With its yellow smiley face touting “rollbacks” and various savings-focused slogans, Walmart has become a household name known for low prices. Competitors are hot on its tail, however, especially online. Many consumers find the shopping environment unpleasant and also object to the treatment and compensation of Walmart employees. Still, millions find reason to shop at Walmart, as the retail giant continues to lead the low-price pack for many items. Its price-match guarantee and new Savings Catcher service give shoppers confidence they’re getting the best deal -- and in many cases they are. Here are 10 types of consumer products where Walmart undercuts the competition.
1. School Supplies.As college tuition climbs, students, parents, and teachers can enjoy cheap prices on school supplies at Walmart. A dollar can’t buy you much these days, but on the Walmart website, it can get your child a 24-pack of Crayola crayons along with a bottle of Elmer's glue. A package of 20 Dixon No. 2 pencils costs 75 cents at Walmart compared with $1.49 for a dozen store-brand No. 2 yellow pencils at Staples.
2. Air Conditioners.When humidity climbs and the house turns into a sauna, a few hundred dollars might seem like a small price to pay for an air conditioner. Over at Walmart, prices start at $109. Reviews of the Frigidaire FRA055XT7 window air conditioner, currently selling for $149, report that it’s compact, quiet, easy to install, and sized right for a small room. Other online retailers, such as ATG Stores, carry the same model for at least $25 more.
3. Brand-Name Groceries.Walmart is now a leading player in the grocery business. Although Aldi posted the lowest prices in a Cheapism.com grocery comparison, that unconventional chain doesn’t carry many Americans’ favorite brands. For an assortment of brand-name foodstuffs, Walmart consistently beat Kroger on price. Concerns about freshness, quality, and availability might deter some shoppers, but there’s no question that groceries at Walmart are cheap.
4. Baby Products.When a newborn arrives, the shopping list can grow to enormous lengths. Walmart keeps up with prices that are hard to beat on diapers, wipes, bottles, and more. A 448-count package of Pampers sensitive baby wipes goes for a sale price of $10.97 compared with $14.99 at Diapers.com or Toys R Us. Huggies Snug & Dry diapers likewise cost a few bucks less: A size-5 Economy Plus Pack (172 count) is $47.17 compared with $50.99 on Amazon.
5. Cleaning Supplies.Cleaning is a chore, but bargain prices may help ease the burden. Walmart stocks aisles of wipes, disinfectants, dusting supplies, carpet/floor cleaners, and so on, but keep an eye out for value and jumbo packs to net the greatest savings. We found a three-pack of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes (105 count total) on sale for $4.97 at Walmart. The closest match was at Amazon, which sells a three-pack of 225 wipes (total) for $18.50.
6. Razors.Whether you’re looking for blades, cartridges, disposables, or an electric razor, prices are low at Walmart. The Gillette Body razor for men costs $7.97 vs. $8.79 to $8.99 at other online retailers, including Pharmapacks, Drugstore.com, Walgreens, and Soap.com.
7. Laundry Detergent.That fresh and clean feeling is always welcome, especially when it’s cheap to buy. Walmart charges $8.97 for Tide Simply Clean & Fresh liquid laundry detergent (138 ounces) compared with $10 to $11 at other online suppliers. Amazon posts a $12.73 sticker on the same item, and that doesn’t include shipping costs.
8. Sunscreen.There’s no excuse for risking skin cancer, particularly given the low price of sunscreen at Walmart. Coppertone Sport High Performance Ultra Sweatproof SPF 100+ sunscreen (4 ounces) costs $8.97 compared with $9.99 at Drugstore.com and $9.40 at The Online Drugstore. Walmart’s own store brand finished among Cheapism’s top picks for best cheap sunscreen.
9. Contact Lens Solution.Contact lenses sit right on the surface of your eyes and must be properly cleaned and stored to prevent bacteria growth. Brand-name contact solution usually sells for $15 to $17, but Walmart offers a two-pack (10 ounces each) of Alcon Opti-Free Replenish Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution for $13.98. A comparison on Google Shopping shows Walmart as the cheapest online source; AC Lens offers a sale price of $16.11.
10. Feminine Products.The cost of pads and tampons adds up, so bargains are appreciated. We found Always Infinity pads with Flexi-Wings (36 count) for $6.97 at Walmart. Pharmapacks offers the same item for $7.86, and that’s only a limited-time sale price.
Related: 25 Best Finds at Walmart