If you shop at Walmart, chances are you like to save money. Because of its size, in-house distribution network, and hyper-efficient business model, this Arkansas-based retailer is one of the cheapest places in the country to buy household goods, groceries, and anything else you’d expect to find at a big box store.
But frugally-minded people know that cheap can always be cheaper, and customers can find significant savings at Walmart beyond the already low prices — if they’re willing to look. Here are a few tricks to add to your arsenal.
1. Shop online and ship to the store
People mostly think of Walmart as a brick-and-mortar retailer, but they also have a strong online presence. Consumer saving expert Andrea Woroch recommends finding the best online-only deals and having them shipped for free to your nearest Walmart.
“This is a good saving strategy as many online deals don’t exist in-store, and it’s a great way to save without paying for shipping,” she says.
Walmart does offer free shipping, but only on orders of $35 or more. If you’d like to buy online but don’t want to leave your house to pick it up, make sure you wait until you need $35 worth of merchandise.
There’s another good reason to avoid the in-store experience if you’re a compulsive spender — online shopping can save you more money because you’re not tempted by aisles of merchandise you don’t need. Walmart is notorious for using merchandising voodoo to lure customers toward products they don’t need.
2. Download the Savings Catcher app
Walmart’s Savings Catcher app is a must for consumers looking to save at Walmart. Customers can scan in their receipts with the app, which will look through competitor’s ads to see if they have a better price on what you just purchased.
If the app finds a lower deal elsewhere, they’ll send you a Walmart electronic gift card for the difference. Go here to plug in your receipt.
3. Take advantage of Walmart’s price-matching policy
Most shoppers know Walmart price matches almost all its inventory if you bring in another store’s circular. But there’s more — Walmart also promises to match online retailers, including Amazon.
If you’re about to buy an item from Walmart.com and see a lower price somewhere else, you can contact customer support to request a price adjustment. It’s unclear how long the process takes, but it’s worth trying if you see a significant difference.
Both items must be in stock at their respective locations and completely identical to qualify for the deal. To discourage reselling, users can only receive one price adjustment per item per day.
4. Use the Ibotta app
Ibotta is a grocery-saving app that’s garnered rave reviews from customers all over the country. Unlike coupon apps that require you to present the coupons before you buy, Ibotta works by having you scan in your receipt after you’re done shopping — perfect for anyone prone to forgetting their coupons at home.
Their discounts vary based on store. Current deals include a 50-cent rebate for Ghirardelli Premium cookie mix or $1.50 cash back for Degree Men deodorant.
You can use the app beforehand to see what rebates are being offered, or shop as you would normally. When you get home, scan in the barcodes for the rebate-eligible items and then scan your receipt.
The Ibotta app works with most major grocery stores, and it’s an easy way to capitalize on Walmart’s already low costs.
5. Install the Ebates web extension
Whether you shop at Walmart.com frequently or just once in awhile, you should install the browser extension Ebates. Ebates is a cash-back extension that rewards consumers when they shop online.
Download the extension here and add it to whatever browser you use. When you visit Walmart.com, the app will ask you to click on a link to activate the cash back. If you don’t activate it, you won’t get any credit for the purchases you make.
Cash-back rates vary among retailers, but currently Ebates gives 1% on everything you buy at Walmart.com.
6. Shop for Walmart’s little known generic “Price First” brand
Buying generic is one of the simplest ways to save money, but a store like Walmart has multiple generic brands — some of which you might not be aware of.
Sam’s Choice and Great Value are the two most well-known generic options at Walmart, but in 2013 they launched Price First, a super-discounted line aimed at their most frugal shoppers. Price First items include pasta, baking supplies, and paper goods.
7. Browse the weekly ads
Before you make all the changes above, start with the basics: browse Walmart’s weekly ad. The circular shows what’s on sale that week, so you know if you should stock up on organic canned green beans or frozen chicken breasts.
Try to pair deals from the weekly ad with other coupons or specials for maximum effect.
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Magnify Money is a price comparison and financial education website, founded by former bankers who use their knowledge of how the system works to help you save money.