How to Maximize Your Savings at Target

Posted December 5, 2012 at 9:34 am December 24, 2013 11:30 am


It’s easy to find yourself at Target with a cart full of stuff that you might not need, but that you most definitely want. If you arm yourself with a few simple strategies, you can save some serious money on your next trip to Target.

The first thing you need to know about saving money at Target is where to find the coupons. Did you know that Target offers store coupons? This is the key to savings! You can use a Target store coupon on top of a manufacturer coupon for maximum savings. Check out the Target coupon policy for more information about using coupons at Target.

Where to get Target Coupons

    On the left side of the coupon page, you can see the total dollar value of all the current coupons. When you go through and click all of the coupons you want to print, you’ll see the value of all the coupons you’ve selected and you’ll get a clear picture of your potential savings. Note: You can typically print two of each Target coupon.The coupons on aren’t all store coupons; some of them are manufacturer coupons. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell if a coupon is a store or manufacturer coupon before printing it. Either way you will get great coupons!
  2. At checkout
    You may get Catalina coupons at checkout that print at the register with your receipt. Catalinas will be a Target coupon or manufacturer coupon. They will look exactly the same except for the wording on the top of the coupon so make sure to read carefully.
  3. On your mobile device
    If you are attached to your phone like I am, then be sure to take advantage of Target mobile coupons, too. All you need to do is text “OFFERS” to 827438 or use this link. Mobile coupons will be sent to your phone twice a month. You will receive approximately six coupons at a time. At checkout you’ll show the cashier the bar code and the amount will be deducted. Each of the mobile coupons can be used only one time.If you’d like deals specifically for baby products you can text “BABY4″ to 827438. You will get a welcome message and then a link to the current coupons for baby items.
  4. Sunday paper inserts
    Sometimes you can find Target store coupons in the Sunday paper. As I noted above, you can use them along with a manufacturer coupon to maximize your savings.Be sure to sign up to get emails from Target here so you can get exclusive promotions and offers. Note: If you made a purchase but found a coupon later, just take your receipt and the coupons to Target next time you go and the cashier will gladly refund you the value of the coupons
  5. Cartwheel
    Take advantage of the Cartwheel program at Target and save an additional 5 – 30% every time. To get started, simply sign up at Cartwheel and click to login with your Facebook account. You can either click “browse” to find specific product savings or you can click “collections” to browse category of savings. You can also check out the hot deals section to find the highest saving offers. When you find a coupon you would like to use, simply click on the box with the red star then click “add” and your coupon will be available to you. Cartwheel also allows you to share the  savings with your Facebook friends. When you first sign up you will receive ten saving slots and as you refer friends and earn badges you will open up more savings slots in your Cartwheel. The best thing about Cartwheel is that you can use it in addition to all the other ways we have already mentioned.
  6. CouponCabin
    Find all Target coupons in one place at We search the areas mentioned above, and more, to find all of the coupons that Target has to offer. From this page you can also sign up for email alerts.

Other ways to save

Bring Your Own Bags (BYOB):
When you bring reusable bags to Target, you’ll get a $.05 credit for each bag. Each time you unpack your products at home, immediately put your reusable bags back in your care so you don’t forget them. On Earth Day each year Target gives away reusable bags at every store so make sure to head to the store that day.

Buy One Get One Free Coupons (BOGO):
Target’s policy about using coupons on Buy One Get One products is a little tricky.

  • BOGO coupons cannot be combined (i.e. you cannot use two BOGO coupons on two items and get both for free or use a coupon of the same type).
  • If a Target store BOGO coupon is used, one additional manufacturer coupon may be used on the first item.
  • If a manufacturer BOGO coupon is used, one additional Target coupon may be used on the first item.

Clearance:  End Caps
One place to find great clearance items is on the end caps with the large red and white clearance signs. You won’t believe the amazing bargains you’ll find on the end caps, which are in every department.

