How to Shop at Target

Shopping like a pro at Target is more than just scooping clearance finds. These are the terms you need to become familiar with when you shop at Target:

  • Target Coupon: This is a store coupon that can be stacked with manufacturer coupons for added savings. Target printable coupons are usually available on the Target website and they are also often included in the Sunday Newspaper inserts.
  • Target Mobile Coupon: You can now register your cell phone to receive weekly text messages that contain special offers.
  • Temporary Price Cut: It’s a temporary sale price offered on a particular item.
  • Target Gift Card Promotion: Target often runs gift card promotions. These promotions usually require that you buy a particular item (or number of items) and when you do so, you will receive a Target gift card at the end of your checkout.

How to get free stuff at Target

1) The first way to get free stuff at Target is by combining Target Gift Card promotions with manufacturer and Target store coupons. For example: Target is offering a $5 gift card when you buy one Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Cleaning Kit on sale for $15. There is also a manufacturer coupon available for $7 off one Scrubbing Bubbles kit. After you deduct the coupon and the value of the Target gift card you end of getting the Scrubbing Bubbles kit.

2) The second way to get free stuff at Target is by stacking a Target store coupon and manufacturer coupon on the same item.

3) The last way to get free stuff at Target is by combining a temporary price cut or an every day price at Target with a manufacturer coupon.

Things to Remember When Shopping at Target

1) The secret to minimizing your out of pocket expense is by breaking off your transactions and using Target Gift cards you may have received previously on a transaction the second transaction and so on. P

3) There is a proper way to hand your coupons when shopping at Target: Always hand your manufacturer coupons first and then your Target coupons.

4) Before you leave the store make sure to check your receipt to verify that coupon discounts you expected were applied. Also make sure to verify that all of the Target Gift cards you expected were awarded. It is easier to correct situations right after you complete the transaction than later.

Target FAQ

  • My cashier wouldn’t let me combine a Target coupon with a manufacturer coupon, what can I do?

Target has an official Coupon Policy that clearly states that you can combine one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon on the same item. Make sure to print this Target Coupon Policy and bring with you to the store next time.

  • I had a horrible shopping experience, what do I do?

Your best course of actions is to call Target Guest relations at (800-440-0680) and calmly explain what happened.

  • Does Target Price Match competitor’s Prices?

Yes, Target has started matching competitor’s prices. Click here to read and print this Price Match Policy or Low price Guarantee.

  • Does Target have a particular markdown schedule?

Yes, according to previous Target employees, this is the unofficial markdown schedule:

Monday – Electronics, Kids Clothing and Stationary (Cards, GiftWrap, etc.)
Tuesday – Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Market (food items)
Wednesday – Men’s Clothing, Toys, Health and Beauty, Lawn & Garden items
Thursday – House Wares, Lingerie, Shoes, Sporting Goods, Movies, Music, Books, Decor and Luggage
Friday – Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry.

Holiday Clearance Schedule
50% off day after holiday for three days
75% off fourth day after holiday for three days
90% off seventh day after holiday for 1-2 days.

Your turn now: do you have any additional questions/topics I didn’t cover? Drop them in the comments section:

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  • Jenny @

    Great list of tips! I also recommend that people use the scanners to check to see if an item is part of the gift card promotion or not. This is particularly helpful for unadvertised gift card deals because sometimes the products may be very similar and only specially packaged products will trigger the gift card. If the product is part of a gift card promotion when it is scanned at a price check scanner it will say “gift card” next to the price and you will know you are on the right track!

  • Wow! That is thorough. I’ve been bargain shopping at Target for a bit and these tips are definitely helpful. I love combining coupons, gift card deals and mail-in-rebates for moneymakers!

  • Michele

    This may seem like “common sense” 😉 but it’s invaluable to get to know your Target employees! I was recently turned away by a Walmart employee who misread a coupon…rather than “fight it” I went to my good ol’ Target. Through getting to know my Target employees, I knew which cashier also handled the coupons for the store. She read the coupon and said it totally applied to my product! Sale for Target…Loss for Walmart!

