Back to School Shopping w/ T.J.Maxx & Marshall’s

I was invited to get into the back-to-school spirit and shop the hottest back-to-school trends at T.J.Maxx and Marshalls. I’ve gotta tell you — I need all the help I can get this year with the back-to-school spirit. I feel like summer just begun (my favorite time of year!!) and I am already dreading the cold weather to come.

A few days ago, I set out with my 2 gift cards and my 2 girls (my son opted to hang out with a friend) to see what we could find. So far, we’ve only gotten so far as Marshall’s. After we get back from visiting my family in Virginia, I’ll take them to T.J.Maxx and finish up our shopping.

My girls were thrilled with some of the name brands they recognized. Neon is still a hot trend, I see!


I learned a few years ago at a press event with T.J.Maxx/Marshall’s that they manage to get the latest trends at rock bottom prices by buying out extra inventory from major manufacturers. For example, at major department stores or specialty stores, they have to order a certain number of each size and color. But T.J.Maxx and Marshall’s are able to buy out the leftovers and get a great deal, so you are getting the latest season’s trends at great prices. You do have to hunt a bit to find the gems, but they make it easy by organizing everything by category and size.

We started thumbing through the racks and before we knew it, we had a rack full of items to try on.


We were in a rush to meet up with friends at the pool, so I tried to hurry them along in their trying-on process, but have you ever shopped with a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old?

For one thing, they refuse to wear the same clothes, but they both were taking a liking to some of the same pieces. So that required some sophisticated negotiation.

Then when we got to the dressing room, my older daughter had a sudden attack of modesty. I had to shield her from her little sis as she tried on clothes. I was not about to run back and forth between two dressing rooms, so I told her to suck it up.

We hung everything up and got down to business.

marshalls 1

Do you see some of the name brands hanging up there!? I was impressed.

We had a good time, all things considered! I hung and rehung and folded and refolded as they tried on piece after piece.

I love the separate hooks for “Definitely” and “Possibly” and on the other wall “Tomorrow.” It really helped us keep everything organized.


My little one was having a blast, and her joy of shopping could not be contained. She was so excited about this little outfit that she struck a pose right as I went to take her picture.


It is still warm here in Pennsylvania, so they will be wearing shorts for a while. We tried to focus on finding long-sleeves, though.

In addition to clothes, Marshall’s also had a great selection of backpacks and lunchboxes, but we still have those from last year so we stuck to clothes shopping. Each girl picked four pieces, and we checked out, all happy as clams — even me!


Did you know that T.J.Maxx is giving back during this busy back-to-school season through a partnership with Save the Children? Check this out. I’m in love with that quilt!

Save the Children Back to School Quilt

For more than 29 years, T.J.Maxx has been working with Save the Children U.S. Programs to make a lasting, positive change in the lives of children. Starting this August and continuing throughout the back-to-school season, there will be three ways for shoppers to give back:

  1. Purchasing a quilt ($49.99) featuring bright, colorful designs with 25% going back to the foundation
  2. Buying a reusable STC bag at the register to tout around town
  3. Giving a dollar at the register – each effort goes a long way!

Oh wait, and there’s more.


One lucky winner will receive a $25 gift card good for T.J.Maxx or Marshall’s to shop the hottest back-to-school trends.

It’s a simple entry. Just leave a comment and tell me how you’re getting into the back-to-school spirit this year. I will randomly draw a winner on Friday, August 23rd. Good luck!

fine print: This contest is open to everyone over the age of 18 with a US or Canadian a mailing address.  I will use the And The Winner Is plugin for WordPress to randomly select a winner on August 23, 2013. When the comments are closed on this post, you will know the giveaway is over. I will send a personal email, giving the winner three days to accept. If there is no reply, I will select another winner. See my Giveaway Policies for more details.

disclosure: Marshall’s and T.J.Maxx provided me with gift cards to facilitate this post and to sponsor the giveaway. All opinions and experiences are mine.


  1. says

    Oops forgot to comment on how we’re getting into the back to school spirit. It’s by looking through her closet to see what we need to get. She finds that fun and exciting.

  2. Megan says

    I’m also having trouble getting into the spirit this year. I still want time to enjoy the summer.

  3. Nadine says

    Today, the kids all got haircuts and reusable Nalgene water bottles. So much still to do though. They start school in 10 days!

