The Top Things To Avoid Buying At Target

Many shoppers adore Target for its wide variety of items available. While Target may be a one-stop-shop, there are some items that are worth making a second trip to get elsewhere. From overpriced electronics and clothes to unhealthful store brand foods, these are the top items to resist buying from Target.

The Furniture Isn’t The Best Quality

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

One of the things that makes Target so appealing is their wide variety of merchandise, which even includes furniture. While it may be tempting to grab a piece of furniture from the store, it often isn’t the best quality.

College students who need some temporary items for their dorm may benefit from Target furniture, but by and large, their items aren’t worth it for the home. It’d be better to go to a discount furniture store like Home Goods for high-quality items that were marked down.

Shoes Aren’t As Good Of A Deal As You May Think

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Target has a wide array of shoes in their footwear section, but that doesn’t mean that they’re a bargain. The retailer doesn’t produce the highest quality shoes, and they aren’t as inexpensive as you may think.

The footwear is typically priced between $20 and $40, which is about the same as a sales price pair from a higher quality shoe store. Plus, it’d be better to spend a little more on a pair that will last than to save a few bucks on something that will fall apart soon.

Target Doesn’t Discount Produce Like The Grocery Store

Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Now that Target has a produce section, it really does offer just about anything you need for the house. At the same time, it may be worth it to still get groceries from a place with more of a selection.

Plus, proper grocery stores often have a plethora of discounts that can save you quite a bit of cash. Target doesn’t offer these discounts or coupons, meaning you may spend more overall if you get produce here.

There Are Better Places To Buy Electronics

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Though Target sells electronics, they aren’t for bargain prices that you might find at a store like Walmart or Costco. Even then, it’s more convenient to shop online for those items to at least compare prices and read reviews before deciding to buy.

There are some exceptions to this rule, such as a big sale or a Black Friday deal. Still, unless you’ve done the research and have a price point in mind, Target electronics are better to avoid.

You Can Find Higher Quality Bedding Elsewhere

Damir Spanic/Unsplash
Damir Spanic/Unsplash

Similar to Target’s furniture, their bedding selections aren’t the best quality compared to stores like Macy’s or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. You can find high-quality bedding for around the same price as the options at Target, especially in the sales sections.

Discount stores like HomeGoods and TJ Maxx also offer higher quality bedding at a discounted price. To top it off, Target doesn’t have coupons like these other stores do, which can result in larger savings elsewhere.

Wrapping Paper Can Be Pricey

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Jens P. Raak/Pixabay
Jens P. Raak/Pixabay

Right next to Target’s greeting card section is an extensive gift wrap aisle. This way, shoppers can get their present, card, and wrapping paper all in one place. But it may be worth it to make an extra stop to purchase gift wrap elsewhere.

Target’s gift wrap prices are often significantly more expensive than they are at Walmart, TJ Maxx, The Dollar Store, and other discount retailers. Since gift wrap is meant to be torn, you may as well spend as little as possible on it.

Market Pantry Coffee Received Bad Reviews

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rahulsankraft/Pixabay
rahulsankraft/Pixabay

Coffee is one of those items that can taste vastly different depending on the quality. Consumer Reports conducted a taste test on Target’s market pantry classic roast coffee, and the results weren’t the best.

It received low scores due to the bitter and bland taste. While some knockoff brands are worth buying for a discounted price, this roast doesn’t seem to be one of them. You’re better off paying a few dollars more for a brand like Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks.

Target’s Selection Of Phone Cases Could Be Better

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Target phone cases often run for upwards of $40 and they don’t always have the exact model needed for your phone. That’s why it may be a better idea to save the cash and shop online for a phone case instead.

Amazon and other comparable websites often have incredible deals on brands like Otterbox for a fraction of the cost. It’s also much more likely that you’ll find the exact size of case needed for any smartphone.

