(Updated 1/17/19) Walmart is the 2nd biggest retailer in the known world. With that said, it constantly surprises me how many shoppers assume the Walmart price is the lowest thus there is no need to try and find clever hacks to save even more money. Well, I’m here to tell you that the low everyday price at Walmart is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to saving a buck or two. Here are 11 awesomely clever ways how to save at Walmart, aka Wally World.
1. Crack the Walmart Price Tag Code
Did you know you can tell if a clearance item at Walmart is about to go even cheaper simply by looking at the price tag? According to an anonymous Walmart employee tip, here is what you need to know to crack the price tag code:
- Price ending with a 7 is typically the original price. Examples include $2.97 or $5.57. Know that you’re paying full price if you see a price ending in 7.
- Price ending with a 5 is the 1st markdown price. Examples include $3.25 or $19.95. This price is better than the above obviously, but not the cheapest the item may potentially go.
- Price ending with a 1 is the FINAL markdown price. Examples include $4.91 or $57.01. This is the holy grail at Walmart and is the cheapest price the item will go.
The key takeaway from this information is to check inventory levels and buy accordingly. If you find a product with an ending price of 5, and there is ample inventory on the shelf, it will probably be worth your while to wait and come back when it is even cheaper.
2. Look For Clearance Deals (Not in the Clearance Section)
So this tip is gonna sound a little counter-intuitive. Don’t go looking for the best clearance deals in the actual clearance section at Walmart, especially when shopping for consumer electronics. Instead, look down low in the glass cases/cabinets in your local Walmart’s electronics section.
I got this tip from a current Walmart employee who said, “Most marked down, high end electronics are held in cabinets near or under their respective items. Most reduced items are not displayed and rarely have price tags. Ask to see their clearance specifically in cases. At the change of major seasons many older model items will be switched out for newer ones.”
Turns out this is where they store excess inventory, and they also use the glass case as a theft deterrent. I personally have found big deals on Samsung tablets, GPS units, high-end external hard drives, and Bluetooth speakers. All of which were priced below Amazon.com.
It should also be pointed out that not every Walmart is set up with the cases/cabinets in the electronics department but it’s always worth a look.
3. Find Screaming Refurbished Deals
A fantastic way to save money at Walmart, especially on electronics, is to buy refurbished items that still come with the manufacturer’s warranty. But how do you find these refurbished deals? It actually couldn’t be easier, yet most Walmart shoppers have no clue how to find them.
All you have to do is simply type in “Refurbished” into the search bar on Walmart.com and you’ll instantly be connected to some amazing deals.
Right now you can find a refurbished HP laptop for $100 off, a Xbox One console for $40 off, and a 39″ Vizio LED HDTV for only $169.99. Pretty awesome savings.
4. Shop Early in the Morning
This is especially true for grocery meats according to CBS News. “Normally, by 8 a.m., the meat department has discounted their meat, and you can grab some great deals.” For the average Walmart shopper this means that by shopping early, you’ll get first dibs on the best deals.
5. Get FREE Money Back on Coupons
From the Walmart site, “If coupon value exceeds the price of the item, the excess may be given to the customer as cash or applied toward the basket purchase.”
For example, if you use a coupon at Walmart for $2 off a box of Fruity Pebbles, and the cereal is on sale for $1.75, you’d actually get $0.25 back to be used on the balance of your purchase.
Even Fred Flintstone would like that deal. BTW, in case you hadn’t guessed, I love me some Fruity Pebbles.
6. Score Free Shipping on Orders Under $50
UPDATE: In a direct attempt to compete with Amazon, Walmart now offers free 2-day shipping on $35 or more.
Unfortunately, Walmart.com has a free shipping threshold of $50 or more to qualify for free delivery.
This often leads to shoppers filling up their virtual basket with stuff they don’t really need, just to get free shipping. Not smart.
Instead, consider using the Walmart free ship-to-store program which allows you the ability to order online, and in most cases, pick up from your local store on the same day for NO charge.
Once you place your online order, just wait for a text or email when your order is ready to be picked up.