Target will mark down clearance items in increments and if you know what to look for you’ll be a Target super shopper very quickly. At the end of the season, after a holiday, back-to-school time, and when specific stock is moving more slowly than other stock is when you’ll see the markdowns begin. Target clearance always starts at 15% off for two weeks, then will be reduced to 30% off, then 50% off and finally 70% off. The only exception to this is holiday clearance. Holiday clearance will actually go to 90% off.

Weekday Clearance Markdowns
Below is a schedule of when the products in these departments will be placed on clearance. Note: Markdowns may be delayed during very busy times of the year.


  • Children’s Clothing
  • Baby items
  • Electronics
  • Stationery
  • Gift wrap


  • Women’s clothing
  • Home décor


  • Men’s clothing
  • Toys
  • Food
  • Health & Beauty
  • Garden


  • Housewares
  • Lingerie
  • Shoes
  • Sporting goods
  • Luggage
  • Movies
  • Books


  • Cosmetics
  • Jewelry
  • Hardware
  • Automotive

When you’re looking at the red and white sticker on a clearance item, you’ll see a number on the upper right corner, which is the percentage that the item is marked down.

When you do find a clearance item, it may actually be cheaper than what the sticker shows. When I find clearance items, I take them to one of the scanner machines to double check the price. There have been many times that I’m pleasantly surprised to find out that I’m getting an even better deal than I originally thought!

However, don’t be surprised when you find a great clearance price on a shirt and it’s not in the size or color you’re looking for. Sometimes only specific colors or sizes of an item will be put on clearance, based on how well they are selling.

Yearly Markdown Calendar
Throughout the year, Target will put specific items on clearance. Below is an approximate schedule of clearance markdowns.

Mid-January and mid-July

  • Toys

Last week of July – August

  • Summer clothes
  • Flip flops

Last week of August – mid-September

  • Back-to-school items
  • Grills
  • Patio furniture
  • Outdoor games

December 26th – January 5th

  • Wrapping paper

November 1st – November 7th

  • Candy
  • Chocolates
  • Halloween costumes.

Holiday Clearance
I love to go to Target the day after a holiday when items are 50% off for three days, then 70% off for two days. After the two days, Target will donate the stock or give it back to the manufacturer. Halloween is the only exception – candy is discounted 30% for a few days before being marked down to 50% off.

Dollar Spot
Each Target has a dollar section very close to the entrance. I typically avoid this section except for after the holidays, when you can find items marked down 70%. You can find a lot of great stocking stuffers in this section. Always think ahead when you’re shopping so you have gifts put away for every occasion. It’s nice to be prepared and not have to go out and spend money impulsively.

Gift Cards
On a weekly basis, Target features multiple offers in the circular that come with a gift card. For example, if you buy two packages of brand name diapers, you’ll get a $5.00 Target gift card back at checkout. Keep in mind you can use coupons on both packages of diapers to save even more. Make sure to check the store for offers that aren’t advertised in the flyer and other gift card promotions.

Low Price Guarantee and Price Match Policy
If you find a cheaper price on the same product at a competitor, Target will match that price. The item that you want to price match must be the same brand name, size, weight, color, quantity and model number. You must bring in the local competitor’s store ad to match the price. You should bring the entire ad, not just the page that has the item. This way you won’t have to make multiple trips to the customer service desk.

Prices online may vary from prices in the store and in the store ads. doesn’t match prices with Target in-store prices and Target stores don’t match prices to

When you are doing a price match at Target, the cashier will deduct the value of any Target coupons prior to doing the price match. If the competitor’s price is still lower than the current Target price, the price will be adjusted to match the competitor’s price at that time.

The cashier will deduct the manufacturer coupons after the price match. If you are using a Target store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on an item to be price matched, the store will first deduct the Target store coupon value and if the price is still higher than the competitor’s price, the price will be adjusted to match the competitor. In this case, after the price is matched then they will deduct the value of the manufacturer coupon.

Photo Deals
Target does photo development and always offers coupons towards prints, enlargements and photo gifts. This is convenient since you can actually place your order online and schedule to pick it up at your store.

