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Like many Americans, Christina Crump found herself unemployed soon after the pandemic struck last year. Suddenly, she’d gone from full-time university counselor to stay-at-home mom surviving on just her husband’s income — and overseeing her daughter's remote learning, to boot.
“At the time, my husband was starting a new job in medical device sales, so we were both in a period of transition,” Christina told Yahoo Life. “I thought, I may not be working, but we're still going to get all the things that we need for the household, and we're going to do it for a fraction of the cost. So I began studying everything there was to know about couponing.”
Christina’s efforts to slice and dice her family’s reduced budget kept leading her back to Walmart. “I knew I would lower my out-of-pocket expenses even more by applying manufacturer coupons to Walmart's everyday low prices,” she said. “It's just crazy because their prices are already so low!”
Eventually, Christina became so well-versed in discount shopping that she started a YouTube channel — Christina Explains It All — where she shares her priceless tips with more than 7,000 subscribers and counting. Viewers tune in to learn how to find hidden clearance deals that even Walmart employees don’t know about, for instance, or how to use the Walmart app, a Walmart+ membership and other tools to track the best deals 24/7.
“A lot of people lost their jobs in the pandemic, you know?” Christina said. “I needed to tell people that they can go to the store and get all the same products they would typically buy, but for a significantly lesser amount. I'm like, ‘These products are on sale. Tell your girlfriend!’”
Here are some of Christina’s hottest bargain-hunting tips for shopping Walmart stores and Walmart.com — spread the word!
Shop Walmart’s hidden clearance deals — some for lower than $1 — using the Walmart app
“Hidden clearance shopping is absolutely my favorite to do at Walmart!” says Christina. No, she’s not referring to those yellow clearance signs you see all over the store. She’s talking about products that appear to be full price, but they’re actually “secret” clearance items that are hiding in plain sight.
You can find hidden clearance products at Walmart at all times, but you need the Walmart app to spot them. Just scan the barcode and the app will tell you, right on the spot, if the $40 blanket you’re eyeing, for instance, is actually on clearance at the very Walmart store you’re shopping in...or a Walmart nearby.
“One trick is to change the zip code in the app, because everything is priced differently at different Walmart stores,” Christina says of the app’s GPS function. “My app is set to my [local] Walmart in Chicago. So if my store has a specific box of diapers for $20, for instance, and then I change the zip code to the Walmart store up the street, it might show that they have [the same box of diapers] for just $10. It'll also tell me in the app how many more they have in stock. It's perfect!”
Use the inventory checker Brickseek in conjunction with the Walmart app for a seamless experience
Christina has a pretty brilliant method for wrangling the best hidden clearance deals at Walmart.
First, she uses the website Brickseek to take inventory of everything that’s currently on sale or on clearance at Walmart before she even leaves the house. “I just type in what I’m looking for, and it sends me to an inventory of every Walmart store,” Christina says. Brickseek helps her see which Walmart store in her surrounding area has her desired item for the lowest price.
Once she arrives at the store, she’ll compare her Brickseek findings to what she sees on the Walmart app, just to make sure she’s getting the best deal on the items she’s interested in. Sometimes a specific store is unloading its current inventory simply because the new inventory has an updated package design, Christina points out.
Tap into the Walmart clearance-shopping community online
Christina works all her social media angles to share her bargain-hunting tips, but she also keeps her ear to the virtual ground so she can learn from others. Among online deal shoppers, there’s an abundance mentality, so working your social networks is the best way to trade knowledge, Christina says.
During the height of the pandemic, for instance, when household disinfectants were hard to come by, Christina stumbled upon a hack on the Walmart app because it had gone viral on social media.
“At that time, if you typed two specific zip codes into the app, they would always have disinfectant at this one Walmart store, and you could ship it to yourself from that location,” Christina said. “I was getting so much Lysol when no one else was getting any. I was passing it out to my family, and they were like, ‘Where are you finding it?’ I'm like, ‘At Walmart.’” It was the hack of all hacks.”
Sign up for a Walmart+ membership
A Walmart+ account is a must for any Walmart shopper — or anyone who shops online, goes grocery shopping or even drives a car. For just $12.95 a month or $98 a year (after that 15-day free trial), you get free delivery from your local Walmart store, and free next-day and two-day shipping when you place an order on Walmart.com (no minimum required!). You also can score fuel discounts at participating gas stations, like Murphy's.
For those days when you want to save on time and even on gas, you can simply type “clearance” in the search bar of Walmart.com, order your sale-priced items online, and have them delivered for free.
You can sign up for your free 15-day trial here.
Shop for deals when the seasons are changing or a holiday is ending
“Seasonally, when things transition, Walmart typically goes all the way up to 90% off,” Christina explains. So the last day of summer or the 5th of July? That’s the moment to strike. In fact, Christina took full advantage this year as St. Patrick’s Day was coming to a close. She typed ‘St. Patrick’s Day items’ into the Walmart app — and, well, you can say she struck gold.
“It showed that General Mills St. Patrick's Day Lucky Charms, which were normally almost $5 a box, had been marked down to 97 cents at my local Walmart,” she said. “I literally threw on my clothes and ran out of the house! And I had some General Mills coupons from the Sunday paper, so my Lucky Charms were almost free. I ended up getting so much cereal! I kept some for myself. I gave some to the neighbor. I called my cousins. I'm like, ‘Do you guys eat cereal? Come and get it!’”
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