Coupons are a fabulous way to save money on just about everything. There are more coupons in circulation now than there has ever been. But, there is more you can do to increase your savings when you shop.
We all have our favorite stores. Mine is Target. I’ve heard the debates on Wal-Mart vs. Target, and I stand firmly on the Target side. When Wal-Mart is cheaper, it’s usually only by a few cents. Wal-Mart has a ton of stuff, but when you really look at it, there isn’t much selection. They carry a few brands of every item, but very few. Target, on the other hand, has a much wider selection. They have very competitive, and quite often cheaper prices. And, Target is very coupon friendly. In Wal-Mart’s defense, they have recently become much more coupon friendly as well.
Okay, sorry for the detour. Here’s how I maximize my savings at Target and how you can do the same at your favorite stores.
- Bring your own bags. At two of my favorite stores, Target and Bi-Lo, you get 5 cents for every bag you bring in. That’s usually no more than $0.50, but it’s just like having a secret coupon.
- Walk the perimeter of the store. Wherever you shop, find the clearance section. At Target, the clearance merchandise is along the perimeter. Follow the walls, and you’ll find the savings. At Bi-Lo, they have purple tags on clearance items. All other tags are red, so it’s pretty easy to spot the purple ones as you shop. Find the clearance section or route and pay it a little visit each time you go.
- Sign up for deals by email and/or text. Target sends me a text every month with fabulous in-store coupons. I was able to get free shorts last month with a $5 off coupon on my phone. The shorts were on clearance for $4.48, so just because I signed up for their texts, I got a great freebie! Bi-Lo emails great deals and e-coupons a couple of times every month.
- Sign up for the loyalty card. Target doesn’t have a loyalty card, but most grocery stores do. Once you have your loyalty card, be sure to sign up for e-coupons from the store, or from sites like SavingStar or Cellfire. These coupons are loaded straight to your card. The savings comes off instantly when you scan your card at checkout.
- Use coupons! One of my favorite things about Target….okay, maybe my very favorite thing, is their printable coupons. Target.com is my first stop when I’m looking for coupons. They usually have over 100 coupons available, with a combination of store and manufacturer coupons. You can use both types of coupon on a single item! Print out your Target coupons, find a manufacturer’s coupon for the same item, and really maximize your savings. My Bi-Lo also accepts competitor coupons, so I can use my Target coupons there as well.
- One more tip that is geared specifically toward Target is to sign up for the Red Card. I am not one to encourage credit cards, but Target has a store debit card that is linked to your checking account. It is not a credit card, there is no bill, no interest, no payment. It’s just like using your own debit card. When you use the Red Card, you automatically save 5% off your total! Granted, 5% isn’t really that much, $5 off $100. But, just like the bags, it’s a boost. The Red Card is like having your own secret coupon.
So, this post turned into a shopper’s guide for Target, but these tips can be applied to your store as well. Find out all the little secret savings tips at your own favorite store. Do you get credit for bags? Where is the clearance merchandise? Is there an email or text list? What is the coupon policy?
Learn your store and maximize your savings!
Do you have a tip for saving more money? Please share!