What’s better than shopping at your favorite store? Scoring a deal on the things you need and want. With a growing family, every dollar saved can make a big difference, so we’ve rounded up the best tips for how to save money at Target, Costco, ALDI and more. Keep reading to discover our top budgeting tips.

photo: Target

Target

Target might be the store where you spend the most, but there are plenty of ways to save every time you visit.

Target's Circle Rewards is the best place to start. Sign up for the free program that gives you 1% back on all your purchases, which can be spent at Target. Members also get special deals, early access to sales and a birthday gift. You can access the rewards through your Target app, which also features Target's Cartwheel offers.

Hit the Dollar Spot. Bulleye's playground can be a treasure trove of bargain items, especially when it comes to needing goody bag items, stocking stuffers or Easter basket fillers.

Pick the best day to shop. According to RetailMeNot, Target pushes out clearance items in each department on specific days, so the day you shop can have an impact on your savings. These are the days rumored to be the best clearance prices for each item: Mon.: electronics, accessories, kids' clothing, books, baby items; Tues.: women's clothing, pets, food; Wed.: men's clothing, health and beauty, diapers, lawn and garden, furniture; Thu.: housewares, lingerie, shoes, toys, sporting goods, luggage, decor; Fri.: auto, cosmetics, hardware, jewelry.

You can also sign up for Target's RedCard to earn 5% cash back. If you don't feel like getting another credit card, Target also offers a debit card that links to your existing checking account and offers the same benefits.

Stack your coupons. Target allows you to combine store coupons with manufacturer's coupons, Cartwheel offers and RedCard discounts so you can save four ways at the same time.

If the store is out of stock on a sale item, simply ask for a raincheck. Target will generally guarantee any sale price, other than clearance items and limited-edition lines.

Don't miss the aisle endcaps or back of the store. You'll often spot Target's red sticker clearance items that can score you up to 70% off on certain items.

Set up a registry. You'll get 15% off any items on your registry that aren't purchased, so even if you think you're not going to be gifted something add it anyway.

You can never manage to make it out of Target with just what you came for, so if you really want to save money your best bet is to skip the store altogether and just order online. Target now offers same-day drive-up service at over 1,250 stores so you can just pull up, get your items and go. Don't forget that you can shop clearance items online as well. 

photo: iStock

Costco

Costco has everything, including many ways to save money when you shop at the discount warehouse. It's not often you can save money on gift cards, but Costco is one of the best places to score a deal on buying what is essentially money. You can score big discounts on gift cards, like $100 worth of Build-A-Bear credit for $80. This comes in handy over the holidays or for end-of-the-school-year gifts.

Get up to 4% back by becoming an Executive Member and using the Costco Anywhere 

If you're looking to save money on prescriptions, then head to the Costco pharmacy where you can earn deep discounts even without insurance coverage.

Book your next family vacation with Costco and you're sure to save. Costco Travel offers deals on theme parks, hotels, airfare, car rentals and more. 

Going to the movies with a family shouldn't break the bank, but it can. Luckily at Costco, you can buy a 10-pack of movie tickets at a discounted price and they never expire.

ALDI

Buy all the name-brand stuff. Usually, ALDI doesn’t do brand names, but when they do, it’s anywhere from 20-40% cheaper than the other stores.

If you're looking to restock your wine bar, there's no better place to score a deal than ALDI. When a good wine is on sale, however, it goes fast so the best way to save is to buy a few bottles at once or you might not see the same deal again.

To save the most make your ALDI trips on Wednesdays and Sundays when you can score deep discounts in the ALDI Find's section. Wednesday is also the day that you will find the best deals on meat, with savings of up to 57%.

With ALDI's "Twice As Nice Guarantee" the store will refund your money on any ALDI-brand item simply because you didn't like it. That's always helpful when your kids insist they will eat something and then suddenly refuse it. 

Shop for seasonal items at ALDI to save some money. Decorative items and specialty holiday foods are often a better deal than at some of your other favorite spots, like Target.

photo: IKEA

IKEA

The best way to save money at IKEA is by joining the free IKEA Family reward program. You'll be alerted to special sales and receive exclusive product discounts, not to mention a free cup of coffee every time you visit.

Another cool Family reward program perk? If you check-in at a kiosk or use your family member card at check-in, and you'll be entered to win a $100 gift card. They have a drawing every month! 

Did you refurnish the kids' bedroom a month before everything went on sale? Don't worry IKEA has one of the best price match guarantees and will give you a price adjustment for up to 90 days after purchase.

To find some great deals pay a visit to the As-Is section, where you'll find returned and open-box items at deep discounts up to 50 percent off. Shop on Monday for the best finds after everyone has made returns over the weekend.

To be alerted to upcoming sales and deals, follow IKEA on Facebook and sign up for mobile alerts to receive text notifications.

Amazon

The best way to save money with Amazon is by becoming a Prime member. From free shipping, which will soon be just one-day, to discounts at Whole Foods, the savings and benefits are more than worth the cost of membership. You also save money as a member by opting for a slower delivery. The No-Rush Shipping Program allows members to automatically get a discount at check-out or a promotional reward posted to your Prime account. 

Sign up for the Amazon Rewards Card from Chase. You'll get 5% back on amazon.com and at Whole Foods, 2% back at gas stations, restaurants and drugstores and 1% back on all other purchases. 

You can save money by cashing in your credit card rewards points. For example, Amex customers can earn $30 off of a purchase of $60 or more when they cash in rewards points for a limited time.

Save money and the planet with Amazon's Trade-In program that allows customers to send in old electronics, like smartphones and video games, for recycling in exchange for Amazon gift cards. 

Want to save money on games and apps? Use Amazon's FreeTime Unlimited. When you purchase an Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet you'll score a year of FreeTime Unlimited at no extra cost that gives you access to thousands of apps, videos and books at no additional cost.

photo: Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's

The best way to save money at Trader Joe's? Simply shop at Trader Joe's. The grocery chain doesn't feature any sales, but that's because its prices are often as good as it gets. 

Still if you're looking to save, the best time to shop at Trader Joe's is on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings when products are just being restocked and you'll find the best selection in produce to maximize your money's worth. 

Speaking of produce, you'll never want to make a Trader Joe's run without adding bananas to your list, at just 19 cents each you really can't find a better deal.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: iStock 

 

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