Shop Small Day 235: Thoughts on Target

When was the last time you went into Target and only bought the 1 item that you needed? Before this year I hadn’t either! I know.  Target is the antithisis of a small business. If you remember way back from Day 1, contact solution is an “exception” since I’m one of the few people left in the world who wear gas permeable lenses. Very few retailers sell the contact solution on a regular basis, Target does.


So, I have been in Target twice this year- incredible isn’t it- and spent under $20 in total.

I have to admit, it feels odd walking out with just the one item I needed. The 70% off racks were beckoning me to take a look; maybe a Halloween decoration would be fun; I really need new sheets.

I didn’t look at any of it.

Granted, I also have a concussion right now and the lights felt like daggers through my skull, so it wasn’t too difficult to not linger.

Last year I spent approximately $2100 at Target. This year, shopping small, I’ve spent about $600 at “not-target.” What does that mean? Detergent, vitamins, toilet paper, mascara, tampons…items that I need, I’ve bought at small shops- mainly Fruitful Yield.

Am I spending a little more for these items? Yes. But, I’m also not buying a bunch of clutter I don’t need.
A $1400 difference is huge. Now, did some of that get absorbed into grocery bills? Probably. Ditto for clothes. I used to pick up a couple pairs of “swishy” pants for my son at Target because they’re only $9, but they ripped quickly. With sale prices, though, they aren’t much more at Red 21 and they last much longer.

If anything, I think this challenge has definitely cut down on my “impulse buying.” But, when I do pick up little extras, I’m happy my money is helping support a small-business.

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  • The cost savings of spending a little more on the items I need while avoiding the impulse buys is definitely food for thought. Unfortunately, as much as I do support small businesses, I also have a long-standing Target addiction. (I was addicted before they were nationwide. I was going to school in Pittsburgh, which didn't have a Target at the time, so I would binge shop when I went home to my parents in Montana.)

  • Kim, that's awesome that you have a "remember when" (they weren't nationwide!) story about Target! Somehow they manage to capture an emotional level too- I remember wandering the aisles in college with my husband (then boyfriend) and browsing aimlessly when my kids were little too! What's your favorite small business now?

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