Retail

Can You Return Food To Walmart?

Updated on October 18, 2021 by
Common Cents Mom is reader supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services in this article. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Please read our disclosure for more information.
return walmart food

Ever wonder if you could return or exchange food at Walmart?

Let's take a look at Walmart's return policy for perishable, non perishable, opened, and unopened food items.

Can you return food to Walmart?

Yes, you can return food to Walmart. They will accept returns of non-perishable food items (like canned goods and beef jerky) within 90 days of the purchase date.

Returns of perishable food items (like meats and produce) are a little bit more difficult. Walmart will usually accept the return if it's within the best before date but it usually requires talking with the manager.

In some cases, perishable food items will not be accepted for a full refund, but you might be able to get an exchange or store credit.

What happens to returned food items at Walmart?

For health and safety reasons, all returned food has to be thrown away, even if it looks perfectly fine. Even if it is still packaged and tightly sealed, it must be thrown away and cannot even be donated.

Therefore, it is considered extremely wasteful to return food to Walmart if there is nothing wrong with it.

How do you return food to Walmart?

Is returning food the same process as returning other items to Walmart?

For unopened non perishable food items, yes the return process is similar to returning anything else at Walmart. You can take it back to your local store or use their free mail return service.

For opened food items and for perishable food items, the process is not so straightforward. In most cases, you will not be able to receive a full refund. Instead, if it's accepted, you'll be given an exchange or store credit.

What if you don't have the original receipt?

If you don't have the original receipt to refund your food items, it really depends on the store and the person you speak to.

Walmart will accept the return of ONLY unopened, unused non-perishable food items. The expiry date on the food item must not have been passed.

You will need to speak with a manager to explain why you want to return it and provide proof that it was purchased from Walmart. Anything like the original packaging or price tag will do.

It's up to the person you speak to to decide whether it's accepted, and whether you'll get a refund or just an exchange or store credit.

Can you return food items to a different Walmart than the one you bought it from?

Yes, you can return your food items to any Walmart location.

If you don't have a receipt, or you're in a situation where you'll have to speak to a manager, then it's recommended to go back to the same Walmart you purchased from.

Different locations have different items and supply in stock. It's usually easier to go back to the same location for returns without a receipt.

Can you return frozen foods to Walmart?

Yes, you can return frozen foods to Walmart as long as the location has a frozen foods section.

Can you return meat to Walmart?

Yes, you can return meat to Walmart as long as it's within the best before date and it's for a legitimate reason (ie. the meat is not fresh).

Can you return fruits and veggies to Walmart?

Yes, you can return fruits and vegetables to Walmart but because it's a non-perishable item, they'll likely give you an exchange or store credit.

Can you return alcohol to Walmart?

Yes, you can return alcohol to Walmart. However, for alcohol returns you must make the return at the same store you purchased from. You must also have the original receipt, no exceptions.

Conclusion: Does Walmart accept returns on food items?

Yes, Walmart will accept returns on food items. Unopened, non-perishable food items have a 90 day return policy.

Returns for opened and perishable food items will still be accepted, but you're likely to only be eligible for an exchange on that item (or store credit).

Keep in mind that Walmart won't fight you on a reasonable return. Keeping their customers happy is more important than fighting them over a few dollars worth of food items. If you lose your receipt, Walmart will still accept returns in most cases.

Returning food because it wasn't fresh or it was unedible for legitimate reasons is completely fine. Just remember that all returned food, whether it's been opened or not, goes into the trash due to health and safety reasons.

If you're unsure about any returns, you can call Walmart customer care at (800) 925-6278.

The Common Cents Mom Newsletter

Join thousands of curious consumers getting the inside scoop.