When Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas, he had a vision: help customers save money and live better. So, he created low everyday prices that competitors just couldn’t beat. Not too surprisingly, Walton’s goal to sell Walmart goods for less than other retailers was a hit with shoppers. Within just five years, the Walton family opened 23 more Walmart stores and their fast-paced growth continued as their popularity soared. Today, there are more than 4,600 Walmart stores throughout the United States and thousands more across the globe. Turns out, offering low everyday prices makes good business sense!
Yet still, with the cost of food, medicine, clothing and other goods continuing to rise, shoppers are eager to save even more. Luckily, the Walmart mission of helping folks save money and live better guides Walmart today just as much as it did back in 1962. So, the popular retail giant has come up with new and easy ways for us all to keep more money in our wallets, including their Walmart+ membership program that gives you cash back on Walmart purchases as well as gas, travel, dining out and more; the Walmart Prescription Program that provides 30 days’ worth of medications for just $4; and price cuts on bread, cold cuts and other fresh foods that you can find in stores after 5 p.m. And that’s just for starters!
But what if you could save even more? We spoke to money-saving experts and one very savvy Walmart insider to get the simple secrets:
1. Use the Walmart app to price-match
Walmart is famous for its various money-saving deals, including Rollbacks, reduced price promotions and sales (which are all limited-time price reductions), as well as clearance (a product’s final lowest price). Luckily, Walmart makes finding all their deals quick and easy — if you know this tip: Just download the free Walmart app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, then sort by “Special Offers.” These Special Offers are constantly being updated so it pays to check every time you shop.
And that’s not the only benefit of downloading the Walmart app. It also comes in handy when you’re shopping in person: “You can easily search items to find what aisle they’re in and compare the in-store price to those on the website,” says Wisconsin-based Walmart associate Monica Shear. And if you discover that the regular (non-sale) online price is lower, you could save big. Thanks to Walmart’s Price Match policy, you’ll be able to pay the lesser online amount “as long as the item is the exact same thing, sold by Walmart online and is in stock online,” notes Shear.
To get the price match, simply alert the Walmart associate at the checkout about the price difference. An associate may need a supervisor’s approval to give you the lower price, so your checkout may take a bit longer, but your patience will pay off!
Bear in mind that there are some exceptions to Walmart’s price-match guarantee. Click through here to learn more about their price match policy.
Another perk of downloading the Walmart app? You can add a credit or debit card to your Walmart wallet and use the touchless Walmart Pay option in the app, which makes it easy to make a purchase when shopping in person. “I use the Walmart app to use Walmart Pay when in the store,” Shear says. “Paying with Walmart Pay is very easy. You just scan the QR code with your phone.” She adds, “You can also load gift cards onto it, so zero worries on losing them.”
Plus, you won’t waste any more time trying to find receipts after you download the Walmart app. “It automatically saves your purchases to your Walmart account, and you can also do returns from it without having to save a physical receipt,” Shear says.
2. Save money and earn Walmart Cash with Walmart+
If you regularly shop at your local Walmart store and online at Walmart.com, you could save hundreds of dollars each year by signing up for Walmart+. This program is like Walmart’s version of Amazon Prime where members pay an annual fee ($12.95 per month after a 30-day trial) to get access to a host of services that save you money. Benefits include:
This is Walmart’s new loyalty currency, which can be earned by Walmart+ members on eligible products online and in-store. Once you earn them, Walmart Cash can be used toward future Walmart purchases. To start collecting, simply look for the option to add rewards as you shop online or use the app. They’re available on hundreds of bestselling products, including groceries and household goods. Accrued rewards will be stored in your Walmart wallet in the app and online until you want to redeem them. To find out more, visit here.
Member savings on fuel
Walmart+ members in 48 states save 10 cents per gallon at more than 14,000 gas station locations nationwide including Exxon, Mobil, Walmart and Murphy stations. In Alabama and Oklahoma, you’ll get 5 cents savings per gallon.
