Easy Ways to Save that Home Decor Retailers Don’t Want You to Know

Trista - November 9, 2021

When it comes to your home decor, you want your house to look stylish, but you don’t want to spend a fortune. Home decor can get pretty pricey when you’re changing your styles for each passing season or if you are buying larger items. It can be overwhelming to decorate for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, and every other holiday. With decorating your home every few months, where can you save? You have to shop smart, and there are some tricks of the trade and tools you can use to help you out.

This article will share our top tips and tricks to save you money at our favorite home decor stores. These stores include Hobby Lobby, Overstock, HomeGoods, and Target. They are the most popular home decor stores in the US, so we paid close attention to their sales and how their retail floor works. After we break down the tips you can use at any store, we will drive deeper into some specifics. We have some tips that you will only be able to use at the specific store, and we will go into detail about each one. Read on to find out more about how you can save more money!


25. Shop During the Week

Have you ever noticed that when you are in a store, and it seems busier than usual, you just can’t seem to get away from anyone? There are people in every aisle, and someone is standing right in front of the product you want to grab. You’re just trying to make this a quick in-and-out trip, but you end up waiting on the people around you. Have you paid attention to what day of the week it is? If you’re going out on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, then this might be why you’re experiencing the increased volume of people.

Try going shopping at Target mid-week, like a Monday or Tuesday. You will miss the hustle and bustle of the stores during their peak hours, and you will be able to shop at your leisure. Sometimes the stores are so busy that you miss when they have an excellent deal on markdown. Going mid-week will allow you to browse without feeling overwhelmed. You could also try different times during the midweek shop – early morning might be best or try 2 pm – after the lunch rush. Take note of the times of day that you’re going to try to visit the shops at the same time.


24. Always Check Clearance

If you are inside the store anyway, it is a no-brainer to swing by the clearance sections of the store. You never know what you will find until you check this area out. No matter what time of year it is, there is always an occasion to buy for. Birthdays, holidays, baby showers – you name it. If you have the space for it, it pays off to buy low and store the item for a later date. Also, if you know the deal is great, you could always purchase it and try to resell it for a profit!

Also – it is not just discontinued items that go into the clearance area. Sometimes things get dropped – the box may be damaged, but the product inside is in good condition. Some retailers will mark this down up to 50% because just the package is damaged! Always double-check items with damaged parcels – you don’t want to get home, and the product is unusable. Ask an associate if it’s okay to open the package up and double-check that everything is fine. Let them know you are interested in buying it if everything looks good!


23. Seek out Back Walls and Endcaps

Retail stores usually have an actual clearance section. You can ask an associate where the clearance section is, and they will often tell you it’s in the far dark corner of the store. On your way to the clearance section, make sure you double-check the endcaps, back walls, and other corners of the store that get less traffic. Clearance items can be missed and still be merchandise with the regular stock on the back endcaps.

It also pays to search in the “regular” merchandised area, like back endcaps, because some clearance items may technically still be in season. If they are still in season, retailers will want to merchandise items with the other seasonal stock. Alternatively, you will sometimes find items marked down as if they are clearance, but they are just discontinued. While they can be the same thing, discontinued items will sometimes make more sense to keep them with the regular stock. They keep them here until it sells out then the merchandisers can rearrange the area when needed.


22. Ask When Items Get Marked Down

Many retailers have specific days and times when items get marked down. This usually doesn’t change too much, so it is a good idea to ask an associate. Not only do specific departments get marked down on certain days, but items that get damaged will regularly be added to their clearance as well. For example, Mondays could be clothing, which Fridays could be electronics that get marked down. It is best to check often, but if there is a specific item you’re looking for – be sure to ask when things get marked down.

Another thing to keep in mind is the seasons. If you are looking for specific seasonal items, usually, they will get marked down by a percentage the day after the holiday. For example, if you are looking for something from Valentine’s Day, check back on February 15th to see if the items have been marked down. A week later, they should be marked down even more. Depending on how long after the holiday, some of these markdowns run from 15-90% off. There is usually a specific schedule for this too. Ask a manager so that you know when to check back in.


21. Find Out Which Day the Next Flyer Comes Out

When you know which days a new flyer comes out for a retailer, you can save big! When a new flyer comes out, that means that the items in that flyer are merchandised and brought to the front of the store or high-traffic areas – like front-facing endcaps. To not miss out on these sale items, find out what day of the week the flyer comes out and make sure to head to the store on that day. Usually, new ones drop on Thursdays, so a good plan of action would be to shop Thursday morning when it’s not busy in the store.

