But is everything in this beloved, retail Mecca worth your money? Are there products you may have overlooked or missed that your wallet would thank you for? You’re about to find out! Pay attention to the following list as you find out what’s worth skipping and what’s worth snatching at Target.
Snatch: Specialty Furniture
Although, as a rule, you should avoid furniture at Target, there’s nothing wrong with getting your “Restoration Hardware” fix here. The brand “Restoration Hardware” is known for some stunning, vintage pieces at, well, some stunningly high prices.
If you really want that old-world look, Target might be able to help you out with their house brand Threshold. The stylish brand has everything from bed linens to furniture to house décor all in an elegant and unique style so you can get your desired look for less!
Snatch: Kid’s Shoes
Target may not have the same large selection of quality footwear as a shoe store but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good buy when it comes to kid’s shoes. Kids are outgrowing their clothes and shoes throughout their early lives but Target often has a nice variety of kid’s shoes on sale.
Here you can find kids’ sneakers, flats, and more trendy, modern styles and colors all at reasonable prices. So, no matter when your kids are ready for their next pair of shoes, Target will be there.
Buying diapers can really stress a parent out. They are a constant necessity for anyone with an infant, have many options of brands, and can be expensive. But if you’re a parent who shops at Target, you may already know about their fantastic diapers.
The Target brand of diapers are comparable in their absorbency and leakproof technology to big-name brands and cost far less. It’s one less thing parents have to worry about spending a lot of money on.
Skip: Salad Dressing
Yes, even products as seemingly inconsequential as salad dressing are important to consider when shopping at Target. When it comes to great-tasting salad dressings, Target may disappoint you. Consumer Report’s verdict on Target’s line of house-brand dressings was that they were a bit lackluster.
One variety of dressing was found to be “dominated by black pepper and dehydrated spice flavors.” So, if you’re looking for a top-notch salad dressing with big, bold flavors, you may want to shop elsewhere.
High-quality, pre-packaged foods are one of the many products that Target is known for, but you’ll want to steer clear of the produce section. The selection? Very small. The quality? Not the greatest. The prices? Not budget-friendly.
If you’re looking for fun snacks suited for your next party, then Target’s your stop. But, if you’re looking for quality, fresh and inexpensive produce you can’t do better than an actual grocery store (even Walmart) or your local farmer’s market (when the season is right, of course).
Skip: Paper Towels
Paper towels are another household essential that comes in handy in many situations. Consumers are often confronted either with buying generic brand paper towels that aren’t very durable or with buying thicker, more expensive brand names.
Unfortunately, Target’s brand is one you’ll want to avoid due to its lack of absorbency and lack of durability. In the end, you will most likely use more of the house brand at a faster rate, so it’s better to buy a quality paper towel.
Skip: Water Filters
When looking for water filters, you will want one that not only properly filters but also produces water that tastes great. Alas, Target brand water filters are yet another product you will want to avoid from this beloved store.
They do cost less than name-brand filters but they do not produce the filtering results you want or last as long. In the long run, you’ll end up replacing these filters more frequently and probably wishing you had put up the cash for the name brand.
Target has a lot of big, fancy-looking TVs in their electronics section but the charms stop there. Now, it might go against the unspoken rules of bargain hunting but you’ll want to instead set your hopes on electronic-centric stores like Best Buy.
Why? These stores are more apt to have better deals and a wider selection of TVs. Not only will you save money, but you’ll have a much better chance of finding a specific TV brand or one with special features.
Underwear — another life essential and unfortunately another product that you’ll want to skip at Target. Value packs of underwear can be a great buy, but not at Target. You’ll have much better luck at bulk stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and even Walmart.
And it’s simply because you’ll probably get more pairs of underwear for your money and you’ll be saving money in the long run. However, if you are wanting some name-brand lingerie or underwear, Target might be your best stop.
Whether preparing for the holidays or just buying gifts, the toys at Target can also be a steal. You might be shopping for gifts for the holidays, for birthdays or just to surprise someone special in your life, but remember Target when you’re out and about.
Typically, there are a plethora of discounts on kid’s toys and you can find further discounts by using coupons on the Target app. It really does make the stress of finding the right gift at the right price like child’s play.
