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There are a lot of ways to show one’s love for Target, but I prefer the old-fashioned way: throwing money at it.
And I feel a lot better about the situation when I know how to save money at Target and I’m getting a discount on nearly everything I buy. This equates to more items in my little red cart and less green stuff coming out of my purse.
So keep giving Target your money, by all means, but use these strategies to get more than you did before.
Make sure you download the KCL app so you won’t miss a single one of our Target deals.
1. Sign up for Target RedCard for access to cardholder-only deals.
Before you do any shopping at Target, you gotta get a Target RedCard. You can choose from the debit card or credit card version.
You’ll get 5% back on every purchase, free 2-day shipping, extended returns, and exclusive access to certain deals and promos. Like the week before Black Friday 2021, Beats Studio Wireless Headphones were only $151.99 (regular price $379.99) for RedCard holders only.
Apply now and you’ll thank me when Target starts handing out insane deals to RedCard holders this fall.
2. Save 5% on your Target Starbucks drink when you pay with your RedCard.
Does your Target have a Starbucks inside? Clearly, this means you should visit Target more often and then grab that latte on the way out. Permission granted on both counts. And you’ll save 5% on your latte (or any other Starbucks drink) when you pay with your Target RedCard.
Plus, soon you’ll be able to get your Target Starbucks order through curbside pickup.
3. Use your Target RedCard and get an instant 5% discount on brands that rarely go on sale.
The easiest way to get a discount on rarely discounted brands and items is to buy gift cards with your Target RedCard. It even applies to specialty gift cards, which means you can effectively get 5% off your Disney vacation by purchasing Disney gift cards at Target. You can get 5% off hot brands like Apple with your RedCard too.
In most states, you can get 5% off alcohol, too, with some rare exceptions like the state of Indiana.
4. Use the Target app to dominate Circle offers and save up to 75%.
If you’re a loyal Target shopper, you can skip reading this one and move along to the next tip, because you’ve already got this.
Newbies? Target Circle is a goldmine of discounts inside the Target app. You’ll see percent-off and dollar-off discounts on everything from olives to outerwear and LaCroix to leotards — all the things.
Just tap which offer you want to use, and it’ll be saved in “My Lists.” Then show your phone to the cashier so they can scan your unique Circle barcode (or scan it yourself when you use self-checkout).
5. Learn how to save money at Target by using only your smartphone. (AKA: the easy way!)
Speaking of Circle, it’s true that you can coupon using only the Target app, the KCL app, and a couple of other money-saving apps. This gets you out of printing coupons completely. (Hallelujah!)
Download the KCL app first, and peruse current Target deals and the Target weekly deals post that lives at the top of that page. We’ll tell you what the best deals are at Target that week, and we’ll also help you figure out which apps to use — it’ll all depend on the deal you want to do. Next, download the rest of the apps and use them along with the Target app and the KCL app.
- Checkout 51
TIP: For a more in-depth beginner’s guide to couponing at Target, read our Free Quick Start Guide to Couponing. We tried to simplify couponing so anyone — no matter how new they are to couponing — can cut through any confusion and get going.
6. Shop on Sundays to get first dibs on Target grocery and household items.
Target’s sale cycles run Sunday – Saturday, so the best time to jump on deals in the grocery/household departments is Sunday. You’ll find fresh deals and the best selection.
And I’m kinda not kidding about this. Once I tried to do a Schick razor deal at my local Target and made the mistake of waiting until Monday. They were sold out. Happy ending: the store called the other Target in my city and I still got my razors. But lesson learned!
7. Don’t fall for “2 for $4” Target deals; you only need to buy one to get the sale price.
If Target has a sale, two for $4, you can buy just one item and get it for $2. This goes for “2 for $7” sales (you can get them separately for $3.50 each) and any other “2 for X” sales.
Conversely, the “when you buy 3” sales require you to buy three products in order to get the discount. For example, we often see Starbucks coffee bags for $5.99 each when you buy three. So you’ll need to purchase three bags to receive the $5.99 price per bag.
8. The Target return policy allows returns on unopened items (and select opened ones, like makeup) for up to 120 days.
The Target return policy is 90 days, or 120 days with a Target RedCard. There are a few items Target will let you return even if they’re opened — makeup is one of them. Otherwise, keep your receipt and don’t open the item unless you’re for sure in love with it.
If you paid in cash and don’t have proof of purchase (i.e. no receipt, return barcode, or a packing slip), you’ll still get a Target refund in the form of a merchandise return card. You can’t use the merch card online or to buy other gift cards, alcohol, or in-store Starbucks.
Here’s the thing, though: To fight fraud, Target only lets you return up to $100 worth of merchandise without a receipt every 365 days. They scan your ID when you make these returns, so there is someone keeping track.
9. Return items from any of the Target-owned brands for up to one year.
This is one of the best parts of the Target return policy. You can return Target brand products (even used or worn) for up to a year. A receipt or proof of purchase is required for returns or exchanges on worn Target brand items.
10. Plan one big shopping trip to use your 15% off registry completion coupon.
If you create a Target baby registry or a Target wedding registry, you’ll receive two separate 15% off coupons via email to use on your remaining registry items. You’ll get one to spend on an online purchase and one to use on an in-store purchase. Wedding and baby registries must be active for at least 14 days before your coupons are generated.
Registry completion coupons expire after six months and will be sent as follows:
- Baby: Eight weeks before your expected arrival date.
- Wedding: The week of your event date.
11. Browse the Target Dollar Spot instead of other departments and save up to 75%.
Target Bullseye’s Playground — aka Target Dollar Spot is that little section at the front of the store where all items are priced at $1 – $5. Of course, not everything is cheaper than in other Target departments (pencils and bubbles, I’m looking at you), but many things are.
