If you are wanting to learn how to become a savvy AND HIP Target shopper, you’ve come to the right place! :)
As you may know, I LOVE deal shopping at Target as they offer up some amazing saving opportunities! BUT, do keep in mind that Target has quite a few “rules”, so before even stepping foot inside the store, I highly recommend getting familiar with their Corporate Coupon Policy. Make sure to print a copy and carry it with you whenever you shop at Target. In addition to understanding how to use your coupons correctly, you’ll also want to know what to look for while shopping to get the best deals. With that being said, be sure to take the time to read through 15 of my top tips that will help you save BIG at Target…
1.) Pick Your Day to Shop
Did you know that most Target stores follow a schedule where they mark down certain departments for clearance on specific days?! Knowing the schedule before stepping foot in store can help you find the best deals, but please note that the markdown schedule may vary by store, so be sure to ask your local store about their schedule. Here’s just one possible markdown schedule…
Monday: Electronics, Kids’ & Baby Clothing, Stationery/Office Supplies
Tuesday: Women’s and Juniors Clothing, Domestics
Wednesday: Men’s Clothing, Food, Health & Beauty, Lawn & Garden, Furniture, Laundry
Thursday: Toys, Pets, Housewares, Lingerie/ Sleepwear, Athletic Apparel, Shoes, Sporting Goods, Paper Goods, Decor, Luggage
Friday: Auto, Scarves, Cosmetics, Jewelry, Hardware
2.) Sign Up for Mobile Store Coupons
If you have a texting plan on your mobile phone, you can score some nice savings at Target. To sign up for Target mobile coupons, grab your phone and text OFFERS to 827438 (standard text messaging rates apply). You’ll then receive up to five ongoing mobile coupons every month with various store coupons, but keep in mind that you can only redeem each offer once. At the register, the cashier will access the coupons right from your phone by scanning the barcode. You can also text BABY to 827438 to receive a different set of baby-related mobile coupons each month.
You can also print Target coupons directly from Target.com. Note that Target.com offers up both Target store coupons and Manufacturer’s coupons. To differentiate these types of coupons, hover over the coupon and you’ll be able to see that it will say either “Target coupon” OR “manufacturer coupon” at the top left of the coupon (as pictured above).
3.) Get a Cartwheel Savings Account
Target offers up even more high value store coupons via their FREE Cartwheel Savings App! Just head over here, sign in/register for an account via Facebook or with your email address and then add the offers you want (the number of offers you can save to your account will vary by user). Then just print out or show your unique barcode on your mobile device at checkout and the applicable savings will be deducted.
You can manage your Cartwheel list from anywhere – Cartwheel.com on any web browser, from your desktop, or on your mobile device. The offers will be valid on specific items and each Cartwheel offer may be used for up to a maximum of 4 qualifying items per offer per transaction, unless otherwise noted. There is a limit of one Cartwheel barcode per transaction and six Cartwheel barcode transactions per day.
HIP TIP – If you get a bit stressed at checkout trying to gather up your printed/clipped coupons as well as Mobile coupons and Target Cartwheel offers, consider creating your own Target Cartwheel scannable key chain! Instead of pulling up your Cartwheel barcode on your phone at checkout, just have the cashier scan your keychain barcode. Easy Peasy!
4.) Take Advantage of REDcard Perks
Target’s REDcard is an easy way to save on every single Target purchase. It offers 5% off at the register on your entire bill, free shipping on every order at Target.com and an extra 30 days to return items. Don’t like the idea of having a credit card?
Consider signing up for the Debit card instead of the credit version for the same perks and no annual fee. The Debit card is tied to your existing checking account so you can also withdraw up to $40 at checkout in-store.
5.) Stack the Savings
Target lets you stack multiple coupons, as well as use your Target REDcard for increased savings. According to their online policy, they allow using one manufacturer coupon, one Target store coupon (Target mobile coupons are Target coupons), and one Cartwheel offer per item, unless prohibited by coupon. You can find Target store coupons on Target.com, via your mobile device, and in your Sunday Newspaper Inserts (note that these are only available several times per year and do tend to be regional).
Keep in mind that Target Cartwheel offers are deducted after all Target store coupons but before manufacturer’s coupons (be sure to hand over your Cartwheel barcode last). Afterwards, you can save even more by submitting for cash back rebates via the various free apps available – such as Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Snap by Groupon!
6.) Browse the Wall-Facing Endcaps
Clearance, clearance, clearance! If you’re looking for the best bargains, be sure to browse the shelves at the ends of the aisles that have red “Clearance” signs. Most of the clearance endcaps are facing the store walls (not those located down the main walking aisles) and are often filled with various items that have been marked down from 15% to 70% off. Plus, they can make for sweeter deals when paired with coupons!
7.) Know the Clearance Codes
Clearance items can make for some of the best bargains at Target as long as you know what you’re looking for. Items will first get marked down by 15% or 30%, then to 50% off, and finally to 70% off. These items will have a red “clearance” sticker that shows the original price, the new price, and the percentage of the markdown (in the top right-hand corner without a percent symbol).
