Monday, June 25, 2012

Why I Should Burn Down Target

If you are here for the first time and want to read about racing, running and training, come back tomorrow when I am focused and on task. Or read on at your own risk. Today I’m sidetracked.

I do not know what happens or why, but it happens every single time.

I go to Target for three things:

  1. Paint roller
  2. Windex
  3. Printer paper

That is about $13 or so dollars of stuff.

But, somehow by the time I get to the register, I have 23 items for a grand total of $83. I managed to find 20 extra items and to spend 70 extra dollars. I admit it - I am weak. I have the mental strength to run a marathon, but cannot stick to my list at Target.

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{source}

It’s not like I go through the aisles and try to find crap to buy. The stuff I got was actually damn necessary – Timothy hay for the Guinea pig, water balloons for the kids (yes, no summer is right without these), bananas, Hot Tamales, half and half…the list goes on. Do not let me get stranded without my half and half. It gets ugly.

I asked the clerk, “Do people tell you this all the time? They come in here for three things and leave with fifty things?”

Yes,” she said, nodding knowingly. “It is a sickness. A first world problem that seems to be spreading like STDs in Las Vegas.”

Okay. She didn’t say that, but she did agree with me.

By my account, the only way to avoid this sickness is to not go to Target. Or, to send Ken. Somehow when I give him a list, he sticks to the list and buys almost nothing else. He might splurge on some yogurt covered pretzels, but that is it.

I know there are all sorts of ways to avoid impulse buying and over spending. Let’s face it, they are boring:

  • Ask yourself, do I really need this? Yes, my children will be deprived without water balloons.
  • Could I find it cheaper online? Not with shipping costs.
  • Does this money need to be spent right now? Yes. Target might run out of water balloons and then what will I do?

BOOORRRING! But, practical for sure.

Clearly, this is not a post about running, but a post about real life. Does it count that I thought about running while I was shopping or that I stopped to talk to a runner friend I ran into? Voila! Now this is a post about running.

Do you stick to your list?

If you send your significant other, do they stick to the list?

What’s your best tip for having discipline and not regret while shopping?

SUAR

84 comments:

  1. I always have to get wasabi soy covered almonds in target. Those things are so freakin good! I guess to not spend money is to not take the extra money to spend.

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  2. lol. Whats worse is that my Target is right near a Super Walmart and a Kohls. It's like at trifecta for stay at home mom's. IF i send my husband he 1) doesn't buy what I need or buys something he thinks is an equivalent but actually doesn't come close or 2) he spends more money that I would.

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  3. The trick is to not get a cart, you are more likely to fill it up (and they know that).
    I go in and just carry everything I need, when your arms get full...it is time to go!

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    Replies
    1. Ahh but they have started strategically placing the little handheld baskets at various places throughout the store, making it so much easier to NOT stick to the list!

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    2. thats exactly what i do! i've often been asked " can i get you a basket?" my reply is "no thanks, i only buy what i can carry". unfortunatley, ive become quite adept at carrying some amazing things with just two hands!

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  4. I can never stick to my list when I go into a Target. I hate it! Too much money has been spent there.

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  5. Holy shit Im not the only one!!!! I blow the budget EVERYTIME on that place. I call it a sickness. Family asks if I get shakes,like withdeawl if I dont visit daily :(. Hubby sticks to list no problem. Bastard.

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  6. I couldn't agree with you more. I share the same affliction with Costco and have found that it is physically impossible for me to leave without spending $100. There needs to be a support group formed for this problem. ; )

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  7. As someone who works at target...yes we hear that ALL the time and I do it as well :)

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  8. I am pretty good at sticking to the list if I don't have kids or husband with me. Husband is good for at least another $70 worth of crap and kids, if they whine enough, are good for another $30. I am so weak.

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  9. I am horrible in any store, but worse in the grocery store. My hubs, way better at sticking to a list but alas he hates grocery shopping more than I. Last week, I found a grocery store that does online shopping. {Insert singing from the heavens} I just load up my virtual cart, already knowing what I am spending (avoiding that "OMG Are you even serious?!?!" look I often have when I hear my total) I submit it. The next day, I drive up, ring a bell - they come out, load the car, swipe my card and I still have time on my lunch hour to actually eat. Yes, it costs $4.95, but it is far less than the damage I'd do otherwise! Long story short, my name is Hope and I am a recovering (and often on again/off again) shopaholic; from home goods to groceries, I cannot be trusted to enter a store and leave with just what was on the list. I often carry a pen with the sole purpose of adding whatever crap I randomly pick up, to the list. Yes, I am that bad. Sadly, I am not sure there is a cure for this... not for me anyway. I cringe when I get emails about running gear... I need another job.

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  10. Opposite here. I'm on a search and destroy when I go to a store - get in and out as fast as possible. DH takes hours upon hours to shop. i make a list, he impulse buys. The only place I'm dangerous is a thriftstore. But we don't have those here.

