With the grand opening of the new store today, experts spill their Target shopping secrets
You can easily aim for the bull’s-eye in savings at Target.
That’s according to experts as Target has its grand opening today in Santa Barbara, with another store opening later this year in Goleta.
“I love the Target brand and how they are constantly making the customer’s experiences better,” Tina Su, an Instagram influencer with more than 450,000 followers at @targetdealfinder and money saving expert with FreeStuffFinder.com, told the News-Press.
Here are 10 tips from her and other Target aficionados.
1. Look for yellow tags for price cuts.
If the price tag ends in a $.06 or $.08, the item likely will be priced down again. If the tag ends in $.04, the product likely won’t be marked down again.
Target sometimes offers “buy one, get another product free” deals.
2. Get a REDcard.
Target offers the free debit card, which doesn’t require a credit check.
“You get 5 percent savings on the amount you pay using the card. That adds up!” Ms. Su, 38, of Carlsbad, said.
“You can use the savings when you buy non-Target gift cards,” she said. “I’ll buy Disney gift cards from Target using the REDcard and use it at Disneyland (works for park tickets, inside the park, at Disney Store and Disney hotels).”
Ms. Su noted the REDcard provides free shipping, a 30-day extension on returns and freebies in the winter such as a free drink.
The card also gives early access to Black Friday sales.
3. Download the free Target app to get 10 new digital coupons a week.
The cashier can scan your phone at the store.
4. Download the free Cartwheel app.
“First you need a Target account,” Ms. Su said. “Then go to Cartwheel offers from the home screen. Browse through offers, and you can add offers to your account. When it’s time to check out, have the cashier scan your Cartwheel barcode.”
Ms. Su explained there are two kinds of Cartwheels: percentage-off offers and digital manufacturer coupons that take a dollar amount off a product, such as $2 off Tide. The latter are one-time-use coupons.
“New Cartwheel offers come out every day,” Ms. Su said.
Examples of Cartwheel savings include 40 percent off spaghetti sauce, 25 percent off salad dressing, 20 percent off coffee, 15 percent off cereal and 10 percent off yogurt.
In addition to Target and Cartwheel apps, you can increase savings with various rebate apps such as Ibotta and Checkout 51. You can look online on your smartphone as you shop at Target, which has free Wi-Fi.
5. Use coupons and ads strategically.
For example, Target allows you to increase your savings by using coupons from the manufacturer, Target and Cartwheel on the same item. That’s how buyers found they could purchase a $10 package of detergent for $1.
Ms. Su said she finds coupons and strategic purchases offer more savings than buying in bulk.
If you find an item at a cheaper price in a competitor’s ad, bring that ad to Target, which will match the lower price.
6. Use endcaps.
Ms. Su explained that’s where you find clearance discounts. “I like to walk through the endcaps of my favorite sections. That’s where you can find random bargains throughout the year.
“Additionally, different product categories go on clearance around the same times every year on a predictable pattern,” she said. “When you go at the right times during the year, you’ll find the best clearances not only in endcaps but within the regular-priced shelves.
“For example, toys hit their lowest prices in the middle of January and last week of July, as low as 70 percent off,” she said. “And seasonal clearances go as low as 90 percent off in most regions of the country.”
Look at the top-right-hand corner of the red clearance tags to see the percentage off.
Experts agree that it pays to know Target’s clearance schedule, which shows when first-day items are marked down in prices.
Monday: electronics, kids’ clothing and stationery.
Tuesday: domestic items, women’s clothing, pets and market.
Wednesday: men’s clothing, toys, health and beauty, lawn and garden items.
Thursday: home goods, lingerie, shoes, sporting goods, movies, music, books, decor and luggage.
Friday: auto, cosmetics, hardware and jewelry.
7. Visit Bullseye’s Playground near the store’s front entrance, where goods sell for a few dollars.
Ms. Su noted cute sun hats sell there for $3 to $5, as well as inexpensive small toys that work well as party favors, stocking stuffers or in Easter baskets.
8. Go to the Weekly Matchup, which is on FreeStuffFinder.com, Ms. Su’s website, for deals from Target and other major retailers.
Ms. Su said the information covers what will be on sale at Target, based on advertising. “We match it for known coupons, cash-back offers, Cartwheel offers and rebates.”
She said the matchup appears by 5 p.m. Pacific time Fridays for sales starting the following Sunday. “We will add new deals and unadvertised deals as we discover them on Sundays (by walking through the store).”
9. Find bargains through the Target Facebook Group.
Ms. Su said the social media site shows clearances and unadvertised deals that customers find by walking through the stores.
She said the Target Facebook Group was a spinoff of FreeStuffFinder.com’scommunity page.
“We also post highlights of the best Target deals and clearances finds (usually tips from fans) on our dedicated Target account on Instagram: @targetdealfinder. Our main instagram account is @freestufffinder.”
Ms. Su said FreeStuffFinder.com lists cute and stylish finds on Instagram at @ohtarget.
10. Go inside the physical store.
Ms. Su said you can use coupons in the store that you can’t use online. If the price is lower online, you can price-match in the physical store.
11. Get a rain check.
If you see Target no longer has a particular item, take a photo of the shelf tag. You’ll get a rain check for the item at that day’s price. The rain check is good for 45 days.
IF YOU GO
Target is open daily at 3891 State St. (corner of State Street and La Cumbre Road). For hours and other information, call the store at 979-3115 or go towww.target.com.
Target has its grand opening today at 3891 State St.
There are many ways to save with deals at Target.