A Budget-Friendly Guide to the Mall of America

A Budget-Friendly Guide to the Mall of America

Hey there! Today I am posting something a little different than usual : A frugal guide to Mall of America®.

I live just a few miles from Mall of America (MOA™) in Bloomington, Minnesota. And I know this Mall like the back of my hand. If you’re new to my blog, you should know that I’m all about bargains and budget shopping.

I’ve come up with some lists to help you get the most out of MOA while sticking to a budget. I hope you enjoy!

Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota

Best places to get deals on clothing:

  • Nordstrom Rack: Be prepared to dig deep to find the best deals at this store. I recently found a super cute winter coat on clearance for just $39 – one that I can wear for years to come. A brag-worthy find, if I do say so myself.
  • Forever 21: I don’t like spending a lot of money on trendy clothing and accessories, because these items can look dated in just a few months. What I love about Forever 21 (and this new flagship store!) is that I can afford to purchase these pieces without overspending. I especially love perusing the jewelry and accessories section for fun pieces to spice up my outfits.
  • Francesca’s Collections: Shopping at this cute boutique is like going through the closet of your most fashionable friend. Everything here is so gosh darn cute! And the best part? Most of the items in this store cost less than $40. Fabulous.

A budget-friendly guide to the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Click through for ideas!

Best budget-friendly eats:

  • Magic Pan Crepe Stand: The crepes here are generously portioned and well-priced: most cost right around $5. And did I mention they are delicious? My favorites are the Nutella Crepe and the Chicken Santa Fe.
  • Tiger Sushi 2: One of the best salads I’ve ever eaten was at Tiger Sushi 2. The “Volcano” salad is full of fresh seafood, strawberries, mangoes and kaiware sprouts, topped with a mango-chile sauce. And it’s a steal at $10.99.
  • Johnny Rocket’s: Get a lot of food for not a lot of money at this 50’s style diner in the south food court.
  • Burger Burger: Get a really great, filling burger for $7.00 or $8.00. (Try the John Wayne!) They also have really good fries.
  • Culinary on North: The north food court is full of fun new dining options: Shake Shack, Naf Naf Grill, Piada (Italian sandwiches), and Melt Shop all offer plenty of options on a budget.

Magic Pan Crepe Stand at Mall of America

Best places to get something for nothing:

  • Teavana: Sample an array of hot and iced teas from around the world at this Zen-like store. If you fall hard for a certain type of tea, you can buy a cup to sip while you shop.
  • The South Food Court: Want to grab a quick bite but feel overwhelmed with options? Take a stroll around the South Food Court. Some of the food stands give out free samples. My favorite? The mango chicken at Ruby Thai.
  • Pepper Palace: You can sample almost every hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and salsa in this store. Take my advice: Start mild!
  • Vom Fass: Sample flavored olive oils, balsamic vinegar, and spices at this fun shop. They also sell liqueurs and wine.

Best places to indulge:

  • Cupcake: Savor each bite of an award-winning cupcake at this bakery on the third floor. Cupcake chef Kevin VanDeraa won Cupcake Wars on Food Network last year. The delicious cupcakes range in price from $2.25 to $3.95. My favorite? Gotta go with a classic: The June Cleaver. White cake with chocolate frosting.
  • Lush: Sampling is encouraged at this intoxicatingly fresh cosmetics store. The friendly staff routinely offer skin treatments and explain how to use their unique body products. My favorite product? The shampoo bars that make my hair smell super fabulous.
  • The second floor on the West side: Start at Sephora and sample cosmetics, fragrances, and hair products before you buy. Then make your way north and hit MAC, Origins, Aveda, and Sigma Beauty for more samples and pampering.

Cupcakes from the award-winning Cupcake bakery at the Mall of America

Want to make a weekend out of it? The new Radisson Blu is connected to the Mall of America by skyway. How convenient is that? After a day of shopping, eating, and entertainment, nothing feels better than being mere steps away from your hotel room.

The lobby at Radisson Blu at Mall of America

The rooms are modern and comfortable. And I loved the Minnesota-themed accents. The headboard featured pictures of the Minnesota Twins, Bob Dylan, the Walker Art Center, and other local icons.

The new Radisson Blu at the Mall of America

Mall of America in Bloomington, MN

108 Responses to “A Budget-Friendly Guide to the Mall of America”

  1. 1

    Medora — May 14, 2013 @ 2:46 am

    Forever 21 is my favorite budget-friendly store at MOA.

