Laura Saved Over $500 With These Hacks…

Laura is your average savvy mom, doing everything she can to stay on trend without going broke in the process. She’s our shining example of just how much you can save by using all of these hacks. By using one of them, her Target REDcard, she saved almost $300 in one year.

Target saving hacks
Life Laura Loves

Notice how our girl Laura saved $6.37 from the REDcard and $4.30 from the CartWheel app to save a total of $10.67. Wait, the CartWheel app can save you that much per purchase? Why, yes, in fact it can save you even more per purchase, depending on what you’re buying.

Laura’s CartWheel Savings Were Unbelievable

Yes, the CartWheel app can save you anywhere from 5-50% off on select items in the store, and if you check in frequently, you could get that new couch or fluffy bean bag chair for half off. 

With this app handy, you can save around the same amount as with the REDcard. Now, just imagine combining the two as Laura did and saving even more than she did.

Life Laura Loves

One day, Laura checked the CartWheel app just at the right time and was able to save even more by using the #1 hack in this list. Read on to see what other hacks she used to save thousands each year at Target and how you can do the same.

31. This was her golden ticket to sales

“Graham needed a new coat when we had our first real cold snap and Cartwheel to the rescue!  I saved $20 with a 50% off deal on kids’ outerwear that day!”

Although this card is one of the best ways to save money in this magical wonderland of a store, these deals just get better and better.

target red card debit
Path Decorations

Here is how Laura manages to get that 5% off on every purchase — a Target REDCard debit card that links directly to your bank account. Unlike a credit card, this won’t allow you to spend far beyond what’s in your bank acccount and you won’t rack up high interest rates.

Say goodbye to that vicious debt cycle, and hello to significant savings and exclusive deals.

30. Earn Your Free Target Gift Cards to Maximize Savings

What’s better than serious sales? Oh, right– free money.

More often than you’d expect, Target puts out deals like, “Purchase 3 of (this product) and receive a $10 gift card.” Yes, that’s right — free gift cards that add up surprisingly quickly. If you’re smart about it, you can buy $150 worth of gifts from Target, and only pay $10. 

Target sales

A word to the wise: after some calculations, we found that these deals are only outstanding when the cost of your purchase is less than $68, so keep an eye out and make sure you don’t fall for any Target tricks thinking you’re getting a Target treat!

29. Grab Your $5 Off Coupon, Year Round

You know those secret coupons that are so amazing that stores don’t advertise them on the regular?

Well, this is one of those super secret coupons. You can get $5 off every purchase, every time. If you use it with your Target REDcard, you can save $15-$20 per regular purchase.

target sales
Go Imprints

On websites like PromotionCode and RetailMeNot, you can find codes and barcodes for Target that run nearly all year for $5 off a $50 purchase. These kinds of savings can always be paired up with other savings from manufacturers coupons or REDcard, as well, so have a field day and redesign a room in your house!

28. Trade In Old Electronics For Gift Cards

Did you know you can trade-in your used electronics for Target gift cards?

Target takes used iPhones (in good condition), Kindles, game consoles, video games, FitBits, old iPods, other electronics, and even other store’s gift cards. Depending on the condition of the trade in, you can receive up to $100 back. 

trade ins target

Not all Targets participate in these trade-ins, but you can do an easy Google search to find out which ones participate near you. The nearest trade-in Target to my house is about 15 miles away, so we stock up on our old electronics (or pick up some cheap, used electronics from thrift stores) to trade in twice a year before big holidays or big home purchases.

27. The Crucial Difference Between ‘Sale’ and ‘Price Cut’

Want to know the inside scoop on how to read sale signs? Well, first of all, there’s a difference between “sale” and “price cut.” For starters, Regular sales are red-tagged and last for around a week. Price cuts are yellow-tagged and last a little longer; sometimes up to two months or, in some cases, it can mark a permanent price cut.

target sales

It is smart to keep an eye on both types of deals because both can equal savings of up to 50% off, and if you double (or even triple) that discount with some coupons and your handy little REDcard, you can manage to save up to 90% off your item.

