Coupons 101 – How To Coupon at Wal-mart
Continuing our coupons 101 series, today, we’re going to talk about how to coupon at Wal-mart. I hear so many people say that using coupons at Wal-mart is too much of a hassle, that you can’t save big there and that it isn’t worth the hassle they give you. To be honest, I’ve couponed at Wal-mart since 2004 and I can only count three times since then where I’ve had issues and two of those three were with the same cashier. You really should give it a try and if you did happen to have a bad experience, be sure to give it another shot…maybe at a different store. I promise, the rewards are worth it.
Before you head out to the store with your coupon binder, there are just a few things you need to know.
- Wal-mart has NO limit on the number of coupons you can use per transaction unless the coupon itself has a limit. Be sure to read the fine print of the coupon to see if it does.
- Walmart will match any advertised price in your local area as long as they carry the exact same brand, size, etc. Advertised price mean that it must be in the other store’s weekly sale ad. Some stores will match store brand for store brand, others will not, but the Walmart Ad Match policy does say that they’re not supposed to. They will not match an online price, even from their own website.
- Walmart registers will lock at more than 50.00 savings and/over 40 coupons. This is nothing to worry about, but you will need a CSM come over, turn a key and punch their numbers. They will likely want to verify that each It can be a pain in the you know what though if the store is very busy, so if you know you’re going shopping during a busy time and you’re going to lock it up it may be better to do multiple transactions.
- Price matching prices AFTER RR or ECB is truly a YMMV (your mileage may vary) situation. I have been told by corporate that it’s the same as a store rewards card price, which they do price match, but others have been told that they don’t. Never go in expecting to get that after price because you may not.
- You are NOT required to bring in your sales ads with you when price matching via their own policy. However, it is always best to have them with you. At my store, I have cashiers who want to see them and some who don’t. It’s a YMMV situation.
- When matching coupons with sales, don’t forget those coupons that work together, like a buy 2 x product and a free wyb x product. Just be sure to follow the coupons legalese and the store’s policy when trying to stack. In the case of the a $1/2 and a free wyb coupon, you would need to buy 3 products total to use both coupons, but in the long run, you may save more.
- Walmart does give overage via their coupon policy. Do NOT let someone tell you they don’t! Be prepared to fight for this if needed. Overage is the one thing that is worth fighting for as long as it’s legitimately owed! However, even when fighting for overage, stay calm and respectful. You will get a lot farther if you do than if you yell and cause a scene.
- Walmart DOES accept competitor coupons, however, they do NOT accept store coupons. It is a bit complicated, but in order for Walmart to accept it, it MUST have a specified price on it. Look at a Walgreens in-ad coupon to see what type they accept. In essence, they price match the item. Using Target coupons that do NOT have a specified price at Walmart is fraud. Plain and simple.
Now onto the how to coupon at Wal-mart part:
Step 1: Print out the Walmart Coupon Policy and the Walmart Ad Match Policy. Both policies are available as pdf files so print them out and put them in your binder, your organizer, your wallet, or anywhere else that’s easily accessible to you. You want to have them with you in case of problems at checkout.
Step 2: Gather the sales ads from the stores you normally would shop at. Make sure you gather the weekly ads for all drugstores, all grocery stores and in some cases office supply stores, etc. Why are you doing this? You’re doing this so that you can price match the sales. Price matching saves you in more ways than one, but most noticeably because you won’t be spending out gas money to travel to a ton of different stores.
Step 3: Go through the ads and find all of the deals you’d like to get. I find it easier to keep track of them if I circle them.
Step 4: Go thru your coupons and see what you have to matchup with the sales. If Gillette ProGlide razors are on sale, you want to be looking for a Gillette ProGlide coupon. Also make sure you check coupons that you did not pull out for personal use. I have found a lot of great deals this way. I won’t pull the coupon b/c I don’t think I’ll use it, and then the product goes on sale. So I’m able to go back and pull the coupon and get a deal. More often than not, I fall in love with a new product when this happens. When you’ve exhausted your own coupon supply, move onto step 5.
Step 5: Get online! When you’ve exhausted your coupon supply it’s time to start looking for the coupons and deals you don’t have. Come here and check the deals, head to Facebook and check the product’s page, or hit up your favorite coupon clipping service.
Step 6: Now that you’ve got your sales picked out and your coupons stocked and matched up. It’s time to make your list. When making your list you want to keep your price matches separate from your regular items. This allows you to easily reference the prices on them when you’re checking out. I do my lists like this:
- Store name:
- x number of x product y-price-
- (i.e (5) ProGlides-4.99)
- (number of coupons I have) coupons I have are listed here
- (i.e (5) 4/1)
- any limits in the original ad AND any coupon limits.
This ends up looking something like this: (5) ProGlide Razors – $4.99, limit 2, $4/1 Gilette ProGlide Coupon (limit 4 per txn) – Final OOP after PM: 99¢ ea.
When I’m done listing my price matches, I will list the regular items in pretty much the same way:
(# of) x product-(# of ) coupon I have here – coupon limits – final price of item
Step 8: Now that your price matches, coupons and list ready, you’re ready to shop! Head out the door and down the street to Walmart! Do your shopping as normal, getting the items on your list. When you’re ready, head to check out and step 9.
Step 9: When you get to the register, smile (even if you don’t feel like it. A smile can go a long way.) and tell your cashier that you have coupons (add the word a lot if you shop like I do) and price matches (this is not required, but it makes for an easier transaction if you let them know what to expect ahead of time) and load all of your items on the belt. Its not required, but it is helpful if you separate your price matched items from regular price items. I like to put my price matches at the end of the order so that I have time to load the rest of the items on the cart w/out having to worry about stopping the cashier for a price match. This way, they can go ahead and scan the regular priced items. Make sure when doing price matches that you group like items with like items. This makes it so that you don’t have to keep repeating yourself on prices, avoids items being forgotten and makes it easier on your cashier.
When your cashier gets to the items you’re price matching, tell them the price of the item before they scan it. They will scan the item for regular price and then override that price and enter the new one.
Step 10: Use your coupons. Once the items are rang up, use your coupons like normal. If a coupon beeps, be prepared to prove you have the correct product or the correct number of products. Most of the time, once you prove it, they will manually enter the coupon. Keep in mind that there are certain coupons that will beep every time they’re used. I have never used an Ortega coupon at Wal-mart without having them beep, even though it is clear that I have the correct product. It isn’t your fault, it is simply an issue with the register.
Once all of your coupons are scanned, you’re done! Pay for your order and go home to figure up your savings!
I hope that with this guide I have helped you guys to understand how to coupon at Wal-mart. It’s NOT as complicated as it seems and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be doing it like a pro and saving money left and right.