Walmart opened its doors in Arkansas in 1962. Since then, the retail giant has grown to over 5,000 locations across the United States, employing more than 1.5 million workers and earning the title of the largest U.S. company.
Walmart’s claim to fame is offering exceptional value at low prices. Between their in-store Great Value brand and “Save Money, Live Better” motto, Walmart provides shoppers with competitive pricing and a wide selection of products.
Walmart is so confident in their low prices they discontinued their Savings Catcher in 2019. Saving Catcher compared shopper’s receipts to nationally advertised prices. When Savings Catcher found a lower competitor’s price for a product on your receipt, the program credited you with a rebate to your Walmart.com account or your Walmart Pay wallet.
Even without the Savings Catcher, there are still plenty of effective Walmart saving hacks savvy shoppers can use to keep more money in their wallets.
How to Save Money Shopping at Walmart
1. Download the Walmart App
The app has a weekly ads section that highlights local sales and in-store specials for nearby Walmarts. It’s the easiest way to find deals before you head out to shop, and it saves time compared to flipping through coupon books or weekly flyers. Additionally, during the holidays, the app provides early access to sales and exclusive product catalogs.
The app also saves time. Shoppers can check whether specific products are in stock before heading out to shop or use the app to check in for in-store pickups. Creating shopping lists in the Walmart app is also an excellent way to stay on track when shopping and to shop within your budget.
2. Use Reward Apps
The Walmart app helps shoppers find the best deals and save time. However, if you want to save money at Walmart after completing a shopping trip, reward programs like Ibotta are an excellent option.
Ibotta rewards users with cash back for purchasing specific products from retailers that partner with Ibotta. There are plenty of Walmart offers on Ibotta, with many cash back offers ranging from $0.25 to $5.00.
The Ibotta app is free, and signing up for Ibotta takes just a few minutes. You’ll even receive a $20 bonus after redeeming your first offer. Once you download the app, it’s easy to browse for Walmart offers and add them to your app’s shopping list.
You upload your shopping receipt to provide proof of purchase after shopping, and Ibotta credits you with cash back. Once you reach $20 in cash back in your Ibotta account, you can cash out. Ibotta pays through PayPal, Venmo, or a variety of gift card options.
Ibotta is a bit of a slow earner if you don’t shop frequently, and the special offers won’t always suit your taste. Regardless, it’s free and easy to use. If you make an effort and regularly scan in-app offers, you can redeem rewards throughout the year and cut back on your expenses.
3. Use the Walmart Rewards Mastercard
If you frequently shop at Walmart, one of the most powerful ways to save money is to sign up for the Capital One Walmart Rewards card.
This zero-fee Mastercard encourages shopping at Walmart. The main benefits of the card include:
- Incredible Introductory Offer. Earn unlimited 5% cash back in Walmart stores or at Walmart.com for the first 12 months when you use your card with Walmart Pay.
- Additional Cash-Back Opportunities. Earn unlimited 2% cash back at restaurants, Walmart stores, Walmart and Murphy USA fuel stations, and on travel expenses.
- 1% Safety Net. Earn unlimited 1% cash back everywhere else.
The unlimited 5% introductory offer is what makes this card so powerful. You have to use Walmart Pay for the offer to credit 5%, which is another reason to download the free Walmart app. Using Walmart Pay is as simple as linking your Capital One Walmart Rewards card and using the app’s tap-to-pay functionality at checkout.
If this card isn’t for you, use another form of cash-back credit card to save money at Walmart. The Discover it Cash Back card is another great option if you aren’t a fan of the Walmart Rewards card. This card has a rotation of special cash-back offers throughout the year, including 5% at Walmart.com.
4. Earn Cash Back at Walmart With Drop
Drop, a free cash-back rewards app, pays you to shop at five of your favorite stores.
Drop is a popular rewards app available in the United States and Canada. It currently has more than 3 million users, according to Drop’s homepage.
Saving money with Drop takes four simple steps:
- Download the free Drop app.
- Connect the cards you shop with. Credit or debit cards work, and Drop supports most major banks.
