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If I wanted to save the most money possible while shopping for groceries and other items, Walmart would not be my first choice. I can get much better deals at other stores like Publix and Target by combining coupons with store offers. But that doesn’t mean Walmart is a bad place to shop! It’s great if you don’t want to have to watch sales—you can just consistently shop at Walmart with coupons and get many items at very low prices. For a further explanation of this, check out my Facebook live video on saving money at Walmart and Target from last fall.
There are also other reasons to shop at Walmart outside of your regular grocery shopping. And if you do decide to make Walmart your main source of groceries, make sure you take note of these secrets to save money at Walmart so you don’t miss out on any good deals!
Secrets to Save Money at Walmart
Look for clearance deals on end-caps
This requires taking some time to walk around the store, but especially look at the inner endcaps that aren’t visible from the outer perimeter of the store. You can find some amazing deals there!
Get free travel-sized or small personal care items
Sometimes there are high value manufacturer coupons for personal care items that don’t specify a size. When that’s the case, you can often get these items for free! For example, there may be a $2 off Banana Boat sunscreen coupon, and a small tube of sunscreen in the travel toiletries section for only $1.97!
Order groceries online
The Walmart grocery pickup option has been rolled out at stores around the country. You can’t use manufacturers’ coupons or other store coupons, but you can use a coupon off your total purchase. I get one of these in the mail about once a month, and there have been times when the service hasn’t been great and I have contacted customer service and they’ve given me one of these coupons. Even if you don’t have a coupon, though, you can save money this way by adding items to your cart online and making sure you don’t go overbudget. It also prevents you from making spontaneous purchases in store!
Use apps like Ibotta + Fetch + Checkout51 / SavingStar
Did you know that at least 30% off the current Ibotta offers (right now over 150 offers) are only good at Walmart? Definitely plan to use Ibotta for deals you can’t get anywhere else. The way I like to use Ibotta is to go to the Ibotta app first and then sort by best value at Walmart. You will quickly see the highest value rebate offers and may see something you need. Then you can check our Walmart deals list and try to find items where you can pair an Ibotta rebate with a manufacturer’s coupon to save even more. (Fetch Rewards, Checkout51, and SavingStar are also good apps to check if you shop at Walmart.)
Buy store brand items
This secret to save money at Walmart comes with a caveat: store brand items at Walmart may be cheapear, if you buy them when they are on sale (usually marked with “rollback”). In general, you can often get better deals with coupons on name brand items, but keep your eyes open for those rollbacks!
Look for gift card back offers
Occasionally you can get Walmart gift cards from sites online when you buy certain items. Past offers include buying $10 worth of Crush soda products for a $5 Walmart gift card; buying $15 in Popsicle products for a Popsicle beach towel; and buying $15 worth of Quaker products for a $5 gift card. Keep an eye on our Walmart extra deals page for offers like these.
Shop at toy clearance events
At least twice a year (usually in the summer and the winter), Walmart puts a ton of their toys on clearance. You can stock up on birthday and Christmas presents ahead of time if you’re able to make it to the store for these events.
Shop online and pick up in store to save on shipping
In addition to grocery pickup, you can also order items from the Walmart website and then pick them up in the store to save on shipping.
Compare prices before buying
While you can no longer price match in the store and get the lowest price there, you can still use the barcode scanner in the Southern Savers app to make sure you are getting the best price on non-grocery items. The scanner will show current prices for that item at over 20 different retailers.
Buy discounted meat in the morning
Most Walmart stores begin to mark down meat that is nearing its expiration date around 8 am in the morning. It’s first come, first served, though, so get there early in order to get the best deals!
Use a Walmart credit card
The Walmart credit card can only be used in store or online at Walmart.com, or at Murphy USA gas stations. You generally receive about 1% cash back on purchases made. To be honest, there are much better credit card offers out there with better rewards and that you can use at more places, but if you have poor credit or want to limit how many credit cards you have, this could be a good option.
Walmart is one of the only store where a coupon that is worth more than the item will give you overage—that is, the amount the coupon is over the price of the item will be applied to your remaining purchase. Let’s say you have a cooupon for $2 and the item is $1.50; the other 50 cents will go toward the rest of your purchase.
Get $4 prescriptions
Check out Walmart’s list of $4 prescriptions to see if the medications you take are on the list. You could save a lot of money by switching your prescriptions to Walmart!
Check the unit price
To be sure you’re getting a good deal on an item, make sure you check the unit price. This means figuring out the price per ounce, most of the time, or the price per whatever unit the item is measured in. Sometimes a lower price on an item doesn’t mean it’s actually the lowest price per ounce.
Buy discounted gift cards
If you are able to get some cheap gift cards (check out our 10 ways to save money on gift cards), you can use them to pay for your groceries or other items at Walmart.
Use the Southern Savers Walmart deals list
I hope this doesn’t seem too obvious, but make sure you check out my Walmart Deals & Weekly Ad List. While this list may not seem like it changes as often as other store lists, the truth is that prices at Walmart rarely change, so we keep items on this list whenever there are newspaper, printable, or mobile coupons associated with the item. We clean it up every week so that expired coupons are removed and new coupons will show up.
Fill up your gas tank
Some Walmarts have gas stations associated with them on the property. These stations often offer gas at a lower rate than at other gas stations, so if you’re already at Walmart anyway, be sure to top off your tank! Also check with the station for an extra discount if you pay with a Walmart gift card!
Shop for clearance online
Instead of sorting through messy shelves at the store, you can actually browse clearance items at Walmart.com from the comfort of your own home!
Shop for bundles online
Walmart often bundles items together and offers them at a discounted rate. While this may not be cheapear than buying them at another store, if you’re not into shopping sales and using coupons, buying a bundle like the recent Pampers bundle could be a good deal.
Buy refurbished items
While you’re taking a bit of a risk on a refurbished item that won’t be under warranty, it may be worth it to check out Walmart’s list of refurbished electronics.
Did I forget a special tip to save money at Walmart? Let us know in the comments!