8 Secret Ways to Save at Walmart That Only Experts Know About

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Not to brag, but when it comes to bargain shopping, we kind of know our stuff. And by “kind of,” we mean we’ve even found ways to cut down costs at the bargain shopping mecca: Walmart.

Yep. You read correctly. We’re letting you in on some savvy shopping secrets that will help you rollback prices — even more — every time you shop at Walmart.

Here’s how to get the best deals.

1. Get 10% Cash-back on Everything You Buy

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One of our favorite ways to save at Walmart is with Rakuten, a cash-back site that gives you 10% cash-back on everything you purchase at Walmart.com.

There’s no catch.

Rakuten has the hookup with just about every website you shop, which means it can give you a kickback every time you buy toilet paper on Walmart — even book that flight home for Thanksgiving.

But for Colleen Rice, signing up for Rakuten meant getting big checks. For doing nothing. Seriously. Since she started using the website, she’s received $526.44.

Rice says she uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy. She even used the money she earned to help her pay for her recent cross-country move.

Even better? If you sign up with Rakuten and get a kickback in the first 90 days, they’ll give you a free $10 Walmart gift card

Talk about money for nothing.

2. Turn Those Crumpled Walmart Receipts Into Free Gift Cards

What do you usually do with your receipts? You check out, they hand you a mile-long piece of paper, and you frantically stuff it to the bottom of a grocery bag. Pretty worthless.

But a free app called Fetch Rewards will turn them into gift cards. It partners with tons of brands to give you points for every grocery receipt you share. Then you can exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, Chipotle and dozens of other retailers.  

And it’s perfect for those of us who don’t want to put a ton of work into this. All you have to do is send Fetch a photo of your receipt, and it does everything for you. No scanning barcodes or searching for offers — and you can use it with any grocery receipt.

When you download the app, use the code PENNY to automatically earn 2,000 points, and you’ll be well on your way to your first gift card.

Not so bad for a useless receipt, right?

3. Know Your Markdown Tags

Buy one get one free vitamins on sale
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Walmart has a sneaky system for marking down clearance tags.

You can use this information to find the best Walmart deals!

  • Items with prices ending in $__._7 are the original price.
  • Items with prices ending in $__._5 are the first markdown.
  • Items with prices ending in $__._1 are the final markdown.

So, if you see a “clearance” item with a price ending in “5,” and there’s still plenty in stock, you can hold out for a better markdown.

And if you see one ending with “7,” you’ll know the item isn’t discounted at all yet.

4. Earn up to $20/Hour Picking up Milk For Your Neighbors

You’ve probably heard you can make money picking up other people’s groceries. But doing your own shopping is stressful enough. You just learned where everything is — now you’re supposed to learn the aisles of a different store?

But an app called Postmates will pay you to pick up a few extra groceries while you’re already picking up your own.

The amount you can earn varies, but the median earnings per hour during peak times is $19, CEO Bastian Lehmann said at a 2015 TechCrunch event.

We talked to one shopper, Destiny Frith, from Nashville, who says the flexibility and high hourly pay makes this a great way to make extra money.

She takes home close to $600 a week — working completely on her own schedule.

Just create a free Postmates account and you’ll quickly receive a welcome kit in the mail within a week (a free delivery bag and a prepaid card to make the purchases).

Actual amount earned will vary, depending on a number of factors. You’ll see how much you earned after each delivery and exactly how your earnings were calculated.

5. Get Free Walmart Gift Cards

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Want a free Walmart gift card? The folks over at Mypoints want you to give your opinions on new products and they’ll shower you with free gift cards for your time.  

Yep. Mypoints is a reader favorite, because it pays you in free Walmart gift cards for taking surveys and other activities right on your phone. You’ll even earn a $5 bonus when you sign up and complete your first five surveys.

6. Buy a Loaf of Bread for $1

Woman buying bread
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A lot of us at The Penny Hoarder HQ have been doing this for years!

Head to the bakery to find day-old bread on sale — usually for less than $1.

In some stores, we’ve even seen an impulse rack near the registers, in case you need that final nudge. This is an affordable way to indulge on fresh-baked ciabatta or French breads with an otherwise hefty price tag.

7. Trade Your Walmart Receipts for Cash

receipts
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We all want to save money on our groceries. What we don’t want to do is put a ton of work into it.

If this sounds like you — someone who just wants to get in and out of the store and save money without doing much thinking — there’s an app we recommend.

It’s called Ibotta, and it pays you cash-back for buying certain items at Walmart. 

Before you shop, search for items on your shopping list within the Ibotta app. When you get home, snap a photo of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes.

Bam. Cash back.

Ibotta is free to download. Plus, you’ll get a $20 sign-up bonus. Here’s how to get it:

  1. Download the Ibotta app. 
  2. Create an account.
  3. Shop, and take a photo of your grocery receipt.
  4. Redeem 10 offers within 14 days, and you’ll get that $20 bonus.

Every time you scan a receipt that includes a participating brand, you’ll earn cash back.

For example, we recently saw an offer of $5 back on a case of Shiner Bock beer.

Once you earn at least $20, cash out via PayPal.

Go ahead, and start earning cash by downloading Ibotta.

8. Get Paid for Walking Into the Store

Cropped image of a young man's legs and grocery basket
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Sometimes, to get the most out of your Walmart bargain-shopping trip, all you need to do is walk in the door. That’s right — no purchase necessary. 

The Shopkick app pays you in “kicks” for walking into Walmart and other participating stores (including Target, TJMaxx and more). You can redeem kicks for gift cards to a number of retailers, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Sephora and Best Buy.

It pays you even more kicks for photos of your receipts that include qualifying items you purchased in store with a connected credit or debit card. You can also earn kicks for online purchases.

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