Before telling you about my Walmart & Target trip on a Saturday evening @ 5:00 p.m. at night I must give you some background.This time last year I was deployed by U.S. Coast Guard to work in D.C. in regard to the oil spill for 92 days. So my sweet wife had the girls on her own all that time and had to juggle alot so not sure if this is pay back ;0) She had me go to donor fest and donate blood while taking both girls with me (just like she did last year). After that it was time to take them to a birthday party when they normally are napping and sugar them up on cupcakes. ;0) Since we have precious friends bringing us meals, thank goodness I didn't have to come home and make dinner but my wife did send me out to go to both Walmart (and price match to a Walgreens ad, at least I did not have to go back to Walgreens) ;0) and she had mercy and did not make me take the girls ;0)
Really the worst night for me to shop at Walmart or Target is on Saturday. Since just about everyone has an insanely busy schedule these days, Saturday is often the only day for them to shop. This means that you will probably encounter all of your friends, neighbors, co-workers and long lost relatives while standing in line for check out. If you are using coupons, I would recommend not planning on conducting a series of difficult or multiple transactions on a Saturday evening. One can feel the angry stares of the people behind you in line and even the kindest cashier can not hide the "You've got to be kidding me" look on his or her face. If you are an experienced couponer like Shana, it is not a big deal. But if you are a novice, like myself, it is easy to get flustered while trying to flip through coupons and explain the store's policy to the cashier.
So, on a Saturday evening, Shana sent me off to Walmart and Target. I went to Walmart for a series of special deals and some necessities (cinnamon, coffee and batteries). For Target, I went to buy diapers and a few random deals from Target only coupons, will post on that separately.
Your list -- organize by department: As I mentioned before, the organization of your list can make or break your experience. Shana organized the list for me based upon sales & priority. She made three lists: (1) purchase with price match, (2) price check plus coupon if below a certain price, (3) Necessities. In my "handy dandy little" folder, she put each list with the corresponding coupons behind it. This was very helpful to teach me about the various deals, however, if I followed each list directly, I would have spent a week wandering the store. So, the first thing that I did was make a short list of what I was going after in each department and which coupon list it was on. This helped me navigate the store relatively quickly.
Walmart Policy -- coupons and price matching:
Always remember one simple truth about Walmart: they want your business and they pride themselves on being the low price leader. Their coupon policy is very generous. They will match prices of LOCAL competitors, accept all manufacturers' coupons and coupons from local competitors (but will not accept double or triple coupon certificates. Before venturing forth, I was warned that Walmart cashiers are not always knowledgeable of the details of the store's policy, so I went equipped with a copy of their policy from their website. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find an abbreviated version of Walmart's coupon & price match policy prominently displayed at every register on bright blue card stock. This partially eased my concern about trying to conduct my first price match.
Price Matching with Walgreens:
On this trip, Shana tasked me with price matching three items that were advertised in Walgreens ad: Dunkin Donuts coffee ($5.99), Pine-sol ($1.99) and Skinny Cow snacks (2 for $3.00 with a $1.50 coupon). With the Pine-sol, Walmart's price was cheaper ($1.97) which I paired with a $1 off coupon. For the Dunkin Donuts coffee (my wife's favorite), it was offered for $7.48. I was never able to find the Skinny cow snacks. I searched the store for them to no avail. The employees did not know where to find them either or if they had any in stock. With the immense amount of items at Walmart, no surprise they did not know where one item was located. When I checked out, it went far easier than I expected and the cashier rang up Walgreens' price without question after I showed him the ad.
Shopping for Necessities:
We had 2 items that we needed that were on the expensive side: batteries and ground cinnamon. For the cinnamon ($5.96 and no coupon), I examined the possible selections and picked up the largest jar available since it had the smallest price per unit. We bake a lot, so we always need cinnamon and this will last us for at least a year, if not longer. For the batteries, Shana had two Rayovac $2 coupons. She had a vision of me using those coupons to buy small $1 packs of AA batteries and making a dollar off each one. However, we desperately needed 9V batteries, so I purchased two sets at $5.97 each minus a $2 coupon. When I returned home and showed my dear wife the receipt, she about had a heart attack! Although I could have possibly found a "better" deal, I purchased what we needed at a decent price. Don't get caught into the trap that every deal has to be the perfect deal. Some items you can wait for and wait for the best possible deal. Other times, you need to wisely use the coupons you have and accept the going price. I haven't made any comments up to this point, but yes I almost had a heart attack when I saw the cinnamon cost that much, honestly we have a huge supply of cinnamon sticks which I would have ground up before paying that price ;0) or I would have waited and seen what the Kroger generic price but I am seriously not complaining I am very very proud of you!!!
Mark really appreciates your comments, please let us know if you found this helpful and if you have any questions about couponing at Walmart please post them to post or ask/leave comments on facebook.
Shana will post some Walmart Dollar deals soon!!
Don't Miss a Thing, Subscribe NOW!*Please support this site by using the provided links when ordering from your favorite places or printing your coupons. Thank you!