The Best Ways to Save Money at Walmart

By some measures, Americans are more divided than ever. But even in a tumultuous, politically fractured time, there’s one thing that brings us all together: Walmart. Nearly every American shops at the big box retailer, according to retail industry experts. In 2016, 95% of people in the U.S. popped into one of Walmart’s more than 5,000 stores.

Many of those shoppers are after one thing – value. After all, one reason for Walmart’s retail dominance is its focus on low prices. But even at a store known for being affordable, there are ways to get through the checkout lane for less. We’ve rounded up a few tips and tricks that will help you save money on your next Walmart trip.

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A Walmart store | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

1. Use Savings Catcher

Savvy shoppers know that price matching – when a store agrees to match a competitor’s price on an identical item — can save them money. But it’s also a hassle. You have to compare ads, talk to customer service or a clerk, and possibly even fill out a form. It might not be worth it for a couple of bucks. But Walmart’s Savings Catcher makes price matching a breeze.

Just download the app, and then scan your receipt within seven days of your shopping trip. If another store has a lower price for the same item, you’ll get the difference credited back to your Walmart Pay or Walmart.com account.

2. Never pay for shipping

Shopping online at Walmart is convenient, and you can usually avoid pesky shipping fees. If you purchase at least $35 in items, you’ll qualify for free two-day shipping, no membership required. You can also buy many items online and have them shipped to the store for free same-day pickup. There’s even an additional discount on some items that are labeled “pickup discount eligible.”

3. Learn the markdown code

How can you tell if an item is on final markdown at Walmart? Just look at the price tag. Anything that ends in a 7 is still selling at full price. If the price ends with a 5, it’s been discounted once. And any item with a price ending in 0 or 1 is on final markdown.

Your local Walmart might also discount items according to a schedule, so it pays to pay attention to patterns in your favorite store. According to Good Housekeeping, Tuesday is the most common day for price drops.

4. Pick up your groceries – or get them delivered

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A sales associate restocks fresh fruit at a Walmart. | Robyn Beck/AFP/GettyImages

If you tend to fall prey to the impulse buy, this Walmart service could save you big. The chain is going head-to-head with Amazon and other retailers that promise to make shopping more convenient by offering free grocery pickup. Just shop online, select a time for pickup, and you’re good to go. (There is a $30 minimum for pickup orders.) Fair warning, though: Some people have reported glitches with the service, like not getting all the items they ordered.

If you don’t want to drive to your local Walmart, you can also get your groceries delivered in select cities. There’s a $9.95 fee for this service, but for the time your save, it might be worth it.

5. Use a shopping app to score extra savings

Shopping apps let you save even more money on everyday purchases by letting you compare deals, get money for scanning receipts, or even earn rewards for walking into a store.

With Ibotta, you scan your receipts for Walmart and other stores to earn money back on certain purchases. Shopkick lets you earn points (called “kicks”) just for walking into certain stores, scanning product barcodes, and scanning receipts. You can redeem your kicks for gift cards for Walmart, Starbucks, and other stores. If you shop online at Walmart, you can use Ebates to earn cash back.

6. Get your coupon overage

Couponing can save you money, especially if you prefer to buy name-brand products. And you may be in for a special treat when you coupon at Walmart. If the value of your coupon is more than the price of the item, Walmart will give you a credit for the difference that can be used to pay for other items in your order, the Krazy Coupon Lady explains. Not all stores allow this, so if you’re an extreme couponer, this is definitely one big advantage of shopping at Walmart.

7. Save on soon-to-expire items

The Krazy Koupon Lady also shared a couple of tips for saving on bread and meat at Walmart. First, you should look for racks with day-old loaves of bread or other baked goods. You could save up to 50%. You might also find discounted meat that’s near its sell-by date, especially if you shop early in the morning, according to Rather Be Shopping. If meat is near its expiration date, you could also try asking the butcher for a discount, says the Krazy Koupon Lady.

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