30 Amazing Secrets Walmart Managers Don’t Want You to Know
Yes, there's a method to the markdown madness.
Whether or not you’re an avid Walmart shopper, there’s no way you’re unaware of their mission: cheaper prices and an endlessly diverse selection of products. In fact, under one roof, you can have an eye exam, buy tires for your vehicle, fill your prescriptions, and purchase food and clothing for the whole family—all at incomparably low prices.
But, if you’re looking to save even more money from the big-box retailer, know that you very well can. You just need to know how to hack the system. Herein, we’ve rounded up the most amazing ways to make the most of any Walmart shopping trip. So read on, and reap the rewards. And for more facts about some of America’s favorite retailers, check out these 30 Surprising Things You Never Knew about Ikea.
Receive money back on your Walmart purchases by downloading Paribus.
It’s time to stop deleting those emails that you receive from Walmart. By downloading the app Paribus, you can now keep track of all of your purchases with Walmart (and other retailers) via email, scanning your receipts to make sure that what you initially paid for each product remains the lowest price across the board. If the app discovers that another retailer is selling the item for less than you paid, it will refund the difference back to you. And for more about the most beloved companies in the United States, check out The Most Admired Company in Every State.
There’s a method to the markdown system madness.
Since Walmart is entirely too sneaky with its markdown system, here is a breakdown of how it works so you can score the best deal—without the headache. First of all, prices ending in “7” display the item’s original price—while prices ending in “5” come after the item’s first markdown, and those ending in “1” signify its final markdown. For example, if you see a product marked at $49.97, it’s the original price. When the price is marked down for the first time, the product will be marked at $39.95. The, finally, when it’s marked down for the last time, it will be $29.91.
Always compare in-store and online prices.
In order to ensure that you’re receiving the best deal in the store, be sure to check the prices of your desired items online beforehand, as Walmart will match it’s online prices to those in the store. And for more tricks that’ll keep your bank account flush, check out these 20 Easy Ways to Stop Wasting Money.
Don’t sleep on the day-old bakery items.
For a more affordable way to dig into your favorite loaf of fresh-baked ciabatta, take your pick instead of the day-old bread and bakery items, as they often only cost around a dollar.
Find sites that offer free, printable coupons.
In this day and age, clipping coupons is so old-fashioned—instead, scour company sites like Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Tablespoon, and Pampers that offer free, printable coupons that cover most items available at your local Walmart. And if you really want to save dough online, check out these 20 Best Instant Online Coupons.
Walmart gives away free baby welcome boxes.
That’s right: Walmart can provide a helping hand in this new stage of your life. To apply, simply head to Walmart’s baby box page and enter your information and the box will be shipped to your home free of charge. According to past recipients, the box contains free samples of items like pacifiers, newborn baby bottles, wipes, diapers, and nursing pads. While, unfortunately, the box is currently sold out, Walmart is hoping to bring it back soon.
You can save on gas money with a Walmart gift card.
After shopping at your neighborhood Walmart, you can save money on the car ride home by either using a Walmart gift card, a Walmart credit card, or a Walmart Mastercard at the pump to save at least three cents per gallon on gasoline at Murphy USA gas stations.
Generic brands aren’t always cheaper in the long-run.
More often than not, while generic brands may be cheaper at face-value, they actually can end up being more expensive than the name brand items because they are far less likely to ever go on sale. So, in short, if the brand name item is on sale—stick with that. If it’s not, then opt for the generic item.
Be sure to download the Walmart app.
In order to make the most of your shopping experience at Walmart, you should be sure to download the Walmart app and its accompanying Savings Catcher to make shopping lists and save money on deals that you otherwise would have never noticed. They’re available in the weekly store advertisement.
In-store pick-ups result in discounts.
If the thought of navigating your way through aisles full of people after suffering through a long day at work seems slightly masochistic, then you’ll be on board for this form of grocery shopping that doesn’t even require you to get out of the car. This is accomplished by simply ordering your items online or through the Walmart app.
Further, when you ship items to the store and pick them up (though it does require you to get out of the car), the shipping is free and you will automatically have a chance to receive five to 10 percent off other select items in the store.
Scout for free items at the Freeosk.
Though these freebie stands aren’t available at every Walmart, they are an amazing addition to take advantage of, as the free items are far from Costco sample size (typically only a fraction of the original size, when the Walmart samples are full-size items) and often left unsupervised (and include delicious snacks like Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers and full-sized Clif bars).
Certain “Great Value” brands are actually made by brand names.
Before you diss Walmart’s Great Value brand, you should be aware that their products are often manufactured alongside Conagra brands, like McCormick, Green Giant, and Cool Whip. In short: the only thing that sets it apart is its name.
Walmart’s clearance stickers sometimes cover up cheaper prices.
As many other shoppers have discovered, while spending more than the necessary amount of time browsing through the clearance section at Walmart, this retail giant can be quite deceiving with its use of stickers to indicate the “cheapest” price of an item.
