20 items to avoid at walmart

From staples like food and clothes to oddities like the famed yodeling pickle, Walmart has become a one-stop shop for just about everything. The retail giant is a force to be reckoned with in its industry.

The company is known for its "everyday low prices," but you can overspend on the wrong items at any store.

Here are some of the worst items you can buy at Walmart.

Walmart purchases that are draining your wallet
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Walmart purchases that are draining your wallet

1. Peanut Butter

When it comes to peanut butter, the thought of comparison shopping might never enter your mind. But instead of assuming Walmart has the best price on this creamy delight, check out the competition to see where you can save money.

For example, Walmart currently offers Peter Pan 100% Natural Creamy Peanut Butter in a 40-ounce jar for $5.38, but Target charges $4.99 for the same product.

On the contrary, check out some of the purchases you should use Walmart for

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2. Wrapping Paper

Whether you're in need of wrapping paper for a birthday gift, wedding present or Christmas surprise, you can save big by skipping Walmart and heading to the Dollar Store. Walmart charges $3.03 for one roll of a plain-colored wrapping paper. You can pick up three rolls for three cents less than that price at the Dollar Store.

See: How to Shop at the Dollar Store 

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3. Produce

Walmart's produce section boasts a variety of fruits, including blueberries, strawberries, apples and oranges. The retailer prices its fruit reasonably, but these rates aren't always the cheapest in town — especially when there's a Save-A-Lot nearby.

A Save-A-Lot in Rio Grande, New Jersey, for example, sells a five-pound bag of Red Delicious apples for $2.99 compared to Walmart's price of $4.92. As a bonus, Save-A-Lot often runs weekly deals on vegetables. The retailer recently sold cucumbers and green peppers on sale for 59 cents each. 

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4. Party Supplies

Whether you're hosting a graduation party, an anniversary celebration or a baby shower, Walmart might be the first place you consider for party supplies. But if you're also hosting on a budget, you'll do better heading to the nearest dollar store.

"Party supplies at Walmart can be up to five times the cost of party supplies at dollar stores," said Carson Yarbrough, a consumer insights specialist for Offers.com, a site for coupons and insider savings tips. "If you're planning a party, opt to get party supplies like plastic cups, decorations and balloons at the dollar store to see significant savings." 

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5. Toys

There's nothing more exciting than watching your little one jump for joy when given a new toy, but you don't need to pay more to experience that same reaction. For example, the Best Ride On Cars McLaren P1 12V Ride On sells for $279.99 at Walmart. The same exact toy car is $268.50 with Prime shipping on Amazon. Another example is the Write & Learn Creative Center, which is $24.88 at Walmart, but just $17.99 on eBay with free shipping.

Discover: 20 Retailers That Offer Free Shipping All Year 

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6. Wood Furniture

Furniture can be expensive. So, if you're just starting out or looking for inexpensive pieces for your home, you might be lured by Walmart's low prices on wood furniture. Keep in mind, however, that you get what you pay for at these prices.

"Walmart has relatively cheap wood furniture, but this is because it's a lesser quality than other furniture retailers," said Yarbrough. "Wooden furniture from Walmart is more likely to break or deteriorate quicker, so buy your furniture elsewhere to save money and the hassle of replacing it in two months." 

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7. High-End Electronics

Walmart's low prices on high-end electronics might convince you that you're getting a good deal. But this depends on what you purchase.

As an example, the DJI Phantom 3 Professional Drone is selling for $999, and selling for $749 on Amazon, said Brian Meiggs, founder of Millennial Money Guide, a website that helps readers take control of their financial well-being.

"Walmart is known as a value-oriented retailer and not primarily known as a consumer electronics store," he added. "[I] recently went shopping for a drone, and the level of service and accessories was subpar at my local Walmart — not to mention the price was much higher at Walmart."

Discover: 50 Stores With the Best and Worst Return Policies 

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8. Shampoo

Many of us love to give our locks the luxury treatment with salon-quality shampoos and conditioners. However, shampoo is one of the items you should buy on Amazon instead of Walmart.

33.8-ounces of Nexxus Therappe Moisture Shampoo costs $18.97 at Walmart, but you'll pay $18.39 with free shipping on Amazon, or $13.99 if you're a member of Prime Pantry. You can use those savings to purchase some new hair ties to replace the ones you're always losing.

Take a look at these inexpensive beauty hacks

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9. Photos

Although Walmart offers a decent price of $.15 per photo print, you can do better. There are several apps that give you the opportunity to order copies of your favorite photos for free. Shutterfly, for example, gets you started with unlimited free prints when you download their app. There's also an app called FreePrints that makes ordering pictures as easy as 1-2-3, and it also provides services free-of-charge. Customers simply pay for shipping, which still makes the purchase much cheaper than buying prints from Walmart. 

Photo credit: Getty

10. Stretched Canvases

Walmart has a department dedicated to arts, crafts and sewing. However, the selection and pricing pale in comparison to what you'll find at craft stores like Michaels — particularly if you're shopping for a stretched canvas.

