Today we’re going to focus on the two of the most popular stores out there, Target and Walmart. It’s true they make it easy to save moderately without coupons, but you can cash in big if you know a few tricks.
First up, Target.
Why I Love It
OK, honestly, who doesn’t love Target? It’s clean, organized, has a great selection and while their base prices are a little higher (pennies) than Walmart, it leaves Walmart in the dust in my opinion. The only drawback? Sometimes it feels like you can’t get out of there without spending a minimum of a hundred bucks. But you can. You totally can. It takes some discipline, but you can.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Target allows coupon stacking – using one manufacturer coupon plus one Target store coupon per item. So where do you get all of those store coupons? They make it easy! Right on the Target website you can download store and manufacturer coupons (it will say Target Store Coupon at the top near the expiration date – pay close attention when you want to stack). They also send coupons to your cell phone via text. I’ve included links below.
Other ways to save:
- Use Reusable Shopping Bags – Target gives you a 5¢ discount at the register for each bag you use. A nickel might not seem like much, but it can add up quickly on big trips.
- Target.com offers Daily Deals – special deals (say 5 or 6 per day) that are online only. These markdowns can be pretty nice. Get the app for your phone or iPad for easy access. (Link below)
- Sign up for a Target RedCard. The RedCard can either be a traditional credit card or it can be set up as a debit card taking money directly from your checking account. By using either card, you save 5% on every purchase. I’ll be honest with you and tell you that I do not have a RedCard – and I’m not endorsing it by mentioning it here. A credit card comes with risks (and hefty interest rates) and I haven’t opted for the debit card because I really dislike the idea of giving anyone other than my bank the option of debiting from my account. It’s not worth the discount to me. Just my opinion though. It might be worth it to you, but please, read the fine print before you sign up for any credit card. That 5% won’t amount to much if you’re paying out the nose in interest each month. Credit is not free money.
- Target also frequently runs gift card with purchase deals. While these seem great in theory, remember to do your math and make sure items you must purchase are on sale. Keep an eye out though, they can be nice money makers if you play your cards right! (I answered a reader question about these deals. You can find my thoughts HERE.)
- Make sure you follow the blog Totally Target (link below) for coupon match ups and alerts on deals and steals. They do the heavy lifting and you rake in the savings!
What You Should Do to Save Big
Click HERE for Target’s coupon policy. (Remember to print out, read, keep and take with you when you shop!)
Click HERE for printable coupons.
Why I Love It
I have a love hate relationship with Walmart. Their base prices are easily the lowest in town, but that means I can’t get their prices much lower and well…it’s Walmart. 😉
Since their prices are so low, using my coupons there does make it appealing. So is the fact that there’s one five minutes from my house. That being said, I don’t shop there all that often. I do regularly pick up my copy of All You Magazine (mentioned in this post) and for me Walmart is one of those stores where, if I can’t find it anywhere else – they probably have it.
What You Should Do to Save Big
To their credit, Walmart does have decent generic/store brand grocery items called their Great Value line. I’ve never been disappointed with any of their store brands and they are generally pennies on the dollar to the brand name stuff. That said, you can’t use coupons on store brand items (to the best of my knowledge, while Walmart offers printable coupons on their website, they are all manufacturers coupons and not store specific coupons) so it’s another “do the math” situation.
Walmart also touts their “ad match guarantee” that states they will match a competitors advertised sale price on items if you have the competitor’s current ad with you at check out. There are, of course, terms and conditions that apply to their ad match guarantee. Make sure you’ve read and understand it before you get your deals ready. I’ve included a link below to their corporate ad match policy.
Now for the bad news. Walmart’s customer service is really dependent on which store you’re at and who you get that day. It varies by store and by employee. Some stores are fantastic about honoring their ad match guarantee, some give you a hard time. Same with coupons. This is one of those situations where you need to have a print copy of their coupon policy and ad match guarantee. If you’re educated on their policies and have proof in writing, it makes it harder for a grumpy employee to say no. Just remember, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. 😉
A couple of other things you should keep in mind:
– Walmart does not double coupons.
– Walmart does not allow coupon stacking.
– Both Walmart and Target do accept Buy One, Get One Free coupons which many grocery stores do not. Just be sure you read the coupon policy for each store as there are certain exclusions when it comes to BOGO deals and coupons.
Click HERE for Walmart’s coupon policy.
Click HERE to access printable coupons (These appear to be solely manufacturer’s coupons, not Walmart specific, so you should be able to use them anywhere – just keep in mind that I haven’t printed all of them, so I can’t be 100% sure. Check near the expiration date for the word “manufacturer” or “Walmart Store Coupon” just to be safe.)
Click HERE for a copy of their ad match guarantee.
I hope this helps! Got questions/comments? Leave me a comment below.