Target: I hate you

Target: I hate you

Not really. I just wish I did. I don’t know what it is but since you came into my life once upon a time, you have taken away not only quite a bit of my money, but my willpower and self restraint as well.

When I first discovered you in 1992 I was told you were a “lower end Marshall Fields”. That you had castoff products from them “for cheap”. Whether or not the “castoff” part was true, I don’t know but wow, did I ever dig your prices. I always seemed to find just a little something for my home and soon discovered those little somethings were things I didn’t need.

The joke of our household was that I couldn’t come to you and spend less than $100. I would come home with bags of things in which I had no memory what was in them by the time I arrived. “But I really need that” has become a mantra.

It seems that you strategically place things to catch my eye. But I do understand what you’re up to. I figured it out today when I went in for a box of oatmeal and almost spent $100 on new kitchen dishes. And $50 on a rug. And $30 on a lampshade. And on and on.

When you expanded to the “Super Target” I was really done in. Your plotting was pure perfection. Why not put a grocery store, clothing store, home goods store, book store, music store, hardware store, shoe store, lingerie store, sporting goods store, toy store, children’s store, electronics store, furniture store, garden store, Pizza Hut and Starbucks all in one place? You started to remind me of some of the lines from “Field of Dreams”.

“If you build it, he will come”. Okay so he is a she. “They’ll come from miles around, they won’t really know why but they will”. You have built it and I come. I walk around with my cart and I begin to feel like there are more reasons I am there than I can think of logically. I walk the grocery aisles and buy extra things that I may already have at home. I wander up and down all the “stores” within the store and start thinking about things I “need”. The cart gets fuller and fuller. I check out. I am broke.

Often times I’ll ask my husband to pull up so I can run in for one thing. But I can’t do it, I can’t get out with one thing. It’s a sickness. Is my memory so bad that when I come in I remember 20 things I forgot I needed?? I come out with bags. Yes, plural. I haven’t been able to break myself of your pull.

Today though, I have decided after a $35 quick trip for one bottle of Vitamin E, that I need help. I had a huge full bag. Miraculously I did not have the set of dishes that I almost bought just because they were on clearance. When I come in for vitamins, why do I find myself in housewares??

I am going to take the Target challenge now. It’s a 7  step challenge. They are as follows:

1) Make a list prior to entering the store.

2) Upon entering, place horse blinders around eyes.

3) Do not take a basket if items on list are 3 or less.

4) Take a small hand held basket that will only hold a few items. Do not overload.

5) If going in for one specific item, only buy that item. Even if I remember something else I think I need.

6) If you have things in your basket you know you really don’t need, hand them to the cashier and tell him/her you have a problem. Admitting it is half the battle.

7) If your total is more than 50 times what you went in to spend, return everything.

By the end of the year I vow to break the 20 year cycle of Target madness. I’m taking my life back.

And my money.


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  • A nice post. It seems like we live at Target, and it's one of those stores that has something for everyone.

  • In reply to Bill Gaul:

    Is has more than anything I'd ever need :) Thanks for writing!

  • OMG Teppi, this is BRILLIANT!!! I never stepped into Target before our little boy came into our lives. Now I know exactly what you are talking about. I have walked in to buy a birthday card and walked out $80 later....and all in just ten minutes!!! I will pass around this link to many who can relate and enjoy...

  • In reply to jiyer:

    Brilliant! What a compliment!!! It's just the truth about a horrible addiction I have :) $80 in ten minutes? Piece of cake!!! But we must end the madness!!!! Thanks for sharing, I totally appreciate it!!!!!

  • I've been trying the "hand held basket" approach to Target for a few months now and it does help. It hasn't completely cured me, but any progress is good, right?

  • In reply to Shannan Younger:

    Yes, progress is great! You're making strides. Now I need to do the same. Thanks for your comments!!

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