Thursday, August 9, 2012
How to Save Money at Target
Target is by far and away one of my favorite places to shop. The store is bright and clean (unlike our local Walmart) and there is an abundance of fun merchandise. With the addition of fresh foods this year, Target has become my mothership.
It's constantly calling me home.
Throughout my Target travels, I have learned much about their sales, coupons and clearance items. Below are some of my tried and true tricks to save a bundle the next time you shop.
Before I dig in, JOIN CARTWHEEL! I saved over $150 in five short months. If you use and remember your cartwheel, you'll save a few dollars every time you shop. Cartwheel can be combined with coupons (manufacturer and Target) and your redcard savings. For more on Cartwheel, click here.
Print Your Coupons
Target's website has a link to print coupons that can be used at any Target store. Before you leave to shop, print what you need and keep them in your wallet so you remember to use them when you pay!
You can double your savings by combining Target coupons with manufacturer's coupons. Each Target coupon can be combined with up to one manufacturer's coupon. This equals big savings if you watch for coupons on items such a Bounty paper towels, yogurts, cleaning supplies and more.
I have a Target coupon for $1.00 off of a Sara Lee bread item. I also clipped a manufacturer coupon in Sunday's paper for $1.00 on any loaf of Sara Lee bread. If I can catch a sale on Sara Lee bread at Target for $1.99/loaf, I can get my bread for free.
Even if I can't catch a sale, $0.50 isn't too shabby for a loaf of bread.
If you're a mobile app kind of gal, sign up for mobile coupons.
I have also had excellent savings using the coupons the store prints along with your receipt at checkout. Always check these, and toss the ones you won't use. A successful shopping trip for me is utilizing Cartwheel, mobile coupons, sales/clearance and store coupons. When you add all these up you save BIG.
Be Clearance Savvy
Target is one of my favorite places to shop clearance. The trick is to know where to find these deals. When shopping at Target, you need to check the "endcaps" or the shelves at the end of the aisles. This is where you will find a bevy of great clearance merchandise. You need to really walk the outer aisles of the store to find the best deals.
Always check your marked down merchandise with the price checker - Target associates may have missed a markdown.
Clearance differs at every store, since clearance sales are intended to sell off the remainder of certain merchandise.
Read the Red Stickers
The tiny number at the top right of the clearance sticker is the percentage the item has been marked down. Items marked down 30% will be marked down again. This is especially true for the after Christmas sales. Target has an abundance of toys and other merchandise they bring in for the holidays. They need to clear these items to make room for Spring merchandise.
If you browse the clearance, hold on the 30% off items. Wait until these prices hit rock bottom. If you are afraid the items will sell out, purchase and save your receipt. If you see the item cheaper a week later, buy again and return the original.
Most often, clearance prices ending in "8" will be marked down again. Clearance prices ending in "4" are the lowest they will go.
Keep Your Receipts and Pay Attention at the Register
Target has a fairly strict return policy, and you'll need to keep your receipts to ensure you can return an item. Target allow $75 worth of returns without a receipt in a calendar year. They track this with your license.
If you lost your receipt, but bought the item with a credit card, Customer Service can usually search for the purchase using your card. If you buy an item that goes on sale, price adjustments can be made within 14 days of purchase using your receipt.
Many times when I've checked out, I haven't gotten an advertised deal. This applies most times to the "buy 4 and get a free $5 giftcard" and similar deals. If the deal is advertised on the shelf by the item - even if the deal expired - go to customer service and explain. Many times they hand over the $5 giftcard with no questions. Well worth the few minutes it takes to question the customer service team about why you didn't get an advertised deal.
Take Advantage of Advertised Deals and Specials
Target runs great deals that include a $5, $10 or sometimes a $25 gift card with purchase. The other week they ran a deal that if you bought 5 participating Kellogg items, you received a gift card for $5 at checkout. I had coupons for Nutri Grain Bars and cereals. I purchased items we enjoy regularly with coupons and received a gift card for $5 to use towards my next Target trip.
The trick here is to BUY ONLY WHAT YOU USE! You're not saving money if you buy three cereals no one eats for a $5 gift card.
Markdown schedules vary by store, but if you shop often you will learn what days items are marked down. Look for markdowns on kid's clothes Mondays, Women's clothes and domestic items Tuesdays, Men's clothes Wednesday, Thursday shoes and housewares, Friday cosmetics.
Remember these days are a guide, stores will vary this schedule.
Other Ways to Save
Target will price match competitors advertised prices, and you can also look into RedCard. Cardholders save 5% every time they shop, and receive other perks and offers. I stay away from store cards, but if you are responsible to pay off every month, this is a way to save. You can also open a card that links to your debit account.
Do you have any other great tips to save? Share please!