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:

  • Tiger Sushi: 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.
  • 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.
  • Poukei: This new addition to the north food court offers poke bowls and sushi burritos. It’s not the cheapest fast food dining option, but I love their food. You can get a filling meal for about $11.00. I have tried the spicy salmon poke bowl (with kimchi, avocado, Japanese pickles, carrots, yum yum sauce, and eel sauce) and the tempura shrimp sushi burrito. SO good, you guys!

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.
  • Lindt chocolate: What’s better than chocolate? Free chocolate! Rumor has it, Lindt sometimes hands out free chocolate truffles.

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