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15 Tips for Saving BIG at Target (There May Be a Few You Didn’t Know)

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Target

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.

You can find Target store coupons on Target.com, by texting from your mobile device and in your Sunday Newspaper Inserts.


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…
  1. Target Store Coupons ($0.50/1 Tide Pods 18ct+)
  2. Cartwheel Offers (5% off baby food)
  3. Manufacturer Coupons ($2/1 package of Huggies diapers)
  4. Target Threshold Coupons (spend $20 on dog food, get $5 off)
  5. Target REDcard Savings (5% off everything)

Afterwards, you can even submit for cash back rebates via the various free apps available to save even more – such as Ibotta and Checkout51!


10.) Shop Seasonal Clearance Sales

Season Clearance (Back to School)

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

Target Reusable Bags

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

Guest Services

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 hereincluding 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.

Click HERE to view the Target Price Match Policy. It’s also a great idea to print a copy of the policy to bring with you to the store in case the cashier/manager has any questions.


14.) Sign up for a Baby, Wedding, or College Registry

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.

As just one idea of the great perks you can receive, Target offers registrants a set of two FREE Keurig Travel Mugs ($48.98 value) if you receive a Keurig brewer from your registry!

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.


BONUS TIP:

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! ❤️

Happy Shopping!
Join The Discussion

Comments 27

  1. karen

    Fyi there is a cartwheel barcode widget u can put on your homescreen which is always there.

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Thanks Karen!

  2. riss

    There’s a college registry now? Wow! What’s next?

    • Kell

      How about a “new job” registry, for people who need supplies for their new office job? Maybe a “new pet” registry, for people who are new pet parents. Hehe 😉

  3. Familyof7

    Technically there is no coupon order at checkout. The computer is no able to scan any coupon in any order and calculate the correct total. I have asked the managers several times and this has been confirmed.

    • Jessica

      When you are using a target coupon that is spend $20 get a $5 gift card it does matter. You have to use that coupon first so the total doesn’t go down under $20 before scanning it

    • Amber

      And the cartwheel should be scanned last.

  4. Mel

    Can someone explain this—how can Target get away with adjusting manufacturers coupons down? They will submit the coupons for full payment. Doesn’t that seem wrong?

    • Princess

      Mel yes, I even talked to a manager and explained that it isn’t fair to adjust my coupon because they will be reimbursed for the full amount. She stated oh well that’s how their system is now. Walgreens don’t adjust they just out right refuse to accept a coupon over the amount of the product (I rather that than adjust and receive full reimbursement).

      • zahra

        At wags add a filler item like a mint or candy works for me.

    • zahra

      It’s not right. The coupon should only be redeemed for the amount they give us customers. Maybe couponer’s can file a joint law suit.

    • Tracey

      I can see MAYBE giving store credit, but the store should not have to “pay us” to take a product (give us the remaining balance of a coupon deal). Like others have said, this will just cause them to stop accepting them (they do not have to, you know?)

  5. Lauren

    The only way I save at Target is by not going to Target. 😂

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      LOL! 😂

  6. SeeBeeShop

    NOTE TIP 8: While having a Target CC or Debit Card that offers 5% back is great, BE WARE that Target’s “confidential consumer information” has been hacked and stolen NUMEROUS times. Personally, it’s happened to me twice when using their debit system. My information was stolen from their records and numerous fraud charges were made on my card. This has happen over and over again. Personally, the 5% discount isn’t worth having to constantly watch my bank statements for fraudulent charges. And to boot, when trying to deal with Target financial customer service has been nothing short of a complete nightmare. I had to close down two checking accounts from two different banks and contest the charges. Target needs to buff up their customer security if they’re going to offer such incentives.

    • Pat

      I guess it depends on your bank. I have had the red card for 10 years or more and no fraudulent charges have every been made on my account but then again my bank is constantly turning off my account when I make an overseas purchase so I have to go in and tell them that was a ligitemit charge so they turn my account back on. LOL I have to argue with them that I did purchase flowers for my mother. LOL. Now I just put money in my mothers account and use her credit card to pay for flowers since her account is in Germany. LOL

  7. Mita

    Another tip is to stock up on gift cards when they have the 10% off coupon (around the winter holidays)….even better than using the Redcard in store!

  8. Jill

    Please count me in Mel. I will sign petition against Target deducting my legit coupons while their store earn money on MY coupons that I paid for paper subscription every Sunday! I deserved to be reimbursed too!

  9. Suzanne H

    If a class action lawsuit is going to be filed, it should be for the constant overcharges at Target! I’ve even had cashiers admit it / joke about (joking along with me, not taunting). They know they consistently overcharge people and they just hope you won’t catch it or it won’t be worth your while to go back.

  10. Sara

    The thing I find frustrating is you can’t price match with Target.com if they’re having promos, like the last Fisher Price one, they were bogo free, but the Fisher Price zoo was like $8 cheaper online, but they couldn’t price match it to online and do the promo. I also agree with Lauren, I spend way too much at Target and avoid it if I don’t want to spend any money. Anytime I run in for two things I come out with 50. Though after my aunt’s house burned down, we restocked it with nearly everything bought at Target and she ended up saving over $600 using Target coupons, Cartwheel, MFQ, and the Red Card, it was pretty amazing.

  11. Laura

    How can you use Target cartwheel last at self checkout? I have to scan cartwheel and then hit pay and then scan my coupons.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Hi Laura! When at self check out you can scan all of your coupons/cartwheel offers with the hand-held scanner and then hit “finish & pay”. Hope this helps!

  12. Cleo

    Hey guys, file a lawsuit about coupon use, and then we will all no longer be able to use them!!!!!!! Please be grateful for the ability to stack offers and have the total go down to zero! Isn’t that good enough?
    I am so grateful for the savings that I can put together with the info here and a little planning!

    • Hope

      We’ll put Cleo, completely agree

    • Tam Green

      Well said, Cleo, agreed. Our country’s ridiculously numerous frivolous unnecessary lawsuits are what’s causing mountains of excess insurance charges here and there and everywhere. And – like you said, file a lawsuit about coupon and use and then we will all no longer be able to use them! we just all need to be grateful. Give a little, get a little.

  13. RO

    Hi, I had bought a toddler shirt and went back to Target a couple of days after to exchange an item saw the shirt on clearance for a few bucks less. I had the receipt, which I was going to use for the exchange, and the gentlemen that was assisting me said I had to have the actual item in order to receive the price adjustment.

    • Jenn

      For price adjustments if I’m past the date or don’t have the item with me, I’ll just buy the item again and return one of them with the old receipt. Price adjustments are good for a couple weeks, while I can return for 3-4 months. Just did that today actually – paid full price for a sweater I really wanted a few weeks ago, finally went on sale online (and in stock) so I re-ordered. Took it back with original receipt today and got $8 back!

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