Monday, May 13, 2013

Target Cartwheel - shopping savior or sketchy saver?

Just when you thought Target couldn't get any more perfect, it did. Introducing Cartwheel, a new couponing system that allows the user to browse available coupons for certain brands and products and select the ones they want. Your Cartwheel holds up to 10 coupons ranging from 5-25% off, and then you use them when you go shopping next. You can earn more coupon spaces by unlocking badges when using Cartwheel. To use the coupons, simply have the cashier scan a barcode either on paper or on your phone and the savings will automatically be deducted.

This new system has pros and cons, as most things do, so here're mine:

  • Makes finding coupons easy
  • Coupons you'll actually use
  • Wide variety of products and brands


  • Uses Facebook to sign up (blech)
  • Only so many coupon spaces in Cartwheel
  • Coupons have expiration dates
  • Only available in stores

But here's the real question: How much can you actually save using Cartwheel?

To test this out, I decided to sample shop using real Cartwheel coupons and seeing how much I actually save using them. These are all coupons I would legitimately use on my next trip to Target.

1. Threshold Bathroom Towels 
Product chosen: Chunky Modern Bath Towel
Price: $12.99
Savings: 10%
New price: $11.69
Saved: $1.30

2. Method Handwash
Price: $2.99
Savings: 5%
New price: $2.84
Saved: $0.15

3. Method Cleaning Spray
Price: $2.99
Savings: 5%
New price: $2.84
Saved: $0.15

4. Sonia Kashuk Organizer
Price: $6.99
Savings: 5%
New price: $6.64
Saved: $0.35

5. Sonia Kashuk Face
Price: $12.99
Savings: 5%
New price: $12.34
Saved: $0.65

6. Nate Berkus Bath and Accessories
Price: $24.99
Savings: 15%
New price: $21.24
Saved: $3.75

7. Merona Women's Shoes
Product chosen: Emilia Tall Wedge Espadrille in Khaki
Price: $29.99
Savings: 10%
New price: $26.99
Saved: $3.00

8. Merona Women's Shorts
Product chosen: 5" Chino Shorts in White
Price: $17.99
Savings: 10%
New price: $16.19
Saved: $1.80

9. Goody Bobby Pins/Contour Clips
Product chosen: Bobby Pins 50 pack in Brown
Price: $3.49
Savings: 10%
New price: $3.14
Saved: $0.35

10. C9 by Champion Sports Bras
Product chosen: Reversible Racerback Bra
Price: $14.99
Savings:  25%
New price: $11.24
Saved: $3.75

Total spent without savings: $130.40
Total spent with savings: $115.15
Money saved: $15.25


Although this seems like a really awesome idea, it can either be really great or really crappy. For one thing, some of the prices were significantly cheaper online than with the savings in stores (namely, the wedges - $18 online!). Also, in the cases of the items that were 5% off, you really only saved cents, and the savings tended to feel more significant the cheaper the item was. But for some items, like the sports bra and the shower curtain, I saved a few bucks, which is always good. Overall, I would say that this is a good concept when used wisely. Good luck on all your shopping exploits!

Much love,

No comments:

Post a Comment