26. Your Fav Item Sold Out? Ask For A Rain Check to Lock in Your Deal

Say, for instance, that you waited a little longer to see how much of a deal you could get, but your prized piece tragically sold out. Instead of groveling over that beautiful, boho chic ottoman that would totally tie your living room together, you can take the high road and…

raincheck target
Sports Direct

….head right on over to guest services and let them know your predicament. They will give you a rain check for that sold out item you wanted at the last recorded sales price. If you play your cards right, you may even save up to $20 on a once-clearance-d item.

25. Price Match Items at Target To Save Big Money

Well now, I bet you didn’t know about this one Ms. “I-shop-on-Amazon-because-it’s-cheaper-than-Target.” If you bring an ad or online listing of the same brand/model of a Target product from one of their competitors, they will price match!

Did you happen to recently purchase an item that literally went on sale the day after you bought it?

Target near me
Bryant Group

Yah, it’s times like those when I feel like the universe is scheming against me. But fear not, my fellow Tarjay shoppers. You can request a price adjustment from guest services within 14 days of the original purchase with no penalties.

This secret deal can save you up to $18.

24. January and July: The Magic Months for Toys

Toy industries are creating the next new “in” toy every 2 weeks or so, but when those come out, what happens to the others?

Well, they go on clearance to make room for the newest, best-est toys, which also leaves those even older toys to go on super sales.

Target kids

January and July are the big toy clearance months, which means 1 of (or) two things: they’re your kid’s new favorite months, or it’s your chance to stock up before Christmas and birthdays.

These special toy clearance months can save you up to 50% off a purchase, which can mean either $15 or $150.

23. Memorize Your Local Target’s Weekly Clearance Schedule

Many “reputable” sites and blogs will claim that Target follows a strict clearance schedule per day of the week. Although this is true for a few Targets around the US, it isn’t the case for most (so stop sharing that darn picture on Pinterest!). The schedule that has gone viral looks something like this:

Monday — Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby, and Stationery
Tuesday — Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets, and Market (food items)
Wednesday — Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Diapers, Lawn, Garden Items, and Furniture
Thursday — Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor & Luggage
Friday — Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry

Clearance tags target
All Things Target

If this is generally false, then how can you best track their sales?

Well, since you are their priority as a Target guest, you can ask any of the guest services managers to get the lowdown on the specific locations’ clearance schedules, restock dates, and even exclusive sales (if you’re nice). With this schedule, you can save up to 75% off your weekly target purchases.

22. Use The Cartwheel App To Stack Coupons on Coupons

I’m sure you’ve already heard about this hack, but I’d be doing you an injustice if I didn’t mention Cartwheel, Target’s mobile application, at least once. The app contains a barcode scanner where you look up all the items you plan to purchase, then you add any eligible deals, and then — at least in my case — you scramble to figure out the checkout process when you get to the register.

But did you know you could get the same deals without doing all that extra work?

Target app
Income Diary

Go to the Cartwheel website, create an account, and add different offers. You will receive a barcode that you can print out and use every time you shop since the barcode is only specific to you, and it never changes based on different offers or times! You can save up to 65% off each purchase with these discounts.

21. Don’t Jump The Gun On Sales — Wait Them Out To Save

Fast and ready, or slow and steady? Well, according to Target’s sales, slow and steady is the way to go. If you’ve been keeping your eye on a piece, waiting for it to go on sale, then hike up those boots, set up camp, get those marshmallows out, and keep waiting!

Target Meme

Target tends to stacks its sales, so if something is 15% off, it will most definitely get to 30% off. If there is still stock left, that 30% will turn into 50%, then to a final, whopping 70%. Get ready to get up to 50% off what was already discounted!

