Palisades Mall
(Photo courtesy of

by Mallika Rao

The Palisades Mall is known as one of the great American malls. It’s quite a trek from the Mount, but it’s definitely worth the hour-long trip. There are stores and restaurants galore, not to mention a bowling alley and an IMAX cineplex. SGA even offers a trip to the mall once a semester. Because of the massiveness of the mall, I was especially frugal this time around, with a total spending price of $87.54. I selectively picked stores that would not harm my bank account.

 My first stop was Barnes and Noble, to fulfill my literary cravings. This time around, I was searching for the first book in the “Divergent” series. I bought the paperback edition at $9.99. The series is prospected to become the next “Hunger Games,” so I figured I better start getting into the latest literary phenomenon before the movie release in March 2014. For those of you who want to pick up “Catching Fire” before that film comes out in November, I suggest you get the paperback movie-tie in, which is priced at a decent $12.99.

Then, onto getting my usual Asian cuisine fix. If you’re on a budget, I would suggest that you seek out the food court options as opposed to any major restaurants. The restaurants might be slightly pricey. I visited a place called China Max, where I indulged in the usual fried rice, lo mein, and chicken dish combo. This time around, I did somewhat mix it up, with orange chicken as opposed to my usual bourbon chicken. For those of you who are not feeling Asian food, the food court of the Palisades Mall has just about everything from Taco Bell to Wendy’s.

Formal is coming up, so I figured I could go fulfill my need for jewelry, a clutch, and shoes. Burlington Coat Factory has bracelet sets priced at $4.99 and clutches that go for around $8.99. Shi, an offshoot of the sneaker store Journey’s, has some great deals on shoes. I bought some wedges for $19.99. Now all I need is a dress. That’s gonna cost me another trip.

Now, onto some basics. Jennyfer has great deals on all your basic clothing needs. I bought a cami for $5.95 and a purple ribbed tee for $5.00. G by Guess is the cheaper alternative to Guess Jeans, and I got a belt for $19.50 there. Finally, I stopped at JC Penney for the most basic need of all: a towel. I found a great deal for $5.99. Basically, department stores fulfill your every need and are a must when on a budget.

Here’s my final breakdown:

Barnes & Noble: “Divergent” novel–$9.99

Burlington Coat Factory: Jewelry–$4.99, clutch–$8.99

Shi: Wedges–$19.99

Jennyfer: Tank–$5.95, purple ribbed tee–$5.00

G by Guess: Belt–$19.50

JC Penney’s: Bath towel–$5.99

Total: $87.54