  2. 2

    Dex Abraham — May 14, 2013 @ 3:13 am

    Ahhh, I don’t know what all the stores are at the mall. But to answer your question: H&M 🙂

  3. 3

    Amy — May 14, 2013 @ 3:14 am

    I like the Minnesota stores and the Packers store but my favorite “deals” place is the huge DSW!

  4. 4

    Nicole marschall — May 14, 2013 @ 3:16 am

    Shopping the clearance section at Ann Taylor when it’s an extra 30% off!

  5. 5

    Tyler Cramer — May 14, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

    forever 21

  6. 6

    Kim H — May 14, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    Aeropostale is my favorite

  7. 7

    Caitlin Cowan — May 14, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

    Do Toddler Tuesdays count? Those are a great deal. Otherwise, I like shopping at the Lands’ End store inside of Sear’s. Great prices on solid clothes.

  8. 8

    dan williams — May 14, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

    twitted this today, 14/05

  9. 9

    PAIGE CHANDLER — May 14, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    I like Nordstroms Rack

  10. 10

    Kiara — May 14, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

    Forever 21.

  11. 11

    violet — May 15, 2013 @ 2:43 am

    I love going into Sephora and trying out every imaginable blush, powder, and eye shadow. I have to say those products really help cover the blemishes on an aging face.

  12. 12

    Anastasia — May 15, 2013 @ 10:29 am

    If I want to save on food while i’m there, Taco Bell would be my restaurant of choice 🙂

  13. 13

    alissa — May 15, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

    Hmm, I guess I usually hit up The Limited; they’ve been having sales every time I’m there.
    Thanks for the giveaway

  14. 14

    Therese — May 15, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

    We are headed to The Mall of America this fall. I have never been and am so excited! The gift card could come in handy!!

  15. 15

    Cody — May 15, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

    Gonna have to go with Cupcake!

  16. 16

    mickeyfan — May 16, 2013 @ 2:29 am

    We love Rybicki Cheese!

  17. 17

    Jessie C. — May 16, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    Nordstrom Rack is my favorite!

  18. 18

    Jessie C. — May 16, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

    -https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/335058675423133696

  19. 19

    rachel — May 16, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

    American Apparel occasionally has good deals!

  20. 20

    One Frugal Girl — May 17, 2013 @ 2:39 am

    It depends on the day. Check out the happy hour specials on the MOA website before heading out. They have great deals if you arrive at the right time and order from their discounted menus!

  21. 21

    One Frugal Girl — May 17, 2013 @ 2:43 am

    https://twitter.com/OneFrugalGirl/status/335223888176898048
    onefrugalgirl AT gmail DOT com

  22. 22

    Mary Calabrese — May 18, 2013 @ 1:34 am

    Oh, so many to pick from. I’ve gotten great stuff at Off the Rack.

  23. 23

    Kyl Neusch — May 19, 2013 @ 12:17 am

    forever 21

  24. 24

    Kathi Alderink — May 20, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

    Looks like loads of fun. I would love to go there!

  25. 25

    Merle M — May 22, 2013 @ 12:31 am

    I like Buffalo Wild Wings

  26. 26

    Merle M — May 22, 2013 @ 12:32 am

    https://twitter.com/Merle0304/status/337002920568582145

  27. 27

    sharlene caisse — May 23, 2013 @ 3:09 am

    forever 21

  28. 28

    BusyWorkingMama — May 23, 2013 @ 11:09 am

    I’d like to check out the Swim N’ Sport store.

  29. 29

    Wild Orchid — May 25, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

    H&M is my favorite place to shop!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  30. 30

    Wild Orchid — May 25, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

    tweet–https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/338397065388388352

  31. 31

    jen gersch — May 27, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

    i love sephora

  32. 32

    Leslie MacKenzie — May 27, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

    You’ve hit my favorite: Pepper Palace. I love trying new things so getting to sample things is really fun, especially when I go with my husband and kids. Outside of food, I’m thrilled to hear that LUSH, Minnesota-made soaps, is at the MOA. In our quest to minimize plastic, we discovered lush shampoo bars. They won the Best Green Packaging award in 2008.

  33. 33

    Anne K. — May 28, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

    Nordstrom Rack! I always get the most amazing deals there. I even got a pair of jeans for $.01 before! (Regular price $130!!)

