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Kallie Branciforte loves two things: saving time and saving money. Don’t believe us? Head over to her website — ‘But First, Coffee’ — and see for yourself. Kallie, a wife and “boy mom” from Connecticut, is so fueled by these two principles that she’s amassed almost 650,000 YouTube subscribers by sharing her most savvy bargain-shopping strategies.
Walmart has long been one of Kallie’s favorite discount destinations, she told Yahoo Life. But during the pandemic, she took a year-long hiatus from in-store shopping. That’s how she discovered that deal-hunting on Walmart.com — using her Walmart+ membership and the Walmart app — were just as bountiful. Walmart quickly became her bonafide bargain-shopping go-to.
We asked Kallie to share some of her top-secret discount-shopping tricks at Walmart. These six unique strategies prove that rules were made to be broken.
1. She shops online...at her local Walmart store.
It may sound counterintuitive to drive to a brick-and-mortar Walmart only to whip out your smartphone and shop virtually, but that’s exactly what Kallie does to save the most money while stocking up on cleaning supplies, groceries and other household essentials. “When I’m shopping at Walmart, I’m always shopping with the app too,” said Kallie.
Walmart's free mobile app for iPhone and Android has a built-in scanner that reveals each product’s in-store price, which is often drastically lower than the sticker price. Its GPS feature also lets you toggle between nearby Walmart stores, so you can compare prices on the exact same merchandise to discover which branch has it marked down the most.
“Especially for bigger ticket items, I’ll toggle to one or two closer Walmarts, and I'm always checking Walmart.com,” noted Kallie. She said this kind of 'showrooming' technique is the key to maximizing your savings on clearance items. “You just type ‘clearance’ into the search bar of Walmart.com and it’ll show you everything on site that's marked down for clearance. Then switch over to your app and find the closest store with the best clearance prices on those items.”
When Kallie finds the lowest price on Walmart.com, though, she simply makes her purchase online and enjoys free delivery from one of her local Walmart stores thanks to her Walmart+ membership. Free next-day and two-day shipping on all Walmart.com orders (no minimum required!) is one of the best perks of a Walmart+ account. You also get fuel discounts — 5 cents off per gallon of gasoline at Walmart & Murphy stations — and free shipping on groceries! A Walmart+ membership is a must for any bargain shopper.
2. To score the biggest savings, she skips the obvious discounts and shops full retail.
Here’s a hot tip: Plenty of clearance items are hiding in plain sight in Walmart stores, but their price tags haven’t been updated, so it looks like they’re still full price. Kallie uses the Walmart app to scan prices on any and all goods to see which are on 'secret clearance' and exactly where to find each one at its lowest current price, be it in store or online. (See how one savvy bargain shopper has made a career out of spotting secret $1 sales at Walmart.)
She also skips the obvious and underwhelming discounts, like Walmart’s famous 'rollback' items. Why? She’s got bigger fish to fry. “Rollbacks are not going to be [as heavily discounted as] hidden clearance items,” she said. “Obviously the rollback is just what it is — you know, it's going to be a dollar off everywhere, as advertised.”
Kallie says much of the time, sale-priced items are grouped together in-store, and the bigger discounts are right in front of your face. “If you see rollbacks, you can assume that perhaps things around those products have even deeper discounts. Take the extra 60 seconds to scan the other items next to a rollback and see if they’re a better price than what's advertised.”
3. She prefers to shop yesterday’s trends.
Kallie is a different type of influencer. This blogger and social media maven isn’t here to demonstrate the hottest items of the season necessarily — she’s here to promote the biggest deal-hunting tips of the day, and that often means shopping for last year’s hottest vacuum, the older version of an Instant Pot or the last generation of a tablet.
That’s because Kallie knows the biggest discounts appear when Walmart is trying to clear out its inventory to make way for new merchandise. “If there's like only one or two of a product left, it might mean that it’s been discontinued or there's a newer version of it, so I'll take the time to do a few quick scans.”
4. She shops only one week per month.
Okay, Kallie doesn’t actually restrict her Walmart excursions to one week per month, but if she had to, it would be the first week of every month. That’s when she’s on the prowl for the best possible deals.
“Try to plan your Walmart shopping the first week of the month, because [that's when you're] likely to get the markdowns before other people have shopped things over,” she said. It’s actually well-known among bargain hunters that the beginning of the month — most notably the first five days — is when items are scheduled for big markdowns. So if you prefer to get all your shopping done in one fell swoop and save a chunk of change all at once, mark your calendar!
5. She buys clothes without trying them on.
Whether or not her local Walmart actually has a dressing room — and especially when dressing rooms were closed due to Covid — Kallie would never try on clothes before purchasing them. Why bother? Walmart’s return policy is just so convenient.
“You can actually start a return for something you’ve purchased right on the app,” said Kallie. “And then when you get to the store, you literally just have to drop off the item, which is really nice. Walmart makes returns super, super easy.”
Walmart’s official policy also lets you return items by mail or by scheduled at-home pickup via the app. So if you see an item you want on sale, don’t think twice!
6. She favors Walmart over other retail giants for the best prices and convenience.
“I almost always find the best deal at Walmart. So now I default to Walmart as opposed to automatically going to [another online retail mega-store],” Kallie asserts. She simply feels that Walmart has the edge in a variety of ways.
“A lot of people obviously love [other retailers] because of the free, fast shipping, but Walmart offers free next-day and two-day shipping, and you don't even have to have a membership,” she says — although a Wamart+ membership has plenty of perks and costs just $12.95 per month.
“And I find that the inventory on Walmart.com is really, really great. I relied on the site a ton during quarantine,” Kallie adds. “And there is also so much stuff in stock in-store. You can just shop online for things right in the store and then do pickup. And it’s free and fast. I’ve found that using the Walmart app is just as good as using Amazon. The options are just as good, the shipping is just as good and you often get a better price.”
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