New Walmart Price Match: What They Will and Won’t Match

Posted by Amanda on October 11, 2011

Is couponing apart of your dollar plan? It’s an integral part of ours. Walmart has a new price match policy that is bound to turn some heads, especially here in Houston where Kroger has recently stopped doubling and tripling coupons and many stores are no longer accepting coupons printed from home.

In a nutshell, you can now price match from competitor’s ads at Wal-Mart cash registers without bringing in the ads themselves. You just tell the register clerk what the price is that you saw at a competitor, and they will ring it through. Have I grabbed your attention yet?

What Walmart Will Match

Let’s begin with what the Walmart price match program will accept before we go into all of the fine print jargon. Walmart will accept price matching from the following:

  • Specific item with a specific price: This covers most items in the sales ads you get each week.
  • Buy One Get One Free Ads: These have to specify an actual price though.
  • Preferred Shopping Card prices for a specific item: You see these in Kroger, Randall’s/Safeway and other ads for stores who have loyalty cards.
  • Fresh produce and fresh meat offered in the same unit type: You must match the product lb. for lb. or ‘each for each’ when it comes to produce and meat.

The advertised price must be from a local competitor’s advertised price for that particular week, and the item purchased must be identical to the ad in size, quantity, brand, flavor, color, and anything else it might need to match.

What Walmart Won’t Match

If you pull up the webpage with Walmart’s ad match policy, you’ll see that actually there is not a lot of red tape. Here is what will not be price matched:

  • Items without a price in the ad: You see this most often with Buy One Get One Free sales.
  • Items that require a second purchase to get the ad price: Buying something of another product in order to get a discount on this product.
  • Items that don’t have a price and require a purchase to get them for free: You see this at a store called H-E-B as well as Kroger where if you purchase one item you get several items for free.
  • Items that require a purchase to get a competitor’s gift card: Most notably you find these deals at Target where if you buy two of “x” product you will get a $5 Target gift card.
  • Going out of business or closeout prices.
  • Percentage off sales with no price specified: This is for items that are 40% off, but there is not a specific price.
  • Competitors’ private label price promotions: You cannot use pricing for Randall’s/Safeway’s private label Lucerne in order to receive Walmart’s private label for the same price.
  • Internet pricing: You won’t be able to match Amazon prices.
  • Misprinted ad prices of other retailers: Sometimes mistakes happen in the printing of ads, though I don’t know how you or the cash register person would know this.

A Few Clarifications

I had a few questions about the above information, and gave it a try for myself a few weeks ago at Walmart. Some of my questions were which stores are considered “local competitors” (i.e. can I use drugstore and dollar store grocery sales ads?) and whether or not H-E-B’s 5 items for $5 would yield me a cantaloupe for $1. During my experiment I found that I was able to price match using the CVS ad. I snagged a great deal on some 24-pk. Cokes for the refrigerator. CVS had them on sale that week for 5/$13, and this was not in conjunction with ExtraCare Bucks. $2.60 per 24 pack is a great price! Unfortunately I did not find anything in the Family Dollar ad to price match in order to determine if I could use it. Also, cantaloupes at Walmart were also priced at $1, so I could not test that scenario out either.

Stack Walmart’s Coupon Policy for Extra Savings

Walmart also has updated its coupon policy recently and accepts competitor’s coupons (with several exceptions), competitor’s checkout coupons (“catalinas”) that are printed out from the cash register at other stores (with several exceptions), and printable coupons (with a few exceptions).

I am personally excited about the last one because while I don’t shop at Walmart often, the last time I did I tried to use a printable coupon they would not allow it.  Another notable change is the following, “If coupon value exceeds the price of the item, the excess may be given to the customer as cash or applied toward the basket purchase”. This is in addition to all of the other ‘normal’ coupons accepted.

For my trip last weekend I found a Family Dollar coupon for $0.50 off of Special K Cereal, and was able to use that with Walmart’s new coupon policy. Pretty exciting!

My total savings from the price matching and the coupons I used was $14.42. It may not sound like much, but I only had to make a trip to one store. In my book, that’s doing pretty well!

Have you tried out Walmart’s new price match guaranteed and/or coupon policy? How did it go?

