Friday, February 18, 2011

Frugal Friday: Price-Matching

(Remember to check in tomorrow for a fun giveaway!)

Last month, Monica in Utah submitted this frugal tip:

"When shopping I HIGHLY recommend PRICE MATCHING AT WALMART!
... You can bring a grocery ad from any competitors ad in the area and price match ANYTHING! ... This is a good alternative if you don't use coupons or if you tend to buy a lot of fresh produce items like I do!"

I distinctly remember the day I was in Walmart's oral hygiene department and bumped into my neighbor Marcella. She was alternating between scanning the toothpaste shelves and reading a newspaper.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm price-matching this Colgate toothpaste!"

"I've heard of price-matching. What is it?"

Marcella enthusiastically explained to me how price-matching worked, and I immediately implemented it in the following shopping trip. It has been a couple years since, and I haven't looked back!

What is price-matching?
(A few stores do this. Find out if your favorite grocer does it and get a copy of their price-matching policy. Walmart's policy seems to be the most liberal in my area.)

Say you receive the sales flyer from Albertson's and you see that their chicken breasts are on sale for $1.49/lb, but you typically shop at Walmart because it is closer to your house and everything else you usually buy is cheaper there. When you get to Walmart, you notice they have their chicken breasts priced at $1.97/lb. You throw a couple packages in your shopping cart and continue shopping as usual. When you get to the register, you pull out the Albertson's ad and point out to the cashier the sale price of $1.49/lb. The cashier immediately changes the price of your Walmart chicken breasts to match the price in Albertson's flyer. You save 48¢ per pound without using coupons!

Price-matching allows you to get all of the best advertised prices in town without having to drive to different stores, saving you money, hassle, and time. All you need to do is go through the store fliers you receive in the mail, circle the items with the best prices, and take the ads with you on your shopping trip.

My favorite part about price-matching is being able to act like you have coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also price-match generic store brands! Just a week ago, I saw that a local grocer was advertising organic spinach for $2.50. Walmart did not carry the same brand as advertised, but I grabbed their store brand organic spinach and had that rung up at the lower price from the other store. No coupon needed, and I got fresh vegetables at a sale price!

I will always be grateful to Marcella for getting me started on stretching my grocery and household shopping allowances in a new way!


  1. That is my absolute FAVORITE thing about price matching is that you get to get fresh produce items for so much cheaper! I LOVE that I don't have to drive to 5 stores to get the best prices and can instead just stop at Walmart and cash in on all the stores loss leaders! I tell people this ALL the time because my family eats A LOT of fresh stuff (you saw our garden last yr!) and we save a TON by price matching! Thanks for the spotlight too! ;o)

  2. GUH. Our Walmart only price matches if it is the same brand and exact same item. There's still a lot I can price match though, especially toys and hygiene items. I'm going to call and ask again, just in case. =o)

    AND they price match on Black Fridays too! Everyone else is fighting over the Walmart specials while I casually stroll around and pick out what's on sale at Target and Best Buy. Again, it had to be the EXACT item so I was bummed on one thing, but I love price matching! Great tip!