Best Time To Shop At Walmart – Insider Tips For Smoother Shopping

Shopping at Walmart used to be one of my least favorite things to do. Much of that was because the store is always busy, full of customers, and sometimes that’s a bit much.

In my experience, the best time to shop at Walmart is early in the morning, between 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM. The next best time to hop is late at night between 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM when they close. Previously the best times were anytime after 11:00 PM, but Walmart stores are not 24 hours anymore.

With busy schedules and various errands on your to-do list, finding the perfect time to hit the store can be crucial. If you’re like me and prefer less hassle and less time spent maneuvering through crowded aisles, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ll break down some of my best tips for shopping at Walmart so you can get in and out quickly and with the items you need.

Best Time of Day to Shop at Walmart

Finding the right time to shop at Walmart can make your experience more enjoyable and save you some money. Based on my own experiences, I’ve put together this huge list so you can find what works best for you.

Early Weekday Mornings

One of the best times to shop at Walmart is early weekday mornings. So think around the time the store opens, which is 6:00 AM. You can stretch this to 10:00 AM, but I usually find thats when the breakfast crowd comes in as most Walmarts are equipped with Mcdonald’s restaurants.

Earlier, however, the store is usually less crowded during this time, allowing you to navigate the aisles easily. You’ll also have an easier time checking out without such big lines to wait in. And, if there’s no one there to check you out, the self-checkout will be wide open.

In addition to the lighter foot traffic, heading to Walmart first thing in the morning can help you score the best deals on meat and produce. Stores often sell these products early to clear out anything nearing its “sell by” date. So, visit Walmart early during the weekdays, preferably before lunchtime.

Late Night Shopping At Walmart

Another optimal time to shop at Walmart is late at night, specifically, between 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm. There are a few reasons I prefer this shopping window, and they are:

  • freshly restocked items
  • deals on items that are about to expire
  • more product selection
  • quicker checkout experience

Now, although the items are being restocked at this time, there’s going to still be plenty of aisles picked over. So, thats the tradeoff with this. However, as you get to know your local Walmart, you’ll start to understand when you should go to the store in this 8 – 11 window.

Shop Before Lunch And After Dinner On The Weekdays

I recommend you avoid shopping at Walmart between 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm during the weekdays, as this is when most people tend to visit during their lunch breaks or after work hours. It’s just a constant level of busyness, and really kicks up heavy at dinner time as well.

When you think about it, people come in to grab the food items they need. Then during lunch hour, they may come in for a quick bite from Mcdonalds or to grab items they need for work, like office supplies. There are also more kids and strollers in the store around the 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM time too, which makes sense if the parents shop right after school.

If you can, try to get, your shopping done either early in the morning or late at night to dodge the busy periods.

Best Time to Purchase Groceries and Produce

Although shopping early and late is great for avoiding crowds, it differs slightly for certain products. This is especially true for grocery items such as getting the freshest meat and produce. You don’t want to get suck into a situation where food is picked over or expired options are all thats left. Here’s how I approach it:

Meat , Seafood and Produce

The morning hours still work great for the best deals on meat and seafood. A lot of times, you’ll get first access to the markdown items before they sell out. This works the same for produce as well. With produce that’s nearing expiration, they’ll likely discount those too.

Another great time to shop is around 8:30-9:30 p.m. When all the markdowns for the next day get done. But again, it depends on how busy your Walmart is and the specific markdown schedule for that store.

On weekends, it’s best to stay away from the store from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm, as the crowd will be larger during these hours. However, after that, when the restocking begins, you’ll get better quality food options.

The Best Time To Shop For Sales and Discounts At Walmart

Whenever I’m in Walmart, I always find a sale, regardless of the item. But, if you want to get the best deals, you need to shop at the right time. Sometimes this is centered around holidays and celebrations, but many times it’s the time of day too.

When it comes to big-ticket items, you can usually shop during the Walmarts Deals For Days event. You can score low prices on TVs, laptops, and most other expensive electronics there. This event usually lasts longer than other sales and offers huge discounts on electronics.

In addition to that, you can also catch some of their holiday-based sales, such as:

  • Christmas in July
  • Veterans Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Black Friday

As with everything else, the time you shop on those days matters, especially Black Friday. The store hours are usually different. And remember, you can always catch those same deals online too, although most door-buster options are only available if you commute to the store.

I’ve been able to score many awesome items at significant markdowns (more than the rollback pricing) by saving my big shopping for those days only.

Now, although these are the best times to get great deals, theya re some of the most annoying shopping windows when it comes to overall busyness in the stores. The crows will be large and the lines will be long. Black Friday in particular, so just keep in mind that even if you shopped early or late on those days, its not your typical day and the earlier tips wouldn’t apply here.

End-of-Season Sales

Walmart often offers end-of-season sales, the best times to grab discounted winter gear, winter apparel, summer goods, patio furniture, beach gear, and swimsuits. Always watch when specific seasons are ending; this is when you can find prices slashed up to 90% off for certain items.

Additionally, Walmart is known to offer deals on holiday merchandise the next business day after a holiday has passed. During these sales, you can save a tremendous amount on holiday decor, cards, or seasonal items.

CVS stores do this too. I have a friend that takes this opportunity to load up on discount holiday candy, so its definitely worth it if you dont mind waiting for the holiday to pass. And a lot of times, the candies and items are marked way higher than normal and its just not worth that extra fee.

Pay attention to when Walmart restocks to ensure you get the latest seasonal items. For instance, winter gear and apparel typically become available at the beginning of winter. In contrast, summer goods, patio furniture, beach gear, and swimsuits are stocked up as summer approaches.

To find out when your local Walmart restocks such items, be sure to keep an eye on their promotions or follow their social media pages for announcements on inventory changes. This way, you’ll be able to grab the best seasonal items before they sell out.

Other Factors Affecting Your Shopping Experience

In addition to the above tips, there are a few more factors that might affect your shopping experience you may wnt to know. Here’s a few questions our readres have shared with us along with our answers.

When are Walmart stores the most crowded?

Walmart stores tend to be most crowded on weekdays from early to late afternoon. Visiting the stores in the mornings or late at night is advised to enjoy quieter aisles and shorter lines at checkout.

Which days should I avoid shopping at Walmart?

The busiest days at Walmart are usually weekends, with the highest traffic between 12 pm and 3 pm.

What are the busiest hours for Walmart on weekends?

On weekends, the busiest hours for Walmart are typically between 12 pm and 3 pm, so it’s a good idea to plan your shopping trip either before or after these hours for a smoother shopping experience.

How can I find out if Walmart is busy right now?

Although there’s no specific tool to check Walmart’s real-time crowd status, you can utilize popular traffic estimators like Google Maps, which offer insight into the live congestion levels of a specific area based on historical visit data. Keep in mind that actual store conditions might differ from the predictions.

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