How I Shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It’s the best time of the year! Anniversary sale time!!!

I know…I know….this is the sale that people either love or hate; there is literally no middle ground to this. Personally, I love it. It’s the best sale to grab wardrobe staples and items that I need (or need to replace) for a lot less than I would normally.

Now….full disclosure; there are three things you do NOT have to do:


I promise. You don’t. It’s okay.

And I am saying that as someone who does…willingly…and openly. This sale is covered by EVERYONE and gets media coverage EVERYWHERE. But just because it seems like everyone is shopping this sale, it doesn’t mean you have to.

I also know 2020 has been a hard year for a lot of people, especially financially. Please do what is best for you and your family. This isn’t worth going into debt for.

2. If that didn’t deter you; you do not need to open a Nordstrom Card.

Do not go into debt just for “earlier access”; it’s not worth it.

I say this as someone who has had a card for years; uses it and pays it off when I do.

Don’t get a credit card just because of a sale. If you want to shop, wait until open access and do it then; it’s okay.

3. You don’t need to buy everything!

Kind of sounds similar to number 1. Truly, you don’t. You will see a lot of people, especially on social media, who buy like half of the sale and tell you why you need all of it….don’t buy into the hype.

You don’t need it.

I realize all of this sounds super hypocritical considering I shop the sale, I love the sale and I’m here to tell you how I do it. But I feel like how I shop it is how most people realistically shop it; so if you genuinely want to purchase a few things but looking through everything is overwhelming to you…I gotchu.

Before I even open the Nordstrom website I make a list of items that I want to look for. All of the items on my list fall into one of four categories:

  1. Something I need (because I’m either out of it or need to replace it).
  2. Something I normally replace/stock up on in the sale.
  3. Something I would splurge on (this category doesn’t often actually get purchased though – it’s basically my “dream” list because sometimes dreams have good sales).
  4. Something I’d stock up on if it’s on sale for a good price/deal.

This is my list for this year’s sale:

nordstrom list

Comparatively, this list is not long and it’s possible that I might not even get everything that’s on it, and that’s okay. Because in addition to making a list, I also have the set amount of money I’m willing to spend in my head for this sale. If something I want doesn’t fit into my budget, then it doesn’t fit. If it’s something I really want, then something else will come out of my cart to make room for it.

So let’s take a look at my list and see what category all of these items fall into.

1. Something I need (because I’m either out of it or need to replace it).

This one can be tricky for people to grasp because everyone determines “need” in a different way. I’m sure people reading this could say that I don’t really need any of this, which is fine and I respect that. But, personally, I disagree.

Only one item on my list falls here: a new hairdryer. Mine is just…dead. It’s been dying for a long time and I just haven’t done anything about getting a new one. I really want to invest in one that will last a long time and one that will protect my hair better than the one I’ve been using.

I’ve loved my T3 curling iron so I want to try the T3 Cura Dryer. They’re normally around $230 and with the sale it will be $155. To me, it’s a pretty decent savings and I rarely see them for any less than this price. So, this will be a definite purchase for me (assuming they don’t sell out).

T3 cura

2. Something I normally replace/stock up on in the sale.

If you’ve seen me talk about the Nordstrom Sale in previous years, you probably know what some of these things are. These are typically my fall/winter closet staple pieces that I wear all the time.

Normally, for me, this includes staple pieces that I would wear to work, but this year work looks different, so I don’t really need the dressier staples I would normally search for. My district is fully virtual until February and while faculty have the option of coming into school to work; I’m not planning on dressing up for it like I normally would. Most often, I’ll likely come in wearing jeans. If I zoom calls/meetings, I’ll probably dress a little “fancier” on top, but if not I’ll likely keep it pretty casual.

I am still looking for my other normal sale staples of jeans, cardigans, pullover sweaters, jacket/blazers and a new pair of flats/booties (depending on what I see that I like).

Caslon cardigan nordstrom anniversary sale
halogen tweed blazer Nordstrom anniversary sale

I also typically pick up a new Nordstrom throw blanket during these sales. These throws are so soft and cozy and since we spend a lot of time in our basement, it gets used almost daily. Plus, compared to other similar blankets, they are an awesome price point.

nordstrom plush throw blanket

3. Something I would splurge on (this category doesn’t often actually get purchased though – it’s basically my “dream” list because sometimes dreams have good sales).

I’d like to get a new purse for the fall/winter. They have quite a few really cute options, but the bag I’d really like isn’t part of the sale (well at least not in the style I want), so this likely won’t happen.

I’m really obsessed with my pink Longchamp bag I bought right before Devon and I got married and I really just want a classic dark color for the fall and winter.

The only style I’ve seen as part of the sale is the classic bag with an expandable portion, which I don’t really want.

longchamp le pilage expandable tote nordstrom anniversary sale

I get the point if the bag expanding and I’m sure for many its appreciated, but I don’t really need it.

4. Something I’d stock up on if it’s on sale for a good price/deal.

This is normally when I just start browsing the sale to see if there is anything I use/ have in my closet that I could stock up on/replace if I find a killer deal.

One thing I spotted that I will definitely be picking up is this jumbo sized Clinique moisturizer.

clinique moisturizer nordstrom anniversary sale

This is my holy grail, year-round moisturizer. This jumbo size is almost twice the size of the normal full-size and for the same price, so I’m definitely grabbing one of these and it will likely last me a year.

living proof full shampoo condition dry volume blast nordstrom anniversary sale

I LOVE Living Proof’s Dry Volume Blast which normally sells for about $30, and the shampoo and conditioner are usually about $30. This whole set together is $56, which is pretty amazing for all three full-size products.

I am going to do a full round up of the products that I think are worth purchasing IF you are actually shopping the sale next week.

But for today, I really just wanted to focus on how you can realistically shop this sale if that’s something you’re interested in doing.

I hope this was helpful, especially if you are looking around the internet and getting super overwhelmed by all of it.

For those that are shopping, what is on your list?

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