Walmart currently sells a five-pack of stretched 16-by-20 canvases for $19.01. This isn't a bad price, but it's a rip-off compared to sale prices at Michaels. For example, the retailer often has five-packs of 16-by-20 stretched canvases on sale for $12.99. 

Photo credit: Getty

11. Batteries

Crucial for operating everything from toys to remote controls, batteries are a must-have item around the house. The problem with Walmart, however, is that you'll likely spend a lot on batteries and get little in return.

Right now, the retailer offers a four-pack of Energizer Ultimate AA Lithium Batteries for $6.94. But if you buy in bulk at Sam's Club, you'll get an 18-pack of the batteries for $19.98. 

Photo credit: Getty

12. Coffee

Most people can't get their days started without a cup of Joe. Because coffee is relatively inexpensive, you might not question Walmart's prices. The truth is, competitors like Dollar General typically sell the same brands of coffee for less.

For example, Walmart's price for Folgers Black Silk Dark Roast Ground Coffee (24.2 ounces) is $7.48, but the coffee is often on sale at Dollar General for $6.95.

Read On: Here Are the Best and Worst Deals at Starbucks 

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13. Fitbit Charge 2

If you're looking to get in shape and lose weight, the Fitbit Charge 2 Activity Tracker + Heart Rate will monitor your heart rate, daily steps and calorie burn. Walmart competitively prices this particular Fitbit at $148.95, but this isn't the lowest price you'll find.

At eBay, you can get a brand-new Fitbit Charge 2 Activity Tracker + Heart Rate monitor for $120.00 with free shipping. 

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14. Mini Refrigerators

Many prospective college students head to Walmart to get items for their dorm rooms. This includes a mini refrigerator for always having a cold drink on hand. Unfortunately, Walmart isn't the best place to get this appliance. Parents can save a significant amount of money by taking a few minutes to shopping around. For example, if you purchased the Igloo 3.2 cu ft Refrigerator at Walmart, you'd have to pay $142.99. After a little digging, you'd discover Home Depot sells the same mini refrigerator for $119.99. That's a savings of $23.99. 

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15. Vitafusion MultiVites

Vitamin supplements can treat nutritional deficiencies, and some vitamins even improve the outlook for certain health conditions. But the cost of vitamins can add up over time, so it's important to find ways to save money. Rather than purchase vitamins from Walmart, compare prices to see if you can find your selections cheaper on Amazon.

You'll save on Vitafusion MultiVites gummy vitamins, for example, when shopping on Amazon. A 150-count bottle is listed on Amazon for $7.79, whereas Walmart sells the item for $9.88. 

Photo credit: Getty

16. Keurig

You'll also save money by skipping Walmart and purchasing your Keurig K55 Brewer from another retailer. Walmart has this particular Keurig model for $98.00. For a cheaper option, head to QVC where you'll find the same model with a host of extras, like 43 K-Cups and six water filters, for $76.98. 

Photo credit: Getty

17. Barbecue Grills

Even though Walmart has its own patio and garden center, the company's prices don't always beat its competitors. Take the Blue Rhino Outdoor LP Gas Tailgate Barbecue Grill for example. This newer grill is perfect for camping weekends and family events in your own backyard. If you were to buy it at Walmart, you'd have to spend $178.00; however, it would only cost you $157.24 total if you purchased it on Amazon and had it shipped right to your home. 

Photo credit: Getty

18. Gift Cards

Walmart's gift card center features a generous selection of restaurants and retailers, including Olive Garden, Papa John's, Starbucks and Burger King. Plus, there's the option to buy Visa, MasterCard and American Express gift cards. Walmart is a convenient place to pick up cards, but it isn't the cheapest place.

A cost-saving solution involves buying from discount sites like Raise and Cardpool, which have gift cards for up to 30 percent and 35 percent off, respectively.

Learn: Where to Sell Gift Cards Online for Cash 

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19. Straight Talk Wireless

With a prepaid or pay-as-you-go cellphone plan, you don't have to worry about a contract. And, you only pay for the minutes you use.

Walmart's Straight Talk wireless is an affordable cellular solution, with its $55 monthly unlimited nationwide plan. This monthly price might agree with your wallet, it's certainly not the best deal in town. MetroPCS's unlimited 4G LTE data plan costs $5 less a month and gives you all the same benefits. With MetroPCS, you might see a savings of $60 a year. 

Photo credit: Getty

20. Basic Kitchen Items

Walmart has a huge selection of kitchenware from drinking glasses to cooking items. But if you're on the hunt for simple, inexpensive kitchen merchandise like coffee mugs, flatware or bowls, there's no need to pay big retailer prices. Dollar stores might have exactly what you're looking for at a cheaper price.

Why pay $5 for a basic coffee mug at Walmart when you can get mugs for $1 each at dollar stores?

Most people want to save money. But just because a company claims to be the cheapest retailer on the block doesn't mean it's true. Even with Walmart coupons, you can potentially save elsewhere. With that being said, do your homework, shop around and compare prices at retailers — your wallet will thank you.

Up Next: 25 Secret Ways to Save Money at Target 

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 20 Items to Avoid at Walmart

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