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20+ Easy Ways To Save at Target Every Time You Shop

20+ Easy Ways To Save at Target Every Time You Shop
Norm Tedford Jan 30, 2020
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

Lots of people love the “Target experience,” and for these fans, shopping there is loads of fun.

But if living the frugal lifestyle is something that matters to you, what’s even more fun is seeing how much money you can save at Target!

If you love the retailer so much that you get immediately happy when you pull into the parking lot, this article is for you.

So dive in, and I’ll help you make sure that your infatuation for Target doesn’t cause you to throw away every frugal principle you’ve carefully cultivated.

A Little History

The company was founded by George Dayton who opened up the very first store in Roseville, Minnesota way back in 1962.

And over the years, it has done a phenomenal amount of business.

Today, it’s ranked number 8 on the list of the largest merchandisers in the US.

Not too shabby!

It’s also number 39 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

And as of 2019, there were 1,844 at which to feed your Target addiction.

Target and the Collective Consciousness

Target wormed its way into the public consciousness in a decidedly wacky way.

That’s when Kirsten Wiig debuted her exasperatingly positive and overly enthusiastic “Target Lady” back in 2005.

Wiig was a member of the Groundlings, an improvisational and sketch comedy troupe based in Los Angeles.

While working there, Wiig encountered a Target cashier with a strange, unidentifiable accent.

That inspired her to come up with the character of “Target Lady.”

She’s always inexplicably adding an extra “R” to words, making her voice box sound like its covered in egg.

She’s also incredibly proud of working for Target but has no idea whatsoever that its corporate symbol is a stylized bullseye.

So, she’s quite clueless.

Furthermore, she’s continually annoying her customers by commenting on their purchases.

And then, running away to get what they’re buying for herself so she can use it in some sort of bizarre way.

Candles send her into a tizzy, and she’s super excited when a customer brings one to her to ring up.

I’m so glad I have yet to encounter a cashier like her!

My Love Affair with Target

Target is a one-stop shopping emporium of affordable, high-quality goods.

This means that like Walmart, you’ll find most of what you need all under one roof.

When you enter the store, you’re immediately awash in a sea of red.

I find it to be energizing, and all so very alluring.

However, I have to be cautious when I shop at Target because of the well-known “Target Effect.”

This is where you go into a store expecting only to buy one thing, and you end up buying out the entire store.

The retailer is a master of making everything looking so aesthetically pleasing, that it’s hard to resist its powerful allure.

In addition to the visual splendor, there are also seductive aromas that fill the air with delightful scents.

One of these is the intoxicating fragrance of popcorn wafting from the retro machine in the front of the store.

I consider myself a popcorn connoisseur, and I always buy a big bag of the salty and delicious snack every time I shop there.

For me, it’s one of the many perks of being a Target shopper!

Another pleasant thing about shopping at Target is how incredibly organized everything looks.

The place is always as clean as a whistle, and everything on the shelves is neat and tidy.

And, the aisles are roomy enough that you don’t feel cramped.

That’s more than you say about some other stores that are always crowded, with jammed-up aisles and picked-over merchandise.

Also, the lines at the service desk are never too long, and the employees are unfailingly friendly and helpful.

From the Sublime To The Ridiculous

Target is a buyer’s paradise, with merchandise that runs the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous.

One item that belongs in the latter category is “Kenny G: Keeping It Saxy.”

Here’s part of the description: “During each round, players will play sound cards to help Kenny overcome uncool events, detangle his luscious locks, and avoid rush hour traffic without missing a brassy beat.”

I couldn’t believe that someone dared to make a game out of helping Kenny G.

He’s the most commercially successful sax player of all time.

And yet, people still like to crack jokes about him because of the more or less universal perception that his music is terrible.

And Target is actually selling this game!

Affordable, Quality Merchandise

One thing Target is famous for is its affordable quality.

This means you’ll get top-notch stuff for a great price.

I love Target because I’m a vegan, and they have a surprisingly vast selection of meat substitutes for cheap.

But inexpensive vegan food isn’t the only reason to make a trip to the savvy retailer with the ersatz French name.

There’s a profusion of all kinds of deals to be had here!

But to get them, you’ve got to arm yourself to the hilt with all the best money-saving tricks.

You might consider yourself a consummate pro when it comes to shopping at Target.

But even if that’s the case, read on, because chances are you’ll find some money-saving tips in this article that’ll be entirely new to you.

Here are the strategies:

1. Sign Up for a Target REDCard

If you’re regularly shopping at Target and don’t have a REDCard yet, you’re missing out on a lot of ways to save money.

A REDCard can be one of the most potent weapons in your cost-cutting arsenal.

You’re not really a Target fan until your name is emblazoned in bold black letters against the card’s signature crimson background.

A world of valuable benefits awaits you as a new cardholder.

Like, saving 5% on every purchase you make.

You hear that?

Every purchase!

So, if you do a lot of shopping at Target, it really is a no-brainer to get one.

And if you’re wary of yet another store credit card with its inherent risks, don’t worry.

That’s because there’s a debit version that withdraws funds directly from your bank account when you make a purchase.

This way, you won’t have to worry about a sky-high APR.

