How to shop smart & save money at Target

Since the holidays are almost over, I assume that many people will make some type of New Year’s Resolution toward saving money, not spending as much money, learning how to be smarter with their money…something along those lines.

So, I decided that my guest posts for New Orleans Moms Blog should try to help you fulfill that goal. I am going to start a series for these posts to help you understand how to maneuver the savings at our local stores. All the clubs, cards, stacking opportunities, etc.

For the first installment, I want to talk about Target.


Target has always been a sweet spot for savings for me, but I don’t get there very often. It is about 30 miles to my closest Target and is on the far side of town. Not near my work and certainly not near my home. But, since my go-to grocery closed down last month, I have been forced to drive that 30 miles to get my supplies anyway. Therefore, I have made it a point to start utilizing the multiple savings that you can get at Target.

First of all, Target is in the same category as Wal-Mart. It’s considered a discount retailer to some extent and many people think, “I’ll just run in Target and grab that. It has to be cheaper!” Not necessarily true if you do, in fact “just run in.”

However, if you have a plan and know your way around Target, you can save tons of money throughout the course of a year.

The shelf price at Target is not too shabby. It’s one of my go-to retailers to compare prices from other stores. But, it is a smidge higher than Wal-Mart, as most of the best bargain retailers are. However, if you use the skills I will give you in this post, it will blow them out of the water!

The RedCard

First of all, let’s talk about the RedCard.

When I mention this in my coupon classes, lots of people object because they don’t want/need another credit card to worry with. That’s the beauty of the Red Card! It can be a debit card! They have both!

Mine is strictly a debit card and comes right out of my checking account – MINUS 5%, that is. (Ahem -THIS is how I saved over $150 on my Disney trip!! I bought Disney cards at Target and saved 5% off the top!)

It also gives you 5% off AND free shipping, too! That’s a big one for me because I do A LOT of my Christmas shopping online!

If you have prescriptions that you can fill at Target, the Red Card gives you ANOTHER 5% after the 5th prescription that you can stack with the automatic 5% for one day.

So, if you like to shop at Target, and have not gotten a Red Card yet, I urge you to do so. If you plan to shop Target in the store or online this Christmas season and beyond, you NEED this card. Get yours TODAY! It’s FREE!

Here is an example of a deal that recently became available, and I will walk it through this entire post.

lego forest

Lego City Forest Police Station ($89.99) was a $50 Doorbuster on Black Friday at Target. You would automatically save 5% on that just by paying with your RedCard and get it for $47.50.

Cartwheel App

The next thing at Target is the Cartwheel App. Cartwheel is basically an electronic coupon. You can think of it as a sale price or markdown, but one that is not advertised in the store. You would only see it on the app. It is a program that you can use on your phone, or you can just do it on your computer. Basically, you browse the offers, which are usually a percentage, not a dollar amount, select the ones you want to use and add them to your Cartwheel. You can have up to 10 active offers at a time, and you can redeem up to 10 at a time. Once you are done, it simply gives you ONE SINGLE barcode to scan at the register. (Again, this can be on your phone through the app, or you can print it out and give to the cashier.) That one barcode will take the savings off all the items that you have selected and that you are purchasing.

target lego cartwheel

On Saturday after Black Friday, Cartwheel released a 50% off offer on that same Lego. So, now, you would take 50% off the $50 ($25) and THEN save 5% with your RedCard making it $23.75.

Store & Text Coupons

Target also has store coupons on their website. (They also have some manufacturer’s coupons, so you have to pay attention to which it is once you print.) These coupons are printable and can be stacked WITH a manufacturer’s coupon in a 1/1 ration per item. So, if you are buying an item that has a manufacturer’s coupon to save $1 off X, AND, there is a STORE COUPON to save $.75 off that same item, you can use both of those coupons (one of each PER item) on each item you buy. Some coupons have a limit of 4 uses per transaction, and you can only print most coupons twice per computer. So be aware of those possible limitations. Any cartwheel offers are also eligible to be used in conjunction with these two coupons. Then, of course, you would save an additional 5% by paying with your RedCard.

Target also offers TEXT coupons, which are considered “Store Coupons,” so you can also stack these with a manufacturer’s coupon. Most of the text coupons that I have seen have a one use limit on them. So, stackable deals with a text coupon are a “one hit wonder.” But, then, you would save an additional 5% by paying with your Red Card.


Finally, Target accepts other manufacturer’s coupon through other apps such as Shopkick. (You can read more about Shopkick here, but it’s an app that gives you points for just walking in certain stores, or scanning items while you are in those stores. No purchase is necessary to earn these points – or kicks – and you can cash them out for free gift cards.) Because these are technically manufacturer’s coupons, you can stack them with a store coupon.

So, back to our Lego Deal.

Shopkick released a coupon for $5 off any $25 Toy Purchase at Target in their app on that same Saturday.


So…..the $90 Lego is now marked $50, there is a 50% savings on Cartwheel making it $25. Now, you could also use the $5 off $25 coupon from Shopkick making the Lego set just $20…THEN, you would save an additional 5% off by paying with your Red Card! That $90 Lego is now just $19 plus tax!

So, that is a pretty good rundown of the major savings that you can STACK up at Target! You see, even though their shelf price is slightly higher than Wal-Mart, if you use these many available options, Wal-Mart can’t hold a candle to them! The difference is likely made up with the RedCard alone. But, when you factor in all the other options, you will hit the Bullseye on savings at Target!

Do you have any other tips for shopping smart and saving money at Target?


About Northshore Mama

Kari Head ShotKari, born and raised on the Northshore, began Northshore Mama after her family experienced a couple of rough financial years. Kari shares the tips and tricks to maneuvering each store’s different marketing of their sales, as well as introducing her readers to various programs and websites where she earns free stuff every day. Northshore Mama’s mission is to bring you the coupon deals and show you how to match them up with each store’s weekly sales to get the most bang for your buck!



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