Money Saving Tips: Never Shop at Target

This is the first in what is so-far a one-part series. Everyone seems to be feeling some pain due to rising costs of things like gas and travel combined with slowing of raises at work.

Because of this, I thought I’d put together some tips I think are helpful for maintaining a tight budget.

Money Saving Tip #1: Never Shop at Target

Target is a great store. It offers convenient access to a wide range of products, are easily accessible for just about everyone in the Twin Cities, and their prices are very competitive. All good.

However, as the local joke goes, if you walk into target to pick up a few things, you end up leaving with $100 worth of crap. If you’re trying to maintain a budget, this is not a good thing.

A better strategy, in my opinion, is to shop at stores where you’re more likely to find ONLY what you need and NOTHING else.

For example: Walgreens. When was the last time you impulse purchased something at the counter like blank VHS tapes, Valentine’s Day candy, or joint cream? It doesn’t happen. Sure, their prices aren’t as competitive as Target on many items, but the measure shouldn’t be savings on a product by product basis. The only number that matters is the one at the BOTTOM of your receipt.

Prescription Decisions

If you happen to get your prescriptions filled at Target, I strongly recommend you consider the costs of doing so. Why are you forcing yourself to visit a store on a regular basis that costs you more money than you save?

Target also seems to have the slowest pharmacies I’ve ever been to. But what incentive do they have to improve? Target probably makes more money off of you by forcing you to wander around their story throwing random crap that you don’t need into your oversized shopping cart.

Break the habit. Avoid Target.

BenCredible to Work for Target?

I don’t think Ben from BenCredible.com has ever seriously considered working for Target before, but that could drastically change once he hears this news:

Target to mount Segways for patrol

Target Corp. has purchased a fleet of Segway motorized scooters, making the retailer one of Segway’s largest customers.

The Minneapolis-based retailer (NYSE: TGT) will use the scooters, made by Bedford, N.H.-based Segway, for security patrols at over 150 Target and SuperTarget stores throughout the U.S., according to a press release. Terms were not disclosed.

That’s one heck of a sweet benefit. Rather than paying $75 to go on the Magical History Tour, Target would pay Ben to ride around on a Segway.

Ben, make sure to include a link to this video in your resume.

Target Snubs Offended Parent Who Blogs

Preface: I swear that I’ll stop writing about stupid things that Target does as soon as they stop doing stupid things. Perhaps I hold Target to a higher standard than other companies? At this point, I think it’s the misalignment between Target’s positioning as the do-gooder, family-friendly, cooler alternative to Wal-Mart that leads to issues when they misstep.

They also seem to be hyper-sensitive about their brand. They decide what’s cool. You buy it. No questions asked. They don’t seem ready to engage their customers unless you call paying kids to say nice things about Target engaging. While their brand is clearly phenomenal, things like this chip away at their mystique in a world where everyone – not just mainstream media – is a publisher.

On with the show:

Paul Schmelzer has a report over on Minnesota Monitor about a mother, Amy Jussel, who’s offended by a billboard put up by Target in Times Square. She happens to have a blog and asked Target to comment for her blog on why they chose to run this particular advertisement. However, they’ve chosen to snub her.

Here’s the billboard in question:

Target Billboard in Times Square

Here is her concern, as she posted on her site, Shaping Youth – a forum for media & marketing’s influence on kids:

Taking Aim at Target: Think That V is a CoinkyDink?

This ad may not be QUITE as blatant as some of the other spread-eagle ambient billboards we’ve featured or as viral as the onslaught of Axe videos making the rounds, but it’s subliminal to the point of guffaw.

That sounds like a reasonable judgment of a company that positions itself as family friendly.

As Paul summarized, Target told Ms. Jussel, a blogging media analyst, that they wouldn’t talk to her because she didn’t represent Target’s core audience. (Check the comments on Shaping Youth for more deets.) How strange is that?

Maybe Target doesn’t really understand the issue? I mean, why would a mother take offense at a billboard with a bullseye on a woman’s crotch?

Perhaps switching genders will help explain the issue. Here are two shots Target is welcome to use in future billboards, gratis:

Ed In Target Ad

Ed In Target Ad

Now I’m starting to understand why Ms. Jussel was offended. Heck, I’m offended when I look at myself spread out over the bullseye.

Update: Target considers changing blogger engagement policy?

Real & Genuine Food at Target

Dear Target,

When you label food as being “real” or “genuine” it makes me wonder whether other food you serve isn’t “real” or “genuine.”

Real or Genuine

Should I be concerned?

I thought it was pretty safe to assume that the berries pictured were real, and that maple syrup – when it’s called maple syrup – is indeed maple syrup.

Were the oats really steel cut after being grown on a genuine farm?

Will The OnTarget Blog Cover Target’s Racial Discrimination Case?

BizJournals reports that Target agreed to pay half a million dollars to 4 people, but still “believes” that they didn’t racially discriminate against them. Strange, eh?

If they weren’t discriminating, why did they destroy documents?

Target pays $500K to settle EEOC suit

Under terms of the settlement, the AP said that Target would pay a total of $510,000 to four applicants that were denied jobs as assistant store managers in 2000 and 2001.

Target also agreed to revise its policies for retaining documents, and pledged to provide supervisors with training on employment discrimination and record-keeping, to report on its hiring decisions and to post a notice about the decree for employees in its stores and offices in the affected district.

The AP quoted Target as saying in a statement that “We do not believe that any member of Target engaged in discrimination. Target prohibits and does not tolerate discrimination based upon race or any other characteristic protected by law.”

Who thinks the Pioneer Press’ OnTarget blog will cover this story? It seems like there’s a holiday shopping angle worth considering. As a reminder, here’s the blog’s goal: “Keeping an eye on how this major retailer navigates the holiday shopping season.

We’re heading into crunch time for holiday shopping with one of America’s largest retailers making news by settling in a racial discrimination lawsuit with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Will a settlement like this – with a corporate-speak refusal to come clean – help or hurt holiday sales?

No Smoking in the Fireworks Aisle



No Smoking in the Fireworks Aisle, originally uploaded by edkohler.

I didn’t think you could smoke in ANY aisle at Target stores, so this seemed redundant.

Apparently, smoking is not a problem in the Tiki torch fuel section.