Target Whore

If you want to put it a nice way that won’t embarrass my grandmother, I’m a marketer’s dream. But in reality, I’m a Target whore..

Oh, I said it. I usually walk in to this particular store with a list, but come out with 27 additional items that I don’t need. There is no logic to it; Target is my crack. I’m usually practical when it comes to shopping.  I’m a sucker for a sale, but I also buy “investment wardrobe pieces” like peep toes and suits from higher-end stores. But this store covers everything in between. It messes me up the minute I walk through the automatic doors. It actually puts me in a Target trance.

All natural linen spray for under five dollars? Do I need it? When in the heck am I going to use it? Not sure. Oh wait, there’s matching scented hand wash too? I already have soap, but it matches. And it’s cute. Why should I even bother thinking about whether I need it or not? It’s already in my cart.

If a famous designer made it for Target, if it has polka dots or bright paisleys, there’s no question. I’m talking anything from candles to colored colanders. There are rare occasions when I don’t buy it on the spot. Sometimes I’ll turn the aisle and forget about it, and remember it the next day, when I have too many conference calls and meetings to do any damage.

I can count on one hand the number of times I left Target without spending $100. I go in for shoelaces and soy milk and leave with a carton of crap that costs $97. Greek yogurt for $2.29? My mother AND grandmother would yell at me. But I’m already there, the car is parked. I have 30 minutes until I have to pick up my daughter from practice, so I might as well throw it in. I have friends who have to go on Target diets. They can’t step foot in the place. They haven’t gone in months! Months I tell you!

As I’m blazing through the aisles that are so obviously and creatively marketed-especially-for-women, what I don’t realize until it’s too late is that all of these items are going to add up. No, like some crazed mother strung out on caffeine and cotton candy-flavored jelly beans, not until I’m standing in the check-out line, shamelessly arranging my purchases and throwing a pack of gum on top (because it’s pink) that the cashier (who looks like she’s 12, because I’m 40) gives it to me straight. “That’ll be $127, ma’am.”

What the… ?

About the writer

Having worked full-time, part-time, and been a stay-at-home mom too, Jackie sees motherhood from a variety of angles. And thankfully, with a sense of humor. Jackie blogs about her take on motherhood at Venting Sessions and writes about it in her award-winning book, How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker.

From Around the Web

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Susan 3 years ago

That’s hysterical – I do the same thing. And at Bath & Body Works, I say no to the basket. If I can’t carry it in my hands, I’m buying too damn much stuff! : )

Stacey K 3 years ago

I actually did a scrapbook page about the day I went to Target to return & exchange some jeans & I left with just the jeans & I don’t spend any money. First & last time that has happened.
Today I went into the city, apparently I could get free parking if I spent $5.50 at Target…$97 later…it’s the yellow clearance stickers that get me…

Farm Mom 3 years ago

When I last lived in civilization I was the same way. The only way to avoid Target-crack is to live an hour away from the nearest one. Oh, that and Starbucks. … mmm, Starbucks. Best is when there is a Starbucks *IN* the Target. OmG! I miss civilization…

BusyWorkingMama 3 years ago

I love me some Target shopping. I could spend hours there!

Aimee 3 years ago

I don’t think I know a single mom who ISN’T a Target whore. They’re brilliant. And evil.

Melonie 3 years ago

My husband actually used to call this the Target trance. I’d go in and time would stand still. Once I went in to get one thing. I came out with two bags. I thought I’d been in there 5, 10 minutes tops. He informed me that he’d been sitting and waiting for close to 45 minutes. It didn’t seem that long at the time.

Oh Target, I just can’t quit you.

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

I know, right?

Danielle 3 years ago

I would honestly be quite satisfied if those actually WERE the only two stores that existed. What else do you need in life that you can’t get in one of those two places?

Denise 3 years ago

That is hysterical!

Danielle 3 years ago

I cannot be trusted in Target. I go there way too much. To the point that when I told my son I was going to the store the other day he said “To the liqour store or to Target?” Those are apparently the only two stores he thinks exist…

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

I know – it’s like the colors and patterns SPEAK to me when I walk past them. If they sold beds there, I’d probably camp out.