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  11. Target is dangerous! This happens to me EVERY time!!

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  12. I make a point to stay away from Target, Wal-Mart, Wal-Greens, Lowe's and Home Depot for this very reason. All budget killers!

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  13. Target is my weakness - in Walmart it never happens but in Target I always spend more than planned. So I try to go to Walmart more haha

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  14. It happens to me in other areas as well. I often want to comment on blogs, but I refrain. SELF ... CONTROL.

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  15. AGH! Do you know that Target was my first job as a high school student? True story. Imagine working there AND getting a (small) discount....it made the addiction even worse!!

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  16. My husband usually does an OK job of sticking to the list in amount of things - but not in the correct ones... he always comes home with different things that what was on the list... curious.

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  17. I don't understand how that happens, but regardless of what you go in for one cannot leave without at least three extra things and having spent $60+. First world problem for sure.

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  18. What's running without half and half? Totally a post about running.

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  19. The grocery store is the worst for me. $20 on the list, $100 out the door. I can't imagine what it would be if we weren't healthy eaters....

    Hubby is worse than I am, so no way I'd send him. He's the only man I know that shops like a woman!

    Sometimes what works for me is to allow a certain number of extra items. Like 3 things not on the list. But that only works with non-grocery stores. Kind of a losing battle....

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  20. Ha. Ha. I LOVE this!!! Freakin hilarious!!!! I usually end up with $150. I guess their marketing stratgies are working!!!

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  21. I'm pretty certain I've never stuck to my list when I go into Target. There is always something, somewhere, that I see that I have to have. Now the grocery store, I can absolutely get in and out with what just the items on my list.. but Target- forget about it!

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  22. Target = $100.00 every time. If I manage to get out of there spending less.. then I know I forgot something and will end up having to come back later. But Seriously.. I tell people all the time that if it wasn't for women, the worlds' economies would come to a screaming halt! We are responsible for WAY more global jobs then men. Face it .. men would live forever with one set of towels they got as hand me downs from their mother... rather that the matching set of bath, face, hand towels that we have to have for the guest bathroom.. that no one is allowed to use... OR they would be perfectly happy moving into the house with the 80's mauve paint on the bedroom walls and king size sheets for curtains. We are the ones that have to spend the cash to repaint the room, buy new curtains,, and bedding that matches.. etc... ect... so the next time you over spend, remind yourself that your are personally helping the financial crisis end.

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  23. I can relate, but this used to be a much worse problem for me than it is now. I used to have more of a need for retail therapy, but years of shoveling clutter out of my kids' rooms has cured me of that. The older I get, the more tired I am of "stuff". So I rarely pick up tchotchkes on impulse, or $10 tank tops that are going to be faded and pilly in two washes, or sandals that are cheap and cute but will hurt like hell. (I do like some of their C9 tank tops/tees, though. They've held up really well!) Now I take pride on getting out of Target for under twenty bucks!
    And my husband cannot be trusted to shop at all. He goes off list and spends way more money than necessary.

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  24. This happens in every facet of my life...which is why my hubby likes to do the shopping, lol! I can't help it! You can't pass up a good deal...even if you think every deal is a good deal, hah!

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  25. Only way I can get out of there with only the items on my list is if I'm in a time crunch, like only 10 minutes to get what I need and get out. Otherwise, all bets are off.

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  26. I do the same thing at Kohls. They purposely put the return counter in the back of the store so when you take something back you have to walk by all the sale items. It doesn't help that I have the Target Visa that gives me a 5% discount every time.

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  27. Sadly, this happens to me at almost every store I go into:( Everything seems necessary when you are in the moment and then you get home and realize you don't need half the crud you bought.

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  28. I blame the stupid red stickers. Everything looks like a good deal!

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  29. You think that's bad - try working there! I came home almost every day with something.

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  30. I stick to my list for the most part. I usually see stuff that we will need in the near future and buy it.

    My husband is awful when it comes to shopping at Target. He is addicted and will buy anything and everything.

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  31. Target hasn't officially opened in Canada yet but I suspect that when it does, I'll be screwed. And for the record, lists are just loose guidelines in my book.

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  32. I think it's the air.......they have special Target air. B/c as soon as you walk out commen sense returns. At least that is how it is with me.

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    Replies
    1. Target air hahahaha true story.

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  33. I have found that my best approach to not spending money on unnecessary items at Target is to take my 3 kids with me. You see, when the 3 year old twin boys are trying to wrestle in the middle of the aisles and basically beat each other into oblivion, and my 5 year old girl is whining for WHATEVER item she has found that she MUST have to go on living, I have found that I can move fast. Really, really fast.