Skip: Gift Cards
Why skip all the seemingly wonderful and innocent-looking gift cards as you’re waiting in Target’s checkout line? After all, there are so many retailers represented, so many brands and price options, they are conveniently hanging right in front of you so why not grab a few?
Now, gift cards may not be the worst thing you could buy here, but you can snag a few for less money (often between 5 and 20 percent) if you shop on eBay or Raise.
Skip: Party Supplies
Similar to gift wrap, Target can also have some pretty whimsical and unique party supplies that are exclusive to the retailer. But don’t let the looks deceive you. The party supply section is not always the most varied and the prices won’t have you celebrating.
You’re more likely to receive your money’s worth at places like craft stores like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or JoAnn Fabrics. And, you may score a good deal at a specialty party store too, not to mention you’ll have more options.
Skip: Dried Fruit
Yes, dried fruit may seem entirely inconsequential but, when it comes to saving money, every bit helps. Dried fruit can be expensive and the bottom line is: the dried fruit at Target is not going to help save you money.
If you want to grab a small snack of dried fruit at Target, sure it’s not going to hurt your bank account too much. However, if you want to buy a larger quantity (say you’re baking for example), it’s going to cost you. You’re much better off checking out a bulk store like Sam’s Club or Costco.
Snatch: Sparkling Water
It may seem like an unusual item to find on a list like this but if you’re a sparkling water drinker, Target might be your new fizzy drink haven. It appears that Target caters to this crowd well, stocking well-known brands like LaCroix, including rarer flavors of the brand like passionfruit.
They also have their own house brand (which is of course cheaper than the name brand) of sparkling water. So don’t be afraid to try their refreshing ginger peach flavor!
Sure, Target has some unique snacks and also your trusted standbys, but that’s not as good as it gets. Per the researchers at Refinery29, it has been discovered that customers may actually save hundreds of dollars (yes, hundreds) by shopping for their favorite snacks at Costco or Sam’s Club.
Where’s this data from? Well, you can get a 30-pack container of individually wrapped snacks for around $20 while a single serving at Target costs anywhere from $3 to $4. After a simple multiplication by 30, it’s clear that it’s more cost-effective to shop at a bulk store like Sam’s Club or Costco for your snacking needs.
Snatch: Laundry Products
Consumers can be picky about the laundry products (detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets) they put into their machines. Well, there’s good news for those who have a favorite laundry product and that is that it’s probably on sale at Target!
What can you find in the laundry aisle at Target? Well, there are fabric softeners, laundry detergents, scent boosters, dryer sheets, and even more that are typically at a lower price. Be sure to check out the Target app as well as paper ads for specific deals.
Skip: Electronic Accessories
Along with skipping phone cases, another product that’s not worth looking at let alone purchasing at Target is electronic accessories. Why? Again, Amazon or another online retailer will most likely land you a better price.
Also, you may have to rummage for a while at Target for the right accessory when you could just do a quick search for exactly what you’re looking for online. So keep your shopping simple and convenient by skipping the electronic accessories section too.
Skip: Bagged Coffee
Alright, this next one is a tough one, but you will also want to look for your bagged coffee (definitely an essential in many households) outside of Target. According to Consumer Reports, the Target brand coffee is bitter and flat. And isn’t your morning (and your life) too short for bad coffee? Most would agree.
You will find a much larger selection of brands and pricing at your local grocery store. And, you can’t go wrong asking your local coffee shop to grind some beans for you!
Snatch: Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
While you’ll want to pass on the produce and dried fruit at Target, the frozen fruits and veggies section is worth your time. Frozen fruits and vegetables can be an incredibly convenient way to add good nutritional values to your diet, which is why Target shoppers should rejoice to know that these frozen items are a good deal.
Consumer Reports revealed that the Market Pantry brand of frozen fruits and vegetables was comparable in flavor and quality to the Bird’s Eye brand.
Snatch: Holiday Items
Another steal you can find at Target is seasonal and holiday items on sale. After the season or holiday has passed, Target will put some great markdowns on those products. But the best time to shop for them is the day or week afterward.
