FAQ/Basics

JUST GETTING STARTED COUPONING AT TARGET?

IMG_21012014_181203We were all new to using coupons at one time or another and I can remember just feeling overwhelmed in the beginning. I hope this FAQ page helps to explain things a bit more about couponing at Target, and gets you started on the road to keeping more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.

Saving money by couponing goes way beyond simply clipping a coupon and using it on something you need. The best way to maximize your savings is to wait to use your coupons against a sale or a special deal and to buy several of the item if the price is right.

While I do maintain a stockpile, I don’t believe in letting my stockpile overtake my house. Sales usually cycle around every 3 months, so purchasing enough to last you through to the next sale is a good bet, especially if you are short on space. Be patient- building a stockpile takes time, it does not happen overnight, but little by little you will find yourself being able to grab something from your stockpile when you normally would have to run out for something.

FINDING COUPONS

coupon-insertsNEWSPAPER COUPONS: One of the most popular resources are the coupon inserts that can be found in the Sunday Newspaper. There are 4 main types- the PG- usually put out once a month by Proctor & Gamble, the SAVE insert and the SS or Smart Source Insert both usually found in most papers every Sunday, and the GM or General Mills which can usually be found every 4-5 weeks.

PRINTABLE COUPONS: Another popular way to get coupons is to print them. The most popular place to get the most printables is Coupons.com. This site gets updated randomly during the day, but we typically see the most new coupons on Sundays and on the first day of each month. So you might want to check this site often.

OTHER COUPONS: Coupons come from many many sources. Many manufacturer’s place Hangtag Coupons or Peelie coupons found on products on the shelves or Tearpads usually located on a display or shelf near the item.You may even spot coupons in magazines or at the office of your doctor, dentist, pediatrician, vet and more. Once you start looking for these valuable little pieces of paper, you will be surprised at just how many places they turn up!

COUPONING LINGO

We couponers use lots of abbreviations and terms, and you will catch on soon enough, but if you are just getting started- here’s a few terms to familiarize yourself with…

$1/2 etc: One dollar off two items. (1st # = Discount/2nd # = Quantity required to buy for discount)
B1G1: Buy 1 Get 1 FREE, or B2G1: Buy 2 Get 1 FREE and so on
PSA: Prices Starting at
GC: Gift Card (Target offers Gift Cards as a reward for buying specific items, see some of the more popular current ones on my Special Deals Page)
ETS: Excludes Trial/travel Size or , or ESS: Excludes Single Serving
MIR: Mail In Rebate (You can check my Rebates Page to see current offers available)
TMF-Try Me Free. Another form of a rebate or sometimes a satisfaction Guarantee
OOP: Out of Pocket. The amount you actually spend.
Q: Coupon, MQ: manufacturer coupon, TQ: Target Coupon
WYB: when you buy
YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary-this means that it may or may not be the case in all instances.
x: Expiration Date of a coupon

ORGANIZING YOUR COUPONS

There are several different ways to keep your coupons organized so you can easily find them. Many people use a binder method- where you can split up your coupons into pages with pockets and organize how it works best for you. Sometimes people organize by item type- ie Frozen, Snacks, Canned, etc, or some prefer to alphabetize. You have to do what works best for you. Some people like to just grab baseball card type album sleeves fitted into a binder to keep them organized. A binder is very nice in that it’s a way to have your coupons with you at all times which comes in handy for Target Clearance- it can be a time-consuming method- but wonderful if you can keep it up.

You can also use a filing system for your inserts. You can use either drawers or a filing box meant to hold the complete insert and file them by date. Since I and other sites you may start to follow usually list where you can find a coupon- it is just as easy to go find what you need and cut when you are ready to shop. So for example – if I list the following coupon as a matchup-

-$1/3; .50/2 Campbell’s Microwaveable Bowls or Soup At Hand 1-8-12 SS x3/15

it means it can be found in the Smart Source Insert in the January 8th newspaper. The different amounts in the front mean that some areas will have a $1 Off 3 and some areas will have gotten a .50 cents off 2. The x followed by the date is when the coupon expires. But finding the best way to organize is a process – and you may go through several different ways before you figure out what method works best for you. Also keep in mind that insert coupons vary by region, so you may not find some of them in your newspaper coupon insert.

