Things at Target That Aren't Worth the Money
Who doesn't love a good Target run? The store manages to keep up-to-date on all the current trends while also maintaining a great style. It seems like Target is one store where you can pretty much find whatever you need to buy for the home – but that doesn't mean you should.
At Target, you'll find plenty of great deals to be sure, but not everything there is worth your money. Some things can be on the pricey side, and you can save more by…shopping somewhere else. We know that it can be hard to shop at other stores, but some store-brand items just aren't any good even if they are less expensive than the next place.
When shopping in Target, it's important to be a smart shopper. Look beyond the label and don't rely on the store for everything you need. Sometimes buying name-brand stuff at Target can cost you twice as much as other places. But at the same time, not all store-brand stuff is the same quality as the premium brands.
To help you determine just what to avoid at Target, here are the things at Target that aren't worth the money. And we repeat: do not buy them. You will regret it.
When it comes to taking care of your baby, you really don't want to mess around with cheaper stuff just to save a few bucks. The generic brand options are not always as beneficial as the name-brand options, and the price difference is ultimately negligible in this case. To get the best-quality formula with the best nutrients for your little one, get the name-brand formula.
If you really are tight on money and you need to save where you can, it is best to plan ahead and buy your formula in bulk. The wholesale retailer Costco offers name-brand formulas in bulk that can save you quite a bit. Costco also has a pretty decent generic formula that is popular and is a suitable option if you are just supplementing with formula, as it is higher quality than other generic options.
Don't get us wrong - the bread at Target isn't bad. Most of it is actually the same sliced bread brands you would find at your regular supermarket, and the generic white bread tastes like any other generic brand. No, the real problem with buying bread at Target is the price.
At Target, you can expect to pay almost twice as much for the cheapest breads and the more expensive name brands. When it comes to buying bread, just stick to the stuff at the grocery store. And if you want something better and inexpensive, you can make or buy fresh bread at nearly the same cost. It just doesn't last as long because it isn't loaded with preservatives.
For many people, it's impossible to start the day without a good cup of coffee, not only for that energy boost but for that flavor boost too. If you take a sip of some truly nasty coffee, you might get some energy, but that "flavor" might just ruin the rest of your day. Target's Market Pantry brand coffee is one of those truly terrible coffees.
The Market Pantry Classic Roast coffee has an unpleasant bitter taste and lacks all the complexity of a good coffee according to Consumer Reports. So, if you like drinking bitter water in the morning, then by all means: drink it. If you just chug your coffee in one big gulp, it may also be a good option for you. Otherwise, stick to the trusted brands. Coffee is too important. Your taste buds don't deserve this.
Trash bags aren't a huge expense when you really think about it. Sure, the initial cost might be jarring to your wallet, but you usually get plenty of bags for your money, especially if you shop around. The problem with Target's trash bags is a combination of quality and quantity.
You might get only about 60 bags for around $10, and those bags are plain terrible. A trash bag is rendered utterly useless if all trash rips through the bag and ends up on the floor. If you want some economical trash bags that actually do their job, again, Costco is your best bet.
When it comes to name-brand medications, you are going to get charged an arm and a leg. Not literally, because that would be a highly illegal business practice. But Target charges top dollar for your desperate need for relief. You will overpay on almost every kind of name-brand medication you can think of.
For instance, expect to pay almost $20 for a 300-count Advil versus $8 for a 500-count Up&Up generic ibuprofen. That's a huge price difference for something that works exactly the same. Allergy medication, cough syrups, and even antibiotic creams are all double the cost of the generic forms. If you insist on buying Advil rather than generic, at least buy in bulk, which Target simply doesn't offer.
It isn't wise to buy furniture from Target. Their low-cost furniture is not well made, and it will simply not last you. In many cases, furniture pieces at Target are not even going to last you through college--if you happen to be looking for something for a dorm that you can just throw away. It would be better to shop at a store like Ikea that at least knows what it's doing.
When it comes to Target's higher-priced furniture items, they are of equivalent quality to a store like Big Lots, but they come at twice the price. So, it's better to save yourself some money and avoid Target. You aren't going to get a great deal, and if you shop for the most inexpensive thing, you are going to get exactly what you pay for.