This will allow you to save money (sometimes even a 90 percent discount) and prepare for next year's celebrations whether it’s Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s, or whatever! You’ll also find seasonal candy on sale but you should probably be consuming that well before the next holiday.
Batteries. They’re a household staple, so why not grab them while you’re at one of your favorite stores that “has everything?”. You might be tempted to grab a pack of batteries while waiting in the checkout lane at Target but you really can wait for a better option.
Why? Because Target’s battery prices aren’t as low as you might think and because you can simply grab larger packs of batteries at a local dollar store, a bulk store, or even online for much cheaper.
Snatch: The Dollar Section
This might be everyone’s favorite section at Target — the dollar section. It needs little explanation but the dollar section becomes like a high-reward treasure hunt as you often find unexpected essentials for just a dollar.
Here you can find toys and games, as well as various knick-knacks and gadgets that can help make life more organized, stylish, and fun. Whether you’re looking for a USB cord, a toy, or a last-minute gift, you really cannot go wrong at Target’s dollar section.
Swimsuit shopping can be hard (not to mention pretty expensive) when you want a certain style, color, and fit, but Target can be a great place for a variety of options. If you want a classic style or something on-trend you can probably find it at Target.
Plus, there are many colors and sizes to choose from along with some pretty unique styles. You can really find something for the whole family and for every body type in the Target swimsuit section.
Skip: On Sale Clothing
Yes, we know the clearance aisle in the clothing section of Target is nearly impossible to walk away from, but if you are really looking to save money, then keep walking. Although sale items can be very tempting, they are often still more expensive than other retailers.
In fact, it may be more advisable to check out Walmart than Target when it comes to certain clothing items. And yes, there are certain pieces you won’t want to miss at Target, but you will find those in the "keep" section of this list.
When it comes time to move, you’re going to need tape, padding material, and, of course, boxes! You may be tempted to shop at your local Target for them instead of a specialty store but think again.
First, don’t pick up your moving boxes from Target (you won’t be getting a good deal) but don’t put your hopes on a specialty store either. The best hack? Ask your local grocery store and ask the staff if they have any leftovers so you can snatch them...for free! Now that’s a real deal.
Skip: Bathroom Accessories
If you want to furnish your home, specifically your bathroom, sadly, Target isn’t your best buy. When it comes to Target’s bathroom accessories, they are reportedly poor in quality and overpriced. A better option is to hit up overstock stores like TJ Maxx, Home Goods, or Marshalls.
Here you’ll find overlooked items (and even some nice brand names) that are now marked down. Your wallet will thank you for it. And of course, there are online options like Amazon and Oversotck.com.
Skip: Phone Cases
Phones are certainly not inexpensive so why should your phone case also break the bank? After spending hundreds of dollars on a phone, you can protect it for less.
Target often has a smaller and more expensive selection of phone cases so you’re better off shopping at Amazon and even Walmart for cases. And, when you shop online, your options are nearly unlimited in terms of brands, quality, and styles. In fact, you can save approximately $15 on brands like OtterBox if you browse online.
Snatch: Baking Supplies
Why would anyone spend more when they could get the same quality for less? The spotlight is once again on Target’s Market Pantry brand for its line of baking supplies. There are some recipes that require a lot of ingredients, which can really make the cost of baking supplies add up quickly.
The baking supplies that you’ll find under the Target label are well worth your buy as most of them are the exact same as the brand name supplies. Some name brands are simply repackaged as the house brand so there’s no difference in quality.
Skip: Trash Bags
You may never put as much thought into what trash bags you should buy as you will after reading this. Target brand trash bags might actually be, well, trash. They are cheaper than other brands but that sure doesn’t mean they will be the best choice when you’re looking for a strong, durable bag.
Target trash bags may be more prone to tearing, leaving you with an even messier, frustrating situation. It really does pay to buy the right garbage bag if you don’t want to clean up your trash more than once!
One of the struggles of parents is to keep their child’s clothes, shoes, and toys up-to-date with their growth spurts. The same holds true with bikes. If you’re looking for the best bargain for a growing kid when it comes to bikes, you will want to pass on the ones at Target.
