#FavouritesFriday: How to be a Clearance Shopper at @TargetCanada

I fully admit it: I’m a Target Addict.

At first glance, there’s not a lot that sets them apart from their forerunner (Zellers). It’s a brightly lit store, the brand colours are pretty much the same, and there usually aren’t a lot of shoppers around. However. There are marked differences: there are (helpful) staff everywhere; the merchandise is bright, stylish, and well priced, and they price match! The biggest thing that has me coming in their doors, week after week, is their clearance. I found some gorgeous placemats on clearance in the fall for $0.80/each, but they only had 5 in stock – I wanted 8 or 9. A very helpful staff member got on the phone and called all of the other Target stores in the area for me to check to see if they had any left! For an $0.80 product! Now that’s service.

Target knows how to clear products off of their shelves.

It’s almost as if they actually want to get rid of end of season items. Imagine that! My most recent great purchase was Hendrik’s Little Tykes Scooter: normally selling for over $40 at Target, I first saw them on clearance for $29.99. Then $19.99. When I saw them for $11.99, I couldn’t pass them up. There were two on the shelf, so I bought them both. I didn’t need both. I just couldn’t pass that deal up. ;) I’ve since given one to a friend for her son’s birthday.

In September as they were clearing the summer merchandise, I was at the store almost every other day, because they kept putting new stuff on clearance all the time! I bought Puddle Jumpers for $7.99/each! Giant beach balls, water guns for in the pool, water guns for out of the pool, funky sprinklers to run around in.

This inflatable pool/activity centre sells for $50 on Amazon.com – I picked it up for $11.99. Boy, was it hard on Hendrik to put it away in storage until the summer time!!

Swim suits for $3/each, t-shirts for $1.80, backpacks for $4.99!

I covered the next two years of Christmas Pajamas by getting them for $5/set.

I’ve picked up my Christmas & Valentine’s cookie decorating supplies for practically nothing. Wrapping paper was selling for $0.50-$2 a roll at the end of the season, and we picked up gift bags for $0.25/each!

On top of all of this, they have the REDCard, which allows you to save an extra 5% off of all purchases – even clearance! Now, I’m no dummy. I know that they’re still coming out ahead, because I really hate the process of taking my kids out of the carseats and putting them back in, so I try to go to as few stores as possible. This means that when we run to Target, we pick up our milk, our eggs, our cheese, bacon, cereal, whatever we need that they sell. And it’s true – we don’t need everything that I buy there – but I have a ‘present box’ under my bed, and when I see fun toys for cheap, they go into that box. When we go to a birthday party, I check there first to see if there’s something that the birthday child might like to have.

Win a $25 gift card to Target Canada through March 20, 2014, with You Pinspire Me

Bottom line is, if you’re willing to put things away to store for the winter / summer / a year or two, clearance shopping at Target is one heck of a way to save money. :)

Here’s a couple tips for successful Target Clearance Shopping:

  • Target ‘hides’ clearance all over the store – so if you don’t want to miss any of the clearance sections, you need to walk down the insides of the aisles – where the ends of the aisles meet a wall – they have clearance sections on the end of about every 3rd or fourth aisle. 
  • Know where the seasonal items are being kept, and visit those sections regularly as the season starts to wind down and change – they’ll mark prices down, and then down again, until they sell.
  • Shop often. Sometimes the clearance in a section will come and go in less than a week. Target is one of my fave places to go for a wander in the extreme cold temps that we’ve been having this winter, so I don’t mind frequenting the place. :)
  • Keep a keen eye on the prices on screen when checking out – I love Target, but I’ve had to go to customer service way too many times to ask for a refund on overcharged clearance items.
  • Think twice, and then think again, about whether you need or will ever use the super good deals that you’re about to buy. It’s not a good deal if it just gathers dust!
  • Different Target locations are better/worse for clearance. In Hamilton, the Upper James location is the best for clearance – the prices are marked down more frequently & there just seems to be more clearance items in the store. Scout around the different Targets in your area, if you have more than one, for the best one. 

