4 Target Secrets You Need to Know to Save Money

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  • Target offers a wide selection of products, often at affordable prices.
  • There are many ways to save at Target, including signing up for a RedCard.
  • Learning Target's clearance codes and markdown schedule can help you save money too.

Don't shop at Target without reading this.

Target can be a really fun place to shop, as well as a place where you can score some great deals. But if you want to get the most bang for your buck and charge less on your credit cards when you make your next Target run, you should be aware of some key secrets and strategies. Here are four of them. 

*Details accurate as of publication - 10/26/2022

1. Sign up for Target RedCard

Target shoppers can save a fortune with Target RedCard. Target RedCard offers 5% off at Target stores and the company's online site. You also get free two-day shipping on many items, and an extended return period so you won't waste cash on purchases that don't work out.

The best part of Target RedCard is that you have a choice of how you want to sign up. You could apply for a Target RedCard credit card but if you would prefer not to use credit, you also have the option of signing up for the Target RedCard debit card. This will be linked to your existing checking account so you don't have to open a new bank account or get a new line of credit extended to you. 

There's no annual fee for any type of Target RedCard so if you're a target shopper, you should definitely take advantage of this added savings opportunity. 

2. Join TargetCircle

TargetCircle is a loyalty program that allows you to earn 1% off on purchases as well as to take advantage of special deals open only to loyalty club members. TargetCircle members also get a special birthday gift as well. 

For those with a RedCard, you'll continue to get your standard 5% back rather than TargetCircle's 1%. But you can still take advantage of the other perks that joining this loyalty club offers. 

3. Decode Target's clearance tags

Target regularly puts items on clearance, with some items sold for as much as 90% off. Typically, when merchandise goes unsold, the store marks it down around every two weeks. But how can you know when the prices are at rock bottom? It's simple -- you need to know how to decode the price tags.

First and foremost, the upper right corner of Target clearance tags typically contain a tiny number which indicates the percentage off. This is usually 25, 50, 70, or 90. Second, the prices of clearance merchandise will typically end in $0.88, $0.98, $0.48, $0.24, or $0.04. If the tag reads $0.04, this means it's a final clearance item so you should buy it while you can. 

4. Know Target's markdown schedule 

If you're shopping for specific items, it's also helpful to know when you're most likely to get the best price on them. While this can vary somewhat by Target location, most stores follow a predictable sales schedule and mark specific items down on certain days. For example:

  • Accessories, books, baby items, children's clothing, electronics, and stationary are usually marked down on Mondays. 
  • Women's clothing, pet supplies, and grocery items often go on sale on Tuesdays. 
  • Diapers, health and beauty products, lawn and garden items, furniture, and men's clothing generally get marked down on Wednesdays. 
  • Housewares, shoes, sporting goods, luggage, and home decor typically go on sale on Thursdays. 
  • Jewelry, cosmetics, hardware, home goods, and auto products have their sales on Fridays.

By knowing this schedule, taking advantage of loyalty programs, and understanding how to read the tags, you can save a ton on Target items. This will give you more money to put toward other important financial goals. 

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