Roomie Target Runs
Posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 by Katie Beedy
Upon returning to campus from Christmas break, I set to work on a pretty lengthy to-do list: sweep the floor of my dorm, wipe off my desk, make my bed, put my laundry away, ensure that I have all of the books and materials I need for my upcoming classes, clean out my desk drawers and reorganize my shelves, water my dying plant, and make a Target run with my roommates, Rachel and Natalie.
Roommate Target runs are one of my favorite rituals. Every couple of months the three of us set aside our other responsibilities, get into one of our cars, and make the pilgrimage to that mecca of groceries, clothing, and household goods. We divide and conquer with our shopping lists in hand, meeting up in the in-store Starbucks once we have made our purchases. These outings are more than a fun bonding experience; they are also an opportunity to save a little money.Here are some pointers that you and your roommates can use to have the best Target experience possible:
1. Share your lists, and hold each other to them. Admit it: you’ve walked into Target to get two or three items and walked out with a cart full of items you never knew you needed or wanted. Don’t worry, it happens to even the most frugal of shoppers! However, if you tell your roommates exactly what you need to get beforehand they can stop you from bringing that ceramic squirrel bookend up to the register.
2. Take turns purchasing items all will benefit from. There are some items that my roommates and I always seem to need: microwave popcorn, diet Coke, replacement cubes for our wax melter, Kleenexes, etc. Because these things will be used by all of us, it only makes sense that all of us help pay for them. Rather than splitting the cost at check-out or paying each other back later, we just alternate– whoever bought the last 24-pack of diet Coke is off the hook for the next.
3. Download the Cartwheel app! Target has developed an app called Cartwheel which enables you to browse through weekly offers and add them to your “barcode”. You hand your phone to the cashier after all of your items have been scanned and they use that barcode to apply all of the relevant discounts. The offers may not seem like much at first glance—just 5% off a bottle of shampoo or 10% off a pair of jeans– but after a few shopping trips you can really start to see the money add up. I’ve had Cartwheel for about six months, and I’ve managed to save almost $50. Every cent counts!