Target Saves You Money In Ways You Can Only Imagine

Target continues its rebranding as the Duchamp of retail stores, with this receipt that indicates savings where no savings ever existed. Or perhaps multi-dimensional savings; we can’t pretend to know what Target sees when it stares into the void. Mark notes, “The cookies were on sale, as indicated. The cascade, I had a coupon for it to be free. Total savings should be $4.23. The receipt says $7.37. Maybe it’s a conspiracy since it is the Love Field (near the airport) in Dallas where Southwest flies only 737s.” That’s as good an explanation as any, Mark. Maybe you should work for Target?


Edit Your Comment

  1. JRules says:

    Looks like it counted the 3.14 twice
    3.14+3.14+1.09 = 7.37

  2. MyLud says:

    $2.50 on your MasterCard?

    Maybe the factored in the interest you were going to end up paying, but didn’t…

    • Laughing-Man says:

      @MyLud: I use a mastercard and visa check card all the time instead of carrying cash. No intrest on that.

      • redkamel says:

        @Laughing-Man: I dont even carry cash anymore; it keeps me from wasting money on small things.

      • Kwik80 says:


        Until a day like today happens when our modem hub died an amazingly spectacular loud screeching death, and we lose the ability to process debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, food stamp cards, unemployment benefit cards…

    • mgy says:

      @MyLud: You obviously don’t read the Consumerist often. Using a credit card for purchases and then paying off the balance each month is the safest way these days.

      • bender123 says:


        No!!!! hat is the wrong way to a credit card!!! You should always charge everything you buy and pay minimums every month!!!!!

        Caster Mard

        • William T. Sprague Jr. says:


          i got to give you props for this comment, it made me literally lol at my desk. i think the sig is what got me

    • nakedscience says:

      @MyLud: Could be a debit card.

    • Anonymous says:

      @MyLud: I charge everything because it gives me points towards a free JetBlue round-trip. I’ve even charged $0.50 for a banana in our cafeteria. Makes no sense to me to pay cash if A) I pay my bill in full anyways B) I can keep my money invested during the billing cycle C) I get about 2 round trips free per year

  3. xkevin says:

    You charged $2.50?

    • B says:

      @xkevin: What’s wrong with charging small amounts? As long as the OP pays off his credit card in full every month, he won’t pay any interest.

      • xkevin says:

        @B: Fixed transaction fees cut into margins on low cost items. The costs added to the product to compensate most likely outweigh the 2.5 cents in credit card rewards and definitely outweigh the 2/1000 of a cent you’re earning in float.

        • babyruthless says:

          @xkevin: But the extra cost is an externality to the consumer. Sure, it’s more expensive because people charge small purchases, but it’s not any cheaper to the individual if s/he does. I try to pay with cash or check with small businesses, but when I go to megastores, I just pay with credit. Eh.

    • nakedscience says:

      @xkevin: And it could be a debit card? (Maybe not, not sure how debits read on receipts.)

      I don’t tend to carry cash because I’m bad about making it to the bank every week. I charge/debit small amounts all the time.

      • b.k. says:

        @nakedscience: My debit card is issued by Visa and it does indeed say “Visa Charge” or similar on the receipt. Because technically it’s a Visa card. Anytime Visa has a security breach I get re-issued a new debit card. Which means I’m awesome at remembering new pin numbers.

    • Scoobatz says:

      @xkevin: Your point being?

      I charge absolutely everything I can. I hate starting the day with a couple of twenties, only to end up with a stack of dollar bills jammed into my wallet and a pocketful of change.

      I have paid off my credit card balance in full every month without fail for (at least) the last 10 years. Using my credit card for purchases not only provides rewards, but gives me a much better understanding of where I’m spending my money. In addition to Quicken, my credit union provides an annual report of all my purchases by category. It’s a great way to see where my money is going. The alternative is to take a few hundred dollars out of ATM at a time and record general withdrawals in my check ledger.

      And, incidentally, I do like the recent change of not requiring any signatures for credit card purchases under $25. It makes shopping that much more convenient.

    • AlxFherMana says:

      @xkevin: Like other have said, it could be a debit card. My debit card is a Mastercard.

  4. H3ion says:

    The “savings” were probably Target’s estimate of what the prices of the items would have been at full retail…maybe at Tiffany’s. But a charge for $2.50? Wow.