Be sure to look at the small number in the upper right corner of the price tag. If it says “50”, it’s been marked to 50% off, if it says “70”, it’s been marked down to 70% off, etc. The only exception is holiday or seasonal merchandise, which can go as high as 90% off (in those cases, the code will be “90” in the right-hand corner).
Also, if the price tag ends in a $0.06 or $0.08, the item will be priced down again as long as there is inventory in the store and will stay on clearance for 1-2 weeks or while supplies last. However, if a price tag ends in $0.04, it is final clearance and won’t be marked down again.
8.) Shop the Seasonal Clearance Sales
Stock up for future holidays by shopping a few days or weeks after the holiday has passed. The day after the holiday, select items will be reduced by 50% off (usually only 30% off for candy and grocery items). BUT, if you wait 7 to 10 days, products could drop to 70% off. Then, 3 to 5 days later, remaining inventory will eventually drop to 90% off! The best times of year that Target offers holiday clearance prices are Valentine’s Day, Easter, Summer, Back to School, Halloween, and Christmas.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for “hidden” seasonal deals throughout the entire store, not just the Clearance sections! You can often find clearance prices on unmarked items in the grocery aisles, clothing section and more. If you spot a seasonal item mixed in with regular items, make sure to scan it at the price checker to see if it is on sale.
9.) Stop at the Dollar Spot
You can find some great bargains at Target’s Dollar Spot, which is usually located at the entrance to the store. Most items in this section are priced around $1-$3 and even these items get marked down during certain times of the year – possibly 50% to 70% off. That means you can pay as low as just 30¢ to 50¢ each… or even less if there is an applicable coupon or Cartwheel offer that is valid on clearance items.
10.) Bring Your Own Shopping Bag
Bring in your own reusable bag and all Target stores will credit you 5¢ for every single bag used at checkout. It’s not a huge money-saver but it can add up, especially if you’re making a large grocery purchase.
11.) Pay with Target Gift Cards Earned from Promos
Promotions to watch for while shopping or while flipping through the weekly ads are Target’s Gift Card deals. These gift card promotions may last for a week, month, or even longer and may be posted inside the store but not in the circular – so be on the lookout!
To receive a Target Gift Card, you must buy certain participating products and by doing so, you’ll receive the gift card at checkout. You won’t be able to use the gift card on that purchase, but you can use the gift card on future purchases and you can keep “rolling” the same gift card deals over and over again to lower your out-of-pocket expense! PLUS, you can use manufacturer’s coupons, store coupons, Cartwheels, and rebate offers on gift card promos to sweeten them even further!
12.) Price Match Guarantee
Hang onto your receipts! Effective October 1st, 2015, Target just released a new price-matching policy! The biggest and most exciting change is that you can now price match a total of TWENTY-NINE online competitors listed here – including Amazon.com, Costco.com, and SamsClub.com, Diapers.com, SportsAuthority.com and even Ulta.com. Plus, you can price match both at your local Target store AND online at Target.com. Target is also doubling the time frame in which you can take advantage of a price match on a product – from 7 days to 14 days for products bought both in store and online.
13.) Sign up for a Baby, Wedding, or College Registry
Whenever you sign up for a Baby, College, or Wedding registry and add items to your list, you’ll often get coupons or discounts for shopping from your list. For a Wedding registry, you will receive two 15% off completion coupon offers for the items remaining on your registry (the first will arrive the week of your event date and the second will arrive approximately six weeks after your event date – both include a coupon for in-store shopping and an online promo code). You will also receive four 15% off friends and family coupons two weeks after creating your registry to share for in-store shopping and a discount code for one online order. Plus, you may receive from top brands!
Even sweeter, whenever you complete a Baby Registry, you can then head in store to score a FREE Welcome Gift – valued at $60! Plus, 8 weeks prior to your event date, you’ll receive a 15% off completion coupon offer for the items remaining on your registry and a coupon for in-store shopping, a discount code for one online order, and four friends and family coupons to share.
If completing a College registry, you’ll score a 15% off coupon for the remaining items on your registry 2 weeks before your event date.
14.) Out of Stock? Get a Rain Check!
If you find an item on sale that you wish to purchase but the store is out of stock, you can request a rain check. The rain check will entitle you to today’s sale price for the next 45 days and can be used at any Target store. Keep in mind that Price Cut, Temporary Price Cut, and Everyday Low Price items that are excluded from the Weekly Ad and items that state “No Rain Checks” cannot be rain-checked.
15.) 1-Year Satisfaction Guarantee on Target Owned Brand Items
If you’re not satisfied with any Target Owned Brand item (such as Archer Farms, Mossimo, up & up, Xhilaration, Market Pantry, and others listed here), you can return it within one year with a receipt for an exchange or a full refund. Plus, REDcard Debit and Credit cardholders will receive an extra 30 days to return nearly all items purchased with their REDcard at Target and Target.com.
If you don’t have a receipt, they can look up your receipt whenever you bring your item, government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license), and the method of payment used to the Guest Service desk within the return window allowed for that item.
If you’re a visual learner, be sure to check out my How to Shop & Save at Target Two-Part Video Series below:
(NOTE, these videos were filmed back in 2014, so some of the info may be outdated)If you can’t see the video, go here. If you can’t see the video, go here.