College kids from Ga. save big on clothing, furniture

- Nia Rutherford and Allie Merwin are college co-eds with one very important mission: stocking up for school on a college kid’s budget.

Merwin,19, will start her sophomore year at the University of Georgia in mid-August. She told FOX 5’s Portia Bruner she’s excited about ditching her Freshman dorm and moving in with three roommates who will share their first apartment.

“I can’t wait to get in there and do some fun stuff and decorate with my own personal style, but I definitely don’t want to spend a bunch of money on stuff that you know is going to get banged up over the next couple of years,” said Merwin, a Forsyth County native.

The folks at the Salvation Army welcomed Merwin and Rutherford to the Midtown location on Marietta Street. The thrift store is packed with gently used furniture, small kitchen appliances, dishes, home décor and plenty of clothing. Rutherford, who grew up in Gwinnett County, needs coats and heavy sweaters to get ready for her first winter in Washington, D.C.

“I’m kind of looking more for eclectic, bohemian styles and few items for storing things since there will four of us altogether,” said Rutherford, who plans to major in film and media. She was surprised by the selection of coats and stunned to find new Bearclaw brand boots for only $20. With the 25% store discount for the day, the took the boots home for $15.

“Those would normally cost almost $100. They’re a perfect fit and really warm. I think people need to open their minds to all the things you can find at thrift stores,” the 17-year-old said as she strutted in her new boots.

Merwyn, a Forsyth County advertising major, found a miniature Keurig coffee maker for $7, artwork for less than $10 and a dresser for $40. But her mother actually took home the biggest thrift store gem of the day. An upholstered chair with a matching storage ottoman that looks brand new. She paid $142 for both pieces. Two-hundred five dollars later, Allie had a message for every one headed off to college.

“You already know some of the things are going to get nicked along the way, so why not get used stuff? And it’s such good prices and such great things such a good cause – helping support the Salvation Army mission. It just makes sense,” Merwin said standing next to a car full of the items her mother bought.

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