8 Ways To Shop At Target Without Spending All Your Money (Promise!)

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Target shopperThis weekend we helped some good friends from Michigan move in to our neighborhood. After all of the boxes had made it out of the U Haul and into their new apartment they asked us to take them to the nearest Target, of course. Now I love shopping at Target (lovingly referred to as “Tar-jay” in my house) as much as the next person, but I’ve been trying my absolute hardest to avoid the big red bulls eye for a good reason – to hold on to my disposable income just a little will longer!

Now, like any well-trained Target addict, each time I pay the store a visit I end up spending at least $100. I never intend to spend as much as I do but after filling my cart with the necessities I came for I usually start tossing in those pesky impulse buys that I’m suddenly convinced I can’t leave the parking lot without (i.e. funky socks, scrapbook making kits, and ridiculous and random wall art) and that usually end up collecting dust in my office. BUT, this time, by the grace of the shopping gods I managed to make it in and out of there with a receipt that read $64. Yes, I did it! And here’s how you can to:

1. Bring a list, and at the top of it right down the most you can possibly afford to spend while there. (Allow a $20 – max! — cushion for impulse purchases.)

2. Flip that same list over and jot down the price of each non-list item you place in your cart. Later when it’s time to check out if they equal out to more than $20, something has to go. No exceptions! Pick your favorite and move on.

3. Before you put anything in your cart that wasn’t on your original list ask yourself aloud, “What am I going to do with this?” and then “Will I actually do it?”

4. Bring a frugal friend (or two!) I did and they helped me narrow down my impulse buys right before we hit the line.

5. Avoid the aisles you have no business in. You know what they are! In my case it’s the board game, fitness and health section, and the accessories aisles. All of this sections appeal to the part of me that likes to splurge on “fun” activities and fashions. All of which my wallet will soon regret!

Money Matters Month Man Wife and Dog Blog6. Double check that “deal” on your smart phone real fast. Yoga mats on sale for $19.99? Yay! But wait, a quick google search on your phone tells you that’s the going rate everywhere. Ooops, Target almost got you!

7. If the line is long, chat up the person behind you or grab your cell and make a quick call. Do whatever it takes to distract yourself from scanning over the discount DVDs, candy, and gadgets. Whatever it takes!

8. Put the items that were on your list on the conveyor belt first and watch your total as the cashier scans. When you see that magic “don’t go over” number you wrote down earlier pop up on the screen it’s time to stop. Whatever’s left on the belt can wait, promise!

Now there you have it. I tried all of these tricks at once this weekend and it proved to be very successful. Now you go be a smart shopper and do it too. Don’t forget to report back, okay?

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14 Responses to 8 Ways To Shop At Target Without Spending All Your Money (Promise!)

  1. Denise says:

    Naw girl… I already know I'd fail miserably at this. I think I'm doing alright if I can manage not to go to Target ON pay day. LOL
    My recent post Can You Really Prepare to Be a Wife and Mother

  2. alovelydai says:

    True story. A dear friend & I went breakfast & then a quick trip to Tarjay! At the check out her total was $16, mine was $96. I haven't been back to Target with her since!!

  3. Jordy says:

    I cannot for the life of me walk out of there without spending $50… even if I just went to get some toothpaste or something! They must put something in the air…
    My recent post Community

  4. Single Life 2 Married Wife says:

    LOL's – so true.

    I usually try to stay under $50 when i shop at Target, but that is VERY HARD!

  5. Tara says:

    I'm with Denise. I just quit going. I was spending well over $300 a month in Target. I could've paid off my car by now. *smh*
    My recent post I Almost Shut This Thing DOWN Why I Decided To Keep Blogging

  6. {JeLisa} @ Blogging Ever After says:

    Oh gosh – Target is one of my weaknesses, for sure! I always – always! – end up spending more than I meant to!

    Great list, Charli. :)
    My recent post A sepia-toned capturing

  7. fahmi says:

    I make my life easier. When I go to Target, I take a list and cash and leave all the plastic at home. When making the list, I check online for prices so I know what my total pricetag will be, and then throw on $20 to cover tax and last-minute oh yeah items. With no plastic to bail me out, I have to stick to the budgeted amount. Works everytime. The kids caught on too, as they realize they can't just randomly say, "I WANT!" – and cash is easier to explain to them than credit,

  8. Sonia says:

    I am #5. I always remember something on my list that I forgot to add and only end up spending $50 more. My man just grits his teeth and wonders why we have to much stuff. I am really trying to do better. Thanks for the advice. I totally need it!
    My recent post Hosting a Virtual Prize Giveaway with RaffleDogcom

  9. solodialogue says:

    This is a great post if you have some control of yourself inside Target! I've got none! I wish I could say that I would follow these great tips and maybe I could follow the one about watching as it goes down the conveyor belt and adds up beyond the budget but I swear I'm under a spell in that place!! Everything's so cute and brightly colored or advertised with such great prices and packaging.

    I also like the idea of staying out of certain aisles. For me that would be the wrapping paper and party stuff!! I love that stuff and always spend too much!! Thanks for the fun post! (Now I wanna go shopping!)

  10. Impulse buys at Target have almost become an obsession for my sister. It's so hard when they have so many cute things like clothes and good hair supplies. Now if only they had a bigger scrapbook section I'd be in real trouble!

  11. anitajalese27 says:

    I never heard nobody call "MY FAVORITE STORE" the same thing I call it "TAR-JAY" omg a true TARGET SHOPPER lol

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