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7 Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make at Walmart

Follow these simple guidelines to stay safe, healthy, and save money at Walmart amid COVID-19.
Walmart store.jpg

If you're planning a trip to Walmart, know that the coronavirus pandemic isn't over, and a crowded, highly trafficked, and poorly ventilated indoor space—like a massive Walmartis still considered the most high-risk area to potentially contract the virus.

That said, there are a few easy mistakes you can avoid to protect both your health and wallet the next time you venture into your local Walmart for food and supplies. Of course, many of these may simply come down to common sense, but then again, the important and obvious no-nos bear repeating—especially when we've all been witnessing major mess-ups every day. Here are the mistakes you can't afford to make.


Don't forget to plan your trip in advance.

Portrait of beautiful Mixed race woman writing in notebook while sitting at desk in office, copy space

Most people make a list of groceries they need or a shopping list to stick to, but these days, it helps to go a step further and plan your attack based on the layout of your local Walmart. You want to avoid going back to an aisle, or even worse, a return trip to Walmart to pick up something you forgot. (Related: The #1 Mistake You're Making with Your Grocery Shopping List.)


Don't pay more because you didn't check prices online first.

online shopping concept: girl using a digital generated phone with online supermarket on the screen

An unnamed Walmart employee revealed to Business Insider that checking prices online can often lead to real, in-store savings that can add up quickly. "If the item costs less online, then the store will comp," the employee revealed. "The item just has to be sold on" Genius!


Don't discount the ease of getting things delivered.

walmart app
Courtesy of Walmart

Ordering online and getting curbside pickup through the Walmart app not only limits your interaction with others in the store, but there is often a broad discount available for first-time users of the Walmart app. Get details on how to use the app here.

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Don't show up to shop at the wrong time.

elderly woman grocery shopping

Walmart recently announced that its seniors-only hour of shopping will remain in place out of respect for health concerns for elderly and at-risk shoppers. Even if you aren't included in that subset of customers, know the best time to go, which you can research here, so you can keep others safe. (Related: The #1 Worst Thing You Can Do While Shopping at Walmart.)


Don't bring shopping companions.

female wears medical mask against coronavirus while grocery shopping in supermarket or store- health, safety and pandemic concept - young woman wearing protective mask and stockpiling food

In many communities, Walmart can be the spot to hang out, socialize, and see friends. Those times are gone for the time being. If you're going to Walmart, be clinical—and that means don't bring your loved ones or kids (if you can). Fewer people in a crowded store that are breathing and inhaling the same air is a good thing for all right now. (Related: 6 Things You'll Never See in Walmart Again.)


Don't disobey signs and arrows.


Like many national chains, Walmart instituted a number of policies designed to keep shoppers and associates safe, not all of which have been well received. But one-way aisles, forced social distancing, and limiting the number of shoppers allowed in a store location at the same time are in place for a very good reason. Following them is the responsible thing to do.


By all means, don't be that person without a mask on!

Senior woman with face mask outdoors with shopping, corona virus and quarantine concept.

Walmart is requiring its employees to wear a mask, so you should do the same. The CDC is insisting that everyone continue to wear masks, and when you go shopping, it's no joke. Grocery store workers are getting sick from the coronavirus and some are even succumbing to the illness. So the benefit of your mask-wearing isn't necessarily for you, it's for the essential workers on the front lines. Wearing a mask is a responsible thing to do. For more helpful tips, check out 5 Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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