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Smart Shopping

A thrift shop showing the benefits of smart shopping
New York League of Conservation Voters
A thrift shop showing the benefits of smart shopping

You don’t have to always be on the hunt for the next sale or be an extreme couponer to be a smart shopper. Even at the more expensive shops and boutiques, you can find good deals. That said it is an art form, being able to find quality clothes for an affordable price. In today’s day and age, it is almost a necessity as well because of inflation rates. When looking at the average price range of local stores in the KC area, they are far too high for the average teenager. The minimum wage is $12 an hour and the average teen works around ten hours a week, but even with this constant flow of money, there is still a necessity for smart shopping. As a senior, I am currently saving for college, paying for gas, and celebrating senior year by going to concerts and shopping with friends. Because of this, I cannot afford to buy $50 sweatshirts. There must be another way. Well, when you look for cheaper items of clothing, you often find yourself sacrificing quality. This is when smart shopping becomes very beneficial. There are many different ways to become a more aware consumer, you can thrift clothes, shop sale racks, or borrow from friends.

The act of thrifting, which became especially popular during the pandemic, is going to second hand clothing stores that have discounted prices. Although very time consuming, it can be one of the most rewarding ways to find good quality clothing for a fraction of the original price. To prove this claim, I interviewed junior Maeve Sloan. “My biggest find was a K-State jersey for $5 from Turnstyles”. The top stores that Sloan shops at are Turnstyles, City Thrift, Savers, and Blessings Abound. She hopes to eventually thrift at the Goodwill bins, but “they are a much bigger investment of time but you can find really good items”. Many thrift stores like Turnstyles are also charity organizations, meaning they give back to the less fortunate, so every dollar you spend on new clothes goes back into the community. These stores are beneficial to two parties, the “thrifters” and those that are benefactors from the store’s profits.

Sale racks are also one of the greatest outlets for smart shoppers. There are many different stores that have sale racks that are filled with clothes that are as good as the regularly priced items. For example, Altar’d State. This store has a large collection of clothes marked down to prices as low as $5. I have bought a $12 Homecoming dress, a $10 concert top, and a full Christmas Mass outfit for a total of $20, to name a few of the deals I have found at Altar’d State. Dry Goods is another store in Town Center that is known for their deals on clothing. You can almost always see the 75% off select clothing sign hanging outside their door. There are also many different online sales that are very easy to find. By Googling best sales happening now, you get thousands of results including Forbes “Best Sales to Shop This Weekend”. It takes far less time to shop clothes on sale than thrifted clothes, but the clothes cost slightly more and it is crucial that you know the stores with ongoing sales.

Lastly, the most common way to save money on clothes, borrowing! Although it depends on your friend’s preferences, a majority of the time a friend is more than willing to lend out a shirt or dress for a special occasion. Borrowing clothes also cuts down on our carbon footprint in the world, by reducing unwarranted purchases.

These are just a few ways to be a more educated consumer and a smarter shopper. Although it can be time consuming, it can help double the size of your wardrobe while also doubling the size of your wallet. 

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About the Contributor
Claire Forge, Reporter
Claire Forge is a senior at Aquinas and this is her first year reporting for The Shield. She also participates in the javelin on Track and Field, loves to hang out with her friends, and is an avid shopper. She is most looking forward to getting input from the student body about the articles and quizzes. Claire is very excited to represent her classmates in her articles and hopes everyone enjoys The Shield just as much as she does!
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