  • Qi

    Target offer 10% for opening their Red card.(at the time of it’s approved. Usually it will approve at the spot.)You can choose check card to avoid hard inquiring about your credit. Once you spend $1000, you can get another 10% saving pass(this one is not one-day pass, it lasts for several days).

    Well, to get it easy. Simply choose Target pharmacy to get your medicine. Because once you fill your medicine 10 times you are qualified for a 10% saving pass! (much easier than spend $1000).
    Don’t forget to use the $10 GC for every new prescription in AD/on-line.

  • Kimberly

    Just out of curiosity, what goes wrong when they scan the Target coupons first? I usually hand the cashier my whole stack and one time a cashier separated them out herself. I have no idea what or if that changed anything. Thanks!

    • Hi Kimberly
      If the cashier scans your Target coupons first you risk the manufacturer coupon beeping. For example:

      Johnson and Johnson baby wash $1.99
      -$1/1 Target coupon
      -$1/1 manufacturer coupon (this one will beep and you may get denied this deal.

      If you do it the other way around and target coupon last then the target coupon won’t beep. That’s just the way the register works.


    • Michelle

      The same thing happened to me, I have no idea why they do that.

      • Melissa

        I work at Target and yes it will trigger the register as an alert so we can verify that you have purchased that particular item and then we have a “magic” key to go ahead an add the coupon.. so a good target employee will add the coupon anyway.. Hope that helps a bit

  • Camille

    I am very interested about the Target Coupons on your phone.. I am waiting to hear other people’s experiences with that… has anyone tried this yet?

    • Chrissy

      I get the coupons every week and they work out great. There are usually about 5 or 6 coupons and you just open the link. There is a single barcode at the top that the Target cashier just scans and it will deduct the coupon from the order. Each coupon can only be used once, because once it is scanned it voids it from being used again. It is much easier to use on a smart phone, too.

  • erika

    Hi, thanks for all your tips. Do target gift cards roll? Thank you

  • Lisa

    I was told that if I had a problem with the cashiers or managers NOT accepting my coupons to pick up the red phone anywhere in the store or at the service desk. Target corporate told me they will not call the manager if you leave the store so do not leave the store but pick up the red phone and call the number that you listed and they will tell the manager to let your coupons go through.

  • LoriAnn

    Can you do a PRICE MATCH for a item TARGET is offering a GC for and still get the GC?

  • pennyscents

    Lori Ann,
    Yes you can.

  • Kelly

    I have the mobile coupons on my phone and they are great!

    They are Target coupons so you can stack them with manufacturer’s coupons too! They usually offer some good ones!

    The only issue I’ve had with them is if the cashier is not sure how to use them, but they usually call someone over who knows how to scan the phone and you get the coupons applied! Woo, no clipping! 🙂

  • Leann

    I had a miserable experience at the Target in Poway, CA (san diego area). They tried to tell me that I could only use on type of coupon per transaction, per day. Like literally, i had 4 Olay coupons and bought 4 items and they told me I could only use 1 coupon! They also have a stinky attitude towards coupon users. And a busy body named Audrey who was not involved in the transaction, just on the other register kept sticking her nose in it.

    Not to mention they wouldnt let me use a tide coupon because the picture didnt match the free & clear version i was buying and it said off any tide. So freaking stupid.

  • tammynsc

    Is there somewhere/someone out in internet world who lists which coupons on the Target website are manufacturer’s q’s and which ones are store q’s? I hate printing one only to learn it’s a manufacturer’s q and not a store q :(. A comprehensive listing would be great!

  • tonya

    Heres the thing MOST people dont read the whole coupon. i have people come through my lane with buy three of gerber 23 ounce cans of milk and they get the one can 13 ounce and when i turn the coupon down i get funny looks. part of the policy is coupon must be scannable. People think if you have a coupon we have to take it. No not according to the policy. most cashiers dont follow this part of the policy. i dont mind coupons ( i use them) if you have all the required items. some coupons do say one per transaction or no travel sizes read all the fine print. some cashiers are anal about them.

