How to Price Match at Walmart

walmart 300x225 How to Price Match at WalmartI’ve been reading frugal bloggers dish on the wonders of price matching for years.

And then Walmart went and released a new price-matching policy, which they’ve been touting in a series of national ad campaigns.

And yet, I’d never taken the PM plunge.

I guess I ASSumed it would take too long – or be too embarrassing (whatever, yes, I have hang-ups).

But with Walmart’s new “you don’t even need to show us the ad, just tell us the other price” policy, I figured I had no more excuses for not trying it.

So, last night, in desperate need of a LOT of fruit for the group snack at my son’s cub scout camp, I decided to try out price matching with Aldi’s unbeatable door-buster prices this week on fruit.

I wish I had taken pictures, as it truly is amazing what I was able to do with price matching, but unfortunately the battery on my camera is dead – and I can’t find the charger. (ARGH – clutter strikes again!)

Anyway, price matching couldn’t have been easier. No need to go to customer service. No embarrassing “You want to do WHAT???” reaction from the cashier. Seriously, easy peasy!

I did have the ad in hand, just in case (and I would probably recommend that you do the same… just in case), but the cashier didn’t even ask to see it.

I did separate out the items that I was price-matching and gave the cashier the adjusted price for each item he scanned. I think that makes it easier – so try to do that when you price-match as well.

Here’s what I got – and how much I saved by price matching!

1 watermelon ~ was “on sale” for $5.75, I paid $2.99, savings of $2.76!

5 lbs of strawberries – were “on sale” for $1.50/lb, I paid $.99/lb, savings of $2.55!

1 pint of blueberries – was $3.59, I paid $1.49, savings of $2.10!

12 lbs of red grapes – were $1.98/lb, I paid $.89/lb, savings of $13.08!

TOTAL SPENT = $20.11. TOTAL SAVED = $20.49!

Keep in mind that I didn’t even have coupons for any of these items, so my savings total is based strictly on price matching. But Walmart does allow you to use coupons on price-matched items – so if you have them, stack them!

It’s always a good idea to have a copy of a store’s coupon policy – and, in this case, their price-match policy – on hand when you are new to saving at that particular store.

Here is the verbiage on the Walmart price-matching policy (my bolds) that makes this such a simple way to save money – and time!

We’re committed to providing low prices every day. On everything. So if you find a lower advertised price on an identical product, tell us and we’ll match it. Right at the register.

We gladly match the price in the following types of ads:*

  • Buy one, get one free ads with a specified price
    • Example: Buy one for $2.49, get one free (BOGO)
  • Competitors’ ads that feature a specific item for a specified price.
  • Preferred shopping card prices for specific items that are in a printed ad.
  • For fresh produce and meat items when the price is offered in the same unit type (lb. for lb.; each for each) – Note: I read this to mean that brand on strawberries is NOT critical, rather weight or unit type.

*The following are guidelines and limitations:

  • We will match any local competitor’s advertised price (Note: If you don’t have an Aldi locally, for example, you can’t price match to those deals)
  • We do not require customers to have the ad with them to honor a competitor’s ad.
  • Items purchased must be identical to the ad (size, quantity, brand, flavor, color, etc.)

We DO NOT match the price in the following types of competitor ads:

  • Items that require a separate purchase to get the ad price
    • Eg. Buy a bottle of coke, save $5 on a DVD
  • Items with no actual price that require a purchase to get free product
    • Eg. Buy 2 boxes of Special K and get a 3rd box FREE
  • Items that require a purchase to get a competitors’ gift card
    • Eg. CVS Extra Care Bucks (they’ll match the sale price, just not give you “extra” care buck value)
  • Buy one, get one free (BOGO) ads with no actual price given
  • Going out of business or closeout prices
  • Percentage off
    • Eg, All make-up 40% off”
  • Competitors’ store-brand price promotions

We do not honor:

  • Ads when the actual price for items cannot be determined.
  • Internet pricing
  • Misprinted ad prices of other retailers
  • “Going out of business” sales or “close out” prices

Are you a price matcher? Have you ever done PM at Walmart? If not, do you think this is a new savings strategy that you will be adding to your tool box?

P.S. I know a lot of people refuse to shop at Walmart – either for ethical reasons or due to store ickiness factors. We have a Neighborhood Walmart, which is basically just a grocery store but with Walmart prices, two blocks from our house – and it’s not at all icky (just for the record).

If you are anti-Walmart, know that there are many other chains that do price matching, including Target. Target’s policy makes it a bit harder, though, since you have to go to Customer Service with your price match items. If I ever get up the nerve to try PM at Target, I promise to report back to all of you!

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Go Mara! Good for you for taking the plunge!

    I have been price matching at Wal Mart for about a year and here are my observations:

    > I get the most price matching bang for my buck with produce. This is probably because the local groceries have some AMAZING deals of fruit (that tends to be a little yuck when you buy it from them). When I price match, I get (typically) better quality fruit for CRAZY prices. Best deal: last summer, I got $4.99/lb cherries for $.99/lb.

    > With veggies: if the brand is specified in the competitor ad, I have had some trouble getting the price match at Wal Mart. For example, Sun Sweet Cherubs on sale for $1.99, but Wal Mart only carried some other brand of grape tomatoes. I had a little bit of trouble getting that price.

