In-Depth Guide to Saving Money at Target

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save money at target

Today’s article is a guest post. Enjoy!

Target has a very loyal fan base. It’s positioned itself as a place to get everything, stock-full of stylish options for everyone. In recent years, they’ve also expanded to carrying groceries in more locations. Target stores vary by location. There are regular, Super, and City Targets, but these shopping strategies will all work. Target has great prices, to begin with, for the most part, but you can save some money without trying very hard, and you can save a ton of money if you can put a little more effort forth.

Target’s Cartwheel app is the best, and possibly easiest, way to save money at Target. It was one of the first in-store shopping apps with great functionality. It’s been around for a few years, so any kinks there may have been at the beginning have primarily been worked out. It’s very easy to sign up for Cartwheel. You can use Facebook, Google, or your email to sign up. You can find offers by browsing through categories, searching for an item, or even scanning the barcode of an item you have in your hand as you shop. If there’s an offer you want to use, you can add it to “My Cartwheel” in the app, and then when you get to the checkout, have the cashier scan it. The discounts come off your total automatically. Discounts are typically around 5 percent but can certainly be higher. There are discounts on all kinds of products and brands, and you’ll often get a discount if you’re willing to buy Target’s generic brand items. Sometimes, offers on the Cartwheel website aren’t available on the app, so check there too.

Are you a couponer? Target is very cool with that. They’re one of the most coupon-friendly stores in the country. They allow you to stack coupons, adding up to extremely good deals. You can use one manufacturer coupon, Target coupon, and Cartwheel offer on an item total. Check in the paper and online for manufacturer coupons. Target mails out ads and also advertises in newspapers so that you can find their coupons there. Target also distributes Catalina coupons, which print out in the store and are handed to you along with your receipt. Sometimes stacking one of these discounts when an item is already on sale can get you a thing for next to nothing. Be careful when using lots of coupons at Target because their lax rules make them a big target in coupon fraud. Always coupon by the book. Carrying their coupon policy with you is a really good habit to get into if you’re shopping there a lot because you want to be prepared if you come across a new cashier who isn’t informed of the policy.

Target offers free gift cards with purchases on a regular basis. You have to buy a specific item, usually in a particular quantity, and get a gift card back, just like that! Of course, they’re often in pretty low denominations, like $5 or $10, but can be up to $20 or so on more expensive items. This is where you can start to make money on items referred to as “moneymakers.” If you’re buying an item that’s already on sale, you have each type of coupon you’re allowed to have, and then you’re also getting a gift card back; sometimes, you end up coming out ahead. Just know that you usually can’t use the gift card the same day you receive it.

You can find really good clearance prices at Target as well. You’ll definitely want to take advantage of excellent post-holiday clearance sales. Have you noticed the seasonal section in your local Target? It’s usually several aisles dedicated to whatever holiday or concept is in season at the time, and many products are packed into those aisles. Once the holiday is over, they need to get rid of the items really quickly, so they mark them down drastically — sometimes up to 90 percent off. These are good times to buy decorations for next year, but you can also get things like paper plates for pennies. These things will be out of season, but for that huge discount, it might be worth it. Target also has clearance on its regular items. Check the ends of the aisles in each department. Sometimes one or two of the endcaps will be devoted to clearance items. They’re occasionally messy, and there’s not much rhyme or reason to them, but you can find some great deals there.

If you shop at Target often, consider signing up for a Red Card. You can choose to sign up for the credit card or the debit card version. The credit card is self-explanatory, but the debit card is linked to your bank account. The perks of the Red Card are unique. You get 5 percent off every purchase you make with it and free shipping online. Five percent doesn’t feel like a lot, but it adds up if you shop there a lot. It can help you save money at Target. You can also sign up for Target Pharmacy rewards to save 5 percent off your first prescription and receive extra coupons in the mail.

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Jason Butler is the owner of My Money Chronicles, a website where he discusses personal finance, side hustles, travel, and more. Jason is from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah State University with his BA in Marketing. Jason has been featured in Forbes, Discover, and Investopedia.