8 Money-Saving Secrets Every Target Shopper Absolutely Needs to Know

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Sandy Schultz and her grandson Oliver Schultz, 4, shop for toys at a Target in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Oct. 24, 2016. Sharon Steinmann / The Penny Hoarder
Honest Abe

Disclosure:

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.

We’ll admit it — we’re a little obsessed with Target.

It’s hard not to be. The store has pretty much everything you need, right in one place. But don’t be fooled by the prices on the shelf.

If you know the secrets to Target shopping, you can save a ton on every shopping trip! You don’t have to spend all day clipping Target coupons, either.

Here are our favorite ways to save money at Target…

1. Save Your Email Receipts

It turns out that deleting your emails could be costing you serious money.

Intrigued?

An app called Earny helps gets you money back for your online purchases at stores like Target.

It’s free to sign up and once you do, it scans your email archives for any receipts. If Earny discovers you’ve purchased something from Target or one of the other 20+ retailers listed on its website, it continuously monitors those prices everywhere else online. When they find a better price, they take advantage of price protection policies offered by major stores and credit card issuers to get you a refund.

Even better, Earny acts as a personal assistant and contacts the retailer on your behalf. You don’t have to do anything!

2. Scan Your Groceries When You Get Home

Did you know that the Nielsen company will pay you to scan your groceries each week? Crazy, right?

Once you sign up to become a Nielsen Consumer Panel family, you’ll be asked to simply scan the barcodes on your groceries and send your data off to Nielsen each week. Pretty easy, huh?

If you want to give it a try, you can fill out an application here:

Sign up to be a Nielsen Consumer Panel family here.

3. Use a Cash-Back App

Did you know that you can get cash-back on your purchase just for taking a picture of your receipt?

Here’s how it works….

1. Sign up for Ibotta here (you just need a name/email address to start).

2. Browse through the cash-back offers in your area and take note the next time you go to Target. For example, Ibotta’s currently paying out 25 cents just for a picture of a Target, regardless of what you bought. Pretty cool, right? Once you’ve reached at least $20 in earnings, you can request payment via Paypal or Venmo. And right now, Ibotta is giving new users a $10 sign-up bonus, just for redeeming their first receipt.

Obviously, you don’t want to buy a bunch of crap you weren’t already planning on purchasing. But, this can be an easy way to get a little cash back for doing something you were already going to do.

4. Stack Sales With Retale and Rebate Apps

Yep, Retale. Not retail.

We all know the best way to save is by shopping around. But who has time for that?

Retale shows you all of the weekly ads from stores in your area, including Target. You can search on specific items to find the best deals near you — then add them to your shopping list with one click.

And if you’re someone who likes to stack, they even have a tab to discover store coupons to make the deals even better!

Plus, you can also add your favorite store loyalty cards to your Retale account. When you clip coupons in the app, you can add them to your card to be redeemed automatically at checkout.

Pro Tip: Sometimes you can get rebates on the same product across these apps. More savings without spending any more!

5. Know Your Markdown Tags

If you do go into a physical store, you’ll need to know the secrets of the Target markdown tag. Check the upper right corner of those little red tags for the markdown percentage. The lower left corner of the tag will tell you the original price.

Also, prices ending in $0.04 usually indicate that the item has been marked down multiple times and will probably not going any lower. But, those ending in $0.06 or $0.08 have a chance at further markdowns.

6. Bank 5% Cashback Every Time You Make a Purchase

Listen, it’s okay to admit you get as excited as Kristen Wiig at Target. If you’re perusing the “One Spot” more than once a month, it’s probably time to join the RED club.

Target’s branded RED debit and credit cards offer an insane 5% cash back on every purchase you make at the store and online (excluding prescriptions).

There’s no annual fee on the credit card, but if you don’t want to add another card to your credit report, just go with the debit card. It links right to your existing checking account for Target purchases making it a mindless way to save every time you walk in the store.

Let’s say you spend $150/week on groceries at Target — that’s $390 in cash back that could go right into your savings account each year!

Plus, if you sign up and qualify before May 20, Target will send you a coupon for 10% off your next shopping trip.

7. Download the Target App

Download Target’s app on your smartphone so that you can see the latest discounts on everything from clothing to food. This is where the discounts really start to add up because you can stack these savings with your coupons and RED card cash back.

Download the app for free on your iPhone or Android device. Target integrated its Cartwheel app features into the Target app in summer 2017.

8. Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts

Do you waste money impulse shopping? You need a way to save things you want to buy later — and nab them when they’re on sale.

Yeah, a personal shopper would be fabulous. Who wouldn’t want someone to take care of the less-fun parts of shopping? But a personal assistant is, you know, uber expensive.

The next best thing? A mobile app and browser extension that does it for you.

Through Shoptagr you can save items you want from over 1,600 online retailers to a single wish list.

The app and Google Chrome extension notify you in real time when an item goes on sale (down to specific size and color), so you can always get the best price.

Here’s the link to sign up with Shoptagr.

Honest Abe

Disclosure:

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.