I have had very few trips to Target where I don’t come out feeling like I have accomplished something big! Some trips, particularly those when I take the kids, I leave exhausted and frustrated. However, most trips I find so many good deals that I can’t wait to get home and share them all with my husband. For those of you who haven’t discovered Target’s finer points, or for those who just want to save more there, here are my reasons Target is one of my favorite stores:
1) Coupons and gift cards:
Target has their own coupons you can print from their website. They can be stacked with manufacturer’s coupons (if they have the Target logo on them), so you save even more. They have coupons on everything from name brands to their own brands to specific sections of the store. On most trips, I can save at least $20 in coupons! I even get coupons in the mail from Target. I think I get these from having a Target baby registry at one time and for making purchases online from their website. You can also earn gift cards for making certain purchases in store (these are often advertised in their weekly sale flier and on the in-store shelves). It is always exciting to find a few of these in my wallet on my next shopping trip!
2) Red Card:
You can get a Target Red Card: either debit or credit card, which gives you 5% back on each purchase. The discount is applied immediately – no waiting for rebates or reward cards. We do not have any credit cards, so I love that I can get these same rewards with the debit card. The money comes right out of my checking account as a regular debit card does. I usually save $5 – $10 just from using my Red Card.
Cartwheel is Target’s own additional savings program. You can use this as an app or right from the website. With Cartwheel you can find various discounts (5% – 50% off) on items throughout the store. You choose which offers you want to use and you fill up your available spots. You can earn more spots the more you use the program. Simply print the barcode from the website or show the barcode on your app to the cashier. Either way, you save even more money. These savings can also be stacked with your coupons and Red Card discount.
4) Text discounts:
Sometimes you will see a sign in the store or in the Sunday sale flier that prompts you to text a keyword to Target to get additional savings. These also can be stacked with other offers above (unless you have already selected that same offer on Cartwheel or on a printed coupon from their sale flier). You must show the cashier the barcode from your phone to receive these savings.
5) Bag discounts:
When you bring your own bags to use for your purchases, Target will give you $.05 back for each bag. This also comes right off your total purchase cost. Every little bit adds up. For more information on bag discounts, see my post “Reusable shopping bags = savings.”
6) Price match and rainchecks:
This is a new tip that I just found tonight! Target will match the price if you buy a qualifying item at Target, then find the identical item for less at Target.com, select online competitors, or in Target’s or a competitor’s local printed or digital ad. You can ask for a price match at the checkout lane or Guest Services. I have often checked Amazon.com while shopping in Target, but never knew they would match the price!
If Target is sold out of an item on sale, you can request a rain check (good for 45 days). It’s simple – just take a picture of the shelf tag and ask for a rain check at the register! If you don’t want to have to go back to the store to use it, ask if that item is eligible for a substitution.
7) Seasonal sales:
Target is a great place for getting great deals on seasonal items. No matter if you celebrate the holiday or not, the days after can provide some wonderful sales! Target also has a great variety of items they only have available for different seasons and holidays and some that are only found at their store such as: home decor, organizational items, food, novelties, gift items, dining/cookware, and more. We have gotten several things during some of these seasonal sales that have lasted us years. See my related posts on Post-Christmas shopping success! and Shop those Easter sales today!
8) A fun shopping experience:
I love finding new items every time I go to Target. Maybe it is a new line of dishware. Maybe it is a new line of craft items. Or a new line of toys for that time of year. There is always something new to find and normally at great deals. The dollar aisle has also yielded some great gifts, toys, and teaching items for me and my family!
9) Sales on staple items:
I know that even if I don’t have a coupon, Target is going to have a sale on items I use often at some point. And for many items, even if I do not have a coupon and it is not on sale, their price still beats many competitors. I like not feeling so guilty if I have to make a purchase there without a sale or coupon! This is where my price list really comes in handy. See my post on “Keeping a price list.”
10) Good quality clothing for reasonable prices:
With my busy schedule, I do not get a lot of time to shop. I love that I can find clothing for everyone in the family at Target. I especially like that I can find staple items for good prices, whether or not they go on sale. I depend on Target for pajamas for the family, sweats for the kids and myself, socks and underwear for everyone, etc. Pajamas for my boys can get quite costly. At a department store, you can easily spend $10 or more for one set. When my boys were younger, I got the Carter’s First Year brand and spent $12-$13 for two sets together. They sometimes go on sale for a few bucks less or occasionally you can find them in the clearance section for half price! They sell sets year-round tailored for each season and the designs change. They are comfortable and last. My boys love them!
