Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Couponing for Two: Shopping at Target

I love shopping at Target but never really thought to buy groceries there unless I was there anyway and did not want to stop again.  But then, I would only pick up something for dinner and still have to get out another day to buy groceries at Walmart (Walmart used to be my "go to" place for all groceries before couponing).  Well since learning all about how to use coupons, sales, etc to maximise my savings while staying in budget, Target has become a weekly stop. (I am speaking of Super Target, the regular Targets do not always have grocery depts.)

I try to get to Target early in the week and in the morning hours.  I know, if you are working a 9 to 5, this might not work out...but do not write Target off, just go when you can.  I try to get there in the morning, because it is less crowded.  I am a leisurely shopping and take FOREVER to get down all the lanes...and yes, I go down most every lane in the joint...sometimes more than once.  I have always been like that so it has NOTHING to do with coupons.  And yes, I most always have a list but I still like to "piddle" (another one of Mawma's words).  And I try to go on Mondays or Tuesdays just because it fits in my schedule as the big grocery stores have new sales come out on Wednesday...and well, it just fits.  However...there is one more reason....CLEARANCE DEALS!!!!

Target seems to have the BEST deals on close out and clearance items.  You can not always find something, this week was a bust....but when you do?  WOW!!!!

Remember the post I did a few weeks ago?  It was titled "Who's that lady who went to her cupboard and her cupboard was bare?"  That post was not part of this series, but it was all about a recent Target shopping trip I made where I brought home a TON of things from their clearance shelves.  I bought things like Pasta Sauce, name brand...not generic (not that generics are bad, in fact some are the EXACT same thing as the name brand) that retails for around 2.99 / 3.99 for under .30 cents a jar.  Also, Uncle Ben's Rice (boxes, not pouches) for .75 cents minus the coupon (I do not remember what I used for that).  These items have a long shelf life and will be eaten long before they expire (some not until 2013).



This is what the Target clearance sticker looks like.  Very easy to spot, even when on the shelf with regular priced items.

You can go to "Who's that lady that went to her cupboards and her cupboards were bare?" to read a rundown of that shopping trip at Target.

A word on clearance and expiration dates:  You have to be careful with the expiration dates because right next to a pack of coffee that expired in March of 2012 was the exact same brand, size, look, etc of coffee that expired a few months ago.  I do not think they are supposed to have these things on the shelf after expiration but you have to do your part and double check.  I would not buy something like eggs, milk or cheese that was about to expire unless it could be put in the freezer or eaten right away.  I will, however, but something that might be about to expire if, for example,  it has a "sell by" date of 9/5/11 and it is 9/1/11 if I can take it home and put it in the freezer right away.  If you look close you will see it usually says "sell or freeze" by a certain date.  I have been doing this for awhile and nothing has happened to me yet.  If this makes you squeemish, just forget about it and save on something else so you can ignore this part of saving.

Oh, one more little reminder...you CAN use coupons on clearance deals...that just makes it sweeter!!!!

Another way to save big on items at Target is to look for things that are "bundled" together.  For example, on a recent trip I found Secret Deodorants bundled with a trial size of the Secret Body splash.  I paid regular price, minus a coupon, for the deodorant and got the Body Splash for free.  Target has a lot of deals like this, esp in the HBA area (HBA = Health and Beauty Aides).

 
A "peelie" is a coupon STUCK to a product,
that you "peel" off

 Also, remember to keep your eyes out for "peelies" while walking up and down the ailes.  These are little coupons that are stuck to the product (sometimes there are hangtags).  You do not have to use that coupon on the product, if you have a higher value coupon or one that is about to expire, just put the peelie in your coupon organiser and save it for another day.  Target seems to have more of these than other stores where I have been shopping recently.  Oh...and also special packaging where there might be coupons inside.  I bought some Crest toothpaste a few weeks ago that came with about 15.00 worth of coupons inside for other Proctor and Gamble products.


This is an example of a "hang tag"
(although this tag does NOT go with this product, I am just using it as an example...I sure hope the Coppertone goes on clearance before this Q expires so we can stock up for next Summer.)


This is an example of "stacking" a Target Q with a manufacture Q

Target has there own coupons, as well.  You can find them in special inserts in your Sunday paper or sometimes you might be lucky enough to get some mailed to you, like the highly sought after College Savings Booklet that came out.  I did not get one but I hear there were some fabulous coupons.  With Target coupons, you can get great deals when paired with a sale...but even better....you can STACK THESE WITH MANUFACTURE coupons and get an even better deal.

These are examples of Target Coupons you can clip for the Sunday Paper.

An example of Target Coupons that you can print out from Target.com

Finally, do not forget to stop by Targets travel section.   Make sure that your coupon will allow usage on the smaller size, if it says "ANY" or does not have a size limit, that means it is usually ok to use on a smaller size.  Also, remember to know your stores policy. The travel section can make for some awesome savings. Sometimes, you can even score a FREEBIE.  For example, I recently bought some Eucerine lotion that was marked .97 cents.  I paired that with a coupon for 1.00 off.  Now I could have went over to the HBA dept and bought a big ole bottle of Eucerine for about 7 bucks with the coupon...but instead I bought 4 of the little travel sizes...and did not pay a penny.  AND, I had .03 cents in overage from each tube to use on other items.  I know .12 cents does not sound like a lot but if you buy enough things with overages, you might easily pay for that candy bar you want.  Shopping in the travel section is also a way to "try out" a new product before you commit to a larger purchase.  And really?  Those 4 tubes of lotion that I got for FREE will last me until there is another coupons to get more...  You can also get things like Tide detergent, Cascade dishwasher tabs, Nutrigena make-up remover clothes, first aid kits, etc for free in the travel section.  If you have enough coupons and time on your hand, you could get enough Tide FREE to equal a larger container.  Tide is not cheap when bought the conventional way.

OMG, I almost forgot...there are usually coupons on clothing at Target, too.  Match these up with some of the sales or clearance clothing and you just might score a free t-shirt or 3.00 pair of summer capris, like I did last week.  I found some cute capri jeans on clearance for 5.99 and had a 3.00 off any plus size clothing coupon...and score!!!!  Since you can print out two of every coupon from each of your computers, I had two of these and used the other to score the free t-shirt, it was on clearance for 2.25 (around that).  If I had looked closer, I would have seen a coupon for 5.00 off any lady's denim, which would have made the jeans .99 cents...oh well, can't save all your pennies, I guess.  LOL.  if you do not find anything you like, maybe you can find an inexpensive item to donate?  They have lots of baby clothings coupons, too...so check out all the coupons on Target.com.

Please check out some of the other more experienced couponing blogs for a better tutorial on Target shopping.  I am sure they can explain and help you better understand.  Coupon Divas even has a guide where she tells you what coupons to use and what Target coupons to stack to get the best deals.  You can click on the deals you like and print out a customised shopping list.  I love that site.  Also, my other "go to" site, Hip2Save has videos where Collin walks you thru by letting you go on a shopping trip with her.

Happy savings,

Tiffany 

No comments:

Post a Comment