ShopSmart’s Secrets for Saving Even More at Discount Stores

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How to Score Apparel, Accessories, and More at the Best Prices; Plus, Bargain Hot Spots

ShopSmart October 2013

Shoppers are bound to get a good deal at a discount store, but having a strategy can save them even more. The October 2013 issue of ShopSmart, from Consumer Reports, shares secrets for getting the best deals on clothing, accessories and more at Kohl’s, JCPenney, H&M, Target, T.J.Maxx and Marshalls and reveals six bargain hot spots and the best things to buy there.

“Using coupons only isn’t going to get you the absolute best deal anymore,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “Knowing about retailer’s pricing strategies and other tricks can help you really maximize your savings.”

Secrets for Saving Even More at Discount Stores

  •     Use a store credit card. Kohl’s gives cardholders 15 percent off their first purchase, plus exclusive coupons and discounts all year long. Target Red Card users get 5 percent off everything and free shipping for online orders. TJX credit card holders get $10 back for every $200 they spend at Marshalls, T.J.Maxx or HomeGoods, with no annual fee.
  •     Shop on certain days of the week. Markdowns at Marshalls and T.J.Maxx usually happen on Wednesdays. Kohl’s shoppers who are age 60-plus get an extra 15 percent off in stores every Wednesday. The hottest-selling items from H&M’s latest campaigns usually hit floors on Thursdays. At Target, women’s clothes are generally marked down on Tuesdays, men’s on Wednesdays, and kids’ on Mondays.
  •     Go mobile. H&M’s app sends users sale alerts and gives instructions on getting coupon codes on their smart phone. Text “Coupons” to TARGET for access to a wide range of mobile coupons that can be used in-store.
  •     Get social. Become a fan of H&M on Facebook and Twitter to get access to potential savings. T.J.Maxx shoppers who share photos of their finds with #maxxinista on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook could win a $1,000 gift card. At Target, shoppers who have signed up at can use their smart phones to access exclusive in-store promotions via Facebook (generally between 5 and 30 percent).

More Bargain Hot Spots

Shoppers can find bargains almost anywhere they shop, but here’s the inside scoop on what to look for at a few retailers:

  •     Burlington Coat Factory: This national department store features designer and name-brand merchandise including apparel, home goods and more, for up to 70 percent off other department stores’ prices. Coats are the big draw, but shoppers should also check out the retailer’s wide selection of designer jeans and cheap and cheerful kids’ stuff, including suits, party dresses, and more.
  •     Forever 21: The clothing at this chain store is targeted toward teens, but shoppers should head here for its selection of costume jewelry - with pieces available $12 or less – which look great on anybody.
  •     Loehmann’s: Shoppers can score some of the best deals on contemporary designer clothing, lingerie, sunglasses, and jewelry at this chain store. Sign up for an Insider Club membership to earn additional perks and discounts.

For more tips on saving even more at discount stores, check out the full report in ShopSmart’s October issue.

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About Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the publication’s celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmart features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. It’s ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at

ShopSmart is available 10 times a year. Subscribe at

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Melissa Valentino
Consumer Reports/ ShopSmart
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