NYC on a Shoestring: 5 of the Best Places to Shop in NYC on a Budget

You’ve made it to New York City and you’re ready to shop. You open your wallet and all you see is that pricy airline ticket and a few bats flying out.


Never fear, people of all walks of life shop and thrive in the Big Apple. Let’s dive into the best places to shop in NYC on a budget.

1. Empire Outlets, Staten Island

Times Square is a marvel, but not your best bet for finding budget-friendly shopping. A great alternative is Empire Outlets, in Woodbury Commons on Staten Island.

You’ll need to take a free ferry from Manhattan to get to Staten Island. Once you do, you’ll be greeted with a ton of options. You’ll have access to local boutiques as well as staples like Old Navy and Levi’s.

2. Asian Inspired Designs – Flushing, Queens

This is another one that will take you out of the heart of the city, but it is worth it.

Main Street offers a ton of shops boasting the latest Asian styles. Almost every single storefront has cute outfits and accessories that feel inspired and unique.

Like the size of your budget, most of the clothes here run small. Don’t be afraid to pick up a larger size if you love something.

3. INA: Budget Designer Brands, Multiple Locations, Manhattan

Here’s a local classic that’s been around since 1993. There are currently three locations but the 21 Prince Street location has shopping for men right next door.

Locals love INA because they regularly have designer brands (we’re talking BALLY, Chanel, and more) for bargain prices. Who wouldn’t want that?

INA is a New York start-up success story, and if you have a business of your own, there are ready-to-use paycheck stub templates that can help you get off on the right foot.

4. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, Manhattan

One of the coolest bookstores in the city is also one of the best for bargain finds. Better yet, their mission is to create a healing community for those affected by HIV/AIDS and homelessness.

Whether you’re looking to get a cup of coffee or want a new book for crazy low prices, this is a great place to go.

5. The Classic Thrift Stores, All Over NYC

Yes, these are your St. Vincent’s, Goodwill’s, Salvation Army’s, and so on. Why go to any of these over the other places?

Simple. Name recognition in the Big Apple.

Residents from all walks of life know these places and donate there, meaning you can find some radiant gems at mind-boggling prices. 

Tech Bonus!: P.C. Richard & Son, Manhattan

While you’re likely going to head to the Apple store, you’re not going to find anything there resembling a bargain. P.C. Richard and Son is the largest family-owned electronics store in the US and offers everything you’d imagine from an electronics retailer.

It’s a fun visit, and you may just be able to snag a deal here. Maybe you’ll be able to fit a TV in your carry-on bag?

The Best Places to Shop in NYC on a Budget

Don’t let a low budget get you down! These are our recommendations for the best places to shop in NYC on a budget, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more out there. New York is a big, beautiful city with so much to do and explore so get going!

If you loved this article and want more, look through our other travel and money articles here on Freaking Tech.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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