How I Saved 28% at Target Without Using Coupons or Cartwheel Deals

How I Saved 28% at Target Without Using Coupons or Cartwheel Deals

Target and I have a love-hate relationship.  I love that they have everything I need in one store:  baby items, office supplies, groceries, clothing, gifts, they have it all.  I also hate that they have everything I need in one store.  I want to buy it all.  For example, I will walk into Target, with the intention of buying a pack of diapers and one deodorant.  I will walk out of Target with two packs of diapers, four deodorants, a new dress, a fake plant, a desktop calendar, two spatulas, a new swimsuit for Chulengo, and more.

I ALWAYS spend more than I anticipated.  Every time.  And lord help me if I go to Target when I have a lot of extra free time or I am emotional, or they just put out a bunch of clearance.  Because then I come out with a dozen things that I didn’t actually need.

A couple of weeks ago I rolled into Target, with Chulengo eating a snack while strapped in his stroller.  I got out my phone, pulled up the Target App and scrolled through the Cartwheel Offers to see if there was something missing from my list that also happened to be on sale.  If you aren’t familiar with Cartwheel Offers, think of them like electronic coupons.  You can scroll through a list of deals, or you can scan the barcode of an item, and the app will tell you the current price and if there is a promotion going for that particular item.  Products are typically 5-50% off, depending on the current promotion.

Whenever I pick up an item off the shelf, I scan it into the Target App to see if there is a Cartwheel Deal available that I may have missed.  Usually, when I scan the item, the app tells me the price of the item in the store that I am shopping. The App knows which store I am in because I have permitted it to know my location on my phone.

But, I discovered something new when I went to Target last week.  The wi-fi and location services on my phone were turned off.  And because of this, I found a new way to save even more money, in addition to the Cartwheel Offers.   When I scanned each item searching for a cartwheel deal, the current price that popped up on the App was the online price, not the in-store price.  Did you know that the online price is often cheaper than the in-store price?

I purchased 11 items, and every single item was cheaper online than in the store.  So, when I was checking out at the register, the cashier honored the online price of each item.  I had to re-scan the items in front of him to show the online price, and he corrected the price at the register.  Before the price corrections, my items cost $75.59.  After the price correction, The total cost of my items was $55.81!

I saved almost $20!  Twenty dollars, can you believe it!  And that was before the Cartwheel Deals were applied to my purchase, which was an additional $5.  I saved 4x as much money comparing the in-store price to the online price than I did if I had used the Cartwheel Offers alone.  I didn’t have to clip coupons or buy three of something to get one free.  There were no strings attached.  I just had to look up the online price.

So, what can you do to save more money at Target?  Follow the steps below to make it easy to save extra bucks today:

  1. Turn off your wi-fi and location services on your phone when you get in the car to leave your house.  I have turned it off in the store before, and the app continued to pull up the in-store prices.  So, you have to turn off the wifi and location services before you are even near a Target
    • Instead of turning off location services you can also change the Target App access to your location.  If you have an iPhone, you can do this by completing the following steps:
      • Click on settings
      • Scroll down and click on the  Target App
      • Click on the Location Tab in the area “Allow Target to Access”
      • Make sure it is set to Never
  2. Once you arrive at Target, open the Target App
  3. Click on the barcode on the homepage of the app and scan your item
  4. Compare the online price from your phone to the in-store price printed on the shelf
  5. If the online price is the same as the in-store price, there is nothing you need to do
  6. If the online price is lower than the in-store price, take a screenshot of the price difference online, so you have proof.  Use this a visual record of what needs to be price-adjusted at check out
  7. Separate the items in your basket that are cheaper online from the items that are the same price online.  I do this so I can easily load the items onto the belt at checkout and know which items need to be corrected
  8. When you approach the checkout, put the items that need to be price adjusted at the front.  And all other items at the back
  9. Let the cashier know that you have items that are priced cheaper on Target’s online website
  10. When the cashier scans an item that needs to be price adjusted, scan the item with your Target App to reveal the online price.  The cashier will then correct the price for you.  If you have a super fast cashier, this process happens quickly.  Which is why I separate items, so I know exactly what I need to have adjusted.
  11. Walk out of Target with your receipt in your hand and a smile on your face, knowing you saved a boatload of money!

You can also go to Guest Services, and they can adjust the prices for you after your purchase and provide you with a refund.  I choose to do it in the checkout line, so my credit card only has one transaction with Target for that day.

Try this technique the next time you go to Target.  Come back here and comment to let me know how it goes. Do you have any other special tricks you use to save money at Target?  Or at any other stores?

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