Target

Spend $15 today on select beverages with the in-ad Target coupon to earn a $5 Target gift card, plus earn some cash back from Ibotta.

Maggie Hensler photo

You’ve probably seen the memes out there joking that no one can go into Target to purchase just one item. That is certainly true for me. Generally, I go in with a list in mind, armed with coupons and Cartwheel, but how can I not stop at the Dollar Spot at the front of the store, or make my way around to check out the clearance or seasonal aisle? A trip for Target for me is never a quick trip. Just ask my husband. It’s definitely my favorite store to shop, made even better by all the savings I can get at Target. If you haven’t mastered Target shopping, here are the best ways for you to start saving money.

1. Use the Target App with Cartwheel

Download the Target App on your phone to take advantage of coupons and Cartwheel. Cartwheel is a discount program Target started offering a couple years ago that is now part of their app. You can add products to your account to save a percentage off products, ranging from 5-50 percent. There are also some manufacturer coupons available, as well as all the in-ad Target coupons. There is a option to search for products or scan the barcode in store. I add products I know I want prior to going, and then when I’m shopping, I pretty much scan everything to make sure I don’t miss any offers. Add these offers before checking out and scan the barcode on your phone at checkout, and watch your total drop. Since I started using Cartwheel, I’ve saved a whopping $860 just by using the app.

2. Take advantage of gift card offers

In the weekly ad, there are often offers to earn a Target gift card with a purchase. Sometimes it’s with a coupon in the ad or app; other times, it’s an automatic offer if you meet the terms. Some offers are not advertised, but if you follow some Target blogs, they list all the offers available, plus coupons to match. Some people save all the gift cards they earn throughout the year to do Christmas shopping. I “roll” my gift cards, which means I did a gift card offer once, then each time after that, I hang on to the $5 gift card, and the next time I do a gift card offer, I pay with the first gift card, then get another gift card in return, which brings down my out of pocket cost. I actually keep a couple $5 and $10 cards on hand so I can do more than one gift card deal in one transaction.

3. Stack offers

Target allows one Target coupon, one manufacturer coupon, and a Cartwheel offer to be used per item, up to four identical coupons per day. If you have an offer of spend $15, get a $5 gift card, you just have to meet $15 before any coupons or Cartwheel, so you can save even more money by stacking. You do at least need to spend $5 after all offers to get the $5 gift card, but you can pay that $5 with a gift card, so if you roll gift cards, then you can actually bring your out of pocket cost to zero.

4. Get the Target Red Card

I know not everyone likes to have use credit cards, but Target actually has two options: a credit card or a debit card. Both offer a 5 percent discount every time you use the card. The credit card, of course, will accrue interest, but the debit card is linked right to your checking account, so you don’t have to worry about interest. Five percent savings might not seem like a lot, but it adds up quickly; I have definitely saved hundreds of dollars just by using the Red Card.

Want to get started saving? Here’s a deal you can try through today. There is an in-ad coupon, also available on the Target app, for a $5 gift card with a select beverage purchase of $15 or more, which includes Powerade, Vitamin Water, Smart Water and more. Buy some beverages today, and hang on to that gift card to use on an offer starting tomorrow. There will be a coupon for a $5 gift card with any $20 health care purchase that includes a wide range of categories, which will have lots of coupons to stack, from pain relief to feminine care. Take advantage of all of the savings at Target to “pay less.”

Maggie Hensler is a teacher living the frugal life in Davenport with her husband and two boys. Her column runs every Saturday in the Quad-City Times.

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