With the holiday shopping season fast-approaching (scary, right?!) we get that trying to find the perfect presents for your crew can make you want to pull your hair out at times, not to mention empty your pockets. But if you learn these expert-approved tips and shop at wallet-friendly stores like T.J. Maxx—one of the leading off-price retailers in the country, according to Forbes, and REDBOOK's favorite retail brand—there's really no reason to stress...well, that much at least.
1. Follow their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube pages for occasional freebies.
Yes, even their Youtube channel is worth subscribing to. T.J. Maxx not only regularly updates their social media pages with their latest products, deals, and fashion advice, but you can also score some pretty awesome gift cards and discounts to the store if you use their hashtags. They have new promotions and giveaways happening all the time, so it's definitely worth the "like" and "follow." #🙌
2. Don't let fake T.J. Maxx coupons fool you.
"I have never seen a physical T.J. Maxx coupon," said Kyle James, founder of the popular online coupon-ing site, Rather-Be-Shopping.com. That's probably because they don't really exist, says a T.J. Maxx spokesperson. Of course, if you happen to stumble across one of these mythical vouchers floating around, it doesn't hurt to try, but don't walk in with a sheet full of coupons and expect to save extra bank.
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3. Surprisingly, you can buy some pretty cool foodie gifts at all the stores.
Harry & David is great and all, don't get us wrong. But shoppers often forget that you can find some delicious goodies and gift baskets at 'Maxx, as well, including imported olive oils, handmade pastas, stainless steel cooking gadgets, and way more. T.J. Maxx comes out with an even bigger assortment of gift basket ideas during the holidays, so be sure to make a quick trip to the store to shop for the foodie, baker, or chef in your life.
4. Look at "compare-at" pricing.
As noted on their website, T.J. Maxx compare-at price listings are estimates of what other brands are selling the same products for, not necessarily the exact amounts. So, yes, the prices are still low but they aren't always the huge percentages off as you might initially think, says Mary Hunt—founder of Debt-Proof Living and author of several books, including Live Your Life For Half The Price. Moral of the story: don't get too caught up on discount talk the next time you're on the lookout for a new wrap dress or pair of pumps. Shop for preference, not deals.
5. Find out when new inventory comes in, and shop that day.
Just like mom always said, "Ask and you shall receive." While Kyle and Mary both swear that Wednesday is the best day to shop at T.J. Maxx for new products—because of new shipment—the brand says that the stores are constantly stocking their shelves with new stuff every day. Translation: Ask your store manager when they'll be getting the next batch of new products in to ensure you're shopping from the biggest and trendiest selection possible.
6. Fashion-forward Maxxonistas must shop The Runway online.
"The Runway department is where you can find European, contemporary, and couture fashion, accessories, and shoes," says a T.J. Maxx spokesperson. This basically means that you can choose from even more trendy, high-end options and save major mula in the process—ehem, Diane Van Furstenberg for 100 bucks, ladies! The brand has select Runway stores all around the country (for those of you who prefer to see what you're buying in-person first) and is also available online. Which brings us to our next point...
7. When in doubt, wait 24 hours, and go buy it online.
T.J. Maxx has free shipping and handling for most things on their website and free in-store returns...sooo why not give that $50 tote for your sister a second thought after you catch a few z's? Of course, you always run the risk of the item selling out, but Mary says waiting at least one full day to make an on-the-fence purchase is the smartest way to shop. Who knows, maybe by the next day it will be marked down even more...
8. Don't forget to swing by the beauty section.
Because it does exists and, according to T.J. Maxx styling expert Carmen Ordonez, a lot of shoppers easily forget about the awesome beauty buys you can get in-store. You can restock your entire bathroom vanity with soaps, perfumes, oils, and nail polish at 'Maxx while also shopping for everyone on your list. Now that, ladies, is multi-tasking.
9. Get "New Arrival Alerts."
Okay, okay, we know that constant store emails can get pretty annoying from time to time, but here's the deal: If you really want to know about the best discounts and the newest merch on the site, you should probably consider signing up for these alerts. That way, you'll get a notification on your phone, iPad, or wherever telling you all about the latest selection and stay up-to-date and on-trend. Worth the itty bitty hassle? We think so.
10. If at first you don't succeed...look on the website before trying the store again.
It's impossible to have every blouse size or shoe color in-store that's online, says Carmen. So if you hear about an awesome buy but don't see it when you stop by the store, try browsing the website instead of spending way too much time hunting it down in other stores yourself. You'll save a ridiculous amount of time, not to mention stress—which we're sure you have enough of already.
Kayla Keegan leads Good Housekeeping’s editorial growth strategies in the partnership, news, social, branded, membership and newsletter spaces. Prior to her new position, she was the Senior News and Entertainment Editor for the brand, covering and editing all things in the entertainment, pop culture and celebrity world for Good Housekeeping. She’s also worked as a social editor for House Beautiful and had previous writing stints at Redbook, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen.