Like. For real.
I know I am going to get all kinds of hate from all you Target-loving mommas (many of our own contributors), but hear me out. I still love Target, but I stopped shopping there sort of by accident at first, then on purpose when I started to see improvements, and it really did change me.
This is not a “I Hate Target” post; let me assure you of that.
Target is like therapy. Especially if you can go solo and cruise the aisles slowly, enjoying your latte, maybe snacking on some popcorn. I get it — me time. I used to get a thrill walking through the doors at my local Target. But then I couldn’t get there as easily and I started seeing that I really didn’t need that decorative pillow and those sandals. I didn’t need new clothes every week. I didn’t need a bathing suit in every color — and now I have a pool and I still don’t! HA!
So here are the 10 ways my life changed when I stopped shopping at Target:
1. Location, location, location.
We moved a little over two years ago. My last house was about three minutes from a Target. I would waste time there, literally. I would drop my daughter off at dance, race to the Target and kill 1-2 hours. Have a few minutes before school pick-up? Drop into Target. Running errands and need shampoo? Better go to Target. My new house is 12-15 minutes from the closest Target. Not that far, but I have to drive past other places to get there, so I naturally just swing by the other places instead. This didn’t happen instantly, but because we are always so busy, and I HATE traffic, I would either do without or just run to the closest place. I live two seconds from Big Lots, Burlington, Old Time Pottery, Aldi, Kroger, and Ross — OK, maybe it’s more like two minutes with the light, but still. They are all super close and on my way to Target. So why bother to drive all the way to Target? I can get in and get out and get home. I am a homebody, so this is right up my ally. I also have to drive by two Walmarts to get to either Target. I don’t prefer Walmart, but if it is something that I have to get at a store like that, it is usually cheaper for me to just run into Walmart, get what I came for and get out. I don’t linger at the Walmart. I am never tempted by the clothes, pillows, or shoes. I don’t even look at those things at Walmart, which brings me to my next point…
2. Money saved, and lots of it.
Let’s just be honest; I couldn’t leave Target for less than $100, and sometimes it was pushing $300, especially on a PMS day, or when the new seasonal stuff hit the shelves. I am not proud of that, but that doesn’t happen to me anymore. My biggest shopping trips now are for groceries; usually about $100 for two weeks’ worth at Aldi. That is so freeing. There was shame in those Target trips. Sure, they were invigorating at first, but once I got home I would feel shame, guilt, and shock at the stupidity of my impulse buying. Sometimes I returned things, but not usually. Those days are over for me. #winning.
3. Less stuff.
#BOOM. I am no minimalist, but I do aspire to be one. Those capsule wardrobes look pretty fantastic to me, and one day I will get there. But for now at least, I don’t have to clean out before I unload my car from a Target trip. Now when I do my spring cleaning, I actually have a cleaner space, sometimes with EMPTY drawers and shelves!
4. More memory space in my brain.
That’s right; I have also cleaned out my brain. Since I haven’t shopped at a Target in almost two years, my brain no longer has to know where everything is at Target. My brain now has room to learn and remember new things, like passing my Certified Lactation Counselor test and helping mommas feed their babies!
5. No more giant double shopping carts.
Those #devilcarts for “big kids” that are impossible to steer and need a lead “wide load” car and flashing lights — whose brilliant idea were those? My youngest would literally throw a fit if I didn’t let her ride in one, but a few aisles in she would get bored and want to walk. So there I would be, bumping into everyone and everything and trying to keep up with her. Also, she is now grounded from all carts that are giant or car shaped. She will remain grounded until she is too big to want to ride in said carts.
6. No more popcorn and Starbucks just to run errands.
I am saving money and calories! I know this can be a luxury, and I still get an occasional latte, but it’s usually when we are going on a long car ride or to the park. And the popcorn would keep my daughter occupied for a while, but it almost always ended up spilled in an aisle with tears.
7. The Dollar Spot.
No more $43 worth of “it’s only a dollar” junk. Why do we think we can’t live without that stuff? Guess what? WE CAN! Which brings us to the very similar number 8…
8. No wreaths and decorative pillows for each season.
Who really celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a pillow? Not this girl any more! And you know what? My everyday pillows on my couch are soft and comfy and we use them — I don’t move them just to sit down like I did the “special” pillows.
9. Amazon is my jam.
More toilet paper and fewer pillows and ill-fitting bathing suits. I order toilet paper, garbage bags, etc. from Amazon. Free shipping and it comes straight to my door. I don’t even have to leave the house, and I am not tempted with all the things Target knows I will find irresistible. This brings me to my final point…
10. Fewer germs and no crowds!
If you shop from your desk or couch, you don’t have to bump elbows in the crowds and risk catching cold, flu, or RSV.