TARGET COUPONS

multi_coupon_nobleedTarget can be a great place to save money in several different ways. For starters- Target allows you to stack coupons- this means allowing the use of one manufacturer’s coupon AND one Target Store Coupon AND one Circle Offer on EACH item. This means couponing at Target can save you big! Target Coupons can be found in a variety of places….

TARGET INSERT COUPONS: Target store coupons can sometimes be found in the regular Sunday inserts on occasion. Target Insert coupons are always regional though and not everyone will get them. I do maintain a Target Coupon Page with a list of the available Target Coupons with matching manufacturer’s coupons and Target Circle offers you can stack.

TARGET CIRCLE OFFERS: There’s also a savings program called Target Circle offering even more opportunities to get great deals! You can get as much as an additional 50% off, occasionally even higher, on items at Target including grocery, health & beauty, baby, clothing and much more. You can redeem all offers on your Circle in one transaction and an identical offer can be applied up to a maximum of four times in a single transaction. You are allowed one Circle offer with one manufacturer’s coupon and one Target coupon for triple the savings!

If you already have the Target app, Circle offers can be found and added within the app. Once you have added the offers, and head to check out, just pull up your bar code found in the wallet and all the discounts will come off at once. You can also choose to access Target Circle from your desktop and once you add the offers, you can print a barcode to take with you to the store. Just keep in mind to benefit from Target Circle offers you must have or create a Target.com account.

IMG_21012014_181327OTHER TARGET COUPONS: Target also sends out various mailers with coupons – home mailers are random AND RARE – there is no 100% fool-proof way to get one. Sometimes having created a baby or wedding registry may help, or spending on a REDcard helps, or filling a prescription, and the list of theories goes on. But none of these things are a 100% guarantee you will start receiving them and unfortunately there is no definite mailing list to get on.

You can always see a complete list of ALL Types of current Target coupons on my Target Coupon Page.

CASH BACK & OTHER REWARD PROGRAMS

cash-rewardsThere are a couple of great savings apps out there for both iPhone and Android users to earn cash back for shopping in-store. The first one, ibotta, is a fun & easy way to earn extra money while shopping for buying products that most likely you were going to buy anyway. Plus, the Ibotta app offers lucrative Bonuses. The second one, Checkout 51, is also a fast and easy way to earn cash back on the brands you love, yet it also has some unique features and… you do not need to have a smartphone to take advantage of this great app! Watch the blog for new offers and matchups to be posted, plus you can read about each of them in more detail as follows…. for more info on ibotta, go HERE and for more info on Checkout 51, you can go HERE.

GIFT CARD & SPECIAL PURCHASE DEALS

IMG_21012014_180857Another way to save at Target is by taking advantage of their Gift Card Deals where a Target Gift Card is awarded at checkout in return for buying a specified product or products. Gift Cards cannot be used in the same transaction you earned them, however they can be rolled into the next transaction. If you do more than one Gift Card Deal in a transaction you WILL receive both Gift Cards. There are usually several Gift Card Deals in the Target Ad every week, that usually only last that week. However sometimes quite a few Gift Card deals remain unadvertised and extend for longer periods of time. Most Target stores will combine the amount of all gift cards earned in a transaction and put them on ONE physical card.

Target also offers Special Purchase Deals. These are usually a B1G1 Free type of deal or instant savings when purchasing 2 or more of a specific product. Again several of these are advertised each week, but some are not and last for 2 or more weeks. I do my best to keep track of as many unadvertised longer-term Gift Card & Special Purchase Deals as possible on the Special Deals Page. On that page you can find the details, coupon matchups and some Deal Ideas so be sure to check it out.

TARGET’S LOW PRICE PROMISE

Target has a price matching policy which they refer to as a Low Price Promise. This can be another way to save Gas, money & time, since Target will honor local competitor’s ads, however there are quite a few rules and restrictions. You can view Target’s official price matching policy HERE.

TARGET COUPON POLICY

You can find the official Target Coupon Policy HERE. It’s always a good idea to print it out and keep with you when you shop.

387211_10151581781563120_690736138_nTarget will accept printable coupons with a scannable bar code except one that is for a FREE item when no purchase is required. Competitor’s coupon and expired coupons are not accepted at Target.

Target does not give cash back – if the coupon is for more than the value of an item, the coupon amount may be reduced to meet the cost of the item. Plus, Target also has specific rules about using B1G1 coupons so be sure and check out the Target coupon policy for up to date information.

