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Target is usually a great option for any frugal shopper. I’m there at least once a week for something or another. However, even if you’ve been shopping at Target for years, there are some “secrets” to save at Target that you may not know. Today I’m going to share my favorite ways to save—hopefully these make you love Target even more!
28 Secrets to Save at Target
Shop on certain days
While certain stores may have different schedules, it can sometimes pay to shop on a certain day. The following schedule explains how many Target stores tend to mark down items for clearance:
Monday is electronics, accessories, kids’ clothing, books, baby, and stationery
Tuesday is home goods, women’s clothing, pets, and food items
Wednesday is men’s clothing, health & beauty, diapers, lawn & garden, and furniture
Thursday is houseware, lingerie, shoes, toys, sporting goods, decor, and luggage
Friday is automotive, cosmetics, hardware, and jewelry.
(Remember: this may not be the same at every store!)
Pay attention to price changes
If the item you bought goes on sale within 14 days, Target will adjust the price and give you back the difference. This is huge!
Take advantage of gift card offers
Every week, Target has new gift card offers where when you buy certain items or spend a certain amount of money in certain items, you get a Target gift card back. You can use coupons on these and even pay with gift cards you earned from last weeks deals!! To see this week’s deals, check out our Target deal list.
Tip: You can load any gift cards you earn straight into your Target app under the Wallet section. Now you don’t have to keep up with them and will use them automatically the next time you check out!!
Get a Target Redcard
When you apply and are approved for a Target Redcard (credit or debit), you can get 5% off your purchase every day and pay within the Target app while in the store. They also run a number of special discounts just for REDcard holders throughout the year and you get early access to Black Friday deals! Oh, and another biggie… free shipping on every order from Target.com.
Pair coupons with trial size items
If a coupon doesn’t indicate a minimum size, then see if you can pair it with a trial size item! That will likely make the item extremely cheap or even FREE! This works in other stores too, but most weeks Target runs an ongoing Buy 3 Get 1 Free in trial sizes and they are priced lower than grocery stores ever put them.
Price-match with Amazon
Target will price-match with online retailers like Amazon. If you find the same item at a lower price, they will match it. You can then save even more money by paying for it using your Redcard!
Tip: Use the Southern Savers app to help price match. There is a bar code scanner in the app that will show you the online price for items when you scan the barcode. Walk straight to customer service and get that price!
Price-match local store ads
Target is one of the only stores left that will price match a local ad or even their online price! If you find a sweet deal on a graphing calculator at Staples, get the same deal at Target. You can show the online version of the ad at customer service to get the price match.
One of the great things about Target is that you can stack coupons and other deals. If an item has a manufacturer’s coupon, a Circle offer, and a store coupon that are all relevant, you can use all of them! For more info, see the Target coupon policy.
You can also come home and still use mobile apps like Ibotta with the deal too!
Follow Southern Savers
Keeping up with all of this can be slightly overwhelming BUT I do all the work for you! I post the Target weekly ad every Friday (two days before the ad starts). I’ll also keep you updated on what clearance deals people are finding and my top 10 favorite deals each week. See all the current Target Deals.
Examine clearance codes
Rumor has it that if the clearance price ends in a -4, it likely won’t be marked down any more. Otherwise, at the top right of the clearance tag, you can see the amount of the current discount. They generally follow a schedule of 15%-30%-50%-70%-90% off as long as there is inventory. So if you see a large number of items that have been marked down 30%, wait a week or so and go back to see if they’ve been marked down further!
It is rare for items to hit 90% these days. Most Target stores have a deal with Goodwill and they will take items off the shelf after 70% and donate them. Rarely (aka never) buy these items at Goodwill, they go back to maybe 30% off their original prices.
Use Circle offers
Within the Target app, you can add Circle offers and then scan the app at checkout. These offers are usually for a percentage off, sometimes up to 50%! Another tip related to this is to use the Target app and always scan every item in your cart before you checkout to see if there are any applicable Circle offers. Target brand items often have 5% off Circle offers in the app, which really makes for 10% off if you’re using your Redcard.
Shop the post-holiday clearance
Items get marked down to up to 90% off after the holidays or at the end of certain seasons. Things like Christmas wrapping paper and certain decorations aren’t going to get ruined over the course of the year, so buy now and save a ton of money for next year’s holiday seasons. Their toy sales are always a hit.
