If any of your are in contact with me, you know that my wife and I love Walmart. We live right across the street from one and that makes it incredibly easy to think of as an outlet whenever anything is needed in the household. Whether it be a loaf of bread, almost empty allergy medication bottles, or a battery for an practically dead smoke alarm that decides it wants to remind you every five seconds with an annoying beep, Walmart has it all. Now, in a perfect world this would be great because one would assume that you would just pop over to Walmart, grab only the items that you need and presto, life's smaller problems are solved. Unfortunately, the black hole of Walmart has other ideas (this is a huge reason why I've invested money in them...).
Once my wife or I drives to Walmart to grab said items, we end up with at least a few extra items that may not be necessary but all too often need to find their way into our basket. This presents a huge issue for saving! In fact, when my credit card statement comes in each month, I've been astounded to realize just how much we're spending at Walmart and I would argue that most of it is completely unnecessary to our own well-being. Let's move on then to the next steps - how to make this work to our advantage to save money without it really feeling like we are pinching pennies.
Recently, we have found started going about our Walmart trips a little differently. First off, we've changed to the once-a-week Walmart trip. By only going to Walmart once a week maximum, we insure that we make less trips and have less chances to spend that extra cash, even if this were the only step we decided to make to fix the problem. So much money is saved by just making that change that my pants feel slightly heavier with all the cash that has found its way back into them. Let's break it down.
Prior to this change, when we would make our way to Walmart, we would find ourselves going at least four times per week (credit card statements don't lie about Walmart). On average, we spent about $28 per trip. It doesn't take a mathematician to realize that the numbers then add up to $84/week and a nauseating $4,368/year. That's a boat ton of cash that Walmart is ever so happy to take from us. By simply moving to the once per week maximum and assuming that we actually do go only once per week instead of stretching it to once every two weeks or more and not spending more, this already brings our new amount to $28/week and $1,456/year. That's a huge savings of $2,912/year.
When we first started attempting to make these changes about two months ago I was skeptical if we could actually make it work as I thought we may just move the savings over to a bigger cost on each of the single-day-a-week shopping trips but we've actually managed to stick right in the ball park of our previous average per trip. Where the average was $28/trip, 3x/week, our new average is about $36/week with our once a week visits. This brings the new total spent per year to $1,872 which still yields us a huge profit of savings of $2,496.
With all of this being said, my family unit is currently very small. It is just my wife and I, no pets or children, and we can cut the budget very easily with just one step such as the one we've moved to above. If you have the same problem that we've had with Walmart because of their incredibly smart business model of having everything all in one place and you know you can't swear it off, try moving to this strategy and see if it can save you some cash so you can smile a little more at your credit card statement rather than frown over how you're going to even pay for it.