    • DixonDaimon says:

      ive charged less. if you pay your bill in full every month i dont see a problem with it. especially with rewards. of course, this will all probably change very soon…

    • SabreDC says:

      @H3ion: I do it too. That way, I make one payment at the end of the month and never have to carry cash.

    • krunk4ever says:

      @H3ion: Agreed, the amount save was probably from non-sale prices (which aren’t listed on the receipt).

  5. aen says:

    Glitches happen, does every glitch need to be analyzed?

    • parad0x360 says:

      @aen: apparently it does on this site if it involves Target. They seem to have a nonsense vendetta against them.

      • supercereal says:

        @parad0x360: Replace “Target” with “every non-independent or non-mom-n-pop” store, and then we’ve got a very accurate statement.

  6. Hank Scorpio says:

    It looks like they charged and credited the Cascade @ 3.14 twice.

    3.14 + 3.14 + 1.09 = 7.37

  7. Tristan Dædalus says:

    I’ll bet the program that does it on those eons old IBMs just doesn’t recognize the coupon was a deduction. I’ll get its back on this one, after all who puts the minus sign after the price??

  8. Dan Grossberg says:

    Not a bad idea charging such a little amount, especially if you transferred a balance to a new card. For some, in order to keep an 0.0% APR on the transferred amount, you need to make a purchase or two, no matter how small.

    That said, Target can’t add.

  9. Joseph Heck says:

    whpd-frkn-d…. ‘m gld th ntrnt ws nvntd fr ths.

    • mysterylodge says:

      @Joseph Heck: You didn’t have to read it, or make the effort to comment on it. I assume noone put a gun to your head and said “You must read everything on Consumerist!”

      Perhaps trolling on Fark would be more your speed?

      (just sayin’)

    • RandaPanda says:

      @Joseph Heck: Wow…that was hateful…

      • t0ph says:

        @Randa the Panda: If I am not mistaken, his original comment is still in full on the front page as ‘Most Commented ‘ …and it does not seeme to be so hateful. Big deal. OMFG, he thinks it is a stupid post…

        I hate when people say “You didn’t have to read it” or “No one forced you to read it”. Then how would anyone know that it was a dumb post?

        For the record, I am a fan of Chris’ reporting. But this is dumb. The computer/register made a boo-boo..

        • nakedscience says:

          @PerpetualBoredom: …”How would anyone know that it was a dumb post?” Um, maybe they can come to their own conclusions?

          There is no point in someone saying, “Why is this here?!” or “This doesn’t belong here!” except to make themeselves feel mighty because they are somehow above a post.

          People need to utilize their scroll bar more often.

        • RandaPanda says:

          @PerpetualBoredom: OMFG!! he thinks it’s a stupid post.

          OMFG!!! You think my comment was stupid.

          And so what if his comment is on the front as ‘Most commented’? Just means I’m not the only one who thought his comment was hateful.

          I’m done now. Moving on to bigger and badder things.

          • t0ph says:

            @Randa the Panda: Dude, re: his comment is on the front as ‘Most commented’?

            I just meant I could see it not all ‘disemvowled’.
            I was not referring to the popularity or lack therof of his opinion. Just his right to express it.

            You totally missed the point. Have fun.

            • Chris Walters says:

              @PerpetualBoredom: Hey, that’s awesome you like my posts! Sorry this one was boring to you–it’s just that we’ve been on a kick lately with “random mistakes from Target” and this adds to our evidence file that it’s the Twilight Zone over there lately.

            • RandaPanda says:

              @PerpetualBoredom: Dude, I’m not a dude. And I got your point. I just chose not to make a point of it.

              I actually had commended before it had been disemvoweled, so I saw what he had said.

              • t0ph says:

                @Randa the Panda: This thread has gone too far and too long. I apologize.

                @Chris Walters: Hey, you can’t be awesome all of the time! Seriously though, ok. I didn’t take the Target theme of late into consideration. My blunder.

    • I_have_something_to_say says:

      @Joseph Heck:

      You should search for ‘2 girls 1 cup’ – that’s the real purpose of the internet.

    • Con Seannery: Mission Accomplished says:

      @Joseph Heck: I swear, I stop the War on Facebook and this is the crap that comes out of the woodwork. EVERY TIME I try to wind down the hostilities, this happens.

  10. Chantillian says:

    Th tpjr s t thr s w cn s mr f ths?

    thnk ‘ll kp p wth th Cnsmr Rprts nln sbscrptn nstd, thnks.

