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How to Save Time and Money at Target

How to Save Time and Money at Target

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Back to basics. Downsizing. Whatever you want to call it, frivolous spending has taken a backseat to a new trend of saving time and money. As ideas like family values and quality time have (finally!) become "in" again, many people are looking for ways to cut down their everyday expenses - and the hours spent shopping for them - in order to free up discretionary time and money for the more important things in life.

You might be thinking that although in theory it all sounds very nice, practically it's not that easy. You might think that saving time and money means cutting back on items and conveniences that are important to you.

Well, I'm here to tell you that it just ain't so. There are lots of ways and places to save time and money, both online and off. This is the first in a series about a variety of different stores, with specific savings tips for each one.

Let's start with Target.

Target's first store opened in Minnesota in 1962. Its cleanliness and aesthetics, along with its easy to shop layout, revolutionized the concept of discount shopping. Today, Target has integrated the design of a department store with the low prices of a discount outlet.

But people often think that in discount stores like Target, the prices are so low that there's nothing left to save. And that's a major mistake. There are a number of ways to save extra money, both in actual Target stores and at Target.com.

The first way to save is with the Target REDcard. This is a charge card that can be used for both online and offline purchases. It comes in two versions - a Target card, and a Target Visa which you can use anywhere that Visa cards are accepted. Either way, the benefits are great. First of all, as soon as you sign up, you get a certificate for a 10% off day at Target. That means that no matter what you buy, you get 10% off - be it a sweater or a bedroom set. After that initial certificate, the card works on a point system. For every dollar you spend at Target - and every two dollars you charge on your Target Visa in other stores - you get one point. When you reach 1000 points, you get a 10% off certificate, and then you start again. After every ten prescriptions that you fill at a Target Pharmacy and charge to your REDcard, you also get a 10% certificate. You can also use a Target Visa to pay your bills, and get points at the same time. This is a great deal, especially if you're a frequent Target shopper.

As for online shopping, if you do it well you can save not only the obvious - TIME - but money, too. Many stores, Target among them, have web-only specials and sometimes even items that are only available online. So the first thing to do - not only with Target but with any store - is to sign up for its free email newsletter. These newsletters contain news and updates on special offers and sales that often allow its subscribers to take advantage before the general public. Likely as not, they include information on sales in actual stores, not only on the website. Note: Target.com is a secure website, so you don't have to worry about giving billing information like a credit card number.

There's another way that online shopping can help you out. Let's say you prefer to shop in real-life stores, since that way you can examine the merchandise and see it for real, not just in a picture. Fine. But before you go shopping, check out the item you're looking for online. You'll be able to see the price, read about the features, and decide if you want to purchase it. Maybe Target doesn't have exactly what you're looking for, but something similar that's just as good. Finding out online will save you both travel and searching time, because you can do it at your leisure (remember, online stores are open 24/7), and clicking around the website is much faster than walking around the store!

If you're looking for a neat gift that won't leave a hole in your pocket, then Target.com has their Red Hot Store. There, you can find really cool items for great prices. They have everything from wallets to doggie collars to stuffed animals, and the changeover is frequent.

So you see, whether online or offline, whether you're looking for shoes or for a stereo system, you can save a lot of time and money at Target if you just put your head to it a little bit.

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