I Stopped Shopping at Target and it Changed My Life


I Stopped Shopping at Target and it Changed My Life

I stopped shopping at Target and it changed my life.

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.

Photo credit: Christine Derr (fellow contributor).

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…

Photo credit: Mary Beth Unthank (fellow contributor).

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.

Clearly you can see how this has changed my life, right? Don’t just take my word for it; try to go “Target free” for a couple months and see what changes you find in your own life. Or keep your Target habit and love it and be happy! I have seen the light and there is no going back for me. But that doesn’t mean I want to take joy away from you and your Target-loving self.


  1. YES YES YES!! 100% in solidarity with you!! I also “accidentally” stopped going a couple of years ago. Last year when I started in Real Estate I literally had no time to aimlessly wander ANY aisles. My shopping trips got scaled back to a weekly run to Aldi and Trader Joe’s with the occasional run out mid week for milk & cereal. I have the click list on my radar but haven’t delved into that just yet but it’s coming. One thing you didn’t mention…all the time saved not returning the things you shouldn’t have bought! Bye bye psychic clutter and HELLO BRAIN SPACE!

    • Oh you’re so so right!!! #11- time saves not returning things I shouldn’t have bought in the first place!! 🙌 to brain space!!

  2. Um….wait….
    Those #devilcarts are actually meant for children with special needs. Like my best friend’s son. These #devilcarts allow her to be able to shop safely with her son. So before you go publicly spewing such ignorance maybe you should educate yourself. Maybe you should educate your children about what those carts are for, then keep them off of them like a responsible adult so that parents with Special needs children can use them. Seriously, you should reword that crap. It makes you look like an ignorant fool.
    Thanks and best regards,
    ~ from a fellow knoxvillian who doesn’t like you making us look bad.

    • You might want to read a little more about Crystal before vilifying her, that way, as you said, no one looks foolish. Crystal is the absolute opposite of an embarrassment, to Knoxville or anywhere else, and just a bit more digging would have cleared that up very quickly.

      Also, there are a million ways to say something, and this, to be heard well, certainly could have gone any of the other 999,999. As someone who has to educate and advocate for their child regularly, I can tell you that, right or wrong, your delivery absolutely matters. You had an opportunity here, and you missed it, and I find that really unfortunate.

    • I’m sorry you felt that way Britt. However as a fellow writer I want you to know a few things.

      First, it is just her opinion. It’s ok if you don’t agree. I’m sorry that you found it upsetting.

      Second, you don’t know anything about Crystal. If you did, you would not have made those special needs comments. Feel free to click to view her past writings to learn more about her own special needs children, her precious conjoined twin boys who are no longer with us. And to be honest, that’s only a part of the story of adversity that Crystal has faced as a parent. She is educated, she isn’t spewing ignorance. Please don’t call her an ignorant fool. You don’t even know her. It’s just a blog post.

      There are two different large carts at target. One called Caroline’s cart is indeed for special needs while the other (pictured) is for kids who don’t fit in the front but want to ride. Below is a link about this from a Target for your reference.


      Her perspective on Target should not have resulted in such a response. Sorry you were offended somehow.

    • Hi Britt, that’s me and my 4 kids pictured in the post with my Starbucks, kids’ Icees and popcorn, and the jumbo #devilcart we always push around Target. The only special need my family has is the one for jumbo carts to contain my entire brood while I waste entirely too much time wandering the aisles. I disagree with Crystal about the #devilcarts (I would say #godsend), but it’s cool because we’re both humans with opinions, and we can still be friends.

      Based on the emotion in your comment, I can tellthis issue is really close to your heart, and mad respect for that. But I think you’re mistaking the big carts for Caroline’s Carts, which have a label indicating they are for those with special needs. Those are definitely off limits for my family, and I assure you Crystal understands that better than most.

      I respect and appreciate your passion for families with special needs children, but speaking out in anger is a conversation stopper rather than starter. Thanks for reading though, and I hope you’ll continue to follow KMB and thoughtfully engage with our writers!

    • I’m pretty sure you are talking about two different types of carts: Crystal is talking about giant carts that fit 3 kids and the ones you are talking about are called Caroline’s carts and they are indeed made for kids with special needs. Not the same thing 😉

  3. Absolutely LOVED this post.

    And Also

    Crystal is one of the best people I’ve ever met so kindly keep your mean unwanted comments away from this blog.

  4. Crystal,
    Thank you for your sharing your truth with us. I would agree with you about the #devilcarts and I know that my personal mission to not run into Target as often (our move 9 months ago put us less than 10 minutes from one) seems to really be paying off. Love your honesty as always!

  5. The classy ladies responding to Britt in defense of Crystal make me proud to be a woman and give me hope that love and kindness will always triumph over hate and meanness. Gently correcting Britt’s anger and hostility, they responded with love. If only we all…

    • Thank you Kathy! Hey can honestly say the KMB contributors are the best group of women on the planet. We lift each other up and support one another like a tight knit family. I’m so blessed to be a part of this group and I thank God for bringing me to them. #kmb4life

  6. I see that this post was from awhile ago, but just saw it upon realizing it’s been over a year without Target. Enjoyed ready your assessment and makes me feel better to know there are others out there. My reason for quitting was that the Target credit card company made me so mad, I vowed not to shop there again. My family didn’t think I could do it, but I really don’t miss it and have saved time and money!

  7. You are better off not shopping at Target. They probably do not have your item in stock or the store is a mess. Target stores are always a mess and the cartwheel app is not user friendly. Target’s clothes are terrible. They do not fit right and need to be ironed. What is up with Target not keeping stores full?
    I enjoy Walmart better than Target. Walmart has cuter seasonal items and they always have the items I need.


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