Target Brand Paper Towels May Not Be A Good Deal

Anastasia Gepp/Pixabay
Anastasia Gepp/Pixabay

Target’s up&up brand paper towels may claim to be “strong + absorbent,” but they don’t exactly live up to their hype. The wrapping says to compare it to Bounty, and that’s exactly what the CEO of BeFrugal did.

The verdict was that the Target brand requires more sheets to be used at one time compared to Bounty. Though the name-brand is more expensive, it’s worth it if the roll lasts longer. Less trips to the store means more savings in the long run.

Market Pantry Chicken Breast Bites Are Mini Sodium Bombs

chicken-breast-bites
market pantry
market pantry

Chicken breast may be one of the leaner meats, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that market pantry’s chicken breast bites are a healthy choice. One serving still has 12 grams of fat, two of which are saturated fat, and a jawdropping 970 mg of sodium!

That means that it would only take six pieces to max out your recommended daily sodium intake! It’d be much healthier to opt for a chicken breast with dipping sauce.

The Book Selection Is Small And Not A Bargain

Brazilian Artists Create Labyrinth Using 250,000 Books
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

While Target does have a book selection, it isn’t something that customers often flock to. So there isn’t much incentive for them to offer amazing discounts on their books like Barnes & Noble or Amazon does.

To top it off, they don’t have an extensive selection of books. For the price you’d pay at Target, you’d be better off going to a bookstore full of options. Plus, libraries often sell used books for very cheap.

Target Brand Trash Bags Aren’t Durable

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up&up
up&up

Trash bags are hit or miss, and when it comes to Target’s up&up brand, it’s a miss. While the bags are less expensive and come with features like drawstrings and FlexGuard, it still doesn’t compare to brands like Glad.

The brand isn’t quite as durable, making it more likely that you’ll end up with holes in the bag. You’re better off getting a cheaper brand and dealing with spills or going big with a variation you can trust.

Bathroom Trinkets Aren’t Worth The Money

bathroom-sink
Tina Witherspoon/Unsplash
Tina Witherspoon/Unsplash

Bathroom trinkets are another Target item that may seem like they’re worth buying, but the price tag and design quality aren’t really up to par. Though the store has a nice selection of toiletry accessories, that doesn’t mean they’re worth it.

If you’re spending money on things like toothbrush holders and soap dispensers, you may as well get the best. Stores like HomeGoods or name-brand outlet stores can have better looking, higher quality items for the same cost or cheaper.

Pet Supplies Are Cheaper At Places With Loyalty Programs

Chewy/Unsplash
Chewy/Unsplash

Though Target has a selection of pet supplies, the name-brands tend to be pricey, and the generic variations aren’t as high in quality. Warehouses like Costco tend to offer better deals.

An ideal option would be to stick to one specific pet store and join the loyalty program so that you rack up points and get savings that way. Another option is to try out an online pet food delivery service that offers discounted prices.

You Can Buy Gift Cards At A Discount Somewhere Else

Walgreens pharmacy, prepaid gift card display
Jeff Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Jeff Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Many stores are selling gift cards for not only the store itself but a range of other retailers and restaurants, as well. Target is no exception, but they don’t provide any discounts.

On the other hand, stores like Costco offer up to 20% off the price of the gift card, as do some online retailers like eBay and Raise. That means that for $80, you can get a gift card worth $100! Who doesn’t like free money?

Market Pantry Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños Are High In Sodium

cream-cheese-jalapenos
market pantry
market pantry

Market pantry’s cream cheese stuffed jalapeños may look delicious, but they aren’t worth the heaping of saturated fat and sodium in each serving. Just three of these poppers has a quarter of your daily value of saturated fat, and 320 mg of sodium.

On top of that, there’s a laundry list of ingredients that include things like gums, modified corn starch, and dextrose. It’d be much healthier to layer fresh cream cheese and sliced jalapeños on top of a multigrain cracker.

Name-Brand Beauty Products Just Cost More

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Felix Wolf/Pixabay
Felix Wolf/Pixabay

If there’s one thing that Target’s generic brand is good for, it’s beauty products. Target takes their beauty section so seriously that some stores even have a beauty consultant to help guide shoppers.

