Sunday, January 22, 2017

Couponing at Target

New to shopping at Target stores?  Here is an explanation for you!

Target is a great place to coupon, because they have a lot of stacking deals.  However, when people throw out terms like "Cartwheel" and "Redcard," it can get a bit confusing!  Hopefully we can simplify it a bit for you here.  (See Target's official coupon policy here.)

Before we begin, we want you to be aware that Target sales go from Sunday through Saturday.

Red Card
One of the simplest ways to save money at Target is by using the Target RED Card.  This is a Target credit card or debit card (that links to your already-established bank account). Get the Target RED Card to save 5% off every purchase. Be sure to pay your bill in full every month (if you get the credit card) so that you truly do save 5% and don’t incur interest charges. You’ll also benefit from free shipping of online orders whenever you use your RED Card!

Target does a majority of its store coupons with Cartwheel, which is a free app that lets you save save anywhere from 5-50% on products without paper coupons. There are two type of savings: percent-off offers (which are considered store coupons and can be stacked with manufacturer coupons) and $x.xx off coupons, which are one-time use digital manufacturer coupons.

You will need to manually add these digital deals in your app (or online).  You can add them either by searching for them, browsing through all of them, or by scanning the barcode of an item at the store.  The last option is by far the easiest - when you go to put something in your cart, scan the barcode first and it will tell you if there are any CW deals for that item.

The manufacturer coupons can only be applied to one item (no matter how many you purchase).  However, the CW store coupons (percent-off coupons) usually apply to four of that item in one transaction, up to six transactions in a 24 hour period (not one calendar day, but 24 hour period).

After you have added all applicable CW coupons in the app, you will then have a cashier scan your unique barcode at checkout after all items are rung up. All the offers and coupons you selected will be applied to your total in one simple scan.

Another nice thing about CW is that all in-ad coupons (that you can also text to get) are in CW as well!  No more needing to text a number and pull up the text link for the barcode, or clipping out the in-ad coupon.  These coupons show up in the checkout screen in CW.  These will need to be scanned in addition to your unique CW barcode.

Rewards Program
Target's rewards program is called Perks, and it is part of the Cartwheel app.  Perks are reward points that are still in Beta testing mode.  They won't be available for every location yet, but they are in the majority of them.  You will know if you have Perks when you open your CW app and the front page looks like this:

Each time you shop online (and your CW app is signed in with your online account information) or in-store, you earn 10 points for every dollar!  If you forget to scan your CW at checkout because you didn't have any savings from it, that's okay!  You have seven days to scan the barcode at the top of your receipt to have your transaction counted anyway.  Once you reach 5000 points, you get a "Perk!"  Just yesterday, we earned a free toy up to $15!  In November, we earned a free turkey that we used for Thanksgiving.  Then in January we earned a Perk for a free toy for our daughter's birthday.  There are a huge variety of Perks to choose from.
Note: if you do not have Perks yet, please consider sending us a picture of the barcode at the top of your receipt so that we may use your points until you get Perks for yourself!  😁

Gift Cards
One big promotion that Target does weekly is give out gift cards for certain purchases.  These are in the weekly ad, although some will not be advertised.  The tags in store will look something like this:

The tags are very descriptive as to what items are included in the promotion, how many you need to purchase, and the value of the gift card you will receive.  You can use coupons on these deals as well, but keep in mind that Target does not allow overages anymore.  If you purchase your items and a the coupons lower your checkout cost to $3 when you are supposed to receive a $5 gift card (and therefore have a $2 moneymaker), the register will automatically lower the value of the coupons so that your checkout price will never be more than the value of the gift cards you are receiving.  You will pay $5 and then get a $5 gift card, so the OOP cost is $0, not a $2 moneymaker.

If you want further information on how Target adjusts the coupon values, please go to this post here.

Store Coupons
Target's website has both store and manufacturer printable coupons that you can print directly from their website.  The store coupons in particular are useful because you can stack them with manufacturer's coupons.

You also may, on occasion, receive store coupons in the mail.  No one really has any idea on how these are mailed out.  They seem to just be received randomly.  Also, the in-ad coupons are considered store coupons as well.  Some are for specific items, but others are what are called "category coupons" (such as get $10 off when you purchase $50 in food items).

You can create a Baby RegistryWedding Registry, or a College Registry before your even to get great savings!  Here are the benefits for each registry:

  • Baby Registry
    • Welcome kit: pick up your gift at Guest Services for $50 worth of coupons & handpicked samples.
    • 15% discount: eight weeks prior to the big day, get a 15% discount on anything left on your registry.  Restrictions apply.
    • Easy returns: you have up to one year after your event date to return or exchange items from your registry.
    • Ideas: inspiration, lists, must-haves & more to make you feel extra prepared.
    • Recommendations of the best baby products by moms and dads from
    • Trusted brands: all baby brands you’ll get to know and really love (and trust)
  • Wedding Registry
    • 15% discount on everything left on your registry after the big day.
    • Bonus gifts from select brands with qualifying purchases.
    • On-the-go access with the Target Registry app.
    • Easy returns and exchanges up to a year after your event.
    • Universal registry: add items from other sites to your Target gift registry.
    • Group gifting makes it easy for guests to contribute toward larger items.
  • College Registry
    • Score a coupon for 15% off your remaining registry items when you shop online. It'll arrive two weeks before your first class.
    • Return or exchange items from your registry up to 1 year after your event date.
    • Free shipping makes gift-giving easy for friends and family on online orders over $25.
    • Access on the go: create or manage your registry anytime, anywhere, with the Target Registry app.

Using Coupons
As you can see, there are a LOT of stacking deals at Target!  When you are making your shopping list and are trying to figure out your OOP cost, it can get quite confusing.  No matter what order you hand the cashier your coupons, the register will automatically calculate them in this order each time:

Coupon Type
Sample breakdown (six $10 items)
Price Matching
Store coupon
One $.50/1
$60 - $.50 = $59.50
CanNOT be used when price matching
20% off 4 items
($40 x .8) + $10 + $9.50 = $51.50
Category/Department OR Storewide
$10 off wyb $50
$51.50 - $10 = $41.50
15% Registry
15% off
$41.50 x .85 = $35.28
CAN be used when price matching
Manufacturer coupon
Four $1/1
$35.28 - $4 = $31.28
5% Red Card
5% off all
$31.28 x .95 = $29.71
**Note: this is the order in which discounts are applied at Target, max of 4 like coupons

We hope that this post was helpful for you!  Did we miss anything important?  Do you have any further questions for us?  Please let us know here, and ,ake sure you join our Facebook group to get updated with the latest deals as soon as they are posted, as well as see extra deals unique to the group!  Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

Note: any links in our posts may include affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policies here.
Please make sure to double-check store policy and coupon fine print before shopping. Please follow all coupon rules.