While I love to shop at Target with coupons at the ready, these are the things, including some Market Pantry items, I never buy at Target.

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1. Never buy Market Pantry frozen pizza.

Many of Market Pantry frozen foods have poor reviews, but none worse than the four cheese pizza 2.4-star rating. Reviewers are saying that the crust has changed and the taste is bland.

Instead, just wait for a sale on name brand frozen pizza and use an Ibotta rebate:

Buy 1 DiGiorno Frozen Pizza, 18.3-31.5 oz (reg. $5.49) $4, sale price
Submit one $1.00/1 – DiGiorno Frozen Pizza, Ibotta Rebate (ibotta.com)
Pay $4, submit for $1 Ibotta credit
Final Price: $3
Price comparison: $2.99 for Market Pantry frozen pizza at Target.

See all pizza coupons.

2. Avoid the Market Pantry ice cream cones.

Target has pretty competitive ice cream sales, but ice cream cones are a different matter. Reviewers shared that Market Pantry cones are often broken to pieces.

You’re better off going to Walmart for their generic brand ice cream cones:

Buy 1 Great Value Ice Cream Cups, 12 count $1.64
Price Comparison: $1.89 for Market Pantry 12-count ice cream cones at Target

See all ice cream coupons.

 

3. Never purchase Up & Up permanent markers.

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 Up & Up permanent markers have “awful, dry, leaky” reviews. One even said to just buy Sharpies instead.

Here’s a deal I saw at Walmart for Sharpies:

Buy 1 Sharpie 12-pack Permanent Markers Fine Mystic Gems (reg. $9.49)
Use 1 Target Circle coupon for $1 off Sharpie Mystic Gems
Use Target RedCard for 5% off
Final Price: $7.07 (or $0.58 each)
Price Comparison: $6.99 (or $0.69 each) for Up & Up permanent markers 10 count at Target

You’ll get much higher quality for just a few more bucks waiting for a Sharpie deal.

See all Sharpie coupons.

 

4. Avoid the Market Pantry microwave 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 per bag.

And just read the reviews that claim Market Pantry Butter Popcorn or Market Pantry Extra Butter Popcorn tastes like chemicals. That’s for the kernels that actually pop; sounds like there are many that do not. I’m sticking with name brand deals at Target like:

Buy 2 Pop Secret Popcorn, 6 count $3, sale price
Use one $1.00/2 – Pop Secret items (3 count or larger) (coupons.com)
Final Price: $2.50 each, when you buy 2
Price Comparison: $2.69 for Market Pantry popcorn at Target

Browse active popcorn coupons.

 

5. Never buy Up & Up Sunscreen.

Consistent bad reviews for the last seven years leave me shocked this sunscreen is even still on Target 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, (some reviewers said not at all), it apparently stains or bleaches your clothes.

Instead, look for name brand sunscreen at Target with special offers:

Buy 1 Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen lotion 30 SPF, 3.5 ounce reg. $12.39
Use RedCard 5% off
Submit Ibotta offer $3 rebate
Final Price: $8.77 ($2.50 ounce)
Compare to $6.26 ($2.08 ounce) for 30 SPF 3 ounce Up & Up sunscreen at Target

Check out all sunscreen coupons.

 

 

6. Never pick up Good & Gather tortellini.

With an average rating of 2.1 stars from 21 reviewers, this Good & Gather Four Cheese Tortellini (formally Archer Farms) is one of the worst-reviewed products on all of Target.com.

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 at Target instead:

Buy 1 Barilla Collezione Three Cheese Tortellini, 12 oz $1.89, sale price
Use one $1.00/1 – Barilla Collezione Pasta, including Tortellini from RP
Final Price: $0.89
Price Comparison: $3.99 for Good & Gather Tortellini at Target

Check out our Barilla coupons and deals.

 

7. Don’t buy Up & Up Tampons from Target.

Up & Up tampons claim they’re similar to Tampax Pearl, but reviewers across all varieties strongly disagree. Quality, comfort, effectiveness are all seriously called into question by dozens of reviewers.

Instead, stack a coupon and rebate at Target on name-brand Tampons:

Buy 2 Kotex Click Tampons, 16 count $3.89, regular price
Use one $2.00/2 – U by Kotex Tampons from SS
And submit two $2.00/1 – U by Kotex Security Pads or Tampons, Click or Sleek Tampons, Fetch Rewards Rebate (www.fetchrewards.com) – Limit 2
Pay $5.78, submit for $4 Fetch Rewards credit
Final Price: $0.89 each, when you buy 2
Price Comparison: $3.99 for Up & Up tampons at Target

Check out current tampon coupons and deals.

