** I updated this post as of 3/29/11 due to policy changes found HERE and HERE by Walmart Corporate.
Price matching at Walmart can lower your monthly grocery bill by at least 30%! And even more if you add coupons on top of it! It's fairly easy to do and you don't have to drive all around town to hit up the weekly sales at each store. Don't get me wrong, I love supporting our local grocery stores but when I'm shopping with 3 kids and have a busy schedule to keep up with, then I have to go with what works best for our family!
Basically, all you have to do is bring in a local grocery store ad that contains the items you want to price match. Lets say Albertsons has Breyers ice cream on sale for $1.99 and Walmart is selling the Breyers ice cream for $3.49. You grab the item and when you are checking out, just show the cashier the Albertsons ad and tell her you want to price match the Breyers ice cream. See how simple that is, even your husband can do it ;)!
Here are some tips on successfully price matching...
* I usually will sit down with all the grocery ads and make a list of items I plan on price matching along with what store I'm getting that price from.
* You get the grocery ads from the store itself, in the Sunday paper, or in the Wednesday paper.
* I then search for any coupons I may have to go along with those items to increase my savings even more!
* Then I go shopping! I bring the store ads with me since the cashier usually wants to verify the price. Bring the whole ad, don't cut it up in anyway because they will verify the sale date too. UPDATE: The policy now states that you don't have to bring in the ad, but I would just in case since cashiers have always been a hit and miss when it comes to knowing their own policies.
* You will want to tell the cashier what items you are price matching BEFORE she scans them. Otherwise they will get annoyed! I usually put all the items I'm NOT price matching on the conveyor belt first and set my ads in front of the items I will be price matching. That way they know what is coming in case I get distracted by my kiddos!
* Note that the price matching policy will not allow you to do Buy One Get One Free type sales (unless it states the actual price of the item), or percent off sales such as 50% off vitamins. It has to be an exact price such as $2.99. My store will allow you to do sales that say 10 for $10 or 2/$5. But not all stores will and you will just have to get to know your own personal store.
* They will accept other store coupons as long as it has a specific price. It can't say "$1 off any Langers Apple Juice", only "Langers Apple Juice $1.99".
* They will not price match with online prices
* The best suggestion I have if you're just starting out is to follow the rules. As you get to know your own Walmart you will learn what you can and can't get away with. And you will also find favorite cashiers too! And make sure you know and print the official Coupon Policy & Price Matching Policy.
* I have a friend who puts stickers on the items with the price she's price matching them for, and the cashiers love her for it! It also helps her know the price she paid for the item so she can compare to later sales. She even created a word document that lists all the aisles in her Walmart (Terrace Heights Walmart). So she plans her shopping trips by aisles, quite convenient! (Thanks Aimee!)
Yakima Walmarts: Again, the policy has changed, you no longer have to bring in the ad your matching to, but I would just in case since the policy is still so new.
* The Walmart here in Yakima on Nob Hill does NOT require you to have the grocery ad with you unless you are price matching a non-grocery item such as toothpaste. You may want to bring it in anyway. I can't tell you how many times the cashiers have questioned my husband but not me. His only response is that he has a 'crazy couponin" wife at home who knows what she's talking about ;).
* A reader made a comment below about the Terrace Heights Walmart...Terrace Heights Wal-Mart requires not only to see the ad for items like milk, bread, eggs, butter (especially when it's a Fiesta Foods $.99 limit 1 match) the cashiers are now required by the store manager to take the coupon from you (like they do manufacturer's coupons) to be sure that you do not go through the lines again with the same ad. This Wal-Mart has on occasion (depending on the checker) stopped allowing store brand swap-outs & will limit according to the limit listed in the ad.
Good luck and as always please feel free to ask questions if you have any!