9 Target Shopping Hacks That Can Save You Money

Customers carry bags as they leave a Target store May 15, 2006 in Albany, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Love to shop at Target? Master these savings hacks, and you'll love it even more. These are the tricks that you need to know to save big at this popular store.

Shop the End Caps

End caps are the shelves that sit at the end of each aisle. While the end caps located closest to the center aisle are usually full of new or sale-priced merchandise, the end caps located closest to the walls are usually full of clearance merchandise. Take a trip around the perimeter of your local Target store, and you're likely to uncover some killer deals.

Prefer to shop online? Target also has a clearance section on its website.

Learn How to Read Target Price Tags

Target follows a set markdown schedule for non-holiday merchandise. It usually starts with a 15 percent markdown. Then, if things don't move, they continue to get marked down every two weeks, until they reach 90 percent off.

If you want to see how much something has been marked down, without doing a bunch of math, just look at the top right corner of the tag. There should be a small printed number. If it says "15," that's an indication that the item has been marked down 15 percent. Use that number to gauge how likely the item is to be marked down again. Sometimes, a little patience can pay off in bigger savings, even on popular lines like Hearth and Hand.

Shop With the Target App

It’s an all-in-one savings tool. It comes loaded with the weekly sales ad, digital coupons, and now, Circle offers, too. Just select the Circle offers that you’re interested in (you can select up to 50 at a time), and when the cashier scans your barcode in the app, it’ll automatically deduct the savings from your purchase. Easy!

Stack Coupons

Maximize your savings by combining a sale with a Target coupon, a Circle offer, and a manufacturer coupon. To ensure you don't miss out on any deals, follow a deal blogger, like Hip2Save. They'll put the deal scenarios together for you, so all you have to do is shop.

Buy Discounted Gift Cards

Use a site like GiftCardGranny or CardCash to purchase Target gift cards for less than face value. Then, load them to the Target app so they’ll be easy to use.

Tip

Sign up for CardCash’s newsletter, so you’ll be among the first to know when there’s a sale or promo code that you could use to sweeten the deal.

Master the Holiday Markdown Schedule

Target is one of the best stores to hit for after-holiday clearance. You'll find deep discounts on food, decor, gift wrap, clothing, and more. If you want the best selection, shop the day after the holiday. If you want the best deals, wait a week. Here's the markdown schedule that most Target stores follow:

  • 50 percent off – the day after the holiday
  • 75 percent off – three days after
  • 90 percent off – a week after

Tip

Walk up and down the home aisles, and look for products with holiday packaging. Then, use one of the price scanners stationed throughout the store to see if they've been marked down. When employees mark down holiday merchandise, these items often get overlooked, so you can't always count on everything getting moved to the holiday clearance section.

Shop at Your Local Goodwill

Ever wondered what happens to all the clearance merchandise that doesn't sell? Oftentimes, it gets donated to Goodwill. Check your local thrift store to see if you're able to spot any Target furniture and merchandise.

Tip

Returns and slightly-damaged items often get donated, too. Watch your Goodwill in the months following Christmas for the best merchandise.

Article Sources
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  1. “Get the Target Markdown Schedule and Save Money With the Best Deals.” The Balance Everyday. Accessed July 19, 2021. https://www.thebalanceeveryday.com/target-s-markdown-schedule-939866.

  2. Money. “14 Smart Ways to Save Tons of Money at Target — Every Time You Shop.” Accessed July 19, 2021. https://money.com/target-best-deals-tips-save-money/.

  3. All Things Target. “Target Clearance: Best Advice and Deals.” Accessed July 19, 2021. https://www.allthingstarget.com/clearance-info/.