Experienced Walmart Shoppers Talk Strategy for Max Savings

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Grand Opening At A New Wal-Mart Store
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Walmart has established itself as being one of the cheapest big box retailers out there, offering "everyday low prices" on everyday items. However, to get even bigger bargains there's a strategy to shopping at this chain. Here are a few key tips on how to optimize shopping at the retailer and cash in on the best deals

Groceries
Walmart is a great place to buy groceries, a loyal 15-year customer says. According to this experienced shopper, you can save up to 30 percent on basic items like cereal and canned goods. Just stay away from the produce -- you can get fresher fruits and vegetables elsewhere. Also, make sure to check the expiration dates on items. Walmart has been known to leave expired items on shelves.

Coupons
If you have a coupon, make sure to print out Walmart's latest coupon policy, as cashiers may not be familiar with the updated practices. And if what you want isn't in stock, Walmart does issue rain checks, says TheDealYo. However, much like in the case of coupons, it's best to have a copy of the full disclaimer in hand when you're shopping in person.

Experienced Walmart Shoppers Talk Strategy for Max Savings

In fiscal year 2012, Walmart registered approximately $444 billion in sales, which is $20 billion more than Austria's GDP. If Walmart were a country, it would be the 26th largest economy in the world.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Andrew Bossi

Walmart has more employees worldwide — 2.2 million — than the population of Houston. The mega-retailer employs 1.4 million people in the U.S. alone.

Source: Walmart Corporate & Financial Fact Sheet

Photo: Flickr, jimmywayne

If Walmart were an army, it would have the second largest military in the world, behind China.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, BrokenSphere

Walmart is bigger than Home Depot, Kroger, Target, Sears, Costco, and K-Mart combined.

Source: Seeking Alpha

Photo: Flickr, Kevin Dooley

The average family of four spends over $4,000 a year at Walmart.

Source: Otherwords.org

Each week, Walmart serves more than 200 million customers at more than 10,400 stores in 27 countries.

Source: Walmart Corporate & Financial Fact Sheet

One of every four dollars Americans spend on groceries is spent at Walmart.

Source: Otherwords.org

Photo: Flickr, G.e.o.r.g.e

In 2010, CEO Michael Duke's annual salary of $35 million earned him more in an hour than a full-time employee makes in an entire year.

Source: ABC News

In 2009, Walmart sold more bananas than any other item.

Source: Bloomberg

Photo: Flickr, PinkMoose

China's exports to Walmart accounted for 11 percent of the growth of the total U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2006.

Source: Economic Policy Institute

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Agnieszka Bojczuk

If Walmart's more than 900 million square feet of retail space were spread out over one place it would take up roughly 34 square miles, which is about 1.5 times the size of Manhattan.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Daniel Schwen

Walmart parking lots alone take up an area roughly the size of Tampa, Florida.

Source: Walmart Watch

Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Wt90401

In 2000, Walmart was sued 4,851 times, or about once every 2 hours.

Source: USA Today

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, maveric2003

90 percent of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Walmart.

Source: Business Pundit

The Walton family has given away about 2 percent of its net worth to charity — Bill Gates is giving away 48 percent of his net worth and Warren Buffet 78 percent of his net worth.

Source: Business Pundit

An additional Walmart Supercenter per 100,000 residents increases average BMI (body mass index) by 0.25 units and the obesity rate by 2.4 percent.

Source: SSRN

The most frequent destination typed into GPS device Telenav is Walmart.

Source: Wireless and Mobile News

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Attitude2000

Roughly 4,700 (about 90 percent) of international stores operate under a banner other than Walmart, including Walmex in Mexico, Asda in the UK, Seiyu in Japan, and Best Price in India.

Source: Walmart Corporate & Financial Fact Sheet

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Glasses
If you're looking for new glasses, Walmart may have what you're looking for. Walmart Vision Centers are known to offer competitive prices and quality. Not only do they provide complete eye exams, but their prices on eyeglasses and contacts are much lower than well-known optical chains. Of course, if Walmart accepts your insurance plan, you'll be able to score even bigger discounts on exams and eyewear.

Price Match
Walmart offers price matching for products that are advertised for a lower price by competitive retailers. FabulesslyFrugal recommends bringing copies of current ads to the store and handing them to your cashier before he or she rings you up. Of course, it always helps to have a printout of Walmart's Price Matching Policy on hand in case you have any issues.

Online Shopping
When it comes to higher end, brand name merchandise, head to Walmart.com. This shopper found that the company's website offered a wider selection of goods than the brick-and-mortar stores, some of which is exclusive to the site. "For example, I have never seen an Olympus PEN Micro Four Thirds Camera in a Walmart store, but they are competitively priced online," Spains says.

So, pay attention, Walmart shoppers. Even with its generally low prices, there are ways to save more at this popular big box retailer -- you just have to know where to look.

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