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. Snag $10 for Taking a Picture of Your Receipt

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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.

2. Scan Your Barcodes When You Get Home

Woman scanning price tag of casual apparel through smart phone
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Remember the Nielsen company? The one that’s always tracked TV ratings? Well, now they want to know what’s in your fridge.

Once you sign up to be on the Nielsen Consumer Panel, you can either use your smartphone, or the company will send you a free barcode scanner. Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the UPC codes on the back of each product and send your data to Nielsen.

Nielsen will reward you with gift points, which you can redeem for free electronics, jewelry, household items or even toys for the kids.

The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points toward prizes. You’ll also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include vacations and brand new vehicles.

3. Stop Deleting Emails From Walmart

Mother and daughter having breakfast
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It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you serious 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 archives for any online-purchase receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from Walmart or any other of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund anytime there’s a price drop.

4. Get a Free $10 Walmart Gift Card

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For online shopping, one of our favorite ways to save is with Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something. For example, Ebates gives you 10% cash-back on purchases at Walmart.

Plus they'll give you a free $10 Walmart gift card for signing up.

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.

 

5. Get Paid for Walking Into the Store

Cropped image of a young man's legs and grocery basket
PeopleImages/Getty Images

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. 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.

8. Buy a Loaf of Bread for $1

Woman buying bread
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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.

9. Get Prescriptions for $4/Month

Generic prescription medication.
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

You might already know Walmart offers dozens of prescriptions for $4 a month.

Bonus: Depending on your prescription, you might be able to have it delivered to your home with a service called Phil.

Here’s how it works: Once you sign up, Phil contacts your pharmacy, doctor, your insurance company — whomever it needs to — and handles the rest.

Each month, it’ll deliver your prescriptions to your doorstep for free, saving you time and gas money. Plus, you’ll get $30 off the first prescription.

10. 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.

11. Get 1.5% Back on Your Walmart Purchases

Man Paying with Credit Card in Supermarket
SeventyFour/Getty Images

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.

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. 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 a gift card.

Even better, you’ll get double the Savings Catcher Reward Dollars when you redeem them to your Bluebird Card.

*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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