Fact: You can’t go to Target without spending a hundred bucks.
You know how it goes: You enter the store armed with a list that you plan to stick to, yet this, that and the other thing (thanks, Hunter for Target!) ends up in your cart because you have to have it.
There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself every now and then, but this habit can seriously affect your financial well-being and put a sizeable dent in your budget if you’re not careful.
There’s hope, however – in the form of savings that are hiding right on your phone and computer. All you have to do is harness the power of these money-saving tactics to keep more cash in your pocket.
1. Target Mobile App
On the Target mobile app, which is available for free download on iPhone, iPad and Android devices, there’s a section labeled Mobile Coupons within the Deals & Coupons menu that features select items available for discounts. Some items are reduced by varying dollar amounts while others qualify for a percentage off. Typical sale items include kitchenware, apparel and Target-brand foods. Consult the Mobile Coupons section before you shop to see what you have on your list that matches the available deals. At checkout pull up the app so the cashier can scan the preset barcode, and watch the savings subtract.
Another tip I’ve learned over the years is to always scan your items via the mobile app as you’re shopping. You wouldn’t believe the amount of price discrepancies I’ve uncovered between what’s listed on the tag versus the online price. Target will honor whichever is lower. I’ve cashed in like this dozen of times, which made me realize that most shoppers are probably overpaying on multiple items per trip on a regular basis. Put in the extra bit of time and reap the savings.
2. Target Cartwheel App
Target’s Cartwheel feature in its mobile app provides a more comprehensive listing of items that are available for discounts. This section provides deals on more of the everyday items you need, like groceries and cleaning supplies, at savings ranging from 5% to 50% off. To qualify for the deals, you have to manually add them to your list before checkout; it also auto-adds in store as soon as you scan a qualifying item with the app. This app is heavy on discounts for Target-brand goods, but there are plenty of name brand items available as well. Like the Mobile Coupons on the Target mobile app, just present the app’s barcode to the cashier to save.
3. Target RedCard
By signing up for the Target RedCard credit card, you’ll save 5% on all your purchases. But buyer beware: This may not be in your best interest if you’re not the kind of credit-card user who pays the full balance before it’s due. Pay your bill past its due date and you could be slapped with a late fee that will not only negate the 5% savings but cost you more money in interest in the long run. Another perk of RedCard is free shipping on all Target.com purchases, which can save avid Internet shoppers a substantial amount of dough given the high price of shipping fees these days.
4. Printable Target Coupons
In addition to the generous in-app savings that Target offers, it also includes a section on its website that allows shoppers to print coupons in advance of their visit. To find these coupons, go to Target.com and enter “Target Coupons” in the search bar. Once there, you’ll find printable savings on more than 100 items in all categories, from baby and beauty to personal care and pets. Select the deals you’d like then choose whether you’d like to have your order shipped or same-day pickup at your nearest Target.
5. Ibotta App
If you haven’t yet discovered Ibotta, it’s time you did. This mobile app, compatible with Apple and Android devices, isn’t a direct descendant of Target, but it does have a partnership with the company (as well as many other popular shopping, travel and dining brands). Instead of instant savings, however, Ibotta pays you in real cash for redeeming the offers it has available. Ibotta also often has sweepstakes and add-on rebates to up the ante, and those are generally attached to everyday items you need, like bread and milk. Definitely worth the free download if you enjoy getting paid to shop. I’ve personally received about $800 cash back in the past five years I’ve been using it.