Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Real Simple
March 01, 2018 5:00 pm

Target is our definition of happy: It’s the place where you can buy all the stuff you need, from groceries to cute throw pillows. It’s easy to spend hours getting lost in its aisles, and we all know what happens after that. You go in for a tube of toothpaste and leave the store having spent $200. So, why not save a few bucks where you can, and go in prepared? Below, a roundup of shopping tips for those of us (read: most of us) who throw willpower to the wind when we enter those red doors.

1. Target Has an Unofficial Price Markdown Schedule

Monday: Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby, and Stationery

Tuesday: Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and, Market food items

Wednesday: Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Diapers, Lawn/Garden items, and Furniture

Thursday: Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor and Luggage

Friday: Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, and Jewelry

2. We Aren’t Above Anything That Will Save Us Money. Coupons Included

Target has mobile coupons available to be sent directly to your phone, and the Target app gets 10 or more new coupons each week. Happy shopping!

3. Download the Target App. It’s Free

The Target app offers weekly deals and includes Cartwheel discounts where you could save 5-50% on hundreds of items in stores, and save an extra 5% when you pay with your REDcard.

4. Opt for the Target REDcard Debit Card

Does the thought of racking up credit card debt freak you out? Us, too. For those of you who don’t want to commit to another credit card (ugh), Target offers a REDcard debit card that links directly to your bank account, and allows you to save an extra 5% every time you shop at Target. You still have to be willing to let Target collect data on your shopping habits, but there’s no interest on charges, or having to remember to pay your card off monthly. Oh, and did we mention that REDcard debit card holders receive an EXTRA 30 days to return nearly all items purchased on their REDcard at Target and target.com?

5. No Need to Go to a Target Store to Return for Free

Return purchases by mail for free with a prepaid mailing label provided by Target through your account online.

6. Return Items Like Opened Makeup (GASP!).

Most beauty products bought in stores or online can be returned, even if opened, within 90 days of your receipt. Take that, Sephora.

Related article: 49 must-bookmark shopping sites

7. They Will Price Match Items

If you find an item in a competitor’s ad, or find the same item on another shopping platform, bring it to Target and it’ll match the advertised price. *Opens Amazon.com on laptop.*

8. Shop Target Via Instagram

By searching #TargetStyle on Instagram, you can access a gallery of cute, curated shoppable IG photos, which once clicking on will take you directly to the Target website so that you can read reviews and make a purchase.

9. Bring Your Own Bags

At most Targets, for each bag that you bring in to use, you will receive $0.05.

10. Learn How to Code Clearance

According to many Target-obsessed bloggers, clearance items that end in $0.06 or $0.08 will be marked down again during the next markdown cycle, as long as there is inventory in store. The item will normally remain at the current percentage off for two weeks, before the next price cut. Price tags ending in $0.04 have been marked down for final clearance, and this is the lowest price at which Target will sell the product.

11. Discover the Cheapest (Read: Best) Deals From Home

We all know that some of the greatest finds at Target are the marked down items on their infamous aisle end caps. And now, you can shop the clearance section on target.com.

12. You Can Request a Price Rain Check

If you find an item on sale that you wish to purchase, but the store runs out of stock, you can request a rain check. The rain check entitles you to that same sale price for the next 30-45 days, which varies by state, and can be used at any Target store.

13. Subscribe and Save

Save 5% on everyday essentials delivered on your schedule when you subscribe. That means never running out of toilet paper again. #adulting.

14. Score Free Gift Cards for Your Old Electronics

Target makes it super easy to trade in phones, tablets, games, consoles, and wearables, and you’ll get a gift card as payment.

15. Choose Target for Your Registry

When you’re celebrating a life event, like getting married or having a baby, Target is there for you. When creating a registry, you’ll receive a 15% off coupon valid for one transaction at a Target store and a 15% promotion code valid for one target.com order. So, don’t panic when no one purchases the baby crib on your list. The 15% discount is valid toward remaining items on your registry and expires 6 months after your event date.

This article originally appeared in RealSimple.com.

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