Getting Thrifty at TJMaxx

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You are much more likely to find me scouting the sales at NYC's esteemed Bergdorf's than plowing through the racks at Daffy's or Filene's Basement. But when off-price retailer TJMaxx sent me a few gift cards to in exchange for checking out their stores I was game. It had been years since I'd been into TJMaxx. And to be honest, not much has changed.

The lighting is still bad, the dressing rooms are still sad, and the prices are still LOW. With $50 in hand I went on the hunt for three things--sheets, socks for the girls and a dress for me.

When I checked out the apparel, I was not impressed. The kids section is relatively hard to shop--most things are jammed onto racks. Only the end racks really caught my eye--I did like these twirly dress up skirts. When I shop kids clothing I like to see mix and match possibilities--not an option with TJMaxx. I did note they had an excellent assortment of girls and boys underwear. Perfect for potty training incentives!

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The linen department was rather hodge-podge, but I did score a 310 thread count set of Hillcrest floral cotton sheets for $29.99. I had to dig through several bins (all the sizes were mixed up). But they'd been marked down from $55--so it was worth the hunt.

I was ready to give up with my socks and sheets--the women's dress section was not speaking to me, then a little Cynthia Rowley number on an end cap caught my eye. Price=$29.99 (the magic price for the day) for an easy, swingy, summer dress that looked right on trend. I ended up putting the socks back since they were "over budget."

Final Take: I went $12.64 over budget, but I found two things that were on my list and appeared to be high quality. Would I go back? Probably not. For basics and big savings, Target is still my go-to store (and they have never given me a thing!). For discount fashion my favorite stores remain Daffy's (a must for all of you ladies coming to BlogHer in NYC) and Zara. And for kids fashions? I still favor small boutique brands. For me shopping is creative expression--these big stores suck all of the fun out of the experience. How about you? Where do you score you best savings?

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Momtrends was given $50 in gift cards to head to TJMaxx. The opinions are those of the editor.

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