According to consumers (and this rather angry Walmart shopper on Reddit), Walmart has made it a habit of sticking the least expensive clearance tag underneath the other pricier options—forcing customers to pay more for items than they should. Whether or not Walmart has knowingly engaged in this clearance price tag trick, it’s better to be safe than sorry on your next shopping excursion.
Sometimes the locked glass cases contain the cheapest electronics.
Though it may make more sense to keep the clearance electronics out of the glass cases to provide room for other more expensive treasures, Walmart (especially during the fall season when brands are releasing new items to prepare for the holidays) keeps these clearance items just out of reach—and in the glass case. So, when you’re struggling to meet your budget, it won’t hurt to take a look inside those display cases.
Scour the refurbished section online before purchasing electronics.
Rather than waste your money on brand-new electronics, try testing your luck instead by skimming through the refurbished portion of Walmart’s website, where items with minor issues (that are then fixed by the manufacturer) are resold at only a fraction of the original price.
You can score last-day bakery and butchery discounts.
When you’re especially strapped for cash, opting to purchase nearly-expired items from the bakery and meat department at the local Walmart can help you save quite a few dollars and force you to consume more fresh food. A good rule of thumb is to bring this impending expiration date up only the day before, as workers will be less inclined to lower the price if the meat is still good for another four days.
The search bar can reveal hidden clearance deals on their website.
While it is true that Walmart’s website isn’t necessarily the most user-friendly, there is a trick to viewing every clearance item available in the store. Simply type “clearance” into the search bar at the top and every clearance item available at that moment will flood on to your screen.
Generic prescriptions cost less than five bucks.
Another day, another expensive prescription—so it’s a good thing that you’ve got Walmart looking after your health. The next time your doctor prescribes you a new medication, check to see if there is a generic version available, and then, if that generic version is available as a part of Walmart’s $4 generic list. If it is, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars on your prescriptions.
Holiday clearance items are insanely cheap after the holiday.
Exactly three days after any major holiday ends (or at least those that deserve a gaudy aisle display), those items are automatically marked down to 90 percent of their original prices, and we all go back to our normal, sans-free relaxation days.
Go grocery shopping in the morning.
According to Go Banking Rates, you should head to the grocery department early in the morning, around 8:00 a.m., when the meat from the previous day goes on sale. Walmart is no exception. And for more ways to save some cheddar on this essential task, brush up on these 15 Grocery Shopping Mistakes That Are Killing Your Wallet.
Diapers cost more at Walmart.
While Walmart can boast cheaper prices than most of its competitors, it still has yet to match Target’s lower prices for diapers, which are consistently at least .05 cents less expensive.
Walmart’s Great Value brand offers the cheapest gluten-free options.
For those of you with a gluten-free diet, you understand just how expensive it can be, since the average prices for the products you seek are often at least a third more expensive. However, for those looking to save a few pennies (or, let’s be real, dollars), take advantage of Walmart’s Great Value brand gluten-free items, as the cheaper prices are vast selection will no longer make catering to your diet a pain.
Walmart has cheaper party supplies than Dollar Tree.
Rather than make the separate trip to the Dollar Tree or Dollar General to score cheap party supplies, simply swing by the party supply aisle after you’re done grocery shopping—it will save you even more money, and the selection is more diverse.
Walmart sample displays have the best coupons—and freebies.
As you can see from the photograph above, Walmart sample displays often handout amazing coupons, and even sometimes, free products. Even better, when Walmart sample vendors set up shop in Walmart, they often hand out exclusive coupons with even greater savings than the typical in-store coupons offer.
Check the end-caps for hidden clearance items.
If nothing in the clearance aisles struck your fancy, be sure to make the full rounds of the store to check out the other clearance items that may remain hidden in plain sight on the end-caps.
Sign up for Ibotta to receive cash back on your purchases.
To get cash back at Walmart, simply complete tasks in Ibotta to earn rewards, take pictures of your receipts after you shop at Walmart, and the app will reward you with cash back to use at the store.
You can find clothing basics, like tank tops, for under four dollars.
Certain clothing basics, like tank tops, tees, and onesies, are often less than four dollars. Further, if four dollars is still too expensive for your tastes, you can browse the seasonal clearance clothing section for one-dollar steals.
When you work at Walmart for 15 years, you get a lifetime discount of 10 percent.
Though Walmart has been known to underpay its employees, many are most likely unaware that the retailer not only hands out frequent bonuses to reward high sales, but ensures a lifetime discount of 10 percent after an employee has worked at the company for at least 15 years. In Walmart’s fiscal year 2018, it handed out more than $625 million in bonuses.
Skip the organic produce…
In this case, it pays to shop around—and skip the Walmart organic produce section altogether. If you’re looking for the cheapest and freshest produce, stick to Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s.
…And the cheap furniture.
If the prices seem too good to be true, they are. At Walmart, this is especially the case with their furniture, as it is cheaply manufactured and not built to last. The only time their furniture may be a viable option is for college students looking to decorate their dorms with cheap furniture, since they won’t have to rely on the longevity of the items. And for more ways to save money and make due with what you already have, check out these 50 Amazing New Uses for Everyday Items.
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