What’s worth buying at Walmart?

Posted at 4:10 PM, Sep 02, 2014

Think shopping at Walmart is a bright idea? Consumer Reports’ tests show it could be, if you’re in the market for LED lightbulbs. LEDs are usually very expensive, but after 3,000 hours of testing, Consumer Reports found several from Walmart that are cheap and really good, including the Great Value 60-watt equivalent, A19. Use it 3 hours per day, and it should last about 22 years. Not bad for $10. Several Great Value floodlights are also a good bargain.

Another good deal is Wild Oats organic food. Consumer Reports compared prices for pantry staples such as ketchup, beans, marinara sauce, and creamy peanut butter. Walmart’s prices for organics were cheaper than local supermarkets for everything Consumer Reports looked at—often 50 percent cheaper.

Consumer Reports regularly includes Walmart’s Great Value brand in blind taste tests against big brands and found several winners, including ranch dressing, vanilla ice cream, and mozzarella cheese.

Consumer Reports’ tests show several of Walmart’s paper products are also good bargains. Great Value Facial Tissues with Lotion are ultra soft—as is the top-rated toilet paper: White Cloud, 3-ply ultra. And Walmart paper towels are both strong and absorbent.

But testers in the laundry labs found that not every low price is a great value. The Great Value Natural Laundry detergent had downright dismal performance in the latest tests.

You also may want to skip the meat and produce aisles at Walmart. Although it is America’s largest grocer, Walmart earned low scores for meat and produce quality in Consumer Reports’ most recent supermarket survey.