Why? The children’s bikes have been found to be a bit more pricey than competitors like Walmart or even Amazon. So save yourself some pennies and skip the bike section.
For those crafters looking to stock up, Target has a crafting section but you’ll want to push your cart on by. Target really can’t match crafting superstores like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and Jo-Ann Fabrics. Even the sale section doesn’t offer discounts as good as stores like Michael’s or Jo-Ann Fabric.
Additionally, you can typically find coupons online that will allow you even greater discounts, even by 40 to 50 percent! So whether it’s sewing, scrapbooking or a school craft project, keep Target out of the mix.
Snatch: Designer Collaborations
While it was advisable to skip Target’s sale section in the clothing department, there is one gem in this area that you won’t want to overlook. Be sure to peruse the designer collaborations which are exclusive to Target.
If you want to add a runway flair without the runway price to your wardrobe, this is a collection you won’t want to miss. The collaborations don’t stop at clothes, but they can also include limited-edition footwear, home decor, jewelry, and more.
You may not give much thought to condiments, but when you have a sandwich, hot dog or hamburger to dress up, they add a lot in terms of flavor. While you will want to skip the salad dressings, feel at ease when looking for other condiments at Target.
The Market Pantry salad dressings were nothing spectacular, but the other Market Pantry condiments are well worth your attention. The flavor in the house brand’s ketchup and mayo has been said to be even better than Heinz and Hellman’s. And, of course, you can get these household condiments at a cheaper rate.
Snatch: Select Paper Products
While it’s not advisable to buy Target brand paper towels, there are still a few select paper products that are worth your hard-earned dollars. What might these be? Well, there are great discounts on brand-name toilet paper and tissues.
Always check the Target app for additional discounts which include coupons and even an offer for a free gift card with your purchase. It just goes to show you that, with a little research, you can score a deal where you might not expect it.
Snatch: Cleaning Products
Along with name-brand cleaners, Target has its own line of cleaning products including hand soaps, dish soaps, and all-purpose cleaners. All these products make up the label called Smartly and you’d be smart to snatch them while you’re shopping.
You’ll find that these products sell for less than the often-purchased Method brand and you’ll also be delighted to know that (according to testers) they smell terrific and work great too. What a relief to know that you can find products to clean your home, leave it smelling great, and all on a budget.
For the store that “has everything” Target even has a book section. But have you noticed how tiny it is? If there is a specific book you’re looking for, it could be quite rare to find it at Target. The book section is primarily dedicated to popular new releases and long-existing literature.
What you will also find lacking in this section is the staff to help you (most of the staff is working in other departments). Where should you go? Amazon or a secondhand shop will be your better options.
Snatch: Coffee Makers
So you know that bagged coffee isn’t a good buy at Target and K-Cups are, but did you know that coffee makers are another item you’ll want to add to your Target shopping cart? That’s right, if you’re in the market for a new coffee maker (and we imagine you won’t want to go too long without one in your house) head over to Target.
The store apparently has popular, high-quality brands at attractive prices, so grab your K-Cups and your new Keurig while you’re at it!
Snatch: School Supplies
Ah yes, “back to school”, that unavoidable and often stressful time of year where parents scramble to grab everything on their child’s list of required school supplies while trying to maintain a budget. The good news? Target can alleviate some of the hassles for you.
The school supply section at Target can be a tranquil experience once you discover that Target maintains a variety of school products at reasonable prices. Plus, there’s often a great selection of colors and styles for folders, notebooks, backpacks, and more, which can make the shopping experience more fun.
You read that right, snatch some Target beverages. Now you may not think that Target and quality drinks would be in the same sentence, but it's time to know the truth. At your store that has just about everything, you can score a great deal on rosé, chardonnay, pinot grigio, cabernet, and other varieties.
Just look for bottles by California Roots. No matter which variety you choose, you’ll only have to shell out $5 to bring home a bottle. As if a trip to Target could get any better.
Skip: Baby Formula
Everyone wants their kids to have the best, especially when it comes to nutrition. And when it comes to baby formula, many of the generic varieties do not have the same nutritional profile as the trusted brands.