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  34. Target is my BFF. We are besties and tell each other all our dirty secrets. We even eat salt bad carb dough pretzels together. Don't tell no one. Target is the alpha in our relationship. *sigh*

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    Replies
    1. hee hee ;-) http://pinterest.com/pin/208361920230611906/

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  35. Nope don't stick to my list...even worse at Costco...

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  36. My husband always sticks to the list. The problem is, if I send him instead of the list being Milk, Cheese, Bread

    It's:
    Milk - a whole gallon, with a red label for the baby and a whole gallon with a blue label for the other kids, Cheese - 1# of yellow America sliced at a number 4, Bread - 3 loaves of Whole Wheat sandwich bread with a yellow label. {SIGH} And the whole list looks like that. I sometimes even have to include what aisle it's in and I have to specify NOT to buy the largest quantity of some things (like garlic powder - who uses an entire TUB of garlic powder in less than 12 years? Not me. And I REALLY like garlic).

    I never stick to the list. Ever.

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  37. List...haha most of the time I get a bunch of random stuff and forget to get all the stuff on the list, so I have to go back. That's when I get the impulse stuff I didn't get on the first trip. I actually hate shopping, I get really grumpy if there are a bunch of people at the store. My hubby does the grocery shopping, yay for me, but I think he does it because I usually forget the stuff on the list.

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  38. This happens to me every time!

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  39. Target should have a 12 Step program.

    Sending my husband wouldn't work. He might come back with few extra items, but they would all be cheese and sausage. Yummy, but less useful and more fattening than kids' underwear you fortunately just remembered desperately needed to be replaced.

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  40. Target = my biggest downfall. Target always seems to have "exclusives" or limited edition items : \ If only their coffee wasn't so gosh darn good and I might save a couple bucks.

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  41. HAHA! Some friends and I were just talking about this and we agree Target must be in some vortex that causes you to never stick to your list and spend about 5x what you intend. I am pretty good about it everywhere else, but step into Target and all bets are off!

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  42. I stay away from Target. It is convenient. Where else can you buy a summer dress, bath towels, and groceries while sipping on a latte from 4Bux? I once stayed away for a few months. True story.

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  43. Yeah, Target is bad. I try to limit my visits to at a minimum every other week and really try for once every three weeks to minimize the damage. I finally got rid of my Costco membership because that store just killed me -- couldn't get out for under $300 no matter what.

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  44. Ha! I live 90 miles from the nearest Target. I take a day off from work about every 3 months just to go to Target. I get my coffee, my cart and then roam around for a couple of hours. I usually get out for less than $150, unless it's Christmas time. As if it wasn't wonderful enough to start with, they remodeled my Target last year. It's even more heavenly now. In fact I'm taking Friday off and will be going to Target for a new shower curtain and ....?

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  45. OMGoonies, yes. We have an amazing Target in our Town and its like not only shopping heaven, its run into your friends and visit mecca in our little neck of the woods. Get out spending less than your month's mortgage? Nah!

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  46. Oh how timely... I JUST went to Target two days in a row... purchasing unnecessary items BOTH times.

    Sigh.

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  47. http://iwastesomuchtime.com/on/?i=26116
    This is totally me and it sounds like you too!

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  48. I don't get it at all. I make the list. This might take a bit of time puttering about the kitchen and pantry. Then I go get the list. That's all there is. It's simple. Make list. Buy items on list. Don't buy items not on list. Pay and leave.

    My wife has discovered that if it's not on the list I won't see it. Sometimes this means I have to take a couple passes at an aisle to get something, but that's ok. Children are lucky if I see them, as are geezers. Shopping is a search and buy mission, trampling done as required. Every now and then, browsing happens. Then I stroll. I look at things. I think about things. I'm probably being that guy. But I don't buy, or only rarely.

    The other solution is not to go in Target. Or Walmart. Or similar such stores. They are the scourge of the earth. They and their ilk are responsible for the tidal wave of cheap junk engulfing us, and shopping becoming a hobby or leisure activity. My grandparents thought that spending money, as in trading actual precious metals and a bit later folding paper for products was a last resort. It was very nearly shameful. Buying on credit (other than a property mortgage) was an admission of financial incompetence. Being in debt, other than that property mortgage, was something to move heaven and earth to avoid or get out of.

    Walmart is an abusive employer, and tries to bully everybody in their supply chain into being an abusive employer to cut costs. And for most organizations, people are the biggest cost. Wonder why the only jobs available now pay the cube root of diddley squat? Because you don't support local industries. A dollar spent in Walmart is 85 cents or so shipped overseas never to return.

    Back in the day, Henry Ford paid workers far more than what he "needed" to. As a result, people wanted to work for him very badly. One of the things they bought with their money was the cars they had been producing. That will never happen now, the Walmart world won't permit it.

