Jenna McMahon | 

How to Coupon at Target the Easy Way

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Real talk: The Target coupon policy isn’t as scary as you think. No, seriously. Learning how to coupon at Target seems daunting, but once you dive in, all those little light bulbs start to go off. And suddenly, what once seemed tough and time-consuming is clear as day.

For a long time, I thought learning how to coupon was more work than it was worth. Then KCL came into my life.

The bulk of Target couponing comes down to understanding the Target app, leveraging Target Circle offers, and stacking newspaper coupons and printable coupons on top of Target-issued deals. When you combine all that with 5% back from your RedCard and cashback from Ibotta, you’ve got yourself a money-saving game you’ll never want to stop playing.

If you’re ready to rack up huge savings at Target (and maybe even some Target freebies), get started now with this all-inclusive guide.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to coupon at Target:

 

1. First, download the mobile apps that make learning how to coupon at Target so much easier:

A person holding up their phone displaying the circle offer for 20% off Pepsi products on the Target app at the entrance of Target

Once upon a time, sitting at the table clipping coupons from your Sunday newspaper was the best way to save. But in the digital world, couponing is easier, faster, and more effective than ever, all thanks to money-saving apps that always have your back.

 

These three apps are key to couponing at Target:

1. Target App: The ultimate tool for shopping and saving at Target. You can add deals, order store pickup, and load your RedCard, then checkout at Target and apply all your savings with a simple scan of the app.

2. The Krazy Coupon Lady App: Your expert resource for stacking Target Circle offers with other coupons and deals available, so you don’t have to scour the web. Plus you’ll be the first to know about all the must-have coupons and deals as soon as they drop.

3. Ibotta App: The best place to grab in-store cashback offers at Target and level up your coupon savings every time you shop.

 

2. The best way to coupon at Target is to shop in stores — always.

Two people standing together at Target checkout

Lazy couponers, beware: shopping in stores is the key to coupon stacking at Target. That’s because Target doesn’t accept manufacturer coupons online or in the app — even for pickup orders. So your ability to stack multiple coupons on a single item is limited. Plus, most Ibotta cash-back offers at Target are for in-store purchases only.

If you want to learn how to coupon at Target the real way and save tons of money at the same time, a trip to the store is a small price to pay.

 

3. Sign up for Target Circle to get exclusive coupons and 1% back on all your purchases.

A sign at a Target checkout lane of the Target dog with a flag advertising Target Circle.

If you’re shopping at Target without a Target Circle account, you’re doing it wrong. For one, it’s free to sign up. Two, you’ll unlock an automatic 1% back in rewards on all your Target purchases (except for purchases you make with a RedCard). And three, it’s the only way to access Target Circle offers, which are a huge part of couponing at Target.

Related: Read our full guide to Target Circle and how it works.

 

4. Target accepts Target store coupons, Target Circle offers, and manufacturer coupons.

Target hosts all their coupons under Target Circle in the app and online. This can make it hard to know what’s a Target Circle offer and what isn’t. I learned that a quick scan of the coupon’s terms and conditions will tell you what you need to know. If it’s a true percentage-based Circle offer, the terms will start with:

“Each Circle offer can be used for a maximum of 4 qualifying items per transaction unless otherwise noted.”

Once you get your head around the different types of Target coupons, understanding Target’s coupon policy becomes much easier. It’s key to cutting through the confusion.

A graphic showing the three types of coupons to use at Target: Target store coupons (category coupons and item coupons), Target Circle Coupons (Percentage-Based Offers and MFR Single-Use offers), and Manufacturer coupons (printable coupons and newspaper coupons)

 

Target Store Coupons

Target Circle Offers

  • Percentage-Based Offers: Give you a percentage off up to four eligible items per transaction, like 25% off Clorox Sprays.
  • MFR Single-Use Offers: Digital manufacturer coupons that give you “x” dollars off a certain product, like $4 off Tide Pods.

Manufacturer Coupons

  • Printable Coupons: Online manufacturer coupons printed from home
  • Newspaper Coupons: Paper manufacturer coupons clipped from your Sunday newspaper

 

5. Know the difference between “one coupon per purchase” and “one coupon per transaction.”

A woman's hand holding up a $40 off coupon from the limited-time Target RedCard offer for new members

It’s understandable to assume “purchase” and “transaction” mean the exact same thing. But according to Target’s coupon policy, they’re different.

  • One Coupon Per Purchase = You can only use one coupon per item being purchased.
  • One Coupon Per Transaction = You can only use one coupon per transaction. So, you can’t use two of the same coupons in a single transaction, even if you’re buying multiple qualifying items.

