How to Not Spend A Million Dollars at Target

Target. A word synonymous with chocolate for women and a word which strikes fear into the hearts of boyfriends, husbands and children everywhere because they know that upon entering a Target store with a woman, they’re going to be there for awhile.

I don’t know about you, but personally I have a hard time going into Target for one thing and coming out with JUST the one thing. I go in there with the intention of grabbing a necessity like toilet paper and come out with a new dress, nail polish and a bottle of wine…AND FORGET THE TOILET PAPER. I’m sad to admit this has happened more than once, so I thought I’d compile a little list of tips that have helped me avoid The Target Curse and save a little cash as well.

- Use a hand basket, not a cart. This is just simple logic but you’d be surprised how effective it is. I dare you to try and fit 2 dresses an accent pillow and a gallon of ice cream in just a hand basket. One package of toilet paper, though? Piece of cake.

- Keep your eye on the prize. If you’re going in to replace your make up foundation you’ve just run out of, then grab your replacement and get your butt out of the aisle. This one is SO hard for me. Often times I’ll innocently peruse the rest of the cosmetic section until my eye catches something SPARKLY like nail polish or a new lip stick. Do I need them? No. Do I want them? Oh, yes. Should I add them to my carthand basket? No :(

- Avoid shopping when hungry. The Target I go to is a “Super” Target which means it has a grocery {and wine!} section. Sometimes, I’ll stop in after work for an ingredient I need for my dinner recipe. I’m usually already hungry and the bag of Archer Farms Parmesan Garlic chips I just walked by is calling my name. But, resist! Chances are if you put those in your bag you will be having chips for dinner. Put them back. Your wallet and hips will thank you.

- Get the RED card. Lastly, I wanted to let you in on a little secret: the Target RED card. Okay, it’s not really a secret since every cashier offers one to you upon check out but for the longest time I would just say no, not actually knowing what it was {I thought it was another credit card}. GUYS. It’s magical. It gives you 5% off of every purchase! I know it may not seem like a whole lot but hey, every little bit counts, right? The best part is that its not a credit card; it’s actually a debit card linked to your checking account just like your regular ATM card. You get 5% off and Target saves on the debit fee they would incur if you used your bank’s debit card instead. Everybody wins.

What about you, are you a Target addict too? I’d love to hear your tips & tricks on shopping with intention. Or at the very least a time and location for Target support groups ;)


  1. Chelsey says:

    I’m definitely a Target addict. I don’t live near one (the closest is about 2 hours away) but every time I’m in a city with a Target I have to go. I’m ashamed to say I spent most of my honeymoon money on Target clothes. Oh well.

  2. steph kelly says:

    oh my gosh i love this post! i’m a total target addict, but i’ve been getting better… very slowly. and the red card is so great! i get my prescriptions at target too, and although i dont get 5% back on those, i do get a target gift card every once in a while for using their pharmacy. can’t beat that!

    i will definitely keep this tips in mind next time i’m in the store :)

  3. Krysten says:

    I make a list. As long as I have a list then I don’t tend to grab nail polish and tights and a new dress and I get what I really need, which is usually toothpaste or dog food lol.

  4. Sandi says:

    Yes I am definitely a Target addict as well! I just went yesterday looking for hair ties and came out with 2 bottles of nail polish (couldn’t find the type of hair tie I was looking for). And I’ve totally been with my guy friends who get just as distracted as I do in Target…it’s not just a girl thing!

    • Liz says:

      My boyfriend is so much better at being disciplined in there, than me. But I totally agree its easy for ANYONE to get sucked into the Target Zone ;)

  5. Tiera says:

    I remember shopping at Target on vacations in CA, LV or WA was *such* a big deal because we didn’t have Target at home. And ever since they (finally!) came to HI, I’ve been giving them lots of my hard-earned money lol!

    My strategy for Target is the same as my general shopping strategy. I make sure I have a list of what I really need (usually just in Notes on my iPhone) so that I don’t forget the necessities. Then I totally wander around the store and grab things I *think* I want :) Then before I head to the checkout I take a look through all the items again and can usually be pretty level-headed about things I don’t really need/want, and I put those things back before hitting the register. I save myself from a lot of impulse buys that way!

  6. Ashley says:

    I haven’t been to a Target in like 2 months! There is one a couple miles down the road from me and the best way for me to resist is to stay away. Haha. No Target self control over here!

    Also, my Target starts out with the adorable clothes right as you walk in the door! I am doomed from the start. :(

  7. Tori says:

    YOUR TARGET HAS WINE?! Bankrupt. That’s what I’d be.

  8. Tay says:

    Target is my biggest weakness. It takes everything in me not to buy out the whole store. My poor brother is usually stuck wandering the store with me!

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November 14, 2012 Personal, Srsly Liz