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The Northerner

Smart shopping can save money

Regan Coomer

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As tuition increases each year, it becomes more important for the average college student to save money. One way to do this is bargain shop.

Clothes, appliances, electronics and books can be purchased at low prices by knowing how and when to shop at thrift stores. Essential clothing items can also be found on clearance racks in the mall and at outlet stores.

The following list of stores and shopping tips will help thrifty shoppers find the lowest prices.

Shopping Tips
* Just because it is cheap doesn’t mean you have to buy it. That $5 stereo is great, but you really don’t need two. * Never get in another bargain shopper’s personal space. We all have our personal bubbles, and they should not be violated because you just saw something on their space of rack that you really want.

* Don’t try to swindle the Thrift store. At the Village Discount, they refuse to sell you anything if the tag is not intact.

* Try to bring a buddy. That way you can look for items for both of you, and your friend can do the same.

Goodwill:

Occasionally one can find good bargains there, but they have caught on to the mainstream of more people shopping secondhand, and therefore they have higher prices than most thrift stores. It is only worth the time to shop Goodwill on certain days The best days are Saturdays, when “Darn near everything” is 50 percent off and half price days for college students.

Somethings that Goodwill boasts that many thrift stores do not are a fitting room and a frequent shopper card. After spending $100, you get a certificate for $10. Unlike most thrift stores, Goodwill has a return policy and lets the customer return things as needed.

Other sections to check out at Goodwill are its shoe, purse, bedding, housewares and book sections.

Be sure to pickup the Goodwill monthly calendar that tells the sale for each day, better serving the savvy shopper.

The Village Discount:

The Village has lower prices than Goodwill. They offer colored tag discounts, where a piece of clothing with a specific color tag is 50 percent off.

They are also conscious of name brands, and therefore prices them accordingly. The prices for name brand clothing, though very expensive by The Village standards, are cheap when compared to usual name brand prices.

One hazard to shopping at The Village is an unavailable fitting room. Also, items purchased there are non-refundable, so take a very good look at clothes before you buy them.

Other sections worthy of a look at The Village include its bedding and counter section, where more valuable items such as game systems are stored.

Clearance racks:

Never underestimate the clearance racks of local stores. Gems overlooked by other shoppers can be taken advantage of by the creative shopper. What doesn’t work for the everyday shopper may work for a unique individual.

However, some items are on clearance for a reason. They are either hopelessly ugly or so misshapen they won’t look good on most people.

Think outside the box when it comes to clothing. Some shirts can be coverted into a decoration for a wall, or easily made into a throw pillow on a dorm room couch. If you are really creative, a collection of old T-shirts can be sewn into a quilt.

Outlet Stores:

One day in an outlet store will ruin a regular price shopping experience for life. Although some clothes are torn or have permanent stains, the determined and smart shopper will find clothes that are worth the effort.

Northern Kentucky’s local outlet store is the Gap Outlet, where you can find very nice specimens of Old Navy, Banana Republic and, of course, Gap.

While shopping there, remember that nothing is refundable, so when you get home and realize the great mini skirt you just purchased has a stain, deal with it, because there’s nothing you can do about it.

Another thing to consider while shopping here is that it’s an outlet, which easily translates into crazy mobs. One can find the most dedicated shoppers here, so newbie thrift shoppers beware.

If it’s your first time, shop on a weekday. Weekends are for veterans only because it is most crowded.

The next time you get the urge to browse through the regularly priced clothing, just revive your inner savvy shopper and go to the nearest thrift store or clearance rack.

Bargain shopping is kind to your wallet, and all of that extra money can add up.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Smart shopping can save money