Their clothes last and look good. My little boys wear many items that their older brother wore that I probably paid less than $5-$10 a piece for! I often find such good deals that I even buy sizes for later and then store them in the basement. I once found hoodie jackets for $2.98. I also found sweatshirts and sweatpants for $2.08 in the boys’ department! I bought three hoodies for each size S – L (I could only find one XL)! See my post “Staying on top of your kids’ clothing.”
11) Black Friday is a breeze!
I am not a diehard Black Friday shopper that will stand in line hours before a store opens or camps out the night before. My Black Friday shopping route in simple: CVS and Target and occasionally one or two other stores. Many years Target has some great Black Friday deals like cheap pajamas for the family, great toy deals, and cheap hat/glove sets for the kids. I have not had to go right when the store opened. I get there mid-morning, and for the most part all the items I have been looking for were still in stock! They don’t just provide a few each of their good deals, but plenty for many shoppers! I am not shopping high-priced items, but I still come out with some great deals and am quite happy!
12) A clean and usually well-stocked store:
I know I can find good deals, too, at Wal-Mart, but I found the clutter and disorganization to create more stress than success. I like that Target is always clean and orderly and I know where everything is. The order of the store makes sense and it is not so large that I am very exhausted when I finish a trip complete with groceries, too. Occasionally the dollar aisle is a mess, but overall the store is pretty well-kept!
13) Plenty of online deals as well:
Target often has a sale on something I need more than one of, but the store doesn’t have that many or the right size in stock. However, the website does. I once got tennis shoes for my boys and paid a minimal amount for shipping! Shoe costs can add up, so we were all very excited! And compared to the Wal-Mart shoes I have purchased, these have lasted a lot longer! I have also gotten some great skirts from their daily deals as well as other items. See my post “Online shopping tips” to make the most of your Internet shopping.
14) Clearance sections:
It seems that so many stores have junk in their clearance sections. However, at Target, I find stuff all the time. I particularly love to shop the clothing clearances, as I mentioned before. I always find great deals on clothing for my kids. By putting those purchases and hand-me-downs aside for later, my kids love when they grow out of a size and I bring up boxes of great stuff for the new season. The boxes include new and used, but they don’t care. By thinking ahead, I rarely have to buy much for the new season!
Target also has clearance sections in other departments. The end caps of aisles are always full of surprises and there are always tons of items on clearance in the home department! I have found great toys to put aside in my gift drawer and special holiday treats only available for a limited time and so yummy! See my post on “Preparing for gift-giving = savings.”
NOTE: To find the best deals for Target each week, check out “Kosher on a Budget” and “Totally Target,” two great blogs.
Please feel free to share why you love Target in the Comments section!
I have a Target RedCard credit card. Besides the 5% off there is also free shipping for all online purchases.
I am not certain, but I think Target is working on allowing you to use your Target debit card on their website, too. Thanks for reading!
Why I hate Target.
I don’t “Hate” Target, but there are some significant problems with the shopping experience in general that you experience as positive that I believe have their own drawbacks.
1. Coupons – coupons require a surprisingly large time commitment: clipping, searching, printing (and printing and subscription costs), collating, finding at time of need, matching offered deal to product offered, etc…. The cost of use has to be considered with coupons. (On a personal note how many times have we been held up or even scrapped our plans entirely because of the need to print *%$#^*-ing coupons.)
2. Red Card, Bag Discounts, Sales, Black Friday, (coupons too) – Large corporations like parents, can reward the behaviors they want you to engage. They want to track your specific purchases. They want you to come in at specific times or move specific product. I get it, but if they can offer discounts perhaps they could simply offer lower prices and dispense with all the hassle and tracking.
3. “Fun” Shopping experience – The downside of finding “new items every time I go” is that frequently when you return for something you like, they no longer carry it. I am becoming an old curmudgeon perhaps, but I am sick of being dictated to by trend and fashion. Give me a good solid replaceable product at a reasonable price over new and trendy every time.
4 Store Layout – while we have become familiar with this particular location. If I could re-design it for ease of use over profit generation I would prefer to have a separate entrance just for grocery.
Over this holiday season we did more of shopping on line. It was a far more enjoyable shopping experience to actually going to the store. Of course, I’ll have to admit if I don’t like tracking, the on-line experience is even worse, but barring that annoyance – on-line wins, big.
Overall Target is a fine retail institution. I have no gripe with Target, specifically. They have creative advertising campaigns and a solid corporate image. I like having an on-site Starbucks. I would enjoy the shopping experience more if I could afford a cup of coffee from time to time, of course.
I can appreciate your comments. Luckily you are my husband and the tasks you hate to do that save us money, I do! I am grateful for all your help cooking (always) and sorting and sifting coupons (occasionally). We make a good team!