I’m always looking for ways to stretch my budget, so when Walmart announced it’s new Savings Catcher program, I was interested in trying it out. The concept is simple enough: You shop at Walmart. You submit your receipts. Walmart checks to see if you could have gotten those items for less someplace else, and if they do find lower prices elsewhere, they deposit the difference into an account for you.
But can you really save money with Walmart’s Savings Catcher?
I started my experiment with Walmart’s Savings Catcher when the program first rolled out in my region 6 weeks ago. Over the course of those 6 weeks, I submitted a total of 10 receipts. I shopped just as I always do – buying the things I needed with coupons and when they were on sale. I continued to shop at other stores as usual. All I did was make it a point to submit my receipts right away.
Most of the time, Walmart could not find lower prices. But on two occasions, they did, and I now have $5.14 available to me on a Walmart e-gift card. But is it right for you?
There are some pros and cons to using Walmart’s Savings Catcher that you will want to know about before you sign up.
It’s relatively easy to earn cash back. All you have to do is submit your receipts within 7 days. Walmart scours the prices of it’s competitors and you’ll be alerted within 72 hours whether they’ve found lower prices elsewhere.
You don’t need a smartphone to use Savings Catcher. There are still people on the planet who don’t have (or want) a smartphone. They can still use Savings Catcher by going directly to the Walmart Savings Catcher website and entering their receipt information there. If you enter your phone number on your account, you can submit your receipts right at the register by entering your phone number when you check out.
Two ways to cash out. You can choose to receive your earnings from Savings Catcher in the form of a Walmart e-gift card (which can be used online or in stores. Or you can choose to have it put on an American Express Bluebird card and use it any place debit cards are accepted. (Right now, you can earn double your amount back when you get the Bluebird card).
You can do your shopping at one store. If you don’t have to have to shop at several stores to score the best deals, and you don’t want to bother with price matching at Walmart or other stores, than you can just let the Savings Catcher do the work for you.
You have to shop at Walmart. There are plenty of reasons you may not want to shop at Walmart. And you may not want to allow them to know about your shopping habits. While I don’t mind shopping there, it’s not always my first choice. I would rather support locally owned stores when possible. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide what’s best for you.
Savings Catcher excludes quite a few products. It currently doesn’t compare prices on store brands (which I buy a lot of), deli, bakery, and meat department items, and items like electronics, toys and clothing.
You have to remember to submit your receipts within 7 days. When I first started using the program, I wasn’t very good about remembering to submit my receipts, so I missed out on potential savings opportunities. One solution for this is to link your Savings Catcher account to your phone number so you can automatically submit your receipt to Savings Catcher. But that means you have to share your phone number.
It doesn’t always catch all the savings. There have been a few instances in which Walmart has missed some savings. There is a process to contest any errors, but that’s, well, a process.
So can you really save money with Walmart’s Saving Catcher?
I think you can definitely save a little bit of money with Walmart’s Savings Catcher, but don’t expect to save a ton of cash. After all, Walmart likes to say that it has the lowest prices, and they work pretty hard to make sure that’s true. My own experience showed that there were lower prices elsewhere just 20 percent of the time.
If you’re a frequent Walmart shopper – especially one who often buys name brand groceries and health and beauty products – the likelihood of catching some significant. savings increases.
Overall, I found Walmart’s Savings Catcher worth using. It only took me a few minutes to score an extra $5.14 through the program, and that’s money I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
What’s been your experience with Walmart’s Savings Catcher? Have you saved any money using it?
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