It’s something all us moms do. Whether it’s once a month, once a week or once a day, we all end up at Target eventually. It’s the end-all and be-all of modern parenthood. From baby clothes and diapers to drugstore goods and grocery staples… from household furniture and decor to holiday and school supplies, Target really does have it all.
For me, I’m there at least twice a week. Each time I go I know that I’m probably not going to get out of there without spending at least $100. It’s like the price of admission. I try, each and every time, to buy enough of everything so that I don’t have to come back.. for at least another week or ten days. But then, only a couple days later, my iPhone “Target” list has a handful of things that are pressing me to return.
So if you’re like me and you shop at Target regularly, it’s helpful to know how to save as much money as possible on each trip.
Here’s the top five ways to save at Target:
This one is the biggest and easiest way to save at Target. Sign up for the Target credit or debit card, known as the RedCard, and make all your Target store purchases on that card to instantly start saving 5%.. On everything! This is the fastest and easiest way to save.
If you apply for the credit card they tend to keep your limit low, say around $500. It’s easy to max that out in a month so switching to the debit card, which pulls the money directly from your checking account, might be easier if you already have money in the bank for your shopping trips.
You can use your RedCard to earn money for your kid’s school too. Connect your RedCard to your local school using Target’s “Take Charge of Education” program and Target will give the equivalent of 1% of your purchase cost to your school each time you use your RedCard.
The Cartwheel App
Install the Cartwheel app on your smartphone and use it to find 5-50% discounts on a large variety of items thought the store. Load it up while you’re shopping (or while waiting in line at checkout) and use the app to scan product barcodes to find special saving offers. Just add the special offers to your Cartwheel app and then, before you pay, have the checkout clerk scan your Cartwheel barcode to apply those savings to your items.
Typically you can always find 5-10% offers on all Target brand items (i.e. Market Pantry, Simply Balanced, etc). If you add them once, they’re usually there and good for 4-6 weeks so you don’t need to add them each time you shop. For brand name and large discounts, those only last anywhere from 2-7 days so try to take advantage of them when you can.
My favorite trick is to open the app when I’m on my way to the store, navigate to the “Offers” list and then have it display sorted by discount. You’ll see what the biggest Cartwheel discount offers are immediately. Just last week I saved 50% on the 7 pack of Disney Princess dolls. That’s one item off my Christmas list – and it’s not even Black Friday yet!
Sign up for Target Pharmacy Rewards when you fill prescriptions at Target. After every 5 prescriptions filled you’ll be sent a one-time one-day 5% off coupon good on everything at Target. Save that coupon for your big spend days or if you’re planning on buying any larger-pricer items to maximize that discount.
You can connect your Pharmacy Rewards account directly with your Redcard too so if you pay for your prescriptions on your RedCard your Pharmacy Rewards will automatically be credited.
Coupons & Giftcard Offers
You can use brand coupons clipped from your local paper or advertisements anytime at Target. Combine them with the Target checkout coupons that they give you at the end of any purchase and you can save twice on the same product. If you’re really good at tracking deals, combine a brand coupon with a Target store coupon and a special Giftcard purchase promotion to the magic “Turkey” of discounts.
For example, this week I used a $.50 off coupon for Cottonelle toilet paper combined with a $3 off Target coupon for the purchase of 2 packs of Cottonelle (or similar brand) paper products.. and then I also got the free $5 Target Giftcard offer for purchasing 2 packs of Cottonelle in one purchase. I saved $3.50 using coupons, earned a $5 gift card for my next store visit and the toilet paper also happened to be on sale, $1 off per pack! That’s a 4 way discount win!
Shop for Clearance Items
One of the best ways to save at Target is to take advantage of their incredible year-round clearance deals. Yes, they have holiday and semi-annual clearance sales too, but every week new items are being marked down on clearance and sometimes catching those deals can be a big money saver.
Look for clearance items typically at the “end caps” of rows. They will have bright orange clearance sticker price tags and/or the shelves within aisles may be identified with similar bright orange clearance labels too.
Typically items start off at 15% mark downs. Then they take them to 30%, 50%, 70% and sometimes even 90% discounts. This can happen over a few days (for holiday items) or over the course of 1-3 weeks for other things.
Stores typically update their clearance merchandise on a schedule that looks something like this:
Mon. — Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby and Stationery
Tues. — Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Market (food items)
Wed. — Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Lawn & Garden items
Thur. — Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor & Luggage
Fri. — Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry
Target may be a place of dread or woe (if you’re shopping with toddlers especially) or it can be a happy zen destination (if you’re lucky enough to wander the aisles alone). Either way, it can be a great place to find deals and maximize savings. Keep these top 5 tips in mind next time you go!