I’m breaking up with Target.

November 11, 2015

photo-1445883791079-421522d11f18Photo via Unsplash

I’ve been thinking a lot about my new small town life lately. Needless to say, moving from Minneapolis to small town Iowa has been a big change. Sure, I grew up in this small town, but living in a community as a child vs. an adult is a totally different ball game.

I’ve phoned my mom a dozen times asking where to get/do certain things. Where do you drop off dry cleaning? (Answer: Joe’s TV and Appliance, and it will take a week to get back to you.) Where do you buy envelopes? (Answer: You should just go to the neighboring town’s Walmart 20 minutes away.) The paint store closes and noon on Saturday and nothing is open on Sunday, so if you don’t plan in advance, you’re just out of luck unless you want to drive an hour. The list goes on and on.

But this new life we’re living? I love it. No seriously! It’s slow and simple and free of many of the distractions that come with busy city living. It’s also free of Target. Most people shuddered, myself included, when I said that we were about 45 minutes from our nearest Target.Ā “How will you survive?” they asked. “I could never live that far away from Target!” they exclaimed. Trust me, I thought the same thing. We lived in the mecca of Targets, smack dab in the middle of Minneapolis near the 3rd highest grossing Target in the nation. It. was. wonderful.

Since we’ve moved three months ago I’ve walked through the doors of Target only twice. Yes, twice! I can hardly believe it myself. But you guys? It’s been so good for my wallet and my heart. This sounds a little gross to admit, but in the past when I was having a bad day it wasn’t uncommon for me to pack up Ainsley and head to Target, browsing the isles and tossing things I didn’t need in my cart. I didn’t have a spending problem, but my behavior certainly wasn’t healthy and it didn’t actually fix whatever was bothering me, either.

While living in Minneapolis, I had a friend who told me she purposely chooses not to shop at Target because it’s such a spending black hole. Come in for a birthday card and a gallon of milk, leave with a picture frame, two candles, a new outfit for Ainsley and new shoes you don’t need. You know the feeling. I know the feeling. I hate thinking about how much money I’ve wasted over the years purchasing things I don’t actually need.

These days when I need big-box type items, like toothpaste and paper products, I go to Walmart. And no offense to Walmart but I have no desire to mindlessly wander the aisles of Walmart just for the fun of it. It’s an in-and-out type exchange and very few impluse purchases are made. I’m amazed at how Target, something that used to seem like such a necessity in my life, hasn’t really been missed at all!

Okay, so am I taking an absolute stance on no Target? No. After all, I didn’t say I was boycotting the store. It’s fun to pop in around Christmas time or grab a coffee and walk the aisles mindlessly without a baby on your hip, but I’m much better off when Target isn’t a part of my daily, weekly or even monthly routine.


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  • Reply Cindy Germann November 11, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I might be the only person who feels this way, but Target stresses me out. I will go to great lengths to avoid shopping there because it feels so overwhelming! I’m all about Amazon Prime instead. Toothpaste, dog food, dish soap – all on my doorstep two day later. And no seasonal candles to distract me. ; )

    I’m so intrigued by your adjustment to life in a small town. Thanks for sharing little bits of it with us!

    • Reply MadisonMayberry November 12, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Amazon Prime is our best friend these days! It’s easier not to overspend when I’m shopping with a list in mind and no store to actually browse through. šŸ˜‰ Plus, with a baby and living far away from major conveniences, it’s much easier!

  • Reply Kallie November 11, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I am so inspired by your heart of loving living in a small town! My husband and I also just moved back to our little hometown in Iowa too (hello population 1200 and nearest target an hour away!), and it’s been such an adjustment for me. Hoping my love for the slower lifestyle hits soon. šŸ™‚

  • Reply Rebekah Netten November 11, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    I’ve been doing more grocery shopping at Cub (and Costco) recently and I agree that I do a lot less mindless Target wandering and purchasing these days! Now to just curb my online shopping when I feel stressed at work and then my wallet will really be happy!

  • Reply Brittany Thode November 11, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    I love this post. It seems like taboo to say you don’t like Target or that you shop at Wal-Mart. I’m in the category of “love to browse with a coffee-no baby on the hip-once in awhile” too. I agree with Cindy – Amazon Prime all the way! I’m envious of your small town life and pace of life. Living in the ‘burbs of Chicago is great – near family, and hello Chi-town! But as soon as you factor in the busy lifestyle and the cost of living…::sigh::
    Kudos to you, Lady. Keep it up.

  • Reply ali grace | cookies and grace November 11, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    This is so good to hear! My husband and I are preparing to move to a very tiny town after I finish graduate school in May. There’s no Target. Not much of anything. And I’ll definitely be making plenty of trips to the closest Wal-Mart, also about 20 minutes away. There’s so many things about small town life that I’m excited about — but I also wonder if the transition might be a little rough. I’m so glad to know that you are enjoying the slower, simpler life in a small town!

  • Reply Urban Wife November 11, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Good for you! I always think I would positively *die* if we didn’t live in a major metropolis.

  • Reply Amber November 12, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Love this! Have you tried Amazon Prime for your large bulk purchases?

  • Reply Megan Malenosky November 13, 2015 at 2:56 am

    Our biggest adjustment to being back in NW Iowa was no work on Sundays!! My husband gets so bored! We do lots of things, just inside! We would probably be beheaded if he tried to mow on a Sunday afternoon! We also do plenty of WalMart trips to Sioux center and online!

  • Reply Lovely Links | Heather's Dish November 13, 2015 at 10:00 am

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  • Reply Kristin November 13, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    We live in, what I affectionately refer to as, the middle of nowhere. It’s 30 minutes to any store and unless I want to add whole hours onto my commute at the end of the day, I don’t do any shopping during the week.
    I grew up that way though, in a small town. I just do whatever I shopping I need to on the weekend (Target used to be my sad-to-happy place too when we lived closer!) and we rely a lot on Amazon Prime. When you get used to it, it’s not so bad.

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