Attention Target Shoppers: Don’t Miss These Money-Saving Secrets

I can’t count the number of times during college my friends and I visited what we referred to in a faux-French accent as “Tar-jhay.” Our regular pilgrimages for dorm furnishings, snacks and theme night costumes weren’t based on any particular strategy beyond, “I need this, and I’m pretty sure Target sells it,” but we always wondered whether we were getting the best deal..

Though I’ve become smarter about hoarding my pennies and shopping for deals since then, I hadn’t yet figured out how to maximize my Target savings.

That’s why I was so excited to discover Lara Parker’s list of 16 Secrets for Shopping at Target on BuzzFeed Style. Did you know how to tell whether an item is on its first markdown or final clearance? How about where to find brand-new Target merchandise at a fraction of the regular price?

Here are some of the highlights of Parker’s list:

Solve the Mysteries of the Markdown Tag

That little red tag holds all sorts of interesting information, Parker reports. Check the upper right corner for the markdown percentage, and the lower left corner for the original price.

The markdown price itself signals whether the item is final clearance or whether you should wait to buy. Prices ending in $0.04 are on their last legs, but those ending in $0.06 or $0.08 have chance at further markdowns.

Look for Unsold Final Clearance Items at Goodwill

Did you wait too long and miss an item you wanted? You may still have a chance to find it at your local Goodwill store, says Parker, since Target donates unsold merchandise there. Not only will you get a good deal on your purchase, you’ll be supporting employment training and youth mentorship programs for people in your community.

Use Your Phone to Find Great Deals

Sign up to receive mobile coupons by SMS. To save even more, Parker suggests downloading Target’s new Cartwheel app. It offers weekly deals on everything from clothing to food — and its deals are valid on top of savings from markdowns, coupons and REDcard discounts. Download Cartwheel for free on your iPhone or Android device (Like this idea? Click to tweet it!).

Don’t have a smartphone? Tracie at Penny Pinchin’ Mom explains how to use Cartwheel on your home computer, then print the coupons to take to the store.

What About the Markdown Schedule?

Parker lists the departments that Target supposedly marks down each weekday. However, while this schedule has floated around the Internet for years, Snopes says it’s not true. So don’t wait till Wednesday for a deal on diapers or furniture!

Your Turn: What are your secrets for shopping at Target?