Marya and I would like to share our love of Target Canada with you – so from now until next week Thursday (March 20) night at 11:59pm EST, you can enter in the Rafflecopter below to win a $25 Gift Card for Target Canada.

Win a $25 gift card to Target Canada through March 20, 2014, with You Pinspire Me

By the way, this post is in no way sponsored by Target. We are not affiliated with them in any manner, nor are we taking part in any social media campaigns for Target Canada. We just really love shopping there.

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Jenn vanOosten

I live in Hamilton, Ontario, and love my city. I'm a Netflixer, choral music geek, bookworm, inventor of recipes (I take Artistic Licence on EVERYTHING that I make), wife of one, mother of two, and owner of a neurotic Schnauzer. I respect people who respect others. I love good food that's well done, but my favourite lunch is KD & hotdogs. With ketchup. I'm addicted to Clearance Shopping. I will ALWAYS get the product that I want at the price that I want, eventually.


  1. When I shop for things in the clearance section, I am always prepared to shop out of season. I try to think ahead if I see a good deal. For example, if I see clothes for my kids, I grab a size that is one or two times bigger that what they are currently wearing. By doing this I rarely pay full price for their clothes.

  2. I scored some awesome target clearance in the craft section the other day so we had stuff to do over the March Break! I need to keep my eyes open more often for their clearance!

  3. I’ve found some great birthday presents there on clearance! You mentioned Upper James being the best, but I’ve had better luck at the Meadowlands location–I guess it depends on what you are “looking” for.

  4. I also LOVE their clearance stuff! Sometimes stuff is so cheap I almost feel like I’m taking advantage of them! It’s great! I’ve been just as successful at the Meadowlands location as I have been at the Upper James location!

  5. I commented earlier, but for some reason it didn’t show up :), so I’ll try again. I apparently need to check out Target’s clearance deals more often! I don’t shop there enough (I hate getting in and out of the car with kids! :)), but I did get Valentines for the each of the girls for next year for 0.25 a pack when I was there last! I like the tip about going more often at the end of the season to get the best deals. I’ll definitely try that! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Noam and I have gone to Target A LOT this winter. I’m with you, it’s a fun place to shop when it’s so cold out! Last week, I scored an organic king size quilt for $7.99!

  7. Apparently I need to start shopping at Target!

  8. I am mildly obsessed with Target….LOVE finding all the hidden clearance shelves at the end of the rows :)

  9. We got Christmas dresses for next year at $5. At that price, i don’t care if i mis-guess the size for next year!

  10. Target does have great deals! Go often (or have someone who goes often) to keep an eye out on things!

  11. I shop for things that are out of season to save the most money.

  12. fav tip is walk through the aisles, because there is clearance items everywhere!

  13. I am going there to buy FROZEN on Tuesday!

  14. fav tips: just because it’s on clearance doesn’t mean it’s a good deal, and checking often (but I hate getting in and out of the car with little ones so much that I don’t think I’ve ever been to Target). LJ

  15. you covered a lot of my tips for clearance too. I think you look at the initial price, clearance price and then if you feel theres enough there that you could come back when it might be lower then come back in a few days to see

  16. Definitely shop off season! At the end of the season, I always pick up clothes for the following year for my girls. Especially school uniforms (navy blue/white) that are generally 70% off at by the end of September. In October last year, I got 8 white shirts (t shirt, long sleeve, blouses), 1 sweater, 2 pants, 3 stretch pants (lace trimmed for under dresses) for less than $100. I buy up a size and hope that they don’t have a SUPER big growth spurt before the next school year.

  17. hit the clearance directly after a holiday to save huge! after xmas you can usually save 50-90% off!

    Lori R Jackson is my rafflecopter name

  18. I shop the day after major holidays so I get at least $50 percent off

  19. My favorite tips are to shop often and check the prices at the checkout.

  20. Shop after the holiday seasons for major markdowns.

    Florence C

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