You can certainly find plenty of cute, stylish shoes at Target. They look really nice sometimes, but they won't stay that way. If you need shoes for a costume or one party, then Target might be a good choice for shoe shopping. But when you plan to wear them for multiple occasions, you need more durable shoes that won't get holes just because you walked in them.
It's not that Target shoes cost too much, but if you need to throw them away after wearing them a handful of times out of the year, it doesn't really make economic sense to buy them. You could buy a high-quality shoe that you don't need to replace for years, and you'll end up spending less than you would buy purchasing bad shoes.
Target offers a ton of phone accessories to choose from, but all the options are either overpriced or poorly made. Third-party phone chargers tend to cost a lot of money for some reason, particularly when you can get something for a fraction of the cost at Amazon. Phone case options are limited and cost a lot of money as well. Worse yet, they don't provide much protection for your phone as most of them aren't very durable.
When you are looking for low-cost phone accessories, check out an electronics store like Best Buy or go online. Amazon has many accessories to choose from, and you won't have to pay full price for them most of the time. Read reviews to find out which third-party options work best
Gift cards can sometimes be a great idea if you really have no idea what to get someone. They aren't as personal as a gift that you pick out yourself, but some people don't care about that sort of thing. Alas, the problem with getting gift cards at Target, isn't the fact that they are gift cards – it's that there are better places to buy them.
One excellent place to buy new gift cards is Costco. At Costco, you can usually find certificates for certain retailers and restaurants at a discounted rate, saving you $5 or $10 off the cost of the card. You can also try buying gift cards from resellers on eBay or online retailers like GiftCards.com.
Target is definitely not the place to pick up books. Unless all you are looking for is the latest celebrity cookbook or autobiography, Target does not have a great selection. You won't find much classic literature there or anything interesting for that matter. You need to go to a bookstore.
Not only does Target only offer few books to choose from, but they also overcharge for popular new books. If you want to get a discount on the latest cookbook, you should check out an online retailer like Amazon. Really, that's one of the few places you aren't going to pay top-dollar on a new book.
Buying party supplies at Target is just a terrible idea. Target does not have a great selection of party supplies unless you are only interested in Paw Patrol. You can't really buy in bulk, and you may not even be able to buy supplies that actually match. You'll pay more for supplies for the convenience of getting them at Target.
When you need party supplies, going to a party supply store like Part City is really the only option. You are going to have more supplies to choose from, different kinds of supplies, a wider range of themes, and, moreover, you are going to get a better price. If you are hosting a large party, getting disposable dinnerware in bulk at Costco will truly help you save.
Target is not the place to shop for fresh produce. There are quite a few problems, actually. The biggest one for people is going to be the price. The cost of regular and organic produce is much higher than other places. It also isn't the best-looking produce, nor do they have a good selection in terms of variety.
For those reasons, you should consider a regular supermarket, or, better yet, a farmers' market. It's always a good idea to support local farmers, and you can usually get a ton of produce for your money too, so it just makes sense. At times, you can also find things that you won't find at your nearest supermarket.
Nothing is more important for sleep than good bedding. Quality bedding will help you get the best night's sleep possible, keeping you comfortable throughout the night. It's also important for those who have sensitive skin because well-made sheets that aren't loaded with synthetic fibers aren't going to irritate the skin.
Target doesn't sell the best quality sheets possible. And this is bad if you have sensitive skin or if you don't want to be replacing sheets after just a few months. Target does have quality sheets in some cases, but you have to spend a ton. Target sheets aren't going to save you money because the prices are higher than stores like HomeGoods or Amazon, which is important to think about if you are on a budget.
Name-Brand Beauty Products
Just as with name-brand medications, name-brand products aren't worth your money. You can usually find the store-brand equivalent right next to the "real thing." And again, you are going to save a lot more money by choosing the store brand option. Often with the name-brand product, you are just paying for the fancier label.
When comparing the name brand with the Up&Up store brand apricot scrub, the St. Ives name brand is almost twice the cost. We will say, however, that there are certain products where the store-brand is not significantly cheaper. One such case is make-up remover pads, where sometimes the difference is just a mere $0.50. In those cases, you can go ahead and "splurge" on the name brand if it makes you feel better.
When you need batteries, you need them, because who the heck wants to get up and turn the TV on? We don't live in the stone age anymore! Unfortunately, most retailers like Target, take advantage and charge you top dollar for a small pack of batteries. Expect to pay almost a $1 per battery, essentially.
