9 Mistakes You're Making While Shopping at Target

Target Shopping Cart


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Many rows of red shopping carts outside by store with closeup by Target store parking lot

Target Fails

Target is a beloved destination for millions of shoppers who delight in the experience of grabbing a cart, leisurely strolling through its familiar aisles, and spending a pretty penny on things they did not need. (Has anyone figured out why Target is so good at making us do that?) 

As satisfying as it is spending money at Target, it's essential to be mindful of common mistakes that can unknowingly hinder your shopping experience — and end up costing you more money. If your goal is to maximize savings in 2023, here are some crucial missteps to avoid during your next Target shopping spree.

A Target store in Houston, Texas, USA on March 13, 2022.

Forgetting To Use Price Match

Did you know you can unlock additional savings by using Target's price match guarantee? Designed to help shoppers make the most of local sales offered by other retailers, customers can present proof of a lower price from a competitor during checkout to receive the better deal while in-store. For online purchases, customers can provide digital evidence of the cheaper option to have that price honored. 

Archery Target and Dart in Center Cartoon Person Character Mascot with Golden Award Trophy. 3d Rendering

Not Joining the Circle

Target's loyalty program, Circle, can help you unlock more benefits to maximize your savings. Signing up is free and can give you access to personalized offers and deals that are tailored to your shopping preferences. In addition, Target Circle allows you to earn 1% back on eligible purchases that can be redeemed on future purchases, and even gives you a special reward on your birthday in the form of a 5% discount. 

Target REDCard

Not Having a RedCard

Though you'll have to apply for this card by agreeing to a credit check, enrolling in Target's RedCard can give you access to a range of exclusive benefits designed to enhance your shopping experience and maximize your savings. For starters, you'll get a consistent 5% discount on every purchase, as well as free shipping on most online orders. You can also link your RedCard to an existing credit or debit card for a more seamless shopping experience. Plus: RedCard holders get discounts at Disney World.

Target Weekly Ad

Ignoring Weekly Sales

Make it a habit to explore Target's weekly ad, which features the latest deals and promotions. This way you can stay informed on the latest offers, whether it's discounts on household essentials, electronics, or seasonal items. It allows you to save big and make the most out of every Target shopping trip (and perhaps discourage you from loading your cart up with things you don't need). 

RelatedHow To Save Money With Retailers That Price Match Amazon

Target by Stephen Downes (CC BY-NC)

Overlooking the Clearance Section

Many shoppers often miss out on the hidden treasures that collect dust in overlooked end caps and clearance sections at Target. These areas (often located in the front of the store) are usually filled with discounted items and exclusive deals that others may pass by without noticing. By taking a bit of time to explore these sections, you may be surprised with the amount of cheap deals you can snag. 

Related: The 9 Habits of Target Employees' Favorite Customers

New Target Extra Large Recycled Reusable Bag Red

Not Investing In Reusable Bags

Embrace the eco-conscious choice of opting for Target's extra large reusable bags, which sell for $5 a pop — not only for their positive impact on the environment, but also for the added advantage of saving 10 cents per plastic bag should you need to purchase them. Though the retailer's reusable bags are more expensive than Ikea's iconic $1 bag, it can hold a bunch of stuff and can come in handy for a picnic or when doing laundry. 

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Andrei Stanescu/istockphoto

Overlooking Target's Own Brands

Target's own brands — Up & Up, Goodfellow & Co., Good & Gather, and others — can provide customers with a fantastic opportunity to save money without compromising on quality. These brands typically offer a wide range of products that contain the same ingredients as their name-brand counterparts. If you are dissatisfied with a product, Target's return policy extends to in-store brands as well, so you can always return a product for a full refund.

Grouping of popular restaurant and store mobile apps

Not Using the App

By downloading Target's app, you can gain access to a wealth of exclusive features and benefits to help you save further. The app provides recommendations in the "Top deals" section to help you discover the best deals based on your past shopping trends. Additionally, you can browse weekly ads, explore in-app coupons, and even use the app's barcode scanner to compare prices and ensure you're getting the best deals.

Businesswoman making a business call and working online from the cafe

Forgetting to Stock Check

Since the retailer is a top shopping destination for a range of products — including toys, electronics, apparel, and beyond — certain high-demand items may fly off the shelves before you have the chance to get your hands on them. To increase your chances of a successful purchase, consider calling your local store before leaving the house to do a stock check on the item(s) you're trying to buy.