 

8. Avoid buying Good & Gather coffee.

Reviewers miss the Archer Farms brand, which was replaced by Good & Gather. Good & Gather (formerly Archer Farms) coffee reviews are fairly poor overall, but no flavor ranks worse than Cinnamon Vanilla.

You can find plenty of deals on other brands of coffee at Target like Starbucks and Pete’s. Wait for a Circle offer on Starbucks coffee at Target instead:

Buy 3 Starbucks Whole Bean or Ground Coffee, 12 ounce $7.49- $7.99, regular price
3 for $5.99 each with same-day order services
Use 20% Off – Starbucks Bagged Coffee, Target Circle Offer (target.com)
Use RedCard for 5% off
Final Price: $4.55 each, when you buy 3
Price Comparison: $5.69 for Good & Gather coffee at Target

See all coffee coupons.

 

9. Look for other stores to get produce.

Produce at Target is convenient, but not competitive. Walmart or Kroger stores have better pricing across the board, even after minimal Circle savings.

Here’s a sale on strawberries at Krogers:

Buy 1 Strawberries, 1 pound $2, sale price
Final Price: $2
Price Comparison: $3.39 for strawberries at Target

See all produce coupons.

 

10. Don’t purchase Up & Up plastic storage bags.

Consistently poor reviews across the 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.

You’re better off looking for a deal on Ziploc and Glad bags than buying these low-quality bags.

Buy 4 Ziploc Top Seal Sandwich Bags, 150 count $4.99, regular price
Use two $1.00/2 – Ziploc products, limit 2 (ziploc.com)
And use 20% Off – Ziploc Bags & Containers all varieties, Target Circle Offer (circle.target.com)
And use Free $5 Target Gift Card with $15 Ziploc Purchase, Target Circle Single-Use Manufacturer Coupon (circle.target.com)
Pay $14.96, receive $5 Target gift card
Final Price: $2.49 each, when you buy 4
Price Comparison: $2.79 Up & Up storage bags at Target

See all Ziploc coupons and Glad coupons.

 

 

11. Check elsewhere for Crest or Colgate Toothpaste.

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 run 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 Crest Select Toothpaste (reg. $4.19-$4.99) $2.99, sale price
Buy 2, receive $3 ExtraBucks
Use one $1.00/1 – Crest Toothpaste or Liquid Gel 3 oz or larger, CVS L2C Coupon (cvs.com)
And use one $1.00/1 – Crest Toothpaste or Liquid Gel 3 oz or larger
Pay $3.98, receive $3 ExtraBucks
Final Price: $0.49 each, when you buy 2
Price Comparison: $2.99 for Crest toothpaste at Target

See all toothpaste coupons.

 

12. Pick up Trojan Condoms at a 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. Look for condom coupons and save at a drugstore instead.

Here’s an awesome deal I found at Rite Aid:

Buy 2 LifeStyles Skyn Non-Latex Condoms Original, 12 ct $6.49, regular price
Buy 2, receive $10 BonusCash through June 20, limit 2
Free shipping on orders of $34.99+
Pay $12.98, receive $10 BonusCash
Final Price: $1.49 each, when you buy 2
Price Comparison: $6.29 for Skyn condoms at Target

See all condom coupons.

 

13. Go to a drugstore for candy instead.

The best places to score great deals on candy are typically the drugstores: CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid. I saw this great deal at CVS:

Buy 2 Hershey’s Kisses Candy Bags (reg. $4.59) $3 each, when you buy 2, sale price
Use one $2.00/2 – Hershey’s Kisses or Miniatures, CVS Store Coupon from the CVS Coupon Center or CVS App
Final Price: $2 each, when you buy 2
Price Comparison: $3.69 for Hershey’s Kisses bags at Target

See our best candy coupons and deals.

 

14. Don’t 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 still costs too much. You’re better off using a coupon at a regular grocery store:

Buy 1 Sara Lee Bread, 16-24 oz $1.99, sale price
Use one $1.00/1 – Sara Lee Bread, Kroger 5X eCoupon (softcoin.com)
Final Price: $0.99
Price Comparison: $2.69 for Sara Lee bread at Target

See all bread coupons.

Market Pantry and 14 More Things to Never Buy at Target