10 Foolish Ways Most People Waste Money at Walmart

Avoid these costly mistakes if you want to save more money during your next Walmart shop.
Updated Nov. 27, 2023
Walmart store entrance

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Many people shop at Walmart to save money, largely because of the low cost it offers on household essentials like food and clothing. But did you know you could also be leaving money on the table?

If you’re looking for some unusual ways to boost your bank account, consider these 10 foolish mistakes people make at Walmart to help you save more at the discount retailer.

Not buying Walmart brand

dbvirago/Adobe organic black beans

Walmart offers multiple brands — including Equate and Great Value — that are arguably just as good as name brands.

For instance, the Equate brand is a lower-cost alternative to higher-priced lotions, medications, and supplements. 

Walmart’s Great Value brand also offers items on your grocery list (like potato chips) at a fraction of the price of name brands.

Overlooking Walmart app perks

Arlette/Adobe Walmart app on smartphone screen

Many retailers have apps, and Walmart is no different. The app is an easy way to discover any items currently on sale or on clearance. 

Additionally, if you place an order for $35 or more, you’re eligible for free, two-day shipping. The app also offers other time-saving features — like in-store maps — so you can find what you’re looking for fast.

Not asking for a price match

Stock Rocket/Adobe smiling man looking at digital tablet

Another mistake people make is not taking advantage of Walmart’s price match policy. For example, if you find the exact same item for a lesser price at Amazon, Walmart might match the lower price depending on the item’s eligibility. 

The policy extends to multiple big-name retailers, including Best Buy and Target. It may take some time to research prices, but it’s worth it when the savings are significant.

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Forgetting about the free baby welcome box

Africa Studio/Adobe wicker basket with baby shower gifts

Many parents-to-be create a baby registry at Walmart not only because of the retailer’s large selection of products but also for savings offered by the store’s own brands like Parent’s Choice baby formula. 

When creating your registry, don't forget to sign up for the welcome box which includes free goodies for your new arrival.

Missing marked-down products

The Toidi/Adobe beef in a refrigerated display case at Walmart

Although this trick varies by location, some Walmart stores will mark down meats and other perishable items when their “sell by” date is close. 

Ask if your local store does this and, if so, on which day and at what time during the week. Keep in mind that you’ll want to either freeze or use the item shortly after buying it.

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Forgetting to check the online price

sharafmaksumov/Adobe Walmart website on the display of PC

Sometimes, the price of a product is lower on Walmart.com than it is at the retailer’s physical location. 

If the item is available at your local store, you can always buy it online and choose to pick it up in person. This can help you save even more money than having it shipped to your door.

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Not transferring your prescriptions

The Toidi/Adobe Walmart Pharmacy sign inside Walmart store.

If you have a decent number of prescription medications to pick up each month, consider moving them over the Walmart. 

Many of their generic medications are priced quite low, and you’ll still get the same quality product. 

Contact the pharmacy at your local store and ask about the cost of their generic brands. Most will give it to you over the phone.

Not signing up for Walmart+

Skyelar/Adobe Walmart e-commerce website displayed on a web

Most people are familiar with Amazon Prime, but Walmart offers its own membership called Walmart+. 

At $12.95 a month, members can take advantage of a ton of perks including access to Paramount+ and free shipping with no order minimum. 

Additional benefits include fuel discounts at participating locations and exclusive access to product releases and Black Friday deals.

Forgetting about the clearance section

peter/Adobe Uncle Ben's in Asda Larne Superstore

Many Walmart locations have a dedicated clearance aisle, though many also offer markdowns throughout the store. Look for those yellow tags. 

Also, if the clearance price ends in “0,” that’s usually the lowest the company will drop the price to, meaning that’s the time to buy.

Not turning in old electronics

Kenishirotie/Adobe Hand giving out a Walmart gift card

If you’re thinking about purchasing a new voice assistant, game console, or even a cell phone, you could turn in your gently used device to Walmart and get some money. 

After you get an offer for your item, just send in your electronics using a prepaid shipping label. Once it's evaluated, you’ll earn a Walmart eGift card you can use.

Bottom line

Drobot Dean/Adobe happy young blonde girl

Walmart is an affordable place to shop, especially if you're trying to stop living paycheck to paycheck. However, you may not be saving as much as you could if you’re making these mistakes. 

Whether you choose to try a Walmart brand product or stop at the clearance section before you head out, adding even one or two of these tricks to your routine could save you some money.

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Author Details

Sandy Baker Sandy Baker is a has over 17 years of experience in the financial sector. Her experience includes website content, blogs, and social media. She’s worked with companies such as Realtor.com, Bankrate, TransUnion, Equifax, and Consumer Affairs.

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