When buying batteries, plan ahead. Buy name-brand batteries from wholesale retailers like Costco and get a ton of them for your money. And if you don't care about getting the name-brand batteries, Amazon Basics batteries are a fantastic deal. You can get a pack of 48 batteries for around $15 or 100 batteries for $27. The more you buy, the more you can save.
Never buy water filters at Target. The store-brand Up&Up replacement water filters from Target are designed for Brita or Pur Water systems as a cost-effective alternative to the name-brand option. The problem is that the filters only cost slightly less compared to the real thing, and they don't work as well.
The Up&Up filters may work somewhat, but they don't last as long as the official brands. They simply aren't as reliable, so you run the risk of drinking just regular tap water. You are better off buying Brita filters at a retailer like Costco where you can buy them in bulk and save money.
Unless you are considering Target for Black Friday sales, buying electronics at Target is not a good idea. For TVs, video games, tablets, phones and all other sorts of electronics, you aren't going to find a good deal most times during the year. At Target, you can expect to pay top dollar.
A better idea would be to shop at an online retailer like Amazon or NewEgg, where you can compare prices and get the best deal. You could also try retailers like Best Buy for deals on items like TVs. Again, Costco, is also known to have TVs on sale as well as laptops.
(Image via Target)
Toiletries like body wash, shampoos, and toothpaste at Target are not worth your money. Most of the time, you are likely to pay top-dollar for these items unless a certain item happens to be on clearance. Considering these are things you'll likely need to replenish every month, you want to save where you can.
If you want to get a good deal on toiletries, look for them elsewhere. Sometimes you might strike a deal at your local supermarket or at Amazon if you buy in bulk. Costco usually sells jumbo size bottles of shampoo or even multi-packs that can help you save. Walmart is also known to offer better prices on toiletries than Target.
Paper towels at Target are another waste of your money. The Up&Up brand paper towels may be cheaper upfront compared to the name-brand, but you are going to have to go through them faster than other options. The name-brand options are simply better paper towels, which makes them far more economical.
Brands like Bounty simply offer more absorption and durability compared to the store brand. Ultimately, this means you are going to use fewer sheets for most messes. If you are really looking for a good deal on paper towels, consider buying your paper towels in bulk at wholesale retailers like Costco. Sometimes even Amazon has good prices on paper towels.
Target certainly has a decent selection of gift wrapping paper but they don't have the best prices on it. Gift wrap at Target costs more per roll compared to other places. And considering that gift wrap is just something meant to be torn up and destroyed, it doesn't make sense to spend a lot of money on it.
You can find better deals at a dollar store or even retailers like Marshalls or T.J. Maxx that frequently offer low prices on items like that. During the holidays, you can get good deals on gift wrap at Costco because you can buy in bulk. They sell packs of rolls with a different design for each.
Arts and Crafts Supplies
Shopping for arts and crafts supplies at Target is not the best idea. The retail chain does not offer the best quality supplies nor do they offer the best prices on supplies. On top of that, you are really going to have a limited selection of supplies to choose from.
If you want better quality arts and crafts supplies and a better selection, it's better to go to a specialty store that offers more to choose from. Stores like Michael's, Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann Fabric frequently offer discounts on quality supplies. At those kinds of stores, you can get more for your money.
Snack packs are a great solution for camping, school lunches for your kids, parties, and any other occasion where you need to provide a quick snack without all the preparation. Target offers plenty of snack packs to choose from, but it isn't really the best place to shop for them.
If you are looking to purchase snack packs in bulk, your best option is a store like Sam's Club or Costco where you can get packs of 30 or 40 snacks in a box. Pay less than $15 in many cases for chips or crackers that will last you all month or a big bag of chips that maybe lasts a week at most.
When it comes to buying a salad dressing, the dressing can make or break the entire salad. Let's face it: that's where most of the flavor comes from. With that said, you don't want to go to thrifty when it comes to salad dressing, especially when doing your shopping at Target.
If you are looking for a quality salad dressing, stay away from the Market Pantry, aka Target Brand, dressings. The Market Pantry dressings are anything but fresh, filled with dehydrated spices, preservatives, and everything else you don't want in a salad dressing. They also tend to be high in cholesterol and sodium.
