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How to Save BIG Money at Target

I certainly can’t be the only one who experiences the magic of savings at Target. But then I thought… what if I am? What if there are moms who go to Target and don’t save big money? Then I felt compelled to share. And then I thought, what if YOU have savings secrets for ME that I don’t even know about?!


So, here is how I run my shopping experience at Target:

1. Pharmacy rewards.

Get your scripts filled and all your kids’ amoxicillin filled at Target and receive a card in the mail for five percent off after five filled scripts. We have five people in our family, so this isn’t generally hard for us to achieve. I probably get this reward every one to two months.

2. Store coupons.

You know the annoying ones that print out at the Target register after you’ve paid while everyone is waiting for you to move along? Grin and bear it because this means awesome savings for later. Discard the ones with products you don’t use and keep the winners. Often times, the store will print coupons based on what you’ve purchased. For example, Eli (my four-year-old) has a milk/soy allergy. So I buy a lot of Smart Balance Light butter and Silk Chocolate Almond Milk. Therefore, I receive a lot of those coupons. Heehaw!

3. The REDcard.

Don’t be afraid of this one. I’ll let you decide if you are feeling credit or debit as an option. I’ve opted for the debit route as I’m an easy debt accumulator if I’m not careful. Target gives you five percent off your entire purchase when you use the REDcard at checkout. So, even though it comes out of my bank account just like my debit card would, I get money off my purchase each time. See the receipt below. Target prints your total savings from the REDcard on that purchase and the total amount saved this year. Holy cow! This total does not include coupon use.How to Save BIG Money at Target

4. Which brings me to coupons.

I’m not an extreme couponer by any means. But I do collect the store coupons mentioned above and manufacturer coupons that are on the back on cereal boxes or on wrappers from crescent rolls. Sometimes I will buy the Sunday paper and score some coupons from there. Again, I don’t keep any brands that I don’t normally buy unless I’m curious about the product. Even when I’m there at Target with the new coupon, I compare the price (minus coupon) to the brand I already buy. If it’s a deal, I’ll consider it. MANY times, Target matches up their store coupons with the manufacturer coupons. This is totally okay for you to use both. Score.

5. Cartwheel.

This is an app that you can get for your phone or iPad that lets you select 13 deals to upload. Once you’ve chosen your deals, you have a barcode on your phone for them to scan—an electronic coupon, if you will. And I will. Again, many times these options match the store coupons and manufacturer coupons I already have. An example of this is a deal for 10 percent off all Archer Farms food or 5 percent off any Market Pantry food items. These are brands that I frequent so you can see on the receipt below how it lists the five percent off for each item. So exciting!

How to Save BIG Money at Target

6. Text coupons.

If you sign up, Target will text you a list of electronic coupons one to two times per month. This is a list of deals along with a barcode just like Cartwheel. These have an expiration date, usually the next month. You can store them in your passbook if you have an iPhone or just revisit your text from Target any time you shop there. You can use the deals in the barcode only once, but it keeps the whole electronic coupon with the ones left unused so you can use them at your next shopping trip.

7. In-store gift card offers.

Example: I was buying Pull-ups the other day. All brands including the Target brand had an offer for buy two packages, get a $10 gift card. You don’t get to use the gift card on your purchase that day, but bring it back for $10 off next time you shop.

8. Other in-store offers.

Recently, Target has been putting up signs like, “Buy $40 in Up&Up products, get $10 off.” You text the word on the sign to the number on the sign and it gives you the instant coupon. You CAN and should use that the day of purchase.

9. Mail offers.

Target sends out a mailing that I’m sure you’ve seen, and sometimes whole books of coupons. For example, back-to-school time brought a coupon book of supplies for school: Kleenex, Clorox wipes, etc. Recently, I got a mailing for $10 off a clothing purchase of $25 or more. If I’m in the market for anything like that, I’ll cash in on those, too.

Alright. A couple of clarifications:

I don’t buy things I don’t need (except for the occasional adorable new something from housewares), and I also don’t regularly buy brands I don’t normally use just because I have a coupon. Also, even though this seems like a lot of work to coordinate all of this, it really isn’t. I probably spend 15 minutes before I leave the house to get my coupons in order for the stuff on my list, update my Cartwheel, grab my mail offers and hop in my ?stylish? tan van and hit the sweet road to Target. Fifteen minutes isn’t so bad. Plus they have Starbucks—WORTH IT.

Combined, all the savings ideas above save me an average of $40 per visit. My original bill the other day was $191 (we were TOTALLY out of groceries and toiletries) and my final bill after all above was $154. I also left with a $10 gift card for next time. My biggest savings to date was $47.44.

Final tip: Combat coupon clutter and have a central place to keep coupons. I don’t do a whole lot of organizing, but I do have a spot for coupons. When it is time to shop, I sort through them quick and leave the offers for the things I don’t need for the next trip.

Do you have any additional Target tips?

How to Save BIG Money at Target

Happy saving, Target friends!!!

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3 Responses to How to Save BIG Money at Target

  1. Lizz C. November 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    Great tips!! Another great tip I just found out about the other day… If you have a Target RED Card, not only do you get 5% off but Target will donate 1% to your school of choice. Pretty awesome!

  2. Heather November 6, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    Visit for more savings!

    She lists all the deals with the coupon match ups for you. She will show you how to stack all the Manufacturer coupons with the Target coupons and Cartwheel too.

    She posts multiple deals every day.

    And on Friday’s at 12:00 she shows you the ad for next week with all the coupon match ups.
    Then you can print and cut out only the coupons you need when you head to the store on Sunday.

  3. Nikki K November 6, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    I know you are not an extreme couponer but here is a tip everyone can use. Target will let you use a manufacturer coupon, target coupon (mobile or printed from website), and cartwheel per item. They will also price match local stores like hyvee. Today they price matched the 1 sale price hyvee had, took a manufacturer coupon and a target coupon and I got 3 boxes of pasta for less than the price of 1.You have to go to customer service to price match but it can be well worth a couple extra minutes. Finally there are apps like ibotta, snap, shopmum and checkout 51 that will let you take a picture of your receipt and get cash back sometimes on things like any milk or bread or brand name products. I am saving my family so much money.

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