    • Con Seannery: Mission Accomplished says:

      @Chantillian: I wasn’t aware you were forced to read every post on here. Personally, I find it interesting, if a little sad, to watch our dear friend Target slip away into insanity.

  11. phatch says:

    It’s so obvious: you take the first four digits of the Target store phone number, transpose the 4th digit with the 2nd and 3rd digits to get 2314. Add the day’s date as a decimal to get 2314.18 and divide that by pi (the value of the coupon) to get 737. Duh!

  12. jsbeagle says:

    They probably added what the OP really saved to what they had to pay mastercard for the transaction…..

    I don’t feel sorry for making small purchases on MC or even Discover at places like Target even though the retailer may end up losing money on the transaction.

    • Jfielder says:

      @jsbeagle: I’ve made a $0.01 debit transaction before. It wasn’t on purpose. It’s not my fault the gas station didn’t have a sign saying they were out of premium gas. And before people start crying about my spending on premium… Yes, my car does require it.

  13. korybing says:

    The idea that Target is a Neo-Dadaist contemporary art piece just makes my day.

    • Juliekins says:

      @korybing: See, this is why I adore the “Target is slowly losing its mind” stories. They’re completely hilarious if you allow yourself to laugh at absurdities. It’s not a retail establishment, it’s performance art where you can buy stuff!

  14. bnelson333 says:

    I hate how the “you saved” font is bigger than the actual total. Has caused me discrepancies when tracking them on the computer in the past because it’s easy to write down the savings amount instead of the actual amount.

  15. Felix the Cat says:

    As to such making such a small charge: I find myself doing this just to keep the cards active and show some computer that I have not died. I only use one card generally but have half a dozen others and to keep them from closing them down for inactivity I make minor purchases on them from time to time.

    If you don’t like Tarbutt take a look at this 4 year old blog that they couldn’t close down with a 23 month civil suit:

    • fett387 says:

      @Felix the Cat: I like the article that talks about Target bribing people to post fake praise for Target. I wonder how many of them post on this site? From what I can tell, a lot!

  16. private1111 says:

    am i the only one who sees this
    3.14 mfg coupon
    + 4.23
    = 7.37

    • italianscallion33 says:

      @private1111: No, you’re not the only one, 2 other people commented that 3.14 + 3.14 + 1.09 = 7.37. 3.14 + 1.09 = 4.13, so your little equation is the same thing.

  17. XTC46 says:

    It looks like the person bought 2 of the 3.14items, and also saved 1.90 on the other item.


    = 7.37

    • Charmander says:


      No, if you look closely, only one of the 3.14 items was purchased. That’s the first item rung up. Next is some cereal that was on sale for $2.50. The third item is the manufacturer’s coupon, which deducted the entire cost of the 3.14 item.

      Hence, the actual total charged on the credit card was $2.50.

      It seems like some Target computer glitch which can’t compute the actual savings if the saved price ends up being equal to the item purchased, making it $0.00, or free in this case.

  18. PLATTWORX says:

    I love that the highest priced grocery store in my area will put something on sale and blast “WOW, YOU SAVED #X.XX” on my receipt as if I have actually paid them full price. No, honey, I would have shopped elsewhere if you didn’t have it on sale… someone else would.

  19. geoffhazel says:

    What’s the big deal on the 2.50 mastercard? I use my debit card all the time, for small AND large purchases. Its faster than cash.

    Look, anyone with teenagers in the house knows what happens to cash in your wallet… it has a way of disappearing.

  20. fatetwister64 says:

    @xkevin: of course! Paper money is a thing of the past, it’s twenty o nine y’all.

  21. mbz32190 says:

    So what? All my grocery receipts pull this scam with the “you saved” figuring in coupons and stupid card discounts and the like.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @mbz32190: I never checked to see if the “You Saved” amount was accurate.

      Does anyone find that number useful? I can’t imagine someone could use it their budget.

  22. Beth Coccaro says:

    RE: the minus sign being after, it’s programmed like an adding machine. It adds everything automatically, with subtraction done after. (3+2-)=1

  23. Dansc29625 says:

    If one of the items were on sale most retailers will add that to the “advertised savings” entry to the bottom.

    Moving on.

  24. vastrightwing says:

    They’ve taken a tip from the Delta play book and now call savings a “savings” when you don’t spend.