29 Amazing Walmart Shopping Tips Only Employees Know
Yes, there's a method to Walmart's markdown madness. Here's what you need to know.
Walmart is known for providing an endlessly diverse selection of products at competitively low prices. Where else can you have an eye exam, buy tires for your vehicle, fill your prescriptions, and purchase food, clothing, and home goods for the whole family? But just because Walmart's prices and offerings are good doesn't mean that they can't get better. If you want to save more during your next Walmart trip, you need to know how to hack the system. To help you out, we've rounded up tons of Walmart shopping tips only the store's employees would know. So read on, and reap the rewards! And for more tips to consider on your next visit to the big box retailer, check out 27 Things You Should Never Buy at Walmart, According to Experts.
There's a method to the markdown system madness.
Walmart is very sneaky with its markdown system, so here's a breakdown of how it works so you can actually score the best deal: Prices ending in "7" display the item's original price; prices ending in "5" come after the item's first markdown; and those ending in "1" or "0" signify the final markdown.
For example, if you see a product marked at $49.97, then you know that it's the original price and should wait for markdowns. When the product is marked down for the first time, it will be priced at something like $39.95. Finally, when it's marked down for the last time, it will most likely be sold somewhere around $29.91.
Always compare in-store and online prices.
Want to ensure you're receiving the best deal in the store when you shop? Check the prices of your desired items online. Walmart will match any of its web prices to those in the store, so you'll definitely want to know if an item's cheaper online. And for where in the U.S. the retailer is offering COVID vaccinations, If You Live in These States, You Can Now Get Vaccinated at Walmart.
Don't sleep on day-old bakery items.
Looking for a more affordable way to dig in to a loaf of fresh-baked ciabatta? Head on over to the Walmart bakery aisle for some day-old bread and bakery items. Despite there not being much of a difference in taste or texture in day-old items, Walmart offers discounts on these products, and they'll sometimes cost as little as a dollar, according to SimpleMost.
Find sites that offer free, printable coupons.
Scour company sites like Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Tablespoon, and Pampers that offer free, printable coupons you can use at Walmart.
Sign up for Ibotta to receive cash back on your purchases.
To make money while you shop at Walmart, simply complete tasks via Ibotta. All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt after you shop, and the app will reward you with cash back to use at the store. And for more on how Walmart is becoming even more convenient, Walmart Just Got One Step Closer to 24-Hour Delivery.
Walmart gives away free baby welcome boxes.
When you take the big step into parenthood, Walmart can help with a free welcome box. To apply, simply head to Walmart's baby box page, enter your information, and the complimentary box will be shipped to your home—free of charge! According to recipients, the box contains free samples of items like pacifiers, bottles, wipes, diapers, and nursing pads.
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 any Murphy USA gas stations. You can save at least three cents per gallon on gasoline (at the time this article was published)—and with the way gas prices are, that's a bargain you can't afford to pass up!
Generic brands aren't always cheaper in the long run.
While generic brands tend to be cheaper at face value, they are far less likely to ever go on sale. If the brand name item is on sale, stick with that; if it's not, then feel free to opt for the generic. And for shopping tips, the latest COVID news, and more sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newspaper.
Be sure to download the Walmart app.
If you're looking to make the most of your shopping experience at Walmart, then make sure you have the Walmart app downloaded. It can help you save money via deals you otherwise would have never noticed (available in the weekly store advertisement). The app will also give you early access to exclusive items and special offers during the holiday season.
In-store pick-ups result in deeper discounts.
If you prefer to shop online but don't want to pay a hefty shipping fee, choose in-store pick up. Not only is shipping free, but you also automatically get the option to receive discounts on items labeled "Pickup Discount Eligible." You can avoid the crowds by going straight to the services desk to pick up your items—all while saving even more money.
Walmart will deliver groceries straight to your car.
Have you ever dreamed of ordering your groceries online, driving to the store, and having someone bring your haul right to your car? Well, this very service exists at Walmart. When you order your groceries online, Walmart will bring them out to your car with its curbside pickup option. While it's not available at every location, the retailer started to unveil the service in 2018, and according to Business Insider, it plans to roll it out to more than 3,000 of its stores by the end of this year.
Anyone can get free two-day shipping.
If neither the in-store pickup or curbside pickup options entice you, then take advantage of Walmart's free online shipping option. The best part? Any Walmart shopper can get free two-day shipping—no membership or hidden fees required (though only certain items qualify for the perk).
Scout out free items at the Freeosk.
Though these freebie stands aren't available at every Walmart, they are an amazing addition to take advantage of. They offer full-size, free versions of favorites like Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers and Rice Krispies Treats, putting Costco's minuscule samples to shame.
