I want to make it clear from the get-go that I have no problem with Target. As a midwestern headquartered business, it holds a special place in my heart. And from a business perspective, they do a lot of things well.
But when it comes to living a more simple life, big box stores like Target, Walmart or Costco can be an issue.
These stores have aisles and aisle of stuff you don’t need.
It’s incredibly easy to go to these stores and end up spending over $100 per visit, when all you came for was a toy for a kid’s birthday. The store layout, promotional design, and product mix are all intentionally set up to have you buy more stuff.
Here are 7 tips on spending less money at Target (or your flavor of big box store):
- Go With a Purpose – Shopping is not entertainment. If you are going to step foot in a department store, have a specific purpose for being there.
- Have a Budget – If you’ve been around here a while, you know that I love budgets. Having a budget is how you can spend guilt-free, up to a pre-budgeted amount. If it’s not in the budget, you don’t buy it.
- Don’t Grocery Shop – Try to avoid doing your grocery shopping at these big stores. They know, and you know, that once they have you inside buying bananas, you are probably going to be buying clothes for yourself and toys for the kids.
- Create a “Maybe Later List” – If you see something you want to buy, but it is not either in your budget or the reason you went to the store, add it to a mental “maybe later” list.
- Buy Based On Need – You’ll find me in the tech gadget and cooking sections of the big stores. I’m always curious to check out the latest smart home products or see what fancy cooking item I could buy. But these are all wants, certainly not needs.
- Visit Less Often – I know many people, my wife included, who seem to have a weekly (or more frequent) trip to Target. Each visit is an opportunity to spend more money on extra stuff. Combine trips to big stores and visit these stores often.
- Don’t Forget Free.99 – Buy one get one free. Half off. Lowest price in town… None of these special prices compares to good old Free.99. The price you pay when you don’t buy anything at all.