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Angel and Manny, a 40-something couple from Florida, have “always been cheap,” in their words. In fact, the husband-wife duo is so enthusiastic about pinching pennies that they’ve become full-time bargain hunters — and their number-one favorite place to shop is Walmart.
That’s because Walmart is a goldmine of hidden clearance deals that no one else knows about — products sometimes discounted as low as 3 cents! When presented with an offer they can’t refuse, Angel and Manny usually snap up the entire inventory and save a small fortune in the process.
The couple tells Yahoo Life they once saved $2,250 in one day by finding 50 weighted blankets on massive clearance — just $5 each, marked down from $50. Like so many of Walmart’s secret sales, these products were right out in the open but appeared to be full-priced because their stickers hadn’t been updated. Frugal shoppers like Angel and Manny live for the thrill of hitting the clearance jackpot.
We had to know more about the Walmart clearance shopping life, so we asked these clever parents of five to share the secrets to their success.
Walmart+ and the Walmart app are a bargain-hunting couple’s best friends
Angel and Manny’s method is simple: they use Walmart's free mobile app for iPhone and Android. It has a built-in scanner that reveals each product’s in-store price, which is often drastically lower than what's advertised on the label or even on Walmart.com. Then they log into their Walmart+ account and use its ‘Mobile Scan & Go’ feature, which lets the couple pay for their haul and check out digitally — no contact required and no waiting in line.
A Walmart+ account is essential for any Walmart shopper — budding bargain hunters or basically 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 (that includes groceries!), free next-day and two-day shipping when you place an order on Walmart.com (no minimum required!) and even fuel discounts. A Walmart+ membership saves you 5 cents per gallon of gasoline at Walmart & Murphy stations.
Manny tells Yahoo Life that a lot of the items he spots for a steal using his Walmart app are completely overlooked. “They're so high at regular price that the average person would walk right by them. But when you scan them in the app, you realize they’re actually marked down to a price where you can afford them,” he says.
Angel and Manny’s hands-on guide to scoring secret sales at Walmart
So how do Angel and Manny actually make the magic happen? They say that they have to wake up pretty early in the morning to score deals like these — at the crack of dawn, in fact.
“Before COVID, the Walmart stores in our area used to be open 24 hours. Our best shopping was at 3 or 4 in the morning!” says Angel. “But since COVID they’ve changed their hours. Now they open at 7, so we're usually in the parking lot by 6:40 a.m.”
It might sound like a rude awakening for some, but the couple says the wee hours are when Walmart is truly a treasure trove. You just have to know how to hunt. One of the couple’s key methods for spotting rock-bottom deals is to scrutinize UPC codes.
“When we scan the UPC code — the little code in the back with the numbers — with the Walmart app, we find that sometimes two items will look exactly the same in the same packaging. But if you look closely they have different UPC numbers on their stickers,” says Angel. The couple discovered this little-known hack one day while scanning the code of a doll that retailed for $45. They happened to scan the same doll right beside it, and it was just $2.
“Both dolls had the same packaging, they were the same doll. The only thing was the numbers were different,” says Angel. Even the cashier was confused, but it turned out that these identical items came from two different shipments. Walmart needed to make room for the new batch, so the duo scored that “old” toy for just two bucks.
The takeaway? If you find a product you love at Walmart and it’s not on sale, scan all the items just to be sure. One could be a hidden gem.
The couple also swears by seasonal shopping, and say they’ve scored up to 90 percent off mislabeled items mere days after a holiday ends. That includes marshmallow Peeps, which they grabbed for 10 cents a package a few days after Easter 2019 and have kept in their pantry ever since. This will be the third year in a row they’re breaking out these iconic little chicks — which happen to stay fresh for several years if they remain sealed in their packaging. “We didn’t know either!” jokes Angel.
The key to finding secret deals? Skip the clearance aisle
Angel and Manny have saved some serious cash by scanning Walmart’s aisles. The lowest price they ever encountered was 3 cents for scented Play Doh that usually retails for $4. They also scored a batch of kids’ water bottles for a staggering 10 cents each. Originally $6 apiece, the bottles were so insanely discounted that the couple went ahead and bought 284 of them. They saved a whopping $1,638.
But they didn’t find any of their bounty in the clearance aisle — in fact, one of their top tips is to skip that section altogether.
“When people look for clearance at Walmart, they go to the clearance aisle, that's it. They can't find anything [they want], and then they leave,” says Manny. “We go through the regular aisles. Yesterday I found a huge Better Homes and Gardens pillow discounted to $1.50. And I'm like, ‘How come this is not in clearance?’. The regular aisles are where the hidden stuff is. Because if they're in the clearance aisle, it's not a secret.”
Bedding has been another bargain the savvy duo couldn’t pass up. They stocked up on high-end sheets and pillowcases — sitting pretty in the home aisle — that were originally up to $59 each but reduced to as low as $14. Their overall savings amounted to $1,185 that day (they paid less than $150 for their haul), and they came home with enough high-thread-count linens to last a lifetime.
From clearance shoppers to YouTube stars
Angel and Manny have honed their bargain-hunting craft so well that a year ago, they decided to launch a YouTube channel to share their know-how with other aspiring clearance sale shoppers. That channel, Angel on the Go, already has hoards of followers who use their Walmart apps to scan UPC codes straight from the screen. That’s the fastest and most efficient way for Angel and Manny to share their scores with viewers — and over on Instagram, they sometimes go live to reveal their deals in real time.
The couple has been known to cruise the aisles of other stores, too, but when it comes to secret sales, nothing comes close to Walmart. “I want to say 99.5 percent of our videos are in Walmart,” says Angel. “We’re probably in Walmart more than we are at home. We love the prices, the Walmart app is so easy to use, and Walmart+ gets us such great discounts when we shop online, too.”
Says Manny: "The reason we started the YouTube channel is that every time we would find a deal in a Walmart and check out, the cashiers would look at us like we were crazy. Like, 'How did you find this?' And so we were like, let's just start filming this to show other people."
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