Wallet Hacks

6 Target Store Hacks to Save More Money

Target is one of the most popular stores in America.

With over 1,800 locations across the US, this brand is a staple for many families' shopping routines. I'm a sucker for Target's item quality, selection, cleanliness, and (usually) friendly employees.

Competing retailers like Walmart are known for their rollbacks and cost savings (and people!), but you don't have to spend a lot of money to shop at Target.

Here are six Target shopping hacks to save you even more money:

Pricing Codes

Don't you hate when you buy an item one day, only to see it sell for less just a week later?

Master Target's not-so-secret pricing codes and you'll always get the best deal in the store:

If you aren't in a particular rush and have your eye on a certain item, price-checking at Target is a great way for you to save money.

For example, let's say you want to score some nice chocolates for a shindig you're throwing in a few weeks. Fancy chocolate can be pricey, though, so you're on the lookout for a really good deal. You check out the Lindt truffles (nice choice!) and see they're priced at $10.06. You check out the same chocolates a week later to see they're priced at $9.04. This is the perfect time to score your sweets! This is the lowest price you'll see on this item at Target, so stock up.

Pay attention to pricing codes and you can easily shave your Target bill, from groceries to big-ticket items.

Extreme couponing

I don't think extreme couponing is always the answer, but when used with restraint, it's a great way to save money at Target. Extreme couponing is based on the idea of combining low prices, sales, and coupons to score items for ridiculously cheap prices, usually in bulk.

For example, you know that your kiddos will need some back-to-school shopping. You'd reaaaaally like to save money on classroom essentials without busting your budget. You use the Target pricing codes to know when an item is at its absolute rock-bottom price. Let's say that item happens to be Crayola markers. You search in your local paper or online and find a $1 off coupon from Crayola. Instead of paying full-price for the markers, you score them for rock bottom prices. Since markers don't really go bad, you clip extra coupons to buy several packs of markers on fire sale.

It's easy to go overboard with extreme couponing, especially when you see how much money you can save. But beware of the “spavings” trend of spending money to get savings! Only buy what you need at Target when you choose to do extreme couponing.

You can find some Target coupons here.

Cashback portals

Some of us would rather eat a worm than shop in-store. I need a good reason to get out of my sweatpants, so sometimes I indulge in online shopping.

When you shop online through Target, you can use online cashback portals to score even more sweet deals. In fact, you can combine the principles of Target pricing codes and extreme couponing to rack up the savings here, thanks to cashback portals. Popular options include RetailMeNot and Ebates.

Cashback apps like Ibotta also let you simply scan your receipt to score cents back on items you were going to buy anyway. These apps also are great because you can shop in-store and still get the cashback.

Mystery shopping

Did you know that Target is one of the dozens of national retailers to hire mystery shoppers? I admit mystery shopping takes a bit of time, but if you want to score steep discounts or gift cards, it's a great avenue to try out.

Target uses mystery shoppers to evaluate its quality from the customer's perspective. After all, employees would act differently if they knew a higher-up was coming to inspect the store. The goal of mystery shopping is to reveal areas where Target can improve, whether in employee training, stocking, or customer service.

In exchange for a report about your Target experience, you could score a gift card or free swag. Not bad, eh?

As a word of caution: be mindful of how you sign up to be a mystery shopper. There are plenty of scams on the interwebs.

Target REDcard

Did you know that Target offers its own store credit card? The Target REDcard offers an immediate 5% discount on nearly anything you buy at Target (the exception is with pharmacy prescriptions).

The REDcard also gets you special perks, like early access to sales and free online shipping. Savvy shoppers can score an additional 5% off each purchase and combine it with coupons and sale items.

However, keep in mind that the REDcard is a credit card. Some people might not like the idea of taking out an additional line of credit or the sky-high APR. If you opt to use the REDcard, make sure you can pay off its balance in full each month to avoid big penalties.

Target app & Subscriptions

Target offers its app and a Subscriptions option to keep the savings a'comin' for Target lovers.

The Target app, formerly known as Cartwheel, lets users select coupons before shopping. The coupons and deals will differ by location and time. Before you swing by Target, check your shopping list to see if any of the app coupons match up. To use the digital coupons, open the Target app and scan it at the register for discounts.

Target also offers a subscription service (creatively named Subscriptions) to save money on items you buy regularly. Score a 5% off discount on items like diapers, toilet paper, shampoo, and more. You can order and pay for everything online and it automatically shows up to your doorstep in the frequency you select.

Target doesn't market itself as a discount retailer, but savvy shoppers can score steep discounts at the retail giant with some planning. Use these tips to plan your next Target haul to save even more of your hard-earned money.

Do you have a favorite Target store hack we missed?