“They basically pay me to shop there.”
“This whole outfit was free.”
“I bought five pairs of shoes for $28.”
“I love Kohl’s!”
Yes, I really love Kohl’s.
I shopped there almost exclusively for several years (especially when I lived right across the street from one) and if “money made off her” is any indication, I was probably one of their least favorite customers. But if “number of visits” is tallied, I was one of their most loyal. Kohl’s has made very little money off of my shopping sprees because over the years I have learned how to work their system. I will admit it felt a little like highway robbery, but was fully and truly just part of their marketing game. Here’s my top tips for how to shop at Kohls and get the biggest bangs for your bucks!
1. Get a Kohl’s Credit Card.
My Kohl’s Credit Card has never carried a balance. I pay it off immediately after using it (with cash or check, I can pay it off at the same register I just used it to make a purchase!), but having the Credit Card allows Kohl’s to track my spending, know what coupons I am apt to use, and puts me in line to research mailed coupons.
2. Only shop at Kohl’s when you have a 30% coupon.
I listened to a podcast once, marveling at the interview with the marketing guru as she explained the number of analytics involved in deciding who receives what coupon. If Kohl’s knows that you are enticed into the store with only a 15% coupon, you’re only going to receive a 15% coupon. Why give you more of a discount than necessary? I have tested this theory with three friends (including myself): if you use 15% coupons, you receive 15% coupons. If you only make a purchase with a 30% off coupon, you’ll receive more of those 30% off coupons.
3. Never buy anything full-price at Kohl’s.
Any item you buy should be at least 40% off on the rack and you should have a coupon to use. Yup, that means you’re only making purchases at a steal of a deal off listed retail. Easy rule of thumb? You should always save at least as much as you spend. (And Kohl’s makes it easy for you to track that, since they tell you on every receipt!)
4. Scour the clearance racks.
Shopping season begins before the calendar season and ends long before the next season begins. In the middle of summer, then, you will be able to buy clearance summer clothes while the fall items are being stocked. You’ll easily find items for 70 – 80% off. Plus your coupon!
5. Shop for larger ticket items on Kohl’sCash days.
I saved pennies for a KitchenAid then timed my purchase so that I would received $10 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 I spent — on a $250 appliance, that’s $50 of “free money” to use later! (But here’s an insider tip: the new Kohl’s Rewards program gives double points in the first two weeks of having an account. I ended up with $120 of fun money by purchasing my coveted appliance strategically.)
6. Buy “needs” so you can get “wants”.
By purchasing towels and kitchenware and linens and birthday gifts (while it’s on sale, of course!) during Kohl’s Cash days and with deep discounts, you really are letting Kohl’s pay you for shopping at their store.
7. Stack coupons.
Most of their coupons are stackable, so any time you’re shopping at Kohl’s scour their website and sign up for their emails and sign into their wifi and find all relevant coupons and let ’em stack!
What are some of the best deals or tricks you’ve found for saving money at your favorite stores? We want to hear ’em!