- Select five stores from a list of Drop partners from whom to earn Drop Points when shopping.
- Redeem Drop Points for free gift cards to popular merchants, including Amazon, Starbucks, and Sephora.
Consider which merchants you choose carefully. Your selections are locked in forever unless a merchant leaves the program. The app currently supports Walmart. Other popular options include Starbucks, Uber, Target, and Whole Foods, although brands are subject to change.
Drop doesn’t pay the same amount of cash back as top cash-back credit cards. For Walmart, Drop currently pays 0.2% cash back. However, Drop points stack on top of cash-back credit card rewards, so there’s no reason not to try it.
There are also in-app offers that reward users for shopping online through Drop, and these offers are more lucrative. For example, Drop special offers regularly pay 2% to 8% cash back, and sign-up bonuses from partnered companies usually pay between $25 and $50.
Using Drop to save money at Walmart is easy, free, and completely passive. This app can’t save you hundreds of dollars per year. But if you make an effort to use the in-app special offers before shopping online, you can maximize your savings.
5. Shop Walmart Online With Rakuten
If you prefer online shopping, there are still plenty of ways to save money at Walmart thanks to the power of online shopping browser extensions.
Rakuten is one of the most popular cash-back shopping portals around. It’s essentially a massive affiliate network that partners with thousands of merchants. When you visit Rakuten, you select merchants you want to earn cash back from. Rakuten redirects you to merchants’ sites, and you earn cash back if you complete a purchase. Rakuten earns a portion of this cash back but splits the remainder with you, adding any cash back you earn to your Rakuten account.
It’s possible to earn up to 5% cash back at Walmart.com just by visiting Rakuten first. Rakuten cash-back rewards also stack with cash-back credit card rewards, so there’s plenty of room to double-dip on savings here.
Rakuten pays users quarterly through PayPal. You must have more than $5 in cash back to receive payment, but funds sit in your account until you’re eligible for payment rather than disappearing. Rakuten is available in Canada and the United States, and you can shop through the desktop version or through the Rakuten mobile app.
6. Try the Honey Browser Extension
Rakuten is excellent for frequent online shoppers who want to score cash back. Shopping browser extensions like Honey provide even more saving opportunities.
Honey automatically finds coupons when you shop online and applies them at checkout. This process saves time compared to manually searching the Web for coupons, and the Honey browser extension is also free. Honey coupon codes don’t always work, but they’re always worth a try. Honey partners with more than 40,000 merchants, making it a must-have for anyone who regularly shops online.
You can redeem Honey Gold for a variety of free gift cards to companies like Amazon, Target, and even Walmart. Ultimately, if you shop online, Honey is one of the most robust ways to save money and earn cash back. Plus, the free Walmart gift cards you earn from Honey Gold push your Walmart savings even further.
7. Use Walmart’s Pickup Discount Feature
Shopping online at Walmart is an excellent way to find online-only deals. And Walmart now offers discounts on eligible online-only items when you ship them to a Walmart store for pickup.
Walmart’s pickup discount is simple:
- Select an item that has a “pickup discount eligible” tag.
- Select “ship to local store” before checkout.
- Receive the pickup discount on the item’s price before purchase.
That’s all there is to it. This feature won’t save you a lot, but if you’re planning a trip to Walmart, you can line up a pickup purchase for that day to save time and money.
8. Price Match (In-Store & Online)
Walmart discontinued its Savings Catcher service because it thought the service was redundant. However, Walmart still has a limited price-match guarantee.
For in-store purchases, Walmart says they “will match Walmart.com and Jet.com base price, for identical items purchased in a Walmart store.”
Customers must inform Walmart associates they wish to price match. Additionally, the item must also be in stock on Walmart.com and be identical to the in-store purchase.
Online purchases have a different price-match policy. According to Walmart’s policy, if you find a cheaper price from “an online retailer on an identical, in-stock product,” they will match the price.
Walmart doesn’t offer price protection for online purchases, meaning they won’t refund money for products purchased on Walmart.com that later drop in price. Again, the product in question must also be identical to the cheaper product, which includes sizing, model, brand, and color.
