This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com
Target: the discount motherland that just as quickly becomes a money-sucking hole that leaves you wondering, hours later, why you really thought it was necessary to buy eight packs of clothes hangers and a ceramic mug with an inspirational quote printed on it.
If you don’t have a game plan, you can end up spending just as much (if not more) in Target as you would in any regularly priced store. Our first under the table tip to save more at Target? Go in with a strict list of what you really need and resist the urge to deviate.
Regardless, our love for Target runs deep and there’s nowhere else we’d rather spend our Sunday afternoons.
Thankfully, there are ways to make a Target run both more affordable and much more streamlined, which is always a plus. And yes, you can even throw in that quote mug for good measure.
Look at what number price of an item ends in
It may seem overly attentive, but it’s worth it. If the price of an item ends in $0.06 or $0.08, the item will be marked down again at some point in the future. If the price ends in $0.04, the item is marked for final clearance and the price will not change again.
Trade in electronics for gift cards
If you bring your old electronics to the electronics department, they’ll quote you on how much your stuff is worth and compensate you in Target gift cards to spend around the store.
Be aware of the weekly markdown schedule
Different departments in Target mark down items depending on the day of the week:
Monday: Electronics, accessories, kids’ clothing, books, baby, and stationery
Tuesday: Domestics, women’s clothing, pets, and market
Wednesday: Men’s clothing, health and beauty, lawn and garden
Strategically utilize holiday clearance sales
Target has consistently scaled markdowns on themed items after the holidays:
Day after holiday: 50% off
Three days after holiday: 75% off
One week after holiday: 90% off
Sign up for mobile coupon alerts
By signing up, a new set of coupons will be sent to your phone each month (you can even specify the exact time you want them delivered.) The coupons are scan-able and can be redeemed at the register.
Shop the end caps
The end caps are the shelves that sit at the end of each aisle, seeming somewhat misplaced. However, most clearance items are usually placed here–make it your go-to place to check if you’re looking for discounted items.
Check online for current deals
Each week, Target updates its current promotions and weekly sales pages–you’ll be able to scout out deals you want to take advantage of and know how much you can save before you even get in to store.
BYOB (bring your own bag)
Target offers a five-cent discount for every reusable bag you bring in to use at checkout. Every cent adds up!
Opt for store-brand items
A general rule of thumb when shopping at any major retailer, but its especially worthwhile at Target. Target has several top-quality store-brands that produce everything from food to beauty products at a much lower price than name brands.
Hit the dollar section first
Target’s dollar aisle is like no other–you never know what you can find when you really look!
Utilize “Target Cartwheel”
Cartwheel is a social coupon program that Target created that allows you to set up an account to earn and receive deals. You can use each deal up to four times, as well as stack your deals with other coupons.
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