One great benefit of the card is that Target keeps track of your purchases and selects deals and offers that match your interests.

They also regularly run promotions that are exclusively for REDCard members.

But saving money isn’t the only reason to get the card, because there are other benefits too.

One of these is getting free two-day shipping for all orders placed at target.com.

If you’re not a member, the only way you can get free shipping is if you buy more than $35 worth of stuff.

Cardholders also get the privilege of an extra 30 days to return merchandise they purchased and, for whatever reason, no longer want.

2. Ask For Money Back if The Item Goes on Sale

Target has one of the best price match policies of any chain store.

If you bought something from the store and it goes on sale in the fourteen days after you purchase it, you can get the difference in price between what you paid for it and the sale price back in cash.

Target will even match prices with some online and brick-and-mortar retailers—including Amazon.

You can even do a price match between the website and the real-world store.

To do this, check the costs of the items you plan in the store on the website.

If it’s higher in the real world, show the cashier the online price on your phone, and they’ll sell you your merchandise at this cost.

3. Know the Clearance Schedule

Know which day an item you’re looking to buy goes on clearance, so you have a good chance of snatching it up before everyone else does.

Some people have noticed a pattern with Target’s clearance schedule.

Those attentive observers think this is what it is:

  • MONDAYS: children’s merchandise and electronics
  • TUESDAYS: women’s clothing
  • WEDNESDAYS: men’s clothing, groceries, and health products
  • THURSDAYS: housewares and pet goods
  • FRIDAYS: beauty products, jewelry, and automotive merchandise.

One caveat is that this is the unofficial schedule, and it could change at any time.

4. Learn How the Clearance Prices Drop

The best deals at Target are the ones you can find on clearance.

The longer they’re on clearance, the more you’ll save.

First comes a markdown of 15 to 30%.

If the merchandise doesn’t sell after a few weeks at this new, discounted price, the discount goes up to 50%.

Then, if this doesn’t prove to be an enticing enough price point, the discount goes up to 70%.

If you’re not exactly blown away with the clearance rack discounts, hold out for further price drops.

Just keep in mind that the only merchandise that drops to the absolute bargain basement price of 90% off is holiday stuff.

And if clothing’s your thing, check the back racks for some deep discounts on apparel of all kinds.

5. Check Out Goodwill

If you’ve been shopping Target’s clearance racks and can’t find any killer buys, go to Goodwill.

Here, you just might find the deals that have been eluding you!

Unsold Target clearance merchandise is often marked as salvage and then shipped off to thrift stores.

So, head there if you want to buy brand spanking new Target merchandise for less than you’d pay for it on the Target clearance racks.

6. Shop the End Caps

End caps are displays of products placed at the end of aisles in stores, and if you make sure you always check them out, you’ll snag some great deals.

The ones facing the walkways have new merchandise that’s on sale.

And the end caps closest to the walls hold all the clearance stuff.

7. Buy Holiday-Themed Merchandise After the Holidays

If you want dirt-cheap, holiday-themed merchandise, wait until the holiday is over to buy it.

For example, if you wait to buy your animated Santa decorative figurines on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas), you’ll get it for a fantastic price.

Much of this stuff will be on sale for a whopping 50% off.

But if you wait a week, you’ll see the wares reduced by about 70%.

Wait one more week, and the prices drop by 90%.

Most shoppers know this information already.

But there might be a few shoppers out there that have never heard of this.

And to them I say, now you know!

Food in holiday packaging that’s marked down after the holidays is a particularly savvy buy because these food products can be consumed at any time.

It’s not like Christmas wrapping paper, where you have to wait another year to use it.

8. Buy Returned or Repackaged Merchandise

Another way to snag a great deal is to buy something that was ordered online but returned to a brick-and-mortar store.

Often, this item is repackaged and put back on the shelves.

And if it’s something you want to buy, you’ll get the merchandise for a fraction of its retail price.

It might no longer have a pretty package, but who cares when you can save so much money?

9. Get a Rain Check

If an item you were planning on buying sells out, you don’t have to go without.

Just waltz up to Guest Services and ask for a rain check.

This way, you’ll get the item for the sale price when it’s back in stock.

How long you have to pick your item up depends on which state you live in.

For some, it’s 30 days, and for others, it’s 45 days.

What’s great about a rain check is that it can be used at any Target store in the entire country.

You won’t be given notification when the product becomes available again, so you’ll have to keep checking back to see if the item is in stock.

Check out target.com to what the exclusions to this policy are so you don’t face any unpleasant surprises.

One of these is that you can’t get a rain check for out-of-stock online merchandise.

10. Buy the Store Brands

If you hardly ever go to Target, you might have never considered the possibility of doing your grocery shopping there.

However, for those who hold a deep and abiding affection for Tarjay, it’s the very first place they go when they’re buying their food.

And it’s hardly a surprise because Target can be a very cost-effective way to buy all of your groceries.

Some stores even carry fresh fruits and veggies—and do so for a competitive price.

And, like other retailers, Target has its own store brands that are cheaper than the name brands.

Buy these brands instead of the nationally recognized ones to really rack up the savings.

These brands include Market Pantry, Up & Up, Simply Delicious, Archer Farms, and private labels such as Simply Balanced.

