Monday, May 9, 2016

How to save money on baby stuff at Target

1. Register for your baby at Target
  • Once you've registered, you can stop by Customer Service and pick up a swag with samples, some full size products usually a bottle and a pacifier, a few manufacturer's coupons, and a valuable coupon book with Target coupons.  These coupons are often high dollar coupons.  And. since they are Target coupons, they can be stacked with manufacturer's coupons for even bigger savings.
  • About a month before your due date, you receive a coupon book in the mail with completions coupons for a percentage off items remaining on your registry.  My booklet has three 10% off coupons to give to family and friends and one  15% off coupon for us to use.  This can be combined with any other coupons or discounts you have.  When I used mine, we were able to get $165 worth of merchandise for $9.  Since it was good for up to 6 months after her due date, we waited until a month after she born and the gifts had mostly come in to purchase items we still needed.
  • Put everything you may need on your registry.  Often, people only put items they think they may receive on the registry.  But, in order to use your completion coupon, the items will have to be on the registry.  So, put things like batteries, nursing pads, a water bottle, photo frames, etc you may need in order to save money.
  • Since I created my registry, I must have been added to their baby coupon master list; because only since then have I been receiving some valuable coupon books in the mail specifically for baby stuff from Target.  In fact, I just received one of their mailers last week and the coupons were or $10 off $50 worth of diapers and wipes, $4 off $25 or more baby feeding items, $4 off $20 or more baby toy purchase, and $5 off $30 children's book purchase. 
  • Print your registry at the kiosk in the customer service before shopping.  The last page of the registry has two coupons.  These are Target coupons which as always can be stacked with manufacturer's coupons.  
  • Returns are way easier if you have a registry.  

2. Take advantage of Target's price matching policy. Target allows you to price match with numerous retailers either by presenting a paper ad or pulling up the price directly from a website.  I was to price match with Amazon a toy I wanted for my daughter and use my completion discount and Red Card discount.  Price matching can also be nice if you find items cheaper online and want to avoid shipping fees.  

3. Use your Red Card.  Target's Red Card saves you 5% of all purchases and allows you free shipping on all online purchases.  What many people seem to not know is that the Red Card doesn't just have to be a credit card.  You can also get the Red Card as a debit card and have it directly connected to your bank account.  You can sign up online or in store with a voided check.

4. Bring your own bags.  Every bag of your own you use saves you 5 cents.  This may not seem like much, but it adds up over time.  Just this week, I've saved 45 cents on my Target purchases just using my own reusable bags.  Over the course of a year, that easily adds up to over 20 dollars and lots less plastic bags I have to take to be recycled which is a bonus since I'm all about reducing waste.

5. Check Target's website for coupons before going shopping.  The section for coupons is listed on the menu at the bottom of the main page of Target's site.  One of the sections is specifically for baby products. The coupons are a mix of Target and manufacturer coupons.

6. Check and use your Cartwheel.  Cartwheel is a Target only app filled with savings for items throughout their store.  You don't have to have a smartphone to use their app though as long as you have a tablet with WiFi capability since Target has free WiFi.  I am still a Luddite living without a smartphone as we are trying to limit our little one's screen time.  However, I do have my Kindle as I purchased it a few years ago for reading on the go.  I recommend looking up items on your Cartwheel prior to shopping to more easily plan your trip.  They make it simple since there is a section just for baby items.  However, I also check items as I am shopping especially clearance items I find while shopping.  Over half of the items on clearance I have purchased in the last month have also been on Cartwheel giving me additional savings.  

Cartwheel is most beneficial the more you use it.  There are different badges to unlock for things like saving $25 using Cartwheel, flipping a deal a friend used, using a Cartwheel on the last day it is available, using a Cartwheel deal on an item in the weekly ad, etc.  The more badges you unlock, the more Cartwheel deals you can have flipped to use at any given time.  Right now, I'm at 30 available slots in my Cartwheel.  

Read the restrictions, though, when you go to use your Cartwheel.  Most deals have limitations you have to follow.  You can find the restrictions for each offer as they vary from offer to offer by clicking the details button on each deal.  For instance, the restrictions on the Huggies deal currently on Cartwheel is you can only use the Cartwheel deal 4 times per transaction and only 6 transactions per day.  So, if necessary depending on the deal, you may need to divide your purchases into multiple transactions in order to maximize your savings.

7. Search for items on clearance.  Yes, some items will be traditional clearance items which may score you deals; but Target stores also clearance online returns made to the brick and mortar stores.  You will know it is an online return as it will say Online Item on the red clearance sticker.  People post all the time in babywearing groups I am a member of on Facebook about scoring killer deals on carriers this way.

While I yet to be lucky enough to find a great deal on a carrier I wanted, I did score this Skip Hop playmat which was an online only item retailing for $36 that I was able to pick up for just $8.

It actually became our favorite playmat as it came with the two toys; a rattle and a mirror, a pillow that made tummy time much easier, and a handy travel bag.  I took this to our mommy and me support group every week until she was 6 months old as well as using it at home for tummy time and some trips to my grandmother's house like this shot from Easter last year.

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