This is How to Save Money Every Single Time You Shop at T.J. Maxx

T.J. Maxx
A customer leaves a T.J. Maxx store in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Oct. 7, 2017. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder
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Hmmm… where should I start?

Those purses look so trendy. Oh! Shoes! But first I need to smell all the candles. Oooh, that skirt is cute…

You just got a glimpse inside my brain as I’m entering a T.J. Maxx.

The swoosh of cold air hitting my face when I walk through those magical doors is almost theraputic, and all I want to do is buy everything because it’s discounted. See the tag? It says I’m saving $20 on these leggings.

Yeah. Discounted. (See No. 5 first.) Even so, it’s easy to rack up a hefty bill at checkout. But just because items are already marked down doesn’t mean you can’t save even more.

We’ve compiled some smart ways to save even more money at this already discounted chain.

9 Ways to Save Even More Money at T.J. Maxx

1. Download This App — Just For Kicks

Shopkick is a free app that rewards you in “kicks” just for venturing into the mecca that is T.J. Maxx. And there’s no purchase — or physical kicking — required.

You’ll earn kicks when you walk through the doors, scan items in-store, purchase something with a connected credit or debit card or take a photo of your receipt.

These kicks can be exchanged for gift cards to a number of retailers, including Amazon, Target, Starbucks and Sephora.

2. Walk Straight to the Clearance Section

Nope. Keep going. Don’t stop to look at that pretty dress on display.

Just because everything in T.J. Maxx is already discounted doesn’t mean there’s not a clearance section. That’s the strategy Hadley Seprish, an account manager here at The Penny Hoarder, employs.

“I can tell you, nine times out of 10, I go to the clearance for dresses as opposed to looking at any of the full sale racks,” she says.

She hardly ever looks at the regularly priced clothes because she knows she can find cute dresses marked down even more. And, hey, those regularly priced items will hit the clearance aisle soon enough.

In order to truly take advantage of the clearance aisle, you need to know a thing or two about T.J. Maxx’s tags. You’ll want to search for the yellow stickers — that indicates the final markdown.

A red tag means the item has been marked down, but it’ll eventually sink lower with that yellow tag.

3. Ask an Associate If the Item Will Soon Go on Sale

I know what you’re thinking: If I wait for these super-adorable dish towels to hit clearance, I’ll be here forever.

We get it. You want it now. In that case, find an associate and ask them if the item will go on sale soon.

Our associate producer Teyonna Edwards used to work at Marshall’s (T.J.’s sister) and is a big fan of T.J. Maxx. She says that when they’d do storewide markdowns, they’d work section by section through the week.

“So something that may be on the markdown list may not have been marked down yet,” Edwards says. “It never hurts to ask!”

And many bloggers say January and July are the best times to shop at T.J. Maxx. That’s when the twice-annual sales occur — if you can wait that long.

4. Compare Prices

Before you sprint to the checkout line, take a second to compare prices. This can be done with a quick Google search

Sure, T.J. Maxx provides those handy “Compared At” prices, and that’ll probably make your heart beat with glee, but T.J. Maxx defines these prices as:

“…our buying staff’s estimate of the regular, retail price at which a comparable item in finer catalogs, specialty or department stores may have been sold. We buy products from thousands of vendors worldwide, so the item may not be offered by other retailers at the “compare at” price at any particular time or location.”

The retailer then encourages folks to do their own price comparison. (’Cause it’s been sued before.)

5. Inquire About the “Imperfect” Discount

A few weeks ago, I found a set of two pajama bottoms for something like $10. They were light and comfy and had elephants on them. I was thrilled.

Once I got home, though, I realized one pair of the shorts had a rip in the seam. I was so upset because, 1. I can’t sew, and 2. I could have gotten an extra 10% to 20% off, if I’d known. (Or just opted for another pair.)

GoBankingRates reports that if you find anything damaged or irregular that you want, simply ask for an additional discount.

That doesn’t just go for clothing, either. It goes for furniture, décor — you name it. Chances are, it’s minor and something you can fix on your own. Or just go for the whole “distressed” look (unless you can’t sew…).

And, as a side note, items don’t land in T.J. Maxx because they’re damaged in the first place. The Krazy Koupon Lady says only 5% of the store’s inventory is deemed “irregular” (or not what you’d find in Nordstrom, for example).

6. Sign Up For a TJX Rewards Credit Card or TJX Rewards Access

Some shoppers might be iffy on the idea of signing up with the TJX Rewards credit cards because, well, the rewards aren’t super incredible — and it’s just another bill you have to remember to pay off at the end of the month. (Seriously. Pay. That. Bill.)

However, our senior media buyer, Kelsey Buxton, loves the credit card. With it, she snagged a 10% discount on her first purchase. Now, she earns $10 reward certificates for each 1,000 points she earns. (It’s five points per $1 at T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s or HomeGoods.)

If you don’t want to go the credit card route, though, the store also has the “Rewards Access” program. It’s free, and you’ll get free shipping with online orders, plus earn an entry into the store’s monthly $100 gift card sweepstakes each time you buy something.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Say You’re 55+

A senior discount will depend on your store and location, but it never hurts to ask.

At my go-to location here in Florida, seniors, or those who are 55 or older (really, is that a senior?!), can score 10% off on Mondays.

8. Pay With a Discounted Gift Card

OK, this isn’t as sketchy as it sounds. There are tons of sites out there that sell discounted gift cards, including Raise.

Right now, you can grab a gift card that’ll save you up to 6.8%. That’s a gift card valued at $109.08 that’s selling for $101.67.

Nope, this won’t grant you any insane savings, but it’s better than nothing!

Plus, you can get an extra $5 off when you make a purchase of $50 or more.

9. Enter The Monthly Sweepstakes or Contests

If you have any sort of luck, you just might want to take the time to do this because a $500 gift card is on the line.

No purchase is necessary to enter, according to the sweepstakes rules. However, it asks for the survey number at the bottom of your receipt, so that sounds like a purchase to me.

Anyway, each month a winner receives a $500 gift card, which is good for, like, five shopping sprees?

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves buying luggage, stationery, skincare products and even food items from T.J. Maxx.