Since many of their knockoff beauty brands are comparable to name-brand versions, you’re better off getting the store variation and saving a few bucks. For instance, Target’s up&up apricot face scrub is similar to the popular St. Ives version, but costs $2 less.

There Are Cheaper Places To Go For Toiletries

Claudio Schwarz/Unsplash
Claudio Schwarz/Unsplash

Though Target is stellar when it comes to beauty products, that isn’t the case with more general toiletries. When it comes to items like mouthwash or soap, Walmart is the king of discounted items.

Since Target and Walmart are top competitors, it can be easy to assume that they both have comparable prices. However, that isn’t always the case. Apartment Therapy found that household items were often a few cents to a few dollars cheaper at Walmart compared to Target.

Market Pantry Mini Cheeseburgers Are Stacked With Saturated Fat

mini-cheeseburgers
market pantry
market pantry

Market pantry’s mini cheeseburgers may seem adorably innocent, but don’t let the size fool you. Just two of these little guys contain 35% of your daily allowance of sodium and 10 grams of fat, half of which is saturated fat.

While a serving does contain an impressive amount of protein and iron thanks to the beef, it also comes with a long list of head-scratching ingredients. These include things like high fructose corn syrup, ammonium chloride, and azodicarbonamide.

The Quality Of Target Clothes Won’t Save You In The Long Run

Becca McHaffie/Unsplash
Artem Beliaikin/Unsplash

Even though Target’s clothing selection may seem impressive, it may not be worth the price tag. It can be easy to assume that Target has stellar deals, but clothing is one area where the items aren’t as inexpensive as you may think.

Many of their items are twice as expensive as a comparable piece from Walmart, at the quality isn’t up to par. You’re better off waiting for a higher-end store to go on sale to find a better design and fit.

Save On Exercise Equipment Somewhere Else

Sergei BobylevTASS via Getty Images
Sergei BobylevTASS via Getty Images

Though Target has a decent workout equipment section, the prices simply don’t compare to that of Walmart. Smaller items like dumbells or water bottles are often a few dollars less at Walmart compared to Target.

The savings become even more obvious when it comes to larger equipment such as cardio machines, which can be hundreds of dollars less elsewhere. Plus, when ordering online, you can compare costs across a wide range of websites, such as Amazon.

Target Brand Salad Dressing Leaves More To Be Desired

Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Tom Kelley/Getty Images

Another item that Consumer Reports tested on shoppers was Target salad dressing. While the store brand scored high in many other condiments, caesar salad dressing wasn’t highly rated.

Participants noted that the spices weren’t well-balanced and deemed the black pepper overpowering. Target does offer a variety of salad dressing options outside of their market pantry variation. However, your favorite brand may not be as cheap at Target compared to grocery stores or even Walmart prices.

Market Pantry Macaroni & Cheese Dinner Is Even Less Healthier Than You Thought

mac-cheese
market pantry
market pantry

Macaroni and cheese isn’t the healthiest of foods in general, but some recipes or brands are more nutritious than others. Target’s market pantry macaroni & cheese dinner falls on the side of being less healthy.

One 2.5 ounce serving contains 52 grams of carbs and only 1 gram of fiber. Though it’s a fat free food, the mac and cheese also contains 500 mg of sodium! Considering the small serving size an low nutritional value, we wouldn’t call this a true “dinner.”

Target Brand Water Filters Have A Shorter Lifespan Than Others

water-filters
up&up
up&up

Target’s up&up brand of water filters may be less expensive than its name-brand counterparts, but in this case, it isn’t a deal. The quality of this water filter brand doesn’t quite match up to that of Brita or Pur.

To top it off, they are shorter-lived, meaning that you could end up paying more in the long run. Instead, stick to the brand that matches the water filter pitcher you have at home for the best results.

