avoid target at all costs

December 13th, 2007

Avoid Target at All Costs

In Day 31 of No Credit Needed’s 33 Days and 33 Ways to Reduce Debt and Increase Savings, NCN says to avoid the mall. And I wholeheartedly agree. Except that for me, it isn’t the mall. My problem is Target.

I love Target. I love the bright lights, the wide aisles, I even love the red and white bullseye logo. When we bought our current house a little less than a year ago, one of the things I mentioned to everyone who asked me about the house was “It is only minutes away from Target!” And it is. I had visions of going to Target once a week or so and scouring their aisles for clearance deals and considered myself a savvy shopper.

But the problem is, I would buy things I didn’t need and wouldn’t buy otherwise just because they were on clearance. Yes, that $3 pair of pants for my son was a great bargain – but only if he needed a pair of pants. Being inexpensive is no justification for buying volume that is not necessary. In fact, if I buy 5 pairs of pants at $3 each when I only needed one pair of pants that was originally $10, I would have been better off paying full price for the one pair of pants.

I have rectified this in a few ways. First, I just don’t generally go to Target anymore. I found once I stopped going just to browse, I realized that I honestly didn’t really need to go there all that often. Next, if I do go there, I go in knowing exactly what I need, and I don’t look around. I go in, I get the item, I buy it, I leave. I found doing this when I have an appointment scheduled soon after so I am in a time crunch worked really well. And my last idea hasn’t been tested yet, but I am hoping it works. Sometimes I do truly need to shop the clearance racks for clothes for my kids. But in the past, I generally browsed and bought whatever I liked as long as it was a good deal. This year, I am going armed with a list of specific items and sizes, for example, sweaters, no more than 3, size 4/5, and I am going to shop specifically from the list. I had sworn I would not go to Target at all this season, but when I was taking my son’s winter clothes out of storage this year, I found a bunch of sweaters and shirts and pants I bought for him last year on clearance that I really did need for this year. I just generally buy too much (and last year was no exception, no child needs 13 pairs of pants). So this year when everything winter goes on clearance, I will have a specific list limiting me to only what I need of each item. Hopefully it works.

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14 Responses to “Avoid Target at All Costs”

  1. For me the issue is Shopper’s Drug Mart. I go into that pharmacy and I can’t seem to get out without something that is a “good deal”. Weeks later it’s probably still sitting in my bathroom cupboard unopened. Lipbalm, moisturizer, bubble bath, nail polish, supplements… those types of things.

  2. “Being inexpensive is no justification for buying volume that is not necessary.”

    I love this line! So true and something I’ve really tried adopting.

    Great post! I’m a target junkie too but have been going armed with a list and it works!

  3. Target is the worst for attracting the money out of our wallets. It definitely is just best to stay away from that store. When we do actually go, we leave our credit cards behind and pay in cash. That way we can’t possibly go over budget.

  4. I am also a victim of not shopping without a list. Your post + common sense + the posts of so many other blogs and PF books that I have read all recommend this.

    I am, I am. And I must. Going to do this from now on.

    I am also going to convince my wife. Have to work out how to convince her, though.

  5. Good plan! I too can succumb to the lure of bargains here it’s usually London Drugs, which unfortunately is right next to my bus stop after work, I’ve taken to walking a little further in the other direction to a different stop so I don’t cave and go in. We don’t have a Target here but every time we are in the States I insist on going, if I lived minutes away I think it might be a disaster, as it is I give myself a limited cash budget, my SO standing sighing impatiently is also a great spending deterrent!

  6. This reminds me of Target Lent–last spring/summer, the Target closest to two of my friends was being closed for two-three months for a complete remodel. They both knew they spent too much at Target, so they decided they’d not go to any Target until the one closest to them re-opened (in Minneapolis/St. Paul, there are no shortages of Target opportunities!). Even though the Target closest to me was remaining open, I joined them on this “Target Lent”, as it was dubbed. Before the Lent started, I stocked up on stuff–things that I actually would need/use in those two months, but apartment life meant I couldn’t get tooooo much. As it was pointed out, it’s not that we couldn’t buy stuff we normally buy at Target–like toilet paper–we just couldn’t buy it at Target.

    I saved a lot of money this summer I would have frittered away at Target. I was kinda amazed when I finally went back. I didn’t absent-mindedly shop and pick up and buy stuff quite as implusively.

  7. This is hilarious. I, too, LOVE Target… you’re right though… perhaps I should part ways with my favorite retail outlet.
    I’m currently working on post-grad debt, so anything I can find to help me save money is great.
    I’m blogging my “adventures,” too; here: http://shauna26.wordpress.com/

  8. Target Lent! I love it! :)

  9. Some of us decided (for some silly reason) to go to college in a town too small for a Target. Seriously! Target will not come to a town smaller than 75,000 people. Trust me, it is a huge topic here and the town actually tried to convince Target that if you combine all the small towns around us that there would be almost 75,000! Needless to say, the hour drive keeps me out of Target.

  10. I can’t keep my wife out of Target.

    I “never” go there myself. . .

  11. Thanks for participating in this week’s Carnival of Family Life, hosted by Adventures in Juggling. Be sure to visit on Monday and check out some of the other wonderful entries!

  12. Great ideas. I love Target and my eldest son has even started asking to go shopping at Target when he is bored at home.

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