The New Walmart Price Match Policy: How to Combat the Changes!

Deals to Meals, Price Matching Tips, walmart price matching, new walmart price matching policy, help with price matching, tips to price match, save money on groceries,
I’ve had lots of questions about Walmart’s new price match policy, and how it affects the way I grocery shop. I was recently having a conversation about it with my good friend Shandra from Deals To Meals (yes, the gal who helped me make 31 freezer meals before my baby came) and she had some great tips. I asked her to share them with you today, so here you go! She’s sharing her top 10 tips for combating Walmart’s new price-match policy, making sure you’re still saving mucho dinero at the checkout counter. Take it away, Shandra!

Thanks, Jordan!

Are you having problems price matching lately? Are you frustrated
with Walmart’s new price matching policies? I am just as annoyed by their new policy as you are, but I have a few tips to help you continue to save money and time. Let’s dive right into it, shall we??

First of all, here are the changes you need to be aware of with their policy:

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)

*The following are guidelines and limitations:

  • We will match any local competitor’s advertised price.
  • We do not require customers to have the ad with them to honor a competitor’s ad, but we reserve the right to verify an ad at any time; we also require the store to verify the ad if there is a difference in price greater than 25% from the competitor.
  • The system will prompt for supervisor verification at a 50% reduction in price or greater.
  • Items purchased must be identical to the ad (size, quantity, brand, flavor, color, etc.). No substitutions
  • In all situations Walmart reserves the right to limit BOGO quantities to one per customer or household
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Now that you have the policy from Walmart themselves, here are a few tips to help you make the most out of it and continue to save lots of $$!

1-Shop Individual Stores.

I know this method isn’t the greatest time-saver. BUT…shopping at different stores will help you take
advantage of the different stores’ best deals and still save you money. Deals
to Meals is even more important now than ever. Before you choose a store to shop
at, login to our website to know which store(s) has the most/best deals so you
can take advantage of several great deals in one place. If a certain store has
an item (that is not a name brand), that you know you need in your food
storage/pantry and you need to buy several, make a quick stop to that store.
For example, pork and beans (Western Family) were on sale the other week for
.33 a can. I needed some in my storage, so I swung by and picked up 48 cans
because I knew I needed several, so it was worth my time and gas money.

2-Know which type(s) of items are on sale.  

Walmart will no longer price-match store-brand items (enter frowny face and frustrated grunt! UGH). So, on the store-brand items (Kroger, Western Family, Great Value, etc.) that you can no longer price match at Walmart, you will need to go to the individual store to buy them at the sale price. If you don’t want to go to different stores, you can buy those items at Costco or Walmart for their regular prices.

For example, if sour cream is on sale for .99 at Smiths (Kroger brand) and I need 3 for my recipes that week, I will just have to deal with paying the extra .28 at Walmart to save me the time from running to Smiths, or…go to Costco and buy a 5 lb. tub at a lower price and find a way to use up the big container because it was less per ounce.

3-Buy name brands.

You will normally hear me pushing store brands, which I still do. However, if you look through the weekly deals on our website and you see ‘name brand’ items on sale, then it’s a good time to stock up.

For example, last week Kraft Salad Dressing and Capri Sun Drinks are on sale for great deals. These
are name brand items that Walmart WILL price match. So, these are items you will want to add to your grocery list and buy. Same thing with items like canned beans. A Utah store just had S&W canned beans on sale for less than the store-brand beans generally go. When you see this happen on our site, and these items are ‘red/great’ deals, then it’s a great time to stock up—and price match if you wish. Since it is a name-brand item, you can price match and buy several for your pantry/food storage. Watch for these name brand items to go on sale for great prices and stock up.

 

4-Find the best, local place to buy produce.

