I have never been much of a mall shopper.
I admit I always thought malls were full of expensive “too trendy” clothes and not the most frugal way to spend your day – both for your time or your wallet. I thought of the mall as a place where everything cost more and that taking kids to the mall would only result in a headache.
I may have been wrong.
- Myth #1: mall shopping cost more
- Myth #2: mall shopping is stressful with children
This past Thursday we spent the day at Westfield Fox Valley and I now have a new appreciation for mall shopping.
Especially when it comes to back-to-school.
Westfield invited me to come visit their Fox Valley location and shop during their Best of B2S back-to-school shopping event. They provided me with a $250 Westfield Gift Card and challenged me to not only experience the great discounts that mall shops offer during back-to-school, but to also check out the mall events designed specifically for this exciting time of year. Westfield Fox Valley sponsored great family-fun events including crafts and activities and an “Unlock to Win” promotion where you can text to receive a code which you use to attempt to open a locker filled with great prizes.
I didn’t win, but I didn’t leave empty handed. Westfield provided me with a gift bag that contained a $10 gift card for G by Guess. I may have done some back-to-school shopping for myself with that GC.
Then we shopped til we dropped for back-to-school.
Does mall shopping cost more?
Westfield Fox Valley has so many great options for back-to-school from stand-alone kids stores to shoe stores to department stores. And we covered many of them in the 6 hours we were there. Our goal was mainly to outfit my daughter for back-to-school. My son already has enough clothes that still fit him so he didn’t need a lot. My daughter is starting full day kindergarten and while she does fit in many of her old size 4 clothes, we really needed to get her appropriate school clothes in sizes that fit.
I was shocked by all of the sales that each store seemed to have, and combined with coupons I had printed before we left, and a $10 gift card I had for one of the stores, we saved around 20-40% on most of our purchases. In many of the stores we could have purchased entire wardrobes for each of them because of the great deals, but we wanted to experience the entire mall so we tried to limit ourselves at each store and just buy a few things. We didn’t get to all of the stores, but we did make a mental note of ones we want to check out next time.
Overall we spent $246.16.
For my daughter we got:
- 3 pairs of jeans
- 3 pairs of leggings
- 1 pair of shoes
- 2 packages of socks (8 total pairs)
- 1 dress
- 5 long sleeve tees
- 2 short sleeve tees
For my son we got:
- 1 pair of cargo pants
- 1 pair of athletic shorts
- 1 button down shirt
- 3 long sleeve tees
The average price works out to just over $10 for each item, and when you consider we had a couple of more expensive items like the shoes, dress, cargo pants and flannel shirt, I am confident that mall shopping does not cost more.
Is mall shopping more stressful with children?
One of the things we noticed about shopping at Westfield Fox Valley was how family-friendly it seemed to be. Not only did they have more things geared towards family, more families seemed to be shopping there. We also noticed that without exception, every employee that helped us went above and beyond. This included one store employee helping my son find the right size in a specific shirt he wanted, and another giving them each a sticker as we were checking out.
In addition to that, the mall itself provides a number of amenities that making shopping with your kids easy and even pleasant.
Westfield Fox Valley has a carousel in the food court adjacent to a “picnic” area where kids can eat on picnic blankets. They also have an adorable family lounge area with comfortable seating, family bathrooms and private booths for nursing moms. They also had a healthier vending machine which I thought was fantastic!
Fox Valley also has a designated play area surrounded by seating for adults to relax while the kids play, a giant sandbox, and coin operated ride-on toys and games. The giant sandbox even has buried seashells for the kids to find and discover. Both of my kids whined when it was time to leave!
Because there were fun things waiting for them around every corner, my kids didn’t complain about shopping, they actually were looking forward to the next store so they could see what other fun stuff awaited them around the corner.
Westfield Fox Valley is now my “go-to” for back-to-school shopping.
Win $1,000 for Back-to-School at Westfield Fox Valley!
Westfield Fox Valley is giving one lucky winner a $1,000 back-to-school shopping spree! It’s easy to enter, just fill out the form on the Westfield Fox Valley Facebook page. Share the contest with your friends and you will receive and additional entry into the contest.
Which store would be your first stop at Westfield Fox Valley if you won the back-to-school shopping spree?