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Wondering how to save money at Walmart? Find out the best time to shop at Walmart and other tips that save me hundreds a year!
How to Save Money At Walmart – 15 Tips to Know!
As you may have figured out, I'm not a big Walmart shopper… but a few years ago when I hurried there in the wee hours of the morning for some last minute back-to-school items, it brought to mind 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.
Here are my top 15 secrets you need to know before shopping Walmart.
1. Know What is the Best Time To Shop at Walmart
My number one tip on how to save money at Walmart? Shop Walmart early in the morning (or late at night).
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. Mornings are truly the best time to shop at Walmart.
**Note – Walmart hours have been a bit different in the past year due to coronavirus restrictions. Many locations are not opening until 7 AM and some still have that first hour designated for seniors. Be sure to check your location before you head out!**
Curious why you should shop in the morning?
Since many Walmart stores are typically 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!). I promise this will completely change your Walmart shopping experience, and you might just find it your favorite place to shop.
2. Shop the Walmart generic 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.
The Walmart 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. Walmart has Clearance sections all over the stores
Make sure to check out all the store clearance. Usually there are a few aisles located all over the store with clearance items. This makes for some great deals on household items, grocery items and school supplies and tons more!
You can also get some great online clearance deals at Walmart.com – sometimes they have a different selection that the store near you!
4. Take advantage of Cash Back App savings at Walmart
If you learn anything from this post it is you must use Ibotta if you shop Walmart!
Ibotta offers a ton (seriously folks, a ton) of cash-back rebates via their app. Such an easy way to save if you're purchasing these items already!
My BIGGEST secret to maximizing your Ibotta savings is Rolling Your Rewards.
Here's what I mean to roll your Ibotta savings:
When you cash out your Ibotta earnings for a $20 Walmart Gift Card (for instance) you can turn around and buy items that are FREE in the Ibotta App. By free, I mean Ibotta has offers that are “Free after rebate” but sometimes you don't want to spend money out of pocket to GET these freebies. If you have a Walmart giftcard you've earned by DOING Ibotta, you can use it to avoid spending your own money for these Free After Rebate items!
Rolling your rewards into earning more rewards is like a game I play each week at Walmart – and it's saved me hundreds!
Here are Rebate Apps you can use to really save a ton:
5 . How to save money at Walmart ….. Use Coupons!
This is an easy one – using online printed coupons or coupons from the Sunday paper can save you big bucks at Walmart. As long as it scans and follows the guidelines here – Walmart should accept it without problems.
Sometimes Walmart can be a pain when it comes to accepting coupons, but it has more to do with a coupon not scanning properly and the stress of a line of people waiting behind you…..
6. 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 $15 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.
7. Walmart price matches online prices from Walmart.com
Walmart stores will price match if you find a lower price listed on Walmart.com. To learn more, go HERE (you may want print this policy to have in hand when you're price matching in store.) This can depend on your store and the manager on duty – but it's definitely worth a shot!
8. Walmart has fantastic prices on party supplies
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, and great prices on pre-cut apple slices (thanks to reader Jennifer for commenting about that for me).
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
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. They have excellent deals on fabric, hot glue, yarn, glassware, wreaths and more. Plus the clearance section often has a selection of crafty items!
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. BEST Paper Deals Around
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. How to save money at Walmart? Don't go in the store but do grocery pick up instead
Try Walmart Grocery Pickup and you can get money off your first order. It's SUPER convenient too!
14. 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.
Know what Items You Should Skip at Walmart
15. How to save money at Walmart? Don't buy diapers!
I know it's hard to believe, but Walmart just doesn't offer the best prices on diapers. It's easy to get wrapped up in the “savings” but to be able to save money at Walmart it's just as important to know if something is truly a deal.
The drug stores offer great sales as well as Amazon, and you can usually stock up for less at other retailers. Unless the rare occasion there is a coupon and rebate deal you can snag.
16. 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.
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!
17. Walmart offers Holiday Layaway
Walmart offers layaway with no opening fees starting in late August most years.
The typical down payment is $20 or 20% off the items. (If you cancel this will be refunded)
And if you REALLY want to know how to save money at Walmart – know how their prices stack up. Print your FREE Aldi, Target & Walmart Comparison Cheat Sheet – you may be surprised.
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!
Update: Thanks so much to PPP reader (and friend!) Kristen for reminding me in the PPP Facebook group that MANY areas of the country can also take now advantage of curbside delivery. Learn more HERE.
Looking for more ways to save? Here you go . . .
- 7 Saving Secrets You Need to Know Before Shopping Hobby Lobby
- 7 Secrets You Need To Know Before Shopping Michaels
- 10 Things You Need to Know Before Shopping TJMaxx
- 22 Items You Need to Look for at Ikea
- Should You Pay for Amazon Prime?
- 16 Items You Should Be Buying on Amazon
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