Kitchen Appliances Aren’t At The Best Prices

DeAgostini/Getty Images
Olly Curtis/T3 Magazine/Future via Getty Images

Target sells a variety of kitchen appliances, such as blenders, coffeemakers, and spice grinders. While their quality is relatively good, the price can be easily beat elsewhere.

You can look up the exact brand of appliance online and are bound to find it for cheaper through websites like Amazon. Those who would rather buy in-person may want to check out HomeGoods before settling for something from Target. The store often carries high-end brands that are heavily discounted.

Craft Supplies Cost Too Much

Pexels/Pixabay
Pexels/Pixabay

Craft supplies can get expensive, especially when it comes to the more quality brands that will make your project look its best. Though Target sells an array of craft supplies, it may not be worth buying.

The quality isn’t the problem here, but rather the price is. Since Target doesn’t do discounts, it may be more lucrative to go to a place that offers coupons, such as Michaels. This way, you get all the quality for a fraction of the cost.

The Selection Of Electronic Accessories Isn’t Great

phone-charger
Neil Godwin/Future Publishing via Getty Images
Neil Godwin/Future Publishing via Getty Images

We already mentioned that for electronics and phone cases, Target doesn’t offer the best deals. The same is true for electronic accessories such as cellphone chargers and cables.

Not only will online marketplaces like Amazon have better deals available, but they’ll also have a wider selection. This means that you’ll be more likely to find an accessory that matches the exact specs of the items you’re pairing it with, rather than being a generic one-size-fits-all.

Market Pantry Pink Lemonade Is Basically High Fructose Corn Syrup

pink-lemonade
market pantry
market pantry

Target’s market pantry brand Pink Lemonade is packed with sugar. One 8 ounce serving has 29 grams of sugar, which is more than some desserts! While we’d like to say that this sugar is naturally occurring in the fruit, it actually is predominantly high fructose corn syrup.

To top it off, the beverage has virtually no health benefits. According to the nutrition facts, it has no vitamins, fiber, protein, or anything else that would benefit a balanced diet.

Name-brand Medications Aren’t A Deal

Elaine Landwehr shops in the pharmacy area of a Target store
Jay Laprete/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jay Laprete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

When it comes to over-the-counter medications, there is often a knockoff right beside the name-brand that has the same active ingredient. At some stores, the name-brand will sometimes come out to be even cheaper than the generic version due to discounts.

This isn’t the case at Target, though. They got rid of their rewards program when CVS moved into their pharmacy department. That’s why it’d be better to either shop elsewhere for medications or to just go for the generic to save a little money.

Market Pantry Mixed Fruit Snacks Don’t Have Nutrition

mixed-berry-fruit-snacks
market pantry
market pantry

Do not let the “mixed fruit” label confuse you. This market pantry “snack” item is really just gummies cut in fruit shapes. The good news is that the number one ingredient is fruit juice.

The bad news is all the ingredients that come after. These include corn syrup and sugar, which account for the 15 grams of added sugar per serving. It also contains questionable artificial colors like red 40, yellow 6, and blue 1.

Most Things From Bullseye’s Playground Aren’t Worth Buying

Craig Lassig/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Craig Lassig/Bloomberg via Getty Images

One of the first things featured in any Target store is Bullseye’s Playground. This is the part of the store where everything is on sale for only a few dollars.

While there are sometimes good deals in this section, many of the items are going to be very poor quality or have little to offer. It may be a good spot to find some goodie bag items for a kids party, but more that likely there won’t be much worth paying even a dollar for.

Batteries Are Cheaper At Other Stores

batteries
Claudio Schwarz @purlzlbaum/Unsplash
Claudio Schwarz @purlzlbaum/Unsplash

Buying batteries at Target isn’t the most ideal option purely because of the cost. Those who rely on batteries and use them often may want to opt to buy them in bulk at a store like Costco, or even to shop for them online.

On the other hand, if you need some batteries for an item that is rarely used or temporary, like a children’s toy, then opt for a dollar store. The batteries won’t have as much life but they’ll only cost a buck.