  4. says

    I have to say I am SO DARN READY for preschool to start. I know next year I’ll be bawling into my Kleenex when she goes to kindergarten. But right now we’ve had way too much togetherness.

    I still need to buy her some Thermoses for lunches and she wants a new (princess) lunchbox. Sigh. She has a perfectly lovely, personalized one from Mint Julep Monograms, but of course she wants gaudy characters. Blegh. We’ll see.

  5. says

    I’m getting in the back to school spirit by making lists and schedules – just my thing, I guess!! :) Still compiling lunch ideas, though!

  6. says

    This week I’ve been cleaning out closets and throwing away art projects that won’t be missed (I hope) and papers from last year. I’m doing a happy dance as I get rid of so much clutter!

    Cute post, by the way. Your girls are growing up so fast and they are so adorable!

  7. karen c says

    I went through my daughter’s closet to see what she needs, and together we made up a list. This weekend will be busy.

  8. Kristielynn says

    we are getting back into the school spirit in my house by starting to talk about what activities or things we are going to be doing or involved in this Fall.

  9. says

    I can’t believe school is about to start. I am in the midst of helping get my nieces and nephew ready for back to school. No one is ready for it.

  10. Stephanie says

    My oldest is starting kindergarten this year so we are diving in head first with a brand new backpack, lunchbox, sneakers and even a hair cut! I’m just trying to soak up every last once of him before I send him off.

  11. Patti says

    My oldest is starting kindergarten this year and my middle child is starting preschool so we’ve been busy buying clothes, sneakers, and supplies!

  12. says

    My daughter (freshman in HS) has gotten her hair cut & colored and shopped for lots of cute school clothes. My son (senior in HS) says he doesn’t need anything for school (being the mean mom I am, I picked him up some jeans & t-shirts!).

  13. Shannon says

    Middle schoolers around here, so we’ve done lots of clothes shopping…did I mention all girls? :)

  14. Emily E says

    My kids went back to school this week! We had a great time shopping for bts supplies and picking out my daughter’s first backpack for kindergarten!

  15. Amanda Davison says

    I am getting ready for school by setting up my new classroom and making a huge dinosaur and volcano for the board!! If that doesn’t get people excited about reading I don’t know what will :)
    Back to school time is my favorite time of the year.

  16. Lee Ann says

    Love TJMaxx and Marshalls!! I’m getting ready for school (start on Wednesday) by getting my classroom set up, buying fun books and school supplies ( a teacher addiction!) and getting my hair colored and cut.

  17. says

    I’ve been getting in the back-to-school spirit by helping my daughter shop for the last few items she needs for her college apartement. We shopped at Marshall’s too!

  18. Dawn Monroe says

    I hasnt been hard this year because its my granddaughters firstyear. We all all excited.

  19. Natalie U says

    We do a back to school fun thing…we went to Santa Cruz a few days ago
    pedidentalasst at yahoo dot com

  20. Raine says

    What a fun post-great pics (and you sound like me ‘suck it up’ lol) We haven’t started our back to school shopping yet-ugh-my daughter is 14 so TJ Maxx & Marshalls will be our main stops so we can get name brand items. We also hit Kohl’s because of their great clearance & bonuses. I like the different hangars in the dressing rooms, I haven’t seen them yet-very col idea and I think it will help my daughter make up her mind on a lot. We’ll be going this week-wish me luck! :) (awesome giveaway-thank you)

  21. Mandy S says

    We are getting into the spirit by getting our home classroom set up. My daughter is so excited to start homeschooling and I must admit that even though I’m a bit nervous because it’s my first time teaching in years (since student teaching in college), I’m excited about having a classroom. Even if it isn’t the one I used to imagine. :-)

  22. Rachel says

    I spent the morning working on my new classroom, without the AC on! One more week of inservice before the kids come back!

  23. Ann Fantom says

    We got in the school spirit by having a mother/daughter back to school shopping day and then went out to dinner together

  24. says

    We are getting back into the schoolspirit by doing our school shopping early AND we waited for the “no tax week” to come so we could save even more money on school clothes and supplies. We also shop at TJMaxx like you;love that store !

  25. Kelly D says

    I am getting into the back to school spirit by shopping with my kids and letting them choose their favorite items.

