From modest midwest roots in the early 1960s, Target has grown to become one of the nation’s favorite retailers for everything from clothing to groceries. Recently, the company has expanded with their Super Target hypermarket, and hit a bullseye with their City Targets, focused on young professionals living in urban areas. Money.com called Target “cheap-chic,” and the image-conscious discount store has lived up to that designation, offering stylish clothes and trendy electronics and home goods at lower-than-department-store prices.
While Target might have it all (and offer it all at a reasonable price), there are ways to save even more money there that you might have missed. And even though you’ve downloaded the Cartwheel app, are you really using it to its full potential? That’s what we wanted to find out.
Download the Cartwheel app
If you don’t have the Cartwheel app by now, you are missing out. This app is your one stop shop for any and all Target discounts. You simply save the offers you want to your List, and they’ll all consolidate into one barcode on your phone. When scanned at checkout, all of your discounts will be applied at once. As a bonus, the app will also list any current traditional coupons in a tab right below your Cartwheel barcode.
Pro tip: Sign into your app before you get to the store to save time, and if you have an iPhone, download your Cartwheel barcode page to your Passbook – you won’t need to have service to access your discounts.
Scan your items to catch deals you may have missed
The best feature of the Cartwheel app is the scanning function. Using your phone’s camera, you can scan any item in the store, and it will tell you if there’s an offer for that product on the app. If there isn’t an offer available, it will also show you offers for similar products that you might be interested in using. There’s enough slots for 50 Cartwheel offers in each person’s account, so don’t be shy when saving deals.
Let your Cartwheel app get to know you
Another feature of the Cartwheel app is that it’s smart. If you have it on while you’re in the store, it will keep track of where you shop. Then, under the “For You” tab, it will offer you deals based on the departments where you normally shop. Always looking for paper products? Cartwheel will give you deals for Viva.
Jenilee Dunson of the blog Geeky Sweetie says that “it eventually learns your behavior and can recommend items of interest more quickly. For example, if you frequent the electronics section or cosmetics section, the app will learn this, and begin showing you special offers for the types of products you most frequently shop for.”
Check everywhere for Target coupons
Along with Cartwheel deals, Target also offers store coupons – and they can be found in a multitude of places. First off, check the weekly inserts and circulars that get sent to your house. Not only will you get to see the most recent products, but there’s bound to be a Target coupon or two in those pages. You can also sign up for mobile coupons by texting COUPONS to 827438.
Stack your coupons like pancakes
Once you’ve gathered your store coupons, Cartwheel offers, and manufacturer coupons, get ready to use them all. Target supports coupon stacking, which means you’ll be able to use one of each coupon for every item purchased. You should hand the cashier your store and manufacturer coupons first, and then give them your Cartwheel barcode to scan.
Sign up for a Target REDcard
Like any store card, a Target REDcard comes with benefits that are most beneficial when actually shopping at Target. Cardholders will enjoy a 5% discount on all Target purchases, free shipping on most Target.com orders, and an extra 30 days to return items. If you’re not into the idea of another credit card, Target also offers a debit card that will draw the funds right out of your checking account.
Look for the dollar spot and clearance section
Target has a great selection of clearance merchandise. The hard part? Knowing where to find it all. Usually, the majority of Target’s clearance items can be found on the aisle end-caps. You also might find clearance items from the last season/holiday in the seasonal section. They rotate this section often, so there are always products left behind to be sold at rock bottom prices. Finally, be sure to check Target.com’s clearance page.
Another place to find cheap items at Target is the Dollar Spot. Usually located towards the front of the store, this small section offers household items, electronics, and toys for $5 and under.
Pro Tip: Although a lot of coupons on the Cartwheel app won’t apply to clearance items, there are some instances in which they do – so always be sure to scan every item with the app.
Buy products that reward you with gift cards
One of Target’s signature deals is the “free gift card with purchase” offer that is available on some purchases. When you’re in the store, look for price markers that are a little larger than others – these are usually products involved in the gift card deal. You can also head to the deals page online, where they’ll list any free gift card offers in departments like beauty, personal care, and even baby. Make sure to read all the fine print – Target usually requires you to buy multiple items to redeem your free gift card.
Shop around – Target honors price matching
Before you embark on your Target shopping journey, be sure to shop around at similar stores first. If you find the same product for a lower price at one of its competitors, like Amazon or Walmart, they will match the price for you. And don’t worry if you forgot to shop around early – you can still receive price matching up to 14 days after your purchase.
Pro Tip: Price matching for past Target.com purchases can not be completed in-store. You’ll have to call Target guest services.
Back up your registry
Target is an obvious choice for a baby or wedding registry, simply because of the amount and variety of products that they offer. But as an added bonus, Target will offer you 15% off any items left on your registry that you didn’t end up receiving as a gift. Also, you’ll have up to a year after your due date/wedding date to return any of your gifted items.
You can read more Target couponing hacks on this forum thread. We’d like to congratulate Monica Geglio on winning the $25 gift card for sharing the most unique and original Target savings hack! Check out this week’s contest for Forever 21 and enter to win a $25 gift card here.