All of them are famous for exceeding the quality of the ones with the nationally recognized names.

And for much less.

Some people even think they even taste better!

11. Have a List

It’s easy to overspend when you go to a store like Target, with all its seductive displays.

That’s why you need a list.

Don’t even think about stepping in the store without one, because this means you’re going to spend a lot more than you anticipated.

And you know what this means, don’t cha?

We’re gonna have to revoke your status as a card-carrying member of the frugal elite!

This could stress you out and blow your carefully cultivated frugal principles right out of the water.

I’m a lifelong lover of lists.

I remember reading “The Book of Lists” by David Wallenchensky and Amy Wallace and being delighted at how everything was organized in numbered chunks of information.

For me, there was such linear joy in both making lists and reading them.

And now that I’m older, I still love organizing the bits and pieces of my life this way.

Your mind is filled with a trillion things you need to do and need to remember.

When you make a list, you retrieve these bits from your neural pathways and onto the page, where they won’t be forgotten.

This will make your life infinitely less chaotic and more organized.

There are several ways to create your lists.

You can buy pre-printed ones from Amazon, or download a grocery list app.

Or, you can do it the old-fashioned way—with pencil and paper.

However, there’s a little more to creating a grocery list than just writing down everything you need.

Here are some ways to keep your shopping trip better organized by using a list:

  • KEEP A FRIDGE LIST: Keep a running list on your fridge. Every time you’re getting low on something, add it to the list. Make sure you add household products too.
  • HAVE AN INVENTORY: Knowing what’s in your fridge, freezer, and pantry without even looking saves you time and money. That’s because you won’t waste food or buy items you already have. With an inventory, you won’t end up with a zillion jars of pasta sauce or enough coffee to supply a thousand Starbucks.
  • PLAN OUT YOUR MEALS: Make sure you plan out your meals. This saves you from buying a random bunch of ingredients.
  • BRING YOUR MEAL PLAN WITH YOU: Bring your meal plan with you so you can make substitutions on the fly if you know a particularly good unadvertised special.
  • BUY STUFF FOR QUICK MEALS: Buy some items for quick meals, so if you’re not feeling up to cooking, you won’t stress out.
  • ORGANIZE YOUR LIST: Think of the layout of the store where you’ll be shopping and organize your list accordingly.
  • STAR YOUR LIST: Put a star next to items you have a coupon for, so you don’t forget to use them.

12. Level Up Your Couponing Skills

If you’re a phenomenal frugalite wanting to save as much as you possibly can on your grocery bill each week, clipping coupons is a must.

Develop this habit, and you can save you so much money!

And, it doesn’t have to be that much of a time investment either.

You’ll clip a lot of these coupons digitally—so, much of the time, you won’t even need scissors.

Some couponers can get pretty obsessive about their passion.

Some of these people set aside innumerable rooms of their house for all the cans, boxes, and bags of merchandise they got at a deep discount.

Now, I’m not suggesting you go full tilt and become like these compulsive clippers.

But if you adopt some of their methods, you can trim hundreds of dollars a year off your shopping excursions.

Don’t have to be afraid that your coupon clipping will take over every aspect of your life.

To avoid this nightmarish scenario, don’t clip every coupon you come across.

Promiscuous coupon clippers only end up clogging up their coupon box.

Or, they buy stuff they don’t really want just to use one up.

Keep your coupons in a place where you’ll know exactly where they are when you need them.

The best solution is to have a dedicated organizer to keep all your coupons in.

Put it away in the same place after every shopping trip.

One place you can put it is in your reusable shopping bag stash.

That way, you know where it is, and you won’t have to go searching for it frantically when you need it.

Here are a few couponing tips to get you started:

  • BUY ONLY ON SALE: Try to wait until an item is on sale before making your purchase. Then, stock up.
  • BUY MORE THAN ONE NEWSPAPER: You can always find some terrific coupons in the Sunday paper, so buy at least five copies. This way, you’ll be able to clip a bunch of the same coupon for items you’ll use a lot.
  • STACK UP THE SAVINGS METHODS: When you’re able to buy something through what I call strategic combining, you’ve entered the rarified heights of the couponing elite. This is using as many savings methods as you can in the same transaction, such as gift cards, coupons, Swagbucks, Ibotta, your REDCard, and other strategies. For example, triple-team a clearance item by using a manufacturer’s coupon, a Target in-store coupon, and a Target Circle Offer. And as you become a more proficient couponing master, you’ll get things for increasingly lower prices. And, eventually, you’ll start getting a whole lot of stuff for free!
  • KEEP TRACK OF YOUR BEST DEALS: Keep track of all your best deals, so you know what’s a reasonable price for a particular item and what’s not.
  • BE PATIENT: Instead of immediately using a coupon you clipped in the Sunday paper, wait until the item is on sale so you can save the most amount of money.
  • WRITE A LETTER TO THE MANUFACTURER: If you write a letter to a manufacturer telling them how much you like their product, they’ll often send you a coupon for it.
  • ASK YOUR NEIGHBORS FOR THEIR COUPON INSERTS: Ask your neighbors for their coupon inserts. Lots of people buy the paper but aren’t interested in the coupons.
  • ORGANIZE YOUR COUPONS: You need to organize your coupons, so you know exactly what you have. You can use a coupon binder, which is baseball protector sheets with A to Z dividers.
  • KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE SALES: Keep an eye out for the sales. If you find a good one, see if you have a coupon for that particular item. If you have multiple coupons for that item, that’s even better.
  • CREATE SPACE FOR YOUR STEALS: Get a chest freezer, because it’s more economical than an upright freezer. You can also add shelving units in your garage. Anything to create space for your stockpile of cheap groceries and goods without cluttering up your living room. And only stock up on as much as you can store, and keep expiration dates in mind.

