14 Sneaky Ways to Save Money at Target
We all know the best way to save money at Target is to not step foot near one, because as soon as we do, our cash has a tendency to grow wings. But that’s hard… really hard. Because we love Target. Thankfully, there are plenty of sneaky ways you can save at the old bullseye—if you’re committed. In fact, with a few different mobile coupon options, the store has actually made it really easy for us to save. Read on below for a few of our favorite money-saving tricks.
Read the decimals.
At Target, price tags ending in .98, .88, .04, and .24 are clearance items, while items ending in .99 are full price, and those ending in .97 have been marked down but are not on clearance. Items ending in .97 that also have an asterisk on the tag are clearance items. Look out for these digits to know when you’re getting a deal.
Find out the price reduction.
On the top right corner of each clearance Target price tag, there is a small number—this indicates the percentage by which the original price was reduced. Target marks down most products incrementally in this order: 15%, 20%, 50%, 70%, and 90%. Clothes are marked down 30%, 50%, and then 70%; seasonal items down 30%, 50%, 70%, and 90%. If the number on a price tag of an item you really admire is low, consider waiting: You may get a better deal if you have patience. Items stay at each percentage for 10 to 14 days before being marked down further.
Target’s website offers printable coupons for hundreds of products in all categories, including baby items, beauty products, cleaning supplies, food, health items, home décor, and pet products.
Get mobile coupons.
If printing coupons is a hassle for you, sign up for Target’s mobile coupon program. Within the app, new coupons, which can be scanned at the register, will be sent to your phone monthly. You can also sign up for mobile coupons by texting COUPONS to 827438.
Sign up for Target Cartwheel.
Target’s new social coupon program, Cartwheel, is a mobile app that offers hundreds of coupons across every category, from groceries to fashion. By scanning your phone at checkout, you’ll instantly save, and each offer can be used up to four times, as well as stacked with other Target coupons and manufacturer coupons. Better yet, the more you use Cartwheel, share it, and interact with the app, you will unlock even more offers.
Save your receipts.
As a reward for its loyal shoppers, Target has begun to print higher-value coupons on its receipts. Always take your receipt and check to see if it’s something you might want to purchase in the future.
Read the weekly ad.
If you’re a regular Target shopper, get in the habit of reading the store’s weekly ad to see what’s on sale at your location.
Purchase discounted gift cards.
Browse the perimeter of the store first.
Target places most of its clearance items on its “end caps,” the shelves at the end of each aisle. Browse the end caps first before you go deeper into the aisles to get first dibs on the bargains.
Familiarize yourself with the weekly markdown schedule.
Target has an unofficial markdown schedule for when products in different departments are discounted. Familiarize yourself with it and do your shopping on those days when items you need go on sale.
Monday: baby items, children’s clothing, electronics, and office supplies/gift wrap/stationery.
Tuesday: home décor, women’s clothing, and domestic items.
Wednesday: food, health and beauty items, men's clothing, toys, and garden items.
Thursday: lingerie, housewares, sporting goods, shoes, and luggage.
Friday: cosmetics, jewelry, hardware, automotive, and home improvement.
Shop the dollar section.
Target’s Dollar Spot is a big section of $1 items, usually in the front of the store. Take a loop through it first—you may be surprised what you find. Sometimes there’s an additional clearance on Dollar Spot, meaning you could be paying just 50 cents for something that makes you smile.
Get the Target Red Card.
We don’t recommend signing up for an additional credit card unless you can use it responsibly and you’re certain it won’t impact your credit score. However, if you’re a regular Target shopper, the Red Card has great perks: 5% off your entire purchase every time, free shipping on online orders, and an extra 30 days for returns.
Follow up on Target’s price-matching policy.
If you buy a qualifying item at Target and then find the identical item for less at Target.com; select online competitors like Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, and CVS; or in Target’s or a competitor’s local printed or digital ad, the store will match the price within 14 days of your purchase. If you want a price match for an order you made online, you’ll receive one, but you’ll have to call guest services (1-800-591-3869) for the adjustment.
Bring your own bag.
Depending on which city you live in, your Target store may give you 5 cents off your purchase for each bag that you bring in and use when you check out.
Shop a few of our favorite Target finds below.
Do you have any other money-saving tips for shopping at Target to share? Let us know in the comments.