My Experience with Price Matching at Wal-Mart

I know many of you reading this do not want to shop at Wal-Mart for any number of reasons, but if you find yourself in a pinch or a hard financial time right now, this is a great tool to save yourself some money until you get back on your feet.

One of the nice things about living in a city is having so many competing stores—each with their own weekly sales flyers—within a short distance of one another.

I take advantage of this by cherry picking deals every other week when we grocery shop, typically between two different stores. On Wednesdays the sales flyers for Kroger’s, Randall’s, Food Town, and H-E-B come in the mail and I sit in front of the television and circle deals that I want to take advantage of. Some weeks I find it lucrative to visit two grocery stores and some weeks it is lucrative but I find that I don’t feel like making an extra trip. Then on Friday (I work a compressed work schedule), or Saturday, Paul and I go to one-two grocery stores and bring the food home.

This week, I decided to do something different. I know that Wal-Mart has a price matching program, but I have never taken advantage of it. Also, I had a comment on my blog several months ago that price matching at Wal-Mart is a total nightmare and not worth it. Now that there is a Wal-Mart within a short distance of my home, I felt that this was the perfect opportunity for me to do an experiment!

Last Friday morning I looked over the Randall’s and Kroger’s ads of the week and circled what would normally attract me to make trips to each of these stores. Here is the breakdown for the sales ad week of December 2nd:

Kroger’s

  1. Mission Tortillas, 11.7-15 oz.: 10 for $10, or $1 each
  2. Fresh Shelled Pecans, 12-16 oz.: $3.77 each

Randall’s

  1. Lucerne 18 count eggs: $0.99 super coupon
  2. Lucerne gallon of milk: $1.99
  3. Buy 5 of either Kraft shredded/chunk cheese, Philadelphia cream cheese, Kraft Singles, or Kraft Velveeta Cheese: Get $5 off your order
  4. Coca-Cola 2 liter bottles: $0.79 each
  5. Honey Bunches of Oats 14.5 oz: $0.99 each

Armed with both of the competitor ads, I headed out to Wal-Mart in the beautiful, rare snow storm in Houston. As I filled up my cart with our normal groceries, as well as these particular items, I noticed that some of the sizes in the competitor ads were not available at Wal-Mart, thus making it impossible for me to price match (such as the Honey Bunches of Oats, which was only available in the Family Size 22 oz. version). Also, for store brand items that were on sale (such as Lucerne gallon of milk, which is Randall’s private label), I was hesitant to fill my cart with Wal-Mart’s own private label of the same size/quantity (Great Value) because I was not sure if it would work.

The checkout was extremely easy. The cashier noticed that I had competitor ads, and asked if I was going to do price matching. I said yes, and had all ready pre-sorted my groceries so that the price match items were at the end. When she began to ring these items up, all I had to do was show her the item in the ad, and she punched in the price from the ad instead of Wal-Mart’s price. Painless, and I saved a total of $4.79, plus the extra gas it would have cost me to travel to two different stores (admittedly not much, but this could be more for other readers).

Items that I was not able to price match include the Lucerne gallon of milk, which I just did not try (the Lucerne 18 count eggs did work with the private label brand of 18 count eggs available at Wal-Mart), and I could not find an equivalent of the Fresh Shelled Pecans at Wal-Mart.

All in all, I think this is a great way to save money. In fact, I am going to try this again in two weeks and widen my competitive search to score even more deals (I think we receive five different grocery store sales ads each Wednesday).

Good luck on your own price matching; I’d love to hear your experiences.

9 comments… add one

  • Nial

    I did a price match during Thankgiving sale at walmart. 1TB western digital external hard drive was $79 at walmart while Target’s ad had it at $59. Walmart matched the price which was great as Target had run out of the item.
    normal rate for the drive is ~$100

  • Nail: That’s a great find! Thanks for sharing.

  • Melanie Spaur

    I have priced matched at Wal Mart several times. It was a trial and error process. The first few times I tried to price match and realized things didn’t exaclty match up to the ads. Once I got the hang of it, I tried to do it without competitor’s ads present. I was turned away and told they would’t do it (even though the policy says competitor’s ad isn’t required). I also have had several cashier’s get huffy when they saw my list. My experience has NOT been very positive. BUT I’m still doing it because this girl doesn’t make alot of money:0)

    • Hi Melanie!

      Thank you for sharing your experience–I am just sorry that it has been a frustrating one. Did you print out the ad policy on their website and show that to management? I think that is the route to go because they couldn’t legally turn you down (I would think not).

  • mary smith

    Walmart started out as a place to get made in America. Now, it’s just another made in China outlet store, like so many other retail establishments in the country. But, I shop at Walmart. I only buy made in America, or produce with a USA origin. I make them price match on everything I can. There is a Kroger across the street, an Aldi’s on the way to Walmart. Walmart, on the rare occasion, has better produce. After shopping at Walmart, I go across the street to pick mark-down’s at Kroger, as I find their normal, even sale prices, too high. With this idea of not needing the ads in hand anymore, I’m hoping Walmart’s next step will be to just enter the ad prices, themselves, so all get the benefit.

  • Momof4

    Walmart is my Go-to store for all my grocery and household shopping.

    My store is wonderful. Sometimes I buy 1 month or two months at a time. They allow me to fill my cart, and leave it near customer service while I go back for more. That said here is my experience, and a tip or two that I have heard.

    I have no problem price matching anything. My store also prices matches store brand to store brand. so the Lucerne milk (or Kroger’s Milk in my case) would be matched if I got the Great Value Brand.

    My store takes the vender coupon off the price as well, and it could be a Target Coupon on a K-mart Price… I mix and match. But I go prepared.

    The thing I think is to be prepared. I bring all my ads, all my coupons, and a spreadsheet with page numbers to reference the ad. This way it goes as smooth as possible. Near the end of the Transaction they usually do not check the ads, because I have shown them enough times.

    I love going to Wal-mart, only time I don’t, is when I need to get gas. our Albertsons gives us .05cents off a gallon for ever $50 you purchase. I rack up .50cents off and fill up. But it’s mainly for my weekly purchases (Milk, bread etc.)

    • FruGal

      Welcome Momof4! Thank you for detailing your experience with price matching at Walmart. Sounds like you are very organized and that it is an effective money-saving strategy for your household.

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