Willy Subach|April 16th 2013
As a college student, I generally do not have a lot of money for shopping. And when I do have money to go shopping, I want my money to go as far as possible. Downtown Chicago, this can be a little tricky. As my friends would tell you, I pride myself on my masterful bargain hunting skills and money saving strategies. As spring and summer roll around and everyone is getting ready to update their wardrobes, I thought it’d be the perfect time to share some of my tips:
1. Head straight to the clearance racks.
Almost every store has a clearance section, but it’s often hidden in the back of the store so that shoppers have to go through all of the new, full-priced merchandise to get to it. When I go in a store, I almost always make a beeline straight to the clearance rack. If I don’t find anything that interests me there, only then do I start looking at the full-priced clothes.
2. Wait it out (if you can).
This is one of my best strategies. Situation (true story): It’s the beginning of winter and I’m in a department store. I see this beautiful peacoat and I know I want it, but I already have a coat and the peacoat is really expensive. Solution: Over spring break, I went back to the department store and found the peacoat for 80% off. It’s now in my closet ready for next winter.
3. Look for coupons and sales (duh).
I can’t even tell you the passion that I have for coupons and sales. Obviously, you can check the Sunday paper for sales and you might get coupons mailed to your home, but definitely look around for coupons online too. Some of my favorite stores give a coupon for 10-20% off just by signing up for their e-mailing list. I’m not saying that I’ve taken advantage of that offer, but I do have about 17 email accounts that just get emails from ALDO and H&M.
4. Don’t be afraid of thrift shops.
Yes, some things will smell bad and you WILL find old lady sweaters, but there’s also a chance that you’ll find a cool jacket or a vintage skirt (so fetch) that someone grew out of. One of my good friends from high school got her homecoming dress at a thrift shop, then went on to be prom queen and won best dressed (I’m looking at you, Alice!).