There’s no doubt that couponing at Target can get you great deals. But there’s a handful of items you shouldn’t buy — including some Market Pantry products. The items listed below are not always the most cost effective, and many have horrible reviews. Even if you can get them for cheap, they aren’t worth grabbing.
Many name-brand products can be scooped up for less than Market Pantry or other Target brands when using coupons and rebate apps.
Don’t forget to download the official KCL app so you never miss a deal.
1. Never buy Market Pantry Target pizza — get name brand.
Many Market Pantry frozen foods have poor reviews, but none worse than the four cheese pizza’s 2.4-star rating. Reviewers are saying that the crust has changed and the taste is bland.
Instead of buying Target pizza, just wait for a sale on name-brand frozen pizza and use an Ibotta rebate:
2. Never buy Target Up & Up permanent markers — wait for Sharpie sales at Target.
The best time of year to buy permanent markers is during the back-to-school shopping season in July and August. That’s when we see both sales and coupons. But if you need permanent markers now, don’t go generic to save money — at least not at Target.
These Target Up & Up permanent markers are described as “awful, dry, and leaky” in reviews. One review even said to just buy Sharpies instead.
Here’s a deal I saw on Sharpies at Target. You’ll get much higher quality for only a few more bucks (and a lower price per marker):
3. Avoid buying Market Pantry Target popcorn.
Pop Secret popcorn is $4.99 for 12 bags every day at Target, or about $0.42 a bag. That’s actually cheaper than Market Pantry’s cost per bag, which comes out to about $0.45. Plus, with coupons, you can get a name brand cheaper.
Just read the reviews that claim Market Pantry Butter Popcorn or Market Pantry Extra Butter Popcorn both taste like chemicals. And that’s for the kernels that actually pop; sounds like there are many that don’t.
So skip the Target popcorn. I’m sticking with name-brand deals at Target like this one:
4. Never buy Up & Up Target sunscreen — get name brands for less.
Consistent bad reviews for the last seven years leave me shocked this Target sunscreen is even still on shelves. The Up & Up Sport Sunscreen Lotion has reviewers who said they broke out in rashes while wearing the sunscreen.
And while the Up & Up Sport Sunscreen Continuous Spray protects a little better, (although some reviewers said not at all), it apparently stains or bleaches your clothes.
Instead, look for name-brand sunscreen at Target with special offers:
5. Don’t buy Target Good & Gather tortellini — use coupons on name brands.
With an average rating of 3.2 stars from over 90 reviewers, this Target Good & Gather Four Cheese Tortellini (formally Archer Farms) is one item I won’t cook for my family.
Reviewers agree the cheese stays hard even after cooking and, according to one reviewer, “I wish I could leave no stars. I took one bite and it tasted like a salt lick.” Our recommendation? Go with Barilla instead:
6. Don’t buy Up & Up Target tampons — stick with the name brands.
Up & Up Target tampons claim they’re similar to Tampax Pearl, but reviewers across all varieties strongly disagree. Quality, comfort, and effectiveness are all seriously called into question by dozens of reviewers.
Instead, stack a coupon and rebate at Target on name-brand tampons:
7. Avoid buying Good & Gather Target coffee — sip on Starbucks.
Reviewers miss the Archer Farms brand, which has been replaced by Good & Gather. Good & Gather (formerly Archer Farms) Target coffee reviews are fairly poor overall, but no flavor ranks worse than Cinnamon Vanilla.
You can find plenty of deals on other brands of Target coffee at Target like Starbucks and Pete’s. Wait for a Circle offer on Starbucks coffee at Target instead:
- $5.99 each with same-day order services
8. Don’t purchase Target Up & Up plastic storage bags — get Ziploc for less.
Consistently poor reviews across the Target Up & Up plastic storage line warn to steer clear of it all. The bags are inclined to rip at the seams or not close at all and, as one reviewer shared, ruin your Sunday night by bursting as you carry the marinating vegetables across the kitchen.
- Free $5 Target Gift Card with $15 Ziploc Purchase
9. Avoid buying Crest or Colgate toothpaste at Target.
Name-brand, high-end toothpaste is one of the easiest items to get cheap (or even free) with coupons when you shop at drugstores like CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid.
Target does have coupons and promotions that leave the final price under a dollar, but if you want to get the very best deal, load up on toothpaste coupons and head to your favorite drugstore like CVS:
- Buy 2, receive $3 ExtraBucks
10. Deals on Target condoms are few and far between. Buy condoms at the drugstore instead.
Drugstores are the place to get condoms. And there are a fair number of Trojan-brand competitors that frequently release coupons, including Skyn and Sustain brands. Target rarely has condom deals or Circle offers valid on condoms. Look for condom coupons and save at a drugstore instead of buying Target condoms. That’s where all the deals are at.
Here’s an awesome deal I found at Rite Aid:
- Buy 2, receive $10 BonusCash
11. Avoid buying Target candy — go to a drugstore instead.
The best places to score great deals on candy are typically the drugstores: CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid. There are almost never deals on Target candy that even compare.
Check out this bargain at CVS:
- $3 each when you buy 2
12. Don’t get tricked by a Circle offer — you’ll overpay for Target bread.
There are frequent Circle offers in the Target app to save an extra 5% on bread, but Target bread prices are so high that the after-coupon price is still too much. You’re better off using a coupon at a regular grocery store: