8 creative ways this Missouri mom saves big bucks using Walmart Grocery

8 creative ways this Missouri mom saves big bucks using Walmart Grocery

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Sarah Luderer relies on Walmart Grocery pickup for savings and convenience. (Photo: Sarah Luderer)

Sarah Luderer relies on Walmart Grocery pickup for savings and convenience. (Photo: Sarah Luderer)

Imagine shuttling from one supermarket to another all day long, pushing carts through countless aisles in a wild goose chase for the best possible grocery deals. That’s what Sarah Luderer used to do all the time.

Often, this Missouri-based shopper would buy enough food to make three months’ worth of freezer meals at a pop — “I would do like an $800 grocery order,” she told Yahoo Life — so it’s no wonder bargain shopping was a priority for her. But then Sarah had kids, started working full time and no longer had the luxury of an open schedule.

“My husband was in medical school and we don’t have any family around, so it was hard to find balance. That’s when I started basically just going to Walmart instead of all these other stores. Walmart offered grocery pickup, and it was so easy that I could just go pick up my groceries in one place,” said Sarah.

The convenience of Walmart Grocery pickup may be the reason she went in the first place, but Walmart’s low prices are the reason she stayed.

“I started to realize that often, Walmart’s everyday price was lower than or equal to the sale prices I was paying at the four or five other stores I was shopping,” said Sarah. “I’d be like, dang! It just took so much time to get to all of those different stores. And half the time Walmart’s prices were nearly identical.”

Shop Walmart Grocery through your Walmart+ account. (Photo: Walmart)

Shop Walmart Grocery through your Walmart+ account. (Photo: Walmart)

Soon, Sarah became a devotee of Walmart Grocery and an expert at flexing her savings muscles. Thanks to the store’s grocery pickup, though, she no longer has to flex her actual muscles pushing a heavy shopping cart. She just rolls up in her car and lets Walmart employees load her order right into the hatchback, no heavy lifting required.

“Basically you are getting somebody to do all your shopping for you for free, which normally might take about an hour or two,” said Sarah. “It only requires a $35 order minimum.”

In addition to free grocery pickup, a membership with Walmart+, the store’s customer loyalty program, entitles you to free grocery shipping — or free shipping of anything you purchase, period — providing your order is $35 or more. Walmart+ also has a fuel discount program, which saves you a potential five cents per gallon of gasoline at Walmart & Murphy stations

A Walmart+ account is a must for any Walmart shopper. It’s just $12.95 a month or $98 a year (after that 15-day free trial).

Hungry for savings strategies? Check out Sarah’s lifestyle blog, Super Savvy Sarah, and her freezer meals blog, Freezer Meal Foodie. Then read on for eight genius ways Sarah saves using Walmart Grocery.

1. Free grocery upgrades

Get free shipping and more with Walmart Grocery. (Photo: Walmart)

Get free shipping and more with Walmart Grocery. (Photo: Walmart)

When Sarah places her Walmart Grocery order, she trusts the shoppers at Walmart will pluck her the best, freshest foods — and if they’re out of inventory, they’ll upgrade her to something better or in a bigger package to compensate for the inconvenience.

“One time, for example, I bought a 10-ounce bag of frozen broccoli in the Walmart store brand, which is cheaper but is usually equal in quality,” she said. “Since they were out, they replaced it with two packages of Bird’s Eye broccoli that were double the size for free.”

2. A rolling shopping list in the Walmart app

The Walmart app lets you order groceries for pickup or delivery. (Photo: Walmart)

The Walmart app lets you order groceries for pickup or delivery. (Photo: Walmart)

Walmart’s free mobile app for iPhone and Android has a pretty cool feature that allows you to take inventory on an ongoing basis. An entire household can use one shared shopping list on the Walmart app to avoid duplicate purchases and make sure everyone is on the same page — literally.

“I like that I can keep my budget under control because I can add to a grocery list that’s running in the Walmart app all week and just place the order when I’m ready,” said Sarah. “So I don’t have to have a piece of paper for a grocery list. I can just have it in my phone. I can share the list with my husband on his phone, and we can just constantly add to this order without having to even keep track of it.”

Download Walmart’s free mobile app for iPhone and Android here.

3. Virtual coupon sites

Get ready to save big. (Photo: Getty Images)

Get ready to save big. (Photo: Getty Images)

Couponing couldn’t possibly be any easier than it is when you shop for groceries through Walmart+ using the coupon sites where discounts are applied directly to your Walmart.com order. These sites include Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, Checkout 51 and Coupons.com.

“You can clip virtual coupons, and then you can sync them to your Walmart account. And when the order goes through, it’ll credit that money to your account,” explained Sarah. “Recently, for example, I found out on Ibotta about a food brand that has a no-sugar-added barbecue sauce. It was $1 off a $4 bottle. Sometimes it’s hit or miss, but usually you can get pretty good deals if you’re willing to spend a few minutes clipping those virtual coupons, which doesn’t take too long.”

4. Less impulse buys

“Instead of walking through the store and wondering if I’m out of pasta sauce and just forgot to put it on my list, for instance, I like to walk around my kitchen to see what I have while I shop online. So I’m not over-buying things impulsively,” said Sarah.

Shopping Walmart Grocery also affords her the opportunity to skip temptations. “I’m not buying things that just catch my eye. Everything looks really good when you’re walking around the store hungry. So it helps decrease the cost of buying stuff that I don’t really need.”

5. Free samples

Walmart Grocery

Walmart Grocery freebie bags. (Photo: Getty Images)

Who doesn’t love a goodie bag? Sarah appreciates that Walmart sometimes hands out free samples to Walmart Grocery pickup customers to give them a better taste of what’s in store.

“Sometimes there’s an energy drink or a bottle of wine or a granola bar or power bar. Sometimes there’s laundry detergent samples or mints — all kinds of different things are in these pretty tote bags,” noted Sarah. “But it’s just random. We get a freebie bag every once in a while.”

6. Bakery-quality goods at bargain-basement prices

Stopping at a bakery for a fresh loaf of bread, a delectable cake or some crispy cookies sounds like heaven. But Sarah says Walmart’s bakery churns out goodies that are just as otherworldly, but for a fraction of the price. So not only has she knocked all those other supermarkets off her list, but the local bakery has been shown the door too.

“The bakery at Walmart is usually like a third to half of the price of most other groceries I found in my area. The bakery can save you a lot of money just in general by having lower prices,” said Sarah.

7. Crack-of-dawn discounts a.k.a. day-old deals

Sarah told Yahoo Life that if you want to shop Walmart Grocery in person, the smartest time to go is early in the morning — that’s when you’ll find the day-old deals.

“In the mornings you can get really good deals on day-old bakery items. They’re marked down in price pretty significantly, usually by half,” she said. “They’ll also mark down rotisserie chicken from the day before if they have any leftover, and that’s usually half price, too. A lot of times there’ll be sale stickers on meat that’s about to expire. They’re marked down in price pretty significantly usually, and I’ll freeze them.”

Got a friend who might love Walmart Grocery? Send them a link to Walmart’s Refer a Friend program. You’ll get a promo code for $10 off after your friend places their first order directly via the link you sent them.

Sarah loves to use this perk to save — and to share the convenience with the people she cares about most.

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