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Students on a budget reveal
holiday shopping tips

Posted November 22, 2005

Alexandra Lozano
Assistant Editor

As the holiday season approaches, students are growing concerned about holiday shopping. However, many students are finding ways to stay on a low budget and get gifts for everyone on their lists.

“I’ve been really low on money,” said junior broadcasting major Dee Owei.

Owei suggests looking through clearance racks or searching through specialty stores to find nice things on sale.

“I’m spending at least $100 to $150 (on gifts),” Owei said. “If I wasn’t so broke I wouldn’t have to look through clearance racks, I would just stick to a certain budget.”

Owei looks for sales at the mall and Mervyns to buy her gifts.

“I spend at least $20 or more on a person,” Owei said. “I want to make sure I’m getting something nice. I put a lot of thought into it.”

Junior communications major Yvonne Alonzo starts her holiday shopping looking through coupons and scanning places that will most likely have sales like Robinson’s May and Macy’s.

“(Stores) where they have cheap clothes but good brands are Ross and Marshall’s, but you have to scavenger-hunt,” Alonzo said.

Alonzo will spend about $300 to $350 on gifts this holiday season.

“I usually start getting things in September,” Alonzo said. “I spread it out from September to December.”

Alonzo has a different price range for each family member and friend.

“It’s usually on average because it’s little things, not just one big thing,” Alonzo said. “That’s for people who are close. Then I get a box of
Christmas cards (for everyone else).”

Senior legal studies major La Toya Morgan has a similar approach to holiday shopping. She uses the fact that she is a student to explain less expensive gifts.

“You can explain that you’re a college students and get cards,” Morgan said.

Morgan will spend about $250 on family and friends this Christmas. Although there’s more than a month left to search for gifts, Morgan hasn’t started her holiday shopping yet.

“It depends on my money situation,” Morgan said. “There are times that I shop two weeks before Christmas.”

Chidie Okafor, manager for Hollister at Westfield West Covina mall suggests going to Sears and other stores when they have special sales hours.

“Check the sales sections of a store,” Okafor said. “You’ll find the same thing. Or offer a gift card.”

Okafor said gift cards are great if the gift-giver matches the recipients with the right stores.

“If it’s a store they shop at, they’ll find something,” Okafor said.

Okafor also suggests shopping before Thanksgiving weekend because prices are lower than they would be on Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving.

“Twenty dollars at your favorite store can definitely go a long way,” Okafor said.

Alexandra Lozano can be reached at