Big sales to watch for (all estimates based on past years):
Jan 5-7th – Christmas Clearance hits 50%+
February 15th- Valentines hits 50%
Day After Easter
July 1-7th Summer Clearance hits 30-50% off
Week after Labor Day – School Clearance 50% or more
Buy discount gift cards
You can get a few dollars off Target gift cards of varying amounts through Raise. The larger the amount of the gift card, the more you’ll save. Another place is the grocery store, watch for gas saving offers from Kroger, when they run 4X the fuel perks you will basically get 14% of the card value back in gas savings!
Shop through Rakuten to get cash back
Formerly Ebates, Rakuten lets you shop through their site and get cash back at various retailers like Target. On a normal day it’s not a ton, but they do run double cash back days with higher rates!
Look for unadvertised markdowns
All over the store there will be unadvertised markdowns if you just keep your eyes open. I found the game above in the middle of the game section with a bunch of other regularly priced items. In other words, don’t just scout the clearance end caps and sections!
Compare online with in-store prices
Even though it doesn’t really make sense as to why, sometimes the price of the same item at Target.com is cheaper than in the store. If that’s the case, you can get customer service to price match the online price in the store! Just show them the price on your phone at checkout!
Buy toys in January and July
Target has two big clearance events on toys during the year. This is a great time to stockpile gifts for birthdays and other special events. You’ll find enter aisles that are marked down!
Check the clearance sections
Every section of the store has its own clearance section, and the endcaps in most areas of the store also have clearance items. I always check the endcaps in the food section for seasonal treats that have been marked down super cheap.
Tip: You can still use a manufacturer coupon on Clearance items. Checking the end caps in the personal care section can make for very sweet deals!
Ask for rainchecks
If items that are on sale are sold out, ask for a raincheck so you can still get the same price on the item when it’s back in stock. Some holiday items will not be eligible, but most every other sale they will be happy to give you a raincheck.
Use competitors’ manufacturer’s coupons
Even if a manufacturer’s coupon says “redeem at Walmart,” you can use coupons like these at Target. Think about the coupons that print in some stores at the register or that you get in home mailers, all of them are fine to use at Target (or any other stores).
Shop at the Dollar Spot at the entrance of the store
This is where I go for stocking stuffers, little trinkets for long car trips, or even seasonal decorations. We recently did a women’s event at our church and I was able to make two fall-themed gift baskets almost entirely with items from the Dollar Spot!
Use mobile store coupons
Every week Target has different store coupons in the weekly ad. If you don’t get the paper or don’t have the ad with you, those store coupons are all in the Target app and on the Target.com website. You can load all the weekly ad coupons straight to your account plus find extra offers (like this week’s $5 off $15 in Nabisco products).
Save 5 cents with reusable bags
Target will take 5 cents off for each reusable bag you bring. Considering how many bags I normally use at Target, this could save a chunk! You can even apply this discount at the self checkout registers.
Submit receipts to certain apps
Whether you use the Target Redcard or not, you can submit your receipts to certain apps to earn points toward gift cards and other rewards. Check out our guide to receipt scanning apps.
Fill prescriptions at the Target Pharmacy
Now affiliated with CVS, every time you fill 10 prescriptions, you get a $5 Target coupon.
Stack offers when shopping online
You can shop the same gift card deals and sales at Target.com plus now you can also use most Target Circle offers online too! Plus, don’t forget REDcard holders get free shipping on any order. While the deal may be better with a paper coupon, this way you never have to leave the house!
Buy Target’s “Smartly” brand items
If you’re not into buying certain items with coupons, you can still get household and toiletry items really inexpensively by buying Target’s “Smartly” brand. We’ve been using their hand soap and I love the way it smells. I also use their shaving cream!
Order online and choose the pick-up option
My last tip will hopefully make sense to anyone who’s ever gone into Target and left with things not on their list. By using this option, the Target employees will get everything on your list and then you’ll just have to run in or Drive up and get them. That way you can avoid the temptation to get things that aren’t on your list! There is no extra cost for either service.
Follow Southern Savers
Keeping up with all of this can be slightly overwhelming BUT I do all the work for you! I post the Target weekly ad the Friday before the ad starts. I’ll also keep you updated on what clearance deals people are finding and my top 10 favorite deals each week.
Do you know another secret that I don’t? Let us know in the comments!