  26. Wehaf says

    I am getting into the spirit by doing all my shopping online; this lets me avoid the crowds and mayhem.

  27. Merry says

    We are getting into the spirit by getting school supplies for our family and for others too and doing a wardrobe check and donating things that are too small

  28. says

    We are hunting down bargains on school supplies & seeing what clothes fit & what needs to be replaced. Boys are hard on their clothes!

  29. says

    I will be taking my daughter back to school shopping this week! She gets her school supplies, picks out some new clothes and we go out for lunch. Its a fun day!

  30. Crystal F says

    I’m pretty much finished shopping for now. My girls go back to school in a week. I will have to start slowly buying winter clothes for them though.

    I really hope you bought that first smiley face shirt. It’s super cute.

  31. Kristin Kielbasa says

    I went through all my kids clothes to get rid of what doesn’t fit so I can bring in the new school clothes for this year!

  32. Harmony B says

    This is my 1st kid going off to school, I ve been buying him clothes since winter. Now its on to school supplies

  33. Tari Lawson says

    I don’t know I would exactly say I am getting in the spirit but I am getting ready. I took my youngest out clothes shopping this week. Need to pick up a few more items now that we got his supply list. Then I have to concentrate on my oldest.

  34. doris eckert says

    I have three granddaughters and 4 grandsons, I could surely use this shopping gift card as I help with purchase school clothes. I really enjoy shopping for them.

  35. Karolina says

    I LOOOOOOVE to shop at Marshalls :) That’s where I find great selection and great deals on clothes and shoes for whole family. Back to school shopping – def there :)

  36. Jennifer Reed says

    I always get in the back to school spirit when I have to do school supplies and clothing. Our school starts tomorrow.

  37. Nataly Carbonell says

    This time, I tried to get into the bts spirit by started some shopping earlier than last years.

  38. says

    Most of my daughter’s clothes have been purchased. It helps to be ready!
    Everything else is pretty much taken care of, besides some supplies. We’ll be doing that in the next couple weeks since school starts on the 3rd.

  39. Kathleen says

    I am getting in the back to school spirit by buying new clothes for my daughter and school supplies

    kport207 at gmail dot com

  40. Chris Martinez says

    My kids and I are counting down to school. We purchased all new clothes for the “first day of school” outfit!

  41. Cheryl says

    My favorite back to school activity is shopping for school supplies and the Office stores are offering up great bargains–perfect back to school spirit.

  42. mary says

    We are already back, but we do a fun back to school dinner the night before. That seems to help everyone get a little more excited!

  43. Geoff K says

    We’ve got in the spirit by having band camp starting two weeks before the first day of school and buying some fun new clothes and school supplies in anticipation of the start of the school year!

  44. June Lisle says

    I am not going back to school right now but all this talk is getting me a bit interested in taking some online classes.

  45. Suzanne K says

    I’m getting into the spirit by celebrating my daughter being away at college (including summer session) and NOT needing me to fund back to school!

  46. Jill H says

    My oldest is going into Kindergarten this fall (insert tears!) and my second child is going to PreK. I’ve been super busy getting the stuff on their supply lists…we’ve ordered new backpacks, new shoes, new clothes….they are just about ready…too bad I am not :(

  47. veronica vaughn says

    I love to shop around at all the different stores school supplies. I am especially liking the neon stuff this year (notebooks, folders, etc)

  48. says

    My daughter just started her senior year of high school so it is sure to be an exciting year. She would love to shop for some back to school clothes at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx.

  49. Beckie M says

    Back to school? Ugh! We start on Wednesday (we homeschool). But after 2 weeks of school, we’re taking 10 off for vacation! So, we have something to look forward to. ;)

  50. says

    Enjoyed your article especially since we have a Marshall’s minutes away and I never go in?! Your post has motivated me!! Anyway, my 7 year old will be back in school next Monday and we’ve been going through his closet to see what fits and what doesn’t. Haircut is next which is more challenging than shopping for my lil’ man!

  51. says

    My daughter is too young for school, but I have always loved the energy of this season, so I always go and pick up a new notebook or a pencil case or something. I try to avoid peek times, but it’s nice to see all the kids excited for school to start.

  52. Tammy S says

    We are getting into the school spirit by getting all our supply’s picked up. We have done a lot of the clothes shopping. Just need some more odds and ends. Plus hair cuts.

