walmart hacks

Walmart is renowned for rock bottom pricing on practically everything you need for your home, whether it’s baby supplies, groceries, or sporting goods, so it may be hard to believe that there are tips and tricks that can help you save even more at the big-box store. But with zealous deal-shoppers constantly on the lookout for the next "shopping hack" to cut dollars and cents from their bottom lines, you may actually be surprised at all of the "sneaky" ways you can use their discoveries to help save some cash.

But it’s not just cash you can save when you learn these Walmart shopping hacks. Sometimes savings come in the form of time. When your life is overwhelming and the thought of navigating the "warzone" made up of the sometimes questionable People of Walmart, it’s important to know how to get in and out fast, or even better, how to avoid the aisles and lines altogether.

Use Walmart gift cards to pay for gasoline at Murphy USA stations for a discount

walmart gift cards for gas

There are arguments against giant retailers like Walmart, but for people on a budget, it’s hard to argue with the store’s consistently low prices. And those low prices extend to gasoline, too, if you’re shopping smart. Throughout the year, all Murphy USA gas stations (many of them located in or near the parking lots of Walmarts across the United States), run special deals that provide discounts for Walmart regulars. All you have to have is a Walmart gift card or credit card to pay for your gasoline purchase, and you’ll receive the reduced price. While this discount varies depending on the special that’s being run, it’s usually about three cents per gallon.

So here’s the deal — if you have a Walmart credit card, use it at a Murphy’s whenever you need to gas up. But if you don’t already have a Walmart credit card in your wallet, you don’t have to apply for a new card. Rather, the next time you go shopping at the big box store, purchase a gift card when you’re checking out. When you need to gas up, stop at a Murphy USA and use your gift card. Just like that — you score an automatic discount — it couldn’t be easier.

Get a Walmart price match from a wide range of online and brick-and-mortar stores

wallmart price match

Once upon a time, Walmart would price match just about any advertised price for an identical item available at a competitor’s store. But with the explosion of online retailers and the (occasional) technical glitch that inaccurately advertises products at unbelievable prices, Walmart has revised its price match policy to curb the potentially detrimental effects of an overly-generous policy. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still score deep discounts with Walmart’s in-store and online using price match guidelines.

According to Walmart’s website, when shopping in-store, they’ll match the price on any identical item available for less on Walmart.com or Jet.com, as long as the online item is in stock. So, if you’re at a Walmart and you’re about to buy a new TV, and you see the identical TV advertised for less on Amazon or at Best Buy, Walmart won’t match those prices. But if you find the identical TV advertised for less on Walmart.com or Jet.com, you can score the better deal.

If you’re shopping on Walmart.com, though, you have a little more flexibility for finding savings. The website for Walmart.com indicates that if you find an identical, in-stock item available at any one of the 28 major online retailers listed on its site for less than the item is listed at Walmart.com (places like Amazon), the company will match the price. You just have to contact Customer Care before placing your order to receive the appropriate discount.

Take advantage of different coupons

walmart coupon discounts

Couponing is an art — and people who do it well, know they can save ridiculous amounts of money on everyday purchases. The trick is knowing how to do it well. When shopping at Walmart, it comes down to knowing Walmart’s special deals and keeping an eye on manufacturer’s coupons — those found in places like weekly circulars, in the mail, and on manufacturer websites.

According to Walmart’s coupon policy, they’ll accept any valid (unexpired) manufacturer coupon. So, for instance, if another grocery store’s circular includes a manufacturer’s coupon, you can clip those coupons and use them at Walmart.

The really cool money-saver that Walmart offers is what they do when coupons are worth more than the product being sold. For instance, if a Lysol product retails for $3, but Walmart is selling the product for $1, and there’s a manufacturer’s coupon available for $2, the discount essentially makes the sale’s price -$1. In instances like this, Walmart’s policy is to apply this "overage" to the total cost of your basket (so, applying the remaining discount to everything you’re purchasing), but if your discounts in coupons add up to more than the cost of your basket? They’ll give you cashback. So theoretically, couponing at Walmart could earn you money back.

One thing to note, though, is that Walmart doesn’t accept digital coupons that have to be scanned from your mobile phone. So unfortunately, you do have to actually print or clip to score the deals.

