Posted by: littlebitofparadise | February 26, 2014

How to Save Lots of Money at Target


Since becoming a mom, I’ve grown to love Target almost as much as I love Nutella and red wine. And that’s saying a lot. Target (pronounced TAR-jay of course) is a bright, relatively clean, kid-friendly (hellooo shopping carts that fit my three kids under age four!!!) superstore that sells the best generic brand diapers in the universe AND has a Starbucks located just to the left of the main entrance. Need I say more? I think not.

Over the years I’ve learned a thing or two or five about how to save lots of money at Target – as in beyond the normal cutting out coupons or buying things when they’re on sale.

Sharing my five favorite ways to save lots of money at Target….and at the end I’ll tell you how to save lots on diapers (especially this week!!)

1. Target Red Card


IMHO, I think every mom should have a Target Red Card. I have the debit card version, and when I swipe it at checkout, the money comes directly out of my checking account with no hidden fees and I save 5% on my entire purchase every single time I shop. I also receive 5% off my purchase and free shipping on anything I order from Target’s website. The Red Card is a super no-brainer win for our family.

2. Shop the Target Clearance Schedule


Many of you have probably seen this popular Pinterest pin about how to read the Target clearance sticker and which days Target marks down which types of products. I’ve found this pin tremendously helpful. For instance, if I find cute clothes for the boys at Target, I just wait and watch until they go on clearance. I go to Target often enough that I usually can wait until kids clothes are 50-70% off before purchasing. My bucks go very far at Target with kids clothes. Yesterday I snagged a few sweatshirts for the boys (for next fall) for $1.50 each because they were 70% off. Last fall I bought all of their summer 2014 shorts for $1.50/pair on final clearance. (And I got an extra 5% off that clearance price because I used my Red Card. Love it!)

3. Shop the Seasonal Sales


Target has amazing sales when they close out a season and launch into the next. If you can shop thinking ahead, you can save mega bucks with seasonal sales. After each holiday Target puts their holiday items on clearance up to 90% off. That’s when I buy my Christmas, Easter, Valentines, Halloween, you name it, decorations. Yes, I have to store them for the next year, but at 90% off, I can sure find room in my storage space for a few Target purchases. Same goes for clothing, food items, exercise equipment. For example, every January Target gives a huge section of the store over to health food items, gym wear, and exercise stuff. One of the items they feature is an extra large box of Larabars (a staple in our gluten free/paleo household). In mid February Target puts that section of the store on clearance. And that’s when my family stocks up for about a six month supply of Larabars (of course also getting 5% off the clearance price with Red Card…which is the cheapest I’ve found Larabars ever).

4. Cartwheel App


I was leery of the Cartwheel App at first because I didn’t want my Facebook friends seeing what I purchased at Target…and when the App was created it was designed to be used with your FB account. After the money I’ve saved using Cartwheel, though, I now think it’s worth signing up with a private FB page just to use with your Cartwheel App. The savings are amazing! You might find an item on Cartwheel that’s up to 20% off this week. You can use that 20% off Cartwheel coupon in conjunction with any manufacturer’s coupon, any other Target coupons you have for that item, and then use your RedCard for the extra 5% off. You can do some serious savings damage if you put it all together. It totally adds up.

5. Target Gift Cards


Target frequently has “buy two or more” or “three or more” sales that include a $5, $10, or $15 Target gift card that you’ll receive upon purchase. It can be a great way to save some serious money if the item is something you use regularly. You’ll find the gift card sales on cleaning supplies, feminine products, makeup, diapers, formula, you name it.

[Extra hint I learned from a Target employee: if you are making a purchase that includes a Target Gift Card sale, ask your cashier to swipe the gift card items first, as a separate purchase, and then use your rewards gift card to help pay for your other items. Might as well use your gift card right away, instead of storing it in your wallet and forgetting about it next time.]


These five tips might not seem like huge money saving deals on their own, but when you put them together they can add up to some serious savings. Here are some examples from my Target trip this week:

Example 1: Target diapers. Normally the large boxes are $26.99 each. This week in North Carolina, they’re on sale for $24.99 per box. If you buy two boxes, you’ll receive a $10 Target gift card at checkout. Also this week on the Cartwheel App, you’ll receive 10% off all Up&Up (Target brand) items in the store (yep, including Target diapers)!  And of course if you use your Redcard, you’ll receive 5% off the total purchase. That means that my two boxes of Target diapers for Mr. Baby Bear, which would normally cost $53.98 ended up being about $34. That’s about a $20 savings. Holla!

Example 2: Target brand A&D diaper cream. On sale this week for $3 something (about 85 cents off). Because it’s Up&Up brand I got an extra 10% off with the Cartwheel App, and because I used my Redcard I got another 5% off. Not as big a savings as with the diapers, but still a great deal on a product I use often on my kiddos.

Happy Target Diaper shopping, Mamas!

PS. Joining Hallie at Moxie Wife for Five Favorites today.

…And this might look like a sponsored post but I assure you it’s not. Target has no idea who I am at the corporate level. The Target employees at my local store on the other hand…I think they probably recognize my entourage and me pretty quickly these days. ;0)

Final thought: some may be worried about Target cards after their security issues last year. However they’ve taken such serious strides to protect their customers since then that it may be the safest time ever to get a Red Card.



  1. Thank you for the tip about the Red Card! I have been thinking about getting one and this pushed me over the edge.

  2. Yay Target! I also love ordering online from them with the Red Card, because the Red Card gets free shipping. And shopping online means I don’t have to pack up the baby and all her stuff!

  3. Awesome, Stephanie! Hope someone in the know forwards this to Target’s HQ–you deserve some perks! Let your faithful followers know if they send some cool deals your way! 🙂

  4. I’ve enjoyed snagging some great finds on Target’s clearance shelves. I’m not as concerned about their recent breach in security as I am about the tracking that is taking place when using the Red Card. I once worked for a marketing research firm and studied many of these “tactics” while they were in their early stages. I continue to wonder, at what point will it become a requirement to hand over all of our personal info to make purchases at stores. (Rv 13:16-17) Needless to say, I’ve yet to sign up for any of the apps or additional cards. The small savings is just not worth it!

    ad Jesum per Mariam

  5. This is kind of amazing to me! I am saving this post to look at again. I am always so amazed by people who are so good at money saving techniques!!

  6. […] 4. Annie’s Gluten Free Mac and Cheese, served with a side of peas and fruit. (BTW, the cheapest place I usually find this gluten free mac is at Target when it’s on sale and I can also use my 5% off RedCard deal). […]

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