So while you’re on the prowl for the best baby formula, here is where Target falls short. Target has its own brand (a generic variety) that also is lacking when it comes to quality nutrition. Want a better option? Check out bulk stores like Sam’s Club or Costco.
Snatch: Generic Medications
There’s a lot to love at Target and we said that they nearly have everything with many branches even housing a pharmacy. Unfortunately, because of the CVS buyout, you will not be finding great prices on name-brand, over-the-counter medications. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still get a deal.
So, what’s the answer? Target’s brand of course! Keep an eye out for the red bullseye brand of general, over-the-counter medication because they are equal in quality but at a much better price.
If you’re looking for coffee K-Cups for your Keurig brewer, Target won’t disappoint you. The store has a wide variety of roasts, brands, and alternative drinks you can make with the Keurig machine.
The big plus is that they are often sold at a cheaper price than competitors. You will also find Target’s reusable K-Cup pods that allow you to put in your own coffee, clean out and reuse afterward - pretty clever!
Snatch: Trail Mix
While dried fruits by themselves may not be a good buy at Target, trail mix is another story. It may seem like a fine line, but there is a difference here.
If you’ve spent any amount of time looking for or purchasing trail mix, you know how expensive the combination of nuts, fruits, seeds, and (sometimes) candy can be. But the Market Pantry brand at Target is reported to be a good price for the size at under six dollars for a twenty-six-ounce bag.
Snatch: Organic Products
Shopping for reasonably priced organic products can be a hassle. You want to choose the healthiest option without hurting your bank account. Target has done well in marketing and managing its organic food section. They have given themselves an edge with competing grocery and health food stores by offering reasonably priced, organic health products.
Their brands “Simply Balanced” and “Simply Organic” have been a hit with customers and have been found to be (in comparison to other brands) less expensive and more flavorful.
Spices are a kitchen essential and you usually need more of them than you think you will. The spice aisle at Target can help you out. The store has a generous selection of spices (even some exotic blends) at much better prices than competitors.
Don’t believe it? Well, customers have praised the Target label of spices for not only their low price but also for the flavor and quality. So whether it’s black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, or even saffron, you can probably find it for cheaper at Target.
Skip: Gift Wrap
The gift wrap at Target can have fun, whimsical prints, we get it, but how much do you want to pay for something that will soon be torn apart? You’ll notice that many Targets position their gift wrap section near the bargain section, but this doesn’t mean you’re getting a discount on that fabulous-looking wrapping paper.
There are definitely better options out there, so check out places like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or even the local dollar store because they will serve your wallet well.
Skip: Picture Frames
This is an item in life that you rarely consider the cost of until it actually comes time to purchase one. Depending on what you are looking to frame and the size of it, it can take a chunk out of your wallet, especially if you have it professionally framed.
This is why many people resort to stores like Target, looking for a deal, but you won’t find many for picture frames. Frames at Target are another average to the overpriced item and you can generally find a better deal at overstock stores (think TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods) or online.
Snatch: Face Wipes
Face wipes are a quick way to wipe off the dirt and grime of the day and keep your face feeling fresh. But these disposable essentials are often pricey and, because of their single-use nature, you can easily go through a pack of them.
But this is where Target’s brand Smartly comes to the rescue. In one pack you get 30 sheets at a cheaper price than name brand face wipes, in fact, you’ll get the whole package for under a dollar.
Because of the years of use ahead of it, furniture is an investment and you will want to choose your quality pieces (and retailer) wisely. Target has many options for furniture in unique styles but doesn’t be fooled by what you see at first.
Experts have weighed in to report that the quality is not the best, which means you’re really not getting a good deal. You will have much better luck at discount stores and even with second-hand pieces than Target’s lesser-quality furniture items.
Snatch: Quality Makeup
Pricey, name-brand makeup is often so appealing because it is marketed as being of better quality. This is, of course, not always true. The truth is that you can find and buy makeup without sacrificing quality or your wallet.
Target’s brand Up & Up is typically just as good of quality as the big brand names, and you won’t have to spend a fortune to get the results you want.