20. Pssst… Check Out the Hidden Clearance Section

Did you know you could get a sneak peek at the clearance sections online? That’s right, no more sifting through the unorganized clothes racks, scavenging out those yellow-tagged end caps, or trying to Cartwheel your way through each aisle.  Lucky for you, those days are no more, my friend.

clearance target

Under the Deals section on, the first option is Clearance. Click on the Clearance page and look through all their online deals, or click on the Top Deals to find some extra fun, extra cheap goodies.

You can save up to $30 off purchasesand get free shipping without ever having to leave your home!

19. Triple the Coupon To Save Triple The Money

Looking through Cartwheel, you might be tempted to put it to the wayside because the deals don’t seem all that great. But, when you triple up on the coupons by using Cartwheel, print coupons, and manufacturer coupons, the savings can be monumental (I’ve saved $125 on a single purchase by using this tip).


If you don’t know where to find printable coupons, the answer is actually quite simple. Go back to and under Categories, click Weekly Ads.

If you are unsure about where to find manufacturer coupons. Just Google it! You should be able to find plenty of options and this extra research will boost your savings.

18. Use These Holiday Sales To Get Ahead Of The Game

Of course, it seems a little pointless to buy holiday decorations and gear after the holiday, but it honestly makes the most sense. Think about it — after Easter, the prices of those chocolate bunnies plummet. I once paid $0.39 for a 1-foot tall chocolate bunny that was originally $13.99 since it was 3 days after Easter.

target christmas
Milia Blog

For the 15-50% off, shop the day after the holiday, for 50-70% off, shop 3 days after the holiday, and for 70-90% off, shop up to a week after the holiday. The best part about this tip is that it applies to many other stores like Walgreens, CVS, and RiteAid.

17. Use This Holiday Clearance Schedule To Know When To Go

Holiday shopping, in general, is total chaos, but holiday shopping at Target is an art form. If you know these rules of the road for holiday shopping at Target, things will get a whole lot easier. Here is the best schedule to go by for maximizing your festive deals:

Halloween discounts target
Korrect Kritters
  • The first day after the holiday: 50% off for non-food, 30% off for food and candy starting the day after a holiday and lasting three days.
  • The fourth day after the holiday: 70% off for non-food, 50% off for food and candy starting the fourth day after a holiday, also lasting about three days.
  • The 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 go to 70% off.)

16. Look At The Sales Tags To See If The Price Will Decrease

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again– it’s the worst when you buy a clearance or sale item, and it gets even further discounted a week later. But, how can you know if it will be discounted again?

Many, but not all Target stores follow this trend: If an item price ends in a 6 or 8, it will be further discounted within a week or two.

Sales tags

If you look in the top right corner of the clearance tag, a small black number will tell you exactly what percentage was taken off the original price. Sometimes, you can save up to 75% off an item with this trick, but most of the time, it’s around 35%-50% savings.

15. Cartwheel Has a Cousin? Download Outside Apps To Get More Deals

So, other than the aforementioned Cartwheel app that always somehow confounds me, other discount apps can save you even more money after you buy items from Target by using your receipts. Those receipts, in turn, give companies your shopping data (nothing personal, don’t worry), and then they send it back to those companies where they analyze and enhance the cusomers experience.

ibotta app target
Thrifty Jinxy

Shopkick will reward you for visiting Target and sending in your receipts to collect shopper data, while Ibotta will unlock rebate deals for you if you complete tasks and upload your receipts. You can get around $5 back from each regular purchase using these apps, and you can rack up those points to win gift cards or prizes.

14. Go to Goodwill For Overstock Target Items

If clearance items don’t sell well at Target, they will usually donate or salvage many of the items. For example, sometimes you walk into Goodwill and notice a surplus of a pillowcase, or some blankets, and sometimes even a set of clothes that are brand-spanking-new. Yah, those usually come from Target.