Since Walmart is being stinkers about price matching certain produce items (like oranges, watermelon, etc.—because they are sold individually) you will want to find an alternative option for produce (if you can). However, Walmart will price match MOST produce items, so if you want the ultimate one stop shopping trip, still price match as much produce as you can at Walmart. However, if you live near a Sprouts (LOVE them!) or a Rancho Market/Hispanic Market then shop their low produce prices each week. The best part about Sprouts is they have double ad Wedensday’s which means their sales from the past week and the new week are all valid on Wednesday’s. I have found shopping at Sprouts on Wednesday’s allows me to get most all of the produce items I need for my week’s meal plan in one place. I then swing by Walmart and get the other items I am in need of. If you don’t live near a Sprouts –send them an email letting them know you want one near you (they are expanding like crazy!), then buy your produce at Costco, price match at Walmart or find another local farmer’s market that sells produce for a good price.

 

5-Have a well stocked pantry and food storage.

Stock up on sale items to save you from having to buy items when they are not on sale. As you stock up a little each week on the items your family uses on a regular basis, you will find most of the items you need for your week’s menu planner are fresh produce and meat–which can still be price matched at Walmart. This stocking up method also goes for meat and dairy items.

For example, if cheese is on sale for $4.99 (32 oz. bag) at Fresh Market, and my family uses a lot of cheese, this is the time to stock up. If this item is a store brand item that can’t be price matched, I would go to Fresh Market and buy 5-10 of these bags of cheese, stick them in the freezer,  and now I don’t have to worry about buying them full-price another time. A well stocked food storage and pantry will make meal planning SO much easier and help you save money throughout the rest of the year. And bottom line, the more food you have stored in your home, the less items each week you have to price match.

6-Keep staple items on-hand. 

There are several items each week that rarely go on sale. These are ‘staple’ items that won’t have a grocery store sale item linked to it in the grocery list. These items are ones you need for almost every recipe and ones you should have plenty of in your storage/pantry. Here is a list of staple items you should always have on hand and where the lowest prices are to buy them:
how to combat Walmart's new price-match policy!
Deals to Meals, Price Matching Tips, walmart price matching, new walmart price matching policy, help with price matching, tips to price match, save money on groceries,

7-Only shop once in a 10-14 day period.

The fewer times you shop at the grocery store, the less money you’ll spend –yay! Try and do all of your shopping in one day so you get to relax the next couple weeks and not have to worry about shopping again for last minute items you need. If you shop using our meal planner, those recipes should last you 1 ½-2 weeks and should help you shop fewer times each week.
Deals to Meals, Price Matching Tips, walmart price matching, new walmart price matching policy, help with price matching, tips to price match, save money on groceries,

 

8-Be organized.

Since one-stop-shopping is not as readily available any longer, you will want to make sure you are extra organized. Before I shop I like to know which stores I am going to, which items I am needing to buy, and what meals I will be making with the items I’m purchasing. Using our weekly meal planner you will have delicious recipe options that you can serve your family for the next couple of weeks. Click on the recipes you wish to make for the upcoming week (or create your own meal planner) and then link the ingredients to the weekly deals. Once you print out a grocery list, you will know what items you need to purchase and where to shop.

 

9-Watch for the small print.

Walmart used to be pretty relaxed about grocery store deals that had: Buy 1 Get 1 Free, Limits, Certain Day Specials, Online Coupons, etc. In the past they used to be okay matching some of these ‘specials’ no matter which day it was, or how much of an item you wanted to stock up on. They are now more particular. If an item in the ad has a limit of 2, they will only let you buy 2. If the item is on a BOGO sale, they won’t let you purchase those items unless it lists the exact price for 2. And if an item has an online digital coupon associated to a price, they will no longer price match those items at the ‘coupon’ price. They will only price match the price BEFORE the coupon’s discount is deducted. Any of these specific details will be listed on our website under the far right column of our deals page. Any details the ad mentions, we will put in that column to help you be an aware customer.
Deals to Meals, Price Matching Tips, walmart price matching, new walmart price matching policy, help with price matching, tips to price match, save money on groceries,

10-Share your feedback (and be kind).

