My friend Elle is a Target shopper, and I was telling her some of the tricks I use to save at Target. I figured I would share them here.
For the first time ever, I saved more than I spent at Target. I spent $161.29 (and got a $5 gift card for next time), which includes my normal groceries for the week (usually about $130 for my family), extra groceries because of a house guest this week, about 1/2 of my Easter shopping (for my two kids, a niece and nephew, and three godchildren), a birthday gift for my niece, a birthday gift for three schoolmates, and supplies for my kid's 7th birthday party.
One thing I do is bring my own reusable bags. I just keep them in my trunk. Target gives me a $0.05 discount for each bag. This week, I had 14 reusable bags for a discount total of $0.70. Plus, bonus, I save the planet.
Some people use a Target debit or credit card for a 5% discount. I get that in cash back on my regular credit card, so I don't have a Target card. However, I do have a Pharmacy rewards card. I have all my (many, many, many...sigh) prescriptions set up at Target, so I get a 5% off everything one day card about once or twice a month.
In addition, I print Target coupons and matching manufacturer's coupons on-line once a week. (It takes about 15 minutes on the Target website and on the popular couponing websites, like www.coupons.com.) Target accepts both on the same item. I keep them in a Thirty-One Gifts fold-n-go organizer, binder clipped in expiration order in groupings similar to the store layout (like freezer section or cleaning products). The coupons on the left are the ones I plan to use this trip, but I bring all of my coupons with me.
Each week, I make my menu based on what items are on sale (the weekly flyer is on Target's website) or already in my freezer or pantry. Regular pantry items go on the list in the middle of my organizer when we run out (mostly milk, bread, and sugar type stuff, since I plan meals based on sale meats and fruits/veggies and since I stock up on anything else when it goes on sale).
Finally, I follow Totally Target on Facebook so I can find out about discounts.
Here are the highlights of my haul this week, minus a few coupons (Q) that I used on items that we needed but were not on a huge sale (like my husband's very specific brand of shampoo and mouthwash, both rarely on sale but purchased with coupons):
Peppers, $0.48 - 5% = $0.46
These beautiful peppers were on sale for $1.00/lb (they get cheaper in season) and I will use them with some cheap cream cheese that is about to expire and some bacon in my freezer to make poppers this week. Not really a huge deal, except that I get to use the cheese that I would otherwise throw out and they weren't marked at a $1 near the regular veggies, but by the front entrance of the store.
Eggs (6), $0.79 - $0.50 Q - 5% = $0.27
The coupon was a catalina that printed a while back when I shopped at Target. I used it on the smallest package of eggs because that gave me the cheapest per egg price ($0.27/6 = $0.05 per egg).
Shrimp (2lbs.), $17.98 - $6.00 (on package discount) - 5% = $11.38
This is still a very steep price for me to pay for meat. However, on Friday's during Lent, we don't eat meat. I'm not willing, time wise, to shop at multiple stores. So most weeks during Lent, I buy the $9 shrimp. Instead, I just bought 2 weeks worth of $6 shrimp and popped them in the freezer. Target only puts this stickered package discount on things about to expire, but in this case, the expiration date was still three days away.
Beef Stew Meat (2.5lbs), $9.17 (bulk price)- 5% = $8.71
Bonus: I get to use the 3 pounds of carrots lingering from last week in a stew.
Beef Chuck Steak (1 1/4 lbs), $7.28 - $3 (on package discount) - 5% = $4.07
Paid more than I'd like, but with company coming over, we needed extra meat and this was cheaper than chicken or ground beef this week.
Jimmy Dean Sausage (1 lb.), $2.54 - $0.55 (sale price) - $0.50 (on package discount) - 5% = $1.42
This will go well with the Velveeta and Rotel that I got on sale last week for a party dip. This had to go in the freezer today, as it expires tomorrow.
GM Cereal (5), $12.50 ($2.50 sale price, slightly less than regular price) - $2.00 (coupon) -5% - $5.00 (on package discount) = $4.98 (or less than $1.00 PER BOX!!!)
Less than $1 per box. Did you catch that?
Ore Ida Fries/Tator Tots (3), $8.07 ($2.69 each) - $2.69 (B2G1) - $2.00 (Q) - 5% = $3.21 (or about $1.07 per bag).
Frozen potatoes are an item that I will not buy unless they are on sale.
