April 16th, 2006 04:47 EST
Buying More For Less
With the rising costs of textbooks and the outrageous price of gas these days, disposable cash for new school clothes is almost non-existent. That`s why we`re offering a guide to back-to-school shopping on a budget. You don`t need to have a lot to get a lot.
Search the mall for summer savings:Trent Workman, an employee at the Buckle in Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville, IA says, "August is the best time to take advantage of sales. In August, the stores aren`t getting anything new in, so they`re getting rid of their summer clothes."
He also said that he saw a five-times increase in the amount of shoppers in the month of August.
Ten states are now offering a tax-free weekend before school starts. In Iowa, clothes, shoes that cost less than $100, and school supplies are tax exempt for one weekend at the beginning of August. This is a good way to save a little bit of money on new provisions.
Search the Internet: Deals on clothes abound on the Web. Ebay is the first place to look when searching for sale priced merchandise. By typing "clothes" in the search function, you get 2,985 different categories to choose from. Clothes from Old Navy, Lane Bryant, Abercrombie and Fitch and by Tommy Hilfiger can be found for over 50 percent off. Make sure to read the descriptions. Sometimes, people sell brand new items and at times they have been worn on numerous occasions. Look for clothes with little wear.
Also check department store websites. Oldnavy.com and ae.com always have a sale section. If you can`t find your size in the sale at the store, check their website. It may also be cheaper to go through the site, as opposed to buying in-store. The store may not have been able to adjust their sale prices by the time they`re updated online.
Overstock.com offers many quality, new clothes of various brands at discount prices.
Garage Sales are a good bet: How many garage sale signs do you see over the summer? Garage sales almost always have a lot of inexpensive, even if used, clothes.
Look for consignment shops in your town: Most towns these days have either a Goodwill or Salvation Army. Goodwills in college towns are teeming with clothes that are still fashionable. T-shirt aficionados will be in heaven at consignment shops. In Iowa City, Stuff Consignment is a popular place for college students. Look in the yellow pages and see what kind of stores your city has available.
Check other people`s closets: Go through your friend`s or sibling`s closets. Or ask them to go through and pick out clothes they don`t want anymore. If you are broke, this is the easiest way to pick up some new duds.
For former college student, Amy McFarlane, working at Kohl`s during school helped with her shopping obsession.
"The discount helped a lot," she said. But when even that wasn`t enough, she did what most college kids do. "I asked my parents for some extra cash."