My Easy 3-Step Plan That Stopped My Impulse Shopping at Target
Shopping at Target is so ingrained in my family culture that my siblings still laugh at the years — from 1994 to 1999 — that our mom only referred to the big-box store as Tar-jay. My single mom, working two jobs, only bought her household supplies at Target, and I (correctly) assumed it was because they had the best prices.
When I became a mom myself, Target became a weird safe haven where I could “escape” with an iced coffee for some alone time while also grabbing paper towels, diapers, sponges — plus three new nail polishes, cute tabletop items, and a bunch of other stuff I didn’t actually need. I frequented Target for household supplies and I always ended up buying more than I had on my list. Like, way more. (I know I’m not the only one who has this problem. It’s a known trope!)
When I sat down, recently, to give my budget a serious check-up, I realized that the easiest way for me to break my Target spending habits was simple: I just needed to stay out of the store. I was spending so much money on impulse buys, and this was the only way I could actually cut back.
And so here’s my three-step plan for getting the Target goods I need — and none of the stuff I don’t.
1. I got a Red Card.
Target has its own card, which you can use as a credit card or link to a bank account and use like a debit card. Signing up takes all of 10 minutes, but you’ll need a check for the debit-style card. How did this help me stay out of Target? The Red Card saves you five percent on all purchases and gets you free shipping online. And although it’s a little Big Brother-like, the Red Card also tracks your frequent purchases and sends you coupons for things you buy often.
2. I started ordering my regular supplies online.
3. I got subscriptions for the stuff I use regularly.
Subscribe & Save may be a perk for Amazon Prime members, but Target.com has a similar subscription service. Having tried both, Target — which has a lower purchasing minimum and ships in one bundle (saving packaging) — was the winner for my family.
What do you do in order to save money at Target?