These Are the Secrets Every Walmart Shopper Needs to Know

People shop at Walmart in St. Petersburg Fla on Oct. 11, 2017.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder


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. Stop Deleting Your Emails From Walmart

Mother and daughter having breakfast
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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.

2. Snag $10 for Taking a Picture of Your Receipt

receipts
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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.

3. Get Cash Back by Shopping Walmart.com

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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:

  1. Sign up for Ebates with your email or Facebook account.
  2. 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.
  3. Your account will be credited with rewards points you can cash in for your $10 Walmart gift card.

4. Get 1.5% Back on Your Walmart Purchases

Man Paying with Credit Card in Supermarket
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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. Get Paid for Walking Into the Store

Cropped image of a young man's legs and grocery basket
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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.

6. Know Your Markdown Tags

Buy one get one free vitamins on sale
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

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.

7. Earn Rewards When You Go Shopping

Molly Wantz spends the day shopping at an outdoor mall. She holds up her credit card next to her cellphone to make a transaction.
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

The best kind of savings are the kind where you earn seamlessly. That’s what makes the Drop app so appealing.

As a Drop user, all you have to do is link your credit and debit cards. When you complete an offer on Drop, you’ll automatically earn points, whether you’re shopping at Walmart, hailing an Uber or ordering a pizza.

The points will add up, and you can exchange them for gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon and Starbucks.

Bonus: Penny Hoarders will get 5,000 bonus points for downloading the app, which you can redeem for a $5 gift card of your choice. Just use the code FALL5 when you sign up.

8. Get Online Prices in the Store

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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.

9. Buy a Loaf of Bread for $1

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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.

10. Print Your Own Free Coupons

Kyle Taylor making a "snow angel" in a pile of coupons in The Penny Hoarder office.
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

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!

11. Get Free Baby Stuff

Baby Goods for Boys Collection
Floortje/Getty Images

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.

12. Save Money on Gas

Man filling gasoline fuel in car
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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.

13. Remember: Equate and Sam's Choice Aren't Always Cheaper

woman in a grocery store aisle holding two shampoo bottles and pushing a shopping cart.
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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

Amanda Meisner walks runs errands in downtown Chicago
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

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.

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