And, the rollback fails and People of Walmart pics serve as great reminders that I’ve made the right choice.

But, the reason I don’t shop at Walmart is all about frugality.

I know, I know — what could be cheaper than Walmart? Except, that’s just it. Walmart is cheap, not frugal. There’s a big difference, and I don’t come cheap. Which is why I finally stopped letting the lure of low prices get to me.

Because when you buy cheap crap from Walmart, you get cheap crap from Walmart.

I’d rather spend a few dollars more on something that lasts than have to buy a replacement later. Let’s compare a little frugal math: I have to buy 2 $4 shirts at one store to get them to last as long as 1 $6 shirt at another.

How much money are you really saving?

Rollback Fail photo by Shopper Strategy, used with permission

Follow Heather on Twitter, Pinterest, and her blogs.

More on
Where Is the Best Place to Shop for Groceries?

More money saving ideas from Heather on
4 Frugal Things You’ll Never See Me Do

About Just Heather


Just Heather

Heather Sokol babbles about shoes, cocktails, and, mostly, her family. She and her geeky husband are raising four kids and losing sanity daily. They live their gluten free life on a budget while Heather shares her deals, tips and coupon savvy. Read more on her blog Just HeatherTwitter or Pinterest. Read bio and latest posts → Read Heather's latest posts →

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16 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Shop at Walmart (It’s Not What You Think)

  1. Denise says:

    Great post Heather – I love the “frugal math”!

  2. Janet says:

    I love getting name brand stuff at Walmart cheaper than at other stores, but their “Walmart” products are certainly crap. Their clothes suck, but for my growing child, she’ll probably grow out of it before it wears out, so I’m not hung up on the kids stuff. I won’t buy clothes there for myself though. The closest Walmart to me also sells food. Unfortunately for me, it’s also the closest grocery store. I don’t buy produce or meats there, but will buy the name brand non-perishable foods. I haven’t had a problem with them yet (knock on wood.)

  3. Kel says:

    Exception for those cheap clothes: they have organic cotton onesies and pants and sleepers and such for $2 each. Great for fast-growing babies.

  4. Corrin says:

    Preach. I also don’t shop there because of the quality of their produce, meat, and baked goods (basically anything unprocessed ).

  5. Heather T says:

    Kel, but are you sure it is really organic cotton? Or is it just labeled that way? I’m not one for conspiracy, but I’ve learned that what a label says in Walmart isn’t always what it really is. Organic standards vary widely from country to country. Things can easily get labeled organic without them really being so.

  6. Amy N. says:

    I read a book a few years ago called the Wal-Mart Effect by Charles Fishman. Basically one of the things he talks about it that people purchase those less quality items, knowing they will break and then they’ll just replace it. Use it once, it doesn’t work again, oh well, buy a new one.

  7. Abigail says:

    I was happy to see this article this morning! I haven’t been to a Wal-mart in 5 years because of it’s unpleasant environment and false “low prices”. The stuff that’s cheap, is cheap for reason.

  8. Rhonda says:

    I shop at WalMart. A DVD or bluray from WM is the same everywhere. So are books, school supplies, gerber onesies, carters onesies, diapers, and I could go on. This article is a blanket statement and honestly I haven’t found it to be that true.

  9. Andrea says:

    Another trick that Walmart uses, is luring you in with one of their low-priced “rollbacks”. While one item appears to be much less than another store, you are actually spending more on the other items you are placing in your cart. I have to agree about the quality too. I do purchase a few “Great Value” store brand items, but many times they are not such a “Great Value”. I recently purchased a box of snack size ziplock baggies and 3/4 of the box had defective zippers that pulled away from the bag rendering it useless. I returned them, but I wondered how many other people would just throw them (and their $2.48) away and buy another box, or a more expensive brand. Target is my “big box” store of choice. Their stores are generally clean, their employees are friendly, their store brand items and clothing are better quality and they give back to their community. I wish they offered their “Super Target” stores where I live now. I miss the full size grocery store option.

  10. Jennifer B says:

    I’m not a regular Walmart shopper. I’m a barely occasional Walmart shopper. However, there are some things that would be exactly the same everywhere. DVDs and other name brand items would be those! I choose not to shop there on a regular basis based on other reasons.

  11. Naomi says:

    I shop at Walmart, too, and love it! Perfect for my family’s needs, and I have found nothing but great customer service at the Walmart stores I frequent.

  12. angel says:

    I buy groceries at Walmart, name brand items. Name brand toiletries and cleaners, toys around Christmas and birthdays. I don’t buy clothes there, not my style, so I couldn’t tell you if they hold up well or not.

  13. Teri says:

    I shop at and love walmart. I don’t know where you live but the stores around us are always clean. If they are nasty call 1-800-Walmart and report it please. They really do care about how their stores run. I have called their 1-800 line about before asking them to continue carrying something that they got rid of and they brought it back. Wal-mart does so much good inside the community and outside of it that they don’t have to and I have often found most things at walmart to be great. Sure they have a few items I might steer clear of, but target and kmart are just as full of junk as is every other store. I have even found bad clothes at gymboree but there you pay $30 bucks for a poorly sewn item. I have been a seamstress for 28 years and can tell junk when I see it.

  14. Jen says:

    I have to shop at Walmart. I have to go where its cheapest. We have one other store and the prices are sooo rediculously high its crazy. Unless I drive 30 min away (which who can afford that with gas being as high as they are) just to get groceries I am stuck w/ Walmart. Which, btw, is dirty and very unorginized. lol

  15. Anne P. says:

    You know, it seems to really depend on the store. Interesting to know, Teri, that there’s a number to call. We have a wonderful WM by our house–it’s clean and organized, but one 3 miles down the highway has been in disarray every time I’ve been there.
    As far as cheap junk–yep, Walmart’s got it. But you can also get the brands you know and do well. Also, the Faded Glory items labeled as “organic cotton” are a great buy. My daughter has bad eczema, and at one point only the Faded Glory 100% “organic cotton” and Gymboree 100% cotton clothes didn’t make her itch. And the Faded Glory clothes cost 1/3 as much.
    Boy, I had a lot to say. I’m neither a Walmart affilate nor am I a huge fan.

  16. Becky says:

    Yes, I agree recently I bought a few of items two of their “cheap” towles, 2 sweatshirts, diabetic socks. I went home put all things in the washer when it
    came out LINT from the towles all over my clothes, nothing was speared.

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