These Are the Secrets Every Walmart Shopper Needs to Know
Not to brag, but when it comes to bargain shopping, we kind of know our stuff. And by “kind of,” we mean we’ve even found ways to cut down costs at the bargain shopping mecca: Walmart.
Yep. You read correctly. We’re letting you in on some savvy shopping secrets that will help you rollback prices — even more — every time you shop at Walmart.
Here’s how to get the best deals.
1. Get Cash Back (and a $10 gift card!) by Shopping Walmart.com
One of our favorite ways to save is with Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something online. For example, Ebates gives you 10% cash-back on online purchases at Walmart.
Plus you’ll get a free $10 gift card to Walmart for giving the site a try.
To earn your gift card:
- Sign up for Ebates with your email or Facebook account.
- Use the Ebates portal the next time you need to buy something. It’s connected to thousands of stores, including Walmart, Amazon and Target. You’ll need to make your first purchase through the site within 90 days and spend at least $25.
- Your account will be credited with rewards points you can cash in for your $10 Walmart gift card.
2. Earn Walmart Gift Cards for Taking Surveys
Swagbucks is definitely a reader favorite, probably because of the wide variety of ways to make money beyond taking surveys.
It’s also famous for handing out free rewards points (they’re called SBs) at random just for being a member.
Pro tip: Earn a 500 SB (or $5) bonus when you sign up and earn 2,500 SB within your first 60 days.
You’ll get SBs for each survey you qualify for and complete that you can redeem for cash via Paypal or gift cards to a number of popular retailers, including Walmart.
3. Get Cash Back When You Take a Picture of Your Store Receipt
We know it sounds strange, but Ibotta will pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store receipts.
Here’s how it works:
Before heading to the store, search for items on your shopping list within the Ibotta app. When you get home, snap a photo of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes.
Bam. Cash back.
Ibotta is free to download. Plus, you’ll get a $10 sign-up bonus after uploading your first receipt.
4. Get 1.5% Back on All Your Purchases
If you’re not using a rewards card for your purchases at Walmart, you’re really just leaving free money on the table.
Here’s an option we like: It’s the Chase Freedom Unlimited card*. Its claim to fame? You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. Plus, if you spend $500 in your first three months of opening the card (hi, groceries), you’ll pocket a $150 bonus.
There’s no annual fee, and the cash-back rewards don’t expire.
Get signed up — and 0% intro APR for 15 months — here.
5. Stop Deleting Your Emails From Walmart
It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you money. Intrigued?
One of our secret weapons is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.
Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get compensated.
Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.
6. Get Paid for Walking Into the Store
Sometimes, to get the most out of your Walmart bargain-shopping trip, all you need to do is walk in the door. That’s right — no purchase necessary.
The Shopkick app pays you in “kicks” for walking into Walmart and other participating stores (including Target, TJMaxx and more). You can redeem kicks for gift cards to a number of retailers, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Sephora and Best Buy.
It pays you even more kicks for photos of your receipts that include qualifying items you purchased in store with a connected credit or debit card. You can also earn kicks for online purchases.
7. Know Your Markdown Tags
Walmart has a sneaky system for marking down clearance tags.
You can use this information to find the best Walmart deals!
- Items with prices ending in $__._7 are the original price.
- Items with prices ending in $__._5 are the first markdown.
- Items with prices ending in $__._1 are the final markdown.
So, if you see a “clearance” item with a price ending in “5,” and there’s still plenty in stock, you can hold out for a better markdown.
And if you see one ending with “7,” you’ll know the item isn’t discounted at all yet.
8. Earn Rewards When You Go Shopping
The best kind of savings are the kind where you don’t have to do a thing. That’s what makes the Drop app so appealing.
What’s special about Drop is all you have to do is link your credit and debit cards (no coupon clipping or hoarding receipts!). When you make a Drop-qualified purchase, you’ll automatically earn points, whether you’re grocery shopping at Walmart, hailing an Uber or ordering a pizza.
The points will add up, and you can exchange them for gift cards in the app to popular retailers like Amazon and Starbucks.
9. Get Online Prices in the Store
Before you buy something at the checkout counter, it’s worth whipping out your phone and seeing whether Walmart is offering an even better price online at Walmart.com. It’s easy to use the website’s handy search function.
Because here’s something you may not know: Walmart will match its online prices for in-store purchases.
Sometimes you’ll discover an item on your list has been marked down online, but not in the store where you’re shopping.
To get the better price, just pull it up on your phone and show it to the cashier. Seriously, they’ll give you the online price with no hassle. They know the score.
10. Buy a Loaf of Bread for $1
A lot of us at The Penny Hoarder HQ have been doing this for years!
Head to the bakery to find day-old bread on sale — usually for less than $1.
In some stores, we’ve even seen an impulse rack near the registers, in case you need that final nudge. This is an affordable way to indulge on fresh-baked ciabatta or French breads with an otherwise hefty price tag.
11. Print Your Own Free Coupons
Traditionally, we flipped through circulars in search of coupons. Now you can just go online and nab them from manufacturers.
There are a number of sites that offer free printable coupons. It’s much simpler than breaking out the scissors and giant binder!
12. Get Free Baby Stuff
Parents-to-be and new parents should jump on this deal: Walmart offers a free baby welcome box. Get on it quickly — we don’t know how long this one will last!
Packed with product samples, the Walmart boxes allow families to “get a head start with Baby’s development,” according to the website.
The best part? It ships totally free.
13. Save Money on Gas
Deals on gas at Murphy USA gas stations change throughout the year.
You’ll find special savings when you pay with a Walmart gift card, Walmart credit card or Walmart Mastercard.
Right now, save 3 cents per gallon when you fill up with a Walmart gift card.
14. Remember: Equate and Sam’s Choice Aren’t Always Cheaper
We’ve been trained to think the store brand — or “generic” brand — is cheaper. And a lot of times it is… if you’re solely considering the shelf price. However, many times the store brand doesn’t qualify for coupons, members-only discounts or rebates through cash-back apps.
Bonus: Download Walmart’s App and Its Savings Catcher
Walmart’s app allows you to make a shopping list, check in-store and online prices and availability, look at the weekly ad and more — saving you time and money in the process.
One of the best and easiest ways to save money with this app is the Savings Catcher.
Simply scan your receipt using the app, or log into your account online and enter the receipt number, and Walmart will do all the work for you.
It’ll compare prices at local retailers, including current advertised sale prices. If it finds a lower price, Walmart will credit you the difference on an e-gift card you can use to shop at Walmart online or in the store via Walmart Pay.
*The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has been collected independently by The Penny Hoarder. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. The Penny Hoarder is a partner of Credible.