If you’ve followed along on my blog before, you know I’m a big fan of couponing and scoring great deals! So I thought I’d put together a little resource on my savings secrets for one of my all-time favorite stores…Target!
Target is so wonderful as a one-stop shopping store…in fact, I go in for one thing and come out with shoes, nail polish a new vase and fresh produce. Every. single. time. But you know what? You can score some great deals on everything from grapes to greeting cards to gladiator sandals with just a few tips!
I can’t tell you how many free/super cheap items I’ve gotten as a result of couponing- it’s awesome! And no, I am not like the crazy people from TLC’s Super Couponing, spending hours and hours cutting coupons and making daily trips to the store…it’s just a little bit of preparation and using some key resources that will save you lots of moolah- who doesn’t love that?!
So with that said, here are my top tips for saving money at Target:
–Printable coupons: These coupons can be printed from a maximum of two times from a single computer (so you can use multiples i.e.- one Target coupon for each item). They have all kinds of coupons from food to home decor to clothing and new ones are added all the time! Note: You will have to install a plug-in to print these the first time. See Tip #3 for info about how to use multiple coupons.
–Clearance: Check out this section for marked down items for purchase online. Note that not everything that is on clearance online is necessarily on clearance at the store and visa versa. I’ve personally gotten lots of items at the store that were on clearance and I found them online for regular price!
–Daily Deals: I love this section of the website! You can sign up for Daily Deal emails/texts, which will send you a handful of items that are on sale for one day only and have free shipping. You can even return items to your local Target store to avoid return shipping costs. (So if there is a dress, I order multiple sizes and return the sizes that didn’t fit without any hassle.) UPDATE: Since I wrote this post, Daily Deals are no longer offered.
–All Deals: This section will basically inform you of all the current promotions that are running right now. For example, there is a deal for 25% all home decor and furniture right now.
Tip #2- Sign up for mobile coupons!
You can get coupons on your phone and show them at the register without having to print anything out! (Many of the coupons are the same as the printable coupons but there are some that are unique to just Target mobile subscribers.) Sign up here. You can also using other cash-back apps like Ibotta for extra savings!
Tip #3- Match sales with coupons for MAXIMUM savings.
Target’s printable coupons can be paired up with manufacturer coupons (i.e.- coupons in your Sunday newspaper) for even more savings! You can use up to one Target store coupon and one manufacturer coupon for a product.
And when shopping, always be on the lookout for red clearance stickers, peelie and tearpad coupons on shelves or on the products themselves, price cuts, and other discounts! When you combine these types of sales with coupons, you can score some great finds!
And you’ve probably seen the weekly ad where you can get a Target Gift Card with the purchase of some # of items, or a certain amount of spending (although these gift card deals may not always be in the circular!) These gift card promotions may last for a week, month, or even longer. By purchasing the participating items, you receive a gift card at check out. The cashier will be prompted by the register to give you a gift card and you won’t be able to use the gift card on that purchase, but you can use the gift card on future purchases. These are great deals, but become even BETTER deals when you have a Target store coupon and a manufacturer coupon as well! I’ve gotten a ton of free/cheap really nice razors and shaving cream this way, among other things.
Tip #4) Know the clearance markdown schedule.
As a general rule of thumb, the basic clearance schedule goes a little like this (and FYI- I don’t know who the original source is on this- let me know if you do!):
Monday- Kids Clothing, Stationary Items, Electronics, Baby Items
Tuesday- Women’s Clothing, Domestics, Food, Pets
Wednesday- Men’s Clothing, Toys, Lawn and Garden
Thursday- Shoes, Lingerie, Housewares, Sporting Goods, Music, Movies & Books, Decor, Luggage
Friday- Jewelry, Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware
So be sure to check out the new clearance items based on the day! And besides these regularly scheduled markdowns..there are big clearance blow outs after the holidays. Literally the day after a holiday, everything is 50% off…so stock up on items for the next year at this time! A few days later, it will drop to 70% off (but by this time, I’ve found everything is mostly picked over) and then a couples days after that, it is 90% off. And get this…whatever is left after that goes to your local Goodwill! I’ve found tons of items there with the Target tags still on them! I’ve also heard there are two additional clearance blow-outs: one for baby items in January and July and one for toys in July and October.
Tip #5- Consider a Target debit or credit card.
The Target debit and credit cards offer 5% off your purchase in store and online AND free shipping…all the time! Plus, you get extended returns and a few other perks. I personally opted for the debit card as it does not affect your credit score (I’ve read that too many lines of credit can hurt your credit store so that was part of my justification.) Click here for more info about the credit and debit cards. Visit CafeCredit to see your current credit score.
Tip #6- Follow couponing experts for weekly match-ups.
There are a ton of great websites out there where fellow bloggers will highlight the best sales each week, telling you which manufacturer’s coupons to clip and pair with other coupons, etc. My favorites include: Jill Cataldo (from the Chicagoland area–check out my Blog Love page for more info about her), Hip2Save and Totally Target.
Tip #7- Take advantage of Target’s price match guarantee.
Did you Target will price match? Here is their official statement:
If you buy a qualifying item at a Target store then find the identical item for less in the following week’s Target weekly ad or within seven days at Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com, BabiesRUs.com or in a competitor’s local printed ad, we’ll match the price. Price match may be requested at Guest Services prior to your purchase with proof of current lower price or by bringing in your original Target store receipt and proof of the current lower price.
I probably wouldn’t waste my time trying to get a price adjustment on a smaller item, but I would certainly consider this for large ticket item purchases (see: Black Friday electronics). Keep in mind that this price match policy doesn’t apply to Target.com purchases. Check out this blog post for additional tips on their policy and click here to learn more about their policy.
Tip #8 – Use Cartwheel
In May 2013, Target released Cartwheel, which allows you to pick and choose offers to load to your “Cartwheel” and redeem in store with your custom barcode on your smartphone OR with your printed Cartwheel list. The cashier just scans the barcode and the savings come right off your total! Basically, it allows you to choose what you want to save on. There are offers in every area of the store and you can use the same deal over and over again (there are limits, but they are generous.)
Plus, you can stack Cartwheel savings, Target coupons, mobile coupons AND manufacturer coupons and even on top of sales and your Target Red Card savings! I tried it out at the store and it worked great! Learn more here and download the app or register online here.
Tip #9- Shop online and get cash back!
Before you shop at target.com, head over to a free cash-back savings site like Ebates or Splender. It varies, but you can earn an additional 2% back on your purchase by just starting at one of these sites and searching for Target and then going from there! (And for that matter, both of these sites have hundreds of retailers where you can earn cash back. Whenever I shop online, I start with one of these sites. It’s free money!)
So there you have it! What tips do you have for saving at Target?
Disclosure: All opinions are my own, and affiliate links are used as appropriate. Coupon at your own risk!