I have a secret to confess:
During the five years I worked as a Customer Service Manager for Walmart, I was never very good at saying "No."
A manager's job is to enforce Walmart's rules and policies, but when it came to helping customers save money, I just couldn't stop myself.
While a little politeness goes a long way - customers can be very rude - cutting your weekly Walmart bill in half is actually very simple.
You just need to know a few simple tricks about how the business works. Luckily, I'm here to help!
How To Price Match At Walmart
Price matching is one of the policies that sets Walmart apart from other stores.
Instead of running to five stores to get all your groceries, you can pick them up at Walmart at the same low price the other stores are advertising.
Here's how it works:
Bring in a flyer or ad for another retailer, with a specific price for a specific item (say original Tide 4.43 liters for $5).
Show the cashier the flyer and they'll mark down the same item to the other store's price.
Walmart will also match a handful of online retailers (Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Target.com) but they can be a little stingy.
Produce and items already on clearance will sometimes be exempt from price matching.
Some local Walmarts have begun discontinuing price matching, but there are plenty of other ways to save money.
Save Money Online Shopping At Walmart.com
There are a few ways to make the most of online shopping with Walmart, depending on what suits you.
The website offers free shipping on orders over $50. The trick is to buy what you need and add non-perishable home goods (like toilet paper) until your order is over the limit.
You can also find discounted items in the online store by typing in certain key words:
Type "Clearance" in the search bar for heavily discounted items.
Typing "Refurbished" will display electronics that have been lightly repaired, but are discounted up to 40%.
The best part of buying refurbished items is they still come with a manufacturer's warranty, so you can buy and try with no fear.
Get A 10% Discount With Free Pickup
When you checkout on Walmart.com, look for the "Free Pickup + Discount" delivery option.
The item will be shipped to your local Walmart store, and you get a 10% discount because there's no shipping cost.
Items usually arrive at the store within 24 hours or even on the same day.
Bear in mind: hazardous materials, perishable items, and items over 350 pounds don't qualify for Free Pickup.
Neither do any stores in Alaska or Hawaii. Bummer!
But there's still even more ways to save money in-store.
How To Find Clearance Deals In Walmart
Bargain hunting in Walmart can be tricky, because they do things a little differently from other retailers.
For one thing: there's no clearance section, but you will find clearance displays in some unlikely places.
Displays of discounted items can usually be found in the aisles near the toy and sports sections.
But sometimes they're put on the end caps (or aisle displays) of the shelves.
You really need to do a circuit of the whole store looking for "Clearance" tags, but it's worth it for the great deals you can find.
Clearance electronics are a little easier to spot: one case in the department usually has a mix of all the section's cheap products, so track it down.
Keep your eye out for display models too: you can usually ask a manager to buy one at a discount. Just be sure all the parts are included.
Learn The Price Code
Like other stores, Walmart hides details about their upcoming sales and discounts in their price tags.
If you know what to look for, you can spot a good deal before an item is marked down:
- Prices ending in seven are the original price.
- Prices ending in five have been marked down, but may be marked down further.
- Prices ending in one or zero are discounted, and probably a good deal.
Finding great deals is just the first step - you can save even more using coupons and Walmart's policies.
Take Advantage Of Walmart's Coupon Policies
Compared to other big retailers, Walmart gives "extreme couponers" more bang for their buck.
For one thing, coupons that are worth more than the item (as in a $2 coupon on $1 toothpaste) will earn you cashback.
That means some clever coupons will shave a few dollars off your weekly bill.
Walmart also accepts coupons for other stores, as long as you follow the price matching rules.
That means the item must be exactly as the coupon describes, and the coupon must include a price (Tide pods for $5) not a percentage (Tide pods 50% off).
What Are Price Adjustments?
This is one of Walmart's little-known policies, but you should never forget it.
If you buy an item and it goes on sale, you can bring your receipt back to get refunded the difference.
Walmart normally only makes a price adjustment up to a week after your purchase, but at my store we regularly allowed people up to two weeks.
The key is you must have your receipt, so get in the habit of keeping them.
Finally, if you're willing to change your shopping habits a little, it will pay off at the checkout.
Why Should I Use The Walmart App?
Walmart's app for iOS and Android is actually very handy.
It does everything from create shopping lists, compare prices, and check if items are available in store.
It also includes digital copies of the weekly flyer.
But the handiest feature of all is the Saving Catcher.
Just scan your Walmart receipt with this feature and it will check if there's a lower price for your purchases.
If the Catcher finds any good deals, it will refund you the difference as a gift card. Pretty handy!
You save even more by connecting your Walmart app to the Bluebird card, Walmart's card from American Express.
The Early Bird Gets The Worm
The simplest way to shave down your grocery bill? Get to Walmart early.
Produce and meat are often marked down in the morning, just be sure to check the expiry dates.
You can also usually snag yesterday's baked goods at a discount.
Do you have any go-to tips for saving money at Walmart?