Target Store Guide
Want to learn how to become a savvy AND HIP Target shopper? You’ve come to the right place!
As you may already 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. That being said, be sure to take the time to read through my top tips to save BIG at Target…
Know Which Days 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 the store can help you find the best deals. Keep in mind that the markdown schedule will vary by store, so 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: Automotive, Scarves, Cosmetics, Jewelry, Hardware
Sign Up for a Target Account
Target offers high-value store coupons via their FREE Target Savings App with Target Circle offers, formerly known as Cartwheel offers! Just go here, sign in/register for an account, and add up to 50 offers! You can add/remove offers and manage your Target Circle list from your desktop, or on your mobile device.
Target Circle offers ALL users 1% back on your purchases when you scan your app wallet, enter your mobile number at checkout, or order online. The amount you earn can be banked to spend on future purchases as long as you earn or redeem within one year. Plus, Circle members receive exclusive offers throughout the year including on your birthday!
Even sweeter, Target REDcard holders, receive 5% off purchases instead of the 1% back!
The Target Circle program also allows you to support select nonprofits by earning votes every time you make a purchase and then using your votes to direct where Target gives in your community! Head here to see the nonprofit organizations in your area. Note that these can change throughout the year.
Note that each Target Circle offer may be used for up to a maximum of four qualifying items per offer, per transaction unless otherwise noted. There’s also a limit of one barcode per transaction and six Target Circle barcode scans per day. At the register, just show your unique barcode on your mobile device (or print it out), and the applicable savings will be deducted from your total.
And, if you forgot to scan the app wallet or enter your phone number at checkout, you can still earn by adding your receipt to your account. Just head to your Circle Dashboard and under Missed Purchase, click Enter Receipt.
While shopping in-store, you can scan the barcodes of items that you’re interested in buying with your Target App to see if an offer is available for that item. If so, the offer will pop right up!
HIP TIPS: If you can’t access the internet while shopping at Target, try connecting to Target’s free guest Wi-Fi to access your Target Circle offers. Another suggestion? Create your own Target scannable keychain! Instead of pulling up your Target Circle barcode on your phone at checkout, just have the cashier scan your keychain barcode. Easy Peasy!
Browse the Wall-Facing Endcaps FIRST
Clearance, clearance, clearance! If you’re looking for the best bargains, browse the shelves at the ends of the aisles with the red “Clearance” signs. Most of the clearance endcaps face the store walls (not the ones located down the main walking aisles), and they’re often filled with various items marked down from 15% all the way up to 70% off.
Plus, they can make for sweeter deals when paired with coupons and occasional Target Circle offers which don’t exclude clearance!
Decode the Clearance Tags
Clearance items can make for some of the best bargains at Target as long as you know what you’re looking for. Items are first marked down by 15% or 30%, then to 50% off, and finally to 70% or 90% off. These items have a yellow “clearance” sticker showing the original price, the new 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 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 the holiday or seasonal merchandise, which can be marked down as much as 90% off (in those cases, the code will show “90” in the corner).
Also, rumor has it that if the price tag ends in a $0.06 or $0.08, the item will be priced down again as long as there’s inventory in the store, and it’ll stay on clearance for 1-2 weeks (or while supplies last). However, if a price tag ends in $0.04, it’s final clearance and won’t be marked down again.
Check Inventory Before Making a Special Trip
Before you spend time packing up the kiddos and driving over to your local Target to snag a possible clearance deal, consider using an Inventory Checker to see if your store has the item 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 inaccurate 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.
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, a month, or even longer. They may be posted inside the store but are not in the circular – so you’ll want to be on the lookout!
To receive a Target Gift Card, you must buy certain participating products. 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, Target Circle offers, 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.
Buy 2 Lemi Shine Detergent Booster 12 oz $4.09 each = $5 Target Gift Card
Total = $8.18
Use a 15% Off Lemi Shine Dish Detergent Booster 12oz Target Circle offer – will deduct $1.22
And use two $1/1 Lemi Shine Detergent or Booster printable coupons (limit 2)
Pay $5 (Your coupons will adjust down to 98¢ each)
Get back a FREE $5 Target Gift Card
Final cost: 2 FREE cleaners!
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, 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 the checkout in-store.
Stack the Savings
Did you know 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 Target Circle offer per item, unless prohibited by the coupon.
In addition, Target often releases threshold or category coupons (i.e. $10 off $40 Purina 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 can’t 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 in your Sunday Newspaper Inserts and in the Target App by texting from your mobile device.
Stock Up During 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 the year for Target 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 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’s on sale.
Stop at the Bullseye’s Playground
You can find some great bargains at Target’s Bullseye’s Playground (formerly known as the Dollar Spot), which is usually located at the entrance of 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’s an applicable coupon or Target Circle offer that’s valid on clearance!
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.
Know the Price Match Guarantee
Hang onto your receipts! If you find a current lower price within 14 days after purchase, just bring your receipt to Target and they’ll adjust your cost to the lower price.
Target will even price match a total of 25 online competitors listed here – including Amazon.com, SamsClub.com, and even Kohl’s. Plus, you can price match both at your local Target store AND online at Target.com (excluding clearance and other items).
Sign up for a Baby, Wedding, or College Registry
When 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’ll 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’ll 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.
Even sweeter, whenever you complete a Baby Registry, you can head in store to score a FREE Welcome Gift with coupons, freebies, and more – valued at $50! Plus, eight 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.
If completing a College registry, you’ll score a 15% off coupon for the remaining items on your registry two weeks before your event date.
Get a 1-Year Satisfaction Guarantee
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, the Guest Service desk can look it up. Just be sure to have your item, a government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license), and the method of payment you used within the return window allowed for that item.