I have to admit: trying $64 a week grocery shopping at Walmart scared me a bit. Our family doesn’t frequently buy grocery items at Walmart, and I wasn’t very familiar with the tips and tricks for grocery shopping at Walmart.
So, this was definitely a learning experience for us. Here are the things we learned from grocery shopping at Walmart on a budget, what we loved purchasing from this nationwide chain, and all the things we did wrong.
How To Shop At Walmart
Since I didn’t know the tips and tricks of grocery shopping at Walmart, I asked the very smart ladies in our Facebook group how they get the best items and grocery deals at Walmart.
- Be aware of prices. Sometimes things are higher than others, but you can usually find an alternative or generic brand of what you want, for a good price.
- Sign up for Walmart Savings Catcher. I’d heard of this resource before, but didn’t use it for this trip. The Walmart Savings Catcher app will reimburse you for items you purchased, if they can be found cheaper at other local grocery stores. While this wouldn’t help me immediately keep our grocery budget at $64, it would give me some cash back to put towards another grocery shopping trip at Walmart.
- Use Walmart Grocery Pick-Up! This might have been my biggest mistake. I was immediately overwhelmed when I entered the grocery section of our neighborhood Walmart. I had my pantry list, my budget, and everything else I use to grocery shop. But, I was still overwhelmed and dizzy from all the options.
- If you shop at Walmart for groceries, go early in the morning. It is when you’ll find meats, produce and breads drastically marked down.
- Use coupons. We don’t use coupons in our family, but if that was an option for us, I’m sure we could save even more at Walmart.
Our Grocery Staples At Walmart
We have a favorite grocery store that we shop weekly, so I went into Walmart with a focus on the items that we usually get at the other store. While that makes sense in terms of the meals we make at home, it probably wasn’t the smartest thing I could have done when grocery shopping at Walmart.
Here are the grocery items I get weekly, and needed to get at Walmart, in order to have enough food for our family of 5.
- frozen pizza
- at least 2 kinds of fruit
- at least 2 kinds of vegetables
- almond milk
- 100% whole wheat bread
- at least 2 different proteins
- frozen mixed vegetables
- russet potatoes
- pasta sauce
- at least 4 dozen eggs
While I purchased more items than this, these are always our weekly staples. In order to stay at or under budget, I needed to get these items at a decent price.
My Favorite Walmart Finds
There were a few items at Walmart that were not only a great price for our budget, but were a delight to find at that great price. At the grocery store we frequent, we can never find brown rice in the big bags. They have 5 minute brown rice, and organic par-boiled brown rice, but not this version. I was so happy to find this for LESS money than white rice at our usual grocery store!
Eggs were a fraction of the price at Walmart than what we usually pay (. 98 per dozen is our usual price; these were .79), and were in the 18-count cartons.
Getting Creative With Proteins
When we do our $64 grocery shopping every week, my rule is to buy at least 2 proteins. On the list of proteins for our family are chicken, ground beef, frozen or canned fish, eggs, and pork (if it’s at a good price). The only protein (other than the eggs) we purchased at a decent price was the pork chops, and that was because they were on clearance.
If I would have taken the advice of shopping early in the morning at Walmart, to take advantage of the mark down meats, I would have saved even more money. But, I made do with what I could find, and what we needed for the week. Instead of getting the packaged ground beef, I grabbed the ground beef tubes for a little less.
Price Comparison on Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruit and vegetables are always on our weekly grocery list, as well as a few bags of frozen vegetables for convenience. So, when I can find fruit and vegetables at a good price, it makes my budget happy. Unfortunately, the prices for fresh produce at Walmart wasn’t comparable to our usual grocery store. Bananas were .49 a pound, and we usually pay .42 to .44 at the grocery store next door to our Walmart. While there were many options for produce at Walmart, I still felt stifled because many of those options weren’t on sale, or at an affordable non-sale price.
What I Learned From Grocery Shopping At Walmart
My final total after grocery shopping at Walmart was $66.36, $2.36 over my $64 grocery budget. Obviously, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t reach my goal, and that I actually needed a few more grocery items, but had to let them go so we didn’t completely blow our budget. I think if I use the tips listed in the “how to shop at Walmart” section above, I may be able to stick to our $64 grocery budget next time.