Price Adjustments
If you do see a lower price listed in one of the Target weekly ads, you can get the price of your online order adjusted to match the advertised price if:

  • You purchased the item within one to seven days prior to the ad,
  • You contact the store when the lower price is featured in the weekly ad,
  • And the lower price isn’t on a clearance item.

Note: This will always exclude Black Friday ads and Cyber Monday online pricing.

Did you know that Target offers a debit card? The REDcard works exactly like your current bank debit card but you’ll also get access to some outstanding perks. Just fill out the Target REDcard application and mail it in with a voided check or fill one out at the store.

Here are some of the perks you can get with the Target REDcard:

  • You’ll save 5% on your entire purchase in the store and online. You’ll also receive free standard shipping online. The 5% savings excludes prescriptions, gift cards, gift wrap, previous purchases, clinical services and eye exams.
  • You’ll get an additional 30 days to return your purchase beyond the store’s regular return policy. However, this doesn’t include Target mobile purchases, purchases with a fixed return date or any non-returnable items.
  • Enroll in Target Pharmacy Rewards. For every five prescriptions you fill, you’ll receive a reward certificate for 5% off in-store purchases for one day. Note: Prescriptions that are paid in whole or in part by any federally funded government programs like Medicare or Medicaid will not be eligible to earn a pharmacy savings certificate.

Sale Alerts
Target has a great feature that will send you a message when specific items you want are on sale. At the bottom of the Target homepage, click on “Ways to save,” then “Weekly ad,” then “Weekly ad picks.” Now you can choose the items you’d like to be notified about and you’ll receive a reminder via email, text or both.

Sample Spot
Target offers free samples from time to time here. Each time I’ve requested a sample, I’ve received it in ten days or less.

Spotlight section
The Spotlight section, typically updated once a week, will tell you about a deal that’s either currently happening or one that will be coming up soon. Products that are newer to the market are generally highlighted. Some of the “Spotlight” deals are available in the store and some are available online.

Wedding and Baby Registries
Target will take 10% off any items still left on your registry after your baby shower or wedding.

Now that you know all the ways to save, let’s give it a try! Check out the different levels of savings you can get by using the above methods I outlined. I’ll use the same product to show you the savings on each transaction.

Sale Price
16-ct Starbucks K-cup packs: On sale for $12.99 + $5.00 gift card when you buy two
Cost for two: $25.98
Gift card value: $5.00
Total cost: $20.98

Sale Price + Target Store Coupon
16-ct Starbucks K-cup packs: On sale for $12.99 + $5.00 gift card when you buy two
Cost for two: $25.98
Gift card value: $5.00
Target store coupon: $5.00 off two
Total cost: $15.98

Sale Price + Target Store Coupon + Manufacturer Coupon
16-ct Starbucks K-cup packs: On sale for $12.99 + $5.00 gift card when you buy two
Cost for two: $25.98
Gift card value: $5.00
Target store coupon: $5.00 off two
Manufacturer coupon: $3.00 off two packages of Starbucks coffee
Total cost: $12.98

Sale Price + Target Store Coupon + Manufacturer Coupon + REDcard Savings
16-ct Starbucks K-cup packs: On sale for $12.99 + $5.00 gift card when you buy two
Cost for two: $25.98
Gift card value: $5.00
Target store coupon: $5.00 off two
Manufacturer coupon: $3.00 off two packages of Starbucks coffee
5% REDcard savings: $.65
Total cost: $12.33

Sale Price + Target Store Coupon + Manufacturer Coupon + REDcard Savings + 5% Prescription Savings Certificate
16-ct Starbucks K-cup packs: On sale for $12.99 + $5.00 gift card when you buy two
Cost for two: $25.98
Gift card value: $5.00
Target store coupon: $5.00 off two
Manufacturer coupon: $3.00 off two packages of Starbucks coffee
5% REDcard savings: $.65
5% off with pharmacy certificate: $.62
Total cost: $11.71

By utilizing even a few of the strategies I’ve given you, you can save a ton on just one product. Imagine doing this several times on every order – it really adds up!