I love Target! It’s one of my favorite stores to shop at and I end up spending a lot of my money there. Because of that I’m always a fan of finding ways to save money at Target. Problem is that I tend to slack off on using coupons even when I have them. I’ve become a big fan of finding easier ways to save money. And thus this post is born! I’m going to share with you guys the two things I do that save me a good amount of money at Target without requiring much effort.
Whenever I checkout at any store and they try to sell me on their store credit card I always politely tell them I’m not interested. That’s what I did for a long time at Target. And then one day a friend told me that they had the debit version of the Target card and I was intrigued. It’s a debit card that links directly to a bank account but only works at Target. I ended up getting that version of the REDcard and I’ve never looked back. It’s a must if you’re a regular Target shopper!
People also assume the only benefit of having a REDcard is the 5% off every purchase. While this is an amazing perk it’s not the only one. You also get free shipping from their website and this puts Target.com right up there with Amazon for me.
Another perk I really enjoy is that Target (snail) mails great coupons to their REDcard holders. I got a $3 off a $30 purchase one the other day. Since I do most of my shopping at Target that’s as good as being mailed $3 in cash.
The easiest way to save money at Target without doing any work at all is to always use a REDcard.
How it works
Cartwheel is an app by Target that gives you a percentage off deduction for certain items. You can use your browser or the smartphone app to browse the deals and pick up a limited number of offers to use. When you checkout the cashier scans your barcode and the discounts automatically deduct.
My First Impression
When I downloaded the app I was initially a little put off by the limited number of “offer spots”. I believe I started with 10 and I’m now up to 13 because I “earned” some by using the app (I got another spot the first time I used the app in store for example). I was afraid the whole thing was going to be a bunch of hoops to jump through (I now know it’s not). I also felt like the savings would be really dismal and not worth the effort. Saving 5% on an item that costs 75 cents isn’t usually worth it to me.
I was also a bit put off by the idea of scrolling through the offers (which you can do in the app or on their website) to find the ones I wanted. Because of these reasons I ended up not using the app at all for the first few months I had it.
The turning point
And then one day I realized the one thing that changed the whole deal for me. From the app’s menu you can select “Scan Product” and scan the barcodes of items and it will check if there is a Cartwheel deal for that item. So rather than manually searching for items or browsing for deals, I simply went shopping like I normally would for what I needed and then I scanned all of the items after I put them in my cart.
I’ve now gotten to the point where I always scan something before I put it in my cart. But if you’re waiting in line at the cash register you could also just scan all of the items then. Using this method requires zero extra planning on your part and you get the benefit of getting discounts on things you’re going to buy either way!
On a recent trip of mine I bought over a dozen items and I’d say that 4-5 of them had Cartwheel deals. It didn’t add up to a whole lot in savings but it was easy savings so I was happy to do it!
The big percentages
What really sold me on the Cartwheel app was a trip to Target I made a couple of weeks ago. I needed some basic stuff like toilet paper and milk (both of which had 5% off Cartwheel deals when I scanned them) but I also checked out the clearance rack in the clothing section. They had just moved a bunch of stuff into clearance and I found a few work shirts I wanted. I scanned one of them having no expectation of their being a Cartwheel deal for it but low-and-behold there was! And it was a 25% off one too! It turns out that for a few days Target was running a 25% off deal for most of their women’s clothing brands. I ended up saving over $10 that day on the clothes that I had already put in my cart to purchase. Score!
From what I can tell the Cartwheel app always has a few high percentage deals at any given time. They usually have much shorter time frames (a few days usually) and my guess is because they’re designed to entice you to come to the store immediately. I’ve now started checking out their “Hot Deals” collection whenever I’m headed to Target because that’s where you can view all of the high percentage offers in one place.
They had a 40% off shoes one that ran for two days and I missed it! Talk about an exciting deal though.
My most recent high percentage find was for a printer. I’ve been needing a new one so when a 40% off Cartwheel deal made the brand of printer that I wanted cheaper than the price I would have gotten on Amazon – I bought it!
Random Amazon tip: Using Amazon’s smartphone app you get an option to “Scan It” when you try to search for something. You can scan the front of anything and it will recognize it and pull it up for you! It’s fantastic when you’re out shopping and want to compare a price or read reviews. I tried it on a package of toilet paper (of all things) and it instantly found the item on Amazon for me!
The bottom line
The simple formula for saving money with little to no effort:
Use a Target REDcard to get 5% off everything and then scan your items using the Cartwheel app to get even more off.
The majority of the time that’s all I do! On every receipt it lets me know how much I’ve saved that year and by the end of the year it’s quite a bit!
If you want to up your game and really save money you can also work at stacking manufacturer coupons, Target coupons, Target mobile (texting) coupons and store deals all at the same time to get the lowest prices possible! These avenues require a bit more planning but if you have the time and energy there’s also a lot of money to be saved using traditional couponing methods at Target. There are some great websites that help figure out the deals for you too.
But even if you never clip or print any coupons and you throw away the ones they give you when you check out – at the very least by using Cartwheel and having a REDcard you can put money back in your wallet with little to no effort.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that you’re not saving money if you’re buying stuff you wouldn’t have bought without a coupon. I’ve fallen in love with the Cartwheel app because it allows me to save money with no prep work and by shopping to MY list, not by catering my shopping to the deals.
Sometimes these things feel insignificant and it seems like they won’t add up to much. But what if you’re already buying a $20 pajama set and end up finding out that Cartwheel has a 10% off? That’s $2 back in your pocket just for scanning to check.
This post is not a sponsored post. I just love Target and wanted to write about it. However, if you don’t already have a REDcard and would like to sign-up for one you can use my affiliate link and I’ll make a small kickback! Plus I think it’s a lot easier to fill out the application online rather than trying to do it in the store so if you’re going to get one I highly recommend doing it that way.