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

I really think we need a Target group therapy session! They are GENIUSES with their marketing. The popcorn, the $1 bin, the adorable plastic plates. YES…$100 minimum every. damn. time.

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

Oh, yes. I “get” this on so many levels, it’s not even funny.

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

Hahhaha – I love it. I went TODAY for one thing, and got trapped AGAIN. But I managed to keep it under $50. Kind of a miracle…

Roksi 3 years ago

Omg, I live in a country with no target… and then I discovered their website. And I’m moving to Florida soon. Better believe I already have a shopping list made and have informed my husband that I plan to live inside Target.

He thinks I’m joking, but OMG so many colors and patterns!

Denise 3 years ago

Hello, fellow Target strumpet. Thought of you, and this article, yesterday when checking out at Target: “That will be $127” (7 y/o daughter ‘needed’ new t-shirt, shorts, sunglasses, and hat for walk-a-thon at school today, and I bought ingredients for dinner — ONE dinner)!

Chris @ CleverFather 3 years ago

You sound like a certain someone. *Glares at wife sitting across the room*

She’s the only person I know that can’t physically go the store for just one item. Its like she has to buy 2 or 3, or 29 other items so the first one won’t be lonely in the shopping bag!

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

I had no idea there was no Target in Canada! Oh, the horror. You, my friend, better start saving now.

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

Oh, I hear ya! If it’s from the $1 bin, it’s not a sin…right?

lynet witty 3 years ago

there should be an anonymous group for people like you. i hate target personally because everything is more expensive than walmart and because you always spend more than what you need–every. time. no exceptions.

Melissa 3 years ago

I am a Target whore as well! I am in desperate need of a Target diet but it is impossible. My daughter wears size 4T- 5T pampers easy ups (the ones with Dora) and all three of the closest Walmart’s don’t carry them. Neither does the 3 Jewel-Osco’s , the Dominick’s, the Strack and Van Till, or anywhere else in a 25 mile radius. It is a conspiracy I tell you! I actually went to Target yesterday. I got said easy ups, a big box of wipes (i also have a newborn) and a pair of sandals for my dd. Total came to $50.15. That is the least amount I have ever spent there. The sad thing is the only reason I didn’t spend more is because the checking account had $3 in it and that $50.15 maxed out the credit card. Otherwise I would have pent 3 times that! Someone please help me!

Carolyn 3 years ago

And I thought I was the only one :)
It is worse now that they started adding Starbucks to their newer stores.

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

Oh nooooooooo. But you are lucky in a sense too!

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

:)

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

I responded to another mommy about this great tip – I still abuse it and pile too much inside the (*&(*^*^ basket. I really need help, I know. :)

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

I agree – husbands have a tendency to block any true pleasure we can gain from retail therapy…even discount retail therapy.

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

For the love of Sarah Jessica Parker, yes…yes, I so agree!

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

I hear ya, sistah….

Kristin 3 years ago

LOL! I totally have done that to, completely forgotten to buy the one thing I went there for :)

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

I wish we lived close to you so I could share in this family discount. (;)) Yes, going with the kids. Hmmmm. Let me rethink that tip..I dedicate an entire chapter on THE HORRORS OF SHOPPING WITH KIDS in my book.

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

Thanks for this tip. I will have to try it some time. Maybe it won’t be for several months, but I promise to try. :)

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

You are like a super hero to this group!

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

I never knew it existed. Oh, no, no, no, no. I would so abuse that thing!

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

Charisse, you are a genius…I think we need to start one. I’ll have to ask Jill if we can do a co-partnering on a group for Target Whores. I’d be OK if it was sponsored by Target!

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

Too funny, Christina. Two things? I go in for ONE and I’m in trouble!

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

How fitting! Yes, instead of the Dollar Store! Thank you, Wendy! So nice to know I’m not alone. :)

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

I’m so proud of you. I’m in awe of you. I have no words…no words. Just pride.

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

:) Yes – I’m sure he would! But it’s soooo hard.

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

Go, fellow Target Whore, go! How did you do? I ONCE spent $6 and that was for a RETURN. I was so proud, and shared this with the 15-year-old behind the counter that thought I was a head case. Yes, I still got something, even though I was supposed to be RETURNING something.

