8 Target Shopping Hacks That Will Make Your Weekly Trips Even Better

Shopping at Target is in my blood. Some of my earliest memories are of my mom packing my siblings and me into the car for our weekly Saturday Target trip, during which she would give each of us $5 to buy something special. My “something special” started as a Littlest Pet Shop animal and later evolved into scouring the girls’ clothing section for deals. So if there’s any gal out there who can tell you the Target hacks you absolutely need to know, I am qualified for the job.

Now that I’m an adult, Target has become a happy place for me. If I’m having a bad day, I know that two hours spent aimlessly wandering the store’s aisles can make it all better. And now that Target, Starbucks, and Ulta are all under one roof, what more could I need? The only thing that truly makes a Target trip better is when I’m saving money in the process.

Check out these seven Target hacks that will make your shopping experience so much better:


1. Shop with a RedCard for a 5% discount

There are very few store credit cards I’m on board with. However, many of our editors absolutely swear by Target’s RedCard because it has so many benefits outside of that “save 20% when you open a card” deal many stores offer. You can save 5% on every single purchase you make with a RedCard, including clearance and sale items, Ulta products, gift cards, and even in-store Starbucks. You also get free shipping on items you buy online and extra time for returns or exchanges. If you know you will be making many larger Target purchases in the near future, like if you’re moving or redecorating, the RedCard might be your new best friend.


2. Earn rewards through Target Circle

The Target app has basically earned a spot in my regular social media rotation at this point. There are so many features that make it worth the download—one of them being Target Circle, AKA Target’s reward program. By joining Target Circle, you can earn points by shopping, which then transfer into dollar-value rewards you can apply to future purchases. The program also provides exclusive, catered-to-you deals that can save you money or earn you gift cards. You can even earn votes for local non-profits. After each voting period, Target awards donations based on how many votes they receive.


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3. Allow notifications on the Target app

Speaking of the Target app, I highly recommend allowing notifications. This helps prevent you from missing sales, especially in categories you regularly shop for. Plus, you can set alerts for when items are back in stock and browse the weekly ad when it’s released. If you’ve been stalking Target for a cute pair of boots to go on sale, app notifications will let you know just when they do.


4. Shop Target via Instagram

If downloading yet another app to your phone doesn’t sound appealing, we’ve got good news. You can shop Target directly from Instagram thanks to the @targetstyle account. They post tons of shoppable photos and reels created by their network of influencers, so if you see a post that stops you mid-scroll, you can easily purchase the products straight from the app. Or simply click the “View shop” button right below the bio to shop curated collections of beauty products, apparel, and accessories. 


5. Link your Target and Ulta accounts

We all know the collaboration between Target and Ulta made shopping for our favorite beauty products so much easier, but the benefits don’t stop there. In the “My Target” section of the app, you can link your existing Target Circle and Ultamate Rewards accounts so that you can earn double points while shopping Ulta at Target. And if that isn’t enough of a reason to believe this collaboration was truly a gift to this Earth, you can also get 5% off your Ulta purchases with your RedCard.


6. Shop Bullseye’s Playground (formerly known as The Dollar Spot)

Is there anyone who doesn’t make a little loop around the dollar section the second they enter a Target store? I’ve found some of my cutest home decor, most useful kitchen gadgets, and best fillers for gifts in Bullseye’s Playground, which has items ranging from $1 to $5. The products switch out frequently, so if you see something you like, grab it before it’s gone. Tip: If you’re looking for ultra-affordable seasonal decor (faux pumpkins for fall or garlands and bottlebrush trees around the holidays), this section is full of hidden gems. 


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7. Be mindful of the markdown schedule

Luckily for us, Target’s markdown schedule is widely publicized and readily available. (Of course, it might vary by store, but you could always ask at your local store to find out.) In most cases, the clearance markdown schedule is as follows:

  • Monday: Electronics, accessories, kids’ clothing, books, baby, and stationery
  • Tuesday: Women’s clothing, pets, and food
  • Wednesday: Men’s clothing, health and beauty, lawn and garden, and furniture
  • Thursday: Housewares, lingerie, shoes, toys, sporting goods, decor, and luggage
  • Friday: Cosmetics, jewelry, hardware, and auto


8. Shop sales and clearance

If I’m being honest, a good 30% of my wardrobe was found on a Target clearance rack. Like any store, you might have to dig a little bit in these racks, but you can really find some gems. You can also shop clearance online, which makes it super easy to see everything in one place. Target has sales in different departments (especially on clothing and shoes) so often that I hardly ever buy anything at full price.


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