Uncle Bobs Tips

How To Save Time and Money at Wal-Mart

How To Save Time and Money at Wal-Mart

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It seems to me that there are some names in American consumerism that are automatically associated with low prices. Wal-Mart is probably one of them.

Again, as with other discount stores, people sometimes think that Wal-Mart's prices are so low that there's nothing left to save. And again, as with other stores - that's a mistake.

There are a number of ways to save time and money at Wal-Mart, both in the actual stores and at Walmart.com. In addition, because one of Wal-Mart's objectives is to serve the many (over 10%) American families that have neither credit cards nor bank accounts, there are a number of financial services offered by the chain at substantially lower fees than the standard market.

Let's talk about Walmart.com. The first thing to do - at the risk of repeating myself - is to sign up for Wal-Mart's email newsletter. It will inform you of sales, specials and rollbacks that are available both online and off - which will enable you to take advantage and save. Next, watch out for the clearance prices and rollbacks that are available online. You can save as much as 10%-50% on items in all of Wal-Mart's shopping categories (with the exception of groceries, which are only available in actual stores). Keep an eye on the free sample specials, too.

If you're a regular Wal-Mart customer, consider applying for a Wal-Mart credit card or Wal-Mart DiscoverĀ® Card. These can be used both online and off, in both Wal-Mart and Sam's Club Warehouses. The DiscoverĀ® card gives you up to 1% cash back on your Wal-Mart purchases, discounts on gasoline at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, and it's accepted elsewhere just like any other DiscoverĀ® card. Applying for these cards is not a long, drawn out process. According to the website, you will get an answer within 30 seconds. You will also be given a voucher that you applied and qualified for the card, so you can start shopping immediately. There are no annual fees, and they have zero fraud liability.

What about all the offline shoppers?

Well, the good news is that at Wal-Mart, you can shop online even if you don't have a credit card. Next time you go to your local Wal-Mart store, buy a gift card for yourself. You can use it online just like a credit card, as long as you make sure that it has a PIN number.

Since groceries are only available in actual stores, here are some tips for saving on them. Number one, be aware that Wal-Mart will match or beat prices from competitive stores. So if you saw grocery items advertised somewhere else for less, just bring the advertisement into your Wal-Mart and you'll get the cheaper price. That means that you should always check the Sunday papers before you go shopping! If you really want to be savvy, you can check other stores online as well, print out the price pages and bring them along too. You can save a lot of money using this simple trick.

Also, before you buy in bulk, make sure that the bulk price is really less expensive. If it is, go for it - but if it's not, then you should decide if it's worth laying out more money at one time and taking up the storage space at home. Just like online, be aware of free samples. They are a great way to try out products that might either be cheaper or more efficient - or both - than the current brand you're using.

For all those who have neither a credit card nor a checking account, Wal-Mart offers financial services at very low rates. Take advantage of them, no matter what your financial status. Paycheck cashing, money transfers and money orders are just some of the services available, at a fraction of what they cost elsewhere.

Wal-Mart's motto is, "Low Prices. Always." Now you know how to make them even lower!

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