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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tips on How to Save Money When Shopping


A favorite store for shoppers looking for a good deal and those using coupons, Target sells just about anything you need and provides lots of opportunities to score deep discounts on everyday essentials and favorite items.

Navigating the road to the best deals at Target can be a little overwhelming, but we’ve outlined the steps below:

Use the Cartwheel App

Target was one of the first stores to embrace a money-saving app, and the result is the powerful Cartwheel app that can easily save you tons of money on every shopping list. Cartwheel features rotating mobile coupons on items from every department in the store. To start, simply download the Cartwheel app and create an account or sign in using Google or Facebook. The “Offers” tab on the menu bar features hundreds of mobile coupons organized by category. Once you find your desired offer, all you have to do is tap “add” to put it in your account. You can also use the barcode scanner while in the store to scan items and see if there are any current Cartwheel offers. There are also occasionally hidden offers available through the Cartwheel website and not the app. To access these offers, search online and click “add privately” to apply them to your account.

Once you have added all of your offers, simply pull up “My Barcode” to be scanned at checkout and the savings will automatically be applied without any coupon clipping, printing, or wrangling.

Stack Coupons

Experienced bargain hunters know Target is one of the best stores for using coupons because of its generous stacking policy. Aside from accepting manufacturer’s coupons, the store also provides lots of ways to get exclusive, Target-specific coupons, including the printable coupon section of its website, mobile coupons sent straight to your smartphone, and coupons in the weekly Target ad.

To truly maximize your Target savings, take advantage of the stacking policy and use these scenarios to score great deals. Customers can combine one manufacturer coupon, one Target coupon, and one Cartwheel offer per items for three maximum discounts per item. You can’t use multiple forms of Target coupons (mobile, printed, etc.) on the same item. Target is prone to coupon fraud, which makes it even more important to know and follow the rules. If you use a lot of coupons at Target, it can be useful to keep a copy of the store’s coupon policy with you to use as a reference in case any issues arise. If possible, try to visit the same cashier every time who you can build a relationship with—having a cashier who is familiar with coupons can help the entire process go much more smoothly.

Shop Holiday Clearance

Target is a great source for holiday items and often dedicates a large section of the store to larger holidays like Christmas and Halloween. Although most holiday items sell beforehand, Target aims to clear up the holiday shelf space quickly after the day is over, meaning prices are slashed for great discounts. The biggest discounts and best selection come by shopping just a day or two after Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. Discounts tend to get better as more time goes on, but some stores mark Christmas items up to 90% off starting the day after. Holiday items are more than just decorations and costumes—Target often sells everyday products like cookies or bottled water in special holiday packaging. If you’re willing to be a little out of season, you could save big. Post-holiday sales are also a great time to stock up on decorations, gift wrap, and lights for future years, as the items tend to stay the same year after year.

Aside from the big holiday clearance sales, Target marks down other products on a weekly basis. AllThingsTarget.com shared a weekly schedule that shows which departments get marked down each day. However, some stores may follow their own schedule, so it’s best to check with the store manager for the most accurate information.

Look for Gift Card Promotions

To motivate customers to come back to the store and keep spending money, Target frequently runs promotions that give you a $5 or $10 gift card for buying certain products. You’ll receive the gift card automatically at checkout, but it can’t be used until your next trip to the store. The great thing about gift cards is that there are any restrictions or expirations like coupons. When stacked with coupons, Cartwheel offers, and sales, gift card promotions can lead to “moneymakers”, which basically means you pay less out of pocket than the value of the gift cards you receive. For example, you may be able to buy $25 of cleaning products and use coupons that take $17 off your total, bringing it down to $8. A bathroom cleaner you bought came with a $10 gift card, so you are basically making $2 to take home $25 of merchandise. Moneymakers are tricky and require some serious couponing skills, but the more you hunt for bargains at Target, the easier it becomes.

To really score a great deal, be strategic about how you redeem your gift cards and use them on items that rarely go on sale or have applicable coupons.

Get a Target Red Card

Many shoppers are apprehensive about signing up for a store credit or debit card, but the Target Red Card sets itself apart with some great perks and discounts. Neither the Red Card credit or debit card has an annual fee or any limits. When paying with your Red Card, you automatically get an extra 5% off your total purchase, which means that if you spend $1,000 at Target in a year, you’re already saving $50. Red Card holders also get free shipping on all Target.com orders and an extra 30 days to return items. Plus, Target will donate 1% of your Red Card purchases to a local school. You can also sign up for Pharmacy Rewards, which gives you 5% off most prescriptions and can be combined with the 5% Red Card savings for a total of 10% off.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

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