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How to Save Money on Clothes in College

I am a firm believer in retail therapy, but I’m not a believer in breaking the bank to buy new clothes. We are college students, and spending $30 on a new sweater or dress is not ideal. It was as soon as I got my first job in high school that I started to learn more and more tips on how to shop right. I will be the first to admit that I can be a shopaholic, but I will for sure say that I know how to shop right and shop the deals. Here, I have listed below all of the shopping tips and tricks that I live by. Your wallet will thank you!


1. Shop at Platos Closet. Plato’s Closet has all the clothes that your mall has to offer, including the same brands, without breaking your bank. They may be used a little bit, but no one can even tell. Unless you tell your friends so, they won’t be able to tell the difference between a new $30 top from the mall and a $10 top from Plato’s. 

2. Sell your old clothes on eBay. Using eBay to sell your old things that you don’t use anymore is the easiest way to make some extra money. One idea would be to sell your old Homecoming or Prom dresses that you know you will never wear again. 

3. Shop at eBay and thrift shops. Not only can you sell your old clothes on eBay, but you can also find name name brand clothes items for a good price. Thrift shops are also the perfect place to find name brand items for a very cheap price.  

4. Shop at Outlet Stores. My favorite place to shop for discounted clothes in the La Crosse/Onalaska area, besides Plato’s Closet, would have to be the Gap Factory Outlet store. I am a sucker for Gap, but the regular store prices can be really expensive. The Gap Factory Outlet sells the same products for cheaper prices; you can’t go wrong!

5. Trade clothes with your friends. I have some friends that did this back home. They all got together one night and brought all the clothes that they were willing to trade. This is such a good idea, because you can get rid of the clothes that you never wear that just take up room in your closet and trade them in for clothes you will wear. 

6. Sale Racks. Franchescas is one of my favorite stores, but the prices are not my favorite. What Franchescas does have is a really awesome clearance rack most of the time, which is where you will find me! 

7. Use the Retail Me Not app and other coupons. I cannot tell you how many times I have used the Retail Me Not app when shopping at the mall. I’ve saved so much money by just downloading this free app that basically gives you free money. 

8. Write a list of what you need. This is so important so that you don’t end up spending extra money on extra things that you don’t need.

9. Don’t shop with your friends. When you’re with your friends they tend to peer pressure you into buying something that you usually don’t need. It all starts with the, “omg, this dress would look great on you, you should buy it!” Then before you know it, 10 mintues later you’re $50 poorer.

10. Don’t bring your debit card. Take out cash at the ATM so that you aren’t tempted to spend more money than you should.

11. Get a part-time job at a clothes store, and take advantage of your employee discount. This could be a dangerous situation where you only spend your paychecks at the store you work at, but if you’re smart this could really save you some money!

12. Online shopping! You can find good deals online if you look hard enough! Many websites offer 10-20% off your first order just by signing up for their email list. Also, by signing up for the email list you often get special offers that others may not know about. 

Sarah Mueller is a senior majoring in Organizational and Professional Communication and minoring in Professional Writing. She loves to write, run, and do yoga in her free time. Follow her on instagram: sarah_muelller
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