How We Treated Ourselves on a Budget at Target

Did you join us on our Treat Yourself Challenge this week? It was the one to join—since you didn’t have to get up early or do any sit ups—just choose an amount that you were going to splurge on yourself (and you didn’t have to actually spend it; virtual shopping carts counted as well). We chose Target as our shopping destination because $100 goes a long way and because we both had to do some of our boring, ordinary shopping there anyhow. Here’s how it went.

Marjie’s Haul

I was excited about our assignment to splurge, but I had an oddly hard time getting started. These days I’m all business, list in hand, when I shop. After cruising through Target and ruling out some lackluster departments (Shoes and Accessories were bare or boring) I centered in on two areas that are always a pleasure to browse: Books and Beauty.

The Target book section is compact, but oh, the deals! The books were all 20 to 30% off and there was a buy two/get one free sale I couldn’t pass up. With of all the discounts, the total for the three books was $34. A splurge and a bargain! I chose these entertaining reads:

  • Matthew McConaughey’s biography Greenlights – you know he’s gotta spill some good Hollywood dirt.
  • The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian – the HBO series it inspired is supposed to be fantastic.
  • Burn After Writing by Sharon Jones – I’m a sucker for prompted journaling.

Marjie’s splurge is heavy on books and beauty items.

I could have spent hours in Target’s expansive Health and Beauty section, packed with familiar cosmetic items and brands and products I’ve never heard of. Here are the pampering products I chose:

  • The Poppy by Olive & June – this clever gizmo fits over the top of any nail polish bottle for better control and precision. This will improve my at home manicure skills which are shaky at best. $16
  • Orly Breathable Treatment + Color in Kiss Me I’m Kind – can’t wait to try this all-in-one base coat, color and top coat polish with my new Poppy, above. $9
  • Freeman French Pink Clay Peel-off Mask – couldn’t resist the yummy name of this mask which promises a glowing complexion for only a few bucks. $3
  • The Blanc Eau de Parfum by Solinotes – I don’t wear perfume much but when I do I like a clean, light scent. This crisp White Tea fragrance delivers and it’s vegan! $10
  • L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer – I might finally grow out my bangs, but even if I don’t, with face masks, the focus is all about eyes. My brows definitely need tending. $8

Finally, I added these sweet treats:

Marjie’s nails benefit from the treats.
  • Let’s Eat Cake Soy Blend Candle – A girly candle that looks like a jewel and smells like birthday cake, who can resist? $8
  • Sanders Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Mini Bites – Sanders is a local brand from my Michigan childhood. Fun to indulge in some nostalgia with my chocolate. $3
  • Gatorade Energy Chews – I had a couple bucks left in my budget so I tossed these into the cart. Not a splurge, exactly, but hopefully these hydrating chews will give me some extra energy on the tennis court. $1

The grand total of my 11-item haul was $98.25 including tax, so I did stay under budget. Now I have so many new things to play with, I hardly know where to begin. Oh yes, I do—with a manicure.

Laura’s Haul

Laura’s splurges from her Target run.

I walked into to Target with a list of what we needed for our household, but I had no ideas for what I wanted as a splurge. My only parameter was that I wouldn’t buy anything that would add to the clutter. I live in a three-bedroom condo with no basement to store “stuff,” so anything that might take up valuable drawer or cupboard space is a no go.

Instead, I focused on immediate gratification! Here’s my list:

  • Veuve Clicquot – my Kryptonite; I cannot resist buying a bottle if it’s on sale (and it was). $47
  • The Survivors by Jane Harper – love this author and her newest was 30% off. $20
  • Cards to send to friends – I resent paying $7 for a fancy card, but for this challenge I gave myself permission to ignore the price and buy the cards I wanted, which was very liberating. $28
  • Ritter sport dark chocolate bar with marzipan – I love this chocolate bar and was thrilled to find it at Target. $3
  • Que Bella foot mask and Burt’s Bees face mask – I’d be happy to pay a lot more to get a little moisture into my skin! $9
  • EcoTools cleansing mitt – Again for the dry flaky skin, exfoliation! $4
  • Tulips – They don’t look like much now, but in a few days they’ll bloom pink and then I’ll have something joyful to look at for a week or more. (And I took off the tacky wrapper and put them in a cache pot with some Spanish moss, so they look much more expensive!) $7

My total before tax was $118, which is ridiculous, since I was trying to keep track of what I was spending, but somehow didn’t, and I was too embarrassed to ask the clerk to take anything off. If we’re following Price Is Right rules, I definitely lost! But I feel like I won because I am excited to try my masks, while drinking Champagne and reading my book. Plus, I get to write a few cards to friends, while nibbling on chocolate and looking at my tulips. Not bad for February!

Take Aways

When we talked post-challenge, we decided that it would have been easier and more joyful if the amount we were spending was, wait for it, smaller! Allowing yourself to add a treat to your cart when you’re doing the grocery or household shopping (IRL or online) is the perfect perk for a Covid February. Give it a try and let us know what happens. Did adding a little something just for you give you a lift? Or did you splurge big? We’d love to know in the comments or hit us up on social media @stylechallengers.

At this time Style Challengers doesn’t receive any commission from products we recommend. We’re just telling you what we love because we love it!

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