A retail giant known for its affordable prices, you can find just about anything at Walmart. In fact, you might think there are no mistakes to be made when shopping at one of the store’s 4,735 U.S. locations — or online — but it’s not quite that simple.
It’s almost inevitable that you’ll save money just by shopping at Walmart, but the more you know, the more you can save. Making a few small adjustments to your shopping style can allow you to spend even less.
Considering gas costs an average of $4.97 per gallon in the U.S. as of June 9, 2022, according to AAA, and the Consumer Price Index is up 8.3% over the last 12 months before seasonal adjustment, you’re probably trying harder than ever to stretch your dollar.
Ready to start spending less at Walmart? Here are six mistakes to avoid from money-saving experts that will help you cut costs, while still getting everything on your list.
Not Looking for Additional Savings
Walmart is known for its low prices, but Trae Bodge, a smart shopping expert for TrueTrae.com, said you can sometimes save even more by looking for coupons.
“Before checking out, check a deal site to see if you can score additional savings. For example, CouponCabin.com offers up to 2% cashback at Walmart, plus they have a multitude of Walmart coupons on their app and site.”
The only thing better than saving money at Walmart is saving even more money on your shopping trip by seeking out additional savings opportunities.
Paying for Walmart+ When You Aren’t a Frequent Shopper
On the surface, Walmart+ might seem like a steal, but Bodge said it’s only a good value if you use the membership regularly.
“Before signing up for the $98 annual membership, give some thought to how often you shop and whether the benefits are worth the $98,” she said. “Benefits include free unlimited shipping of eligible items, savings of up to $.10 per gallon at select gas stations, six free months of Spotify premium and exclusive, members-only discounts.”
Assuming Walmart Always Has the Lowest Price
When shopping at Walmart, it’s easy to assume you’re getting the lowest possible price on an item and opt against comparison shopping. However, Bodge said this can cost you.
“We know and love Walmart’s low prices, but sometimes there is a better value elsewhere,” she said. “Use price-comparison tools, like Google Shopping or Yahoo Shopping [to see] how a specific item is priced all across the internet, then decide if Walmart is your best bet.”
Skipping Store Brands
There’s no shortage of name brand items at Walmart, but Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews.com, said there’s often a significant price difference between these items and store brand products.
“Walmart has a ton of store brands from Great Value food items to Equate personal care, and these usually have ridiculously good prices for what you get,” she said. “Quality is often at least the same as the name brands or barely different — that is, you won’t really notice, especially if they’re not side by side.”
Not Using the App
If you don’t already have the Walmart app, Ramhold recommended getting it.
“The app can cut down on how much time you spend in the store, thanks to the map that’s included, which means you can easily shop your list, because you’ll know exactly where you need to go to check those items off,” she said.
“However, the app may also alert you to savings that you weren’t aware of, which can help you to shop more efficiently and save money on purchases you may be putting off.”
Not Taking Advantage of Pickup Discounts
Walmart offers delivery on a variety of items, but Ramhold said you’re throwing money away if you aren’t looking for pickup discounts.
“When shopping online, be sure to check out whether or not an item has a pickup discount,” she said. “Sometimes it can be on the smaller side, but sometimes these savings can be significant and well worth it to head to your local store, rather than relying on delivery.”
Sure, it requires a little extra effort to pick your items up instead of having them delivered, but you won’t regret the savings.
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