Stretching Your Dollar at Target

This post is a follow up to my couponing series which you can read here, here, and here.  I received requests for more specifics about saving at Target.  Your wish is my command!

Target: Great taker of my money. And my second home. Yes, it’s true. I spend more time (and money) than I would like to admit at the big red box store. When we run out of something, even my 2 year old tells me we need to go to Target. But as a bargain shopper, I’ve learned to stretch my Target dollars. Here are my tips to help you truly expect more and pay less on your next Target trip.

Target Store

  1. RedCard: If you do nothing else, get a RedCard. I know what you’re thinking, “Ashley, I don’t need another store card!” But the RedCard is different. While they do have a credit card available, the RedCard is unique in that there is a debit card version that comes directly from your checking account just like your bank card. All you need is a voided check and you are on your way to saving! Any time you use the RedCard, you will save 5% on your entire purchase! The RedCard also gets you free shipping on any purchase from as well as an extended return period for items you buy. Target is even kind of enough to show you how much you’ve saved during your shopping trip and for the year at the bottom of your receipt!
  2. Target CartwheelCartwheel: Cartwheel is Target’s newest money-saving tool. When you download the Cartwheel app, you will have a certain number of slots available. You can select from different offers until your slots are full, and you earn more slots the more you use the app. The discounts range from 5% to 50% depending on the product. I can almost always save at least 5% on any of the Target brand groceries that I purchase. They will often have special discounts that last only a few days that offer huge discounts on toys, electronics, or other items. There is a feature allowing you to scan your item to see if a Cartwheel deal is available. I scan every item as I shop! When you go to check out, the cashier just scans your unique barcode from your phone and the dollars melt away! Most cartwheel deals can be used up to four times per purchase unless otherwise stated. I’ve even heard of people printing off their code online and taping it to their RedCards so they never forget to use it or in case it doesn’t load in the store.
  3. Target Online Coupons: Head over to, and you’ll find pages of coupons to be printed. These can be stacked with manufacturer coupons like those found in the paper or online. Each coupon can be printed twice.
  4. Target Mobile Coupons: Start by texting “OFFERS” to TARGET (827-438). You’ll get a text in return with a link that will open in your browser. It will have coupon deals for things like grocery, cleaning, and home items. There will be a barcode at the top for the cashier to scan if you purchase any of the items. These can be used one time per item. Often, Target puts out other codes that are available for additional coupon links. You can find them by searching online. “BABY’ is one that is almost always available and will send a link for items like diapers, baby food, and other baby items.
  5. Gift Card Offers: In addition to normal weekly sales, Target frequently offers gift card deals. When you purchase a certain number or combination of items, you receive a gift card to be used on your next purchase. Often, I will use them right away, but I have heard of people saving up all of their gift cards for the year to use on Christmas gifts – genius!
  6. Clearance: Target likes to make finding clearance items an adventure. With time, you’ll learn to spot that little red & white clearance sticker with ease. While you may find the occasional item in the aisles, most Target clearance is found on the end caps, especially around the perimeter of the store. Each Target has a markdown schedule with days that they clearance items in each category. Most items start at 15% off then drop to 30% and 50% over a few weeks. Seasonal items will often drop to 70% or even 90% off! Be sure to scan the item at one of the Price Scanners around the store.  Often I find that the price is even lower than the sticker price.
  7. Discounted Meats: I hate paying full price for ground beef, chicken, etc. Because I generally shop on weekdays, I can almost always find $2-$3 discounts on fresh meats that will expire within a few days. Keep an eye out for items with a discount sticker, and be sure that the cashier scans it after ringing up the item. If I find more than I can eat before the expiration, I just freeze it and save it for later.
  8. Price Matching: Price Matching certainly isn’t unique to Target, but it can be a huge time and money saver. Target will price match other local stores as well as several online retailers like If you have an item to price match, you will need to take it to the Guest Services desk and expect that they will verify it. For the full Price Match Guarantee policy look here. Note that you can’t stack a Cartwheel deal in addition to a price match.

Target RedCardNow that you’re an expert Target shopper, go forth and save!

What are your favorite Target savings tips?



Ashley S
Ashley grew up in Joplin, Missouri and attended the University of Arkansas where she earned a degree in Finance and Insurance. She met her husband, Jason, in Fayetteville and they have one daughter, Etta Mae. They moved to Baton Rouge in 2013 for Jason's job with the LSU Tigers. Ashley is an extroverted introvert who loves Ted Talks, following politics on Twitter, and figuring out how to get the best deals on everything without paying shipping. If it were up to her, she would get paid to read books and take every college class so that she could learn everything about everything, but instead she pays the bills by working in recruiting for a multinational tech company. Ashley is blessed to have a daughter who is at least as stubborn as she is and a husband who is laid back enough to put up with both of them.


  1. what do you mean cartwheel can be used multiple times per purchase? As in if you buy four packs of diapers you can use the coupon four times? Or the cashier can scan it four times for a single purchase? I’m confused. I love cartwheel. Haha

    • The cashier only needs to scan it once and it will take the discount off up to four items. So if you bought 5 packs of diapers and had a 10% cartwheel, it would take 10% off 4 packs and the last would be regular price.


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