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Comments to New Walmart Price Match: What They Will and Won’t Match

  1. We very rarely go into our local WalMart. It’s brand new and they have so far kept it up and made it looks very nice. They usually have stuff in stock and their prices are good. So what’s the problem? Long lines. No matter when we go they have long lines at every register (and only a few are open) and that’s a huge pet peeve of mine. I can understand if there are lines at ‘peak’ times, but it doesn’t matter.

    Money Beagle

    • Glad yours looks nice. Ours, which is actually pretty far away, is a dump.


    • It’s generally because the manager in charge of scheduling isn’t planning ahead to non-peak hours, and there are only a handful of people trained to run a register. Also, it never fails that there is at least another handful of cashiers that call out from day to day. Lack of people trained on register is what really does it though. You can call all the people off the floor that you want, but 90% of them won’t be able to do it.


  2. I was wondering why each cashier had a hanging packet of local ads from their competitors when I was there this weekend. Makes sense!


    • I wonder if the cashiers have to look up each item?


      • I hope not! That would take forever. My cashier took my word for it (and I had circled the prices in my hand just in case).

        Amanda L Grossman

      • We don’t. Our manager makes a long list of them with each price, the lowest price, and the store name of every single item that is matchable. Most of the time, the cashiers will have the most common items memorized, and it is unnecessary to look anything up. This is, perhaps, one of the few benefits of working at Walmart—you know the best deals. I bought 15 pounds of cherries for less than 10 bucks recently (the deal is over, unfortunately). It would have normally cost something like $50.


  3. That’s cool they’ll match without an ad. Great tip for Walmart fans!


  4. I was looking to buy a camera and found one at walmart that I liked. I came home to see if I could find it cheaper online. I did, at amazon. It’s a shame walmart doesn’t price match amazon. Because that’s who I will be buying my camera from.


  5. WalMart no longer matches without the ad. They need to change the verbiage in their online corporate policy. I have been to several and if I do not have the ads in hand, I am out are out of luck.
    Some of their prices are also out of hand. Staples like eggs, milk and bread always are considerably cheaper at the local Piggly Wiggly.


    • Technically, you don’t have to bring in the ad solely because we have copies of the ad. That’s the only reason why they have that policy. We’ll still request the ad if the deal sounds too good to be true.

      Official policy states you DO NOT have to bring in the ad. If the store isn’t following policy, I recommend reporting it to the corporate office.

      Some Walmarts are more lenient than others about their price-match/coupon policy. Our store WILL NOT price-match Great Value (store brand) items, however, if you drive a few miles away to a different Walmart, they’re more than happy to.

      Also, Walmart updated their coupon software—it sucks. If you are going through Self-Checkout DO NOT USE COUPONS. You WILL NOT be informed if your coupon does not work!; instead, it will take it from you (and never give you the amount off). Go to a normal cashier for this instead. This has been a serious headache for us cashiers. Even on our registers, it will state that the coupon worked, when it didn’t! It’s nearly impossible to tell if your coupon worked or not. They updated the cash register software a month ago, and all of this started happening.


  6. THEY’VE CHANGED IT !! March 26, 2013 Walmart 0516 in Gun Barrel City has changed thei minds and do not honor Walmarts corporates’ ads which are still running on TV. They will tell you as you CHECK OUT at the register with a cart full of groceries that if you don’t have the ad, they will NOT price match!!


  7. I just did my second shopping excursion doing the price matching. On July 2nd I saved $62.88 and then again on July 15th I saved $54.76. That’s $117.64 for half the month of July! I’m a very happy customer! It was a bit of work, but well worth it. I figure if I spent and extra four hours for all the extra work of those two shopping trips, that’s like earning nearly $30/hr.

    Betsy Derr

  8. I tried to price match milk from Aldi without the ad for a half gallon (which was all the milk I needed at the time, and which Aldi doesn’t place half gallons in their ads anyways but do sell them) and Walmart gave me a hard time and a lecture. I don’t go to Walmart as much as I use to. I go to Kroger, Save-A-Lot or Aldi.


  9. Actually, Lots of walmarts have been honoring ads on amazon.. I have seen proof and witnessed first hand getting items for .01. My daughter has a group on facebook that you can see for yourself that walmart does indeed honor amazon ads..even from third party vendors.. amazingly. coupon/ad match mixer is what her group is called. You would be surprised what people have posted.. one lady had.. even a receipt.. bought a ps4 for 50$.. my daughter called their cooperate office and also the manager at the local walmart to be sure. Its crazy the things these people are getting for a few cents.. or even a cent.


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