Another thing to consider is the stock coming OFF of the flyer. Some of these items are brought in only for the big sales and reduced to blow out. Suppose there are overstock items. When the changeover from the flyer is done, sometimes these items get reduced again to clearance. Make sure when you know what day it drops that you double-check the clearance sections for other sweet deals!


20. Inquire About Truck Stock Schedules

Asking about a retailer’s certain truck stock schedules can be a great way to stay ahead of their merchandising. Many stores get trucks every other day, so you can plan accordingly if you know which days trucks are coming in. On truck stock days, usually, the stock can come out to the floor mid-day, so aim for after lunchtime to avoid any rushes. This gives the employees time to put the supply out as well.

If you are going to a more prominent retailer, make sure to ask about the items on the trucks. Usually, trucks will go by department or season. When you are asking about the truck schedule, ask about specific product categories. If you ask when the trucks are coming in, you may get a blanket answer of “they come every other day.” However, if you ask when they are expecting their trucks with Christmas stock, a manager might say they already have Christmas stock and are expecting more to come in. With this information, you can further ask when they are expected to merchandise this product to know when to come back.


19. Shop After the Holidays

Holidays are retailers’ busiest times of the year. Often, retailers buy large amounts of holiday items to sell throughout the seasonal time up to 6 months before the holiday, then any leftover stock they blow out. When they purchase that far in advance, they can get the best prices possible while looking at previous years’ sales to project what this year’s sales will be. Then, because they purchased early at a lower rate, they can at least sell at cost to recoup the money.

You’ve probably noticed that many people wait until after Halloween to purchase discounted Halloween candy for themselves? This is excellent news for you if you are okay to hold out until after the actual holiday day. When you wait until the holiday has passed, these items will be significantly reduced. This applies to every holiday and every product. If you can convince the family to wait until the next week or day to have their holiday get together, you could save big on presents! You could even start your shopping for the following year early!


18. Subscribe to Store Newsletters

It is worth checking out if the retailer you are visiting has a newsletter that they send out. Sometimes they send out newsletters several times a week! Usually, when the new flyer drops are when you see a newsletter. However, if big sales are coming up, they could send out all the details for that. Newsletters aren’t just for when the new flyer is dropping or events that are happening either. Usually, companies will send you any coupons or discounts that are happening in their newsletter too.

Companies will often give a 10% off coupon right away just for signing up for their newsletter. One of the companies most valuable assets is its email list. They don’t mind showing their customers their appreciation for trusting them with their email addresses and not spamming them. They should only send quality content! The companies will then reward their customers periodically and give them the inside scoop on what’s going on at the store. In the end, the company’s email lists make their money, so they want to return the favor and have you keep coming back to shop!


17. Browse the Online Store

Sometimes a retailer’s online store will have different products than their brick-and-mortar stores. It is often a good idea to check out their online store as well as their in-store pieces as they can have other items and different deals. Sometimes online, they will also have coupons you can use. Make sure you check the fine print on the coupons, though, as some of them might be an online exclusive. If it is an online exclusive, you can ask about any coupon deals the store has that you can apply to the online order.

Also, make sure to ask about getting free shipping on your order if you have to order online. Many companies will have a coupon for free shipping, or if you spend over a certain amount of money, there is sometimes a free shipping coupon. Also, make sure to check if they have free shipping to the store instead of paying to ship it to your home. Simply select the closest store to you to have the items shipped to. If you plan and you’re okay to wait for the shipping times, this can save you a significant amount of money.


16. Ask About Price Matching

Many stores offer price matching, so don’t skip this step when shopping! Target is usually one of the stores that offer this. Sometimes Target even lists different online prices versus their in store prices – so be sure to always use their Target Circle App to scan your item and make sure you take advantage of that couple extra bucks. Also, as we said earlier about checking out retailers’ online stores, sometimes they will have a sale on their online store. Stores should price match these items for you in-store – so always double-check! Some apps will help you price match as well, so check out some of the top-rated apps and download them before heading to the store.

If your price matching is from a different store, this is easy to do. If you have the items saved on your phone already, if your using an app, or if you have them cut out from another flyer and organized, the cashier will thank you. It’s never a big deal to price match, but you can make the cashier’s job a whole lot easier if you are a little organized. When you’re having an item price matched, it will have to be identical, including brand, size, color, etc. Often if you are price matching something that is only sold online, you have to make sure there is no additional shipping charge and that the item is in stock online.