    • John

      @tonya: Coupons do not have to be scanable. If you cannot scan it, type the barcode in. Don’t believe me, check Workbench and search for “coupon guide.” This is a more comprehensive Q&A for Guest Service Team Leads. I know this because I work for Corporate.

      • tonya

        @john smh. DONT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER . YES I am a cashier as well as customer service rep. among various titles and functions I hold. I currently used a Pda and was on workbench a couple of days ago. You did not impress me with your i work for corporate high horse. I cannot tell you how many people come angry because they were misinformed by someone at coporate. then an Executive team leader has to come and answer your so called “comprehensive Q&A” and send the guest away. The policy was in the target newsletter I believe in july 2009 or 2010. A cashier CAN turn down a coupon that does not scan. this is due to all the fraudulant coupons that are made at home. I know you can type in the numbers. My main point was the policy. i have people tell me all the time just see if the register takes the coupon when they clearly don’t have the item. the way the register works sometimes if you have the right products the register still denies the coupon. the cashier can override the coupon unless its pops up expired. Sometimes the register takes the coupon for soap if you bought cereal. So Mr. Coporate, I guess fixing this software error at target was to difficult for corporate to COMPREHEND.

        • buggaboo

          @tonya: Chill out! Sheesh! Not a big deal! No one was insulting your intelligence; he was just illustrating another point of view. I, personally, appreciate both perspectives! Can’t we all just get along & embrace the ideaology of saving our hard-earned (for cashier or corporate) money? Just a thought!

  • Ashley

    I don’t know if this is happening everywhere, but at my local Target they will no longer price match at the register. If you want to price match then you have to go to guest relations. That is a pain in the neck, especially for those of you with little ones in tow.

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  • Oni

    Ashley, I just had to go to guest relations for the 1st time this weekend for a price match. It was a pain in the neck! Then my price match was turned down because the add said 2/$4 instead of an amount like $2 each…:/

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    target would not redeem coupon on trial size aveeno

  • Samantha

    I don’t know if I have asked this already, but how do I get big savings like you can at Target at HEB? Their “in store” coupons are manufacterer’s coupons on alot of items, especially food items so we cannot stack. I have only seen one or two items with an “in store” coupon that may be stacked. Someone please advise.

  • Theresa

    Mercades your awesome! Thanks for th tips. As far as Tonya at target goes, instead of being such a hard up cashier you should try not getting frustrated with customers and coupons. We have every right to use them. Its no customers fault when there is no solid corporate policy. Next time before you bash John for trying to help think to my self I am a cashier and I am here to help my customers. As a manager of 9 years i would never treat my customers that way or allow my employees to do so either. What ever happend to customer service. Its attitude like yours that give anyone in retial a bad name. You may not like your job but at least you have one. Rock on John thanks for trying to be helpful and informative.

  • marty

    we shop Target every week I so far have not had a problem with any cashier I have ever gone to I THANK the Cheektowaga Target Very much they are very well trained and very helpful. I worked at Kmart for 36 years and now I shop at Target all the time.Thank you

  • mjs

    The target up the street from where I live treats me like a queen, I know their names, and a lot about their lives, I would never treat them shabby, today I went in it is christmas eve, I thanked my favorite ladies and my checker was so good a fellow my age, I am 63 and holding..I get good bargains after major holidays, I am patient and go in before work, after the stuff is reduced about 75% percent off, it is all red in our home all year long, I get towels for my kitchen red and more red and bath towels too, for in the kitchen 80 cents or less and big towels for a mere $2.00, plus candy for the shelters I help and feed the little ones after good food and books to be read…Happy Hanukkah to you, we celebrate Hanukkah, I say a prayer on christmas for all the hungry, homeless and unemployed who live where I live..that is the reason to be kind, God asks all human beings to remember the poor who will always live with us, luv your blog, helps me to get food, and sundries and clothes at Target for little money..My hubby even looks at the discounted men’s clothes, etc. no use paying anything for clothes..happy holidays to you & your lovely familia…