For the busy mom, a shopping trip at Target can illicit visions of a utopia away from home where floor to ceiling beautiful things exists for you to buy. And if you’re lucky enough to go to Target without your children in tow, then it can feel like an actual escape. Get yourself a Starbucks coffee, pick up that prescription you needed to get filled, and then just wander. Wander to your hearts desire.
Wandering Adds Up At the Target Register Tho…
It’s a well known joke amongst the mom squad that somehow getting out of Target with ONLY the one thing you intended to buy is like finding a leprechaun who is writing a unicorn who takes you to a pot of gold that is all yours to keep tax free.
I.e. it’s extremely rare if to do this.
Half the time I don’t even know what I bought except that I love wandering the kitchen and bath and bed sections and there are so many god-damned cute throw pillows and each of them cost at least $20 and also the boys need new shoes and also what did I come in for again?
Save Money at Target by Changing Your Strategy
Okay let’s get to the why of my hack so you can get on with your Target errands and save some money, hopefully.
There are two approaches to this hack that are worth every single saved penny.
But before I get into it…
Get Your Mind Right About Saving Money
If you want to save money in Target you need to be clear about that before you step in the door. It’s like being on a health and fitness kick and having brunch at a fancy buffet. You wouldn’t just walk up to the buffet and take everything you see, no. You strategize which foods are most appropriate for your healthy eating plan, take a scan of the menu aka buffet line, and assess what is worth investing precious calories on and what isn’t.
In other words. Don’t go into Target without a plan…Unless you want to.
Because there are days when that is totally and completely acceptable and I fully encourage a binge of shopping as a form of self-care for the overwhelmed momma.
But if you’re not in that space (if you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re not) get your mind right, momma because you’re gonna save some money with one of two strategies:
Target Hack to Save Money #1
For the Target shopping trip that only requires 1 - 5 items, schedule your Target trip before an appointment that you cannot be late to. Be sure to include drive time, but try to make your entire shopping trip in Target last between 15 - 20 minutes.
Do not take a cart unless the thing you need is super heavy or super huge.
Do not stop to get a Starbucks or to look at the latest jewelry additions.
This is like the old 80’s game show Supermarket Sweep and you’re on a clock, momma so do the shop, get to the shortest line, and get the FUCK out of there before you allow your eyes to gaze over the latest seasonal offerings that both smell amazing and also are so stupid cute how could you resist? (YOU WILL RESIST! YOU WILL BECAUSE YOU’RE GOING TO BE LATE TO YOUR APPOINTMENT!)
See how it works?
Have a doctors appointment? Plan a Target trip to coincide just before you need to arrive. Even better if the doctor's office is super close.
Meeting with your child’s teacher? Schedule your Target trip for JUST before you need to get to the school. You see where I’m going with this…
Target Hack to Save Money #2
This is for when you have to buy things on an actual list and for when you have more than 1 - 5 items you must get that do require some amount of wandering/roaming/checking out products.
Allow yourself to buy only one thing off the list.
You can put everything you think you want in the cart as you shop. YES. ENJOY.
As long as you know that at the end of this shopping vacation you’re going to return everything except one item back to the cashier or associate for go-backs. (This can be a giant pain in the ass for the staff so don’t be an asshole and really take everything off the shelf, but find a happy balance you know?)
Also, this is what I mean about getting your mind right.
This also tends to benefit from strategy number one above: if you have an appointment or a scheduled event to go to. Just give yourself slightly more time (like 45 minutes instead of 10 - 15)
Your reward for your restraint is the one prized item that you can go home with that wasn’t on your list.
If you find other things that you “need’ that you forgot to put on the list, sorry, those don’t count. You’ll have to add it to your list for the next time you go shopping. If you didn’t realize you needed something before you went to Target, odds are really solid you won’t miss it THAT MUCH until your next shopping trip.
I’ve got lots of friends who send me a text right before we’re supposed to meet for lunch, or a play date that says “I’m on my way, I just have to go to Target to get one thing! I’m using your hack!”
Do me a favor, save this post either on Pinterest, or Facebook and come back after you’ve tried it to let me know in the comments below if this worked (or if it didn’t, why?) and if you have any other tips or tricks you learned along the way that helped you save all the money, I’d love to hear that too!
Here’s a Pin so you can pin it to your boards:).