My LOVE/HATE relationship with Target

I should confess that I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with Target.  I know that sounds a little flighty, but I do.  I continually go to their “super” stores with good intentions and a definite list, yet come out with an entire cart full of items that I “need.”  It’s so easy to get sucked into the store for hours going aisle by aisle and thinking that you “need” additional items that were not on your list.  While each of us is working on a monthly budget, an unplanned trip to Target can quickly make us blow our monthly budget.  Here is why I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with Target:
Why do I LOVE Target?  I LOVE Target because its the one store that honestly has everything – its the ultimate one-stop shop and now that they have added grocery store items into their super stores, it would be silly to make a trip to Target and the grocery store.   In a super store, you can buy all your health and beauty products, your grocery items, your electronics, your home goods and your clothing all under one roof.  Makes shopping a one-stop shop and its CONVENIENT to do it all at once!  I also LOVE the store because the company can buy their products wholesale which makes their prices a lot more affordable than your average convenience or grocery store.  Even a lot of their generic items have passed my tests and are now staples in my eyes.  Customer Service is generally a good process – I have returned numerous items to different local stores and never been questioned about the returns.  They just take my card, swipe it and give me my receipt.  No heckling, no arguments, no nothing – I should be clear though, all my returns have been “clean” returns.  Nothing opened, with receipt and within the return period.  If they have everything under one roof and have excellent customer service, how could you not LOVE this store?  Well…

Why do I equally HATE Target?  I HATE Target because I cannot get out of the store without just the items on my list!  Their product placement must be made specifically for me because I’m continually saying to myself,” how did they know I forgot toothpaste?  Ahh yes, I did need to get new sponges.”  It’s all the random little stuff that just piles up in my cart and completely makes a quick, cheap trip to Target never the case.  These quick trips always end up with me blowing my monthly budget on household items and/or health and beauty products.  It’s so easy to lose sight of what you actually came in for and you end up overspending very quickly.  I have three suggestions to minimize your trips to Target – stick to your list of items that you made prior to walking into the store, use the 30 Day Rule for big items and try to only use the baskets because my philosophy is to only buy what you can carry.  (That will hopefully limit some outrageous spending on items that will not fit into the basket!)

Anyone else have a LOVE/HATE relationship with Target?  Any tips that you can share that will minimize expensive trips?

19 Responses to “My LOVE/HATE relationship with Target”

  1. Amen! I think one of the most difficult parts of my love/hate relationship with Target is that I generally walk out with things I need and use. It’s not as though I fall victim to impulse purchases like purses or a new blender. It’s the household things that kill me. I don’t think I’ve exited with less than $100 worth of stuff. Knowing this, I usually try to steer clear of things like candles and decorative aisles because I have no self-control and already know I’m likely already spending too much.

  2. This is dead on! Target is one of my favorite stores, but I usually cannot take a trip without making several unnecessary purchases. They get extra points from me because they have Starbucks inside, too! I try to limit my visits to the store; I make lists beforehand; and I’ve found that taking my best friend, who is also a huge Target fan, helps … we talk each other out of crazy, extra purchases.

  3. I have the exact same problem with Target! I might go in for shampoo, but leave with a cart full of items I desperately need! It’s especially hard to limit yourself when things are such a good value. I end up spending far more than I would at a more expensive store! Thanks for the tips — I’ll have to try them out next time I’m there!

  4. This is hilarious to me because I have a “thing” with Target too- it’s often a shopping “experience,” instead of just a get in/get out, use-the-list kind of shopping trip. I find myself getting distracted by the clothes, accessories and the home organizing and decor sections. I usually buy things that are totally useful and I did need (like cooking implements or spices..etc) but weren’t on my list or somehow replaced the things I intended to go in for!

    I love Target, but wow, it’s almost TOO easy to shop there. I find that Target is my budget-buster and I had to be REALLY careful when I did my 30 Day No Shopping Challenge the second time because the first attempt was derailed when I caved and purchased an incredibly marked-down Yankee Candle and a cute clearance picture frame…blarg.
    Shannyn recently posted..How Fresh College Grads Can Avoid Debt Problems

  5. Target gets me every time. One day I walked in for ice cube trays and deoderant and walked out spending $120. It’s as though upon entering the store all of my financial, budgetary or ‘stick to the list’ willpower is sucked from my body.

  6. Haha, my friends and I constantly have the same problem …. we go to Target for one specific thing (like toothpaste) and emerge, 2 hours later and $200 poorer, with 10 things!

    My solution: live far away from a Target. To be clear, I didn’t intentionally choose my apartment because it’s far from a Target. But the pain-in-the-butt factor of getting to the nearest Target has been a wonderful unexpected consequence of my current location :-)
    Paula @ AffordAnything.org recently posted..Savings Snowball: New Method for Saving More

  7. I agree… my joke is that I can’t go to Target without spending at least 70 dollars and sometimes I’m like what the heck did I even get? All the small inexpensive items add up!

  8. I completely agree – that’s how they get you! Did you need those items? Probably! Did you actually think you needed them? Probably not! Try the basket next time and see if it limits spending at all.. the heavier it is, the less you want to actually carry it around the store with you.

  9. […] Don’t we all have a love/hate relationship with Target? […]

  10. …..are you serious? are you guys that bereft of will power? do you have that much free money lying around that you can drop 120$ after coming in for just deodorant and ice cube trays? I have the complete opposite problem. I go in trying to buy a set of shelves, can’t justify spending the twenty dollars, and leave with nothing.

  11. Kate – I completely agree! I wouldn’t necessary call it free money lying around because I end up having to shift my budget around to cover it in the end. If you skip out on getting stuff based on the price, do you just avoid the store all together?

  12. I have the same problem… but I work there which makes it much, much worse. I spend my payceck on my breaks and lunches.

  13. No Mercy – you must get a discount though :) At least that is worth something in the end!!

  14. Spend money wisely, don’t try to look other products that you wont be needed..LOL
    hannamay recently posted..How To Conceive Quickly

  15. Amen Hanna May!

  16. […] (source) […]

  17. […] away about $180.  My goal is to just show you where you can save some dollars, decrease that love/hate relationship with Target and what you should include in your monthly budget.  I also am fully aware of the “you […]

  18. […] Do you go to Target and buy more than you need? You’re not alone. […]

  19. Amazing post with a pinch of satire and humor at the same time. Bravo! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Most of the time I cross the required target level that I am supposed to maintain and buy my heart out.

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