Heading back to school or college this year? As a fellow expert in retail consumer trends, I know how expensive collecting all those textbook, tech gadgets and dorm room essentials can be.
At SellerBooster, I regularly analyze major retailers‘ pricing strategies. So when looking to save money on back-to-school shopping, one place you may be wondering about is Walmart.
Known for its rock-bottom prices, does Walmart also offer student discounts?
In this detailed guide, I‘ll leverage my 10+ years as an Amazon seller to provide insider tips to save big as a student when shopping at Walmart. You‘ll learn:
- How Walmart‘s seasonal sales events work
- Ways to find the lowest prices on supplies
- Hidden deals and student perks
- How to maximize Walmart‘s pricing model as a student
- Alternate student discounts to use
Let‘s dive in and uncover how you can keep more cash in your wallet this school year!
Walmart‘s Seasonal Events Offer Exclusive Student Deals
While Walmart does not have an official year-round student discount program, they host two major in-store savings events each year – Back to College and Back to School.
Back to College Savings
Walmart holds an annual Back to College event at stores nationwide, usually in July or August before classes restart. As a former event coordinator for Amazon, I know the work that goes on behind the scenes to prepare the amazing discounts.
At the event, college students can score deals up to 80% off on must-have dorm and classroom essentials like:
- Bedding and bath items
- Cleaning supplies
- Electronics – headphones, printers, mini-fridges
- Furniture – futons, organizers
- School supplies – notebooks, scissors, staplers
- Microwavable meals, snacks, and drinks
This is hands down the best time of year to stock up on all your college needs at Walmart.
Back to School Family Fun
In contrast to the college event, Walmart‘s Back to School day in late summer focuses less on discounts and more on providing fun activities for K-12 students heading back to school.
Families can visit their local store for special events like:
- STEM workshops
- DIY crafts
- Snack stations
- Photo booths
- Games, contests, and entertainment
So while there may not be as many direct deals offered, Back to School day is still a great time for students and families to have fun and get excited about the upcoming school year!
Affordable Supplies for Students of All Ages
While there is no dedicated student discount program in place year-round, Walmart‘s everyday low prices make it easy to stock up on classroom essentials affordably.
Here are some of the low-priced supplies I recommend checking out:
- Pencils and pens – Great for stocking up, usually under $2 for a pack
- Notebooks and binders – Basic 1-subject notebooks around $1 each
- Folders, paper, binders – Stock up for the semester
- Backpacks and lunch boxes – Wide range under $30
Dorm Room Must-Haves
- Towels and bedding – Sets and bundles $10-$25
- Futons and mattress toppers – Start around $40
- Mini-fridges and microwaves – Under $150
- Storage bins and baskets – Get organized on a budget
- Cleaning supplies – Stock up on laundry and dish detergent
And Walmart offers free 2-day shipping on orders over $35, which helps students save time and money prepping for college.
Be A Savvy Shopper: Get the Lowest Prices on Student Supplies
Take it from me, an expert in consumer retail data – getting the best deal takes a bit of strategizing! Here are my tips to save even more at Walmart:
Price match guarantee – Walmart will match any lower price from competitors, both online and in stores. Pro tip: have evidence ready to get the match approved!
Check online vs in-store prices – Many times the same item is cheaper on Walmart.com. Order online and pick up in store to save time and money.
Use the Walmart app – Browse deals, access Cart Savings, and price check on the go.
Buy Walmart brands – Great Value, Equate, and Parent‘s Choice products are typically cheaper.
Shop overstock clearance items – Ask associates when overstock and returned items get marked down for deeper discounts.
Compare prices across area stores – Inventory and price diffs can vary between Walmart locations, especially between Neighborhood and Supercenter stores.
Look for manager markdowns – Ask department managers when they discount overstock items each week or month.
Walmart vs Other Retailers: Student Supply Price Comparison
To showcase Walmart‘s value, here‘s a price comparison on common student essentials:
|Supply||Walmart Price||Target Price||Amazon Price|
|Filler paper (200 count)||$1.24||$1.79||$1.29|
|Binder (1 inch)||$1.04||$1.99||$1.25|
|Mini-fridge (3.2 cu ft)||$108||$169.99||$139.99|
|Dorm room bedding set||$19.98||$39.99||$29.99|
As you can see, Walmart offers comparable or lower prices on school supplies than competitors.
Walmart‘s EDLP Model Saves Students Money
As an ecommerce expert analyzing retailer pricing models, I‘ve found Walmart‘s Everyday Low Price approach benefits students looking to save.
Rather than rely on promotions and coupons, Walmart focuses on maintaining the lowest prices everyday. This helps students get low prices consistently, without having to hunt down deals.
In 2022, the average household spent $864 on back-to-school shopping, according to Deloitte‘s annual survey. With Walmart‘s EDLP strategy, students can keep more money in their pockets for things like gas, books, and fun!
Unlock More Ways to Save as a Student
Beyond the everyday low prices, here are some additional ways students can maximize savings at Walmart:
Walmart+ membership – $98 per year provides free shipping, fuel discounts, and more. Ideal for college students buying online.
Buy used textbooks and supplies – Save up to 90% buying secondhand items in-store and online.
Walmart coupons – Sign up for emails to get coupons and personalized deals.
Unidays – Verified students get a free Unidays membership for access to exclusive brand discounts.
Shop cash back apps – Get up to 10% cashback through Ibotta, Rakuten, etc when shopping online or in the app.
Split costs with roommates – Save on bulk and split communal dorm supplies.
Sell back items – Get cash for used electronics, games and textbooks.
Alternate Student Discounts to Know About
While Walmart can offer savings for students through low prices, if you prefer an official student discount program, many retailers provide them. Here are some popular options:
Apple – Get up to $200 off MacBooks and iPads.
Best Buy – Save 10% or more on laptops, appliances, and electronics.
Adidas/Nike – Verify student status for 10-20% off purchases.
Microsoft – Score discounts on Surface devices and Office software.
Student Beans – Access 100s of brand discounts through this student discount site.
So don‘t be afraid to shop around and compare options on bigger purchases like laptops and dorm appliances.
Final Tips to Save Money as a Student
- Take inventory before shopping – avoid overspending by checking what you already have.
- Set a realistic budget – track spending to avoid going over.
- Buy used when possible – great for books, furniture, electronics and clothes.
- Look for freebies – check for free student supplies and food offered on campus.
- Rent textbooks when possible – much cheaper than buying new.
- Get a student credit card – build credit and earn cash back rewards.
Let‘s Shop Smarter, Not Harder!
I hope this insider‘s guide gives you expert tips to save big at Walmart as a student. While Walmart may not directly offer an official student discount program, their everyday low prices, seasonal sales events, and other student perks can add up to major savings.
The key is using strategies like price matching, buying generic, shopping overstock, getting free 2-day shipping, and more. Pair this with student-specific discounts from other brands, and you‘ll be on your way to keeping costs down this school year!
Here‘s to rocking 2023 on a student budget! Let me know in the comments if you have any other savvy tips for fellow students. Happy shopping!