The Science of Shopping on a Budget, Part I

Yes. I have made many Nordstrom purchases, particularly during the semi-annual, annual, or anniversary sales. And, you may on occasion find me wandering around Macys. But, I typically forego department stores and malls on my regular shopping excursions. While these stores are stocked with great styles, for most of the year, the price tags are often out of my budget.
I do frequent off-price retailers. I live in St. Louis so that means Marshalls, T.J.Maxx and Kohls. If you’ve followed this blog, you would’ve noticed that I have a fondness for Marshalls and T.J. Maxx. Kohls may grow interesting with the new Simply Vera collection (though not yet at those prices!). My two favorites stock amazing brand names and styles that are currently in and some that you can’t find in department and specialty stores.
How do I maximize my experience at these stores? I shop on Wednesday and Thursday. Store managers were kind enough to let me know that new inventory arrives on Wednesdays. This means that the new stock trickles onto the floor throughout Wednesday, but are mostly available on Thursday. In addition, I tend to store-hop among the 6 Marshalls and 4 T.J. Maxxs closest to me since they spread their stock across the stores. This store-hopping is sometimes necessary to secure the right size.
I live for compound sales. The prices in these stores are already low. So imagine when they go on clearance there! It’s a budget shopper’s dream to get Max Studio dresses for $20, BCBG tops for $10, and Oscar De La Renta pumps for $15. So far Marshalls and T.J. Maxx have been in the business of fulfilling my low budget, high fashion dreams.



  1. September 24, 2007 / 9:45 pm

    Thaks for the tips I am a T.J Maxxer ( new word) myself.

  2. September 25, 2007 / 12:17 am

    Oh wonderful, Gabrielle! Let me know if you have any tips of your own.

  3. Anonymous
    April 20, 2012 / 12:14 pm

    I went shopping for my birthday in January at TJ Maxx. Got about 3 tops and 2 pair of pants for about $70 bucks. GOOD DEAL!!!!