Target doesn’t always stick to these two phrases. But you’ll definitely see them once you start poking around. Knowing the lingo helps you wrap your head around the fine print, so you know exactly how to apply each offer.

 

 

6. Save all your payment info and Circle offers to your Target app before you shop.

Two phones showing coupons and Circle offers on the Target app

As you browse the latest deals in the Target app, you’ll see a plus sign next to each offer/item. To activate an offer, just tap the plus sign to save it to your Circle list. When you scan your app barcode at checkout, all your saved offers will automatically apply to your purchase, where eligible.

It’s also helpful to add all your payment info (like your RedCard or another credit/debit card) to your Wallet in the app so you’re all set to pay. Then, all you have to do is checkout, scan, and go.

 

7. Target lets you stack one Target Circle offer, one manufacturer coupon, and one Target coupon on a single item.

Person holding coupons at checkout.

Target’s coupon policy allows you to combine one percentage-based Target Circle offer, one manufacturer coupon, and one Target store coupon on a single item.

Here’s how each coupon would look if you stacked all three on a 12-pack of Pepsi cans:

 

8. You can use up to four identical manufacturer coupons per day, but they’ll only work if they’re on Target’s pre-verified list.

A woman holding out a stack of manufacture coupons. The coupon on top is for $2 off Tide Pods.

Target limits you to four identical manufacturer coupons per day. So, let’s say you have four newspaper coupons for $2 off Glade. You can use all four coupons in one day unless the coupon fine print says otherwise. Most manufacturer coupons have a limit of one or two uses per shopping trip, which overrides Target’s policy. But if the fine print doesn’t specify a limit, you can use all four Glade coupons in one day.

The downside? Your manufacturer coupons have to be pre-approved by Target, and there’s no way to know ahead of time which coupons will work.

Target keeps a master list of verified manufacturer coupons that you can use on Target purchases, but this list isn’t open to the public (at least not yet). Even so, clip all those Sunday newspaper coupons anyway. You won’t find out if they’re accepted until you scan them at checkout, but it’s worth a shot.

Related: Confused about all the coupon fine print and rules? We’ve got you covered.

 

9. Use a manufacturer coupon at Target even if it says “redeemable at Walmart.”

Someone holding a coupon at Target, pointing to where it says "Redeemable at Walmart

Sometimes you’ll see the phrase “Redeemable at Walmart” or “Available at Walmart” on your manufacturer coupons. This doesn’t mean you can’t use the coupon anywhere else. It usually just means the manufacturer was trying to drive more business to Walmart, where their products are sold.

But you can redeem valid manufacturer coupons anywhere, including Target. There’s a good chance Target has them on their pre-verified list.

 

10. Stack manufacturer coupons and Target coupons on clearance items to get them for free.

A person holding their phone displaying a Target circle app coupon next to a bottle of Scope mouthwash with a clearance sticker in Target.

Check Target clearance for cheap name-brand items. I most frequently check for household items like Febreze or makeup from Covergirl and Maybelline. You can use manufacturer coupons on Target clearance items and get them for dirt cheap. You can even use Target Circle offers unless the fine print says otherwise.

Related: We rounded up some of our best tips for finding free printable coupons.

 

 

11. You can’t use manufacturer coupons on your Target Drive Up or Pickup orders, but you can use Target Circle offers.

A graphic of two iPhones displaying two different offers on the Target Circle app, one which works for all types of Target shopping, and the other that only works in-store.

Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to use manufacturer coupons on Target grocery pickup or drive-up orders. However, most Circle Offers, Target weekly ad deals, gift card promos, and BOGO offers are good to use for pickup. Just tap the deal in the Target Circle Offers part of the app to read the terms and conditions and see where it’s valid.

 

12. Target applies manufacturer coupons to your purchase after any Circle offers are applied.

A person taking a bag of RedVines from a shelf at Target, while holding their cellphone displaying a coupon for 15% off RedVines, and a paper manufacturer's coupon in their other hand.

Learning to do “Target math” isn’t as hard as it seems, especially when you know the order in which Target applies coupons to your purchase.

Let’s say you stack a Target Circle offer with a manufacturer coupon on a single item. They’ll apply the Circle discount to your purchase first, then apply the manufacturer coupon.

In-Store Deal
$0.73$1.49(51% off)
Printable coupons needed
Price Summary
Pay $0.77
Exp 06/01/24
 

13. You can use a Target Circle offer on 99 items per transaction, but you can make up to six Target Circle transactions per day.

