Ok, so maybe I am biased with this savings thing. I used to work at Target too. I was part of their 10-week summer internship as a pharmacy intern. I donned the red and khaki and actually had to learn the operations of the whole store before working exclusively in the pharmacy. Let me tell you, they are committed to giving you the best deal.
Most of my tips are from Mommy Savers, which I found from Pinterest:
- Shop the endcaps. The endcaps are the shelves at the end of an aisle loaded with clearance merchandise. The endcaps with the most clearance merchandise are usually those farthest away from the main shopping aisles. Always make a trip around the perimeter of the store to find the best deals, since “perimeter perusing” at Target can really pay off. Just be careful–you may end up buying something you don’t really need or want (at Target? Say it isn’t so!)
- Know the markdown schedule. This is a schedule that a typical Target store will use for their markdowns. Your store may vary this schedule, so get to know the employees! It doesn’t hurt to ask what your own Target’s schedule for markdowns is. Many Target stores nationwide follow a similar markdown schedule such as this one:
Monday Target Markdowns: Kids’ Clothing, Stationery (office supplies, gift wrap), Electronics
Tuesday Target Markdowns: Women’s Clothing and Domestics
Wednesday Target Markdowns: Men’s Clothing, Toys, Health and Beauty
Thursday Target Markdowns: Lingerie, Shoes, Housewares
Friday Target Markdowns: Cosmetics, Housewares, Automotives
Target will typically mark down unsold clearance merchandise every two weeks. So, if you are watching an item and see that it has been marked down 30 or 50 percent, come back in another two weeks to see if it has been marked down further.
- Use the scanner. Sometimes the clearance team misses an item that should have been re-stickered with a lower price. If it is something you want, always check the price with a scanner. Also, scan things that are one of a kind. These things may be returns from previous seasons that have been clearanced out. You may be surprised!
- Look for repackaged items. These items could be something that was purchased online and returned to the store, or simply a return without a box. While they may not the prettiest item in the store, you may snag a great deal.
- Learn to read the red stickers. Red stickers appear on all clearance deals at Target. The original price appears on the top right corner along with a number such as, “15, 30, 50″ etc. This is the percentage it has been marked down.
- “As Is” According to a Target associate, the items that are clearance labeled “AS IS” is just a fancy way of saying Target doesn’t carry this product anymore and they need to get it out of the store.
- Keep your receipts. Target has a strict return policy which limits the returns you can make without a receipt ($75 per year). However, there is a way around this. The store tracks every credit card purchase. If you can remember which credit card you purchased the item with, the store can look up the transaction by simply swiping your card and scanning the item. If they find the transaction, they will let you return the item without the physical receipt. If you do have your receipt, Target will adjust the prices on items that go on sale (not clearanced) within 14 days of the purchase.
- Check out the Target REDcard. Target introduced its REDcard in fall 2010. Cardholders will receive 5% off when they use the Target REDcard debit card, or 5% cash back with the Target REDcard credit card. A word to the wise: use credit responsibly. Only apply if you can pay your balance in full at the end of the month, otherwise you’re really not saving any money. You can apply for the REDcard at a Target store or by mail.
- Take advantage of Target’s price matching policy. If you find an item in a competitor’s ad, bring it to Target and they’ll match the advertised price. The competitor’s ad must be local and current, and the product must be the identical item, brand name, quantity and model number.
- Sign up for mobile coupons. Sign up to receive coupons via text message five times a month on your mobile phone. To redeem, simply show the cashier the barcode.
- BYOB (bring your own bag). For each of your own reusable bags you use at checkout, Target will give you $.05 back. It’s a great way to keep plastic bags out of landfills while putting a little money back in your pocket.
- Use coupons. Not only does Target accept manufacturer coupons, they can be used in conjunction with their store coupons as well. Printable internet coupons are accepted. Target even has their own store coupons on their website.
Some of my own tips:
- If something goes on sale within 2 weeks of your purchase, you can bring it to guest services for a price adjustment
- sign up for a pharmacy rewards card, where you get a couple coupons just for signing up, and a coupon for an entire day of savings for every 5 prescriptions you fill.
- As much as I hate this practice, every few weeks, there is a coupon in the weekly ad where you can get a $10 for every new or transferred prescription. One coupon per prescription.
- For Target, and any other store, my favorite days EVER are February 15, November 1, and December 26. MARKED DOWN CANDY AND DECORATIONS!
- A few weeks after school starting (so like now) is when back to school things go on clearance markdown. The best part is that some of these items are the same things found in the stationary aisle!
- Clearance items can vary from store to store, depending on their need to clear the shelves. If your store is under remodeling or planning to (big metal boxes outside), then there is a VERY good chance that there are some excellent clearance deals going on.