    > Sometimes the cashiers know a better deal than the one that you are prepared to use. This has happened to me a few times, so now I ask them before I start with the price matches: “Hey! If you have seen a lower price on this stuff than what I have, would you mind letting me know?”

    > Wal Mart WILL price match competitor coupons IF THERE IS A PRICE ON THE COUPON. So, this week, there is a Walgreens coupon for $.59 Jello pudding mix, but they don’t carry pistachio… the flavor I use ALL the time. I can bring the coupon to Wal Mart (or just tell them, I guess) and get my cheaper pudding (right now $.68 at Wal Mart).

    Enjoy!!

  2. I also PM at Walmart and have found that often times I can get bigger boxes of cereal for the same price then what is offered in the advertising store. For instance the add said 5 boxes for 10.00 (14-20oz) at Pick n Save they were selling the 14ox boxes but at Walmart I got the 20oz boxes….sweet!!

  3. Baseball Dad says:

    Mara,

    Just keep in mind that when you price match at Walmart you are not spending your dollars at that other retailer. What do you think eventually happens? The other retailer winds up going out of business because everybody just goes to Walmart and pays his price there. Then Walmart does not have to price match and might actually raise their prices because the competition is gone. Its a never ending cycle but is especially dangerous when it comes to food and staples, because you HAVE to buy those regardless of the price.

  4. Aidel K says:

    Writing from my cave–wow–I didn’t know about price matching. Our local Walmart doesn’t have groceries because there is a grocery store in the same shopping center with some sort of contract that prevents Walmart from selling groceries. I think they are pretty much the cheapest place for most other stuff.

    PS–thanks for helping Joplin–I grew up there. My mother-in-law (yeah, my husband grew up there, too) says they need all the help they can get.

  5. Enjoying your blog as usual…I do have a question though and wonder if you also struggle with it. Strawberries, conventionally grown, are among the most pesticide laden of fresh fruit. Yet, I cringed yesterday when I bought a carton of delicious, pesticide free strawberries at $. 3.99 a pound. I just don’t know how to work out the pesticides vs. Organics issue when it comes to keeping my budget frugal AND caring for my kids’ health. Have you resolved this or do you also struggle with this issue?..

    • I do also struggle with the issue, Kathy. Generally, I make the Dirty Dozen my top priority for organic produce. I don’t do organic dairy, other than organic whole yogurt for the baby (well, not a baby anymore). And for our milk (we’re not chalav yisrael), I buy the kind that says “not treated with RBST”.

      As with anything in the budget, I work to create margin by saving in some areas to afford the things that are more important to me. It’s not a perfect strategy (nor is my budget a perfect budget!), but that’s the theory!

      All that said: Yes, I do buy conventional strawberries when I need to get several pounds for boy scouts or a big meal.

  6. Kathy- check out the beer aisle, and your state’s laws. Weird suggestion, right? Well, I”m in Illinois- and it’s illegal for a store to *require me to purchase alcohol in order to get a discount on a non-alcoholic product. Enter, the beer aisle… This time of year there are coupons hanging on beer and other alcohol products which give you a discount on a non-alcoholic product when you buy the alcoholic product. In IL, this translates to a simple coupon for the non-alcoholic product. I got $26 worth of produce free this week because one of the hanging tags (I think it was on Absolut vodka?) was for $2 off fruit- so no need to even look at prices, I just asked the cashier for a subtotal when she was done ringing my fruit.

    Now, about PM@WM… I’ve done it, and price-matched Walgreen’s $1.99 milk offer using a raincheck! Which means I got the price at Walmart that week, and I’ve got one in the bag for a week where there aren’t any other good milk deals! (FYI, $1.99 is my price point for gallons of conventional non-cholov yisroel milk, I’m in Chicago. If someone knows how to get better, for the sake of shamayim please email me!)

  7. I just started price matching this week. I ddnt go to target yet thats for tomorrow but, i did it twice at target and they did it right at the register but you do have to bring the ad. But i got the sale plus a target coupon and ss insert coupon to get items over 60% off.

  8. Sorry , didnt gp to walmart i went to target

  9. I’ve price matched at Super Walmart twice now. The actual price matching went smoothly, however… the first time I tried it, I got to the store later than I had anticipated. (Had to put the kids to bed, etc…) So i arrived at the checkout lane around 11:50 p.m. A “newer” cashier began my checkout and when a manager noticed she was moving slowly, she jumped in to take over. All of a sudden she says, “Actually… I cannot accept these price matches because your ad is expired”. I looked at her very confused and I said, “No, the date says through March 28th”. She retorted, “It’s the 29th now.”
    The clock had struck twelve, so she canceled everything that was already rung up, unbagged everything and told me to, “Try again next time a little earlier”. Soooo frustrating! What’s your opinion? I feel that since I began the transaction before midnight, that I should have been able to finish the purchase. I did attempt the ad match again a few days later and everything went smoothly.

    • Katie – I’d probably try giving Walmart customer service a call. For sure, I think they should have let you price match – since you did start well before midnight :(

  10. I have a rain check for a toy from target but i don’t think they will be getting the toy back in stock. Do you know if walmart will PM from a rain check?

  11. Also, bed bath and beyond price matches any store, and the return policy is fantastic. No food, of course, but I like them for everything else, ESP because of the stores’ focus on providing so many in store
    Hannukah and Passover items each year.

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