Chef Boyardee (6), $5.34 ($0.89 each sale price, slightly lower than regular price) - $0.89 (B5G1) - $1.00 (Q) - 5% = $3.28 (or about $0.55 per can).
This is an item that I will not buy unless it is on sale, but my 4 year old loves them.
Granola Bars (2 boxes), $4.00 ($2.00 each sale price, slightly lower than regular price) - $1.00 (Q) - 5% = $2.85 (or about $1.43 per box).
This is an item that I will not buy unless it is on sale. I pack breakfast for the boys everyday. Usually, we do dry cereal, peanut butter or yogurt, and a fruit. This will substitute for the cereal and peanut butter on rushed days.
These items were on Valentine's clearance:
Highlights BEFORE counting the 5% off (for gifts that are a constant need since my kids are so young and go to about one birthday party per month or more, upcoming slumber party for my 6 year old, and Easter Baskets):
Snickers Hearts 6-packs (6), normally $5.34, today $0.89
Star Wars Pez (2) and Disney Pez Dispenser (1), normally $1.99, today $0.59
Sesame Street Elmo and The Count, normally $5.99, today $1.79
Hockey Air Boards (2), normally $19.99, today $5.98 (These will be great for birthdays for my boys' classmates!)
Valentine's Nonchoc Wonka Candies, normally $4.99, today $1.49 (Best deal for me, as my boys don't LOVE CHOCOLATE the way ONE SHOULD. The Nerds said "Valentines", so they got pulled to use for the slumber party, while Laffy Taffy and Bottlecaps will go in Easter Baskets.)
NordicWare Cake Pops Pan, normally $16.99, today $1.69 (It's headed into a special gift for a special someone.)
Hershey's Kisses 28 Snack Size, normally $4.99, today $1.49
Hershey's with Caramel Kisses 10 oz. (4), normally $3.19, today $0.95
Nestle Crunch Hearts 10 oz., normally $3.19, today $0.95
Hershey's Miniatures 10 oz., normally $3.19, today $0.95 (The Krispies said "Valentines", so those went in the slumber party candy bowl, while everything else went for Easter baskets.)
Hershey's Hearts 10 oz. (6), normally $3.19, today $0.95 (Half are wrapped in red and going into the slumber party candies, but the other half are silver, so those go in Easter baskets so that the baskets aren't so obviously in Valentine's colors.)
M&Ms Peanut/Peanut Butter 12.6 oz. (4), normally $3.19 - $1.50 (Q on 2), today $0.57
My Little Pony (complete with brush, accessory, pony, and 20 minute cartoon DVD) (4), normally $5.04, today $1.51 (A couple of these make a great girl's birthday gift.)
Red wrapping paper (2), normally $1.99, today $0.19 (Have subtle hearts, but perfect for Valentine's, Christmas, anniversary, girl's birthday, wedding/engagement/shower/bacholerette when delivered to bride instead of at wedding itself.)
Sprinkles 6.7 oz., normally $4.99, today $1.49 (With lots of red and some multicolored selections as well, this will get me through Christmas for sure. I will use some for the upcoming birthday party.)
Valentine's Funfetti Frosting (vanilla) (2), normally $1.69, today $0.50 (Appears to be either white or light pink. If it's pink, I will add a couple of drops of red to dye it for the birthday party.)
Cupcake Liners, normally $1.99, today $0.19 (Mostly, we just use these for cupcakes or corn bread muffins at home, but these are useful anywhere, as they say Valentine's only on the BOTTOM and are decorated in red with black, blue, purple, and pink hearts.)
Vinyl tablecloth (2), normally $4.99, today $0.49 (Perfect for parties, in a bright red with a pattern that includes hearts, but subtly. Most likely, I will use these to line the floor for messy art projects, though.)
Dipped Cookies, 10.4 oz., normally $2.99, today $0.89 (Let's be real. I was going to buy these at full price. I do every holiday. They are yummy yummy sugar cookies dipped in chocolate and my family can eat them in 5.2 seconds flat.)
Total savings for that Valentine's haul (assuming my math is correct, but no way I'm double checking):
Total Original Price > $209.46
Minus Total Spent > $50.18 - 5% = $47.67
Equals Total Savings of $161.79
The best part is that I really was going to buy stuff for the party, these gifts, and Easter anyway.