A woman scanning here Target app at a self-checkout register.

Target used to limit Circle Offers to four qualifying items per transaction, but now they’re good to use on up to 99 items per transaction.

So, if there’s a Target Circle offer for 25% off Clorox Sprays, you can technically buy 99 Clorox Sprays in one transaction and save 25% on each. But if you try to sneak in that 100th spray in the same transaction, the discount will only apply to 99 of them.

However, Target lets you scan your Circle barcode up to six times per day. And with 99 items eligible for Circle Offers in one transaction, you can technically claim the same Circle Offer up to 594 times per day. That is if you break up your items across six different transactions.

And then you can come back the next day and claim it 594 more times, and so on and so forth until the Circle offer expires.

 

14. You can’t combine two category coupons for the same department, but you can stack a category coupon with an item coupon, instead.

A target shopping cart with a barbie doll set in it next to a Target Circle sign that says 25% off one toy or kids' book

You can’t stack a 30% off women’s clothing category coupon with a 20% off men’s and women’s apparel category coupon. Why? Because both fall under the same department: apparel.

However, if you have a Target Circle category coupon for 25% off toy purchases, plus there’s an item coupon for 30% off Barbie dolls and playsets, you can stack both of those on a Barbie purchase. This works because Barbie is an item within the toy category, so you’re not stacking two category-level coupons.

This is especially helpful during the holidays when Target drops their famous 25% off toy sale coupon, and during the Target semi-annual toy sale.

Related: These are all our tried and true Target toy sale tips.

 

15. Stack weekly Target gift card promos with Circle offers to save more.

FaceTimeA woman grabbing tide pods laundry detergent from a shelf with a sign nearby for a free $10 gift card with $40 laundry purchase

You’ll always find Target gift card promos in the weekly ad, which offer free Target gift cards with certain purchases. There are generally two types of Target gift card promos:

  • Category Gift Card Promos: $5 gift card with a $25 Beauty purchase
  • Item Gift Card Promos: Buy 2 detergents, Get a $5 gift card

The best part is you can stack Target gift card promos with Circle offers. But when you do the math, note that Target applies gift card savings to your purchase before any Circle offers.

Let’s say Target has a $5 gift card promo when you buy two detergents. And at the same time, there’s a Target Circle offer for 10% off Detergent. Target will subtract the $5 gift card savings from your purchase total first, then factor the 10% Circle offer into that discounted price.

 

 

16. Triple stack a Target Circle offer, a manufacturer coupon, and a Target gift card promo.

A person holding tide manufacture coupons in one hand and a Target gift card in the other, with a shopping card containing laundry detergents in the background.

Nothing beats a Target triple stack. You can take your coupon stacking one step further and use a dollar-off manufacturer coupon on top of a gift card promo and Circle offer.

A graphic showing the order in which Target applies multiple coupons to your order: gift card promo savings are first, then Circle offers, then manufacturer coupons

When you checkout, Target will apply the gift card savings to your purchase first, then the Circle offer, then the manufacturer coupon.

 

17. Earn unlimited Target gift cards on your purchases and roll them week to week.

A person's hand holding two Target gift cards in front of a sign advertising getting a free Target gift card when you spend $25 on sun care items.

Earn as many Target gift cards as you like per transaction. For example, I just saw this promo: buy two items and get a $5 gift card. I bought six items and received three $5 gift cards.

You could separate those six items into three transactions and use the gift card from the first to pay for the second, and you’d still get a new gift card each time. I just find it simpler to pocket the gift cards and use them on my next Target run.

TIP: Load your gift cards onto your Wallet in the Target app, then toss them. This way, you don’t have to worry about losing the gift cards or in which order the cashier scans things.

 

18. Boost your Target coupon savings even more with Ibotta cash back or other rebate apps.

Ibotta app on a cell phone in the pet food section at Target.

If you’re not using rebate and cash-back apps to get money back on your shopping, you’re snoozing and losing. Of all the rebate apps out there, I really love the Ibotta app — specifically for shopping at Target. There are tons of $2, $3, and $4 cash-back offers on Target products that are also on sale or have a Circle offer running at the same time.

You used to be able to link your Ibotta app right to your Target Wallet and automatically earn any rebates you activated. But not anymore. Now, you have to manually submit your Target receipt through the Ibotta app to catch the extra rebate savings.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go into your Ibotta app and search for “Target.”
  2. From there, add the Target Ibotta offers you want to get cash rebates for.
  3. Head to your nearest Target and shop for your items in-store.
  4. Snap a clear pic of your Target receipt and submit it to the Ibotta app within seven days.

