First Time Price-Matching Success! [Freebs Success Story: Rebecca]

Freeb Success story - price-matching success!

I get emails and social media comments constantly from Freebs, just like you, who are having success with FunCheapOrFree ideas. I recently got an email from a Freeb, Rebecca, who was incredibly nervous to price-match for the first time. She followed everything I teach on my “How I Grocery Shop” page and ended up having a great experience! I asked her to share her story with all of you and I think you'll be just as impressed as I am with how well she did…and how easy it was! But I'll let her tell you in her own words. Take it away, Rebecca!

(PS do YOU have a Freebs Success Story you'd like to share? Email Jordan@funcheaporfree.com and I'd love to feature you!)

Freeb Success story - price-matching success!

Thanks Jordan! Hey all, I'm Rebecca. My husband and I are really trying to crack down on our budget and I have been trying everything to save money on food. I was so excited when I came across Jordan's blog and after reading her posts about price matching (especially her How I Grocery Shop page), I finally decided to take the plunge!

THE PREP

I started the 2 week free trial at Deals to Meals to make my grocery list. (Jordan's note: Deals to Meals is a site that shows you the best deals at the stores in your area so you can either shop at whatever store has the best deals, or take the best prices and price-match them at Walmart like I do. They also give you weekly meal plans to help you use up the food that's on sale. It's $5/month and is worth every penny.) Since I don't have a printer I just used my phone to pull up the list.

TIME TO SHOP

I was pretty nervous and I did not want to take my kids with me because I have had the worst experiences with them at Walmart. In fact, 2 weeks ago I swore off Walmart completely. I didn't feel like the money I was saving was worth the bad customer service. Jordan recommended another Walmart near me, a small Neighborhood Walmart, so I decided to give it a second chance ;).  Jordan's note: Yes! I RARELY shop at Super Walmarts. They make their money in electronics and housewares, food is just to get you in the store. I strongly dislike shopping at them. The Neighborhood Markets or “SmallMarts” as I call them, are so much friendlier to price-matching, and carries better food in my opinion. I waited until my husband was home from work and went without the kids.

I didn't quite know what to expect, so I didn't have a huge list. The first thing I did was go to the Customer Service desk to ask them about their price-matching policy. I think I just needed to hear it for myself before I did all the work! The representative there was so kind and then asked if I needed any help just to holler. I saw him again while I was shopping and he asked me how it was going and if I had any other questions. Jordan's note: Their policy does vary from store to store, and manager to manager. Just ask them. Some Walmart's won't price-match store-brand items, some will. Some won't match per pound items with per unit items. Some will. Just ask, there's no harm in that!

While I was shopping I separated the price matching items and the regular priced items in my cart, as Jordan recommends. I found a really nice looking cashier and told her I had some price-matching. She seemed to know the deals, even before I told her she was ringing up the correct prices! She was great to work with!

THE BOUNTY

Here's some of the loot I walked away with!

price-matching made easy

  • Candy Bars: .50 each. (We buy them for birthday presents, usually at .75-.99 each) – saved $2.94
  • Great Value Cream Cheese: .99, normally $1.98 – saved $1
  • Malto Meal Cereal: $1.94 I was so excited about this deal. These bags are normally $3.98 for the Raisin bran and $4.98 for the others – saved $8.12
  • Broccoli: .99 lb, priced at $1.74 lb – Saved $.75/lb
  • Peaches: .88 lb. This is the cheapest I've seen peaches this fall. They were priced at $1.28 lb. We have already eaten several – saved $0.40/lb
  • Green Bell peppers: .48 each (Not pictured. We had them for dinner last night, and left overs for lunch today.) – saved $.72 each
  • Progresso Soup: .50 each, if you buy 3. This is one of the few things one of my kids will eat. He eats a can by himself for lunch almost every other day so this was my favorite deal, as I usually pay full price anywhere between $1.50-$2.00 – saved $1 – $1.50 each
  • Great Value black beans: .50 a can, regularly .72 – saved $.22 each
I'm sure I made some mistakes, and I have a lot to learn, but my first ever price matching experience was great! I love getting a good deal and it was so invigorating to save so much money! I'm definitely hooked!!
I used the recipes from Deals to Meals as well as Mel's Kitchen Cafe to make some delicious meals with the food I got on sale.
Freeb Success story - price-matching success! Freeb Success story - price-matching success!
Thanks again Jordan! I love your blog and all of your great advice:) xo- Becca
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WOW! Thanks for sharing, Rebecca! I'm glad it was a good experience for you! You'll get better and better each time and you'll be a pro before you know it.

A few additional tips for anyone else who wants to try:

  • Read my How I Grocery Shop page for a complete rundown of how to price-match the easy way.
  • I really recommend Deals to Meals. I've been using it for over 5 years and I've tried all the competing sites, it's the only one I'll use now. It's changed my life. Try it 2 weeks for free. If you hate it you could just look at each store's ads and make the list yourself based on the best deals. Just look at the front and back pages. The middle stuff is just fluff.
  • Bring yard sale stickers! Write the price-match price on the sticker and stick it right on the bag of apples, or cereal box, or whatever it is. Makes checking out so much faster!
  • Be sure to check out my other price-matching so you can see how amazing it can be!
  • Don't want to shop at Walmart? No problem! Just use Deals to Meals or check the ads each week. Pick ONE store that has the best deals on the stuff you need, and shop there. Try to focus on what's on SALE, not on what you WANT to buy.
  • Plan your meals around what's on sale and use it until is't 100% gone. Don't waste a thing!