13. Use the Target App

If you’re fanatical about using coupons, there are several ways you can use them at Target.

But to get access to most of them, you’ll have to download the Target app.

Target retired printable store coupons a couple of years ago.

Instead, they have what they call a “Deals” tab on their website.

Under this tab, there’s a category for “Target Circle Offers,” which are basically manufacturer coupons.

To see what these offers are directly from the app, tap “Target Circle Offers” from the home screen.

There are two types of “Circle offers”—coupons for a certain percentage off and manufacturers’ coupons.

The former can be used up to four times per transaction, and the latter can only be used once.

To see if there’s a Circle offer available at your local store, go to the “My Store” section of the app.

You can click on the barcode icon to scan what you’re planning to buy.

When you do, you can see if there’s a deal for it in the store you’re currently shopping at.

Sort through these deals and save the ones you want to take advantage of by adding them to your Wallet.

Redeem your saved offers in-store or online.

You’ll also find the coupons that appear in the weekly circular on the app.

All Target Circle offers redeem automatically with one scan of the in-app barcode.

This includes both manufacturer coupons and Target Circle offers.

Just make sure you use your virtual scissors and “clip” the coupon before you check out.

If the price of the coupon exceeds the value of the item, you won’t get any money back—you’ll just get the item for free.

Combine Circle offers with manufacturer’s coupons to maximize your savings.

The Circle offer will be deducted first, followed by the manufacturer’s coupon.

If you’re not a REDCard member, you’ll still get 1% off your purchases when you scan your app at checkout.

And, on your birthday, you’ll get 5% off a single shopping trip.

The app also gives you what’s called Target Circle earnings, which expire after a year.

1% of your purchases are turned into these earnings.

To make sure your purchases count towards them, enter your mobile number into the keypad at checkout.

OR

Scan your Wallet barcode—either show it to the cashier or scan it at self-checkout.

OR

If you’re shopping in cyberspace, sign on to your Target account.

But the app not only helps you to save boatloads of money—it also helps you to have more productive shopping excursions.

And, it saves you time by providing you with store maps and aisle locations.

One of the best things about it is when you add something to your shopping list, it instantly tells you if the item’s on sale.

If you want to do this while you’re in the store, simply scan an item’s barcode.

And if you’re too tired to actually go in the store, select “Drive Up” on the app, and a store employee will bring your merchandise right out to your car.

If you want to streamline the purchasing process, use “Wallet” to both pay for your stuff and instantly redeem Target Circle offers.

You can even load a gift card into your phone by using the app.

Or, use the augmented reality feature on the app to see how a piece of furniture will look in your home!

14. Buy in Cyberspace, Pick Up at the Brick and Mortar

Shop online but pick your order up at the store.

This way, you avoid the shipping charges.

They’ll take it off the shelves for you—saving you the trouble of having to search for it yourself.

15. Consolidate Your Orders

If you choose “package consolidation” at checkout, you’ll save a dollar off your online order.

Now, this isn’t much, but if you’re frugal like me, you know every little bit helps.

This means your order will arrive in fewer packages.

However, you might get your order later than you anticipated if you do this.

16. Check Out Coupon Sites

Once upon a time, to get coupons you could use in a store, you had to do it the old-fashioned way: by clipping them from the Sunday newspaper.

But those days have been relegated to the dustbin of history because now, you can do all your clipping digitally.

Coupons.com is the most popular of all the digital coupon websites.

There are literally thousands of coupons here for the taking!

All you have to do is to enter your zip code, and the site will start looking for coupons you can use in your area.

And then, kick back and savor a nice cup of cappuccino as the chittering search spiders scour the Internet for all the best coupons.

All that’s left to do is to print them out and use them in your friendly neighborhood Target.

RetailMeNot is another site you can use to save money at Target.

This site has coupons from over 130,000 retailers and manufacturers.

What’s more, it has a vibrant community of thousands of aficionados who passionately discuss the art of coupon clipping.

RetaiMeNot also has its own smartphone app, so you can clip your digital coupons when you’re out and about.

And if you want to get all their latest tips, tricks, and pointers, sign up for their Hot Coupon Newsletter.

They even run contests.

For example, they recently ran one where you could enter to win $5,000 from Rx Saver.

17. Use a Coupon Aggregator

Another way to save money on online Target’s purchases is to use a coupon aggregator.

The Honey plugin is a particularly good one.

It scours the Internet for the best promo codes, savings, and deals.

And then, it automatically applies them to your final total, saving you money in the process.

