Target is chock-full of great finds. There are affordable, stylish clothes, chic decor, and even food. It’s almost too easy to get carried away do some serious damage with your wallet. With that in mind, here are nine easy Target shopping hacks.
Embrace the ‘dollar spot’
Don’t shun Bullseye’s Playground, AKA “The Dollar Spot,” when you walk into Target. It’s right by the entrance, so take a few minutes to browse. It’s full of marked-down goodies, and it’s a great place to look for small gifts. Be careful, though: It’s almost too easy to load up your cart in the dollar spot, so make sure you’re buying something you actually want rather than just snagging something because it’s a good deal.
Coupons are the way to go
Always keep your eyes peeled for coupons. At Target, you can even use several per transaction as long as the coupon doesn’t specify otherwise. Check Target’s website, the local newspaper, or online coupon sites to check for deals. And don’t forget about the Target Cartwheel app, which has its own exclusive coupons. Fun fact: You can even stack manufacturers’ coupons with Target coupons for more savings!
Opening a credit card isn’t always the best idea — especially if you’re planning to use it to buy things you couldn’t otherwise afford. On the other hand, Target’s REDcard offers a few cost-saving perks — and you don’t necessarily have to open up a new line of credit. Sure, you can get a REDcard credit card, but Target also offers a REDcard debit card. The key difference is that the debit card pulls money from your bank account. Both options qualify for REDcard benefits, like 5% discount on most purchases, early access to some products and promotions, free two-day shipping and extended 30-day returns.
Check on Circle
Target is currently testing Circle, a loyalty program that offers 1% back on purchases. Right now, it’s only available in some U.S. metro areas, but it offers 1% back on every trip that you can redeem at Target later. Circle also offers personalized discounts on members’ birthdays. Shoppers who have REDcards can still sign up for Circle, but they get their full 5% instead of 1%.
Rock the app
Let your smartphone do some of the work for you. Download Target’s app to get Cartwheel deals — there are hundreds of daily offers, and you can scan barcodes while you shop to get even more — plus exclusive coupons. The app also makes it even more convenient to stay updated on the Weekly Ad deals.
It never hurts to ask
Target does rain checks on sale items. If you’re looking for a sale item and it’s not in stock, Target extends the sale price to you for the next 30-45 days, depending on your state. Just ask an associate for help. You can use your rain check at any Target. This doesn’t apply to items marked “No Rain Checks” and some select products, and it can’t be used on Target.com. And while you’ll have to check on availability yourself, Target will offer substitutes if possible.
Keep an eye on end caps and markdowns
It’s always good to be prepared. Check the end caps — those displays at the end of the aisles — for clearance items. Plus, Target has weekly markdowns. Here’s how All Things Target breaks down the markdown schedule for most Target stores.
Target Weekly Markdowns:
Monday: Electronics, accessories, kids’ clothing, books, baby and stationary.
Tuesday: Domestic goods, women’s clothing, pets and food items in the market.
Wednesday: Men’s clothing, health, and beauty, diapers, furniture and lawn, and garden.
Thursday: Houseware, lingerie, shoes, toys, sporting goods, decor, and luggage.
Friday: Auto, cosmetics, hardware, and jewelry.
The Weekly Ad is your friend
Check Target’s Weekly Ad section on its website to scope out major sales that change every seven days. It’s the easiest way to stay on top of savings opportunities. Pro tip: You can sign up for a Weekly Ad email so the deals come to you.
Consider Target’s brands
It’s no secret that you can often save money by shopping store-owned brands. Target owns more than 30 brands, including Up & Up, Archer Farms and Made By Design. You should always compare prices for common products, but Target’s brands are definitely competitive and can offer some serious cost savings. Target’s Smartly brand, for example, has bargain personal care products and essentials, and most of its items cost just $2 or less.
Besides convenience, ordering online can have other advantages. I recently placed an order and I was given the option to have my items combined into fewer shipments, which earned me a dollar back. That’s not a huge savings, but it’s a dollar I didn’t have before!