25 secret ways to save money at Target

Top 4 Secrets To Shopping At Target

If you frequently shop at Target, you already know this retailer can help you save money on anything from pillows to Pepsi. With nearly 1,800 stores across the U.S., the retail giant has made its reputation as a low-price mecca.

But as easy as it is to save money at Target, those with a little advanced Target I.Q. can save even more. GOBankingRates.com asked savings experts to offer 25 money-saving tips to make your Target shopping experience better than ever. Click through to see how you can save money the next time you shop at Target.

25 secret ways to save money at Target (GOBankingRates.com)
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25 secret ways to save money at Target

1. Pick Your Day

Because most Targets mark down certain departments on specific days for clearance, knowing that schedule can help you find the best deals. “For instance, you’ll find the best deals on clearance electronics on a Monday and sporting good clearance on Thursday,” said Christy Palmer, founder of the All Things Target blog.

Here’s a schedule Palmer said is good for most Targets:

  • Monday: electronics, accessories, kids’ clothing, books, baby, stationery
  • Tuesday: domestics, women’s clothing, pets, market (food items)
  • Wednesday: men’s clothing, health & beauty, diapers, lawn & garden, furniture
  • Thursday: housewares, lingerie, shoes, toys, sporting goods, decor & luggage
  • Friday: auto, cosmetics, hardware, jewelry

Photo credit: Supannee Hickman/Shutterstock.com

2. Check for Price Adjustments

Here’s a kick-in-the-teeth sort of a moment: You finally buy that dress you’ve been craving only to see it go on sale the next day. Well, at Target, you can get the difference between what you paid and the new sale price refunded, said Palmer. So for any item that goes on sale within 14 days after purchase, just bring in your receipt and Target will adjust the price for you. Some exclusions do apply, so make sure you read Target’s policy before claiming a price adjustment.

Related: Target Vs. Walmart: Which Price Match Guarantee Saves More?

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3. Shop Amazon

Wait, shop Amazon to save money at Target? Yep, and other select retailers for that matter because Target has a price match guarantee.

As expected, there are some rules and restrictions. But in general, Target will match the lower price from  select online or local retailers. Bring in proof of the current lower price with your original Target receipt to Target’s guest service desk.

Photo credit: Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock.com

4. Check the Wall-Facing End Caps

End caps are the shelves at the end of the aisles, and they are often filled with choice items marked way down. Look for the ones marked “Clearance.” “Most of these are the ones facing the walls, not the main walking aisles, so you may have to do some searching for them,” said Palmer.

But your diligence could pay off since Palmer said these are filled with items that have been marked down from 15 percent to 70 percent off.

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5. Know the Clearance Codes

Clearance items are some of the best deals at Target, Palmer said, and they are marked down to certain levels  in a certain order. “First, items will get marked down to 15 percent or 30 percent off, then to 50 percent off, and finally end up at 70 percent off,” she said.

These items have a red “Clearance” sticker with the original price, the new price and the percentage of the markdown in the top right-hand corner without a percent symbol. “Check the number in the upper-right corner of the price tag.” said Palmer. “If it says ’70,’ it’s been marked down to 70 percent off.”

Photo credit: J. NIBO/Shutterstock.com

6. Shop for the Holidays Early -- or Late

Want Halloween or Christmas decorations, Easter baskets or back-to-school items practically free? Wait a few days or a few weeks after the holiday to buy them.

Holiday items will be cut by 50 percent the day after the holiday — 30 percent for candy. But wait a week or so, and products could go down to 70 percent off. Then, a few days later, if anything is left, they’ll go to 90 percent off, which is practically free.

Here’s a list of days and times of year that Target offers holiday sale prices, according to All Things Target:

  • Valentine’s Day
  • Easter
  • Summer
  • Back to School
  • Halloween
  • Christmas

Photo credit: Syda Productions/Shutterstock.cm

7. Shop Early in the Week

Target releases newspaper insert ads for specials on Sunday, and sales tend to run Sunday through Saturday. So, Palmer advised shopping earlier in the week for popular items to increase your chances of nabbing them on sale.

