I just read that one of our readers had a frustrating experience today at Target. None of her coupons worked, prices were not marked as posted, and the cashiers were not friendly. Unfortunately, Jaimee’s experience is not uncommon. Target is not a dependable, coupon friendly store. Here’s how I figured that out.
I love Target. I REALLY LOVE Target. I wander through Target to clear my head and often times I fill up my cart with things I don’t need. There is something in the air there, it literally begs you to buy the cute stuff you don’t need.
When I first started couponing and heard that you could use coupons at Target I thought I had just won the lottery. You mean I can wander the aisles of Target and fill up my cart with items I will get for free using coupons? It was better than the invention of the drive-thru Starbucks.
Then I made my first trip to Target with coupons (and kids) in hand. My dream deals were quickly shattered when I realized that none of the prices listed from the frugal blog I frequented were the same. And if by some stroke of luck, they were the same, the product was out. I had my kids with me, coupons over flowing and my mind was frazzled. I was ready to give up on this coupon gig all together.
I quickly figured out that Target was not the deal mecca I was hoping for. Rite Aid or Walgreens is the place to be. If I am looking to stockpile toiletries or household items, or want to make some money, I go to Rite Aid. Most cashiers are up on the coupon policy, expect couponers to come in and their shelves are often (hopefully) stocked to accommodate the items that will go quickly.
Target is my “Hail Mary” coupon store. If I get a deal there, I consider it a stroke of luck. If I don’t, I choose not to get disappointed about it.
Here’s a list of rules when it comes to couponing at Target:
:: Don’t make a special trip just for the deals. If you’re going there already, get your coupons organized. But please do not go out of your way.
:: Expect that the majority of the deals won’t work. Prices and stock vary from region to region and sometimes store to store. A deal that works in Clackamas won’t work in Vancouver or Hillsboro. Frustrating, I know.
:: Choose your cashier wisely. Target cashiers interpret their own coupon policy differently and make up rules on the spot, so who you go to really makes a difference. When in doubt, go with the young male cashiers.
:: Leave your young children at home. Actually, this rule applies to all coupon shopping. We know it’s not always possible to shop without your kids, but an unsuccessful coupon trip stings less when you’re out by yourself, right?
Any suggestions on making your Target shopping more successful (or at least manageable)?
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