As you may all be aware, I’m obsessed with Target. It’s my happy place. I go there when I’m sad, I go there when I’m happy, when I’m craving a Starbucks Venti Black Ice Tea, or just craving a little “me” time. Give me two free hours and I will stroll down every single Target aisle as happy as can be. I usually share my trips on Instagram stories, so make sure you are following me!
Over the years, I’ve learned how to save a lot of money at Target. Of course, if I didn’t go there twice a week I could probably save even more money. Yes, I totally needed that shirt in three colors and those pot holders, but who’s counting? 🙂 But seriously, I always get asked how I find the best deals so for this week’s Target Thursday I’m sharing my top ten tips on saving money EVERY trip.
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Per Target’s coupon policy, you can combine manufacture coupons (like ones from the Sunday paper or my favorite coupons.com) plus Target coupons. So for this Pine-Sol example, you could use the manufacture coupon of 75 cents + the Target coupon of 50 cents = a total savings of $1.25.
BONUS TIP: look for coupon savings in the store and sales ad – shelves will be marked with signs. Text TARGET (827438) with the code on the sign and you’ll receive your coupon right there in the store!
2. GIFT CARD DEALS
Every week Target usually has a gift card deal. Spend (x) amount on certain items and recieve a $5 or $10 gift card. The most popular deals are for cleaning products or food items. Every time I’m shopping for cleaning supplies, I check the coupons and the weekly ad for gift card deals.
BONUS TIP: purchase these deal items first when checking out, the cashier will give you your gift card that you can then put towards the rest of your purchases.
The best thing since sliced bread! I’m obsessed with Cartwheel. It’s an app that you can download to your phone that gives you daily or weekly offers on your favorite items. While I’m shopping, I scan every item before putting it into my cart to see if it qualifies for savings (anywhere from 5% – 40% off) and if it doesn’t, the app will suggest a similar item that does!
4. TARGET RED CARD
The Target REDcard will get you 5% savings every time you use it! Target has two options – a debit card or a credit card. The debit card is great because it’s linked to your bank account (and most likely how you’d be paying for your items anyways) but it gives you 5% off. Plus, it also allows for FREE SHIPPING on online purchases and an extra 30 days for returns. I’ve purchased headboards, outdoor furniture, and other oversized items and didn’t pay a dime on shipping with my red card!
BONUS TIP: every once in awhile the Target gods will align and you can use all four of these tricks together – the manufacture coupon, the Target coupon, gift card deal, and Cartwheel + your extra 5% off. This will save money big time!
Shopkick is another phone app that saves you money! There are deals and exclusive rewards at many stores, but I mainly use mine for Target. The “kicks” are reward points that can be redeemed for gift cards. You can get kicks just for walking thru the doors! When you’re at the front of the store browsing The Dollar Spot, open the phone app to earn your kicks. You can also get kicks for scanning certain items. The app will tell you what items are featured that week and if you see them, scan them! There are many other ways to earn kicks, but I use these two the most in Target and when I’ve earned enough kicks I trade them in for a gift card right there in the store.
Shop the end caps of aisles for all the best clearance deals and learn how to read the red stickers. In the top right corner there will be a small number. That number represents the percentage mark down. So in this case, my table cloth was marked down 50% and has a number 50 in the top right corner. Also, if the new price ends in $0.06 or $0.08 it will be marked down again. So if I was patient, I could of waited the two week clearance cycle and got this table cloth for 75% off. But there was only a few in stock, so I didn’t want to take the chance. If the item ends in a $0.04 that is the lowest mark down the item will be sold. So grab it!
BONUS TIP: scan items from end caps at in-store scanner, sometims the price is even lower than the sticker! Also, if you see an employee marking clearance stickers on similar items, ask them to check your item too!
7. KNOW THE CLEARANCE SCHEDULE
Knowing which days of the week certain items go on clearance will help plan your shopping trip and save you more money. Plus you won’t miss out on the popular items like home decor and clothing (Tuesday’s are my favorite day)! 🙂
8. ONLINE CODES & PICK UP IN STORE
Every week Target has online coupon codes for exclusive items. Sometimes when I’m in the store and see a higher priced item, I will use the Target app to scan the item and check the price online. If there is an online code like 10% off, I will usually wait and order the item online since I am getting free shipping anyways with my REDcard or if the item is more than $25. Or you can order it, use the online code and choose pick up in store to use the code.
Save all your receipts! I used to not worry about my receipts because with the REDcard you can return items without one, but I’ve learned a few things. If an item goes on a sale less than two weeks after you have purchased it for full price, show your receipt to customer service and you will be refunded the difference! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought something and then the next week I saw it in the sales ad. Save those receipts!
As I mentioned before, you can return items up to 90 days with the REDcard. Target accepts most items without a receipt by searching for the transaction on your card. However, they also accept returns using your ID only but you will receive the lowest price the item sold for.
Did you know you can return items to Target for up to a year? I didn’t either until one employee kindly informed me. The story goes like this – when we were building our house I bought a whole bunch of curtains on clearance thinking they’d be great for our new home. Well all of the windows in our house are extremely tall and I needed the 95″ but all the curtains I had were 84″. By this time it had been about six months and I no longer had the receipts. I tried selling the curtains, giving them away, etc but I couldn’t get rid of them. I was telling the employee about my dilemma and she said “oh bring them in, they changed our return policy”. Luckily, the price I bought them for was the lowest price so I got all my money back!
Target also accepts returns on any online orders. So I love to shop Target for big items like rugs, outdoor furniture, etc. No more worrying about paying the shipping costs when returning an online item. Win win!
When you know the secrets, Target will quickly become your favorite store too! It’s easy to spend money there but it’s also easy to save money! Do you have any tips or tricks for shopping at Target?
Great post, Allison! Thank you for all the astute advice. I have to say, I am constantly amazed at how much Target pricing has increased over the years. I do love the breadth of choice and coolness factor of their home goods, but more often than not, I’m stopped in my tracks by the costs. So I appreciate your tips a lot. Cheers, Ardith