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franklin county times

Mall Mania can teach youth how to shop smart

By By Beth Randall
June 3, 2001
It's time for me to make a confession.
I love to shop. Yes, that's right shopping is one of my favorite pastimes. I like to shop for flowers, items for my home, gifts for others and, of course, for clothes.
However, I really like to find a bargain. I must have learned my bargain hunting skills from my Aunt Liz, whose motto is, "If it is on sale, it's mine!"
I have even found a way to incorporate shopping into my job. Isn't life great! Let me share with you how shopping and being a 4-H agent goes together. I, along with Extension agents in the six East Mississippi counties (Clarke, Jasper, Kemper, Newton, Neshoba, and Lauderdale), will be hosting a shopping program for youth at Bonita Lakes Mall on June 14.
Mall Mania is a program for youth ages 8-18, which teaches young people how to spend money wisely. Youth will meet at the Meeting Place at Bonita Lakes Mall at 1 p.m. on June 14 to register. The youth will then be taken into various stores to learn about selecting clothes, quality and fit, payment methods, reading labels and care instructions and general shopping information.
After this introduction, the participants will be given a situation and several items to comparison shop for. The youth will search for the items and record their findings. The groups will come back together to discuss their findings.
This will be a great opportunity for young people to learn wise shopping skills. According to a 4-H manual, high school girls spend 42 percent of their expendable money on clothes. Guys use only 24 percent of their cash for clothing.
It is not uncommon to hear someone say, "I haven't a thing to wear." If this describes you, then you need to survey your wardrobe and make a plan. Some people spend an unbelievable portion of their money on clothes and are not really well dressed. If you plan ahead, this should not happen to you.
Plan an adequate wardrobe; this means, have enough suitable clothes to carry out your daily activities.
Make a survey of your closet, and find out what you already have that is useful. Cleaning and straightening your closet go right along with making the inventory. Consider clothes you have for school, work, special events, sports or recreation, around the house and other activities.
A plan for an adequate wardrobe is never completely finished. It changes as you change sizes and as your ideas and goals about clothing change.
Make your wardrobe inventory. Plan for future purchases. Repair clothes that are still wearable. Give your "discards" to someone who can use them. Record what you did and what you planned.
Experiment with items you have mix and match in new ways. Coordinate accessories with different garments to give new looks. How many new combinations or outfits did you discover?
Purchase or make some items to help you keep your clothes neater, cleaner, and handier.
To learn more about wise shopping habits, plan to attend Mall Mania. Register by calling the Extension Office in your county by June 13. The number to call in Lauderdale County is 601-482-9764.
Beth Randall is a 4-H youth agent for the Mississippi State University-Extension Service, Lauderdale County.

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