How to Get Out of Target for Less Than a Hundred Bucks

by Tracy · 0 comments

My friends and I always joke that it’s impossible to get out of Target for less than $100. Going in for diapers and soap? One hundred dollars. Need laundry detergent and socks? One hundred dollars. Dog food and pacifiers? One hundred dollars, please. The prices are great, but it’s all the little bargains we didn’t know we needed until we got there that kill us.

Of course, our own lack of willpower is part of the problem, but retailers like Target are very good at making what they are selling seem like something you can’t afford to pass up. Stack the odds in your favor by following these tips (that also work at any other retailer!):

Only carry in as much cash as you need and leave your cards at home. There is a reason retailers like Target push their cards so heavily: not only is there the possibility of you having to pay them interest, but study after study has shown that people buy more when using plastic.

Even if you pay off your balance in full every month, you could still be susceptible to buying more than you need because it’s so painless to pay using that little red card. Instead, write your list at home and estimate the total, being sure to include sales tax and bring only that much cash.

Note: some stores like Target do offer special discounts if you pay with their card. For most people the amount saved does not equal the extra money they’ll spend, however if you are super disciplined, it might just work for you. Just be honest with yourself and how likely you are to buy extra when buying with a card.

Speaking of lists, don’t forget to bring one! Wandering the store in an attempt to jog your memory of what you need is a recipe for impulse spending. When you enter the store, consult your list and proceed dirctly to those areas. Do not stop and try on sunglasses, do not take a quick peak at the clearance racks in the misses department.

Shop alone if possible. It will be easier to get in and out and you won’t have to deal with peer spending pressure. Shopping with kids is also stressful and it’s more likely you will just start throwing items in your cart to get it over with, rather than doing careful comparison shopping. All of the whining and begging can wear even the best parents down, and children are experts at never giving up until you give in.

Try to avoid shopping just because you are bored. The more often you go in the store, the more you’ll buy and the more focused you’ll become on material things. Look for other hobbies, preferably ones that don’t require you to go into Target to buy supplies.

Some people find that they spend less when they shop online, others find the opposite. Take a look at your spending habits and see which works best for you, particularly for larger items like baby gear, bedding, cookware and so on. You’ll be able to comparison shop and look for reviews and make a more informed decision shopping online, but again, some people find that it’s easy to overspend if they aren’t spending cash or don’t “see” their cart filling up.

Good luck! Target and other discount retailers are awesome but don’t let the great deals bust your budget!

Photo Credit: kaje_yomama.

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

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