15. Download the Store App

We are in the digital age, and most companies have an app that you can download. Download the apps for the places you shop most often, and you will be surprised about what is included. Most of these apps will consist of the weekly flyer, an online store, and any promotions or coupons that are happening currently. This will be another way to stay ahead of other shoppers and see what is coming on sale and find the best deals. Some apps like the Target Circle app even have an easy way to scan the item’s barcode so you can quickly check if there are any deals!

Along with downloading their app, you will not only be able to see what is coming on sale and the current flyer, but you will often get coupons. Many of these coupons you can scan right at the cash register for money off or get particular points. Like a newsletter, you will usually get weekly notifications of any unique benefits you get from having the app. You can pay to download the app! Most apps should be available on both the Apple Play Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.


14. Shop On the Days When They Offer Bonus Points

The best time to go shopping is if the store you visit has a bonus points sale. Bonus points can “save” you a significant amount of money. While you may not get money off on this purchase, it is worth it for your next purchase. Days where items earn you five times the points, for example, are great days to stock up on those items. Suppose they are items that do not go bad. Like toilet paper, you can purchase as many units as you need to get the deal. Some stores will limit how many you can buy, so keep an eye out for this.

If there aren’t any great deals during the bonus points day, it is still okay to shop and get those extra points. Sometimes retailers who let you collect points will also have days where when you spend those points. You get additional points back on the spent ones. This is earning money on money – free money! Who doesn’t love free money? Is there something that you have had your eye on for a while? Then buy it with the points you have earned. Also, items that rarely go on sale are great items to use your points on to purchase. Since they rarely go on sale, using the bonus money you’ve received to get this item makes sense.


13. Ask About Rainchecks

We have all been there; you’re at your favorite store, patiently waiting to get to the area where the massive sale is that you saw. You get to the location where the item is, and there’s none on the shelves. Maybe there is another area where this item could be displayed? An endcap or its display. No luck. You ask an employee, and they go to the back to search for the product, and they come back with the dreaded news that it is out of stock right now. But this was your opportunity to save big with the sale!

Not to worry! Many stores have rainchecks available, and it is worth it to ask! Sometimes if you don’t ask, then the employees won’t offer. In some stores, they encourage employees not to mention rainchecks as it could potentially make the company lose some money at a later date even though they still get the sale. A raincheck is when a product is out of stock, but you get a guarantee of the sale price when it comes back in stock. Usually, you get a slip of paper or a receipt stating that you were at the store on a day when the item was on sale, and some stores will need you to pre-purchase the product, then you pick it up when it arrives.


12. Keep Your Receipts

Do not throw away necessary receipts! Receipts are your ticket to getting money back. Stores will often have surveys on their receipts that are easy to complete. These surveys are often entries into shopping sprees, and some of them even have instant prizes! Many of the instant prizes are with restaurants and fast food – but you are still saving money! For something free, it is worth it to let the company know about your experience at their store. You may just be rewarded for this!

Also, receipts are your proof of purchase. You need to have your receipt if you need to return an item. Make sure you are checking what the return policy is at the stores you are shopping at, as well as the manufacturer’s warranty. Some stores will also sell extended warranties within the store. To be able to claim the extended warranty, you will need to have your original receipt. Even for manufacturer’s receipts, you will often need to show proof of purchase for their item. You can always take a picture of the receipt and keep it, or scan it and save it to a USB. Some apps will save necessary receipts for you. This saves you so much money as long as you remember to use the warranty and return policy when needed!


11. Inquire About Holds

Do you work a job where the operating hours are almost the same as your favorite store? What if you know of a big blowout sale that is coming up? Unfortunately, you usually can’t skip out on work to go shopping! If you know that a big deal is coming up at Hobby Lobby and you don’t want to miss it, you can always call ahead and have the item placed on hold for you. This way, it is guaranteed that you will have the product when you arrive at the store later.

The only further action we can suggest here is to make sure you show up when you say you’re going to be there. Many stores will only hold an item for 24 hours, so you need to go and pick it up before it gets put back on the shelves for sale. Sometimes you can have things on hold for longer depending on the store and circumstance, but you usually have to pay ahead first. This should be no problem for you because it is all good as long as you get the sale at the end of the day!