There are tons of rebate apps out there, but a few others that work really well with Target are:

Check out our full guide for how to use Ibotta at Target.

 

19. Target doesn’t pay overages if one or more coupons bring your purchase total below $0.

A person at the self-checkout scanner at Target, holding a receipt showing $0 balance next to a pack of BIC mechanical pencils.

Sorry guys, no moneymakers here. If your coupon discount is more than the price of the item, you can use the coupon to bring your cost down to $0. However, Target won’t pay you any extra cashback, even if your coupon brings the cost of the item below $0.

So in a nutshell, you’ll be able to use coupons at Target to score freebies, but you won’t walk out with more money than you walked in with.

Related: These are the easiest ways to get free things at Target.

 

20. Sign up for a Target RedCard to save an extra 5% on your purchases.

A Target RedCard being held next to a credit card reader at Target checkout.

This isn’t a sales pitch. It’s just my best advice. The Target RedCard saves you 5% on every Target purchase, in stores or online. Plus, you get an extra 30 days for returns and 5% off in-store Starbucks purchases through Target.

Wait for an offer to sign up for a RedCard. When I signed up I got a coupon for $40 off $40 purchases storewide. It came in the mail along with my physical RedCard and had a 30-day expiration date.

You have the option to either link your checking account to a debit card or get a store credit card, but I definitely recommend the debit option since it has all the same benefits.

You can’t use the RedCard discount for Target Optical eye exams, pharmacy prescriptions, or Target gift cards. And when you pay with your RedCard, you’ll get the 5% off but won’t get the measly 1% Circle cashback mentioned in the tip above.

TIP: Load your physical RedCard to your Target Wallet in the Target app. Then all you have to do to pay is show the cashier your barcode when you check out.

 

 

21. Rack up enough Target Circle earnings to score Target freebies or pay next to nothing.

A person holding up a target bag with a plush blanket in it next to a smartphone showing his Wallet with Target Circle earnings in the Target app

Don’t forget about your 1% back from Target Circle on top of all the coupons, gift card promos, and Ibotta cashback. These earnings may build up slowly, but they’re an extra layer of savings to add to your coupon-stacking purchases.

So if you go on a Target shopping haul and your coupons bring your total down to $15, you can apply $15 in Target Circle earnings to get your purchase for free. Even if you only have $10 or $5 in earnings, it can still cut down your total cost by a lot.

TIP: Keep an eye out for Target Circle bonuses in your Target app, too. Sometimes they’ll throw out a special offer like “Earn a $20 reward when you make two qualifying purchases of $90 or more.” You’ll find these in the Target Circle part of the app (tap “My Target”, then “Circle.”

 

22. Look for random coupons in your bag when you place a Target pickup or drive-up order.

A target good and gather coupon for 15% off next to a free sample of Good & Gather strawberry fruit snacks on top of a Target plastic bag

Every once in a while, Target will stick coupons in your bag when you place a Target pickup order. For example, I received this 15% off Good & Gather coupon in the bag along with my items. All I had to do was scan the barcode with my Target app to have it digitally added to my account.

They also included this free sample of Good & Gather strawberry fruit-flavored snacks along with my coupon!

 

23. Returning an item you used a coupon on? You’ll only get refunded what you paid out of pocket.

target return receipts and bag

Getting to know the Target return policy and how it works with coupons is helpful. In the past, returning an item you used a coupon on was no biggie. Target included any promotional discounts or coupons used on that item in your overall refund, giving you the difference back on a Target gift card. But not anymore.

The Target return policy recently changed, and will only refund you what you paid out of pocket. So, no refunds for coupon discounts. Even though Target accepts coupons as a form of payment, they (along with other similar stores) argue that customers shouldn’t get refunded more than what they actually paid. To us, it’s a bummer. But to Target, it’s fraud protection.

 

24. Leverage Target’s price match policy to get the same price as Amazon, Walmart, and other competitor stores.

A person holding a copy of Magnolia Table next to a cell phone displaying a lower price for the book on the Amazon app.

The Target price match policy is pretty great. If you buy something at Target and see it go on sale at Walmart, for example, you can go to Target’s customer service desk and show them the lower price. They’ll give you the difference back — up to 14 days after your purchase.

Keep in mind that Target will not price match competitor doorbusters/lightning sales, including Amazon Prime or Amazon Fresh exclusive offers.

Target will generally price match the following online competitors:

Just pull up proof of the lower price on your phone and show it to any cashier. Or call Guest Services at (800) 591-3869 for online Target orders.

 

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