It’s a no-brainer to use because you can add it to your browser in seconds.

And it won’t cost you a dime!

18. Get Coupons in Other Ways

You can also print out dozens of manufacturers’ coupons directly from Target’s website.

Target also regularly puts out books of valuable store coupons.

So, make sure you get one.

Check your snail mail for coupons you can use in the store, too.

Sometimes, a coupon you clip or get in the mail will say “available at Walmart” or “redeemable at Walmart.”

However, you can still use it at Target.

The manufacturer probably has a deal with Walmart to drum up more business for them, but no matter.

Target will honor the coupon.

Check your receipt for coupons too, because sometimes they’re on the back of the receipt.

19. Earn Gift Cards

Every week, Target has special offers to get shoppers to buy a particular item.

To entice would-be buyers, they sweeten the deal by giving away gift cards when you make the purchase.

What’s good about this is that there’s no limit to the number of gift cards you can earn.

For example, the deal might be to get a free $10 gift card when you buy three laundry, paper, or cleaning products.

So, if you buy nine, you’ll earn three gift cards.

They often have gift card deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

These are in the form of gift card bundles, like buying a $100 card and getting a $10 one free.

20. Buy Discount Target Gift Cards

Lots of people give gift cards for a variety of occasions, such as birthdays, holidays, and other special events.

And sometimes, the recipients of these cards decide that they don’t really want them.

One thing the person can do with unwanted cards is to sell them to a discount gift company.

These so-called gift card exchange sites act as a matchmaker of sorts, bringing together those with cards they don’t want and those who want them.

And you can profit from these cards changing hands by getting them for 50% or more off the retail price.

Sometimes, you can even get them for a whopping 90% off what the original buyer paid for them!

You can get brand new cards, or cards from people who want to sell theirs.

The most reputable of these companies is Raise.

They offer cards from more than 1,000 retailers.

The name “Raise” was chosen by the founders of the company because they wanted those who purchased cards to feel like they were getting a “raise” in their buying power.

It’s a well-designed and attractive site, and very easy to navigate

You can buy both traditional gift cards you can actually hold in your hands and eGift cards which you cannot because they’re virtual.

Physical gift cards are shipped for free in the mail, while eGift cards can only be redeemed online.

Sometimes, an eGift can even be printed out and used in a brick-and-mortar store.

All orders are backed by a one-year money-back guarantee.

If you have any problems redeeming one whatsoever, they’ll gladly refund the entire purchase price of the card.

When I checked out the site, I found $100 digital gift cards good for online purchases that had discounts of 2.20% off their retail price.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on Raise, try Gift Card Granny.

This is the most comprehensive gift card exchange site, with over 1,300 brands listed—including Target.

You can earn points towards free cards, and you get 200 points just for registering.

You can earn additional points by engaging in various activities, such as referring friends, leaving a rating, or downloading the app.

Once you’ve earned 1,000 points, you can exchange them for a gift card.

1,000 points are equivalent to five bucks.

The day I checked the site out, I found a $100 Target gift card for $98.

Just be careful when shopping at these companies.

There are unscrupulous operators galore all too happy to cheat you out of your hard-earned money.

That’s why you should only deal with companies that verify the balance of a card before selling it to you.

And, buyer guarantees that are in effect even after you purchase your card are a must.

Another thing you have to watch out for is that sometimes, fraudulent businesses call you up pretending to be with the police department, the government, a utility company, or another third party.

And they’ll try to get you to give them the card to pay for something you allegedly owe.

Be aware that not a single one of these agencies accept gift cards as payment.

To prevent someone from stealing your cards, keep them locked up in a safe and secure place.

Use your card as soon as you can, so it’s not laying around for months tempting would-be thieves.

Don’t scratch the card to reveal the pin until you’re ready to use it.

Lastly, read the fine print carefully to make sure the company hasn’t slipped in any unreasonable fees.

21. Price Matching

Target will price match select retailers.

To do this, you’ll have to show proof of the price at the other merchant by pulling it up on your phone.

If you want to price match for an online order, you’ll have to call guest services.

The retailer gives you fourteen days to ask for a price match, so you don’t have to do it immediately if you don’t want to.

One problem with this is when you’re trying to do a price match between Target’s website and a store.

If you’re actually in the store, the website will show you a higher price than if you’re were shopping at home.

That’s why you need to disable location services when trying to do price matching between the website and the brick-and-mortar store.

Remember that the price match guarantee applies to grocery items, too as long as the brand is the same.

So, browse through grocery store flyers.

Then, if you want to do your grocery buying exclusively at Target, you’ll be guaranteed the prices you see in the flyer.

22. Earn Target Gift Cards with Swagbucks

Swagbucks is an easy way to score free Target gift cards.

The site started in 2008, and over the years, they’ve garnered the reputation of being a reputable company.

Swagbucks makes their cash in a way that’s similar to affiliate marketing, which is the promotion of other people’s products in exchange for a piece of the financial pie.

When you do any of the tasks available on the platform, Swagbucks gives you a share of the money they make.

Once you sign up, a whole world of money-making opportunities will open up to you.

Swagbucks bills itself as “The Largest Free Online Rewards Program,” and they’re not kidding.