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

I feel like an 80-year-old blond sometimes too – I’m like, “Oh, crap, I forgot the ()*)(& eggs.” And that’s the ONLY thing I went in there for in the first place!

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

Hahhahaha..a lamp too? you are going to make me wet my yoga pants.

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

Italy? You are so lucky! It’s like you fast all year and stress shop when you finally see one! Go for it – fill that need!

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

God bless you for sharing – unfortunately, I’ve tried this and nearly killed my shoulders because I piled too much inside the basket. Sad, I know. Am I a lost cause?

Jackie Hennessey 3 years ago

Thank you, Marian! Hahahaha

Kate in Ohio 3 years ago

At least it isn’t Wal*Mart.

Leigh 3 years ago

How can anyone NOT love Target!! I tell ya though it gets me every time! I swear whenever I go in I find more and more things that I “need”!! There are just some things that Target carries that just can’t be beaten in price (even by the evil Wal-Mart!)

Meghan 3 years ago

The only thing lately that has sorta-kinda-not really helped me is having a husband and two kids with me. I get so stressed trying to keep track of them all and the stuff I must not leave without, I almost don’t have time for pretty endcap displays. Almost. Oh- also avoiding the middle/housewares part of the store. I will say on the rare occasion I get home with only what I needed I’m sorta sad unpacking the bags and having no fun pretty stuff. Yeah, I’m crazy.

Amy 3 years ago

I am proud to say I am a Target Whore as well! It didnt help that my Ex Husband works at Target as well! So I get his discount (I mean, our son gets his discount!) Plus I use my Bank Card… Yea 5% …..The only way I can get out without spending more than 50.00 is by Taking my 5 year old…right before dinner – because he keeps reminding me HOW HUNGRY he is…and how we NEED to go … So he can get fed! LOL

Jenn 3 years ago

Hello, I am a proud Target Whore. Did you know that Target’s research shows that people who use a cart spend, on average, $40 more than people who dont? That’s why they have staryed placing empty carts around the store…so you’ll use one. And I do.

Megan 3 years ago

It’s kind of comforting knowing I’m not the only one who does this…

Carrie 3 years ago

Oh, yeah. I get that.

I’d like to say Target is the only place I do that…but no. I’m worse at Sam Moon because apparently my TWO ears need 56 pairs of earrings.

And my TWO arms need 32 purses.

And my TWO arms need 26 bracelets.

I’m a sad case. Accessorized to the hilt (thank you, Sam Moon)…but a sad case never-the-less.

WebSavvyMom 3 years ago

–>I’ve found the best thing I can do while shopping in Target is only have CASH in my wallet. I leave the credit/debit cards in the car and it forces me to stay within budget and on target (no pun intended).
Then I go home and drink a beer because it sucks.

Sweety Darlin 3 years ago

Target is so much cooler than Wal-Mart, but living as close as I do to the Wal-Mart world headquarters it is hard to compete. One Target FIVE Wal-Marts in a 30 mile radius.

However I love Target, and as I think Wal-Mart is the anti-christ I have been shopping at Target more.

Alesha 3 years ago

I easily drop $10-$15 every visit on the Dollar section alone. I literally had to reroute my way home from work so I don’t pass by either of the 2 Target stores on the way, because I know I’ll stop, and…bye bye paycheck.

Amanda 3 years ago

I feel your pain! I have trouble getting out of there for under $100, but there’s so much cute stuff in there!

Paige 3 years ago

I was there just this week. My total sale came to $97 and I was PROUD OF MYSELF. It’s a sickness. A disease! An addiction!

Tanya 3 years ago

I don’t get the target obession. I buy some of my clothes there and do the dollar bins they have when you first walk in. But the groceries are ridiculously expensive. Maybe I’m just cheap.

Janeen 3 years ago

I’m addicted to their shoebox totes. The colorful tops and clear bottoms, I end up getting some every time. And yes, the dollar section is evil, evil I say!