You’ll earn 5% Walmart Cash on hotel bookings, vacation rentals, car rentals, tours, activities and more and 2% Walmart Cash on air travel. Because Walmart+ Travel is powered by Expedia, you’ll also nab competitive prices for your getaway.
You can get fresh groceries and other merchandise delivered to you with $0 delivery fees when you make a purchase of $35 or more. What’s more, there are no price markups like you get with some grocery delivery services, so you can reap the full savings of Walmart’s everyday low prices.
When shopping on Walmart.com, items fulfilled by Walmart (not third-party sellers) will ship free with no minimum purchase required. This means you can choose from thousands of eligible items and never pay shipping fees no matter how small or big your purchase.
Free Video Streaming
Watch over 40,000 episodes, movies, live sports and more with a Paramount+ Essential plan subscription that’s included with your Walmart+ membership.
Members enjoy exclusive special prices, product releases, online Black Friday deals and more.
New benefits and limited-time promotions are regularly added to Walmart+ memberships. Find out more and sign up for Walmart+ here.
3. Get free shipping without a Walmart+ membership
Not ready to take the plunge and purchase a Walmart+ membership? No membership is needed to skirt skipping charges. “Walmart.com offers free two-day shipping on purchases of $35 or more,” says money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. “So wait until you have at least $35 worth of merchandise and you can qualify.”
4. Find even lower prices on Walmart clearance
Sure, you know that clearance prices are as low as a store will go. What you may not have known? That clearance prices can actually be lower for the same items at other Walmart stores!
Shear explains, “Department managers are given certain dollar amounts to mark down clearance products that are not selling at the current price. This is why you can find some stores selling things for $1, but the store 10 minutes away is still at $5.”
No need to drive from store to store to find out: Simply visit Brickseek.com/walmart-inventory-checker and type in the UPC or SKU (product number) of the item you want to buy, along with your zip code. You’ll get a list of nearby Walmarts and the current prices of the product so you can find the lowest one in an instant.
Another way to save on clearance items? Look for steep reductions due to damage or flaws. Walmart has a Customer Value Program (CVP) where it marks down items 25% or 50% off on imperfect products. “It saves the customer money and prevents Walmart from throwing the item away,” states Shear. “Walmart uses this program across the store. In apparel, if an item is minimally damaged (such as a missing button or small tear), it can be marked down to 50%. Walmart also does this for packaged items like socks and underwear. If one is missing out of the package, they will mark it down to sell the remainder of the package. In other departments, they will CVP items if the box is damaged, has been opened or may be missing non-essential parts.” So, keep an eye out for these bonus bargains!
5. Snap up discounted Walmart food after 5 p.m.
Tired of the high cost of food? One way to trim your grocery bill is by heading to Walmart in the evening. “Walmart often marks down fresh items that are close to expiring,” Shear states. “How soon depends on the product. You can almost always find deli meat, pre-packaged items (like subs and salads) and bakery items discounted after 5 p.m.”
Food that doesn’t sell won’t go to waste, she assures. “Walmart partners with local food banks and pantries to donate produce items that are close to expiring.”
6. Pay $4 for medication with Walmart’s Prescription Program
“If you live near a Walmart and use any medications that are available in generic, Walmart can be a great place to get your refills because Walmart has a long list of generic prescriptions that are only $4—no insurance needed!” says smart shopping expert Trae Bodge.
In fact, Walmart’s Prescription Program sells nearly 100 common generic medications for $4 for a 30-day supply. And if you’re taking meds for a chronic condition, you’ll save even more on a 90-day supply, which is just $10.
To get the full list of generic medications included, click through here for Walmart’s Prescription Program.
Note that greater dosages may be priced higher and prices can vary based on the state where you live.
Find out how to fill or transfer your prescription by clicking here or by visiting your local Walmart pharmacy.
7. Trim your Walmart bill with paper coupons
Walmart doesn’t accept digital coupons or competitors’ coupons. However, you can bring paper manufacturer coupons to the store all you want. The retailer doesn’t mind if you find these coupons in circulars and mailers or if you print them off the Internet from coupon websites (like The Krazy Coupon Lady and Retail Me Not).