There are so many ways to make a little side cash on the site.

And, a lot of what you’ll be doing to earn the points is stuff you’d be doing anyway.

So, you should be able to score plenty of points you can exchange for Target gift cards.

You can cash in 2,200 SBs for one.

And with the Swagbucks app downloaded and installed on your phone, you’ll be able to earn points wherever you happen to be in the world.

Earn points doing such activities as taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, and shopping online.

How Much Can You Earn?

100 points are equivalent to one dollar.

Some activities can pay up to 4,000 points, which you can cash in for $40.

Get a 1,000-point Swagbucks bonus (which is worth ten bucks) when you spend at least twenty-five dollars at a store featured on the site.

To get your bonus, you have to make the purchase within 30 days of registering at the site.

It can take an eternity to rack up the points, so if patience isn’t your strong suit, this probably isn’t for you.

Choosing Your Tasks

Choose tasks that give you the most amount of money for the least amount of time.

To see what tasks are available, spend a few minutes seeing what they are before committing to doing any of them.

The offers change regularly, so check back frequently to see what the latest ones are.

Refer a Friend

You earn 300 SBs when you refer a friend and that friend earns 300 SBs within their first 30 days using the service.

Also, you’ll get 10% of their earnings for the lifetime of their account.

Completing Surveys

You can also earn SBs when you complete polls and surveys.

If getting paid for sharing your opinion sounds like something you’d like to, then you should give it a try.

You’ll get between 1 and 1,000 SBs for each survey you complete.

How many points you get depends on a variety of factors.

These include the length of the survey and the value of the information that’s generated to the marketer.

Each one has a different length and a different payout, and most of them take between three and fifteen minutes to complete.

Take the longer survey if you’ve got time to burn.

For a quick and easy way to earn 1 SB, take part in the daily poll.

All you have to do is answer a single multiple-choice question, which won’t take you much more than a second.

All the surveys are designed to collect data on the buying behavior of a specific demographic.

Keep in mind that some demographics are more desirable to marketers than others.

So, if you’re not selected for a particular survey, don’t feel bad.

The only downside to this is that it’s exasperating to get disqualified a few questions into the qualifying process.

Playing Games

You can earn points by playing games.

But to do this, you’re going to have to make an in-game purchase.

If you don’t know what that is, it refers to items that players can buy to improve their gaming experience.

Points are credited to your account as soon as you buy something within the game.

It doesn’t matter how high your score is—making an in-game purchase is the only way to accrue SBs.

Each game lists how many points you’ll get for that particular game.

For example, for “Wheel of Fortune,” you’ll earn 4 points for every $1.00 you spend.

Once you accumulate enough SBs, you can exchange them for gift cards for retailers including Target.

The “Discover” Section

The easiest and the fastest way to earn SBs is to buy something from one of their corporate partners.

For the entire list of all these point-accruing opportunities, go to the “Discover” section of the website.

Here is where you’ll find plenty of in-store deals where you can earn cashback when you shop in-store.

For example, get a Bluehost website for $2.95 a month.

When you do, you’ll earn 6,000 SBs.

The “Shop” Section

In the “Shop” section, you can get cash back making purchases at over 1,500 retailers.

You’ll earn 10 SB points for every dollar you spend, which is like getting 1% off what you buy.

In addition to this, you’ll get access to exclusive deals and coupons from some of your favorite retailers.

For example, shop at LL Bean, and you’ll earn 2% off all your purchases.

There are plenty of target.com coupons and cashback opportunities at the site, like 10% off Nanobebe Newborn sets.

The “Watch Section”

There’s even a way to earn points by watching TV.

It’s called Swag TV, and they offer videos on news, sports, fashion, and other topics in exchange for points.

And, they curate playlists selected just for you based on your interests.

You’ll watch one or two 30-second videos and then rate the content.

These short clips are ads that have yet to be rolled out.

The advertiser wants to gauge audience reaction before customers see them.

So basically, you’re the guinea pig for their marketing research.

23. Getting Paid for Web Searches

Nowadays, everyone “googles” a lot every day.

What if you make a little cash doing this?

With Swagbucks, you can!

All you have to do is to do the searches you do anyway.

But just use the search engine on their website to get credit for your searches.

If you don’t want to risk forgetting to use it at the site, there’s a way to make Swagbucks your default search engine.

Do this, and you won’t miss a single point-accruing opportunity!

24. Use Cash Back Apps

Another way to save money at Target is to use a cash back app.

With these apps, you’ll get money back when you purchase select items.

Many people think it’s a no-brainer to use them because you’re buying the stuff anyway.

Might as well earn some money in the process!

Ibotta

One such app is Ibotta, which partners with manufacturers who want to get customers interested in buying their products.

They do this by offering rebates on them.

Ibotta gives you three easy ways to get cash back:

  • Scan receipts
  • Link your Target account to Ibotta
  • Do your shopping at one of the companies they partner with

Each method requires you to choose your deals before you do your shopping.

After the company verifies the receipt, they’ll deposit your money in your Ibotta account.

Once you earned $20, you can cash out via PayPal, Venmo, or a store gift card.

Ibotta gives you a $10 welcome bonus when you earn your first $10 in rewards.

