15 Secrets You Need To Know Before Shopping at Walmart

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walmart

Curious how Walmart prices really stack up? Go HERE to print your FREE Aldi, Target, and Walmart Comparison Cheat Sheet – my bet is you’ll be surprised at how the prices stack up! Also see how to get 21 Items at Walmart for just $9.40 this week. 

As you may have figured out I’m not a big Walmart shopper, but this week when I hurried to shop Walmart in the wee hours of the morning for some last minute back-to-school items, I noticed a few important shopping secrets that I don’t want you to miss. 

 

 

While Walmart is usually kind of a last resort for me (read through to the bottom to see why), I realized there are some deals I’ve completely missed the boat on, and you may be missing too. So, here are my top 15 secrets you need to know before shopping Walmart.

 

Walmart General Shopping Tips

1. Shop Walmart early in the morning (or late at night if you must.)

Folks, this may seem ridiculous to as my very first tip, but it. is. so. important. I rarely shop Walmart, but when I do I make sure to go bright and early. I try to shop between 5 and 6AM (I know, crazy, but it works!) but really think as long as you’re there before 9 AM you should be fine.

 

Curious why? Since many Walmart stores are open overnight, the entire store is cleaned out and shelves are restocked at that time of day. There’s no waiting in checkout lines, store employees are everywhere as they re-set the store for the day, and you can easily navigate the store in literally half the time it would take later in the day.

 

Now I know this may not work for everyone, but if you know you have a Walmart trip ahead of you, try planning a time early in the  morning (or if you have to late at night, but things won’t be as clean as they were first thing!)promise this will completely change your Walmart shopping experience, and you might just find it your favorite place to shop.

2. Shop “Great Value” or “Equate” brands.

While I don’t think you’ll save all that much on most name brand items at Walmart (keep reading for more), you can save a bundle if you’re willing to shop the Walmart store brands. Their Great Value products in the grocery section are offered on just about everything. On plastic storage bags the Hefty bags are 10¢ per bag compared to Great Value brands priced at 5¢ per bag ~ just by choosing the store brand you’ll save 50%, no coupon clipping or sale shopping required!

 

I’ve used the “Equate” version of Olay for years, and saving over $5 on that alone is a huge savings! The ingredients are exactly the same, and you can easily save on Equate brand without a single coupon. Success!

3. Take advantage of Walmart’s Savings Catcher App. 

Walmart’s Savings Catcher App allows you to shop Walmart and let them do the price matching for you. Basically after you shop, you enter your receipt in the app, and within 7 days you’ll be updated as to whether or not other store prices were lower. If they were, you’ll get a Walmart gift card including the price difference!

 

Read more on the Savings Catcher App Program HERE and HERE – I’d love to know if it’s worked for you!

4. Take advantage of additional Ibotta savings at Walmart.

Ibotta offers a ton (seriously folks, a ton) of rebates via the Ibotta app. I just checked and there are currently $183 in Ibotta rebates available right now, on everything from Tyson, Quaker and Kleenex brands to milk, fresh produce, eggs, pasta and more. Such an easy way to save if you’re purchasing these items already, and be sure to take advantage of Checkout 51 and Snap by Groupon as well while you’re at it!

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5. Price check against the Amazon App.

I love, love, love my Amazon App to make sure I’m always really getting a deal. Especially on merchandise other than groceries, it’s a great way to quickly make sure that the Walmart price is best, and never pay too much.

 

I use it just about any time we shop (it’s great to have on hand at Kohl’s, Lowe’s, and Home Depot) as well. Just as an example, those Coleman water jugs are over $9 now on Amazon but just $7 at Walmart. Without the app I would have thought that was a decent price but there was no way to know for sure, so having my Amazon virtual “cheat sheet” helps me to double check my savings.

6. Walmart price matches online prices at several stores including Amazon.

Walmart will price match those Amazon prices if you can show proof of the pricing in store. To learn more, go HERE (you may want print this policy to have in hand when you’re price matching in store.)

7. Take advantage of the Favado app for weekly in store Walmart savings. 

Items You Don’t Want to Miss at Walmart

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8. Walmart has fantastic prices on partyware, gift wrapping supplies, cards & more.

I’ve always shopped the Dollar Tree for most of our party supplies (Michaels has a great selection occasionally as well), but when I was at Walmart this week I realized their 97¢ party supply selection might just have the Dollar Tree beat! Their stuff is so cute (I was surprised?) and many of the items are larger count quantities than you’d find at the Dollar Tree.

 

And birthday cards for 47¢? Love that!

9. Walmart has great seasonal prices on produce.

Walmart deeply discounts produce if you watch for their special values, and you can stock up pretty easily at great prices. I noticed grapes for as low as 88¢ per pound this week (my stock up price), strawberries for $1, great prices on pre-cut apple slices (thanks to reader Jennifer for commenting about that for me), and you can also price match your weekly Aldi sales ad to save even more.