Market Pantry Butter Flavored Pancake Syrup Has a WHOLE Lot Of Carbs

butter-syrup
market pantry
market pantry

In case pancakes weren’t high-carb enough, why not douse them with market pantry’s sugary butter flavored syrup? A single serving has a jaw-dropping 52 grams of carbs, largely from the added sugar.

The first two ingredients are corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, and there are essentially no positive nutritional benefits. Pure maple syrup may be pricier, but it at least contains a fraction of the carbs that come from naturally-occurring sugar. Plus, pure maple syrup is a good source of manganese and riboflavin.

Name-Brand Baby Clothing Can Be Expensive At Target

Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

When it comes to name-brand baby clothing like Carter’s you’re better off buying directly from the company rather than through a store like Target. The reason being that the prices are increased to account for the retail costs.

Another option would be to go to an outlet or a discount store such as TJ Maxx, where name-brands are discounted year-round. If you do want to shop from a retailer like Target or Kohls, try to wait for a blowout sale.

Party Supplies Aren’t A Deal

Darsh Sunil Warrier/Unsplash
Darsh Sunil Warrier/Unsplash

Party supplies is another item that tends to be priced higher at Target than many other stores. Even craft stores like Michaels or JoAnn’s will typically have deals on their items and a much larger selection.

For the biggest bang for your buck, check out dollar stores. Since party supplies is used so sparingly, it doesn’t need to be the highest quality and nothing beats dollar store prices. Plus, other stores will often have coupons to help bring down the total price.

Market Pantry Cherry Mixed Fruit Cups Have Lots Of Sugar

market pantry
market pantry

Fruit cocktail is generally not the healthiest of snacks due to the added sugar, and market pantry’s version is no different. Just one of these little cups has a whopping 16 grams of sugar!

It’d be one thing if all that sugar was naturally-occurring in the fruit, but that’s not the case. Added sugar is the third ingredient right after fruit and water. To top it off, there’s only 1 gram of fiber. For less sugar and more fiber, opt for a whole piece of fruit.

Find Dried Fruit Elsewhere

Close-up of dried fruits
DEA / G.PISACANE/De Agostini via Getty Images
DEA / G.PISACANE/De Agostini via Getty Images

Getting dried fruit from Target isn’t that bad of a deal, unless you’re buying in bulk. In that case, you can save a ton of money overall by going elsewhere. For instance, Costco dried fruit costs almost a dime less per ounce.

If you’re getting a pound of fruit, then that would come out to almost $2 less. It may not seem like much, but that can amount to a good chunk of change over time.

Black Friday Deals Aren’t That Big

Bess Adler/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bess Adler/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Target is one of many stores that shoppers rush on Black Friday. Though many anticipate great deals, closer inspection may ruin the illusion of a bargain.

Just like the items on Bullseye’s Playground, many of the sales items on Black Friday are of little quality and are therefore priced what they’re worth. These items may not have the full package that higher-priced versions contain, such as an electronic without the batteries or cords needed to operate.

Picture Frames Are Half The Price At Other Places

Rolands Zilvinskis/Unsplash
Rolands Zilvinskis/Unsplash

Target’s selection of picture frames isn’t always worth the price. Oftentimes, frames with as good or superior design and quality are available at discount stores for half the price.

Places like HomeGoods or Bed, Bath, and Beyond tend to have cheaper options that are still sure to impress. Plus, these stores offer coupons and have extensive sales sections where product prices are reduced even further. Even specialty photo shops will sometimes have deals on bundles.

Market Pantry Chocolate Dipped Granola Bars Aren’t Really Healthy

granola-bars
market pantry
market pantry

While granola bars are generally marketed as nutritious, it’s important to note that not all are created equal. Some granola bars have the nutritional makeup of a candy bar, as is the case with market pantry’s dipped chocolate chip granola bars.

A single bar contains 3.5 grams of saturated fat and 12 grams of added sugars. To top it off, there is little nutritional value as each serving contains only 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of protein.