The kitchen appliances themselves are certainly fine. Target carries the major brand appliances like Cuisinart and KitchenAid, which are usually quality products. But the real problem is the price. At Target, you are not going to find the best deals on kitchen appliances. It would be much better to shop online where you can compare prices.
Amazon often offers incredible prices on kitchen appliances, including KitchenAid mixers and accessories. You can also find toasters, toaster ovens, and handheld mixers for less. Cuisinart coffee makers and food processors can be found on sale at Amazon or at retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, and even Home Depot.
Store-brand clothing at Target really isn't worth your money. While sometimes you might find a good sale, their stuff isn't really that much cheaper than the popular clothing brands. The quality of the clothing isn't that great either and will usually not last as many washes as the name brand.
If you are going to purchase slacks, jeans, joggers, jackets, and other kinds of clothing, shop for the name brand options or shop elsewhere. If you are looking for cheap clothes for the kids that they are eventually going to grow out of, you should try Walmart, which offers lower prices all around compared to Target.
Exercise equipment at Target is not top-notch, but you can't really expect it to be. The problem is not necessarily the quality, though--the real issue is the money you are paying for what you are getting. You can find the same quality gear at Walmart and pay a lot less. Why pay like $5 for one dumbbell when you could get a whole set for less than $20?
Heavy exercise equipment at Target is not a good price either. You can save more money by buying equipment at Walmart or even Amazon. In most cases, you can find options for under $1,000 on those websites. Otherwise, it might be better to invest in something high-end.
Luggage is really something you don't want to get too cheap on, nor pay too much for, because it can be expensive to purchase the high-end brands. Target offers cheap luggage that doesn't quite hold up in terms of quality, and you want to stay clear of that. Buy stuff that will last you more than one trip.
If you don't want to lose your belonging while traveling, get stuff that is built to last. You can find luggage sets sometimes at Costco, but you can also find them online through retailers like Amazon. Macy's and Kohl's are other places to look for luggage for you and your whole family.
Target has an extensive collection of underwear to choose from, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's where you should get your underwear. Target doesn't have the best prices when it comes to underwear, and they usually don't carry anything high end. So, if you do buy at Target, you'll probably have to replace underwear fairly quickly.
If you are looking for a good deals on inexpensive underwear, you can check out websites like Amazon, where you can find multipacks of underwear for under $20. If you are looking for higher-quality underwear, Costco usually offers Calvin Klein underwear on sale among other brands. Otherwise, you can just invest in some better-quality underwear that will last you longer.
There are a few different problems with buying doormats at Target. One problem is the quality of the door mat itself. It isn't exceptional by any means and will probably not last very long on your doorstep before you need to replace it. So, don't get too attached to the design you choose.
The other problem is that you are simply paying too much for what little quality there is. You could always buy something custom on Etsy for almost the same price or get something cheaper at Home Depot or Kohls. A personalized mat will add a lot more personality than the same design that dozens of other people have in your neighborhood.
Store-brand cleaner and cleaning products from Target are, again, not worth the money. They are not great quality products, and you don't want to mess around with low-quality cleaning supplies that put your health at risk, particularly as we recover from a global pandemic. There are plenty of low-cost cleaning products available that you don't need to stick with a store brand.
Moreover, the price difference between the store brand options and the real stuff is minimal. So, why buy something that doesn't work? Target spray cleaner has numerous negative reviews from customers – some claiming that the smell is unbearably strong while others say it has difficulty cleaning up stuck messes.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Target jewelry, except for the fact that it’s massively overpriced. Chances are, you won’t find really high-quality items there, anyway. Nothing against Target, but this retailer doesn’t get first pick for the finest gemstones on the market. Even then, the store jacks the prices up to make up for the fact that they don’t sell a ton.
The only exception is the stuff that you can get outside of the jewelry case. There are often sales on these items, making it worth the buy. If you want something nice, go to your local jeweler. We’re not talking Zales. We mean a local store where they can make whatever you want. They’re cheaper and can make something you’ll truly love.
Generic Packaged Foods
You’re probably sensing a trend with Target shopping – it’s usually more expensive than other stores. Generic packaged foods are a good example of this. Target charges a little more, especially if it isn’t a Super Target with a full-on grocery section. If they have a smaller grocery section, you’re paying more for stuff you can likely get elsewhere.
