How to Spend LESS Money at Target



Last week, I went to the West Ashley Target (my Target of choice in Charleston), to RETURN an item and pick up some light bulbs for my new fixture that I purchased at the Quoizel warehouse sale. Somehow, I spent exactly $69.67 on this particular trip. This is better than my $149 average, but still shocking, to say the least.

How to Spend LESS Money at Target Charleston Mom
Recipe for complete and total Target wipeout.

Here is where I went wrong (a.k.a. your tips on what NOT to do, and, therefore, how to save money at Target):

1. I went hungry. Like REALLY hungry!

First of all, NEVER do this. At all costs. I promise. You should never do this so much, that even a trip to MCDONALD’S before you go to Target would be a better solution. Honestly. Heck, get an apple pie or a milkshake while you’re at it. I went to Target at about 11 a.m., after a weekday mini photography session in West Ashley — after having not eaten breakfast. Recipe for complete and total Target wipeout.

After I picked up the essential light bulbs, I remembered I promised my seven-year-old son that we would make eggs for breakfast before school the next day. (You can see where this is going). I walked through the freezer section to get to the eggs. Along the way, I passed by the pizza. YUM. So hungry. Notice how I had to walk past non-essential items to get to the essential item, which was buried along the back wall of the store. This is not an accident — Target knows us! Like better than our BFFs know us.  Anyway, I hesitated. And then said no. Nope. No pizza today. . . oh, wait! Snap! Is that CAULIPOWER pizza? YES!!! So much yes. I’ve been wanting to try this but not sacrifice actual pizza night for it. And there’s an individual box size. Perfect for lunch, in the basket you go.

2. I went when I wasn’t in a “rush.”

It’s way better if you can go to Target when you are on a deadline. Try to keep it to eight minutes or less from the Target door to the car door. I went when I wasn’t in a rush. Hmm . . . the light bulbs are right next to all of the storage containers. I really need a solution for all the schoolwork that comes home on the regular. Honestly, I trash most of it — after reviewing, of course (am I a bad mom?!), but I still need a solution for the work we decide to keep. Piling it up on the counter is not working out at all.

So I meander over to the storage bins and wind up in analytical comparison mode. This bin is $7.99 versus this two-pack for $4.99. Obviously, I’ll go with the two-pack. But wait! The bottoms of these bins look like they are a little wider than those. What if the papers don’t quite fit in the two-pack? Okay. I’ll spend $15.98 for two bins instead of $4.99. Just to be on the “safe” side. Moving right along . . . .

3. I went without my kids.

This point could go either way, so beware! Kids, especially my whiny four-year-old and salesman seven-year-old have a way of getting what they want if I’m feeling even just the tiniest bit nice. Sometimes they just have a way about asking for something so sweetly, that it’s hard to say no. Just don’t let them trick you into walking past the toy aisles, and you’ll be mostly okay.

Other times, I know I just bought them x, y, and z recently, and there’s no way in H-E-double hockey sticks that I’m getting them anything else. In this case, cue the meltdowns! I’ve got what I need, and I’m getting the heck outta there. #Winning!

4. I went while I was on my period.

This explains the M&Ms and jalapeño kettle chips. Also back to hungry point number one. No further explanation needed here.

5. I went when I could have used a separate quick trip to the grocery store.

If I didn’t have to go through the whole store to get to the eggs, I wouldn’t have purchased the pizza, the chips, the cookie dough ice cream, or the M&Ms. I wouldn’t have remembered that I also need sparkling water. Oh, and that lunchmeat turkey looks great (remember — period + HUNGRY).  If I had eaten before I went, AND if I had gone to Whole Foods like I should have in the first place, buying all of this “junk” wouldn’t have even been an option.

The moral of this story is, do exactly the opposite of everything I did on my last Target shopping trip, and I PROMISE you will spend less money. Go ahead. Try it. I double-dog dare you. Come back and let me know how you did in the comments! (I clearly need some more pointers!)

P.S. Target — we’re on to your antics. We see you and raise you $50 in savings.