The following scenarios are also exempt from price matching:
- Offers advertised as sales (dollars or percentages off)
- Items marketed as clearance, liquidation, or special event offers
- Black Friday or Cyber Week sales
- Damaged or refurbished products
- Price errors
- Discounts applied at checkout
Walmart’s prices are tough to beat, so it isn’t always possible to price match. However, if you never ask, you’ll never save, so don’t be afraid to look for opportunities to maximize your savings.
9. Buy Refurbished Electronics
If you don’t mind purchasing refurbished merchandise, Walmart’s refurbished electronics program is another effective way to save money on a variety of electronic devices.
Buying refurbished electronics isn’t always a great idea. Refurbished devices are slightly different from used devices. Specifically, refurbished devices are those returned to manufacturers by consumers, and they have to undergo reconditioning before resale. Therefore, if you don’t purchase refurbished goods from a reputable manufacturer or understand your warranty protection, you risk buying a product that wasn’t adequately reconditioned and has some serious problems.
Thankfully, Walmart’s refurbished electronics program is reputable. The company inspects, cleans, and repairs the devices to function like new. It also repairs dents, screen scratches or cracks, and significant cosmetic imperfections.
Furthermore, refurbished products come with a 90-day minimum warranty, which provides plenty of time to buy and test a device.
The categories in Walmart’s refurbished electronics program include:
- Desktop computers
- Laptops and tablets
- Wearable technology
If you plan to shop for technology, check for refurbished options to save more money at Walmart.
10. Use These Money-Saving Tips for Grocery Shopping
Shopping at a Walmart Supercenter or Neighborhood Market is a step in the right direction for saving money on groceries. However, savvy shoppers can maximize value by adopting several simple yet effective money-saving tips:
- Create a List. The Walmart app is the perfect tool for creating an exact shopping list to avoid overspending on products you don’t need.
- Shop Seasonally. Seasonal produce is generally cheaper than produce that must be transported great distances. Tailor your grocery list to include more seasonal fruits and vegetables to cut down on costs.
- Time Your Trips. Many supermarkets have specific days of the week when bakery or deli products go on sale. Learn when your local Walmart offers discounts, and time your shopping trips accordingly. Additionally, avoid shopping on an empty stomach, as this reduces the likelihood of impulse spending, according to a 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
- Check Unit Prices. A product’s cost per unit is the ultimate indicator of value, not the price tag. Price tags at Walmart display the cost per unit, so don’t be afraid to spend more on necessities if it saves more money per unit than buying a smaller size. However, listed unit prices occasionally have errors, so double-check prices that seem too good to be true.
- Double-Check Receipts. Everyone is human, and cashiers are no exception. Checking your receipts for errors isn’t just a Walmart saving hack. The practice is worthwhile at every retailer.
- Buy Great Value Brand on Select Items. Walmart’s Great Value brand is generally the cheapest option when shopping at Walmart. And cheap doesn’t always mean low-quality. Great Value is the most economical choice for basic products like eggs and milk, cookware, generic cleaning supplies, or even most spices. Foods like meats and cheese or diet-specific products like gluten-free food aren’t always as high in quality. But for the basics, stick with Great Value.
Many of these tips might seem like common sense. However, implementing them into your shopping routine can save more money each year, even if you already shop at a more affordable grocery store like Walmart.
11. Leverage Walmart’s Free Shipping
If you have an Amazon Prime membership, chances are you do most of your online shopping on Amazon.
However, if you haven’t subscribed to Prime for the perks and typically place large online orders, Walmart.com is the perfect choice for shopping online. Walmart offers free two-day shipping on orders of $35 or more. Some products even qualify for free same-day shipping, and Walmart.com has a robust inventory that offers pretty much anything you would find in stores.
Coupling savings on shipping costs with other strategies on this list is an easy way to double down on savings. Whatever you do, never pay for shipping costs unless you have absolutely no choice. You can almost always find an online shopping site that offers free shipping and carries what you need.