Palmetto Goodwill

If they think they will be able to sell them, Target will send goods over to TJMaxx, Marshalls, or Ross.

“There are a variety of ways we address unsold product, including donations, liquidating to third parties, recycling and, when necessary, disposal,” a Target spokesperson shared with Racked in 2014.

13. Know The Difference Between “Repackaged” or “As is”

Buyers, beware! You may think that items marked with a deceiving red tag and the words “Repackaged” or “As is” are marked down, but that’s rarely the case. Usually, these are items that get returned after being used, where the store can only give the first buyer up to half their money back.

target as is

These are often items that were returned from online purchases or other stores, but if they are truly marked down, they will be heavily discounted. So check it out, make sure it works (returns usually aren’t allowed on these items), and save up to 50% off of your new item.

12. The Golden Rule Can Strike You Gold

Being nice doesn’t always feel like it’s worth it, especially if you need to communicate that you’re in a rush and the sweet old cashier is just taking her sweet time at the register. A Target employee, Tom Grennell, revealed in an interview with Business Insider that being kind to employees can heavily pay off. 

Target employee

There had been a few instances where, as a cashier, he dealt with both friendly and considerably not friendly people. The nicer customers got an extra 10% off during a big sale from a scanned coupon he had behind the desk, but the rude customers? They were out of luck if they forgot their copies.

11. Non-Receipt Returns Are Limited, So Save Those Receipts!

Yes, you can return things without a receipt to target, but there are some hassles and some limitations. Most often, they will only give you store credit at the current price, especially if an item is currently discounted. If you paid full price for it initially, you might be out of luck.

target no receipt return

There is also a limitation on how many non-receipt returns Target will let you make per year — $75 to be exact. Yes, that amount is per year. This limit was put in place to discourage the chronic returners who may or may not have bought the item from another store.

10. Use Target For Your Baby Registry To Snag A Free Gift

Yes, usually Amazon is the go-to for registries, but if you’re having a baby, Target might be your new favorite store with their generous gifts and helpful employees.

Not only do they have way too much stuff for you to choose from, but they give you a unique gift basket of samples and coupons for your new arrival.

baby registry target
Freebie Depot

Want to hear about another perk you get for registering with Target? You get a completion bonus that allows you to get a certain percentage off anything left on your gift registry after the date occurs. If this does not convince you to turn to target for your baby needs, I don’t know what will.

9. Monthly Markdowns To Pay Attention To If You Coupon

Just like some stores have a weekly markdown schedule, many stores have a monthly markdown schedule that they follow to a T, month after month and year after year. Target happens to have their own nationwide markdown schedule organized by month or season, and it goes a little something like this:

target markdowns
  • Mid-January and Mid-July: Toys
  • Last Week of July through August: Summer clothes & flip flops
  • End of August to Mid-September: School supplies, patio furniture, grills & games
  • December 26th to January 5th: Wrapping paper
  • November 1st to November 7th: Halloween costumes, chocolate & candy

These markdowns are usually very significant compared to other stores as they’re always trying to beat competitors.

8. Get A Free Smash Cake With Your Baby’s First Birthday Cake

Ever seen a Super Target? Well if you have one near your home or work (and if your child is currently under 1 year old), you’re in luck. Most Super Targets have bakeries in them, and when you order a cake for your baby’s first birthday, you get a second, free Smash cake.

What is a Smash cake?

Target baby
104 Jacobson

Well, it’s a perfectly safe, personal cake for your baby to dive into as soon as the birthday song is over. No more lamenting over a hand in the communal cake, or a little spit-up on the icing that people have to eat around!

And say hello to some adorable pictures (that you will, of course, show to your kid’s future spouse).

7. Target Has State of the Art Cameras To Ensure Safety and Catch Rule Breakers

Recently, Target opened up about how in-depth and detailed their crime prevention department is in each store — and how seriously they treat shoplifting. Not only do they have state of the art cameras with facial recognition technology in every store, but they also have someone monitoring the cameras at all times.

target shoplifting

Many new employees are shocked at the number of cameras, the high-resolution pictures, and the identification processes/AI systems that are in place in every Target store.

