Clearance tags and I are like magnets drawn together. As soon as I see clearance or markdowns anywhere- I’m there. I glued to them excitedly, hoping I find something I needed. Shopping clearance will save you more than 50% off the retail price.
The one store I do almost all of my clearance shopping is Target. I worked there for just over two years and still have friends employed by the company, so I am sharing how to keep money in your pocket and not pay the total price for ANYTHING!
Can you imagine not having to spend the entire paycheck on things your family needs and be able to save money for the future?! If you say no, you need to add shopping clearance into your lifestyle!!
11 Things You Should Know Before Buying Clearance At Target
Get to Know the Markdown System
It is so essential to understand how stores mark down their items. Most markdowns happen every two weeks. Seasonal gets marked down sooner. You will see things start at 15%, 30%, 50%, and 70%.
Holiday and Seasonal items can go down to 90%! You will see a small number in the upper right-hand corner. This is the percentage off of the item.
Always Check the Back-end Caps
These are usually always filled with marked-down items. The fun begins when I bring in my coupons and hit those end caps! Nothing like using a coupon on clearance items at Target!
All Target stores put their clearance items on the endcaps. Then, use your Circle app to scan the item for faster discounts available.
Recognize the Clearance Sticker
The end caps are not the only place for clearance. For example, I found a bunch of bedsheets down the bedding aisle, and they were marked 70% off. So don’t limit yourself to end caps! But don’t forget about the end caps either!
70% off is as low as it goes. Of course, seasonal will go lower, but usually, there is a very minimal amount left at that point. If I see clearance and it’s ONLY 15% off, I walk on by. I know that the item will go down lower.
But it could be gone, you might say?! Yes, this is true, and to me, then it wasn’t meant to be! But, yes, my shopping is intended to be.
By that, I mean I wait for a sale and clearance. And low and behold, waiting, I will find things I need way below retail price.
Take, for example, my recent purchase.
My Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker. I have been thinking about an ice cream maker for probably six months. But I did not want to spend $80 on another kitchen gadget even though things like my Kitchen Aid Mixer and bread machine have me baking so many things instead of buying them processed at the store.
I wanted to add ice cream to the list. But the budget… 😉 I had a garage sale that wasn’t too successful; it was a random no advertising deal. I made $45.
I told my husband I was going to use it to treat myself! AND there is the mixer marked down 50% $39.99! Only one left! It was meant to be!
Use the Red Price Checkers Or Your Target App
If you have a marked item clearance, you may want to scan it to ensure it’s kept right. Still, check it if you see something mixed in with clearance and it’s not marked!
For example, if something is marked down 30% and 70%, you will be glad you checked it and maybe grabbed one or two more items!
Plus, maybe something you like is marked 15% off, and you scan it, and it’s 30% off! Boom, that’s going in the cart 😉
You can also check the prices in your Target app, whichever is easier. The app is my favorite because Target will price match their online price.
Many times shoes, books, and toys have been cheaper online than in stores and you will get the cheaper price.
Remember it is always worth the extra time it takes to save money.
Don’t Be Discouraged, Keep Going Back
Clearance is a hit or miss. If you do not see something one day, still go back in a day or two. Items are being added all the time due to re-shop and whatnot.
Patience is really what you will be learning. But the savings is so worth it. It allows you to stick to your budget enjoyably.
Don’t Fall for the Misbelief About Clearance
Most of the time, clearance is marked down because the item is changing packaging; remember all the Up and Up diapers marked on clearance? The packaging changed. Or one store is not carrying that exact item anymore.
You will be upset if you pass up the Frigo Cheese Head Light Sticks at Target on clearance and then see the full price at Walmart! But, if it is a food item, you will check the expiration date. And make your decision accordingly.
Follow a Target Blog
My favorite is All Things Target. There are plenty of coupon blogs out there that post weekly Target Coupon Matchup deals.
Sign up for a Target Debit Card
This will save you 5% off your total every time you shop. This is not a credit card. They will deduct your total right out of your checking account! You can use coupons, Circle, and always deduct 5% off. A Target Redcard credit card offers 5% off your total purchase.
Use Circle and Target Coupons
The Circle App is great. You can add items from your phone, and the cashier scans the barcode. You can also scan items using the app to see if a c Circle offer is available.
You can stack Circle offers with manufacturer coupons and Target coupons ( paper or mobile). This makes for some sweet savings. Always check Circle when you’re headed to Target.
Plus, now Target Coupons are available RIGHT IN YOUR CIRCLE APP! They are making it much easier for us busy mommas and daddies.
Above are some of my clearance at Target deals. The kid’s Crayola and learning preschool books were 50% off! I buy the girl’s Halloween costumes the year before when they are at least 50% off! I have a box of clearance items that I will use for stocking stuffers and Easter baskets!
Don’t Go Overboard
When I first started seeing how much money, I ran into a problem when I started couponing and couldn’t believe how much money I was saving. So I ended up buying items that would sit on our guest bed.
Don’t be ashamed if you went a little overboard to return some items! Always ask yourself,
“Do I really need this?”
I wrote an article when I realized I was buying things because they were a great deal, but I didn’t need them. You can check it out here.