Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fun with $50

So, I've been meaning to tell you all about the Christmas gifts you didn't even know you got me, but I've I had a headache the last couple days.

A few days before Christmas, I was having a bad day (feeling overwhelmed and getting sick) when I got an email from someone representing TJ Maxx and Marshalls (I guess they're married now) offering me a $25 gift card to each if I would tell you all about shopping there!

So $50 for me, because of us, from them! HOW NICE! Seriously, Christmas was sparse between Mr. Ashley and I this year, and I really didn't end up with any money to spend on myself. It's also been a while since spending guilt free money on myself. (I've spent it, just not guilt free.) So this was SUCH a gift.

I went shopping Wednesday evening, right after getting my hair done. Feeling optimistic, I went to Marshall's first. You all know that I am a bargain shopper, so I am familiar with the TJ Maxx and Marshalls in my area. Generally my impression has been that Marshalls was usually a little less organized, more of a bargain hunt for the good stuff, and TJ Maxx was usually a little more expensive, with better known brand names. It was interesting to actually do the shopping back to back this time for the sake of comparison.

I had to laugh when pulling into the parking lot at Marshalls because there was a Bentley and countless BMWs. I guess the rich folks like bargains too. I saw Europeans filling newly purchased suitcases with their newly purchased designer clothes and artfully stacking them into the back of their already crammed rental SUVs. I actually saw the exact same scene the last time I was at Marshalls, so I think it may be a popular place to score discounted brand names for people visiting from overseas.

Our Marshalls is really big and has just been reorganized, so it was a little overwhelming at first and I wasn't really sure what I was even looking for in the first place. I did decide I should try to stick as close to the $25 as possible, to make it more of a challenge.

I almost immediately spent $17 on awesome red and black high top Converse for Big Kid. They had some great deals on shoes, they even had Robeez for babies. They also had some sexy Jessica Simpson heels that I really, really wanted and even wore all around the shoe section, but at $40 they were over my $25 limit and they were TOTALLY impractical. But sexy.

They had awesome purses too. I'm never paying retail for a purse again, they had some super nice purses with recognizable brand names and really big discounts. I actually got my last purse at Marshalls, it was originally $70 and I got it for $20, and I love it.

I also loved the house stuff, they had a zebra striped bench that you would put at the end of your bed (and then pile high with your laundry) for $80 that looked straight from the pages of Pottery Barn. They had really nice quality sheets and towels for very reasonable prices too, but I decided to spend the money entirely on myself.

I ended up trying on a bunch of stuff, some True Religion and Juicy shirts and a really cute cami/capri pajama set (that would have been a total luxury, and it was only $14) but finally decided on a pair of workout pants, a pair of black, trouser-like pants that fit me perfectly and....wait for it...a pair of ruffled panties.

Remember how I saw the Nutcracker and wanted to be a Sugarplum fairy with the tutu and the ruffled panties? Well, I've got the ruffled panties, thanks to you all.

That ended up right at $24 something.

I spent a lot of time agonizing over what to get though, they had so many really great choices. Without my $25 limit, I may have been in trouble. I still want those shoes...

Then I went on to TJ Maxx. Our TJ Maxx is more nicely decorated and laid out to better display the higher end items. They also had fantastic house stuff and kids' stuff. If you're having a baby, both stores are great to stalk for the high end, cutesy stuff that you couldn't normally spend that much on. They had an itsy bity baby girl Ralph Lauren dress that I almost bought just to have.

I ended up not finding as much at TJ Maxx, probably because I had my heart set on a cute pj set for the impractical luxury factor at that point and this particular store's pj section was smaller. I did end up with a pair of cute pin-striped capris and two pairs of panties that would've been ridiculously expensive otherwise. It also came right to $25.

So, for $50 you bought me all of that and we had fun doing it! Thanks TJ Maxx and Marshalls for making it possible, that was fun!

...And I'll probably go back for those shoes...


Multislacking Mama said...