Photo credit: a katz/Shutterstock.com

8. Clearance Items Version 2.0

Want to cash in on clearance items without dealing with the Target parking lot? Good news: Target has an online Clearance section with items in just about every department. And don’t worry — you’re not going to get stuck slogging through pages of women’s shoes and toddlers’ toys to find a desk lamp. The site is categorized.

Photo credit: Julie Clopper/Shutterstock.com

9. Log On to the Weekly Ad

If you’re saving money by not getting a paper, you can still get in on all the discounted fun by checking the ad online at Target.com. Just look for the “Weekly Ad” tab on the site’s top ribbon. It will have pages of deals from a few dollars off to 25 percent off discounts — or more.

Photo credit: Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com

10. Stack 'Em and Save

If you’ve done your pre-Target-run prep properly, you might have more than one coupon for a single item. No worries: Target lets you stack coupons. So don’t be shy about handing the checkout person a Target coupon, a manufacturer’s coupon and even a third coupon, such as Target’s Cartwheel discount for the same item.

Photo credit: lcatnews/Shutterstock.com

11. Do Cartwheels

No, not down the aisles; use Target’s Cartwheel app. Download the app, and put the coupons you want in your list. When you visit Target, you simply present your barcode via your smartphone, and you will receive the discount.

“By using the Cartwheel app, you can save an extra 5 percent to 50 percent off,” said Palmer. And if you’re not sure if it’s a Cartwheel-discounted item, no problem. “Just scan the UPC code of an item you want to purchase with the phone app and it will tell you if a Cartwheel offer matches up with the item,” said Palmer. The really cool thing is that it can be stacked with other coupons.

Photo credit: Mike Mozart/flickr.com

12. Use a Cash-Back App or Website

To save even more money at Target, sign up for an Ibotta, Ebates, BeFrugal or Checkout 51 account. These online programs and smartphone apps give you money back for selected items you buy at Target or other participating stores. Each service is slightly different, but the bottom line is you receive cash back for the items you buy.

Photo credit: Rocketclips, Inc./Shutterstock.com

13. There's an App for That Coupon

If you have an iPhone or Android smartphone, you can download the Target App, which lets you find and add Cartwheel deals as well as shop Target’s Weekly Ad. Plus, you can find coupons.

Simply download the app, tap “mobile coupons,” and fill out the form. Once the coupons start flowing, you can merely present your smartphone to the cashier for scanning.

Photo credit: Rocketclips, Inc. /Shutterstock.com

14. Check Out the REDcard

Want to save on every single Target purchase? Sign up for Target’s REDcard. It offers 5 percent off at the register on your entire bill, free shipping at Target.com and an extra 30 days to return items. You might want to sign up for the debit version instead of the credit version because the 20-plus-percent variable interest rate on the credit card could wipe out any savings.

Photo credit: Mighty Travels/flickr.com

15. Follow @Target on Twitter

Yep, just like Donald Trump and Taylor Swift, Target tweets. You might have to slog through a lot of splashy ads for things like Popsicles and summer dresses, but pay attention and you’ll also be alerted to deals on new items or free shipping windows. That’s worth a hashtag or two.

Photo credit: Twin Design/Shutterstock.com

16. Use Target's Wedding Registry

Whether you’re buying for another couple or getting hitched yourself, Target’s wedding registry is a great way to save money, said Jeanette Pavini, a savings expert with Coupons.com. It comes with great perks for both giver and receiver.

“Givers get free shipping on all orders of $25 or more,” Pavini said. And after the event, newlyweds get a coupon for 15 percent off remaining items on their registry.

Photo credit: Angela Luchianiuc/Shutterstock.com

17. Buy Discount Gift Cards

You can knock up close to 10 percent off your bill by buying discount gift cards at sites like Gift Card Granny, Giftcard Zen or Raise. The cards are real gift cards that you use like cash, so the bonus is that the gift card savings is in addition to any savings with coupons or sales.

Photo credit: Lighthunter/Shutterstock.com

18. Save Time, Save Money

Time is money, right? Well, the Curbside service — which is available for Target in select areas of San Jose, San Francisco, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Chicago — can help you save a ton of it. Basically, you place your order from the Target of your choice, then pick it up at the curb. “You won’t even have to leave you car,” said Palmer.