The purpose of exposing this high-tech secret? To ward off organized and savvy crime. Apparently, shoplifting at high-end stores like Target with high security is tryuly an impressive feat to get away with, but trust us when we say you never truly get away with it. 

6. Target Has It’s Own Forensic Services Laboratory To Catch Shoplifters

Target headquarters in Las Vegas and Minneapolis have state-of-the-art forensic labs and technology to identify shoplifters, pick up their fingerprints, and catch them if they ever drive by or enter a Target anywhere around the country. These labs can pick up fingerprints, track movement in a store, and alert a Target facility if a repeating offender enters their store.

target forensics

These teams have experienced forensic scientists, examiners, and criminalists who have even helped cities solve significant cases of kidnapping, trafficking, and homicide — all for free. Target has recently been applauded for their support in these communities, to which they humbly reply that it is “just giving back to their own supporters.”

5. Target Takes Part In Their Communities

Target Forensic labs have a special place in their community’s hearts.

No, not just for keeping them safe in the stores, but for helping their community fight high profile crime and safeguard children from many epidemics. These employees are highly trained and specialized in many aspects, and the diverse background of many are used to help keep stores in tip-top shape.

target volunteers
Target Pulse

“We take the philosophy — it’s a Midwestern company — that we don’t want to be just in the community, we want to be part of the community,” Target’s VP of Assets Protection said. He has ensured Target’s heavy involvement in the safety and well-being of every community that Target stores call home.

4. Target Loves Ensuring a Safe, Happy Visit For All  Their Customers

This technology isn’t just for Target to protect their assets; it’s to set a standard for other large stores, cities, police departments, and governments. These safety protocols seem like they should be standards for every store in the country, but unfortunately, Target is the leader in setting these standards and, so far, is still miles ahead of the game.

is target safe

In 2004, Target donated $300,000 to the Minneapolis police department to purchase wireless cameras in places where crime is most prevalent. These cameras have since helped solve thousands of cases, from both after they were installed, and before. This isn’t the only way this Midwest-based company contributes to local communities…

3. Target Gives Grants To Help Local Communities Thrive

Did you know Target will help community organizations pay for equipment or events? It’s true and the process for qualifying is pretty straightforward.

Under the Target Corporate website, you can apply for children’s field trip grants, youth soccer grants, grants for arts, and grants for social services. How do you know if you’re eligible?

Target grants
Salvation Army

Well, you must be tax exempt, a charitable organization, an accredited school, or a public agency funded by the government. This was a huge surprise to me, as well, when I first found out, but now I no longer feel guilty for overspending at Target as often as I do.

2. Target Employees Volunteer With United Way

Starting in 1962, Target and its employees have been supporting the United Way and their efforts to improve the world and those living in it. In 2014, Target helped raise over $14.6 million for their campaign with the help of local communities. Much of this donation was given by Target as a company, not just donations raised.

Target volunteers
Target Pulse

United Way focuses on providing health, education, and financial services for those in countries severely impacted by war, famine, drought, or natural disasters. Target has continually helped this organization in their mission and has saved millions of lives through their donations, along with the donations and services of their employees.

1. Target Helps Feed America To Put a Stop To Starvation

Did you know people in America still die of starvation, even in 2018? Since 2001, Target has been partnering with Feeding America to end hunger and famine in America and make sure people know that this is still an ongoing problem. If people don’t know about an epidemic, how can it truly be solved and supported?

target feeding america

By raising money, donating parts of their revenue, and partnering with local food banks, Target and Feeding America produce over 4 billion meals for anyone in need, in any city throughout the country. These incredible volunteer efforts that Target partakes in have saved — and continue to save — lives across the nation.