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

Target coupons
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
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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.Take a Picture of Your Receipt

Yeah, did you know you can get paid cash back just for taking a picture of your receipt? Well, basically.

Here’s how it works:

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

2. Browse through the cash-back offers in your area and take note the next time you go to the store (the offers change every week). For example we’ve seen local offers for $0.25 cash back on Target purchases. 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 when you redeem your first receipt.

2. Get Cash Back by Shopping Online 

One of our favorite ways to save is with Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something online. For example, Ebates gives you 1.0% cash-back on online purchases at Target.

Plus, you’ll get a $10 gift card for giving the site a try.

To earn your gift card:

  1. Sign up for Ebates with your email or Facebook account.
  2. Use the Ebates portal the next time you need to buy something. It’s connected to thousands of stores, including Walmart, Amazon and Target. You’ll need to make your first purchase through the site within 90 days and spend at least $25.
  3. Your account will be credited with rewards points you can cash in for your $10 gift card.

3. Stop Deleting Your Emails

It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you money. Intrigued?

One of our secret weapons is called Capital One Shopping Price Protection — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.

Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Capital One Shopping Price Protection will help you get compensated.

Capital One Shopping Price Protection compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

4. “Drop” Points Toward Gift Cards

Pssstt… We’ve got a secret.

There’s a new rewards platform on the market.

Drop is a financial tech company that rewards for your purchases.

As an exclusive Drop user, all you have to do is link your credit and debit cards. When you make a Drop-qualified purchase, you’ll automatically earn points.

When you shop at Target and use your linked card, you’ll earn eight points per dollar spent. The points will add up, and you can then exchange them for gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon and Starbucks. For example, 5,000 points will get you a $5 Starbucks gift card. (You know how tempting that Starbucks inside Target is…)

It’s the ultimate loyalty card — without the card.

You can sign up right here.

5. Grab a Free Target Gift Card

The Swagbucks mobile app is one of the best, legitimate paid survey apps out there.

The questions are pretty simple: Which do you like more: Coke or Cherry Coke? How many times have you been to the movies in the past 12 months?

You get the idea.

The average payout for answering a series of questions is 75 SBs, which is equivalent to 75 cents. You won’t qualify for every panel, but you can usually earn about $5 for 30 minutes of work, to be cashed out for gift cards to select retailers — including Target. For other ways to use Swagbucks, check out our review.

6. Know Your Target 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.

7. Get the Best Deal Every Time You Shop

When you’ve cut your spending down to the last latte, how can we possibly talk about spending even less?

There’s one more step you can take to cut your everyday expenses — earn money back when you shop.

Follow our ultimate guide to deal stacking to get the best deal on everything you buy at Target — so good, sometimes the store will pay you to buy it.

8. This App Pays You for Walking Into (and Shopping at) Target

Sick of shopping online and headed to a real, live store? Download the Shopkick app first.

Once you sign up, the app pays you “kicks” for walking into certain stores (including Target, Walmart, TJMaxx and more). These can be redeemed for gift cards to Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Sephora, Best Buy and more.

It pays you even more “kicks” for scanning items in stores and purchasing them with a connected credit or debit card, as well as for scanning receipts and mobile shopping.

9. Bank 5% Off Every Time You Shop at Target

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% off 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 saved 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.

10. 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.

11. Share Your Feedback

A lot of packaged food companies will pay you for your thoughts. They’re hungry for data on what shoppers think of their products, so they pay folks like you to join panels and answer questions.

After your next Target shopping trip, sign up for an online market research site like Opinion Outpost and earn some money for sharing your feedback.

Opinion Outpost offers surveys from all kinds of businesses and organizations. Most of them take around 10 minutes to complete and will earn you points you can redeem for free gift cards to places like Amazon and iTunes.

What sets it apart from other survey sites is it gives away $40,000 every year. It has a quarterly drawing for a $10,000 cash prize — and for every survey you complete, you’ll get one entry into the sweepstakes!