ok, friends.

lets not pretend that Target isn’t your favorite place to hide away.
when i think of my happy place, it’s sure not Disneyland…

as a mom, i can say, [and i know i’m not alone] that the idea
of wandering the aisles of Target alone sounds like heaven.

i don’t know if it’s just that it feels like an escape, and if it’s because it is one of the best curated collection of stuff AND doubles as my grocery trip…. all i know is now that i know how to work the system. i feel like i make out like a bandit every time i leave that place… and no one ever leaves Target without spending less than $100, so that’s saying something, right?!

we joke almost every time i come home from Target because i say “i saved so much money!” and he laughs and asks, “so what did you spend?”

it’s sure easy to spend money there… but i have to say, i’ve had some fun lately saving there too…

here’s what to do:

1 – get a red card! i have had one for months now, because one time they asked, i happened to have my checkbook with me. 5% off the whole transaction, every time, and like i said, i never spend less than $100, so that adds up quick! and it’s just a debit card, so no payments or anything… i love it. and quite frankly, i love busting it out when i’m there and circumventing the question, “did you want to get a red card…?” it just says, “hey, i’m a frequent flyer!”

2 – my new favorite thing. once i saw it, i downloaded the new cartwheel app and i LOVE it. so, you can use it on your desktop, iphone, or droid, and choose from up to 700 items that are discounted to your personalized list of deals. it’s for in-store purchases only, and after you add all of the coupons to your list that you want, you walk your phone into target and show the cashier your personalized barcode that instantly applies all of your deals {see what it looks like above}.  you can use facebook to login if you want and it will share deals with friends and you can see what deals they add…etc., but you can also change the settings so anything you use is private. in fact, i got 10% off a few bras this time around and target automatically puts those on a “private” list… just in case, ya know… you like to keep your privates, er… private.

aaand, these offers are multi-use, so many of the Cartwheel coupons will say “up to 4 in a transaction…etc.” but you can use it up to 6 times a day! meaning, get the 20% off those peanut butter M&Ms {you can almost see mine at the bottom of that receipt there…}, buy up to 4 all at once, check out and then do it again later in the day and get the same deal. up to 6 times! {i mean, if you really needed 24 bags of M&Ms…}

you start with 10 “offer spots” and the more you use the app and save and share deals, the more offer spots you earn. here is what it looks like on my last target receipt:

lets just say, it was a loooooong morning, and since i saved a coupon for active-wear for 25% off,
i scored me this cute zip-up {that i LOVE to wear to the gym} for $10 off. uh yeah.

lets just say i saved about $25 on this trip 
using Cartwheel and my redcard alone!!

unrelated, but sort of related side note: 
by the time i finally made it to Target that day,
{i drove all the way there before i realized: no wallet.}
my baby was starving and naturally, i
 was out of formula in my bag {my Target is 20+ min from home}. 
i found a Cartwheel coupon for Target’s brand of formula and added it,
then ran in, bought it {and the other snacks on coupon for the toddler…}
and fed my children while i went back in 
and cruised Target like a good mom does… 
 a few dollars cheaper than what i normally pay, 
even without the discount applied, 
and the up & up {Target brand} comes in a 2.5 lb, 
mine is usually 1.45 lbs!! 
who knew?! mind. blown.

3 – now, if i wanted to take it a step further, i could also collect manufacturer coupons. the RedCard will ALWAYS apply the 5% off, and the Cartwheel coupons will always add to that discount after any manufacturer coupons or target discounts or coupons… so there is a chance for some huge savings up in there. and as i left target and she handed me my receipt, she also handed me a few more…

4 – circulating coupons. these have different names at different places, but those coupons that they give you when you check out? keep those! these also can be stacked with your manufacturer coupons and Cartwheel deals {unless stated on the Cartwheel details that it doesn’t}. if you play your cards right, those coupons for 10% off beauty products, AND you have a cartwheel deal for a specific revlon mascara, AND you have a coupon from revlon, you could really snag a killer deal! just be sure to read the terms on all of the coupons and on Cartwheel to be sure you know what you can stack and what can’t.

5 – know the schedule of deals and clearance. yes, lots of the coupons will say “excluding clearance items” but when i was down that baby food aisle, i thought, “man this Target brand stuff is just so much cheaper…” i would use the discounts and coupons on the other items, and buy up all of these because they are just on sale to begin with! target has one of the best clothing clearance turn overs too, as we all know!  i almost ALWAYS find something i can’t live without in the clearance section… and 5% on top of that is not at all bad!

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so, to enter the giveaway for a $1000 to spend at target just leave a comment below letting me know what you think of the new Cartwheel app? or tell me what you love to buy at Target? tell me below and check the rules to get more entries!

Sweepstakes Rules:
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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

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  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 1/30 – 2/28.
Be sure to visit the Target Cartwheel brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!