Rebates are good for up to five products.

A good practice to get into is to spend five minutes searching for deals on your phone before heading off to the grocery store.

If you do this religiously, you’ll find yourself saving $25, $50, or more each month.

Rakuten

With Rakuten, you won’t have to scan a single receipt.

Simply select the deals you want to take advantage of and then do your shopping.

You’ll get paid either with a check or have your cash deposited in your PayPal account.

You can shop target.com right at their website.

Or, you can install the Rakuten cashback extension on your browser and shop online.

The extension will remind you to activate your deals before you checkout, so you won’t miss out on any opportunities to save big.

Of course, there’s also an app.

In addition to earning money by shopping online, you can also make money by signing up for the company’s “refer a friend” program.

To do this, grab a personalized referral link to send to family and friends who aren’t already signed up.

Another app that people seem to like is Dosh.

It’s easier than a lot of them out there: just download the app, link a payment card, and you’ll automatically start earning up to 10% back.

No tedious scanning of receipts.

No laborious choosing of deals.

Just sign up and get shopping!

You’ll even get a five-dollar bonus when you link your payment card for the first time.

You can even use more than one cash-back app to magnify your savings.

The best way to discover what the best cash back app is for you is to sample them all.

Each one of them offers a slightly different experience.

You might find one has better deals on the stuff you usually buy and another where you have to expend more time and effort than you’d like.

25. Use a “Grocery-Only” Cash Back App

There are grocery-only cash back apps.

SavingStar is one of them.

And, you can actually get money back on any fruits and vegetables you buy.

Select your rebates on either the app or the website.

You can cash out once you rack up $5.00 in your account.

To get started, you’ll need to register for the site.

Then, link your Target account.

Once you link your card, you won’t have to worry about submitting your receipt because it’ll automatically be done for you.

Before you make your purchases, select your offers.

These are indicated by plus signs.

Once they turn green, you’re good to go.

Make sure you add them before your shopping trip because if you add it after, you won’t get any money back.

Verify it’s you at checkout by scanning your Wallet, REDCard, or give the cashier your phone number.

Your savings are automatically added to your SavingsStar account.

If you buy something from a store that’s not linked to your account, you’ll have to submit a receipt.

But first, you’ll scan the eligible products.

And then, take a photo of the receipt.

Once you save $20, you can withdraw it to your bank or your PayPal account.

You can also donate the money to charity.

There are several different types of offers.

“Healthy Offers” lets you save on fresh produce.

“One or Many Offers” gives you fantastic savings when you meet a spending goal over one or many shopping trips.

You can make your purchases all at one store or at many stores.

The best way to save is to sign up for “Always On Programs.”

Merely sign up a single time and save every time you make a purchase.

For example, the day I checked it, they had a Lindor Chocolates “One or Many” deal where if you spent $15, you’d get a $3 rebate.

They had another deal where if you spend $50, you get $15 off on Procter and Gamble participating products.

You can even stack these deals with coupons to really pile on the savings.

26. Download Shopkick

If you want free Target gift cards, get your kicks with Shopkick.

.This easy-to-use app rewards you for completing super easy tasks that you can then exchange for gift cards.

These tasks are like mini-missions, and you’ll get a set number of points for each.

For reasons I don’t fully understand, the company calls these points “kicks.”

And they’re so generous with their kicks, you’ll probably earn enough in a single weekend to get yourself a gift card.

You can even get rewards for merely walking through the door of one of their corporate partners.

To find retailers that do this, open the app and then tap “Find Kicks Waiting Nearby.

What’s great about this is you only have to walk in.

Then, the kicks are automatically applied to your account.

Another way you can earn kicks is to seek out store products they assign you and scan their barcodes using the Shopkick app.

If you’re going to the store anyway to do a little shopping, this is super easy to do.

Use the app’s “Buy and Collect” feature to link your credit card to the app.

Then, you’ll earn points whenever you buy products from participating retailers.

And just like Swagbucks, you can earn points by watching videos.

You can earn points for inviting your friends.

And if they actually sign up, you’ll get a portion of their first-week earnings.

So, you don’t miss all these incredible offers, get into the habit of checking the app every day.

Keep in mind there’s a bit of delay between earning the reward and getting your kicks.

This delay makes sure you don’t bend the rules by returning the item immediately after getting your points.

27. Check the Unadvertised Specials

Target often has unadvertised specials.

So, don’t only rely on ads to get the best deals.

When you’re in the store, seek out all the red and white signs, which indicate what’s on sale.

You’ll score some colossal savings if you keep an eye out for them!

28. Bring Your Own Bags

If you bring your own bags from home, Target will give you a nickel for every bag you use.

This not only saves you money—it’s also good for the environment.

29. Shop Online

If you’ve never visited Target’s website, you’re in for a treat.

It’s beautiful to look at, user-friendly, and is as well-organized as Target’s brick-and-mortar stores are.

And, there’s a dizzying array of bargains practically begging you to grab them.

For example, the day I checked the website, there was a deal for up to 50% off toys, and 25% off furniture.

Also, there was a fantastic variety of clearance items to choose from.

There’s no question you can get some incredible bargains in the stores.

But on the website, the discounts are even better!