Items like dry pasta, canned food, bulk chips and snacks, and other items like this can be purchased at a grocery store for much cheaper. Heck, you can probably get it at a dollar store for much less than at Target. Always shop around when it comes to food. You may be surprised to learn even grocery stores jack up the price for generic packaged items.
This one seems like a no-brainer. Don’t buy moving boxes unless you absolutely have to (which is almost never the case). Everyone moves at least once in their lifetime, meaning there’s an abundance of moving boxes out there that have been used once and discarded. It isn’t hard to find moving boxes for free!
If no one in your area is moving, you can also go to a store and ask them if they have any leftover boxes they’d be willing to give you. Larger chains like Walmart break down their boxes, but you might catch them beforehand if you talk to a manager. Your best bet for free boxes is dollar stores and liquor stores.
Adult bikes? Go ahead and get those wherever you want. You’ll probably use an adult bike for years and years to come, so paying a little more isn’t a huge deal. However, kids grow very quickly. Spending a lot on a bike they’ll only use for a year or so at most is a huge waste of your hard-earned cash.
Instead, shop Amazon for your kid’s bikes! There’s an endless collection of bikes for a fraction of the price. The quality doesn’t matter as much, but it still doesn’t hurt to read the reviews before actually buying the item. Also, use FakeSpot to weed out the items that are spammed with tons of fake reviews.
Toothbrush Head Replacements
Anyone who owns an electric toothbrush knows that the heads are insanely expensive for something that should be replaced so often. Some toothbrush heads can cost as much as $10 each! That’s a hefty price tag for something you’ll only use for a few months. On top of that, Target also charges a little more for their heads.
If you insist on getting brand-name toothbrush heads, check out Bed Bath & Beyond. The toothbrush heads are often on sale, cheaper, and you can also use an online coupon to get 5% off $20. There’s always a coupon floating around somewhere for Bed Bath & Beyond. If you want to save even more dough, get generic heads on Amazon.
Target meat prices are out of this world for literally the same product. There are no “off-brand” cows or chickens. It’s the same animal, so why pay more? Your best bet for meat is to shop sales. Walmart, Kroger, Kings, and other similar stores almost always have some kind of sale going on.
That being said, clearance meat at Target? That’s an amazing deal. Don’t be shy to ask when your Super Target marks down their meat. Then, fly in and scoop up whatever you need on that day. You might even be able to ask what will be on clearance if the day is close. Otherwise, steer clear and just hit up your local grocery store.
Purses and Wallets
No doubt that Target has some of the cutest purse and wallet collections out there, but it really isn’t worth the money. The quality is sub-par at best, and it usually only lasts a year or so with average care. No one wants to treat their purse like a baby unless it's a luxury name-brand. Yes, I will treat my Prada bag like a delicate vase.
If you want a brand-new purse, check out Amazon. There’s a much larger selection for competitive prices. If you want something high-priced and authentic, you can check out resale apps and sites like Poshmark. You can usually get a good deal there while paying a mere fraction of the price.
It isn’t that Target’s cooking equipment is sub-par quality. The glassware is actually not too bad, but you’re going to pay for it. Items like measuring cups, spoons, and other cooking utensils aren’t better than other stores around like Walmart. In fact, it’s the exact same item but with a heftier price tag.
The only difference is if you like the design. Target has a lot of visually appealing items you might not find at other places. That being said, before you buy, it might be worth it swinging by your local TJ Maxx. A very similar item might be on the shelf with equal quality. The only difference? The price tag!
It seems like you have to buy school supplies every single year, and we’re not just talking notebooks and binders. We mean backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, and stuff like that. If your kid goes through things as fast as ours do, you shouldn’t spend an arm and a leg on their school supplies.
Backpacks, water bottles, lunch boxes, and necessary items like these are much more expensive at Target. Some common brands at Target are as much as $40! That’s a little steep for something a kid will tear through in a year. These items are best purchased online during school sales events.
Target boasts the fact that it stays stocked up on trendy items. Many moms grab something mainstream like a Minecraft shirt or an action figure while buying everything else that they need, but here’s the thing: Target doesn’t stay that up-to-date. They'll also charge you twice as much for something that’s not worth it.
If you or your kid want something very specific, it’s probably best to find it online where the prices are much more competitive. For items that are needed immediately, find a specialty store. The employees there can also help you find exactly what you want if you aren’t 100% sure.