680 Comments

  1. Kerry, I have a question in regards to these purchase off specific dept. total qs ex. $50 off baby dept purchase. Its no clear on Target’s coupon policy, but would i be allowed to use a purchase $ off target q, plus target q for specific items plus mq?

  2. I was wondering if anyone knew the typical cycle for sales on baby furniture. Need to buy nursery furniture, but don’t want to jump the gun if Target has a “known” cycle for good sales. Thanks for any input!

  3. Becca – yes! Just check the ones you want and then go to the bottom of the post and click on print my list – hth!

  4. Hi, just wondering what the little boxes are that can be checked on your site as you list the deals for the week. How does that work? can a list be made by somehow checking the deals I want to do? Thank you Rebecca

  5. Hi, I am newbie to couponing. reading the faq page has helped me a lot so far. I was wondering if anyone could explain how the badges work on cartwheel. how do you get them to unlock ?? isn’t there a way to share with your friends ??

    thanks in advance for any help :))

  6. HI GIng- Target allows up to 4 identical coupons in a shopping trip unless they say otherwise. All insert coupons have the same bar code.

  7. HI beverly- yes you can get more than one GC and they come up separately- so for example- you buy 6 starbucks- after the 1st 3 go over the belt- the register will stop the cashier and prompt them to hand you a $5 GC. then the next 3 will gover the belt and once again the register will stop and prompt the cashier to hand you a second $5 GC and so on. you are awarded the GCs throughout the transaction as soon as the qualifying items have been scanned. hth & makes sense

  8. Hi Carol- cartwheel is scanned last but it is calculated AFTER TQs and BEFORE Mqs. It doesn’t matter when they decide to scan it- the calculation stays the same. it always calculates the % after TQ & before MQ. hth

  9. My Target has told me that I have to scan my cartwheel LAST, after all Manufacturer and Target coupons. This is different than what you say above. I have looked for this information in Target’s online coupon policy so that I can print it out and take it to the store with me to show the associate. Can you help point me in the right direction? When Cartwheel is used last, I’m barely saving anything!

  10. This will be my first Target shopping trip but am very familar with couponing but I wanted to ask…you say “If you do more than one Gift Card Deal in a transaction you WILL receive both Gift Cards” Does that mean if you do “x” deal and “Y” deal, you will get both cards or does it mean if you do 2 of “x” deals I’ll get both cards. For instance, one of the deals right now is a $5 GC WYB 3 Starbucks Kcups. If I bought 6 boxes, would I get a $10 GC? (Or 2 $5 GC?)

  11. I bought two Sunday papers for the inserts. However, I noticed that the inserts in both papers have the same barcode! Do you know if WA Target stores will allow me to use these coupons each on individual items in the same transaction?

  12. Hi my question is if i price match and item that is part of the gift card deal can i do both??

    example:

    Pantene shampoo priced match to online price
    part of but 3 get a $5 gift card

  13. Hi Sarah- the mobiles only apply to one item- so if you are only buying one- use the barcode for the value you want 1st
    if you buy 2 items it will take off one from each set.
    I am thinking you are talking about Wheat Thins coupons
    so if I am right & you buy 2 boxes of wheat thins
    and use both mobile bar codes- it will take a total of $1.75 off both- hth & makes sense.

  14. Say I have two Target mobile coupons each with discounts on products I want; however, they both have the same product listed but for different discounts, one has $1/1 of the item the other has $.75/1 for the same item. Does it automatically use the higher value one? Does it matter the order I have the mobile coupons scanned? Can I buy two of the product and use both discounts? For example this week both SPRING and THANKS have wheat thins but they are different values. How does that exactly work when you scan the code? Hope my question makes sense!! Thanks

  15. Hello!
    I am new to price matching at Target. I would like to price match 3 Tides (from CVS) using coupons. My question is will I still be eligible for the gift card that are advertised in the Target ad if I price match? I read the policy and that particular question doesn’t seem fully addressed. Thanks!

  16. HI Lisa- unfortunately it won’t keep track of your tansactions like that- you could try bringing your receipt up to GS with another box and explain the situation and perhaps they would do something for you. hth

  17. New to doing gift card deals. Can the purchases be split over multiple transactions or does it have to be in same transaction? I purchased 2 Playtex Sport boxes yesterday and thought it was buy 2 get $5gc but was informed by cashier that it was purchase 3 for $5gc. Just wondering if I go purchase a 3rd on a different trans, would it trigger the gc. Thanks so much for any insight.

