December 5, 2011

How to Price-Match at Walmart

I've had a lot of people ask me lately about how I grocery shop and feed my family on a small budget.  So now I reveal to you my biggest secret (or at least the one I've been most excited about lately)...


Walmart.  It's a controversial store...but they price match!  I used to be anti-Walmart when it came to grocery shopping.  I was not a fan of giving up my full grocery store first.  Let's face it.  It's kind of a bummer when you grocery shop at Walmart.  Where are the free samples?  Where is the super duper fresh produce?  Where are the happy people that put your bags of groceries into your cart for you and then offer to help you to your car?  Well, they're not at Walmart.  So for a while I refused to shop at Walmart for groceries, even though my husband insisted that I could get things cheaper there.  But then money got tight and I started looking for ways to save a few more dollars.  I ventured into the grocery section of Walmart with skepticism.  In order to prove to my husband that I wouldn't save that much money at Walmart, I started keeping a spreadsheet of the prices of items we normally bought and how much they cost at each store.  And after a few weeks of doing this, I realized that Walmart actually did have lower prices on a lot of things.  But it wasn't until I started price-matching that I saw the real difference.  And now that I do it every time I go grocery shopping at Walmart, I'm more than willing to give up my free samples and super duper fresh produce and happy people helping me with my bags of groceries.  I get kind of a thrill out of coming home and saying, "Honey!  Guess how much money I saved this week with my coupons and price-matching!"

I admit that I was too scared to ask how price-matching worked for a long time, but when I saw the lady in front of me doing it one time, I got up the courage.  And now I've done all the dirty work for you.  So just sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of my labors.  Without further ado, I give you...the rules of price-matching at Walmart.

(Bear in mind that these are the rules as they were explained to me.  As I understand it, all Walmart stores should price-match, but there are some things that seem to be up to the discretion of the individual store.  So if some Walmart worker yells at you for doing what I'm about to explain, I'm sorry.  They're probably just having a bad day because this always works for me.  If you want the exact, detailed policy from, go here.)

  • Walmart will match the price of an EXACT item that is advertised by another store.
  • The other store must actively advertise the price of that item.  So if you want to price-match something from a store that doesn't put out an ad (like Costco or Winco), it's no bueno.  They won't price-match it for you.
  • If the Walmart you're shopping at doesn't carry that EXACT item because they don't sell that brand, you can substitute a comparable brand for the same thing in the same size.  That means that if Kroger is on sale at another store, you can buy Great Value for that price.  Or if Meadow Gold is on sale at the other store, but Walmart only sells Viva, you can substitute it.  Just remember, it has to be exactly the same product in the same size, just a different brand.
  • Walmart does NOT price-match with other Walmart stores, Sam's Club, or any store's prices advertised on the internet.
  • The ad you're using to price-match must be valid for the same day you're buying it at Walmart.  Sorry, no using last week's ads.
  • You DON'T have the ad with you to price-match...technically.  I have only been asked to show the ad once, and I price match every time I go shopping.  According to one cashier, you only have to have the ad with you if the discounted price is more than 50% off the Walmart price.  But if you look it up on the Walmart site, they say that you don't have to have the ad ever.  So if they give you trouble, site that one to them.  I generally bring the ads with me, just in case, but most of the time I just have the prices listed on a post-it note, and I guess they figure if I took the time to write them down, they're probably the right ones.
  • You can only price-match if the ad says an exact price, not a percentage off or buy-one-get-one.  
  • Walmart also honors other stores' coupons if they have an exact price listed.
  • You can price-match produce and meat too.  So if you have a package of chicken that says a total price on it already, just tell the cashier that you want it for such-and-such-price-per-pound, and they'll ring it up for you.  Who cares about the price that's printed on there, anyway?  You're price-matching.  Beauty!
  • Let the cashier know you're price-matching before they ring everything up.  I like to separate my groceries into two categories on the little belt thing: the things that are regular price and the things that I'm price-matching.  Since they have to enter in your price-matched items one at a time, they'll be a lot happier with you if you tell them in advance that you're price-matching all of that stuff so they don't ring it up too quickly and then have to take it off and ring it up again.  Plus, that's just courteous.

I hope this helps.  It sure helps me, anyway.  Happy price-matching, everyone!


  1. As a student of Emily, I can say from my experience following her advice, it does work :)

  2. @HollyAdele: If you're afraid, unsure, or insecure, I'd suggest shopping at times that are generally slower (middle of the day, after 10 p.m., etc.) Also, I'd recommend going to a less busy WalMart. For example, I'd avoid the WalMart in Orem because it is the BUSIEST WALMART IN AMERICA. And that was said by a WalMart executive. Good luck!


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