These 5 Dollar Target Trays Are All The Rage Right Now

by Rachel Garlinghouse
Originally Published: 
Courtsey of Rachel Garlinghouse

For two solids months—yes, two—Target shoppers were head over heels for a sacred and in-store only item. Pine tree snowglobe string lights were available over the holiday season, only in limited quantities—and gasp, not online. We had to haul our festive selves into the store, praying that there’d be a strand or two with our name on them.

What drove the $5 light frenzy? The Target Fam Facebook group. If you don’t yet know about it, here’s your notice. Over 26,000 Target fans have already joined. Over the holidays, the Facebook group featured daily postings from shoppers desperately trying to find the lights—including screenshots of the item number in case you go to the store, couldn’t find the lights, and hunted down a inconspicuous employee, begging them to dig through boxes and find you what you “needed.” Other posters shared pics of how they used the lights—bringing on the holiday cheer.

Now there’s a new item that Target fans claim we all must have ASAP. The two-tiered, glossy white tray is where it’s at. For just one Abe Lincoln, you can buy the tray, display it, decorate it, and then snap a bunch of pics you post on social media, rendering the rest of us jealous. Then we will, in turn, rush to our local store to see if we can find one, too.

Courtsey of Rachel Garlinghouse

These Target Playground treasure hunts might be the end of me. When the posts about the snowglobe lights started, I admit that I rolled my eyes. What was the big deal? Then one day I was visiting my local store, and there they were. Two strands were practically calling out to me. I didn’t even want to buy them, but I did because my new Target Fam social media friends told me I desperately needed them. It’s was like middle school peer pressure all over again—except I’m thirty-eight and a mom of four who should be able to think for myself.

Courtsey of Rachel Garlinghouse

Now that the tiered tray is available and blissfully neutral—meaning, perfect for every single day of the year—I found myself scouring my Target’s Playground. I’m embarrassed to tell you how often I swing by my store for “just a few things.” I am that cliché mom who is grabbing Tarbucks—that’s cool talk for Target’s in-store Starbucks—and browsing the “only a few bucks” section of my store.

I won’t keep you in suspense. I found the two-tiered tray on my first in-store visit of the new year. It was just as gorgeous as my Target friends swore it would be—but I realized I had absolutely no idea what I would do with it. What ensued was an If-You-Give-A-Mouse-A-Cookie scenario. Once I had the “only” $5 tray in my cart, what could I get to go with it? I was whipping items of varying heights and textures off the shelves, coordinating a red and pink themed Valentine display.

Courtsey of Rachel Garlinghouse

I noticed a weird-but-true sensation in my body, and it wasn’t the caffeine. It was the exhilaration of discovering the very thing others wanted and swore would somehow transform my home from ho-hum to look-what’s-in-that-cozy-nook! The tray is a gateway to purchasing more stuff you didn’t know you needed–until Target told you how badly you needed it.

I’m one of those women who is of the mindset that if it doesn’t come from Target, then what is the point? I get loads of groceries at my Target store—including my beloved dairy-and-gluten free java ice cream. Cleaning products? Target has me stuck on the Method grapefruit line. Kids’ clothing? My four children wear Cat and Jack from head-to-toe, all-day, every day. Just when I think I have my shopping all figured out—down to a science—Target rolls out something else that woos me. I believe it’s impossible to leave the store without at least a few extras that weren’t on the shopping list.

Some of the Target Fam are even doubling up on the Playground treasure goodness. Get this. You can place the snowglobe string lights on the bottom of the tray—celebrating all things winter-and-cozy. What the what? Yup. Then use the top tier for some cute knick-knacks, a candle, or chocolates. Because who doesn’t like chocolate?

The tray is so damn versatile that it’s almost dangerous. I went to Target and bought this white container-of-sorts, just to realize that I should change up what the tray holds to match the season and holiday. Because why would I not? Buying the tray is a commitment to go back to the mecca of joy—many times.

What magic will Target roll out next? What’s the next must-have-right-now item that will send us rushing through the sliding doors and into the red and white wonderland? Only time will tell. But you’d better bet that whatever our Target friends tell us is on-trend, we are going to buy.

Courtsey of Rachel Garlinghouse

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