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11 Things You Should Know Before Buying Clearance At Target

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 percent off the thing is.

Always Check the Back-end Caps

These are usually always filled with marked-down items. For me, 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, at that point, there is a very minimal amount left. 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.  

clearance at target

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, and it 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

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 of the 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 😉

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. There is a Target Redcard credit card that offers 5% off your total purchase.

Use Circle and Target Coupons

The Circle App is great. You can add items right from your phone, and then 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.

clearance at target
clearance at target

Above are some of my clearance at Target deals. The kids Crayola and learning preschool books were 50% off! I buy the girls 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.

[clickToTweet tweet=”When it comes to saving money you are taking one step towards a greater victory. Do you know what your victory is?” quote=”When it comes to saving money you are taking one step towards a greater victory. Do you know what your victory is?”]

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Sunday 12th of April 2015

Passing this one on to my girl friends! I loved "How low will it go" as it seems I often buy too soon or wait too long and then my item is gone. Having your thoughts and the example of getting the ice cream maker gave me confidence to know how to gauge my impulses better. Thanks!


Sunday 12th of April 2015

Susan, so glad you enjoyed it.


Sunday 12th of April 2015

I miss having a Target close by, though the last time I went in it was like paradise because I am pretty sure the whole dang store was on sale! I managed to get to the city on a weekend when all the stores were having big sales getting rid of winter clothes, so you know I stocked up!! Thanks for these tips they will be very helpful in my future shopping, I never think to keep going back to check in a week or two.


Sunday 12th of April 2015

Gotta love stocking up on winter clothes! Your welcome!

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