  53. Tanya White says

    I have two girls and three boys,so this year I plan on (we start school here in two weeks) taking the girls one day to do all their shopping and go to lunch and then the next day I plan on taking the boys shopping and doing lunch, so much easier than taking all 5 children together.

  54. says

    We are doing our school supply shopping and getting our schedules printed out so we know where we are going for each class. (I have 4 boys)

  55. Rochel S. says

    We are heading to the shoe store and hoping we wont have to wait too long to get the kids fitted!

  56. Morgan says

    Getting back into the school spirit by taking advantage of the sales and getting a lot of supplies for free…and using the money saved for a special outing for the whole fam before school starts :)

  57. Amy Martin says

    We homeschool, so no major shopping needed here. But we are instituting kind of a different home schedule to go by this fall.

  58. rich morris says

    My kids like it b/c it’s one of the times they can go out and get brand new clothes each year and we make a day out of it

  59. says

    We love to shop at TJMaxx for savings! They have some pretty cool things there for everyone getting back to school!

    purposedrivenlife4you at gmail dot com

  60. Belinda says

    Going shopping for new clothes and shoes helps gets my kids in the back to school mood :)

    mikebelindaconnor at hotmail dot com

  61. Samantha L. says

    We get into back to school spirit by cleaning out the closet and making room for newly thrifted clothes.

  62. Jen Bigerton says

    I’m getting back into school season spirit by seeing how excited my son is to go back to school!

  63. Sheila Hall says

    We are getting into the back to school spirit by shopping for new clothes and school supplies.

  64. Tiffany Drew says

    We’ve been getting in the school spirit by shopping for new clothes and school supplies. (I’ve also been counting down the days to freedom, but I don’t think that counts lol). Thank you!


  65. Michelle Hudak says

    My daughter and I have had 3 “outings” this year for school clothes and supply shopping. It’s fun watching her try on clothes and we usually grab an ice cream after to celebrate. Then she comes home and does a fashion show for her dad.

  66. Cathy Shaw says

    I’ve been browsing at the stores and reading the circulars and getting psyched in the fall spirit!

  67. Marty says

    Back to school always makes me think of apples. Bring on the apple recipes! Thanks for the giveaway!

  68. MaryAnn says

    My son is not school age yet but I am going back to college. I spent weeks getting the house organized to go from stay at home mom to full time college student.

  69. Cherie Montorio says

    I am getting into the back-to-school spirit this year by making a list and sticking to it. No, going over budget.

  70. says

    I’m already in the spirit of back-to-school. My oldest is in marching band so she has had 3 weeks of practice along with a preview performance already. It definitely put in in the spirit.

  71. Tabathia B says

    Well by getting my kids schedules organized, menu planning and having my daughter call some of her school friends to see if they can meet up for open house

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  72. Adrianne B says

    I am getting into the Back to School spirit by listening to my favorite Back to School Jams from 1993-1997!

  73. monica meza says

    I get in the spirit with a vision board of all the things I want to accomplish that school year!

  74. Michelle McCulloch says

    My daughters first year of college and we are getting in the spirit by not dwelling on the fact im getting old !!! lol

  75. Toni Rusinek says

    We got into the back-to-school spirit by printing out the school’s classroom supplies list and headed out to Staples! We then stopped off at Target and found a first-day-of-school outfit for both kids. It’s still hot here, so their summer clothes work just fine :). I also got them a pair of new sneakers online.


  76. D SCHMIDT says

    I am getting into the spirit by visiting the outlets with my children looking for bargains

  77. says

    My daughter is a 1st grader this year and we have started our earlier bedtimes and wake up times 2 weeks before school starts (sept 3rd) . Also out with the old (that is worn, torn, and dont fit) and in with the new stuff that we are able to get bit by bit.
    Thanks for the chance!! (PICK ME!!)

  78. Diane Baum says

    I’m getting ready by checking the internet for sales on back to school supplies and clothing

  79. Christy says

    We cleaned out my daughter’s closet and dresser and donated her smaller clothes to charity. We were then able to see what she really needed for school this fall and winter.

  80. gab says

    How wont I?!!? 1 new pair of shoes, 1 new dress and a summer tan. That is all it takes for Back-to-school cool! I love it!!

