If you shop at Target often, you already know that this retailer can help you save money on everything from pillows to Pepsi. With more than 1,800 stores across the US, the retail giant has earned a reputation as a low-cost hangout.
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But the easier it is to save at Target, those with extra Target intelligence can save even more. GOBankingRates asked savings experts for money-saving tips to make your Target shopping experience better than ever.
1. Choose Your Day
Knowing the schedule can help you find the best Target deals, as most Targets flag specific departments for approval on specific days.
“For example, you’ll find the best deals on customs electronics on a Monday and a good Thursday for sports,” said Christy Palmer, founder of the All Things Target blog.
Here’s a program that Palmer says is good for most Targets:
Monday: electronics, accessory, children’s clothing, book, baby, stationery
Tuesday: Household goods, women’s clothing, pets, markets (food items)
Wednesday: Men’s clothing, health and beauty, diapers, lawn and garden, furniture
Thursday: Household goods, underwear, shoes, toys, sports equipment, decor and suitcases
Friday: Automobile, cosmetics, hardware, jewelry
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2. Check Price Settings
Here’s the moment everyone feels and no one likes: You finally buy the dress you want so much to see it on sale the next day. You can get back the difference between what you paid at Target and the new selling price, Palmer said.
Therefore, if an item you purchased goes on sale within 14 days of purchase, simply bring your voucher; Target will adjust the price for you. Some exceptions apply, so be sure to read Target’s policy before requesting a price adjustment.
3. Shop on Amazon
Wait, can you shop on Amazon to save at Target? That’s right, because Target is one of many retailers with a price match guarantee.
As expected, there are some rules and restrictions. But overall, Target will meet the lower price of certain online or local retailers.
4. Know the Clearance Codes
Palmer said that Clearance items are some of the best deals at Target, and are discounted to certain levels in no particular order. “First, products will drop to 15% or 30%, then to 50% and finally to 70%,” he said.
According to Palmer, if you’re hunting for takeout items, they should be marked with red or yellow stickers. The new price and discount percentage will be in the upper right corner without the percentage symbol.
“Check the number in the upper right corner of the price tag,” Palmer said. “If it says ’70’, it’s discounted up to 70%.”
If a price ends at $0.04, this usually indicates that it has reached the lowest price drop.
5. Shop Early or Late for the Holidays
Want nearly free Halloween or Christmas decorations, Easter baskets, or back-to-school items? Wait a few days or weeks after the holidays to buy them.
Holiday products will be cut by 50% the day after the holiday — 30% for sugar. But wait a week or so and products can be up to 70% off. Then, a few days later, if there’s anything left, they’ll go for a 90% discount, almost free.
Here is a list of the days and times of the year when Target offers holiday discount prices, according to All Things Target:
back to school
6. Stack and Save
If you have done your target pre-run preparation properly, you may have multiple coupons for a single product. No problem: Target lets you stack coupons.
Feel free to give the payer a third coupon like a Target coupon, a manufacturer’s coupon, or even a Target Cartwheel discount for the same item.
7. Use a Cashback App or Website
Sign up for an Ibotta, Ebates or BeFrugal account to save even more at Target. These online programs and smartphone apps give your money back for selected items you purchase from Target or other participating stores.
Each service is slightly different, but ultimately you’ll get refunds for your purchases.
8. Use Destination’s Wedding Registry, Even If You’re Not Married
Even if you’re not actually married or have a baby, setting up a wedding or baby registry is a sneaky way to save on big-ticket items.
“What I do to save money on Target is create a record for items I need,” said Becky Beach, founder of MomBeach.com. “After registration date [event, Target gives you a coupon] for 15% discount [the remaining items]. I was able to get a brand new TV set cheaper that way after our toddler broke our TV.”
Top up the 15% discount with the 5% you get by shopping with REDcard and any Cartwheel discount and save big bucks.
9. Buy Discounted Gift Cards
You can save even more on your bill by purchasing discounted gift cards from sites like Gift Card Granny or Raise. Cards are real gift cards that you use like cash, so the bonus is that gift card savings are in addition to savings with coupons or sales.
10. Don’t Trust Ads
Periodically, Target may have unadvertised discounts on items. These bargains will be labeled with red and white sales signs, with dates on the bottom of the signs showing how long the sales are valid, Palmer said.
“Some are valid for more than a week, some selling prices last a month or longer,” he said.
11. Go Green, Earn Money
Bring your own reusable bags and Target will give you a 5-cent discount at checkout for each reusable bag. It’s not much, but it can accumulate — especially on big shopping days.
12. Shop Online Instead of In Store
“My advice to saving money on Target, which most people don’t know and isn’t mentioned by Target, is that online prices are cheaper than in-store,” said Vanessa Valiente, a San Diego-based personal shopper and creator of fashion blog V-Style. “Order items online to get the in-store price and save time, and then click ‘pick up in store.’
13. Compare Prices at Multiple Store Locations
When a product is on sale in one store, it may not be in another. Use BrickSeek.com’s Target inventory checker to find the best price at different Targets in your area, said Collin Morgan, CEO of frugal living site Hip2Save.com.
“One of the things I love about Target is that if you wait long enough to buy a product you love, it will eventually get liquidated,” Morgan said. “Get the UPC number on the label or the DPCI number found in online listings and use BrickSeek to check current prices. If you’re lucky enough to live near multiple Target stores, you can spot and see where the best price is before you head out. BrickSeek is always 100% I’ll say it’s not true, but it’s a great resource.”
14. Use Coupons From Other Sites
Target coupons are not limited to what you can find on the website, app and circulars. Check sites like RetailMeNot, Groupon, and DealCatcher to find more Target coupons to stack.
15. Use a Coupon Collector When Shopping at Target.com
When you install the Honey extension in your browser, you will automatically receive all valid promotional codes applied to your Target.com purchase.
16. You Don’t Have to Buy 2 Items to Enjoy ‘2 for’ Pricing
Target often labels discounted items as “2 for x dollars,” but you don’t actually need to buy two items to get the lower price, according to Krazy Koupon Lady. These signs may entice you to buy more than you normally would, so keep buying one of the marked ones to really save money.
17. Buy Toys in January, July, and December
According to Krazy Koupon Lady, Target has six-month toy sales in January and July, and also offers big discounts on toys during the holidays. Stock up on toys for birthday and holiday gifts during these big sale times.
18. Get Rain Control For A Sold Out Sales Product
If an item you want is out of stock, you can ask customer service to issue a rain voucher that will allow you to purchase the item at that day’s sale price, according to Krazy Coupon Lady. This rain control is good for up to 45 days. Not every Target store offers this benefit – but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
19. Use Manufacturer’s Coupons Even If They Say It’s For Other Stores
According to Krazy Koupon Lady, Target accepts manufacturer’s coupons even if they’re labeled “Available at Walmart” or available at another store.
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Taylor Bell and Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting of this article.
This article was originally published on GOBankingRates.com: Target Doesn’t Want You To Know These Money-Saving Secrets
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