10. Just Buy It Already

We have all been there and felt the pang of guilt when you buy an item. You’ve been looking at it for months, waiting for it to get marked down. Finally, the day has come when it goes on sale, and you even have a coupon to stack with it! You get to the store and see other people shopping for their children and buying more practical items. You second guess yourself and think, “Maybe this money could go to something more useful?”. Well, we are here to tell you to buy the dang thing!

It is truly not often that we spoil ourselves. Unless you are a Kardashian, that is! We usually put it back and spend the money on other things for our families. But for real, when do you just buy the damn thing? Well, you deserve to purchase the items once in a while! If you see a sale, just get it. If you don’t get it now, when you come back, it might not be there. Or it might be a while before it goes on sale again. Do yourself a favor and buy the items and enjoy it.


9. What about deals at specific stores? Let’s Start With HomeGoods

Next, we will go into things to look our for at specific retailers. All of the information listed earlier is great and is a general guideline for most retailers. Some of our favorite home decor stores, including HomeGoods, Target, Hobby Lobby, and Overstock, all have unique saving incentives to look out for the next time you are shopping!

Firstly, when you shop at HomeGoods, you should be using a HomeGoods gift card! You can get gift cards from websites like Swagbucks! Swagbucks is a free app where you can complete tasks to earn points that you can then use to get gift cards! Learn more about how to get 100 free SB points here. HomeGoods gift cards are great because you can use them at all of their sister stores as well: TJ Maxx and Marshalls!


8. Ask about Rae Dunn Items and Download the HomeGoods App!

Rae Dunn has blown up in the past several years, and for good reason. Her line of home decor items is unique and classy. You can get items that will fit any season, and you can also get seasonal items. Some of her merchandise also have a little sass if you are into that! The only problem with Rae Dunn merchandise is that it sells out FAST! You have to be on top of your game! Know when to shop and where to look to get the best deals in-store. If the item you are looking for is seasonal, you can ask associates if the Rae Dunn merchandise comes out at the same time as their other seasonal items. Then ask when the seasonal stock comes out. By being one of the first people to know when the items are coming out, you will find yourself getting the items before they become out of stock. Another great thing about Rae Dunn items is that they have a great resale value

If you download the HomeGoods app, you can be the first to know when new stock is coming out! If you start to see the seasonal items posted on their app, you will see that they are also beginning to stock them in-store. Also, if items are being marked clearance, you will be the first to know! You can then be the first to search through the items in the store that are marked down heavily after a holiday or season. This is the time to get the best deals!


7. Deals at Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby is one of the stores on our list today that has a specific markdown schedule. This makes things easier for you as you don’t have to keep asking when items will be marked down. The website House Beautiful says, “Every three weeks, explore your creative side with art supplies, yarn, jewelry-making supplies, and activity kits on sale. Every two weeks, get your frames, floral, stickers, and ribbon.” You can read more about Hobby Lobby on their website here.

Along with their markdown schedules, make sure you are signed up for Hobby Lobby’s newsletter because they often send out 40% off coupons. This is one of the best coupons that you can get from a retailer! You won’t use it on sale items, but it is usually a better deal at 40% off. Most products don’t even get marked down that much. While it isn’t ideal to skip out on the sales, it is wise to use the coupons on items you know don’t get marked down often. And don’t forget to save your receipt, as they usually have a coupon printed at the bottom!


6. The top two Hobby Lobby secrets that save you money!

There are two rules when it comes to Hobby Lobby that, no matter what, will save or earn you money every time. The first rule is to buy your tissue paper from Hobby Lobby. Almost 99% of the time, it is the best deal, even compared to other dollar and discount stores. Also, it is the best price at full price! Often the tissue paper goes on sale, so when it does, make sure you stock up! You can get their tissue paper in many fun colors and patterns, so you are sure to find something you can use for any occasion.

The other rule is to use the Hobby Lobby Visa card. If you are a Hobby Lobby lover, it could be well worth it to get a Hobby Lobby Visa. Or, if you are an art and crafts YouTuber, TikTok creator, or Etsy shop owner, it can save you considerable time to use this cashback card. At 5% money back, you are earning money by spending money you would have spent anyway! This is like a free 5% back with no effort! You can also use this card at other regular retailers as well and still earn 1% cashback.


