The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Tips for Holiday Shopping at Target

Target is such a happy, fun place to shop, which makes it one of my favorite places to pick up gifts for everyone on my list. I love grabbing a cart, a cup of coffee, and just weaving in and out of the aisles, picking up stuff from every department (especially clearance goodies at the end of the aisles). Of course, this sort of blissful, unconscious shopping could get me into big trouble. Fortunately, over the years, I've come up with a few tricks that help me keep my spending in check—and that is a reward in and of itself. Here's what works for me:

Set a strict time limit. Target, bless their souls, has strategically set up their store to keep customers shopping for as long as possible. You can easily lose track of time, so decide how much time you have to shop before you step inside, then leave when your time is up. This may sound funny, but I actually tell my boyfriend to call me after, say, 1 or 2 hours to remind me, "Time's up!"

Decide how much you want to spend. Seriously, this sounds simple enough, yet how many times have you checked-out and then gasped at the sight of your receipt? Avoid the guilt and the bills and just set a spending cap before you start loading that cart.

Hone in on those fancy designer brands in each department. These products often have cute packaging and holiday specials that make them great for gift-giving. Knowing your favorites helps narrow down your choices and saves time, too. Here are some of my favorites at the moment:

Wait a week. Just about everything goes on sale if you're patient and willing to wait a couple days. And if you don't remember to go back and get it, chances are you didn't need it in the first place.

How do you shop (and save) at Tar-zhay?

My husband has an actual route he takes around the store - around all the end-of-aisles clearance displays.
#1 onebrickshy (Homepage) on 2008-12-15 07:57 (Reply)
i LOVE the clearence at the end of the aisles too!! i always get the best deals :-)
#2 gina (Homepage) on 2008-12-15 08:30 (Reply)
I always check the endcaps--they always have good clearance items and specials, like buy one, get one free, or a free sample bottle with purchase.

Also, anytime I see clothes I like, I wait a couple days, like you said, because stuff goes on sale so quickly! I make sure to check out the sale racks every time. Once I found a fabulous black chiffon ruffle button down for $7.
#3 taylor on 2008-12-15 09:04 (Reply)
such a great really is a mecca of fabulous things, but if you spend too long (and don't have a budget), it can be very dangerous!
#4 cupcakes and cashmere (Homepage) on 2008-12-15 10:10 (Reply)
I always double back when i shop in target.I survey the whole department and then go back for the things that really caught my eye. Also dont always trust the prices online. Last week i made a list of everything i wanted based off the onlie prices and when i got to my local store EVERY LAST THING was in clearance! I did a little dance!
#5 Ashley on 2008-12-15 10:28 (Reply)
how did you know where I spent my weekend? ;-) ;)
my husband calls it the Target black hole in our checkbook!!!
I make sure to NOT go to he clothing section FIRST- b/c if I do I will run out of time and spend money there -not much of a tip, but it works for me!
#6 Real Style Real people (Homepage) on 2008-12-15 10:38 (Reply)
I rarely stick to my plan with Target. One of the great things about them though is that if you've purchased something and in the next two weeks it goes on sale, they will give you a price adjustment. You just go into the store and present your receipt. Or if you've paid with your checkcard or credit card, they can look that information up for you. I love Target!
#7 V (Homepage) on 2008-12-15 11:06 (Reply)
I must confess, I'm one of your readers that ends up at the check-out and gasps when I realize how much money I've spent on one trip to Target. I'll have to keep these tips in mind for my next trip (which will be this next weekend). I'll let you know how it goes!
#8 Katie on 2008-12-15 11:45 (Reply)
Even your sage advice will never keep me from overspending at Target. ;-)
#9 Sal (Homepage) on 2008-12-15 13:52 (Reply)
Great tips! Another Target-a-holic here! I totally agree with waiting for stuff to go on sale, if you can. Especially clothes! So many pieces for under $10 and under $5 if you are willing to comb through the clearance racks!
#10 Trace (Homepage) on 2008-12-15 17:11 (Reply)
i have a hard time not buying something i want, haha. my method (not limited to target but to all stores) is buying the item then trying it on again within the next few days. if i feel too guilty i will return it, even when i try to justify to myself the need for another winter hat (answer- cuz they're just too cute and cozy!)
#11 Julia on 2008-12-16 00:45 (Reply)
Oh, and I love all the Archer Farms foodstuffs. Their salsas are the best around, seriously.
#12 taylor on 2008-12-16 09:04 (Reply)
Agreed, i especially love these mini molten chocolate lava cakes by Archer Farms...soooo good :-)
#12.1 The Budget Babe on 2008-12-16 10:56 (Reply)
Thanks for this.. so helpful!!
#13 The Style Diaries (Homepage) on 2008-12-16 09:39 (Reply)
Hey, I know these clothes are not at Target, but I have discovered a great little online store called Biatchi. It is at www.biatchionline. My daughter told me about it, saw some girls at school wearing some. They look very comfy and casual. Also, they are having a Holdiay sale, buy 2 get 1 free. Anyway, regarding Target, you all are correct. Great stuff, Great prices. And like everyone else, I always overspend. Can't help it.......
#14 Kasi (Homepage) on 2008-12-17 15:28 (Reply)
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