Target Shopper Shares "Trashy" Hack to Stop Impulse Shopping on Your Target Run


Nov. 8 2023, Published 12:15 p.m. ET

Even the most sustainably-minded of us can fall prey to the lure of impulse shopping, especially when items are cheap. Is any store more skilled at getting us to part with our money than Target? One shopper has a fun hack that helps her stop impulse buying at Target, and it's not as silly as it may sound at first.

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To not only reduce your carbon footprint by buying fewer new items — especially ones that you don't need and might not even want — try this genius hack from Morgan Smith of @olivebranchcottage on Instagram.

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This Target shopper says you should bring your potential purchases to this aisle.

Smith shares a tip for navigating the home decor aisles at Target in an Instagram reel, and you just might wonder why you've never tried this hack before. In the video, she showed several items she thought looked nice on the retailer's shelves but explained in the caption that she was growing frustrated by how often she'd get home with a new item and no longer love it.

The hack is Smith's response to what she calls "The Target Trance.™️" She explains it this way: "You love everything because it's so beautifully curated and styled in the store (darn you and your talent too, Studio McGee). But then you get the decor piece home and it's just...meh?" Smith says she wanted to quit wasteful impulse buying.

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So here's the hack: when you love a piece of home decor in Target (or any other retailer), don't buy without first placing it on the shelves among the trash cans. As Smith says, "If I like it in the trash can aisle I'll buy it because I know that it'll be pretty anywhere." One commenter said, "It's the lighting. That's a trick we were taught in retail."

Essentially, Smith proposes distancing yourself from the temptation to buy something. Not only does this delay buying, but she also adds the detail of moving the item to the trash-can aisle to see it differently. This is a great idea as it forces you to consider your spending habits more.

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One commenter gave her own hack: "I put it in my cart. Impulse satisfied! Then before checkout I “pull over” and ask myself questions like do you just love it or is it useful and will it have a place at home? And other things like “does it create a solution or create a problem I have to solve for (like where to put it etc.)” I leave a lot of stuff at the store this way. Lol."

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Quitting impulse buying can help reduce waste and save you money.

This may seem obvious, but you can drastically reduce the amount of waste you produce by quitting impulse buying. And, of course, it's a money-saver when you buy less overall. Smith offers this hack as a way to avoid the wastefulness of buying things she doesn't love.

When retailers inundate you with sales and so-called "deals," remember hacks like this one to avoid overbuying when you are at a big retailer. Even better: start with secondhand shopping options like thrift stores first, and try tactics like this to avoid impulse shopping even in those cases.

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