Skip to Content

How to Prepare for your Target Shopping Trip

Target has to be one of my favorite stores. It’s the ultimate one stop shopping especially with young kids in tow and you just want to hit one store!

I do most of my grocery shopping at Target, stock up on paper goods, health and beauty, I might also find cute shoes and even a top. Not to mention great affordable Home Decor!

Everytime I know I need to make a Target run, I prepare in the same way – to save the most money. I’m going to share my secrets with you!

How to Save Money At Target

First please read Target’s Coupon Policy just to get a better understanding of how things work.

1. Make a list: This is super important. You don’t want to go into Target unprepared. We all know what happens when we do… This is how you waste money and of course forget the reason why you stepped foot in the store in the first place! Get my free Target List Printable here.

When making your list make sure you include EVERYTHING you might need in your home or maybe even plan on needing in the near future. Food, lightbulbs, bleach, sippy cups, underwear. EVERYTHING you never know when you will hit a good deal. Sometimes you might not buy everything on the list, because it’s not on sale but as long as you don’t need it right then it’s okay. Whatever you didn’t pick up gets added to the list next time.

2. Manufacturers Coupons: If you receive the coupon inserts in your paper, make sure you are keeping them. Browse and see if they match items on your list. If you don’t receive the inserts there are many sites you can go to and print them. (

Number 5 on this list will also help you with finding manufacturer’s coupons.

3. Look at the Target circular: There might be some hidden coupons in there (cut them out) or you might see something on sale that you didn’t think of or you will need in the near future.

If you don’t get the newspaper or circular delivered to your door, you can always go to Target’s website and take a peak. You need to go there for our next step anyway.

4. Go to Target’s website and look at their coupons: Start clicking and printing the coupons that match the items on your list first. Make sure you print all coupons that might apply to the same item so you can check out the best deal. Example:  if you need tissues, print out the Kleenex coupon and if Up & Up has a coupon on tissues print that one as well. We can check what the best deal while we are still preparing.

If you see a great coupon or need to buy more than one of an item, after you print go back and print them again. You can usually get 2 prints of a coupon before you can’t print anymore. Also, if you have another computer, you can print 2 more from there as well. Target’s coupon policy states that you can use up to 4 of the same coupon in one transaction.

5. Head over to This is one of my favorite Target Match up sites. Scroll her posts for that week and see what kind of deals there are for items on your list. She also includes links to manuafactuer coupons to match up with sales along with “deal ideas”.

6. Cartwheel App: Target’s Cartwheel app has helped save me a ton of money. There are a ton of deals in the app so I always look through it and see what matches my list before I go into the store. Another great feature is the “scan” option. If you find something in the store that you need and you don’t remember if you saw it on the Cartwheel app, you can scan the barcode to see if there are any savings!

If you don’t have a smartphone you can also go into Target’s website and print off your cartwheel savings before you go.


Wow! You’re probably thinking that’s a lot of work! But if you’re committed to saving money it’s really worth it. I usually save about 40-50% off of my bill every time I shop at Target!

So here’s a recap:

To save the most money your are basically, what we call “stacking” offers.

For one item you will be using a manufacturer’s coupon, a target coupon, your cartwheel app and if you have a Red Card, saving there as well. You are basically quadrupling your savings! Insane!

Even more ways to save:

Target Red Card: The Target Red Card is great. You will save 5% off of every transaction just for using it! That’s on top of all your other savings! Not a fan of credit cards? You can also get the Red Card as a debit card and have the funds taken right out of your checking account. When you have a Red Card you also get free shipping on all orders! You can apply for the credit or debit card here.

Ibotta App: This app on your smart phone can save you even more money. By searching for category or store you can save on items you buy that match their offers. They even have generic offers like .25 for any gallon of milk. All you have to do is “unlock an offer” by answering a simple question, scan the product and take a picture of the receipt. After awhile it adds up and can be deposited right into your paypal account. Get the app here.

Checkout 51: This app is similar to Ibotta but it’s not limited to specific stores.

Ebates: If you’re like me you like to shop online whenever possible for conveince. Well with Ebates you can actually make money, by shopping online. So if your thinking of shopping from Target online first go through Ebates and earn cash back! You can sign up for an Ebates account here. Bonus: You can order big items on through Ebates and have them waiting for you at the store when you go so you can earn even more!

Target Mobile: Don’t forget to have online coupons texted directly to you from Target! Its usually every other week and you can use them with other coupons!

ShopKick App: In this app, you can receive “kicks” overtime you scan a certain item in a store, purchase certain items, or even from just walking into a store!

I have earn a bunch of Target gift cards just from walking into stores, or walking around the mall. It’s so easy.

Do you have ways you prepare for your Target shopping that I didn’t list? Let me know!


Sara @ The Holy Mess

Wednesday 10th of June 2015

oooh, I learned several new ideas here! Thanks so much for the great tips. I'm sharing on FB.


Thursday 19th of March 2015

Love Target! Great tips. Another app you can use in Target to earn gift cards is Shopkick. You earn points for scanning items and sometimes just for checking in as you walk in the door. You can cash those points in for Target gift card codes to reduce your Target purchases even further.


Thursday 19th of March 2015

Ugh, I always forget to use my Cartwheel app! I should have read this before my Target shopping spree yesterday.

Leanne | The Transplanted Southerner

Thursday 19th of March 2015

I love shopping at Target, and when you shop this way it is really affordable. Thanks for sharing!

Brandi Clevinger

Tuesday 17th of March 2015

I didn't know you can scan to find an item in the Cartwheel app. That's a great tip to know!! I love Target and I loved how they hooked up the debit red card so I could save money, too. These are great tips for Target!