As long as the coupon has “Manufacturer Coupon” printed on it, a barcode that can be scanned, manufacturer billing address and valid expiration date, you can apply all applicable coupons at the checkout.
Walmart is also one of the few stores that allows “overages”. This is when the value of a coupon exceeds the price of the product, so the amount leftover is applied to the rest of your purchase.
On top of that, if you return an item that you used a coupon to pay for, you’ll get back the amount you paid plus the value of the coupon you used, totaling the full purchasing price.
8. Get 5% back with the Capital One Walmart Rewards card
Are you a frequent Walmart shopper, pay off your credit card balances monthly and have good to excellent credit? If so, it would be a smart idea for you to consider applying for the Capital One Walmart MasterCard Rewards credit card. In addition to no annual fee, the savings are huge!
“This card gives you 5% back at Walmart.com and in-store when you pay with the Walmart Pay app, and then 2% back on in-store, travel and dining purchases, and 1% on all other purchases,” says Woroch. So, if you spend $250 per month on food at Walmart.com, you’ll get back $150 in cash within one year.
What if you don’t have great credit:
If you’re not approved for the Capital One Walmart MasterCard Rewards card, you’ll be considered for the Walmart Rewards Card. This is not a Mastercard and can only be used at Walmart. You’ll earn unlimited 5% cash back on purchases made at Walmart.com and the Walmart app as well as 2% back on purchases in Walmart stores and Murphy USA gas stations.
9. Nab big savings with Walmart private brands
One way Walmart keeps its everyday prices on brand name products low is by asking suppliers to lower their costs.
But Walmart doesn’t stop there when it comes to helping shoppers save cash. They also have dozens of their own private brands for all sorts of products that are priced lower than similar items from major manufacturers. “You’re looking at saving 30% to 50% compared to name brands,” says Woroch.
Fortunately, just because Walmart private brands are inexpensive, it doesn’t mean you’ll be skimping on quality. The reason Walmart can keep their store-branded merchandise priced so low is because they don’t have to spend a bundle marketing and advertising their products like national brands do.
“My favorite way to save at Walmart in the grocery section is to take advantage of their Great Value generic products,” says money-saving whiz Melissa Riker. “These products usually have the same quality at a much lower price and you can significantly reduce your grocery bill.”
To browse Walmart’s many private brands, head online to Walmart, pick a department, then select the “Only at Walmart” option on the lefthand menu. Just a few include Great Value groceries, Equate health and beauty goods, Mainstays housewares and Joyspun sleepwear.
10. Score a bargain with Walmart Restored products
Let’s face it—some of the most expensive products on the market are electronics and home appliances. Yet, they’re often also the items we need the most to make our work and home lives easier.
Sure, you can save on these items by purchasing older models or giving up some options. But, if you prefer latest generation, there’s another way to get the electronics or appliance you want for less: buy them refurbished from Walmart Restored.
All of the refurbished products listed on the website have been inspected, cleaned and tested to work and look like new. They’re also sold by carefully selected suppliers to ensure high quality and good customer service.
Best of all? They’re sold for a fraction of what they’d cost if you bought them new.
On top of that, at times you’ll find additional discounts on these already-reduced prices. For example, during back-to-school shopping sales.
Every product at Walmart Restored comes with a 90-day guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase for any reason, you can return it free and get your money back. Walmart makes returns easy.
Want to know more secrets to shopping at Walmart?
Watch this video for insight on what to do and what *not* to do in order to save money while shopping at Walmart:
To find out more ways to save at your favorite stores, click on these stories:
Gabrielle Lichterman is an award-winning author and journalist who has been reporting on health, personal finance and lifestyle topics for Woman’s World since 1997. Gabrielle is best known for pioneering the worldwide “cycle-syncing” movement that began with her groundbreaking women’s health book, 28 Days: What Your Cycle Reveals About Your Moods, Health & Potential. Learn more at GabrielleLichterman.com.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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