5. Ways to Save with Overstock Deals

At Overstock, you can save big when you sign up for their Club O memberships. You can learn more about the ‘Club O’ perks here. While there is an annual fee for Club O, It is well worth it if you shop there often. Also, make sure to check out their exclusive product on their website. The product online is only available and not in store. If you want the most unique home decor, this is the place to shop! Overstock carries exclusive brands like Carson Carrington Home that you can’t find anywhere else. Overstock also has an excellent app that you can shop from and has been ranked one of the best apps for home decor goods! You can also virtually see how decor items will fit and look in your space with their 3-D models.

Also, when you are shopping at Overstock, don’t forget to check out their pet supplies! A portion of the sales from their pet supplies goes towards the Best Friends Animal Society. You can shop their pet supplies feeling great, knowing that a part of your purchase is helping out animals in need. Although Overstock sounds like it will be items that have not sold and are “overstocked,” this is not always the case. With trendy brands and great deals, you can rest easy knowing that you are getting a stylish deal from Overstock. They have many styles to choose from for any home decor items you are looking for! With the ‘Club O’ membership on top of this, you can save big on your next furniture purchase!


4. Use the Target Mark Down Schedule to Save

Target has specific days when items get marked down at most stores. The schedule, according to Yahoo!, is usually as follows: Monday: Electronics, accessories, kids’ clothing, books, baby, stationery. Tuesday: Domestic goods, women’s clothing, pets, market (food items). Wednesday: Men’s clothing, health & beauty, diapers, lawn & garden, furniture. Thursday: Houseware, lingerie, shoes, toys, sporting goods, decor & luggage. Friday: Auto, cosmetics, hardware, jewelry.

When shopping at Target, it is excellent to know this information, but you should also pay attention to the numbers at the end of the prices. These codes mean something, so when you pay attention to them, you can save even more! If you see a price that ends in a .04, take note. Why? That means that it is at the end of its clearance life. That will be the lowest price you see for that item, which usually means it is discontinued. When products are marked down, it usually goes in a sequence – starting at 15% off then going all the way to 70% off. Depending on how long the product has been there, the longer it sits, the deeper the discount. This is the same for Holiday items, so if you can hold out for a while after the holiday or season, you will get a much better deal.


3. Stack Coupons at Target to Save More!

One great thing about Target is the coupons that you can use! Couponing was once a trendy thing to do – it was a thrill to see how much stuff you could get, and sometimes the cashier would owe you money in the end. Networks dedicated TV series to this behavior, and everyone loved it! Many of the people couponing were mothers, so it was so inspirational to see how they overcame whatever struggle, and because of the couponing, they were doing so much better.

If you want to use coupons at Target, the good news is that it is still easy to do! You can get coupons from multiple places, and the best part is that Target lets you stack your coupons. That is right – if you have more than one coupon and it doesn’t have an official statement on it for how it can be used, you can use multiple vouchers for one transaction. Sometimes Target will even let you use the ones that have rules on them. You can also use manufacturers’ coupons in your coupon stack. All you have to do is show it to the cashier; it’s that easy. Target will allow these coupons even if they state that they can only be used at certain stores. So, save your coupons(many people use a binder with cards inserts that are 9 to a page), put them in a binder, and get out there!


2. Use Target’s Wedding Registry (Even If You’re Not Getting Married)

Some people may not like this, but you can make a wedding registry, or any kind of registry for that matter, and get cashback. It is not like the company will search every application for a wedding registry. They are just happy that they have the chance of getting another purchase, whether that be in-store or through a wedding registry.

Once your wedding registry is closed, the company will usually send the happy couple a 15% off coupon. Now there typically are some restrictions that apply. For example, the coupon doesn’t work on only one item. You have to purchase the entire registry to get the 15% off coupon. If you are going to do this, make sure everything in your car is what you want, and you could use the coupon.


1. More Ways to Save at Target- and Be Green!

Did you know that Target will pay you to use your plastic bags? That’s right. You will earn 0.05 for every bag that you bring in on your own. You can purchase bags at Target still, but most retailers have pushed to remove plastic bags altogether. Some stores have achieved this and only use paper bags or have gone completely paperless. You have probably seen signs around Target for “Buy Two And Save A Dollar!” or at least something similar. Well, the truth is, for most of these buy two items, you don’t have to purchase two items. If you look at the individual labels, you will notice that there should be a price change on them.

Last but certainly not least is the advice to purchase toys in July, December and January. Target holds big toy sales usually in these months, so it is good to prepare and have a mental note of what you want to get. January is the obvious one as it is after Christmas, and items will be marked down. Right before Christmas, there is often decent sales on toys, and finally, Christmas in July is a large sale that many stores participate in, but Target is usually the biggest.