  34. 34

    Anne K. — May 28, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

    Tweeted!
    https://twitter.com/mrs_puddle/status/339464712297267200

  35. 35

    Katy — June 1, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

    I like Nordstroms Rack

  36. 36

    Rebecca Graham — June 2, 2013 @ 7:06 am

    Francesca’s Collections

  37. 37

    Jennifer Gibson — June 3, 2013 @ 4:56 am

    Cupcake is budget friendly when you share your cupcake with your whole family.

  38. 38

    Erica Best — June 3, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

    Nordstrom Rack

  39. 39

    Erica Best — June 3, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

    https://twitter.com/purplelover04/status/341586062910574592

  40. 40

    Kerry — June 3, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

    Maurices – I love their clothes…and their sales!!

  41. 41

    Diane baum — June 4, 2013 @ 2:00 pm

    An easy answer Nordstrom’s Rack!4

  42. 42

    Gianna — June 5, 2013 @ 6:38 am

    American Girl store.

  43. 43

    Jaime — June 5, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

    Thank you for this post. I love insider tips to “The Mall”! Even after countless shopping and dining trips, it is fun to learn new money saving tips. I am always up for a bargain!

  44. 44

    Karen — June 5, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

    I love Forever 21.

  45. 45

    Christy — June 5, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

    I don’t yet! We are making our first trip there in a couple of weeks. We have a Francesca’s in our mall though and I love it.

  46. 46

    Lee — June 5, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

    My favorite budget-friendly restaurant at Mall of America is Magic Pan Crepe Stand.

  47. 47

    Rachael — June 6, 2013 @ 1:01 am

    Forever 21! they have affordable clothes & accessories, and are always fashionable!

  48. 48

    Eugenie — June 6, 2013 @ 4:27 am

    My favorite budget-friendly restaurant at Mall of America is Tiger Sushi 2.

  49. 49

    Lisa — June 6, 2013 @ 5:30 am

    I always get good deals at Forever 21

  50. 50

    Emmy — June 7, 2013 @ 12:50 am

    Because I used to live in Minnesota, I know that Tucci Benucch is the best restaurant in the MOA, specifically, the Baked Spaghetti, which is a block of deliciousness!

  51. 51

    Emmy — June 7, 2013 @ 12:52 am

    *tweet, tweet*

    https://twitter.com/emmycoffee/status/342805310005719040

  52. 52

    Amy Tong — June 7, 2013 @ 6:25 am

    My favorite budget-friendly store at Mall of America is Forever 21! Always find some cool stuffs there at very reasonable prices.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  53. 53

    Amy Tong — June 7, 2013 @ 6:26 am

    tweeted:
    https://twitter.com/uTry_it/status/342890206669709313

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  54. 54

    Laurie Nemeth — June 7, 2013 @ 11:16 am

    This sounds so cool. Hope I win

  55. 55

    Justine — June 7, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

    Nordstrom Rack

  56. 56

    Daniel M — June 7, 2013 @ 7:20 pm

    always good deals at Forever 21

  57. 57

    Kaitlyn S — June 8, 2013 @ 4:32 am

    Def Forever 21 🙂

  58. 58

    Karrie Millheim — June 8, 2013 @ 4:40 am

    I love American Apparel

  59. 59

    Betty C — June 8, 2013 @ 6:01 am

    I like Nordstrom Rack.

  60. 60

    Betty C — June 8, 2013 @ 6:03 am

    Tweet – https://twitter.com/willitara/status/343246754084438017

  61. 61

    Stephanie Larison — June 8, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    I like forever 21 myself!

  62. 62

    s riches — June 8, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    I like to shop at the Gap.

  63. 63

    susan smoaks — June 8, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

    i really like to shop at Macy’s they always have such great sales and they are really quite budget friendly

  64. 64

    susan smoaks — June 8, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

    https://twitter.com/fdp4life/status/343483916302303232

  65. 65

    shawna — June 8, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

    We love the American Girl store!!

  66. 66

    Marilyn — June 9, 2013 @ 1:25 am

    forever 21

  67. 67

    Brenda Elsner — June 9, 2013 @ 4:09 am

    I like Forever 21!

  68. 68

    Derek Timm — June 9, 2013 @ 4:23 am

    I have never been there, but I would like to check out Magic Pan Crepe Stand!

  69. 69

    Michelle S — June 9, 2013 @ 6:15 am

    Aerpostale is my fav

  70. 70

    DanV — June 9, 2013 @ 11:34 am

    We like shopping at Nordstrom Rack

  71. 71

    Lauren Harmon — June 9, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

    Forever 21 is my absolute favorite!

