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Things at Target That Aren't Worth the Money

Formula

Formula

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.

Bread

Bread

Don't get us wrong - the bread at Target isn't bad. Most of it, is actually many of 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.

(Image Via Target)

Coffee

Coffee

For many people, it's impossible to start the day without a good cup of coffee, not only for that energy boost but 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.

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Trash Bags

Trash Bags

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 trashbags that actually do their job - again, Costco is your best bet.

(Image via Target)

Name-Brand Medications

Name-Brand Medications

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 cream 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.

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Furniture

Furniture

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.

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Shoes

Shoes

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.

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Phone Accessories

Phone Accessories

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

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Gift Cards

Gift Cards

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 certificate 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.

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Books

Books

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.

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Party Supplies

Party Supplies

Buy 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.

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Produce

Produce

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.

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Bedding

Bedding

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 are 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 and 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.

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Name-Brand Beauty Products

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.

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Batteries

Batteries

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.

(Image via Target)

Water Filters

Water Filters

Never buy water filters at Target. The store-brand Up&Up replacement water filters from Target are designed for Brita or Pur Water system 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.

Electronics

Electronics

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

Toiletries

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.

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Paper Towels

Paper Towels

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.

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Gift Wrap

Gift Wrap

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.

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Arts and Crafts Supplies

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.

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Snack Packs

Snack Packs

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.

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Salad Dressing

Salad Dressing

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.

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Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen Appliances

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.

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Off-Brand Clothing

Off-Brand Clothing

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-round compared to Target.

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Exercise Equipment

Exercise Equipment

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.

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Luggage

Luggage

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.

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Underwear

Underwear

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.

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Door Mats

Door Mats

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 it. 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.

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Store-Brand Cleaner

Store-Brand Cleaner

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 and 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.

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