If You Shop At Target, You NEED To Read This

This story was originally published July 25, 2016.
Target has become one of our go-to spots for everything from surprising beauty buys to next-level grocery finds. But all that amazing stuff can mean a full shopping cart — and potentially a not-so-full bank account afterwards.

If you're strategic, however, you can stretch your dollar even further. Click through to see our favorite savings hacks to pay even less at Target.
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Illustrated by Aimee Sy.
Coupon-clipping has never been easier. Target's Cartwheel app allows you to see coupon deals for items throughout the store. You can search for the mobile-only deals by category, or scan items you're already buying to see if they're on sale. Cartwheel has recently expanded to include manufacturer's coupons as well.

Choose the deals you want, and the app collects all the coupons in one handy place — just scan the bar code at checkout. No scissors required.
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Illustrated by Aimee Sy.
Not all of Target's deals have gone totally electronic. The store also publishes a Weekly Deals circular, which lists all the products on sale. Unlike the Cartwheel deals, these sales don't require coupons. Offers range from discounts on seasonal items to BOGO deals to cash back in the form of Target gift cards.

You can sign up to get weekly deals via email, or you can see them on your Cartwheel app.
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Illustrated by Aimee Sy.
Maybe the best news of all: If you have more than one coupon for an item, they can be stacked — meaning a Cartwheel deal, manufacturer's coupon, and weekly deal could theoretically all be used at once, saving you even more.
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Illustrated by Aimee Sy.
We're normally hesitant about recommending you open a store card, but the Target REDcard is worth looking into. Not only will you save 5% on all your purchases, the card also gets you free shipping and an extra 30 days for returns. If you're a Target super-shopper, it's worth a second look.
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Illustrated by Aimee Sy.
It's a feeling many deal-hunters are familiar with: You go to find a sale item, only to discover that others have beat you to it, and it's out of stock. Rather than losing out on the deal, you can request a "rain check" from the cashier. You'll get a coupon that guarantees the sale price when the item is restocked within 30 days (up to 45 in some states).
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Illustrated by Aimee Sy.
Generic brands can be a great way to save money on items that are nearly identical to national brands. However, it can be easy to miss out on all of Target's various store brands when bargain-shopping. In addition to the Up and Up line, which offers high-quality generics in a number of sections of the store (everything from allergy medicine to dryer sheets), Target offers several grocery-focused store brands, like Market Pantry, Archer Farms, and Simply Balanced. Oh, and pet owners shouldn't miss the adorable lines of pet food and supplies sold under the Boots and Barkley private label.
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Illustrated by Aimee Sy.
Even if you're not hosting a Halloween party or heading back to school, Target's seasonal offerings can be a great place to scoop up cute finds offered on special. Right now, you can get deals on dorm accessories and supplies that would be right at home in an adult apartment.

If you can wait, once the season has passed, markdowns can get as high as 90% on clearance items. Hey, Halloween candy never goes out of season!
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Illustrated by Aimee Sy.
If you're really looking for a deal, make sure to stop by Bullseye's Playground at the front of the store. Formerly the One Spot, this section houses all sorts of fun stuff from $1-$5. It focuses on the fun and seasonal, but also typically includes apartment decor and gifts as well as kid-friendly finds.
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Illustrated by Aimee Sy.
If you've got a major life event coming up, whether it's a baby, wedding, or even just a big move or birthday, consider starting a registry. Depending on the type of registry you've created, you'll eventually receive a 15%-off coupon to complete it.
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