Talk to me cheap

$65. Yes, that’s how much they want you to believe that jacket you desperately desire is worth.

Sticker shock is not a new concept to most college students. In fact, while shopping, the thought process that most of us go through is, “Oh, that’s nice, but too bad I can’t afford it,” before we even look at the price tag. How is it fair that we spend thousands of dollars on college tuition and stores still expect us to fork up another outrageous amount for a sweater? Oh, that’s right, because we’re willing to.

Since the weather is changing, it seems to be the time again to empty our wallets into the registers at the mall. But I think we should save a little for ourselves. As students it’s important to know how to bargain shop. There is no need to spend a huge amount of money on one item. Luckily, there are local consignments and thrift shops that offer deals on clothes that have been gently used. Just a few are:

1) Buffalo Exchange: 1057 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306; Open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

2) Rag-O-Rama: 1111 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307; Open from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

3) The Lucky Exchange: 212 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307; Open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Like most thrift stores, the three listed here offer a wide variety of clothes from vintage to retro to modern, with prices that are hard to beat. Because of their pre-owned status, the prices are lower than their original tag. However, be leery of small shops like these. Their sign may say “thrift store,” but only because some of their clothes are older and considered “vintage.” Their prices might be higher due to limited quantity.

Every once in a while there are times when you just have to “treat yo’ self.” With stores that are higher end, it is important to know which ones offer student discounts. Never be afraid to ask if they offer a discount. Your money is precious. Make it your first priority to find the sale items. This is your safe zone; do not veer away from it, or your money will be in danger. Once you have made your way up to the register, flash your student I.D. immediately. You need that discount and don’t you forget it.

Shopping online can be tricky too. First things first: click the sale button. Then sort the items low to high. Never scroll through the site freely or by the end your cart will be fuller than your wallet. Also, don’t forget to check places other than the store’s site (like to find what you’re looking for. Lastly, always keep your eye out for discounts and always refuse to pay full price.

When trying to find anything specific, mainstream shops are the way to go but can drain your wallet quickly if you’re not careful. If you are shopping on a budget, thrifting is the best place to look. Just be prepared to dig.

Spending extreme amounts of money on clothes is dreadful, but being nude all the time probably isn’t the best alternative, making clothes a necessity. And since fall is here, now it is almost a social requirement to wear even more clothes. Luckily, when times get rough and our wallets are bare, certain stores and little plastic cards can save our assets from the colder months.