Christine A Howard

8 Reasons Special Needs Parents Should Think Before Heading To Target

I have to admit that I never really got on the Target bandwagon.  It seems that everyone is always raging on about all the reasons to love this store.  But, I really never saw the appeal. As a busy special needs mama, I really, really love shopping online, especially at that one major online retailer we all know and love.  But, since so many other moms and dads seem to love this store, I decided to try it out.  In doing so, I found 8 reasons that special needs parents should think twice before heading to Target.  And here’s why…

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Do You Like Bargains?

If you are the person that loves to pay sticker price for high-end, name brand stuff, Target is not for you.  But, if you like to save money as much as I do, Target is definitely the place to be.  The first thing you see when you walk in the door is the discount section.  I like to call this section the “things I didn’t even know I needed” section.

Now this area can be a little bit dangerous, because everything in it is such a great bargain.  Think packs of fun socks, lunchboxes, and home decor items for just $3 each.  The one drawback of this section is that it changes frequently.  This not only adds to the sense of urgency in making the purchase now, it also means that I make many more trips to Target than I used to.  I mean, you gotta check to see what the new bargains are, right?

Maybe You Love Customer Service Hassles

The last thing I want to have to do is contact the customer service department for any business.  Listening to hold music, waiting on hold, and dealing with people on the other end of the phone that really don’t care about my issue.  No Thank you!  With that being said, if I do have to contact a customer service department, it would be for Target.

Customer Service

Our Black Friday Purchase

On Black Friday, the Target ad showed that if we got a new phone, we would get the phone for a discount and we would get hundreds of dollars in Target gift card money.  Sounded like a win-win to us, so we braved the crowds and upgraded all three of our phones.  Well, the young man helping us was new, and picking up extra shifts from a nearby store.  He looked a bit frazzled, but there was no one else to help us, and so we had to go with it.

He ended up making several costly mistakes.  The first one was that he was unable to port my phone number, so I ended up having to change the phone number I had had for over 15 years.  Super annoying, but hey, maybe I would get less telemarketer phone calls with a new number, right?  If this had been the only mistake, I would have just grumbled and went on with life.  But, this was a very minor mistake compared to the next one he made.

And the headaches continue…

He did something that ended up putting us in the wrong contract agreement and made our phones full price instead of discounted.  This tiny little detail cost us collectively just over $500.  We didn’t find this out until later when the bill arrived, and we were in total shock.  We called Target to find out that this was not a Target company and instead a company that contracts to use Target stores as a home base.  This company would not help us – at all.

To make a long story short, the Target store manager felt very bad for us, and didn’t want this to look bad on his store, so he made it right.  He provided us with $500 worth of Target gift cards.  Can we say, “Amazing?”  I still have never heard of this level of customer service anywhere else.

Are You Into Cute Adaptive Clothing Options?

Two of our daughters have unique dressing needs.  The both have been prescribed ankle support orthotic AFO devices.  This means that buying shoes has some real challenges.  My younger daughter has supports that fit almost like shoes in and of themselves.  We need shoes that fit loosely around her ankles to be able to accommodate the AFO.

Our older daughter wears an AFO only on her right foot, making this foot larger.  Either we need to find a pair of shoes that can fit both feet, or we need to purchase two different sizes in the same shoe.  Needless to say, this gets pretty expensive.

Target Adaptive Shoes from Cat and Jack

Target’s Cat & Jack brand has come up with their own line of adaptive clothing.  This includes sensory friendly clothing, clothing with adaptive closures, and shoes that can accommodate AFOs and braces.  The best part, is that all of these options are at the low Target prices!  A cute wardrobe at affordable prices sounds amazing to this special needs mama!

autism sites

Maybe You Don’t Like Great Coupons

I actually am a mama who hates coupons, so I have to admit that I was pretty resistant to Target’s coupon app called Cartwheel.  Figuring it was like most store coupons, I really didn’t think it was worth my time.  I was so very wrong! Cartwheel was developed by Target so that you never have to watch store ads or have to bother with clipping coupons.

Lacing Cards from Target

Going on a Target run anyways?  Well then make sure to download the Cartwheel app and see what coupon deals are going on.  Already at the store and see that an item you want has a coupon?  Take a few seconds and grab the coupon via the app.  It really is that simple!  Present your phone at the register and the discount will be applied.  Easy peasy, right?  Let me tell you.  If it wasn’t, this mama would not give it another thought.  Typically it saves me money on every single trip.

Do You Like To Avoid Store-wide Discounts?

No one has ever answered yes to that question, right?  We all love discounts when we can find them.  What if you could save 5% on your entire purchase at every store you shop at?  It would be amazing, wouldn’t it?  Well, guess what?  You CAN save 5% on every single purchase, even sale items, when you use the Target card.

Not into credit cards?  Neither am I.  The Target card is not a rewards credit card.  You are able to get a credit card version if you choose, but it is not necessary.  They also have an option (which I use) that works like a debit card just for Target.  Each time you present your card at the register, 5% is taken from your balance.  No questions, and no qualifying purchases.

Target Red Card

In order to participate, you will need to fill out a form and wait for your card to arrive in the mail.  But, once you have it in your hot little hands, you are ready to begin saving on everything in the store.  My favorite time of year to use this is for Back-To-School Tax Free season.  I get the zero tax, plus the extra 5%.  Gotta love that!

Some Of You Might Like Paying More For Learning Aids

Target has some of the best deals on learning aids I have ever seen.  So, if you like to spend lots of money on these purchases, don’t go to Target.  For me and my household, we will go to Target.  I have two addictions – crafting supplies and educational products.  In fact, we have a room in our house dedicated to these things.  It gets kind of pricey to keep all of these things on hand, well until I found Target anyway.  I no longer feel guilty for buying these things, because I get such great deals at Target.

Felt Play Money Found at Target

I have found felt money for just a couple of dollars, magnetic clips to display artwork for a dollar, and so much more.  As I mentioned, Target changes their value section quite frequently, and this is wonderful for my family.  I don’t know about your house, but the young ones living in my house get bored very easy.  With the bargains I find at Target, I can easily keep them busy learning and crafting with something new all the time.

Do You Hate Having Others Do Your Work For You?

Special needs moms and dads are busy.  Our family seems to spend just as much time in doctor’s offices and therapy appointments as we do at home.  Believe me, if I could delegate some of my daily checklist, I would in a heartbeat.  Hello Target!  What if you could be shopping while you sit in a waiting room with your kiddos?  At Target, you can.  While I do a ton of shopping online, not always can I wait two days for what I need.  This is when Target’s Pick-up Service comes in very handy.

While we are busy waiting for therapists and doctors, I get out my phone and do my shopping.  I choose products that qualify for pick-up service, pay via my phone, and then later when my purchase is ready, I get a text message.  Then when the appointments are done, I run by Target and let them know we are there.  My purchase is brought right out to my car.  With two wheelchair kiddos, this is such a life saver – especially in the winter months.

You Like Searching Far And Wide For Allergy-Friendly Groceries

We have three kids with food allergies.  Finding things that taste good can be so difficult, and no, we don’t want to search far and wide for yummy options.  We have found that Target carries quite a lot of our favorite allergy friendly foods.  The yummiest being the Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.  These little creations are free from the the major allergens and taste better than the regular ones.  We used to have to purchase these online and wait two days for shipping.  Now we just stop by our local Target and we have them instantly.  If your family lives with food allergies, I highly recommend you check out Target.  You might just be surprised.

Allergy Free Chocolate Chips from Target


The next time your family needs to go shopping, don’t just run right out to Target.  Don’t forget to tell your friends why special needs parents should think twice before going to Target!

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