Photo credit: Sergey Yechikov/Shutterstock.com

19. Shop at the Dollar Spot

Target’s Dollar Spot, which is right at the entrance to the store, is a great stop for serious bargain-hunters, said Palmer. Items in this section are often just $1 but can be as much as $2 or $3, she said — and even these items get marked down.

“Certain items will get marked down to 50 percent off and then 70 percent off, so you end up paying 50 cents or 30 cents,” she said. “I find great deals on stationary items, coloring books, small toys, holiday items and more.”

Photo credit: Aaron Amat/Shutterstock.com

20. Make a Plan

How often have you run into a market for a gallon of milk and some eggs and come out an hour later with a cart full of extra stuff? That usually spells the opposite of saving. “Planning really is one of the biggest keys when it comes to saving money,” said Palmer.

So take 20 minutes before you leave for Target and plan your trip. “Make a list and stick to it,” she said. “Those Target buyers seem to know what people like, so it’s very easy to see something you just have to have.” If it’s really something you need, don’t worry; you’ll be back.

Photo credit: Lolostock/Shutterstock.com

21. Don't Rely on Just Advertisements

How often have you run into a market for a gallon of milk and some eggs and come out an hour later with a cart full of extra stuff? That usually spells the opposite of saving. “Planning really is one of the biggest keys when it comes to saving money,” said Palmer.

So take 20 minutes before you leave for Target and plan your trip. “Make a list and stick to it,” she said. “Those Target buyers seem to know what people like, so it’s very easy to see something you just have to have.” If it’s really something you need, don’t worry; you’ll be back.

Photo credit: mandritoiu/Shutterstock.com

22. Take Advantage of a Free Gift Card Promotion

Occasionally, Target will offer a Target gift card when you buy a certain number of specific products, said Palmer. “For example, they [might] give you a $10 gift card when you buy two boxes of brand-specific diapers or a $5 gift card when you buy three bottles of brand-specific shampoo or conditioner,” she said.

So keep an eye on the in-store signage, AllThingsTarget.com or your favorite savings website for these gift card offers.

Photo credit: VGstockstudio/Shutterstock.com

23. Go Green, Get Paid

Bring in your own reusable bags, and Target will give you a 5-cent discount at checkout for each reusable. It’s not much but it can add up — especially on those big shopping days.

So far, the savings seem to be adding up for shoppers and the environment: Target shoppers have used more than 190 million reusable bags instead of paper or plastic, according to Target’s website.

Photo credit: stefanolunardi/Shutterstock.com

24. Save While You Sweat

Working out is great for your health, but workout clothes can hurt your wallet. To combat that, check out Champion’s C9 line or workout clothes for Target, said  Lori McDaniel of Offers.com.

“You’ll save as much as 50 percent compared to the regular Champion line on items like leggings,” she said. And she added that Target shoppers won’t give up any quality with the C9 line.

Photo credit: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com

25. Check Out Your Coupons at Checkout

Don’t rush out that door: Many high-value coupons will print after your receipt. You will receive them upon checkout, and Palmer said they can vary from 20 percent off a certain department to 50 cents to $5 off certain items. No wonder Target shoppers come back.

Keep Reading: CVS to Target: 20 Best Loyalty Rewards Programs

Photo credit: Gajus/Shutterstock.com


This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 25 Secret Ways to Save Money at Target

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25 secret ways to save money at Target

Subscribe and Save program
Get up to a 15 percent discount and ship a specific item to you on a set schedule of monthly intervals

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Friday sale
Special discounts on certain items every Friday

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Trade-in program
You can trade-in used and old items for cash, and the site will evaluate how much you'll be paid for the item(s) before you send them in

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Lightning deal
Offers savings on one item for just four hours

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Warehouse deals
Discounts on open box and used items

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Amazon Mom subscription
Program that gives same benefits as prime, plus additional discounts on items like diapers and wipes

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Today's Deals
Page of all special and regular discounts occurring on the site that day

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Price guarantee
If the price of an item you purchase through the site drops within seven days of your purchase, Amazon will refund you the difference (as long as the seller and shipper of the original item is Amazon)

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Goldbox deal
Showcases one item that Amazon offers an extra discount on every day

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Amazon Student subscription
Program that gives you six months of Amazon Prime for free and half-off membership price after the six months

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Free Shipping
If your order is $25 or more, or you have an Amazon Prime subscription 

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