11 Money-Saving Secrets Walmart, Target, and More Don’t Want You To Know

Find hidden discounts at your favorite retailers with these life hacks.

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Updated July 18, 2024
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If you’re like many families, a lot of your monthly budget goes to big-box retailers like Walmart, Target, and Costco. However, you can limit the amount of money you give to these stores with a few money-saving tricks. 

Check out our list of favorite tips for saving money on everyday essentials you purchase at major retailers, both in the store and online.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Join Target Circle

Tada Images/Adobe a target branded shopping cart

Target’s Circle isn’t just a reward program; it’s a savings ecosystem. You can join Circle rewards for free and access automatic deals (applied at checkout when you’re signed in), bonuses, and perks with Target’s partners.

To up the savings, you can apply for a Circle card. Target offers these as credit, debit, or reloadable cards, all of which offer 5% savings and free two-day shipping on most purchases. 

This 5% stacks with other deals as well. The Mastercard Circle card also grants you 1% - 2% cash back toward a Target gift card on purchases outside of Target.

Use Walmart pickup

Aaron/Adobe walmart pickup parking lot

If you want to stop wasting money on impulse purchases at the grocery store, opt for Walmart pickup instead. The prices are the same as they are in the store, and you’ll save hours strolling the aisles and hauling groceries out to your car. 

Plus, when you shop online or in the app, you’re much more likely to stick to your list instead of grabbing an item from an endcap that you don’t really need.

Take advantage of manufacturer coupons in the Walmart app

FellowNeko/Adobe man hold mobile phone

When you order groceries and other essentials in the Walmart app, sometimes you can find manufacturer coupons associated with your desired product. 

To get the coupon, simply click the box — no clipping necessary. The app will credit your Walmart account with cash to use on your next purchase.

Get a protection plan on all your appliances

Did you know if your air conditioner stops working, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it? Same with plumbing, electrical issues, appliances, and more.

Whether or not you’re a new homeowner, a home warranty from Choice Home Warranty could pick up the slack where insurance falls short and protect you against surprise expenses. If a covered system in your home breaks, you can call their hotline 24/7 to get it repaired.

For a limited time, you can get your first month free with a Single Payment home warranty plan.

Get a free quote

Use web extensions to stack cashback

JHVEPhoto/Adobe rakuten logo on smartphone screen

Even if you’re planning to pick up your purchase in the store, you can use a web extension for extra cashback when you shop online. 

By installing apps like Rakuten, TopCashBack, Ibotta, or Capital One Shopping, you’ll earn cashback at major retailers like Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, and more.

Look for bonus gift card deals

dennizn/Adobe google play, apple store and amazon gift cards on a table

Target and Walgreens often run these types of deals. You purchase a specific item or combination of items and receive a free gift card toward a future purchase. (Target’s policy prohibits using these gift card deals in conjunction with price matching.)

Shop Walmart Restored

Sundry Photography/Adobe people shopping at a Walmart store

Buying refurbished can be a great way to save money shopping for electronics. The products that make it into the Walmart Restored program have 80% to 90% battery life still in them. 

They’re thoroughly inspected, tested, and cleaned and come with a one-year warranty. Through Walmart Restored, you can save on a variety of products, from food processors to laptops to headphones.

Use Home Depot’s or Lowes’ rental center

jetcityimage/Adobe Home Depot Location from outside

Lawn care and power tools are expensive, and sometimes you just need them for one-off jobs. 

In cases like these, you can save hundreds by renting them from Lowe’s or Home Depot rather than shelling out the money to buy them. Home Depot also carries a selection of used tools for sale.

Buy discounted gift cards

Andrey Popov/Adobe human hand removing gift card from wallet

Take your savings to the next level by buying discounted gift cards for you retailers you shop most. You can often score deals on gift cards from online sites like CardCash or Raise.com. Occasionally, large retailers like Sam’s Club run sales on gift cards as well.

Sign up for a CVS ExtraCare card

Veronique/Adobe cvs pharmacy signboard

CVS has two rewards programs: ExtraCare and ExtraCare Plus. The first one is free for anyone to join —; just sign up for an account on the CVS website. It earns you 2% back in Extra Bucks rewards on your CVS purchases and up to $50 in rewards at the pharmacy.

An ExtraCare Plus account costs $5 per month, but you get a $10 monthly bonus reward, free same-day delivery, free shipping, and 20% off CVS Health brand products. If you shop at CVS often, the ExtraCare Plus membership could help you see significant savings.

Stop overpaying when you shop online

Shopping online has its perks. It's super convenient, but it can be time consuming to find the best deals. Instead of hunting for coupon codes (that don't always work!) and opening tons of browser tabs comparing prices, you can try Capital One Shopping.

Capital One Shopping makes saving money effortless. Just add the browser extension and when you check out, it'll scour the internet for coupon codes to help you save cash. And before you check out at 25+ major retailers, Capital One Shopping will notify you with a friendly pop-up if the item you're buying is available cheaper somewhere else.

Capital One Shopping is free to use and won't show you ads. Add it today and stop overpaying!2

Get Capital One Shopping now

Take advantage of price-matching policies

HockleyMedia/peopleimages.com/Adobe pos machine for restaurant

Some stores will match their competitor’s price for an identical item. This can save you the trouble of visiting multiple stores to get the best prices, though not every retailer will do this. 

Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Target will match competitor’s prices. Walgreens and Walmart will match their own websites but not competitors.

Keep tabs on the clearance aisle

MelissaMN/Adobe racks of clearance womens and juniors clothing

Many big-box stores have a spot dedicated to last-chance sales on inventory they need to clear out. While these shelves usually contain a hodge-podge of random products, every now and then, you can find deep discounts on something you need. 

These deals will vary from store to store and won’t show up online, so you’ll have to peruse the aisle when you’re in the store to snag a great deal.

Bottom line

Liubomir/Adobe contactless pos terminal

The most effective way to maximize your savings at these retailers is to use not just one strategy but several. 

For example, you can pay for an item you found at a 30% discount in the clearance aisle with a gift card you purchased for 10% off. 

Or you could use your Target Circle discount along with a Rakuten web extension to get 5% savings plus cash back for your online purchase. And don’t forget to use your cash-back credit card to really stack the savings.

Each retailer has its own rules and how many of these can be combined, but once you get a feel for what company allows which strategies, you can maximize the savings on nearly everything you buy.

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Author Details

Jenni Sisson

Jenni Sisson is a freelance writer and editor who focuses on personal finance, real estate, and entrepreneurship. She has been published in Business Insider and The Ways to Wealth. In addition to writing, Jenni hosts the Mama's Money Map podcast to help fellow stay-at-home moms on their journey to financial freedom.