As a mom of five young kids, shopping online has some serious appeal. Not having to herd everyone into the car and drag them through the store is a big deal. Many retailers have capitalized on the convenience factor. They know that people are willing to pay more for the ease of shopping from home.
The thing is, I’m super frugal. I don’t like to pay more.
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When we were working to pay off six figures of student loan debt, I watched our spending like a hawk. I shopped online, but if I could get something cheaper in store, I would wait until the next time I was at the store, even if it was more of a hassle. Then I learned about Walmart’s best-kept secret.
When I found out that Walmart has free shipping for any order over $35, it truly revolutionized my shopping. I realize that free shipping alone is not earth-shattering. Lots of online retailers offer it with a minimum order. But Walmart is unique. In fact, its free shipping is better than everyone else’s. Here’s why.
Same Low Prices
If I want to order pretzels or deodorant or glue, other online retailers will either charge crazy prices for these simple items, or they will only be available for in-store purchase. Not with Walmart, though. Prices in-store and online are nearly (if not exactly) the same. This is huge for a frugal girl like me. Now I don’t have to choose between saving money and the convenience of delivery.
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Store-Brand Items Online
Many retailers only offer the more expensive name-brand items online. If you want to save money with the store brand, you have to go into the store. Walmart has their extensive store brands available online though. Need some simple sandwich bags or generic cookies? Walmart has them online and won’t charge you an arm and a leg to get them.
Simple Price Comparisons
I love when stores have the price per unit on the price label in the store. Shopping at Walmart online gives you this convenience without pacing up and down the aisles. The helpful price-per-unit calculation is shown plainly on Walmart’s product listings. I can look through the cereal available online, for instance, and easily compare the cost per ounce across multiple kinds and then get the best deal shipped to my front door.
Everything You Need
Reaching the $35 threshold for free shipping is easy because Walmart carries pretty much everything we need. We’ve had everything delivered from gummy bears and toilet paper to sidewalk chalk and chicken feed. If I ever have an order that is under $35, I just add toilet paper, peanut butter or another household necessity that we always need. It’s as simple as that.
Easily Reorder In-Store Purchases
I have to admit I was a little creeped out when I logged into Walmart’s site and saw items I had purchased in our local store showing up, along with a quick reorder option. But I soon got over it. It has come in really handy to see all of my orders, online or in store, in one place. I essentially have a database of everything I have ever bought at Walmart using my credit card (that’s how they’re linking what I buy in-store with my online account). I love this time-saving feature.
Walmart’s free shipping has been a game-changer for me. Shopping their low prices online saves me (and the kids) time and trouble, plus it helps me comparison shop and avoid impulse purchases along the way. I only wish I had learned this frugal hack sooner.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I’m in Love With Walmart’s Best-Kept Money-Saving Secret