How to Save Money at Walmart

posted in: Shopping Tips

When it comes to saving money, few stores can hold a candle to Walmart. Their “Everyday Low Prices” are just the tip of the iceberg. After reading about these Walmart shopping hacks, you’ll never look at this big-box store the same way again!

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Take advantage of the price-match policy

You may have heard about the Walmart.com Price Match Guarantee, but have you actually tried it? If not, here’s how it works: To qualify, a product has to be the exact same (quantity, size, etc.) and must be in-stock at select competing e-tailers, including Homedepot.com, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, and Target.com. 

There’s a caveat: Walmart.com does not price match store pricing. However, if the price in-store is higher than the price on Walmart.com, you can speak to a store associate about matching the price you saw on Walmart.com.

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Buy online and pick up in-store

Walmart has been known to price items differently online than in-store, so if you’re in-store, check the online price. If it’s lower, place an order online and visit the pick-up desk to retrieve your order! Bonus: lots of online items offer extra savings when you opt for in-store pickup. It’s called a “pickup discount” and it varies from 5-10 percent off.

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Shop the endcaps & check Clearance

Endcaps are the small displays at the end of an aisle, and many big-box retailers, including Target, use this real estate for sale items. In addition to checking the endcaps for bargains, be on the lookout for less conspicuous displays (for instance, clearance electronics are kept in a glass case, not an endcap).

Items with Clearance stickers will continue to be marked down until they sell. Typically, these markdowns will occur in the first five days of the month, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your next shopping trip.

Though store clearance varies a lot (and often at managers’ discretion), these are pretty common clearance categories to look out for:

  • February – March: Heavy coats, winter clothes and boots.
  • Late August – September: Swimsuits, summer apparel & footwear, summer decor, pool toys, dorm supplies and school supplies.
  • Late October – early November: Fall decor, fall clothing and shoes, coats and jackets.
  • Late November – December: Tech and toys

 

Going off-brand

Next time your doctor gives you a new prescription, ask if it’s available in generic. If it is, look for it in Walmart’s list of $4 generic prescriptions. No insurance is needed, and you can even fill qualifying 90-day prescriptions for only $10. You can’t beat that! While you’re at it, get up-to-date on other health services like immunizations, flu shots, vision checks, and super-affordable care at the Walmart clinic.

Speaking of generics, keep an eye out for Walmart’s house brands, like Equate and Great Value. They’re often manufactured at the same facility and use the same ingredients as their name-brand counterparts but are significantly cheaper.

 

 

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Save on Groceries

Looking to save on groceries? Try going to Walmart.com/shop/deals, you can sometimes find rollback pricing on food that has been recently reduced in price.  Some Walmart locations have a broad selection of groceries, where smaller stores have a more limited selection. Walmart has not been known for their organic or natural food options, but they have been making improvements in that arena.  

 

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Use a cash-back app 

There are lots of apps/sites for saving money while you shop, but CouponCabin is a favorite.  One you install their Sidekick browser extension, popups will appear to alert you to available promo codes and cashback opportunities as you browse on Walmart.com and it will even run coupons for you at checkout.  When you’re shopping in-store, install the CouponCabin app. I just checked the app and there’s a code for 20% off any purchase!

Ibotta is another good one for Walmart purchases. Once you’re done with your Walmart excursion, search the app for any items or categories you’ve purchased, select them, and scan your receipt. The app offers cash back on most categories, such as household goods, groceries, personal care products and the like. Once you’ve earned $20 on Ibotta, cash out your earnings in the form of gift cards or a PayPal deposit. Not too shabby!

Party on for less

Watch out, Dollar Tree! Walmart’s prices on party supplies, gift wrapping, and cards are often a better deal. Items in this category are plentiful and diverse and often come in larger quantities than other discount stores. At $0.97, you can party for less! Combine that with their $0.47 greeting cards and you’ve got a reason to celebrate!

Score free shipping

Take advantage of Walmart’s free shipping offers. You can get free 2-day shipping when you spend $35 or more online (excludes Hawaii and Alaska) or you can try that handy in-store pickup that we talked about. Items can be shipped to your nearest store for free, and you can even pick up certain in-stock items at your local store.

Sign up for their baby registry and get a free gift.

Walmart has many of the essential items you’ll need for your baby, including clothing for all ages, diapers, wipes, baby formula, and skin care products for babies. Plus, when you register, you’ll get a free bundle, which will include a variety of useful samples, like formula and diapers.

 

 

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Trade in your unwanted gadgets

Ready for an upgrade to the latest and greatest video game console, tablet, or laptop? No need to hang onto the old one. Walmart will allow you to trade in your gently-used tech items in exchange for gift cards courtesy of their virtual Gadget to Gift Cards program. Simply visit the site, enter some info and ship your item off with their pre-paid shipping label. You’ll get a gift card once your product has been received and evaluated.

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Frequent shopper? Try Walmart+

If you’re a regular Walmart shopper and like to receive your orders lickety-split, a Walmart+ membership program might be for you. For $98 a year or $12.95 a month, you will receive free, unlimited, and fast shipping (1 Day or 2 Day) on general order with no minimum.  Grocery orders of $35 or more can be delivered the same day. You’ll also get gas discounts at select gas stations, a free Paramount+ subscription, access to exclusive deals and access to Walmart’s Scan and Go technology, which allows you to check out of their stores contact-free.

Walmart is adding new perks to their + membership all the time. Current perks include a Paramount+ membership and a free month of ClassPass, My guess is that Walmart will continue to add perks in an effort to compete with Amazon Prime.

If you’d like Walmart+ for free, Walmart does offer a free 30-day trial, and there are other memberships/subscriptions that periodically come with Walmart+ as a perk. American Express Platinum members and YouTube Premium Members can sometimes receive a free Walmart+ membership.

I’ve also seen Walmart discount their membership fee around big sales, like Walmart Plus Week and Black Friday.

 

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Smart Shopping Expert

Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who has specialized in smart shopping, personal finance, and retail for more than a decade. She has appeared on TV over 1,000 times; including Today Show, GMA3, NBC Nightly News, Inside Edition, and network affiliates nationwide. She has been named a Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn, and her expert commentary has appeared in Forbes, USNews.com, Kiplinger, Yahoo Finance, and numerous others.