Over the years, I have heard from many shoppers that they believe Wal-Mart has the lowest grocery prices. While there are hundreds of locations, unless you have a Wal-Mart Supercenter nearby, your savings may not justify the driving time and gas expense of shopping across town. As a one will be opening near my house in a few weeks, I decided to take a closer look.
In a nutshell, take your standard Wal-Mart store and wrap a grocery, pharmacy and (in some locales) auto center around it. In previous columns, I’ve written about Wal-Mart’s, and other outlets, generic drug offerings, which alone offers the smart shopper big savings.
In October, Wal-Mart announced that they would be lowering prices on 15,000 items, including apparel, electronics, food and other items. The Coupon Mom Web site has been tracking Wal-Mart’s grocery and personal care prices for the past few months, and I have noticed that the company’s prices on many grocery items are comparable to other supermarkets’ sale prices.
Strategic shoppers know that you can save money on groceries at any store, as long as you learn the store’s savings strategies and combine them. Remember: A store may have several savings strategies available, even if the store does not advertise or promote the policies. You may need to ask a manager questions or search the store’s Web site to find every available policy.
Wal-Mart’s unique savings strategies include:

Wal-Mart claims that their goal is to have the lowest price on every item in their specific markets. If another store has a lower advertised price, Wal-Mart will match the competitor’s price if the shopper brings in proof of the lower price.
Wal-Mart does not produce a weekly advertising circular with all of their best grocery prices as most supermarkets do, so you may not know what Wal-Mart’s prices are for your items before you shop. Your best strategy would be to review the weekly advertising circulars for several grocery stores, note the lowest price for the items you need among all the circulars and take them to Wal-Mart. You will be able to take advantage of the best prices for all of your items without having to drive all over town.

As I mentioned, the chain doesn’t double or triple grocery coupons, but they do accept manufacturers’ coupons at face value. Use Wal-Mart’s lowest price or price matching and save more with your coupons. Be sure to bring along your coupon organizer to the store to be able to find coupons for unadvertised clearance items, as well.