Cutting corners and saving cents

By on January 14, 2014
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We’re all college kids, here, so pretty much anyone is going to know that saving money isn’t as easy as it should be. So, I’ve taken it into my own hands to figure out how to save some extra pennies here and there.

I love to go shopping, but hate spending money. It’s caused me to become weird in what I consider “too expensive” for certain things.

I hate paying more than five dollars for a t-shirt, but when I ordered my friend’s Christmas gift, I had to cough up twenty dollars for a Parks and Recreation design. It was worth it by all means, but for day to day expenses, clothes add up. Some of my favorite t-shirts had been bought off of  clearance racks.

Three dollars for that Reptar shirt? Yes, please.

I’ve also found jeans from the Gap clearance and Plato’s Closet for around eight dollars before. Plus, Plato’s Closet has a ton of brand name button ups and Polo shirts for around ten dollars each, which isn’t bad for something you can wear at church, at work, at a job interview, or any other casual, semi-formal or formal event.

When shopping for clothes, I also highly enjoy the thrift stores around Birmingham. I’ve found great things at thrift stores in Homewood and Crestwood. Just a few weeks ago, I found a Polo shirt in great condition for four dollars.

Of course, I do have to draw the line somewhere. Boxers for just one dollar sounds tempting, but boxers, socks, bras and underwear are thrift store no’s in my eyes. There are some things that are worth spending the extra money on.

Grocery shopping is the same way; there are some things that are worth spending a larger amount on, such as meats, vegetables and fruits. I don’t want to risk getting sick from bad meat, it’s not worth missing school and work for.

But there are some things that are great to buy cheap. My girlfriend and I found macaroni and cheese for about sixty nine cents at Aldi. It taste great and it’s not as expensive as other brands, which saves a lot in the long run. Chips, cookies, crackers, and any other kind of snack or on-the-go food has cheaper off brand options that most of the time tastes just as good.

Grocery stores are always running coupons and sales, so be sure to check out websites and ads to find out when things go on sale. My parents always have soda in their fridge, so they look for sales on either Coke products or Check products (Winn Dixie brand sodas are actually pretty good). Of course, sales on sodas don’t do any good for someone who doesn’t drink soda often or at all, so it’s always smart to look for coupons and sales specific to items that will be in a greater personal demand.

Pro tip: convenience doesn’t always mean cheap. I spend a lot of time in Campbell, so when they started selling those cereal bowls last semester, I started eating them pretty much every day. But it’s cheaper to walk or drive to CVS and buy cereal there (and you can still use Blazer Bucks). At CVS, their cereal bowls are always a dollar a piece (which, if I remember correctly, is about a dollar and fifty cents cheaper than going to Campbell).

 

Emmett Christolear
christolear@uab.edu
staff writer

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