  81. Lynda Thomas says

    We’re getting into the school spirit by getting some supplies, and lots of planning! Thanks for the chance to win! ilikevindiesel(at) ~Lynda


    Getting back into the school schedule. Earlier bedtimes so that we will be ready and well rested when school starts

  83. Brittany says

    We have done some back to school shopping and the kids are getting excited. We still need some more clothes for clothes so this would be fun to spend.

  84. Jen Haile says

    I got all of my son’s back to school supplies and clothes ahead of time so it was an easy transition!

  85. Erin G says

    We always start off by getting the essentials first (crayons, makers, lunch stuff, new underwear, shoe) with the left over budget we let the kids buy new clothes.

  86. Eileen Burke says

    I’m getting into the spirit by getting all the supply shopping done first then on to the fun stuff like picking out new clothes!

  87. Jill Myrick says

    I have been taking my kids school shopping one at a time. So that all of my attention is on them and what they want for school.
    We have had a blast doing it this way.


  88. Theresa D says

    We are getting in the spirit by doing some last minute shopping for supplies and cloths

  89. Laura Jacobson says

    Oh for us, we are just having fun bargain shopping and seeing what all we can find for great prices. Those shirts you found are so cute!

  90. Michele P says

    my daughter is starting at the junior high next week, which is causing a lot of excitement, yet a lot of nerves too lol. I am taking her out school shopping and to lunch as a mom and me day (maybe even Grandma will come too) so we can relax and talk about the upcoming year and also hopefully get some great bargains and deals too.

  91. Norma says

    My daughter is a grown up now, but I still think of “back to school” time as a good time to stock up on paper, ink, etc because there are lots of good sales

  92. ESTELA K says

    We’ve been hitting up school supply sales for the last two weeks, stocking up for the coming schoolyear.

  93. John Joseph says

    We are getting into spirit of school by buying our high school football tickets for the season and of course school shopping

  94. jennifer horn says

    We got in the Back to School spirit by buying a new backpack, lunchbox and tennis shoes. Won’t have to do clothes shopping until it starts getting cooler.

  95. Louise Brouillette says

    My grandson is starting a new school, so we’re shopping for new clothes and school supplies.

  96. Cheryl says

    We have always loved back to school around here–new clothes, new school supplies and new lessons to be learned. Thanks for the giveaway.

  97. Angela s says

    We’re getting in the spirit by having shopping days and going to lunch while out, and making a fun day of it. Also, my daughter and I are getting a pedicure to start the year off right!

  98. kathy dalton says


  99. rebecca shockley says

    Bringing the bedtimes back earlier and getting back into routine. Picking out outfit’s for the first week

  100. Jennifer P says

    I don’t have any kids, and my niece and nephew are now out of school so there’s no back-to-school excitement for me. My niece starts Junior College this year but she’s been away on mission trips most of the summer and I haven’t seen her. I don’t think she’s even gotten around to figuring out what she’ll need yet.

  101. Mary J says

    I love the back to schoool specials on supplies. I stock up now for holiday stocking donations.

  102. Holly S. says

    It helps the kids get into the back-to-school spirit by taking them shopping for their supplies with me. They have fun picking out their supplies and accessories. Thanks!

  103. shirley says

    We got most things done for school, then took a trip the kids had been wanting to. They were very happy and it seems to have made them ready to go back to school.

  104. Angela Cisco says

    Have ordered their shoes and a few shirts online and we are getting ready to head to the mall to finish up.

  105. kelly mcgrew says

    i am cleaning my apartment for my new roommate and updated some old items with new ones! (getting some new jewelry, makeup, headbands, perfume)! cheap ways to update your wardrobe!

  106. Amber L. says

    This is our oldest daughters first year going to school. We got her excited by letting her pick out her backpack and help plan her outfits.


  107. Teresa says

    We’re getting into the back-to-school spirit whether we like it or not! But the hot weather this week is making it hard to get in the mood! We still have sneakers to get but other than that, we are done shopping.

  108. Lisa Garner says

    I’ve been getting into the back to school spirit by looking over sale ads with my children and picking out styles we love so our shopping trips have more purpose and are more exciting.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  109. says

    We’re visiting the school for their back to school night. Then the morning of we’ll take pictures, have a special breakfast, and get a back to school present. We’ve also been reading books about school and doing a few crafts.