If you want to take advantage of the lower online price but want to pick it up in the store, choose the “pick up in-store” option at checkout.

You might be already shopping inside the store and notice that the item you’re contemplating buying is cheaper at the website.

If this is the case, all you have to do is show the cashier your phone for proof of the lower price.

30. Sign up for Target’s Gift Registry

If you’re getting married or a baby on the way, sign up for Target’s gift registry.

When you create one for a baby shower, you’ll get 15% off everything left in your registry, eight weeks before the baby’s scheduled arrival.

And with the wedding registry, you’ll be able to buy everything your friends and relatives didn’t get you starting the day after your wedding’s over.

31. Know the Best Time to Buy Toys

Target has semi-annual sales in January and July, and significant discounts on toys once the holiday season’s in full swing.

So, if you wait to buy your toys at these times, you’ll get some fantastic deals.

32. Treat Yourself to a Beauty Box

Beauty subscription boxes can be a terrific way to try out a new product without committing to a full-size product.

At Target, you currently can get them online for seven bucks without having to pay for a subscription.

And the shipping’s free!

33. Follow Target on Social Media

Follow Target on social media to keep up to date on sale events.

Just search for “Target” on all your favorite social media channels.

They’re on all your favorite social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube.

34. Find Ways to Resist the “Target Effect”

Lots of people walk into Target, intending only to buy what they need.

But, two hours later, they come out with practically the entire store!

This phenomenon is called “The Target Effect,” and if you let it happen enough, it can have a catastrophic effect on your finances.

They’ve even made this part of their brand!

The company collects and analyzes lots of data about its products, including which ones are typically bought together.

And, they use this information in their displays.

These are put together by some of the most talented and inspired designers on the entire planet.

They know their customers base are the rabid fans who grab a Blonde Caffè Americano at the Starbucks in the store and leisurely stroll through every aisle as they gaze at the merchandise.

That’s one of the reasons the stores put Starbucks near the entrance.

And, as you wander through the aisles, it’s hard to keep your defenses up.

How can you, when everything’s so bright, cheery, and aesthetically pleasing?

The company is a master at subtle psychological manipulation, and they know exactly what they’re doing.

Another way they get you to buy is by relentlessly branding themselves as a mecca for bargain hunters.

This, combined with its powerful aesthetic allure, causes shoppers to get complacent and not even to bother to look at prices.

However, don’t fall into this trap!

Another thing they’re masters at is suggestive selling.

This is when an item is strategically placed near another to get you to buy both.

You might have only wanted one of them, but because they’re so close together, you’ll likely buy both items.

They’re also quite skilled at getting you to visualize their merchandise being in your home.

One of the ways they do this is by creating “dynamic product vignettes” as you walk through the place.

So, for example, in the “Home” section, products are artfully arranged in the way they’d be in your own house.

Their Beauty Department looks like a swanky specialty shop, and it’s so inviting, customers can’t wait to try out the products.

All this herculean effort to get you to buy is incredibly successful, causing you to spend much more time in the place than you planned on.

Look—I happen to love Target.

But I also know that they employ tricks to get you to buy.

So, the ball’s in your court.

Make sure you have excellent emotional control before walking into the store.

Because if you have it, you won’t be as susceptible to their gimmicks.

People who are unable to regulate their emotions often engage in retail therapy to get some relief.

Some people find wandering the aisles at Target to be incredibly therapeutic.

However, this isn’t the type of therapy that’s going to be healthy for you.

If this describes you, implement the following strategies so you’re not such an easy mark:

  • SET A BUDGET: Create a budget for your Target excursions and religiously stick to it.
  • MAKE A LIST: Don’t even think about walking into the store without a list in your hand. This list should only include the essentials.
  • DON’T BROWSE: never go to the store just to browse, because you’ll always buy a bunch of stuff you don’t really need.
  • USE POSITIVE SELF-TALK: If it’s your willpower that needs boosting, give yourself plenty of positive self-talk before you walk into all the crimson cheeriness. Say things to yourself like “I’m firmly in control of my spending habits” or “I only buy what I need.” Try it—it works!

Some people don’t consider Target’s attempts to influence their customers’ buying behavior to be tricks, because these customers don’t mind being manipulated.

And this is fine if you’re okay with it and it doesn’t create a runaway spending problem for you.

Perhaps the merchandiser isn’t making us actually making us buy things we don’t need—maybe we need them, but we just didn’t think we needed them.

In that case, it’s doing us a favor!

Wrapping It All Up

There are so many money-saving strategies for getting great deals at Target.

Whether you shop at the website or the brick-and-mortar store, you know that it’s a bargain hunter’s paradise.

So, if you’re among the thousands of Target aficionados that practically lives in the store, arm yourself with these tactics the next time you shop.

You’ll be able to walk in there with the confidence to revel in the experience without fear you might succumb to their subtle psychological persuasion.

You’ll be able to enjoy the time you spend in the store so much more!

Try to supercharge your savings by combining coupons, cash back offers, free gift cards, and anything else you can think of.

Then, you’ll have more money you can use for more Target excursions.

Have any more ideas on how to save at Target? Let us know in the comments below!

Norm Tedford

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