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Saturday, November 8, 2008

How to save money at Wal-Mart by ad matching

Everyone who knows me knows I like Coca Cola, and Wal-Mart. I think we have moved past the like stage. The three of us are in an on-going steady relationship. I buy Coke, and visit Wal-Mart on a steady, basis. Often, I buy my Coke at Wal-Mart.

As our kids have gotten older, and become involved in everything, I’ve come to at least one realization. We had to save money somewhere. As often as I frequent Wal-Mart, and as much money as I spend there, additional savings were a must.

With a large family we cook and eat at home. Therefore, grocery shopping is a necessity. About two years ago, I learned Wal-Mart honors local competitor ads. Before learning this, I took the circulars and ran from store to store, for their savings that week. My route consisted of four to five stores. Another thing, I love to grocery shop! And saving money doing it is icing on the cake.

Studies have shown that grocery prices at Wal-Mart are generally 15% less than the shelf price at other stores - however the sales prices at other stores is generally 30% less than the prices at Wal-Mart. If you combine these two factors you can easily save 40% or more on your groceries without ever clipping a coupon. The key is to use the competitor's prices at Wal-Mart. (From

How to ad match:

1. Gather local grocery store ad papers. Collect as many circulars from local grocery stores to maximize your saving potential. Wal-Mart’s policy is to honor competitor’s ads within a 50-mile radius. Price matching is a national policy at Wal-Mart, and policies may vary from Wal-Mart to the next.

2. Circle items. With a dark pen or marker, go through each paper, circling the sales items relevant to your family.

3. Make a list. List each item, price, and store, grouping items together by circular. Make sure to list, and match brands. When it comes to brand names, Wal-Mart is usually good about matching store brand for store brand. Wal-Mart store brand is Great Value (GV), where Brookshire’s is Food Club. Each store will have its own name brand. When it comes to other name brands, ad matching must be done with the same brand. Matching the appropriate size of items is key. An ad for a 12 oz. bottle can not be ad matched for a 16oz. bottle of the same product. Be sure to read all the information in the ad. Cereal ads can be tricky. The ad may be for General Mills Cereal. Below the ad it will name specific cereals, and certain sizes. One dollar and ninety-nine cents for a box of Trix might only apply to the 12 oz. box, not the 72 oz. Making a list also allows you to be more effective at the check out, not wasting your time, the checkers, and the people behind you.


Gallon milk, 2.99 - Food King (store brand)
Large dozen eggs, .99 – Food King (store brand)
Kraft singles 12 oz., 2.99 – Budget Saver (name brand)
Peter Pan peanut butter 18 oz., 1.99 – Budget Saver (brand name)

4. Add coupons for added savings. If clipping coupons is a part of your savings routine, using coupons for the products on your ad match list is optimal for added savings.

5. Check out, and watch the savings. Remember to take the ad papers with you. Often Wal-Mart will ask to see them, for verification. Many checkers will be knowledgeable of local sales, and others won’t. When putting your groceries on the belt, make sure to put all ad match items together, either before or after other groceries. I prefer after.

Making a menu from my ad match list always helps in realizing my savings. Buying things randomly just because it’s on sale proves not to be wise. We’ve all been victim to the hype of a SALE, and bought things that never got eaten. After a year or so, after the expiration date, finally threw it out. I’ve been told, it’s not really a sale if you can’t use it. That’s a waste of money, not a savings.


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