Billeater: Tips for Shopping Target Stores

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Target, Walmart and Costco are all popular retailers for those of us looking to pinch pennies. When choosing where to shop, it helps to know what the best options are at each of these retailers.

Today we’ll talk about Target. Cheap and chic, Target appeals to the more fashion-conscious money saver. The retailer offers designer names and discount prices. You can also pick up household staples from brand name products or from Target’s own brand, Up.

On many products, Target is only a few cents more than Walmart. If there is a product at Target I must have, I will often make my usual Walmart purchases along with it since it costs more money in gas to stop at Walmart than what I pay in extra price at Target.

What are some of those “must have” items I get at Target?

The Kindle

I haven’t yet saved enough in my piggy bank for a Kindle, but Target is where I plan to go to buy one. It’s the only place you can put your hands on it the same day you buy it. It sells for the same price as Amazon, plus I get the help of a store clerk to show me how to use it. Free advice, tips and tricks at no extra cost. I like that.

Green Cleaning

I really do like to clean green. Some days, I like being able to just grab and go, rather than mixing my own. I usually keep a spare commercially-made cleaner in the kitchen cabinet for in-between cleaning and emergency spills. The problem is that most retailers have a dismal selection of green cleaners, or they charge you an arm and a leg for items you could make yourself at home.

You can’t get Method cheaper anywhere else, which is my preferred laundry detergent. I often get lucky and find a discontinued scent on clearance, bringing the cost down even further. I can grab anyone of many green cleaners much cheaper than grocery store prices.

Groceries

Target does well on groceries, especially dairy. You can’t get Go-gurt cheaper anywhere and they have some of the best deals on peanut butter I have seen. They also have their own versions of many brand name foods like your kids’ favorite snacks. Walmart is still cheaper for a full week of groceries, but if you’re in Target anyway, be sure to stock up on dairy, kid snacks and peanut butter.

Cosmetics

I don’t buy them often but when I need cosmetics, I go to Target. They have a great selection of items you just can’t find anywhere else. I still hit the CVS clearance aisle every week to see if I can find any incredible markdowns, but if I need it now, I go to Target.

What to Buy Elsewhere

Target is not such a great place to shop for some things. For instance, they have some really trendy and cute furniture, but you can get a much better deal at IKEA for similar fashions and higher quality. You can also do better elsewhere for movies and music. Amazon is probably your best bet for entertainment. Nine times out of ten, they’ll have the best deal.

If you’ve ever looked at Target’s exercise equipment aisle, you may know that the best exercise you can get is running the other way. Unless you’re into throwaway equipment that you see advertised on TV at two in the morning, you can do better somewhere else. This is one category where the actual product matters more than the retailer. Do your research and then shop around for the best price on the specific item you think is best for your exercise program.

Clearance toys can also be a problem at Target. They were a little slow in removing PVC-containing products from their shelves. If you do buy toys there, go for the Target brand since they are PVC-free. They don’t have as much control over other manufacturers and some of the older toys might still contain PVC plastics. As long as you avoid the clearance aisle, you should be fine.

Jessica Bosari writes for the money-saving site, Billeater.com. The site is devoted to helping people reduce expenses, save money and find great deals. Pay Billeater a visit for more money-saving tips!

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  1. Rick.Broida

    4 years ago

    I’ve often found that Target sells cereal for less — sometimes much less — than my local Kroger.

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  2. savingtools.com

    4 years ago

    Rick – what price are you seeing roughly? I find that it’s a toss up sometimes. If I have a good coupon, I try to pay around $1, $1.50. $2 if I must. Otherwise, I go for those malt-o-meal bags…you?

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