  18. Target seems to have multiple mobile coupons. I don’t always receive all texts. I was wondering if you could create a section with the key words to text to receive additional texts from target? Thanks so much for all toy do!

  19. Hi, I have a question. I have a target red card and three coupons printed out. 15$ off 35$ purchase, 50% off laundry detergent, and 50% off paper item. Can I use them all together?

  20. Hi, I was at my Target today and they would NOT take my “MANUFACTURES COUPON” Stated right across the TOP of Coupon, that I printed out, BECAUSE it had in small print….(redeemable at Walgreens) on it. I asked “Since When?” They said they changed the coupon policy about a month ago, if it has another stores name on it they will Not accept it. I totally understood when it read…”Redeem at ______ Only”
    WELL, this is NEW to me! Is it just my cashier…(ahgrrrrrr!!) or it is a new thing now? HELP!!

  21. Hello I have a question: can 2 target coupons be use at the same time? I have a $20/$50 target coupon and a $5/$25 Clorox products can I use both in the same transaction?

  22. In regards to the Target Mobile Coupons… like the current -1.25/1 Palmolive 25oz, if I purchased (4) bottles… Will the Target Mobile Coupon apply to all (4) items?

  23. Is there a way to sign up for emails or blog updates to be sent through email? I see the feed option but didn’t know if that’s right. Thank you for all you do!

  24. I had a question regarding the handing over of coupons to cashier. So in the past I have always given the cashier my coupons at the end and last week I paid at customer service and the lady said I had to give her the coupons as she scanned each item. She said that was in their policy. So this is how she had me do it….. she would scan candy bag and then have me give her the coupons i had for that item, she would scan coupons and then move on to scanning my next purchase. I hope this makes sense. Is there a certain order for example, cartwheel, then manf. coupons, then target printable or mobile. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts. Thanks

  25. HI Beverly- there is no set limit for gift cards earned in a transaction- but any store does have the right to limit what you purchase. That being said- the limitations fall on the coupons themselvves. Target has a limit of four identical coupons per visit- unless otherwise stated- and in this instance unilver brands have a limit of 2 identical coupons per person. so as long as you mix and match your coupons and products you should be ok. hth & makes sense

  26. Hi, I have a quick question. Is there a limit of 2,on each specific gift card deal? For Example I want to do the Unilever Gift Card Deal. I was going to purchase (6) of the Clear and (6) of the Simple Facial Wipes. In this example would I get 2 Gift Cards? or 4?

    Thank you very much in Advance!

  27. How many times can you print the target coupons from their site. It only allowed me one before it said I had met my max.. i’m sure I have been able to pront before at least 3 times

  28. Is Target now accepting competitor’s catalina coupons? I used a Shoprite one today by mistake and the cashier took it. I don’t know if she took it by mistake or because it is allowed now.

  29. Hi Teneya- unfortunately it is tricky for some people. I have not had an issue- but I can say that you may want to try completely deleting it first before you try reinstalling. You may also want to try using a different browser to print- so if you are trying thru IE try thru firefox & vice versa- hth & you get it worked out!

  30. Hello I am SO excited to find your site, it is so helpful. I have a question about the catalina coupon printer. I have gone through the process of trying to download it about 7 times for 3 days straight. I even tried on two different computers. It will say its installed successful. Once I try to print it will just prompt me to repeat the whole process. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m so excited to start printing but just cant get it to work 🙁

    Thanks for any advice you can offer!

  31. FYI, I did use the rebate check with coupons, and it was not a problem. The rebate check is handled at the end like a check, so it doesn’t affect coupon usage. That was awesome! 🙂

  32. Do you know if Target would allow me to use a coupon along with a rebate check? The rebate check was issued for Purina Dog Chow, and is treated as a check at the register. Any advice would be great. Thanks!
    Sandy

  33. Word on the street is that Target is no longer accepting manu coupons….please say it isn’t so!

  34. HI CHristina- against a sale item is a ymmv. usually the register will accept MQs- whether or not the cashier does or will is a ymmv. hth

  35. Can you use a coupon on a free item? For example a buy 2 get 1 free sale, can I use 3 coupons or only 2?

  36. HI Katie- you can use it in the very next transaction. The only thing you can’t do is use a gift card in the same transaction you earned it in. hth

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