8 Secret Ways to Save at Target That Only Experts Know About

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Not to brag, but when it comes to bargain shopping, we kind of know our stuff. And by “kind of,” we mean we’ve even found ways to cut down costs at the king of the “One Spot”: Target.

Yep. You read correctly. We’re letting you in on some savvy shopping secrets that will help you save — even more — every time you shop at Target.

Here’s how to get the best deals.

1. Get 1% Cash-back on Everything You Buy

Steve Dabenport/Getty Images

One of our favorite ways to save at Target is with Ebates, a cash-back site that gives you 1% cash-back on everything you purchase at Target..com

There’s no catch.

You just have to sign up for a free Ebates accountPlus, they’ll give you free $10 gift card for giving the site a try.

To earn your gift card:

  1. Sign up for Ebates with your email or Facebook account.
  2. Use the Ebates portal the next time you need to buy something. It’s connected to thousands of stores, including Walmart, Amazon and Target. You’ll need to make your first purchase through the site within 90 days and spend at least $25.
  3. Your account will be credited with rewards points you can cash in for a $10 gift card of your choice.

2. Know Your Target Markdown Tags

If you do go into a physical store, you’ll need to know the secrets of the Target markdown tag. Check the upper right corner of those little red tags for the markdown percentage. The lower left corner of the tag will tell you the original price.

Also, prices ending in $0.04 usually indicate that the item has been marked down multiple times and will probably not going any lower. But, those ending in $0.06 or $0.08 have a chance at further markdowns.

3. Earn up to $20/Hour Picking up a Stranger’s Groceries

If you’re already at Target, why not try picking up and delivering someone else’s groceries?

Postmates is looking for new delivery drivers.

The amount you can earn varies, but the median earnings per hour during peak times is $19, CEO Bastian Lehmann said at a 2015 TechCrunch event.

Unlike other apps, you’ll take home 100% of your earnings when you make a delivery — no service fees, booking fees or transaction fees.

You can deliver through Postmates by car, bicycle or foot. Just create an account, then you’ll receive a welcome kit in the mail within a week (a free delivery bag and a prepaid card to make your purchases). Link the card to the Postmates Fleet app, and you’re off to earning extra money.

Actual amount earned will vary, depending on a number of factors. You’ll see how much you earned after each delivery and exactly how your earnings were calculated.

4. Get Free Target Gift Cards

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Want a free Target gift card? The folks over at Mypoints want you to give your opinions on new products and they’ll shower you with free gift cards for your time.  

Yep. Mypoints is a reader favorite, because it pays you in free Target gift cards for taking surveys and other activities right on your phone. You’ll even earn a $5 bonus when you finish your first five surveys.

5. Take a Picture of Your Receipts

At this point, tons of grocery-savings apps have hit the market — and we don’t hate it. But having so many options can become overwhelming, especially for the lazy saver.

If that’s you — the one who just wants to get in and out of the store and save money without doing much thinking — there’s an app we recommend. It’s called Fetch Rewards, and all you have to do to earn rewards is take a photo of your receipt.

No scanning barcodes; no searching for offers; no store limitations.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Download the Fetch Rewards app. (Pst: Enter the code PENNY to earn 2,000 free points!)
  2. Create an account with your email address or through Facebook.
  3. Take a photo of your grocery receipt (must be from the past 14 days).

Fetch Rewards finds opportunities for you to earn rewards for your everyday purchases.

Every time you scan a receipt that includes one of more than 250 participating brands, you’ll earn points— without worrying about matching specific product offers.

If the app does find a match, you’ll earn even more. For example, we recently saw an offer of 2,000 points when you purchase a Suave female hair product. And another for 2,000 points for a 12-pack of Blue Moon.

Once you collect enough points, cash out for a gift card to any of a number of retailers. Go ahead, and start fetching points toward gift cards by downloading Fetch Rewards.

6. Stop Deleting Your Emails From Target

Mother and daughter having breakfast
Geber86/Getty Images

It turns out deleting your emails from Target could be costing you money. Intrigued?

One of our secret weapons is called Paribus— a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases.It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.

Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late from Target, Paribus will help you get compensated.

Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

7. Trade Your Grocery Receipts for Cash

receipts
peepo/Getty Images

We all want to save money on our groceries. What we don’t want to do is put a ton of work into it.

If this sounds like you — someone who just wants to get in and out of the store and save money without doing much thinking — there’s an app we recommend.

It’s called Ibotta, and it pays you cash-back for buying certain items at Target. 

Before you shop, search for items on your shopping list within the Ibotta app. When you get home, snap a photo of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes.

Bam. Cash back.

Ibotta is free to download. Plus, you’ll get a $20 sign-up bonus. Here’s how to get it:

  1. Download the Ibotta app. 
  2. Create an account.
  3. Shop, and take a photo of your grocery receipt.
  4. Redeem 10 offers within 14 days, and you’ll get that $20 bonus.

Every time you scan a receipt that includes a participating brand, you’ll earn cash back.

For example, we recently saw an offer of $5 back on a case of Shiner Bock beer.

Once you earn at least $20, cash out via PayPal.

Go ahead, and start earning cash by downloading Ibotta.

8. Get Paid for Walking Into the Store

Cropped image of a young man's legs and grocery basket
PeopleImages/Getty Images

Sometimes, to get the most out of your Target bargain-shopping trip, all you need to do is walk in the door. That’s right — no purchase necessary. 

The Shopkick app pays you in “kicks” for walking into Target and other participating stores (including Walmart, TJMaxx and more). You can redeem kicks for gift cards to a number of retailers, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Sephora and Best Buy.

It pays you even more kicks for photos of your receipts that include qualifying items you purchased in store with a connected credit or debit card. You can also earn kicks for online purchases.

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