Walmart's store-brand items are often as good as the name-brand ones.
Don't sleep on Walmart's Great Value products. When Consumer Reports pitted name-brand products against store-brand ones, they found that Walmart's Great Value paper towels and toilet paper were both "worth trying," and that the majority of in-store products tested were just as good as their name-brand counterparts.
And Great Value brand offers cheaper gluten-free options, too.
Those of you with a gluten allergy or intolerance understand just how expensive it can be to avoid gluten, seeing as these products are almost always more expensive than regular items. However, for those looking to save a few pennies—or, let's be real, dollars—take advantage of Walmart's Great Value brand. The in-store brand has a vast selection of gluten-free items that will make catering to your diet painless and affordable.
Sometimes the locked glass cases contain the cheapest electronics.
Especially during the fall season when brands are releasing new items to prepare for the holidays, Walmart prefers to keep clearance items just out of reach—in their glass cases, to be exact. So, when you're struggling to stay within your budget, it might not hurt to take a look inside those display cases in search of some discount deals.
Scour the refurbished section online before purchasing electronics.
Rather than wasting your money on brand-new electronics, try testing your luck instead with the refurbished portion of Walmart's website. It's where items with minor issues that have been fixed by manufacturers are resold at only a fraction of the original price.
The search bar can reveal hidden clearance deals on the website.
While it's 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 voila: Every on-sale item listed at that moment will appear on your screen, just like that.
Generic prescriptions cost less than $5.
The next time your doctor prescribes you a new medication, check to see if there is a generic version available. If there is, see if it's is available as part of Walmart's $4 generic program. By taking advantage of Walmart's incredible generic prices, you could end up saving hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on your prescriptions each year.
Holiday items are insanely cheap after the holiday.
Days after any major holiday ends, holiday items are automatically marked down, making the post-holiday period the perfect time to shop for, well, the holidays. So, stock up on Christmas wreaths and pumpkin carving kits the year before if you want to save major dough!
Go grocery shopping in the morning.
According to Go Banking Rates, you should head to Walmart's grocery department early in the morning—around 8:00 a.m. Why? That's when the meat from the previous day goes on sale!
Those clearance stickers sometimes cover up cheaper prices.
According to consumers (and one particularly angry Walmart shopper on Reddit), Walmart has made a habit of sticking less expensive clearance tags underneath other pricier ones, forcing customers to overpay for items when they think they're getting a deal. Only those working at Walmart know for certain whether the retailer is actually engaged in this clearance price tag trick, but no matter what, it's worth double checking on your next shopping excursion.
Walmart has some of the cheapest party supplies available.
Rather than making the separate trip to Dollar Tree or Dollar General to score cheap party supplies, simply swing by the party supply aisle at Walmart after you're done grocery shopping to get everything you need for your graduation party or summer BBQ. With options like $2 banners and $1 napkins, Walmart makes it easy to get everything—and we mean everything—you need to throw the ultimate backyard bash all in one place.
Head to sample displays for the best coupons—and freebies.
Walmart sample displays often contain amazing coupons and even the occasional free product. Even better, when sample vendors set up shop in Walmart, they often hand out exclusive coupons that put Walmart's own to shame.
Check the endcaps for hidden clearance items.
If nothing in the clearance aisles strikes your fancy, be sure to check out the other clearance items that may remain hidden in plain sight on the endcaps.
You can find clothing basics for under $5.
Certain clothing basics—like tank tops, tees, and onesies—are often less than $5 both online and in store at your local Walmart. And you can also browse the seasonal clearance clothing section for dynamite dollar deals.
Skip the produce section.
Though Walmart is a great place for party supplies and parenting basics, it's not the best place to buy produce. When Consumer Reports surveyed shoppers about their favorite places to buy fruits and veggies, Walmart received some of the lowest ratings as far as variety is concerned. If you're looking for the cheapest and freshest organic produce, stick to Trader Joe's and Aldi's.
And don't bother fussing over furniture, either.
If the prices seem too good to be true, they are. With Walmart, this is the case with their furniture, seeing 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 something affordable and temporary.
When you work at Walmart for 15 years, you get a lifetime discount.
Many Walmart shoppers are unaware that the retailer hands out frequent bonuses to reward high sales. In fact, for Walmart's full fiscal year in 2018, the retailer handed out nearly $800 million in bonuses.
On top of that, Walmart also ensures a lifetime discount of 10 percent after an employee has worked there for 15 to 20 continuous years. And for more developments happening at the retail giant, Walmart Just Made the Worst Part of Shopping So Much Easier.