I would like the zebra bench (even though it would look totally stupid in my room, so I'd have to redo my room). I'd also take the nice sheets. I have an obsession with sheets.

I'm so glad you got to shop for yourself. It sounds like so much fun!


Caren said...

Sounds like you had a great time! The description of the European tourists cracked me up and made me think of years ago when I worked at the Clinique counter and sold close to $900 worth of products to a woman from Australia...that was a nice commission. I guess our prices are better here...even in a regular department store.

We have a bench at the end of our bed and yes, it's covered with laundry, your post was very accurate.

Melodie said...

I love the way foreigners shop. When I lived in Ft. Myers, I worked in an optical, and the Germans would come in and spends tons of money on eyeglasses, all the while telling what a deal they were getting over the prices in Germany.

Anonymous said...

Your last 3 out of 4 posts have been essentially ads. Your blog has changed. You clearly don't have time to post as much any more which I think is more than fine for us (and wonderful for you!) So when you do post and it's just a "plug" it's annoying.

I come here because you were funny and hearing about your life was funny. If I wanted to read about TJ Maxx I'd visit that site.

My point: If you are limited in the amount of time you have to post here could you not "PLUG" so much? I know you'll do anything to make a buck but it's getting annoying.

Anonymous said...

I for one LOVED reading about your visit to TJ Maxx and Marshalls. I love reading your blog, it's so entertaining. Keep up the good work ;)

Hippie at Heart said...

My comment has absolutely nothing to do with this particular blog but I've been meaning to pass this website along to you & Big Kid.

Since shutting down My Kid's YouTube obsession & having to hear "you don't want me to be haaaaaapy" between pitiful, hiccuping sobs I found this site.

While it's not quite YouTube, it does have a bazillion videos with ear bleeding music that kept My Kid thriving & haaaapy. If YouTube was her meth then TotLol is her methadone.

You don't have to post this comment. I am just too lazy to look for your email address & I know you approve comments first so you'd see this.

Sarahviz said...

Oh man, I'm jealous. I shop at those stores practically once a week in downtown Boston!

TJMaxx/Marshalls - CALL ME! I'M YOUR GAL!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... Do we know this particular Anonyass? I have a sneaking suspicion that we do...

Unknown said...

Shannie, I replied to you on the post above by accident.

I think that you and I are regular Sherlock Holmeses though. Or Anonymous is just that obvious.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! I am so glad for you!

Diva Ma @ Mommy Fabulous said...

Okay so why is it that if Anonymous is so tired of reading your "plugs" he or she keeps soming back? TJ Maxx and Marshalls is a part of what you did that day and if the butthole doesn't like it then perhaps they should find somewhere they like better. And stop posting Anonymous. If that's your opinion, why hide behind it?

Anyway, I come back because you're funny! Keep it comin!

FunnyGal KAT said...

I LOVE both these stores and do very little clothes shopping anywhere else. I think you just have to be prepared to leave without finding anything (although you obviously had good luck), but I've noticed that the stores must be getting better because those times I leave with nothing and getting farther and father between! Glad you found some cute clothes for yourself.

Maddness of Me said...

I have heard there is an art to shopping at these stores, especially TJ Maxx. A co-worker of mine always has the most awesome suits, comfy comfy pantsuits but really cool looking (I work at a bank). She says that you have to make friends with one of the workers and call at a specific time to find out when they are getting "shipments" in.

She gets some amazing deals. I go there, and cry. I feel like I'm at a garage sale and I feel useless. I will walk out with a candle or something and a bout of depression because I'm not as cool as my pantsuit friend.

Then I go over to Nordstrom and get robbed.

Raye said...

This is my first visit to your blog and I see that darn Anonymous person got here before I did. You should seriously consider what you post because Lord knows you are being paid big money to write your posts and you owe US. LOL
What the hell is wrong with these people??? Do they think anyone gives a rats ass what they think?
Hey Anonymous - it's just like a television. If you don't like it, change the channel moron !!