  110. Kristin Sawatzke says

    I have started online shopping and the kids are now on their school schedule bedtime routine!

  111. rene chartier says

    Fortunately the children go to a school that has a weekend gathering at a lodge just for the children which is extremely nice. It gives them the opportunity to interact with classmates and teachers in a fun environment.

  112. Ellie W says

    We’re getting ready by volunteering at my boys’ elementary to get the teacher’s rooms ready for the new school year. We’ve been there every day this week helping out.

  113. Claudia says

    I am buying school supplies with the back to school sales on different stores, and buying new clothes and shoes.

  114. Mary Cloud says

    Taking the kids shopping for great back to school clothes and supplies
    annabella @ centurytel dot net

  115. Laurie Emerson says

    We make getting ready for school by making it a special Saturday shopping trip. We buy all the supplies and clothes and then celebrate what we found as well as the new school year by then having a special lunch and then movie. It puts us all in the school spirit.

  116. Nicole Millheim says

    I love to shop for back to school clothes..all the new styles. I got to different shops to get an idea of the new styles and what is out there. I think its a fun time

  117. Sarah S says

    All the back to school sales I’m seeing everywhere are getting me in the mood to go out shopping for the kiddos. I can’t wait to get them some really cool stuff!

  118. Rebecca Lock says

    I have school supply shopping and filling out school forms. I also took my son to get his drivers license- now he drives himself to school.

  119. Nicole D. says

    My daughter and I are going on our big back to school shopping trip next week! I get ready by getting the debit card warmed up!

  120. karen says

    Going shopping for new clothes helps us get in the back to school spirit, and thinking about vacation

  121. Lorena Keech says

    Finishing our reading lists and getting a few back to school outfits for the still hot weather.

  122. says

    We are getting in the back to school spirit with our bts school clothes shopping and new hair cuts! (marison459) at (gmail) dot com

  123. Sue Hull says

    I’m going to take my nieces to get school supplies and clothes. I always like to buy something special before school starts. We love TJ Maxx & Marshalls. Thank you :)

  124. Jessica says

    We are trying to go through everything and get organized to get the school year off to a great start.

  125. Roxann says

    School has already started so we already got into the spirit by purchasing clothes, supplies and books.

  126. Sylvia Ortiz says

    I’m getting in the Back-to-School spirit by shopping at our neighborhood dollar store for all the necessary school supplies!!

  127. Betty C says

    My children are all adults now so we don’t have the home schedule but work schedules are starting to shift as we accommodate our co-workers who are getting their college degrees.

  128. Jessica Snow says

    I’m trying to help my god children put their back packs and school clothes together.
    Thanks for the giveaway! =)

  129. Marsha H. says

    I get in the back to school spirit by setting up my classroom for my 2nd graders. Putting up bulletin boards and writing out name tags helps to get me excited for the fun to begin.

  130. says

    We go looking for purple pens – LOL – At back to school time, purple pens always come out – LOL But we make a day of it and go check out the newest clothes etc :) It’s always a fun day out – lots of stops for breaks, etc :)

  131. Sandra Travis says

    Down to my last kid….and he’s a sr in high school. It was nice not to have to purchase tons of school supplies this year. The past couple of years I overbought a little on some key items and had a stockpile. This year I only spent $30 on ALL of his school supplies!

  132. Rachel says

    We are getting in the back to school spirit by heading our for a bike ride every morning to get in our routine! We also did all our back to school clothing shopping at Marshalls!

  133. jules m. says

    well we are going school clothes/supply shopping tonight! my daughter seems to be excited to get back- i think shes bored

  134. susan smoaks says

    i am ready to get back to school we did some back to school shopping and celebrated by having a nice dinner out!

  135. clynsg says

    Since we are dealing with a Pre-K grandchild here, my ‘getting into the spirit’ was mainly vicarious, although I did go with to do a little shopping for supplies that were on the school list.

  136. says

    I don’t have any in school this year still living at home so I helped the daughter get things for the grandson. I will also be helping my youngest get ready for her stint in Americorps next month.

  137. Stephanie Larison says

    My daughter thinks it’s fun to go out and choose her own clothes, she gets excited so I’m excited to see her happy and ready for school.