For example, in May 2022, the Target Dollar Spot had a faux marble serving tray for $5. If you were to shop in the home decor section of Target, you’ll find a marble tray for $20 — that’s a 75% savings!
12. Shop the Target toy sale in January, July, and December to save at least 50%.
During the second or third week in January and July, find the hottest Target toy sale. You’ll start seeing 30% off toys. The sale then goes to 50% off and quickly to 70% off.
Toys go fast, so if there’s something you really want, it’s best to get it at the 50% markdown. The good stuff is gone once markdowns hit 70%.
Another good time to stock up is during the holidays when you can save 40% – 70% on popular brands like Nerf, Star Wars, Melissa & Doug, and more.
13. Shop the week after a holiday and save up to 70% on Target clearance.
After the holidays, the next best thing is all of the Target clearance. Here’s how the holiday clearance schedule shakes down:
- First day after the holiday: 50% off for non-food, 30% off for food and candy.
- Second day after the holiday: 70% off for non-food, 50% off for food and candy.
- Seventh day after the holiday: 90% off for non-food, 70% off for food and candy starting on the seventh day, lasting only one to two days. (Candy and food only goes to 70% off.)
14. Use the Target price match policy to save big.
Target price matches its local retail competitors — the competitor list is huge. Price matching at Target is very easy, too.
I like to scan any item at Target with the Amazon app and find out if Amazon offers it for a lower price. If so, ask Target to give you the Amazon price.
In fact, this works for any of Target’s online competitors. Just request a price match at checkout for any regular price items. You can’t price match clearance, and Target won’t price match clearance from Target.com. Boo.
15. Go ahead and use a manufacturer coupon and a Target price match together.
Most stores require you to choose between using a coupon or a price match on an item. Not Target. You can use a manufacturer coupon with a Target price match, but you can’t use a Circle offer or store coupons, BOGO free promos, or gift card promotions with a price match.
16. Target price tags with “70” or “90” in the upper right corner are final markdowns.
Target clearance deals start at 15% or 30% off, depending on the item and the inventory available and increase up to 90% off. When Target can’t sell clearance inventory, a lot of their non-perishable items end up in Target salvage stores.
17. Stickers on items that say “As-Is,” “Repackage,” or “Online Item” are usually online or no-longer-in-stock Target returns.
“As-Is” Target items may have missing pieces or be broken, so heads up about that. The good news is you can still return these.
“Repackage” items usually just have damaged packaging. Same thing — feel free to return it if it doesn’t work for you.
“Online Item” stickers mean that an item was bought online and returned to the store.
These three categories of clearance are discounted, because Target is hoping they’ll sell fast since they’re not items currently in stock at the store. You can find these mixed in with other clearance items on endcaps throughout the store.
18. Use the Target app to find out if your item is in stock at another store in your city.
Just shop for your item in the Target app. If it shows up as “out of stock” at your local Target, tap “Find at another store” to see if you can get it anywhere else in your city.
TIP: You can also use the app to scan barcodes and do price checks. Note that the app isn’t always correct when it comes to clearance tags. In fact, store tags are usually more accurate (and lower) than the app. Another option is to use the scanners you see around the store.
19. Or use BrickSeek to find out if another Target store has inventory.
If you’re trying to buy items for a complete bedding line but your Target is missing the curtains and a few throw pillows, use BrickSeek to see if there’s another Target that carries them.
Just go to BrickSeek’s Target inventory checker and put in the DPCI or UPC codes for the item you’re looking for as well as your zip code, and click “Check Inventory.” Find the DPCI and UPC codes by searching for the item on Target.com and scrolling down to the “details” section.
You can also sort your search by price, distance, or quantity. You’ll see if the item is in stock, limited stock (meaning they might only have a display model available), or out of stock, as well as the current price at nearby Target stores.
TIP: If this is a bust, pick up the phone and call Target. You’ll need to give the store the DPCI inventory code, which KCL typically provides when we write Target clearance deal posts. It’s a 9-digit number. Having this handy will make it easier for your Target associate to see if there’s any clearance inventory. Then ask Guest Services to put it on hold, and head over to the store.
20. Get a Target rain check if an in-store item you want is out of stock.
Yep. Target does offer rain checks. You’ll get the sale price for the following 30 – 45 days for any item your Target doesn’t have in stock in the store. There are a few exceptions like no rain checks for music, DVDs, or cell phones. And “price cut” items are often excluded. Read the fine print on the sale tag at your store to be sure.
21. Use the Target trade-in program to exchange used electronics for Target gift cards.
The Target trade-in program will take certain used electronics and give you a Target gift card in exchange.
Be sure to compare values for your trade-in. Between Target, Amazon, and Best Buy, there isn’t a retailer that stands out over the rest.
22. Use coupons that say “redeemable at Walmart” when you shop at Target.
The Target coupon policy is very user friendly. One thing that you may come across while using Target coupons in store is printable coupons from places like Coupons.com having a store suggestion on them, paid for by retailers like Walmart. You might see the words “Available at…” or “Redeemable at…” but you don’t have to use those coupons at the suggested stores. You can totally use them at other retailers as long as the coupon says “manufacturer coupon” on it. Even if it says to use it at Kroger or Walmart or wherever.
However, if the coupon says “Redeemable only at…,” then you do have to use it only at the listed store.
If you’re still confused about coupon fine print, we have answers to the top 10 questions.
23. Bring your plastic Target bags back and reuse them to save $0.05 per bag.
Target will give you $0.05 back for each Target bag you use at the store. But even cooler? You can bring your plastic Target bags back to the store and use them over and over again and get the $0.05 discount as well. So I’d skip purchasing Target reusables and just bring back your old bull’s-eye plastic bags.
Be sure to tell the cashier you’re using your own bags, but they can apply the discount anytime during your transaction.