I know produce at Walmart can be hit or miss, but by shopping early in the morning you’ll get the best picks. The last few times I’ve shopped Walmart I’ve been pretty pleased with their produce, so it may be worth giving it a try if you tend to shy away from produce when you’re there.

 

10. Walmart has great prices on crafting supplies, including yarn, glassware, wreaths and more.

If you’re in a hurry and need something that’s not on sale at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s this week, Walmart may be your best bet.

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11. Don’t miss the container section at Walmart.

Similar to the Dollar Tree, Walmart carries a large selection of small storage bins for $1 or less. I’ve always picked up my shoebox sized bins for Operation Christmas Child at the Dollar Tree, but they’re actually cheaper to purchase in 5 packs at Walmart ~ who knew?!

12. Unless you’re taking advantage of free paper after rebate at Staples (which comes around pretty frequently), Walmart has the best price on copy paper that you’ll normally find.

They also have great pricing on most office supplies including tape, envelopes, pens, pencils and more, so it’s often worth a trip to Walmart before hitting the office supply stores.

 

13. Watch Walmart for clothing basics.

Walmart has very good every day prices on those very basic clothing items your family needs. If you need to stock up on t-shirts, tank top basics, socks and more, Walmart will usually offer  the best price.

Items You Should Skip at Walmart

14. Don’t pay for diapers at Walmart.

I know it’s hard to believe, but Walmart just doesn’t offer the best prices on diapers. The drug stores offer great sales as well as Amazon, and you can usually stock up for less at other retailers. For example, currently the Huggies at Walmart come out to $.27 each for size two, compared to 19¢ per diaper at Amazon when you clip the $2 off coupon in the middle of the page and choose to subscribe and save. That’s a savings of 8¢ on every single diaper, plus you’ll save shopping at Walmart with tiny kids in tow!

15. Avoid buying toiletries at Walmart unless you know they’re a good price.

Pricing at Walmart on toiletries (and most other groceries?) always seems so high to me, because I watch deals at other stores. This week for example you can pick up Old Spice for $1.59 at Amazon, Colgate for $.46 at Walgreens, Herbal Essences for $.72 at Target, and Pantene for $1.63 at CVS. While it does take a little more research to score these deals, you can save a bundle even by simply shopping the sales ads at other stores. And if you’re willing to clip a coupon or two, you’ll save even more!

Not sure how to find those crazy good deals at other stores? If there’s a specific item you’re looking to stock up on, enter it in over HERE and see if a store in your area has it on sale this week.

alditargetwalmartsheet

Curious how Walmart prices really stack up? Go HERE to print your FREE Aldi, Target, and Walmart Comparison Cheat Sheet – my bet is you’ll be surprised at how the prices stack up!
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So, there you have it! Ready for my one frustration though with Walmart shoppers? (Hopefully not stepping on too many toes here, but here goes . . . )

 

So many folks think it’s always cheaper to buy everything at Walmart, but it’s just not the case. Walmart does have very good every day low prices (especially on their store brands.) However, other grocery stores usually offer better sales especially on name brands, so it’s often worth taking a few minutes to do your research, and always know your stock up price before you head out to shop.)

 

If you love shopping Walmart, be sure to check out the Walmart updates here on PPP, and don’t miss tons of Walmart deals over at I Heart the Mart as well. I’d love to hear what other tricks you use when shopping Walmart ~ leave a comment to share!

 

Update: Thanks so much to PPP reader (and friend!) Kristen for reminding me in the PPP Facebook group that 5 select areas of the country can also take advantage of curbside delivery. Learn more HERE. 

 

hobbylobby

 

Looking for more ways to save? Here you go . . . 

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Comments

  1. Christine says:

    When I but pop tarts for my kids, I get them at Walmart… They carry a bigger size, and cheaper than Target (unless they have a good sale)

  2. If you care about GMOs be very careful of Walmart vegetables as most is from GMO farms.

  3. Can’t believe I would save much driving to 5 different stores with gas prices so high again. Do you calculate that cost?

    • Hi Charla! I typically shop Kroger because it’s closest to my house and I’m near there anyways, and once every two weeks go to Fresh Thyme to pick up produce that’s on sale. If I see a great deal on items at the drug stores that I need I’ll pick them up when I’m already near those areas (with three kids I do a lot of taxi driving) 🙂 so I make it work within our normal weekly schedule.

      Honestly my normal plan for shopping is to shop one regular grocery store (Kroger) for most things, a store like Fresh Thyme or Aldi for great produce prices, and then I stock up on toiletries when they’re on sale (as much as I can at Kroger since I’m already there.) I’ve found that every store puts these items on sale fairly regularly, so just by watching for sales I don’t have to hit too many stores, but can keep up with what we need! Hope that makes sense.

  4. Walmart has a price match policy making it unnecessary to run all over creation to get the best deal.

    • Faye Eidson says:

      All the WalMart stores in my area discontinued the price match on ad items this last fall. But they did lower prices.

  5. Also always check your receipt for accurate pricing, because Walmart has overcharged me on several occasions. Walmart do it far more than anyone other store, but this good advice for all stores.