You can get free shipping when ordering from Walmart online

walmart free shipping

It’s not unusual for big retailers like Walmart to offer free shipping when customers meet a pre-determined purchase threshold, but usually, the free shipping comes with caveats. For instance, purchase thresholds tend to be in the $50 to $100 range, and usually only apply for standard shipping — a timeline that typically takes from five to seven business days.

But in an effort to compete with Amazon Prime’s two-day free shipping policy (this is evident because they highlight on their website, "no membership needed," when detailing their shipping policy), Walmart offers a special deal. Whenever you order online, as long as you meet a fairly low $35 purchase threshold, you automatically receive free, two-day shipping, and depending on where you live, you might be able to receive free, next-day shipping. And, for any product that doesn’t qualify for two-day shipping, you can still have it shipped for free, but it’ll take a little longer — typically three to five days.

Shop Walmart’s meat and bakery departments first thing in the morning

walmart bakery and meat deals

If scoring the best deals on grocery basics is important to you, you may need to rearrange your schedule to shop early in the morning — at around 8 a.m. According to GoBankingRates, Walmart’s meat department marks down their meat first thing in the morning. And to be clear, this discounted meat isn’t past its prime — but meat doesn’t stay good forever, so it’s a method for clearing the way for fresher cuts while allowing customers to grab some great deals.

And it’s not just the meat department that provides discounts first thing in the morning. According to Cheapism, that’s when the bakery department also marks down its day-old bread and baked goods to make way for the current day’s assortment of bagels, fresh breads, donuts, and pastries. If it’s not entirely clear where to find the day-old (but still perfectly good!) bread, ask at the bakery counter — they’ll be happy to help you out.

Look at Walmart online for refurbished electronics

walmart refurbished electronics

When it’s time to buy a new phone, TV, or laptop, you know you’re going to be paying a pretty penny, so it’s important to look for ways to save. And when you’re on a budget, there’s no reason you have to buy a brand-new product if a pre-owned alternative would function just as well. The problem, of course, is knowing if a used electronic actually works. You don’t want to spend a lot of money if it’s going to break in a week or two.

That’s where Walmart’s Certified Refurbished Electronics section on their website comes in handy. All the products (from flat-screen TVs to cellphones and tablets) have been tested "to function and appear like new," and they also come with a 90-day warranty. If you don’t need the latest, greatest electronics, but you’re wary of buying used options from places like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, it’s hard to go wrong with Walmart’s Certified Refurbished program.

Learn Walmart’s markdown system to score the deepest discounts

walmart discount system

Believe it or not, there is a method to the madness that is Walmart’s markdown system. All those white, yellow, and orange price tags flagging different products don’t appear to be particularly systematic, but that’s where you’re wrong. And if you’re waiting to score the best deal on a particular item, knowing the system can help you decide when to buy.

According to BestLife, the last number on a Walmart price tag indicates whether the price is the original, whether it’s been marked down once, or whether it’s at it’s absolute lowest (final) markdown. Items listed with a "7" as the last number are being sold at the original price, while those ending in a "5" have been marked down once (yay, discount!). But the numbers you really want to keep your eyes peeled for are tags ending in a "1" or a "0." These prices signify a product’s final markdown, so you’re not going to find a better deal. Try to pair them with a manufacturer’s coupon or a price match, and maybe you can end up buying an item at a truly brag-worthy price.

Get a free baby welcome box from Walmart

walmart free baby box

It’s exciting to take the step into parenthood, but it’s also overwhelming… and expensive. Walmart, in partnership with brands like Huggies, Dreft, and Johnson’s, wants to help expecting parents out by sending them a "welcome box" full of free samples of baby products. According to BestLife, these products include things like diapers, wipes, bottles, and nursing pads, although the specifics vary from box-to-box. All you have to do to score your free box is first, open a baby registry at Walmart.com, then fill out a form with your registry URL, baby’s due date, and your address to request your box. Just like that, you’re all signed up!

The great thing is that Walmart doesn’t even have to be your primary baby registry. If you prefer another store, like Target or Amazon, you can simply create an extra registry on Walmart.com to score your free box of goodies — you don’t even have to share your registry with family or friends (Although, why not? Everyone likes to have options.)

