Ross, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls make budget shopping easy for students

Creating a space to call your own, finding stylish outfits or simply wanting warmly scented candles for a cheap price is a dream come true. Luckily, that dream is not out of reach with stores like Ross Dress for Less, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. 

Imagine having Mary Poppins’ purse – an endless amount of goods available with just a slight reach of your hand. That is exactly what it is like shopping at stores like Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. They all offer slightly different styles but you can basically walk out of all three stores with a full suitcase for approximately $50. 

I’m obviously a college kid and we’re all broke,” said Elena Neal, a junior at DePaul. “So being able to shop somewhere and get reputable brand names for a fraction of the retail price is amazing. I would say a lot of their stuff is also cuter and trendier than Target, especially for the price.”

These stores make it easy to live a life of luxury while spending less than half the original amount. It’s like living in “The Devil Wears Prada” – grilled cheese included – but not dropping a month’s rent for those 100 percent snow-proof boots. 

For example, TJ Maxx has a large makeup selection with a variety of brands. You can find brands such as Anastasia, OFRA and Too Faced Cosmetics for a stellar deal. Granted, the variety of these brands won’t be as vast as actual makeup stores and it is still a great place to go for good makeup finds on a cheaper budget. 

“I love these stores,” said Carrie Wootan, a former employee at Marshall’s. “Even after leaving my job there, I still frequent these shops. I think they have great options for items but it is also a bit more of a treasure hunt which builds excitement for me. TJ Maxx has the best accessories and beauty items. You can find so many high-end brands for great deals. Marshalls has the best women’s and men’s clothing selection.”

Marshall’s has a vast selection of clothes that feature brands that many people know. You can find Calvin Klein and Michael Kors jackets for nearly 60 percent off the original price.

Need new workout clothes? Marshall’s has you covered. You can find that perfect pair of leggings from Lulu Lemon and a workout top for every day of the week. You don’t need to go to the gym every day of the week, but having plenty of tops for motivation doesn’t hurt. 

“I love TJ Maxx and Marshall’s though,” said Stacey Sheridan, a DePaul alumna. “I remember going as a kid with my mom and always finding something I wanted even then. Now, I’m less into the toy aisle and more into the shoe and designer sections. You can find amazing deals.”

Ross’ has plenty of furniture options for any room. It varies depending on the day because products can be inconsistent, but overall there is a good amount of items to choose from. 

If you need bedside tables, coffee tables, area rugs or an ottoman, Ross’ has a variety of styles to hunt through. The styles are virtually opposite in theme. Some nightstands can go from having gold with a mirror on it to a nice dark wood with metal legs. They have beanbags, fuzzy pink and retro metal chairs that look like they came right out of a barbershop.

The best thing about stores like these is they offer everything you need for decor, living, and clothing without it being too costly. Other stores like Nordstrom Rack and HomeGoods are great for shorter shopping trips. 

I would say Ross and TJ Maxx are pretty equal with who has the best furniture items,” Neal said. 

If you still want that fun and expensive shopping vibe; there is a TJ Maxx and Marshall’s right on Michigan Ave.