A few weeks ago I posted my financial goals for the month of October. It’s almost halfway through October and I FINALLY made my list of what I needed at Target. I’m not a coupon-er, I’m not an ultra strict budget-er, but I think we can all benefit from walking into Target with a game plan (AM I RIGHT?). I went on Target.com to price everything and went in with an idea of how much I would spend.
On my list:
- Garnier Cleanser ($5.99)
- Puffy Fluffs – cotton balls, okay? ($1.89)
- New toothbrush ($8.99)
- Body wash ($8.99)
- band aids ($2.49)
- bobby pins ($3.69)
- Kleenex ($1.47)
- Lara bars ($5.00)
- Can of pumpkin ($1.44)
$39.95 for my ONE trip to Target for the month. So how did I do?
I spent $31.88, meaning I saved 20%.. without a single coupon. Here’s how.
- The Garnier Cleanser was on sale for $5.39.
- The cotton balls were 5% off thanks to the Cartwheel app, making them $1.70.
- Instead of getting the $8.99 toothbrush I usually get, I decided to get a similar one that was $1 on sale, making it $4.99. It meets the same need.
- The Target brand of first aid had a 5% off offer on Cartwheel, and I couldn’t justify paying over a dollar more just for band aids with Disney princesses on them, making them $1.32.
- I’d really wanted to get the Puffs plus lotion, but after seeing that a box twice as big was on sale (25% off), I couldn’t pass it up. The box of Kleenex was $1.10.
- The can of pumpkin (for my creamer; not a completely random purchase!) had a 5% offer on Cartwheel, making it $1.36
All of that came to $33.56, but because I used my Target Red Debit Card, I got an extra 5% off, bringing it down to $31.88. Unfortunately, I forgot a few things but I’ll just wait a few weeks until November. Next time I think I’ll try to use a few coupons just to see if I could save more.. any tips on couponing? haha.
The point of posting this on my blog is to keep myself accountable. I’d said that I would make one trip to Target. It helped me be diligent to look up how much I was planning on spending, to be thoughtful about my purchases, AND to make sure I wasn’t getting really random things. My initial list had a candle and fuzzy socks on it. For no reason other than I thought that sounded like a nice evening. But I have plenty of cozy socks (and I stock up on them on Black Friday, a store here has 50% off socks. It’s the one Black Friday tradition I SWEAR by) and the candle by my bed isn’t even halfway burned through.
Here are 5 ways we can keep our Target spending in check:
- Go in with a list and DO NOT ADD TO IT. You can subtract, but don’t add.
- Shop 30 minutes before they close. Seriously, when you have to GET IN and GET OUT, you don’t have time to peruse the bedding aisles. It’s a great mental game to play on yourself. Or go when you’re in a hurry (as long as you have a list).
- Price check what you want online first and then use the “Scan Barcode” option on the Cartwheel app in-store to see if similar products are on sale. Make a smart decision (like I did with the Kleenex!).
- Use your Target Red Debit card. They have a credit card (don’t do it!!!) and a debit card. The debit card connects to your bank account, so you have to spend money you actually have. But every time you use your red card instead of another card, you get 5% off your entire purchase. So far, my Red Card has saved me $47.03 this year. Worth it.
- Stay accountable to people. Seriously, we joke about our “Target problem” so much, but it’s not always a joking matter. Walking into a store that knows how to get you to spend more money than you want is a scary thing. Go to Target with a friend. Text someone your list and a picture of your cart in the checkout line. Do whatever it takes.
You know what else has helped my Target problem? Whole 30 and decluttering. I can’t eat any of Target’s snack foods, so walking straight to the can of pumpkin and then out of the food area wasn’t hard. I didn’t even want to tempt myself. and then decluttering helps with every other area of the store. Do I REALLY need another nail polish? No. Pens? don’t even get me started. No mugs, no extra thing of shampoo, no need for a third thing of dental floss or a new candle even though mine isn’t burned out yet. I’m starting to slowly get rid of things with little value and only keep the things that are useable and enjoyable.
Phew. So there’s that. My one trip to Target for the month of October. Like I said, I actually forgot a few things (like a new razor!) but I can hold out for next month. and in preparation for that… have any of you used Ibotta? Where do you find coupons online?
Tell me about your relationship with Target. Good, bad, ugly, indifferent, otherwise.