  72. 72

    Amanda Sakovitz — June 9, 2013 @ 3:56 pm

    Nordstrom Rack is my favorite store

  73. 73

    Amanda Sakovitz — June 9, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

    https://twitter.com/aes529/status/343758623664656384

  74. 74

    Thomas Murphy — June 9, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

    I love Nordstroms Rack

  75. 75

    Thomas Murphy — June 9, 2013 @ 4:19 pm

    https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/343764291347943427

  76. 76

    Vicki D. — June 9, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

    I like Bath and Body Works. I am on their email list and I always receive coupons from them. Plus, they have frequent sales.

  77. 77

    Donna K — June 9, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

    Aeropostale is our fave.

  78. 78

    Donna K — June 9, 2013 @ 6:02 pm

    Chance to Win a gift card. http://tinyurl.com/meu49tk #SweepstakesEntry

  79. 79

    natalie schilla — June 9, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

    My favorite budget friendly store is Urban Outfitters. I love that store!

  80. 80

    tina reynolds — June 9, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

    I love going to eat at the rainforest cafe when there such a gun place

  81. 81

    tina reynolds — June 9, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

    I love going to eat at the rainforest cafe when there such a fun place thanks for the chance

  82. 82

    tina reynolds — June 9, 2013 @ 10:05 pm

    https://twitter.com/eaglesforjack/status/343851394496864256

  83. 83

    letessha — June 9, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

    My fave is Forever 21, I love MOA.

  84. 84

    letessha — June 9, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

    tweeted
    https://twitter.com/darrenswife1/status/343855230120755201

  85. 85

    Tim Moss — June 9, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

    Nordstrom Rack.

  86. 86

    Allison — June 9, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

    Forever 21 is too much! Love it there

  87. 87

    CharityS — June 9, 2013 @ 11:26 pm

    Old Navy is my favorite.

  88. 88

    CharityS — June 9, 2013 @ 11:27 pm

    http://twitter.com/ccboobooy/status/343871943327494144

  89. 89

    XPig — June 10, 2013 @ 6:34 am

    my sister loves Forever 21

  90. 90

    Trudy Stellpflug — June 27, 2013 @ 2:54 am

    I’ve never been to MOA, but we are going this summer! Thanks for the chance to win!

  91. 91

    HilLesha — June 28, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

    My favorite store is Nordstrom Rack. 🙂

  92. 92

    dan williams — June 28, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

    twitted this today, 28/06

  93. 93

    dan williams — June 29, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

    twitted this today, 29/06

  94. 94

    dan williams — June 30, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

    fresh fruit, twitted this today, 30/06

  95. 95

    Carly — July 2, 2013 @ 1:25 am

    I would go to Sephora and the AQUARIUM!

  96. 96

    Kimberley Meier — July 2, 2013 @ 6:26 am

    I love the Rain Forest Cafe!

  97. 97

    Jacob LaFountaine — July 4, 2013 @ 2:15 am

    I haven’t been but Arby’s is always a decent eat

  98. 98

    Diane baum — July 5, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

    Eating at the rainforest cafe, the merry go round and the lego store

  99. 99

    joseph gersch jr — July 6, 2013 @ 9:34 am

    i would go to eat

  100. 100

    Mihaela D. — July 6, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

    I’d visit Legoland first.

  101. 101

    Lisa Garner — July 6, 2013 @ 7:47 pm

    I’ve never been to MOA but Marshalls which is listed as one of their stores always has great deals.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  102. 102

    Lisa Garner — July 6, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

    I Tweeted: https://twitter.com/lisalmg/status/353601179709739010
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  103. 103

    Brenda Elsner — July 7, 2013 @ 3:30 am

    The Lego Store!!

  104. 104

    Angela W — July 7, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

    I love Nordstroms Rack

  105. 105

    Angela W — July 7, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

    https://twitter.com/Hotsnotty2/status/353898386988089344

  106. 106

    Shawn — July 7, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

    I love shopping at the Nordstrom Rack.

    shawn113(at)hotmail(dot)com

  107. 107

    susan smoaks — July 7, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

    I would love to go to the aquarium. we love to look at fish and all wildlife.
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

  108. 108

    Yana L. — April 4, 2015 @ 4:12 pm

    Bath and body works is my fav. fragrance and lotion store. I get coupons from them all the time and they always have great deals when I come in. Deals like “buy 2 get 1 free” And “all lotions half off” are what make me save a lot of money everytime I shop there.

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