Karin 3 years ago

We live in walking distance, and on a very tight budget. While my iron will serves me well, my brain on a budget interfers as soon as their strategically well-placed dollar bins come into sight. At least the bins are far away from the cash registers. On my way from bins to register I “lost” $10 worth of useless crap yesterday.

Jeni Kramer 3 years ago

The Target debit card is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me! Curse the red-shrited gypsy who seduced me with her promise of 5% off all purchases! It’s all just a game of justification now. “But if you really think about it, since I saved $12.00, it’s like those cashmere toe socks were free…”

Charisse 3 years ago

My name is Charisse and I am a Target Whore. *Hi, Charisse*

Is there a group for this????

Zack 3 years ago

I once went to target only to return an item. By the time I came out I had purchased a bag of stuff and forgot to even return the item I went there for.

Arnebya 3 years ago

THIS EXACTLY! (sorry to yell). But really, I can stay around $125 a week on food. FOOD! But let me walk into Target for Pull-Ups and wipes and I’m at $100 easily b/c now there are 3 for $5 socks and lotion, detergent, chips I thought I discerned I dislike last time I got them, paper towels, a plastic bin for who knows what, but it’s on sale and wasn’t last week. Oh, and popcorn. (The popcorn is actually a bargain compared to the grocery store). And if that $1 aisle ain’t the devil I don’t know what is. $100 minimum every. damn. time.

Christina Gleason @ Cutest Kid Ever 3 years ago

OMG, I have the same problem. Go in for two things, drop $100 instead. And the Dollar Spot? I can spend $10 there before I even leave sight of the entrance.

Taylor 3 years ago

Ha! “The $100 Store,” so, so, so accurate. I have to go to Target today. I have a very specific list. I might as well go ahead and write on it “colorful necklace, top off clearance rack, cobalt sandals, patterned pillow on endcap” because I KNOW I will end up with all of those things and possibly more before I get out of there.

Jennifer 3 years ago

Hilarious! I totally need to go on a Target diet!!! And I’m sure my husband would agree.

Seriously Sassy Mama 3 years ago

Honey, I will hang out at the target whore house with you! I actually only spent $6.00 there the other day. I was baffled. I am going to be there in the next 30 minutes. I must control my whoring ways.

Jadzia@Toddlerisms 3 years ago

I used to just have to go with cash. Thank GOD there’s no Target in France.

Denise Dyer 3 years ago

I go in for diapers on a weekly basis, and every time I go, I hit the $50 mark. I am so good about keeping my groceries around $125 for a family of four but I can’t keep my Target expenses to just the dang diapers!

Suzie 3 years ago

Target is coming to Canada! Target is coming to Canada! I guess I should prepare myself for the impending credit card debt. I’ve been crossing the border to zombie shop on Black Friday for the past few years, Target always leaves a crater in my wallet.

Michelle 3 years ago

I wish I had that problem….there is no Target where I am or Walmart…or Walgreens…or CVS….third world I tell you.

Wendy 3 years ago

I’ve heard it called “the $100 store.” You’re not the only one w/ this addiction. :)

Victoria KP 3 years ago

Oh yes, this is me. On the EXTREMELY rare occasion I walk out with less than $100 in merchandise I walk away feeling oh so virtuous. Then I get home and realize I didn’t get the one thing I went in there for!

Kristin 3 years ago

I feel your pain! We have a Super Target with the grocery store in it very close to our house so it is very easy to plan to stop in just for milk and come out with a new shirt, a lamp and a picture frame!

Gigi 3 years ago

I suffer from the same problem. Which is why I am currently on a Target diet right now.

Moomser 3 years ago

I know exactly what you mean and my finances are in moderately good order only because I live in Italy, where target does not exist, and though this saddens me to no end, it also means I only go target crazy twice a year when I visit family. sigh.

lauren scheuer 3 years ago

I had a trick that worked for a while: Handbasket only. Never a shopping cart. But with practice I learned to pack the handbasket with only smaller, lightweight unnecessary items. Larger unnecessary items I drape over my shoulders, tuck under my arms, and hang around my neck. Now the money I save at Target I spend at the Chiropractor.

Marian 3 years ago

Get the Target Red Card. At least you’ll get 5% off.