12. Use Walmart’s $4 Prescription Program
There are many ways to save money on the cost of prescription drugs. If you have a prescription for a generic medication, shopping at Walmart is one of the best ways to reduce your monthly medical expenses.
Walmart’s $4 prescription program provides affordable generic prescriptions. The program includes up to a 30-day supply of many generic drugs for $4 and 90-day supplies for $10 or more.
Higher dosages cost more, and prices for certain drugs vary between states. Check Walmart’s current list of generic drugs to see if the program covers your prescription. You can request generic drug prescriptions from your doctor to help reduce medication costs, which is an important money-saving practice. According to a 2013 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, approximately 40% of doctors default to more costly brand-name prescriptions in place of equally effective generic medication.
13. Try Walmart’s Gadgets to Gift Cards Program
Selling an old phone or electronic device is an effective way to make some quick cash. Platforms like eBay and Amazon and dozens of electronic buy-back websites make it incredibly easy to ship unwanted devices for resale. However, if you want to score free Walmart gift cards to save money on your next online shopping trip, look into Walmart’s Gadgets to Gift Cards program.
It’s easy to use. Simply select your device from a list of eligible products, ship it for free to Walmart’s partner CExchange, and earn an electronic Walmart gift card after they approve your device. You can only redeem the gift card at Walmart.com.
CExchange provides an instant appraisal after you choose your device and enter information about its condition. It sends an updated appraisal if there’s a discrepancy between the initial appraisal and the condition of your device. You can then accept the new offer or have the device returned to you for free.
Eligible categories for the Gadgets to Gift Cards program include:
- Video game consoles
- Voice speakers
- MP3 players
This program is a relatively quick way to get rid of old gadgets and make some extra money at the same time. You won’t be able to cover a high shopping bill with most gadget sales. However, shopping on Walmart.com already offers plenty of ways to save, and adding free gift cards to the mix only sweetens the deal.
14. Don’t Forget Couponing
It’s easy to forget tried-and-true methods of saving considering the variety of apps and programs that now cater to frugal shoppers. But while browser extensions are useful, using coupons can still save money at Walmart when you’re shopping in-store.
You don’t have to be an extreme couponer to save money with coupons at Walmart. Walmart’s coupon policy is quite simple and outlines some general rules for using coupons at their locations:
- Manufacturer Limitations. Walmart follows manufacturer-specific coupon terms, such as limits on the number of coupons you can use for a single product.
- Coupon Limits. There’s no limit to the number of coupons you can use in a single transaction provided you don’t exceed manufacturer limitations.
- Coupon Types. Walmart accepts dollars- and cents-off coupons and by-one-get-one-free (BOGO) coupons. Valid Internet coupons or printed coupons from manufacturers are eligible. BOGO coupons can’t be doubled or combined with dollar- or percent-off coupons.
- Cash Overages. Walmart provides cash overages if the shelf price of an item is less than the price discount on a coupon. Walmart accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). However, customers can’t receive cash after overages by applying coupons against SNAP or WIC purchases.
- Prohibited Coupons. Walmart doesn’t accept Internet coupons for free products with no purchase requirements. It also prohibits digital coupons. Finally, Walmart doesn’t honor double or triple coupons.
Your coupons must also be scannable. Walmart has the right to refuse coupons that encounter errors when scanning or coupons employees suspect someone altered.
As long as you follow basic couponing tips and leave the house prepared with coupons for a specific shopping list, you can save even more money when shopping at Walmart.
Walmart offers a wide selection of products at affordable pricing. Between their Great Value brand and competitive online prices, shopping for groceries and other necessities at Walmart is already a fiscally responsible move.
However, adopting several Walmart savings tips can help maximize your savings without requiring much effort. Start by using Walmart features like the free mobile app, store pickup discounts, Walmart Rewards Mastercard, and the Gadgets to Gift Cards program. To take things to the next step, mix in programs like Rakuten, Honey, and Drop and bring coupons when shopping in-store. Combining multiple Walmart saving hacks can make a positive impact on your finances without requiring much additional effort.
Do you have a favorite money-saving tip for Walmart or other major retailers?