How I Saved $2 at Target With Mobile Coupons

by Kevin on March 30, 2014

I spent last week in Phoenix, Arizona on a business trip. Whenever I fly for business I have a note saved in my Evernote account with a full packing list. (I tend to forget things these days… I’m told having a baby in the house will do that to you.) 

On that list is everything I need to put in my toiletries bag: allergy medicine, vitamins, shaving cream, and a razor.

I went through my packing list item by item, yet still somehow showed up to Arizona without my razor in my bag.

I discovered the omission around 10:30pm Sunday night. The local pharmacy stores would likely be closed by the time I got there, and I didn’t want to try and find a Wal-Mart.

The hotel was nice enough to bring me a free “razor”… but I’m not even sure you can call it that. It was a piece of plastic with two metal blades that felt like it had been recycled from a lumberjack’s shaving routine.

In other words it was extremely dull and didn’t really do the job. 

I needed to buy a razor despite having a cabinet of them back at the house — frustrating. Nonetheless I looked around online and found a really cool thing that Target does these days: mobile coupons.

Target has two mobile coupon options, and you can use both: 

  • Their new Cartwheel app
  • Text Messages with links to unique website coupons

My deal was on the text messaging side, and this is how it works.

First, you sign up online to allow Target to send you coupons via text: http://www.target.com/spot/mobile/landing

Then you get a text message and are asked to confirm that you actually wanted to sign up.

Next they send you a coupon of what they send everyone.

But if you just stop there you are missing out on some savings. Target releases several different coupons throughout the months and year with a phrase you can text back to them. In return you get another unique set of coupons. 

I was able to text “BAREURHAIR” and got 5 haircare product coupons back. The first one was $2 off a Gillette razor.

I scooted down to the giant red-dotted store and picked up a razor. The checkout experience was very easy. I clicked on the URL that Target had texted back to me, my set of coupons loaded with a giant barcode at the top, and the cashier scanned my phone for instant savings.

It was really slick. 

The Cartwheel app is a little different. It’s like having a coupon wallet on your phone. Except the coupons are from Target, and you can only hold 10 at a time. (There are over 500 available discounts available on the app as of this writing.) I’ve yet to find a discount in the Cartwheel app that I could use, but if you do a majority of your shopping at Target I’m sure you could find something to fit what you need.

In the end I saved a measly $2. But for the effort I put into it, especially for something I was definitely going to buy anyways, $2 is still $2. (And it bought me shaving cream to go with the razor, too.)

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