    Almost everybody in America has forgotten what capitalist meant. Almost nobody, even the right wing libertarian fruit loops and Teatards remembers there are two elements involved. Cost is indeed one of them. It's the only one that people think about. The other is quality of the product or service. Used to be that people selling a better product could charge more. Now people only care about cheapest, and so of course, there are no good quality products anymore, or very very few. Walmart, and Target, and the Dollar Store, and other big box retailers have driven the very concept of good quality and service out of the market.

    So when I'm looking at stuff, particularly mass merchandise stuff, I don't ask myself those questions you mention. I ask myself, by buying this do I want to support a system of slave labour in China and a supply chain that routinely cheats hard working people out of their wages, just so I can get a cheap gewgaw? Then it's easy to put it back on the shelf.

    My question now is, why did I put a perfectly good rant on someone else's blog? Oh right, because SUAR readers are good to me.

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  49. I try to avoid Target like the plague #firstworldproblems for the exact reason you listed here!!

    I tend to buy everything on Amazon lately because it is cheaper, I don't have to drag my lazy bootay to the store, and I have Amazon Prime with free 2-day shipping #firstworldsolver.

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  50. I have not been to Target since Christmas! It's just not good for my pocketbook. LOL

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  51. Beth- I sent a photo to your email last Saturday.
    I was wondering if you had received it?

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  52. Only $83? That's child's play. I used to be happy if I left with a receipt under $100.....now it is $200. Inflation and all...

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  53. i'm soooo. so. glad Target is 45 min from me. I do this w/ the Dollar General. Go in for hamburger buns, flour and chips, and spend 30$ on a flag for my yard, a clay pot, paint by number for my kids, summer tablecloth and a lawn gnome. OYYYY! Target is my dream place. I can imagine myself having a baby in there and living there like that one movie "where the heart is". I think that's the name. I would live in the home section....LOVE TARGET!

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  54. LOL - This happens to be all the time at Target, which I think is funny. Before I had kids, I didn't even know Target existed; after, it somehow became my favorite store. I am always spending way too much money there. Also, I am a sucker for their gift card deals - you know, buy these six items and we'll give you a $5 gift card? That's me.

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  55. I was in TarJAY the other day and actually contemplated buying hooks for my kitchen to hang hand towels on. I had about two other random things in the cart too. WTF is it with that place? They probably have subliminal massage on the stuff.

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  56. Always, always, always send in the men for these things. We can only keep one item in our heads at a time. A list is created, we go down the list like a scavenger hunt and get the hell out. We don't want to be there so shopping is not at the top of our list.

    Have Ken do it and offer him a reward for going in there and getting out with 3 items and only a $13 charge to the account.

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  57. Hot Tamales!!!!! damn you. Now i may have to enter that place to get some. mmmmmmmmmmmm

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  58. Target isn't as bad as Costco for me. We go in for specific things and end up going out with a full cart and at least $100-$200 poorer. We do actually USE the things we buy there, though, so I guess that makes it not quite as bad, right?

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  59. I always pay with cash instead of credit or debit. I really hate to part with the green stuff once I have a wad in my wallet. It just seems to hurt more and wincing as I pay motivates me.

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  60. Usually I go in there with a list and leave with everything under the sun, but the most important thing on my list.............

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  61. That happened to me last time I went to Target. I needed a couple of things and left with a cart full.

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  62. You get out of Target for under $200?? I don't even have kids!

    It's always the laundry detergent and stuff like that which I actually need ... I try to think of it as saving gas money since I'm already at Target. If I put it back, it will only delay the inevitable!

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  63. Hi my name is Judy and I have a Target problem too! After running 4 miles this morning, stopped at Target on my way to work for coffee cups and splenda. I left spending "just" 37.90 on stuff like hello kitty soap for my daughter. I actually gave up Target for lent, at the suggestion (request/order) of my husband. I'm embarrassed to say how much we saved those 40 days!

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  64. I have that sickness too. I also have it at Costco. I can never seem to get out of there for less than $200!

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  65. Their running gear and Dark Chocolate Espresso Trail Mix always suck me in. I can never leave without at least 3 bags of the stuff and a new running skirt, shirt or bra....

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  66. Just yesterday I asked my husband to stop and get hamburger buns on the way home from picking up the kids. 1 item. He came in the door with 4 bags of groceries (I just shopped 2 days ago), no buns (of course) and each child was sucking on a sugar cane stick. Are you freaking serious!!??

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  67. My friend calls it the $50 cover charge. You don't step into Target without spending the $50 cover charge.

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  68. I have this issue with grocery stores. Normally if I have a list I can stick to it. But when I go for just a few things, I end up carrying an armful of stuff to the cash. So much that normally I'm scanning the store for an abandoned basket hehe. It happens to all of us.

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  69. how come my comment was never published when I said Thanks for shopping at Target???? what up???

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  70. Timothy Hay? I thought your husband's name was Ken? Bwahaha...

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