Target Tips & Tricks

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Has this ever happened to you? You see a post that there is a great freebie or cheapie at Target and you clip your coupons and head to the store only to find that shelves have been cleared. This happens to me ALL the time and it is so frustrating! However, I have some tips and tricks to share that I have found helpful in landing those great deals, as well as, some that help me to create my own deals on the fly while I am in the store since Target is known for their “unadvertised” sales and clearance items.

Scenario #1: You see a *HOT* deal on a blog for an item at Target that is on sale (either advertised or unadvertised). You gather up your coupons and are at the store on Sunday later afternoon and are sure that since you made it there the day the sale began you will be able to get your items. To your frustration, you get there and the shelves are cleared! What do you do?

  • Ask an Associate if a rain check is available for the item. A rain check will allow you to get the sales price at a later date when the item is back in stock. Please be aware that rain checks are not available on all items. Once the item is back in stock, you can purchase your item at the previous sales price and use your coupons to get that *HOT* deal.
  • Ask as Associate to check when their next shipment is coming in. An Associate can scan the bar code and tell you when the next delivery of an item is suppose to happen and sometimes they will even find that there are more items in the back that haven’t been stocked yet. Once you know when the item will be back in, you can plan your next check for the item on that day. Please note that others are aware of this as well and they may be out AGAIN the next time you go in.

Scenario #2: You see a *HOT* deal on a blog for an item at Target that is regular price but it pairs nicely with a Target coupon and/or a high value manufacturer’s coupon. You clip the coupons and head to the store and see they are out! What do you do? (Since the items are regular price, I don’t tend to run right to the store to get these freebies and cheapies unless my coupons are about to expire. I find that items sell out quickly when people see that they can be picked up for free or really cheap.)


  • I have an envelope that I keep in my purse at all times that includes all the coupons for these great deals.
  • On the face of the envelope, I write down the item(s) that I have coupons for, the type of coupon (Target or manufacturer) and the expiration date.
  • When I am in the store for whatever reason, I pull out my coupons and check to see if the items are back in stock.
  • For example, on the Nivea Body Wash that I bought today for only $0.19 each. This was a regular price deal that had great coupons. I have been checking for these EVERY time I went into the store. Today I scored and they were there. Since I had my coupons with me, I was able to take advantage of the deal. (I had been watching this one for a couple weeks and I did a happy dance in the aisle when I saw they were there!)
  • Another example is the Bayer Advanced Aspirin that you can get REALLY cheap ($0.49 each at my location). My store was sold out on Sunday but I added those coupons to my envelope. Since the coupons don’t expire for a while (the Target coupon expires on 11/30 and the manufacturer’s coupon expires on 12/31) I have plenty of time for the store to get more in.

Scenario #3: You are walking around Target and see a great unadvertised sale that you didn’t know about or some items on clearance at a great price and you remember seeing a great coupon for the item that would make it really cheap or free but you don’t have it with you. Here’s what I do to avoid this scenario.

  • Every Sunday when the new Target coupons appear online and when the inserts come out, I print or cut out all the Target coupons for products that interest me.
  • I then search the coupon database for manufacturer’s coupons that would pair up nicely
  • I write the information on my envelope and put the coupons in. Be sure to pull expired coupons out and cross them off your list.
  • When I am at Target next and am checking out the sales and clearance, I can take a glance at my envelope and see at a quick glance if I have coupons with me for that item and the amount. I do this on a lot of health and beauty items. I find some of my best deals this way especially on cosmetics. I love trying new colors but would rather do it if I can buy an item for under $1 in case it doesn’t work out for me!

While I know that there are many systems out there and are many people who have mastered shopping at Target with coupons, I wanted to take the opportunity to share what works for me and the systems I use. I am sure there are probably people out there that do things similarly (or the same) to what I do and I by no means claim that I am the one who “created” this system. I think that instead of keeping our tips a secret, we should be sharing what we do so others can benefit from our successes!

How do you handle these scenarios? What have you found to be a success?

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