You’ve seen the signs at the store and gas station about Walmart Plus. It’s tempting to want to join in order to save money on gas and other purchases, but is it worth it? Today we are discussing all things Walmart plus.
But first, my sponsor:
Today’s episode is sponsored by my Etsy shop, Savvy Budget Girl TV. In my shop, you will find all kinds of goodies to get you started with cash budgeting and savings challenges. From trackers to physical envelopes, and my latest ebook of savings challenges, you can find what you need to help you save and make it fun! You can find the shop at the link above or by searching Savvy Budget Girl TV on Etsy.
Now, let’s get into the discussion!
Here in Florida, gas prices went up suddenly (I’m talking about 40 cents/gallon in a matter of days), and it got me thinking about different ways to save money on gas. At a nearby Mobil station, there are flags outside saying that I could save money on gas if I signed up for Walmart plus. I was intrigued.
If you’ve never heard of Walmart plus, it’s their membership with tons of benefits. On the website to sign up, they claim you can save over $1300 per year. Not a bad claim considering the membership costs $98/year or $12.95/month. However, you’ll get the biggest savings by paying annually, saving you a whopping $57.40 over the monthly price. Be careful with those monthly payments, guys!
So how are they getting to that magic number? According to the website, savings are based on 2 deliveries/week vs. non-member $7.95 fee & 2 Walmart.com orders under $35/week vs. non-member $6.99 fee.
Let’s unpack that a little:
In order to assume these savings, you’ll need to be a pretty serious Walmart shopper and take advantage of all of the benefits of the plus membership.
Other membership perks include:
- Paramount plus membership ($59 if paid monthly)
- Free delivery from your store
- Free delivery online with no order minimum
- Up to 10 cents/gallon off gas (could be worth around $75)
- Exclusive access to sales and product releases
- And, for a limited time, 6 months free of Spotify premium ($59 value)
Of course, if you’re like me and already have Paramount+ on the premium level (I pay $9.99/month) and already pay for Spotify (which I don’t), then those savings are a moot point.
However, if you live and die by online grocery shopping and delivery and don’t use Instacart, then this could be worth your while in terms of saving money and time. Again, the savings only really stack up if you’re doing the majority of your shopping at Walmart. If it’s way down on your list of stores, then this membership probably isn’t for you.
Also, if you’re thinking of joining to save on gas, then you need to know you aren’t guaranteed to save all 10 cents/gallon. Your savings might be lower. And even at the projected $75/year savings on gas, you’re still paying more for the privilege of membership.
There are other ways to save money on gas:
- Keep your tires properly inflated
- Keep up with the regular maintenance on your vehicles
- Group your errands together and make fewer trips
You don’t need to buy fuel additives or anything like that. Just do regular maintenance on your vehicles and be smart about your driving habits. In my case, I know one of the local gas station chains here in Florida offers a discount gas card that you can refill only with cash. It gets me 3 cents/gallon off, but I also keep cash in my gas envelope for when I’m not at that particular gas station.
Again, you have to actually do the math on the so-called savings. I put, at most, 10 gallons of gas in my car. If gas is $3.29/gallon, then I’m spending about $33 on gas. If gas goes back down to $2.89/gallon, then I’m spending about $29. A difference of $4. Only you can decide if that $4 will make or break your budget.
Just like only you can decide if free online delivery and shopping from home are worth it for you from Walmart specifically as opposed to using a service like Instacart.
As a quick cost comparison, Instacart has the following fees:
- $3.99+ for delivery for same-day orders over $35 (remember Walmart has no online minimum for members) and varies based on your delivery window, the amount of your total order, and whether or not you’re ordering from a wholesale club.
- Service fees might apply
- Pickup fees might also apply
However, if you join Instacart+ (formerly Instacart Express), they say you’ll make your money back in 1-2 orders per month. This is because of lower service fees, no order minimums, 5% credit back (similar to DoorDash) on pickup orders, and exclusive offers. Plus, you’re not tied into one specific store. All of this is for $99/year. So only $1/year more than Walmart’s membership.
In the end, you’ll have to decide what you really want to spend money on: saving from one specific store or the ability to choose your store. Do you need everything Walmart offers or are you looking for savings on groceries? Are you even a Walmart shopper or prefer Target, as I do? Do what’s best for you and your family and what makes sense for your budget.
If you’re not sure how much you’ll use it, Walmart offers a 30-day trial for their membership and Instacart offers a 14-day trial for theirs. Try it first and see how you would actually use it in a typical month.
I don’t typically order grocery delivery or pickup, but it’s just me and my husband, and I only need to leave him at home to keep the budget under control, lol. Let me know in the comments if you know what I mean!
I know fluctuating gas and grocery prices can be nerve-wracking, but remember to stay calm, do the math, and figure out what you’re actually spending without being swayed by potential savings at a store you don’t even like.
Let me know: what’s your savings goal for 2023? Leave a comment below or tag me on IG @ savvybudgetgirl.