  6. I never shop at Walmart. Not that we are rich (comfortable yes, but rich–not quite). Walmart doesn’t pay their employees a living wage. While they offer benefits, they keep hours just low enough to avoid them. They are a big enough company that they can demand suppliers lower their costs–even if the supplier can’t make a profit, or must close a US based factory in favor of moving the jobs and production overseas.

    In other words, they pay little, put US manufacturers out of business, and expect us to pay for made-overseas junk. No thanks.

    • It funny that most people will say that they keep hours low to keep from paying benefits. Do you know people that work there and tell you the facts? I had to take a second job several years ago. I applied at several places but Walmart was the first one who called me. I was surprised to meet several people who worked full time and got benefits. I didn’t meet all the part-time people but the ones I met only wanted to work part-time. I know it is just one Walmart but wonder if it is true about most of them.

    • If we refuse to shop there, Walmart would have to lay off more employees, so they wouldn’t have a job at all. I think if we are not careful, we can hurt they people we think deserve more.
      I also think alot of people want to work part time and they don’t need benefits.
      They seem to hire retired people. Some stores wouldn’t think of hiring them.
      I love that they hire retired & elderly.

      • The retired and elderly are not stocking the shelves, they are usually greeters. Next, ya they may layoff but guess what happens then…try to think more long term…if they keep having that problem then they are forced to be better and even accept a union. You can’ think short term. You need to look at employment data if you really think there are tons that want to only work part time and do not need benefits. Even medicare does not cover all their medical expenses!

  7. Thank you for the tips! I’ve avoided shopping at WalMart for years, but I decided to go there yesterday to get the last item on the classroom supply list and that shopping trip changed my mind about WalMart! In fact, I wrote a post about it just this morning! http://wildflowerfour.com/why-im-giving-walmart-another-chance/

  8. I usually find really good deals at Walmart & love the price matcher. The one problem I have though is that I have to double-check that the item I want & what the price on the shelf where it is is actually the price it really is (checking the barcode/name on the shelf vs. what I’m wanting to purchase – I got “caught” once when I didn’t double-check the batteries & had to go through my receipt to figure out why the bill was so much more than what I thought it should be – I write down the price of everything I buy on my list to make sure I don’t go over budget).

  9. As a former Walmart cashier, I will tell you it’s just about impossible to get them to price match Amazon.com prices. Even if you can pull the item up on your phone or have a printout of the advertisement with the actual price, a member of management (assistant or higher) still has to approve the price match. In my experience, it takes a long time to get a member of management to even come to the register and most will not approve the match because Amazon.com also does third party sales at extremely low prices that they just can’t realistically meet.

  10. Joy miller says:

    Great Value snack & sandwich suze bags recently will not seal. Had to throw both boxes away! Ugh

  11. My biggest frustration with Walmart at least with the ones by me is that they are horrible about restocking things. No matter the time of day I go, they will be out of the most basic items. One time the store by me was out of almost all women’s socks for weeks! I think a lot of times Walmart knows they have the market cornered so they really just don’t care and it definitely trickles down in the employees attitudes. I do shop there a lot because it’s convenient and they are cheap but I joke with my husband that I feel my soul die a little each time I go into that place.

  12. Tazo tea bags are the best price at Walmart compared to my local grocery stores.

  13. download the walmart app and scan almost everything you buy there. i wanted a tripod for my camera and saw one online for 18 bucks. went to the store and it was 28 bucks. so i scanned the product to see if it was the same and it was. ordered it from the website and did site to store to score the better price.

  14. If you are only after a few things….it wouldn’t pay to shop Amazon….the shipping would kill you!!!

    • Way2Sassy says:

      Shipping at Amazon is FREE with Prime Membership. If you use Amazon a lot like we do, the membership pays for itself many time over. Well worth it.

  15. Does the Walmart app work for Canadian pricing too?

  16. Walmart no longer offers price match in most of the country. Just price match

  17. Julie Taylor says:

    Just wanted to share that walmart 300 paper plates are very cheap to purchase.

  18. Elaina says:

    #6 isn’t valid any more. Its only with walmart.com.

  19. just me says:

    you obviously don’t live in Canada, none of these apply here.
    after all why would a society that lives in igloos and drive dog sleds need bargains.

  20. Brenda McMichael says:

    We shop Walmart regularly. We buy Great Value and Equate as they are much cheaper and also we have found that products such as their sliced cheese, salad dressing (love the Buttermilk Ranch). There is not many grocery stores that are very comparable. We live in a very rural area and it’s 35 miles to the nearest Walmart; for a small town it’s 15 miles or add another 3 miles from that point to the largest town. There is a local grocery store that is comparable that is local, but the best prices are at Walmart. When we lived in Florida they had the Walmart Neighborhood Markets. They were wonderful as they were mostly grocery no clothing, lingerie, for example. Also the lines were much shorter. Where we live now there are not those neighborhood markets; they were really nice.

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