10 Secrets to Spend Less at Target

10 Secrets to Spending Less at Target

Is there really a secret to spending less at Target???   The clothes are darling; the jewelry is affordable; the home decor is always on point.  Oh, and don’t even get me started on the dollar section!  No matter how hard I try to avoid that dollar section, there’s no going to Target without a stop at the dollar section (amiright?!?).  There is only one downside to Target……I always leave spending to much money!  So today, I want to share with you my 10 Secrets to Spend Less at Target.

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Secret #1:  Just Stay Out of Target

I know, (believe me I know), staying out of Target is a little easier said than done, but obviously is the most effective!  If Target tempts you to impulse shop and over spend on your budget….stop going to Target.

A few years ago I decided to stop going to Target for at least one year.  I lasted 18 months…and guess what!  I survived!  I bought what I needed at other stores, and my bank account grew because of it!

Habits are hard to break, and if Target is one of yours, know that you are not alone.  Give yourself mini rewards for staying away from Target.  If you don’t go for an entire month, buy yourself a treat.  And then change the reward for two months.  The temptation to shop at Target will decrease as your habit is broken.  I’m living proof!

Secret #2:  Get a Target Red Card

Honestly, a Target Red Card is the equivalent of free money.  I know many people tend to be scared away from the Red Card, it sounds to much like a credit card, and a credit card is not for everyone.

Fortunately, the Target Red Card is not a credit card!  (yaaay!)  It is a debit card.  Instead of purchasing the items on credit, the money is being taken directly out of your checking account.  This gives you peace of mind that you are not racking up a lot of debt.

But, the very best thing about the Target Red Card is the 5% discount you receive on ALL purchases.  Let me say that again, 5% off on everything you buy when you pay for it using your red card!

  • Wait, but does this include clearance items?  Yep!
  • Can you combine this discount with other coupons and cash back apps?  You bet ya!

The Target Red Card also gives you FREE shipping on all online purchases!  I love this because online shopping is just SO convenient (the closest Target is 20 minutes away from my house) but I absolutely hate paying for shipping.  So, if I just need to buy my daughter a $5 shirt, I can do that and get it shipped to my house for free.  Oh, and the 5% discount applies to all online purchases too.  (oh how I love discounts!)

Secret #3:  Skip the Cart and Use a Basket

Instead of using a shopping cart, grab a basket as you enter the store.  This keeps you from over spending, because you can only fit a few items in a basket!  The basket also gets heavy!  I always think twice before adding yet another item to that basket!

Secret #4:  Use a List

Always write out a shopping list before going to any store.  To often people think this is only necessary for grocery shopping, but I am here to tell you that making a list is for all kinds of shopping.

Even if there is only one thing you need at Target, write it down and commit to only buying that one thing.  Once it is written down you are much more likely to stay committed to what you need and not give into your spending temptations that might come (and let’s be honest…at Target they always come!).

Secret #5:  Follow the 48 Hour Rule

The 48 hour rule is simple, yet effective.  When you come across something you really really want to buy, but it’s not on your list…WAIT.  Wait at least 48 hours before making the purchase.

This gives you time to come home, do a little research to see if you can find the item cheaper somewhere else, and time to decide if it’s really worth the price.  Most of the time this rule helps me realize I actually didn’t want it in the first place.  Other times, I wait the 48 hours and then go back and buy the item.  Either way, the 48 hours is essential in making the decision and always helps me to spend less.

At Target where the temptations are big (everything is just so pretty) the 48 Hour Rule will save you from impulse shopping time and time again.

Save Money at Target with these easy hacks

Secret #6:  Use the Target Cartwheel App

Download the free Target Cartwheel App to get the best discounts.  Cartwheel is a free app giving you in store discounts on a wide variety of items.

I love how Target always makes sure you know what offers you can find on the Cartwheel App.  Through in store signs you will be directed to which items are offered on Cartwheel that week.  (thanks making it easy Target!)

Using the app is simple.  Just open it up, click on the offer you want to redeem, and then at checkout ask the clerk to scan your unique barcode.  Done and done!  The discounts are immediately applied.


  • Yes!  You can use the 5% redcard discount with the cartwheel offers.
  • Yes!  You can still scan your receipt for additional cashback rebates.
  • Yes!  You can stack the cartwheel offers with you additional manufactures coupons.
  • Oh the possibilities!

Secret #7:  Never Pay Full Price

My favorite way to spending less at Target is to never pay full price for anything.  Target always has items on clearance.  These can be found on clothing racks and at the end of aisles.  It helps to know the days each department is marked down.  Below is the regular mark down schedule.  If there is something you are shopping for, go on the day when it will be first marked down for the best selection and deal.

  • Monday: Electronics and Kids’ Clothing
  • Tuesday: Women’s Clothing and Pets
  • Wednesday: Men’s Clothing, Toys, and Lawn and Garden items
  • Thursday: Home goods, Shoes, Sporting Goods, Movies, and Books
  • Friday: Cosmetics, and Jewelry

Secret #8:  Price Match

Target is excellent at price matching.  If you show an item found cheaper somewhere else (just check on your Amazon app!) competitors ad, Target will price match for you.  A good rule to follow is, “It never hurts to ask.”

Secret #9:  Take Advantage of Cash Back

Always, and I mean always take advantage of cash back rebates after shopping.  It’s so simple.  Shop at Target by following the Secrets listed in this article.  And then scan your receipt into the user friendly cash back apps.  For a list of all of my favorite apps, click on this article.

Secret #10:  Shop With Cash Envelope In Hand

Most people spend at least 10% less when they shop using cash envelopes, as opposed to a card.  Cards are easy to swipe, it’s hard to realize just how much money you’re spending in the moment.

Cash envelopes on the other hand keep you accountable immediately!  For example, if you only have $20 cash in your envelope to spend at Target, but you found a really cute sweater that you just have to have but it costs $35, you literally can not buy it….you do not have enough cash to pay for it.  So, you will put it back on the shelf and walk away knowing you stuck to your budget!  Check out this article for more info on cash envelopes.

Alright, from one addict to another…..what are your secrets to spending less at Target???  Share them with me in the comments!




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