Use the Walmart app for exclusive deals

walmart app deals

If you’re not already using the Walmart app, it’s time to add it to your phone. You can choose to shop online or select a local store to shop for pick-up or delivery. In either case, you’ll be notified of savings and deals (you can easily access the weekly ads for your local store by clicking the "services" option within the app), and according to BestLife, you could receive early access to exclusive offers around the holiday season.

But another thing that makes the Walmart app so handy is that it can be a time-saver. By ordering online or arranging for a pick-up from your local Walmart, you don’t have to head to the store and spend time navigating the aisles. Plus, as you order more frequently, you can add items to your favorites list, making it faster to re-order what you’ve purchased in the past. And if you do happen to be shopping in-store, you can use the apps barcode scanner to check and compare prices — making it faster to price match a Walmart.com product to whatever you’ve located in the store.

Pickup items you order online in-store for even deeper discounts

walmart order online free pickup

So here’s a tip you don’t want to miss out on: If you do happen to be shopping online, after you’ve filled your virtual cart, look carefully at your order for the phrase: Pickup discount eligible. For any item that includes this phrase, if you select "pickup," you’ll automatically receive an extra discount. Walmart’s website doesn’t give a strict accounting of how much this discount amounts to, but every little bit counts, right? And usually, you can pick up the item from your local store the same day.

While you’re scanning your checkout for possible pickup discounts, you may also want to consider how quickly you need the items you’re ordering for delivery. While two-day shipping is often free for orders over $35, if you don’t need your items immediately, you can score yet another discount for slowing down your delivery. Just change your delivery from two-days to three-to-five days and you’ll often see a slash in prices. Just keep in mind that Walmart’s Help Center indicates these discounts vary from item-to-item and are only available in the contiguous United States.

Check for Freeosk free samples at Walmart stores

walmart freeosk

It’s easy to get tunnel-vision when you’re shopping at giant retailers like Walmart. If you know what you need to buy, you probably zoom straight to that section of the store, do your shopping as efficiently as possible, then speed to the checkout area to get the heck out of the store. This is a smart way to avoid unnecessary purchases, but you may be zooming in and out without even noticing whether your Walmart offers a Freeosk center.

Freeosks are electronic kiosks available in select Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs (you can look for availability in your area on the Freeosk website) that provide free, full-sized samples of products like cookies, pet food, baby wash, and more. Each week different samples are stocked, so you can always find and try something new. All you have to do is download the Freeosk app, and when you’re in your local Walmart or Sam’s Club, scan the app at the kiosk and receive your freebie.

Search "clearance" on the Walmart website

walmart website clearance

Walmart.com sells tens of thousands of products — to say it can be overwhelming to try to sort through everything available to make your best buying decision would be an understatement. But that’s where this tip from BestLife comes in — for the absolute deepest discounts, type "clearance" into the website’s search bar. After that, you can refine your search by department, price, brand, customer rating (which great for finding the highest-quality deals!), and more.

You can also use the search bar’s auto-fill cues to automatically search popular clearance options. For instance, "clearance under $5" or "clearance under $10." Then you can click the sidebar option for delivery or in-store pickup, which could help you get those extra discounts at checkout. As always, the savings may not amount to hundreds of dollars at a time, but by using these little tips and tricks on a regular basis, your savings could start to add up.

Walmart employees get some good perks, especially if they work there a long time

walmart employee perks

Look, Walmart may or may not be where you see your career heading, but the last thing you should do is knock those who work for the company — there are some real money-saving perks involved, especially for those who stick with the company for a long time.

According to the company’s benefits information, employees receive Walmart Associate Discount Cards and Sam’s Club Associate Membership Cards, each of which provides employees with special access and discounts when shopping at these retailers. A nice perk of the job, for sure. But what really stands out is that associates who have worked for the company for at least 15 years (if over the age of 55 at the time that employment ends), or at least 20 years (at any age), can apply for a lifetime long-term service associate discount card that enables the person to continue enjoying shopping discounts for life. Think about that for a second — if someone starts working at Walmart at 18 years old, and continues with the company until they’re 38 before leaving for another job, they can get employee discounts at Walmart for life. Now that’s the type of savings that no one should overlook.