The 6 Best Times to Shop at Walmart, According to Experts
Retail experts say shopping at these times will save you money and headaches.
Walmart is probably best known for two things—its inexpensive prices and its huge selection of items, from groceries and home essentials to electronics to clothing. But just because you peruse the weekly sales flyer, it doesn't mean you're getting the best deals and selections. According to experts, there are certain times of the day, month, or year when you can find the greatest discounts or the fewest crowds. Read on to learn about the six best times to shop at Walmart.
READ THIS NEXT: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Walmart Employees.
At the beginning of the month.
Regardless of the day of the week, the first few days of a given month can be some of the best times to score deals.
"Walmart stores will often take stock of inventory at the end of a month to prep for sales so that several items are discounted right at the beginning of the next month," Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, tells Best Life. "It's a good thing to keep in mind if you want to check out newly clearanced items."
Paul Sundin, personal finance expert and CEO of Emparion, agrees. "If you are looking to score the best deals, it's best to shop at Walmart within the first five days of the month… you can find aisles or bins of clearance items in the middle of the store," which, he explains, are unsold items from the previous month.
Early weekday mornings.
If your schedule is flexible, you'll want to make sure to plan your visits for early weekday mornings.
"If you can visit your local Walmart right when it opens in the morning, or at least shortly thereafter, you should be able to get a smoother shopping experience," explains Ramhold, since shelves are restocked overnight.
You'll also have a much calmer experience than visiting right after work or on a busy weekend. "Since most people don't shop on weekday mornings, especially very early, you should have smaller crowds if any at all, which means you can take your time shopping and get exactly what you need," Ramhold adds.
Late at night.
You don't want to hit Walmart right at 5 p.m. when everyone is done for the day, but just before closing is a good bet.
"If you like a solitary shopping experience, late at night might be the best time to shop at Walmart," says Ramhold. "When stores were open 24 hours a day, shopping around 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. was a great window because there were so few people."
While Walmart isn't 24/7 anymore, they still have later hours than other chains. Ramhold suggests visiting during the last two hours for a quiet experience. But she explains this isn't always true—around the holidays, the stores can be crowded with shoppers at any time, day or night.
This is also the best time to shop if you get groceries. In a Reddit thread about the best times to shop at Walmart, a person with the username KMH039 writes that 8:30-9:00 p.m. is best because "that's when all the markdowns for the next day get done." They explain that any meat or packaged produce with an expiration date of the following day will get marked down around 8:00 p.m. "It's usually marked down between 30%-50% depending on the item and how many they had to mark down," they note.
Your initial reaction might be to avoid shopping at Walmart on holiday weekends because it's guaranteed to be busy, but this is when you'll get some of the lowest deals of the year.
"Walmart typically releases deals across a variety of categories over long holiday weekends including President's Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day," says consumer savings and smart shopping expert Andrea Woroch, who adds that it's the best time to stock up on "any items you're looking to replace, from appliances to kitchen gadgets."
Holiday weekends are also the best time to earn cash back, especially since Walmart doesn't usually offer coupon codes. Woroch suggests using deal sites like Coupon Cabin "which tend to offer even higher cash-back rates during a holiday sales event." She cites Cyber Monday as a recent example, as the site was offering four percent cash back. "The percent usually hovers between 1 to 2% so expect to earn more when shopping over a popular holiday weekend or big sales event."
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The end of the season.
Much like other popular retail chains, the end of the season is the best time to guarantee sales on seasonal items.
"Winter gear and winter apparel will be marked down in February as the retailer prepares for the new spring season," Woroch advises. "Summer goods like patio furniture, beach gear, and swimsuits will go on sale at the end of August."
And according to a Reddit thread, the seasonality rule may apply even if you live somewhere that doesn't have cold weather. In the posting, user oETERNALo, who lives in Texas, shares how a grill was still heavily discounted at the end of the summer.
Deals for Days (or Prime Day).
If you're an Amazon devotee, it's more than likely you know about Prime Day, their day of mega sales. But you might not have heard about Walmart's "Deals for Days," which they offer as competition on the same day.
According to Woroch, Deals for Days is the best time to purchase big-ticket items. "Walmart's event is often longer and features big discounts on electronics such as TVs and laptops as well as smart home devices."