It's no secret I like to save a buck. Until I make my mega-millions, I don't see the point in wasting money when I could be saving (though I'm trying to be better about spending on things like home renovations and vacations but more on that later). When we moved out to the country we quickly realized our grocery shopping options were limited. Coming from a condo right outside of Chicago with a Trader Joe's, Costco, and Super Target within 15 minutes I had my grocery routine down to an art. Once we moved we realized a (not so super) Target and Sam's Club were about it.
Now I'm no couponing expert, though I'm learning. Since our Target doesn't have a great produce section and we fly through fruit & veggies, I shop for most of my produce at Sam's. For everything else? Tar-jay is where I'm usually at.
My Simple Tips for Saving at Target
1.) Coupons & Planning Ahead
I'm a happy coupon clipper though not at all extreme. I find the best printable coupons at Target.com and Coupons.com. I also try to sign up for as many free coupon e-newsletters as possible. Also, REDcard holders often get Target coupons in the mail every so often. I clip them all and keep them organized in a mini-accordian file folder. I plan our meals out one week at a time and make sure that I stick tightly to my grocery list--this way I know exactly what coupons to bring with me and I can usually avoid impulse purchases since I know exactly what I need for every meal.
2.) Mobile Offers
I'm still figuring this one out but I do use Cartwheel and find that it helps boost my savings if the deal is right. I'm still trying to figure out other great money-saving apps--any great suggestions there?
Don't get me wrong, I hate credit cards and try not to use them if it isn't an emergency. I got my REDcard back when I was a dopey college student and now I'm pretty happy I did. Don't tell corporate but treat it more as a debit card than anything. I use my REDcard weekly and then pay it off right after I put the groceries away. I have no interest in owing Target thousands of dollars. I get my 5% off and my balance stays at zero. Win-win!
4.) Be Green
A lot of people don't realize that Target rewards you for bringing your own cloth bags instead of using their plastic ones. You get five cents off for every reusable bag you use. It may not seem like much but during a big grocery trip you can save a dollar or so and every little bit helps.On the green note, you always save money by making your own cleaning supplies and investing in reusable paper towels...just saying!
5.) In-Store Offers & Generics
Since I plan ahead, as mentioned, I always check the weekly ad online to see what's on sale while I make my grocery list. Also, don't be afraid of generics...well most of the generics. Though we've had a couple bad experiences with the Market Pantry cereals (the Cinnamon Toast Crunch knock off is rough), Rhyno and I typically don't notice a huge difference when we buy store brand staples (plus Target.com usually has a lot of coupons for their generics). Don't fall for pre-packaged gimmicks either. For Rhyno's lunches we could spend a bunch of money on 150 calorie pre-packaged bags of chips....OR we could be smart and buy the generic big bag of chips with a coupon and divvy them into 150 portions at home. We typically choose the latter.
My receipt from Sunday's grocery trip--not too shabby and this wasn't even one of my best trips!
Though clipping coupons and making grocery lists and planning meals ahead of time can be totally time-consuming, I think it's beyond worth it.The receipt above if from my most recent trip, where I needed more than usual (do you feel like you also run out of all your staples like garbage bags, tin foil, toilet paper, etc. all at once?) and I didn't have the usual amount of coupons. Most weeks I save between $35-45, even if I only saved $24.72 every week that still totals up to $1,285.44 every year. That pays for a vacation!
How do you save big at Target?