Then go to Walmart.com Services, typically located in the front of the store, and show the text or email with your photo I.D. and you’re good-to-go.
7. Get a Walmart Price Match
If you’re not taking advantage of Walmart’s Price Matching Policy you’re probably leaving money on the table. Here is what you need to know:
- Walmart will match the price of ANY local brick & mortar competitor.
- You do NOT need the competitor’s ad to get the price match.
- Items must be identical and in-stock at both Walmart and at the local competitor.
- Exclusions: BOGO items, closeout prices, bundle offers, instant rebates, .
- They do NOT honor Internet pricing. Come on Walmart, really? Get with the 21st century will ya.
- Walmart reports that they WILL price match Amazon.com in-store during the upcoming Holiday shopping season. “About half of the stores were doing it anyway,” said Greg Foran, head of Walmart’s U.S. business.
By becoming a price-match pro you’ll always get the lowest price around. Be sure to use the ShopSavvy app to check for a lower price, both online and at stores in your local area.
Update: As of June 9, 2016, approximately 500 Walmart locations will be ending their price-match policy and will instead be lowering prices throughout the store, or so they claim. If your local store is included, I strongly suggest using the Walmart Savings Catcher app as a solid workaround (see tip #11).
8. Don’t Forget to Get an Online Price Match Too
Not only can you get a price match when shopping in-store, but you can also get Walmart.com to price match an online competitor’s lower price.
Here are the online competitors that they will price-match: Academy.com, Amazon.com, Autozone.com, Babiesrus.com, Basspro.com, Bedbathandbeyond.com, Bestbuy.com, Cabelas.com, Dickssportinggoods.com, Dollargeneral.com, Familydollar.com, Homedepot.com, Jcpenney.com, Kmart.com, Kohls.com, Lowes.com, Michaels.com, Newegg.com, Officedepot.com, Oreillyauto.com, Pepboys.com, Petco.com, Petsmart.com, Sears.com, SportsAuthority.com, Staples.com, Target.com, Tigerdirect.com, Toysrus.com, and Walgreens.com.
To request your online price match visit their Customer Service page or call them directly at 1-800-925-6278.
9. Find “Hidden” Deals on Walmart.com
Let’s be honest, the Walmart site is not the easiest to navigate and can be darn right frustrating. This is especially true when trying to find their online clearance section as they often fail to place the link “above the fold” in their site navigational structure.
The solution to this problem is simple, yet little known among bargain hunters. All you have to do is type “Clearance” into the Walmart.com search bar and you’ll get instant access to all of their clearance deals.
A few of the hidden deals that I found include $29.99 Apple EarPods for $9.49, a $129.99 Lifetime Basketball System for $79, and a $7.99 Insten HDMI cable (2-Pack) for only $2.49.
10. Get Walmart Price Protection
Via their price protection policy, did you know that Walmart will give you cashback if the item you bought is lowered in price. Here’s the skinny…
- You have up to 7 days after your purchase to get your price adjustment. Simply return to the store of original purchase with your receipt in-hand, and head to the customer service desk.
- It’s worth noting that you cannot get a price adjustment when there is a difference in an online price vs. an in-store price.
- Exclusions: Clearance items, special buys, value of the day items, or items purchased up to 7 days before Thanksgiving, Black Friday or Cyber Week.
By using their price protection policy, it eliminates the need to try and time your purchases when the price drops.
I just started using the Walmart Savings Catcher app last year and I currently have a free $38 Walmart gift card waiting to be redeemed. What did I do to earn the money? Well…very little actually.
All I did was scan my Walmart receipt after each visit. You simply scan the little box at the bottom of your receipt (within 7 days of your purchase) and the app does all the work for you.
It works by automatically scanning local competitor ads for a better price on the items you just purchased. If it does happen to find a better price, which occurs more often than you’d think, you get the price difference added to your account balance.
You’ll then get paid via a Walmart eGift Card at any time you want. It’s truly a no-brainer way to ensure the lowest price in town on the items you buy.
Happy savings and I hope these tips can help you save at Walmart.
By Kyle James
Photo by Mike Mozart