Good luck, and be sure to tag me with pictures of your successes and email me Jordan@funcheaporfree.com if you'd like to be featured too!

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Comments

  1. I tried price matching using Deals to Meals and your method with the stickers for the first time last night! I had a great experience! It took a little longer but was well worth the time to plan instead of just throwing items in my cart. Thanks for your encouragement and motivation!

  2. I don’t price match at the register. Instead, I log onto Savings Catcher (it’s on the Walmart website) and enter my receipt info and they compare prices with all my area stores and put the price match difference on my Bluebird card. There’s no fee for using Bluebird. I take up enough of the cashiers time with my fist full of coupons and they always need to call customer service because of all the coupons I use so it’s easier for me to use Savings Catcher.

  3. I’ve been super nervous to try price matching, but I think I NEED to. I work full time across the street from a super Walmart and about a mile down the way from a Neighborhood Walmart. My area has a ton of smaller grocery stores that regularly have sales on things like onions (10lbs for $2) or oranges (6lbs for $1) but they’re about 20 -40 minutes out of my way and sometimes I feel like I can’t justify the gas (ridiculous, I know) or the store is in such a shady area I don’t feel safe going.

    Thanks so much for sharing this story. I think I’ll have to give it a try soon. 🙂

    • It would be PERFECT for you! Having a Neighborhood WM closely and all those great deals 20-40 minutes is perfect. It would save you the drive But allow you to take advantage of the great prices. Give it a try and let me know how it goes! XO

  4. Thanks to reading your “How to Grocery Shop” post a few years ago, I am a die-hard price matcher! I usually use mini post-it notes for pricing each item and fill everything out before I leave the house. I have my list in the same order as I shop the store and everything usually runs nice and smooth. I often get a “thank you” from the cashier for putting in a little effort to make checking out easy for them. I know that they hate the price matching policy and the people who stand there with a fist full of ads and no organization! It is definitely worth the small amount of time. Sometime you can save quite a bit!

    • Oh my gosh that’s amazing, thanks for sharing!! I would love to feature you! I’ll email you 🙂

  5. MealstoDeals seemed to come up with only one store in my area so that was a bummer because it was only about five items on sale. It is a fabulous idea though! I use pricematcherz.com. They list out all the deals in your area they think are cheaper than Walmart. I still get the deals without having to keep ads around and I just make the meal plan myself with the sale food. I am still learning prices so this is so helpful for me!

    • Oh bummer! If you email them with your area and some stores you frequent, they are really good about getting them added ASAP so it’s worth a try! todd@dealstomeals.com. Thanks for sharing the other site!

  6. I have a question about price matching private label items. For instance this success story price matched Great Value cream cheese at .99 and I’m wondering what she price matched that from? A Kroger or Western Family brand? I wasn’t sure if Walmart would do that, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask??

    • Yup! It was price-matched from a store-brand. Some Walmarts won’t do that any more, but the Walmarts near me still will. And you’re right, never hurts to ask!

  7. A friend of mine just introduced me to Savings Catcher with Walmart. You scan your receipts to an app on your phone and they check all the local competitors adds to see if someone has anything you bought for less. If so you get the money back to use in store or online. I am still new to it but I thought it was worth trying and worth sharing.

    • Yes thanks for sharing!! Have you liked it so far? I’m curious to know if it ends up working for you. Because I’ve used it several times! Unfortunately I don’t believe in the app. I’ve used it many times and have never gotten money back, even when I knew for sure there were cheaper prices at nearby stores (I was basically “testing” it). So unfortunately I think it’s a marketing play to get people to cut down on price-matching. Could be wrong! But it’s better than nothing, but definitely doesn’t replace price-matching in my opinion. So I want to know how it’s been working for other people!

      • I just scanned my first receipt and nothing was found so I am sure my exact thoughts about it yet. The friend of mine that told me about it was about to get $9 off an order but she scans everything. If she finds a receipt left in a cart she will scan that. I have never price matched mostly out of laziness so I figured this is at least something to use to try and save money.

  8. Are you in Utah? I need in on the malt o meal deal and the Progresso. What store had the deal? I totally need to price match those?

    • Yes I’m in Utah! And so is Rebecca. Unfortunately it was last week’s deal though. Just sign up for the free Deals to Meals trial and keep your eye open, they always seem to go on sale every few weeks.

  9. Inspiring post! Need an opinion on deals to meals though. Between my son and I, we have 5 different food allergies, so shopping can be quite a chore, and expensive. I love the idea of deals to meals, but am wondering how adaptable the menus are and if it’s worth the membership fee if I can’t buy or eat the items they suggest buying? I’m all for saving a few bucks on groceries, but not sure if deals to meals is the answer. A note on price matching, Walmart does not have any neighborhood markets in New England, so I’m up a creek on that. I have found the customer service and the quality at my local supercenter sorely lacking, and don’t enjoy shopping there at all, although I do make myself sometimes because of lower prices on some items. I haven’t tried price matching there yet and sort of dread the inevitable battle.

    • I have to be honest…I haven’t used her meal plan in some time. I’m at the point now where I just use her deals list and cook what my family (AKA young picky eaters) will actually eat. So give it a try, if you hate it then you can cancel at any time and you’d only be out $5.

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