I have to admit I have had to hold my tongue at Walmart the past few times I’ve shopped. I don’t enjoy feeling like I am a criminal just because I am price matching and following their own stores’ policy. Customer service has never been a strong suit for Walmart, but it never hurts to let them know what we think. In a kind, and civil way (ha!), let the store manager of your nearest Walmart know your frustrations. The manager’s I have talked to said they want to know what their local customers think and how their store is performing. Make sure and get the name of a cashier if they are great, or not so great, to help their managers know how they can improve. According to their own store policy online, you shouldn’t have to show ‘proof’ for a deal unless it is more than 25% off the Walmart price. On those items, you might want to come prepared with our Deals to Meals printout, the grocery store ad or at least know which store the deal is from so they can look it up online.
 Follow these tips and you’ll still be able to save tons of money, even with the new changes!
_________________
Wow Shandra, thanks for sharing! My thoughts exactly 🙂 Be sure to read my Costco posts on how to afford and save money at Costco, as well as How I Grocery Shop (which I really need to update now. Thanks Walmart! Pshhhhht).

Happy shopping!
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Comments

  1. This also might be a good time to plug Bountiful Baskets again. Nothing irks me more than Wal-Mart’s sub-par produce. Great post, thank you.

  2. Walmart has an app in which you can upload your receipt and they do the Savings Catcher work for you. They compare to local area sales prices and give you back the difference. I’ve used it for a couple months now and while I don’t normally get much back there are weeks when I get back 2-4 dollars. Just a suggestion.

      • Yes, WalMart Savings Catcher is AWESOME. I got mine up to $100 easily. Then I spent it, and I’m up to $24 already again. All you do is scan your receipt each time using the App. It’s free, it’s easy, and everyone should be using it!

    • Hi Ladies! Yes, the Price Catcher is an okay option if you’re not looking to get lots of money back. Sadly, they usually only price compare to pharmacy stores (CVS, Walgreens, etc.) and a few larger stores (here in Utah their selection is pathetic). The other problem is that app does not price compare for meat, refrigerator items, generic brands or produce. Since this is mostly what we all buy, it is rarely going to save you more than a few cents each week. You will definitely save more money if you can know what the best deals are from the stores so you can price match those 😉 It’s a good idea, just not very thorough–at this point anyway 😉 Great question.

  3. Thanks for this post Jordan! I have gotten so frustrated with my local neighborhood market Walmart with price matching (they make it nearly impossible to price match, even the current manager is stingy- the nice cashiers and managers seem to be mia these days)that I have just thrown in the towel and was going to cancel my Deals to Meals subscription! But now with these great tips for how to make Deals to Meals still work for me with a little more planning I’m going to give it another go!

    • Yes it can be so frustrating! With price-matching, it really depends on the store. The Neighborhood WM next to us is small and new-ish, they are GREAT. They DO match store-brand items, because the manager wants the business. However, I will never shop at the super walmart a few miles away from us. They are the WORST. So from one store to the next, managers are very different and have the prerogative to do things as they see fit (somewhat, anyway).

  4. Didn’t know about Sprouts Wednesdays. Thanks!

    And btw I think 48 cans of pork and beans would last me two lifetimes!!

  5. Have you given aldi a try? I have a lot of luck there, I pretty much go there for all staples. Milk, flour, sour cream, snack foods. My husband and i actually prefer the aldi brand of a few items over name brand. It is a bit of a pain since you cant do all your shopping there, but I make it work. I know you love walmart, but I hate the way they treat their employees and are such a huge burden on taxpayers (instead of paying their employees enough to eat, we have to pay for their foodstamps)

    • They don’t have any Aldi stores in the west. When we lived in Tennessee, that’s the only place we grocery shopped! I love Aldi. Now that we live west, I miss it a lot!

  6. Got to love the comment about speaking with the store manager about a cashiers performance. I worked for several years at the corporate head office of a major retailer – trust me most corporations could care less. Walmart especially seems to really not care about the customer experience.

  7. We just returned from the new neighborhood WM convenient to us in Shreveport, LA. Kroger had CHIQUITA bananas on special so we picked up four bananas from WM but we could not have the Kroger price because WMs bananas had a different brand name. Same with the red grapes.
    Is this something new? I have never experienced it before.
    It certainly makes sense that I can’t get the sale price on Hellman’s mayo if Kroger is running Kraft on special, but bananas?
    The problem for WM, as I see it, is that now we will actually go to the other stores and leave WM out of our route.
    With Walmart’s stock at 65, down from 80. I think I’ll sell. They are losing their competitive edge.
    It’s bananas.

