Survival Guide To Getting Through Target Without Going Broke


I think it’s safe to say that Target is the motherland of all retail chain stores. They’re everywhere and pretty much the shit. A cute sundress for $16.99? Yes, please. A semi-expensive looking tote that’s really only $24.99? Put that right in my cart. Target is my not-so-secret addiction and I don’t plan on getting help anytime soon.

The only problem I have with it is how broke I am after each and every trip. I don’t know if it’s the florescent lighting, bright welcoming colors, or easy navigation that possesses me to buy everything in sight but I do know that my wallet can’t handle it anymore. I’ve tried multiple tactics of self-control, self-shaming, and self-guilt to get me through the store unscathed. Some of them have worked, some of them have not. And so, after numerous trial runs, I’ve compiled a survival guide to help you get through Target without going broke.

Make A List

Everyone knows that the best offense is a good defense. Making a list is your first step in the right direction and it’s extremely easy. Whip out your planner (which you bought from Target of course), go to the notes section and jot down only the essentials. Shampoo, toothpaste, mascara, that birthday card you forgot to buy for your mom last month. You know, the important things. Try not to go too overboard, though, as you will inevitably buy more than you need anyway. If you start out with less then you’ll buy less. I tend to be a forgetful person, so this works out in my favor.

Go By Yourself

This may seem like a bad idea but if you invite your best friend, she is only going to enable you to buy yet another pair of sandals, of which you already have fourteen pairs. It’s called peer pressure and it is never more dangerous than in a low-priced store full of everything you could ever want. Now, you might be saying “hey, what about my mom?” No. She is just as bad, if not worse than you when it comes to not spending money at Target. The place is mommy booby-trapped. You’ll never leave the store if you go with her. The only exception to this rule is your dad. If you have a father like mine, who, when asked for money, stares at you blank-faced until you go away, then you’re safe.

Get A Basket, Not A Cart

I know it’s tempting to head straight to the easy-to-push carts. Carrying around a heavy basket isn’t any fun. Your bank account will thank you later. There’s something about extra space in a cart that tells our weak-willed minds that we need to fill it. You don’t want to look stupid with just three tiny items in your cart. The logical thing to do is to fill it up. This is going to hurt you, though. The cart is public enemy number one. Do not trust it. Do not let it lure you in with promises that your arms won’t hurt after pushing it for twenty minutes. Plus, if you get a basket, you’ll be doing your arm workout for the day. No need to go to the gym now.

Wear A Blindfold

If all else fails, throw one of these babies on. Don’t worry about not being able to see. You know this store like the back of your hand. You know exactly where to turn to not hit any of the displays and the other people shopping? They’ll move out of your way. They understand what drastic measures you have to take because they’re in the same boat. In fact, they’ll probably envy your ingenuity.

Screw It, Buy Everything

Who am I kidding? There’s no way to get through Target without going into debt. Might as well sit back and watch your hard earned money go down the drain. At least it’s a pretty drain.

Image via ValeStock /

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WineFirst likes her wine white, chilled, and alone, although she's been known to share on rare occasions. In an attempt to not grow up, she procrastinates all things adult, such as not paying off her credit card bill and watching re-runs of Sex and the City. If you have any funny stories or new leads (or videos of kids falling down) e-mail her at:

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