As a stay-at-home mom my funds are pretty limited. I have a small income of my own, but other than that its pretty much my husband who takes care of our finances. I'd love to shop on Fifth Avenue and all the designer stores, but right now that's not really a possibility. So here are a few of the places I shopped while in NYC that would not kill my budget :)
Burlington Coat Factory (116 W 23rd St) is my #1 source for jeans, dresses, tops and jewelry when on a low budget. They also sell coats (duh! :) toys, linens etc. so pretty much everything under the sun is on discount. If you're not too picky about the quality, you can make really inexpensive finds. For example two of my tops were only $3. I bought a couple of pairs of jeans, sunglasses, dresses, a bunch of tops, toys for our lil man and a baby toy for my new Godson. Husband found a pair of shorts and a nice looking tie.
Some earrings from Burlington Coat Factory, I think they were like $5 a pair
Century 21 (22 Cortlandt Street) is fairly popular with tourists since they advertise in all the tourist guides like NYC weekly etc. From previous experience I stuck to two departments: shoes and bags. The clothing departments are chaotic and messy, so I usually just skip them. The shoe annex is crowded as well, but the shoe selection is pretty good.
Shoes from Century 21, Adizero sneakers for less than $50 and Sam&Libby ballerinas for $23.
Daffy's (several locations, one on 1311 Broadway) is usually the place where I get my cocktail dresses. This time the selection was not as good so I ended up leaving with just one dress and a ton of books for our lil man. Daffy's sells a lot of clothes, shoes, bags and some toys.
Strawberry (several locations including Manhattan Mall) is another cheap clothing store. I left with a bunch of tops, each less than $10. Their sizes vary a lot though, so it's recommended to try them on. I'm usually size small, but this time I bought a couple of tops that were size large.
I also usually stop by at JcPenney (Manhattan Mall) and this time was no exception. They have really nice baby, toddler and kids clothes for fairly cheap, so I stacked up on them upcoming birthdays in mind :) I've also been a fan of Arizona jeans, but didn't find any good ones this time. Instead I found a really nice summer dress for $17 for my Godson's christening, which was right after we got back. I got a lot of compliments, so it was a good buy :)
Other places I've shopped at are Forever 21 (which has some really nice tops among other things), Rainbow (cheap clothes), American Eagle Outfitters (for jeans), Aeropostale (for simple tee tops) and some sample sales. Samples sales can be a gold mine, but more often than not I've left empty handed. I Googled some sample sales before I left, but none of them seemed to appeal me this time, so I didn't go to any. I've heard there's a bunch of decent flea markets too, but I'm not really into buying clothes from them.
Besides the stores mentioned, I also stop by at Sephora and Walgreens/Duane Reade for all my cosmetic needs :)
Do you have any tips for shopping in NYC when on a low budget?
Hope everyone's been having an amazing weekend!
Update 08/09/12: I just received an email saying that Daffy's in going out of business :(