  8. I tried this price match while inside the store. I needed an HDMI cord for the tv I was also purchasing and found one in a random spot wondering the price of it. I pulled out my phone with the Walmart app and scanned it to find the price which read as $3.02 available on Walmart.com. I thought that would be great until the store clerk rang it up for $11.96, so I showed her the error. Her manager also came over and denied because “we don’t price match online items.” But on your own website? You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s not the $8 would break me, but the fact they refused to follow their own store policy. Ridiculous. And thanks for the tip here on the savings catcher, but I’ve had problems with it too.

  9. So I was at my local Walmart last night trying to price match watermelon for .19¢/lb and the cashier asked for help. First of all, the supervisor said we could not price match it because they have a set price and they don’t sell the watermelon by the pound. They went on telling me that we can only price match 2 items w/o the ad and 4 with the ad per person.

    I think this is crazy and I don’t even know if it’s their policy. I did see on their policy that the manager has the last say in the price matching but to limit it that much is insane.

    If anyone has any tips on how to fix my issue, please let me know. All feedback is greatly appreciated.

    • Wow how frustrating! My only real advice is to find a new Walmart if that’s an option for you. Sometimes managers (or even cashiers) get fussy and interpret the policy in their own way. If you feel like you’re in the right, you could pull out their policy (http://corporate.walmart.com/policies) and politely press the issue. But I’ve just learned what Walmart to price-match at and which one(s) to avoid. Sorry you’ve had such a hassle!

  10. it’s more of a question in a comment if Walmart does not carry the same brand advertised they used to price match the same item and great value brand do they still do that

  11. Your information is exactly correct on Walmart price match policy, I know because I work there as a Customer Service Manage. The reasons that Walmsrt has gotten stricter on their price matching is because customers were coming in knowing they did not have to have an ad in hand and price matching every item in their cart, sometimes 2 or more carts, You could tell they were making up prices as they went, had nothing in their hands with store names, prices, etc., no way anyone could keep all that information in their head and remember it allows, do you can think the dishonest customers for the stricter policies.

  12. We use to get store ads in the mail every Wed., but then they stopped coming. I’d go online and look at the store’s ads now and write down the name of the store and item and price that I wanted to match. Walmart used to be good at doing this, but now? Grrr I no longer have a cell phone, but when I did, I would take a picture of the sale item and get it where it included the name of the store and the ad’s date. They said they could not accept that and they had to look it up on their phones. Cool by me EXCEPT the biggest majority of Walmart cashiers are the bottom of the barrel in intelligence. So, ok, bring over a chair and let me sit and rest a spell now y’all hear while you take the rest of the day to find this item on your high dollar cell phone (they can afford expensive cell phones, but not dental work). I’ve had them tell me i had to have the printed ad. I tell them they need to check their store’s website out, that I don’t and they are free to verify the ad, so go right ahead and do it. Thank God, Aldi and H-E-B came to our town. To heck with Walmart, it’s such a depressing place to begin with and the type people they hire as their employees that you have to deal with (shudders), that’s a whole ‘nother story . It’s once in a blue moon I go there now and I’m happier for it.

  13. Here in Tucson my Local wal-mart has been really good at ad matching.
    Their is this one cashier who they nicknamed the machine because he can remember every other stores sale prices. He gets me a lower price sometimes because I don’t get all the ad’s delivered to my home. Every once in a while I will get a Cashier who does not want to ad match special Just for you online and ad coupon prices from my local Safeway. The safeway ad will say limit 4 but wal-mart will only give me one at that price. I just have them take the other three off and only buy the one. If I really want the item i will go to that specific store. I don’t want to argue with them and hold up the line. I have been behind customers that don’t have the ad’s or even a list but claims a lower price and the cashier uses their phone or printed ad’s to look up the lowest price. Really slows the checkout line down and drives me nuts. I always have a list of the store and price making it easy to verify if and when required.

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