15 Tips for Saving BIG at Target (There May Be a Few You Didn’t Know)
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I LOVE deal shopping at Target as they offer up lots of fantastic deals! BUT, you’ll definitely want to know how to use your coupons correctly and know what to look for while shopping to get the best bang for your buck. Whether you’re a new or seasoned Target shopper, check out these tips first…
1.) Know the Markdown Schedule
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 keep in mind 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.) Download the Target App
The Target App (for iOS or Android) now has Cartwheel offers and a Wallet feature, making it easy to save and pay while on your Target Run. The Target App helps you plan your trip, save on your list, shop and order from anywhere, and save and pay in one place with the new Wallet tab.
You can also use the Target App to search the entire online Target and in-store product selection to easily find deals, weekly sales, availability, aisle location and ordering options – you can even scan product barcodes in-store to see if something’s on sale or has a Cartwheel offer!
3.) Browse the Clearance Endcaps FIRST
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 and occasional Cartwheel Offers that do not exclude clearance!
4.) Watch for YELLOW Clearance Tags
Clearance items will first get marked down by 15% or 30%, then to 50% off, and finally to 70% or 90% off. These items now have a yellow “clearance” sticker that shows the regular price, the clearance price, the 9 digit DCPI item number and the percentage of the markdown in the top right-hand corner.
Check the small number in the top 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 (the code will be “90” in the corner).
Note that some clearance items no longer reflect the percent discount in the upper corner.
5.) Check Inventory Before Making a Special Trip
Before you spend time packing up the kiddos and spend money driving over to your local Target to snag a possible clearance deal, consider using an Inventory Checker to see if your store has any in stock and what the current price is. Go here for details on how to check inventory at your store.
NOTE: Sometimes these inventory systems can be wrong due to theft, loss, and other circumstances, so it’s always best to call your local store and ask them to hold an item for you.
6.) Look for Target Gift Card 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 even be posted inside the store but not in the circular – so you’ll want to be on the lookout!
PLUS, you can use manufacturer’s coupons, store coupons, Cartwheels, and rebate offers on gift card promos to sweeten them even further!
NOTE – Target now adjusts down any coupons if your out-of-pocket cost will be LOWER after coupons than the gift card you are getting back. That means you can’t score money-makers on gift card offers as the coupons/offers will be adjusted down to the amount of the gift card offer.
7.) Take Advantage of REDcard Perks
Target’s REDcard is an easy way to save more on Target purchases. 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, no annual fee and no credit check required. The Debit card is tied to your existing checking account so you can also withdraw up to $40 at checkout in-store.
8.) Stack the Savings
Target lets you stack multiple coupons, as well as use your Target REDcard for increased savings. According to their coupon policy, they allow using one manufacturer coupon, one Target store coupon (paper or digital), and one Cartwheel offer per item, unless prohibited by coupon.
In addition, Target often releases threshold or category coupons (i.e. $10 off $40 pet care purchase) that can also be used together with Target store coupons for specific items ($1/1 Purina product). Although, keep in mind that you cannot combine category coupons (i.e. $5 off $25 pet care items and $10 off $50 pet items) unless you reach the threshold for each coupon.
9.) Know How Discounts are Applied at Checkout
When heading to checkout, it’s important to know how the discounts will be applied, especially if you’re using multiple coupons. You no longer need to hand over your coupons in a certain order, but you’ll want to note how the discounts will be deducted so you’ll be able to keep up with your total.
Here’s the order that the savings will come off…
- Target Store Coupons ($0.50/1 Tide Pods 18ct+)
- Cartwheel Offers (5% off baby food)
- Manufacturer Coupons ($2/1 package of Huggies diapers)
- Target Threshold Coupons (spend $20 on dog food, get $5 off)
- Target REDcard Savings (5% off everything)
10.) Shop 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, three to five days later, remaining inventory will eventually drop to 90% off!
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 other departments. If you spot a seasonal item mixed in with regular items, be sure to scan it at the price checker to see if it is on sale.
11.) Stop at The ONE Spot
You can find some great bargains at The One 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 30¢ to 50¢ each, or even less if there is an applicable coupon or Cartwheel offer that is valid on clearance!
12.) Bring Your Own Shopping Bag
As part of their reusable bag program, whenever you bring in your own reusable bag and make a purchase with it, 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.
13.) Know the Price Match Guarantee
Hang onto your receipts! If you find a current lower price within 14 days after purchase, just bring in your receipt or method of payment and Target will adjust your payment to the lower price. Note that you cannot price match while using a Cartwheel offers, Target Gift Card offers, Registry completion coupons and Target coupons.
Target will even price match a total of 27 online competitors listed here – including Amazon.com, SamsClub.com, SportsAuthority.com, Walmart.com and even Ulta.com. Plus, you can price match both at your local Target store AND online at Target.com (excluding clearance and other promotions). Also, price matches and adjustments to competitors will not be allowed for prices from Thanksgiving Day through the entire week after Thanksgiving.
14.) 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. 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.
Whenever you complete a Baby Registry, you can then head in store to score a FREE Welcome Gift with coupons, freebies and more – valued at $50! 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 4 friends and family coupons.
15.) Get a 1-Year Satisfaction Guarantee
If you’re not satisfied with any Target Owned Brand item (such as Archer Farms, Cat & Jack, Market Pantry, up & up, Xhilaration, 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 huge Chip and Joanna Gaines fan but don’t live near Waco, TX, you can now shop Hearth & Hand with Magnolia products exclusively at your local Target store and on Target.com! Be sure to check out Joanna’s favorites starting at just $4.99, as well as her how-to’s and know-how’s. Love! ❤️