Check for clarinet or flute air leaks by taking the instrument apart, cupping the ends of the instrument, closing all finger and pad openings, and blowing air through. The instrument’s pads and springs should resist heavy air flow. If you feel or hear even the slightest of leaks and are not sure, have a friend help you by putting their hand away from your clarinet and feeling.
Do some preliminary research. Find the approximate price of the desired items to make sure you are getting a good deal, and also locate the stores where these items are being sold. The Internet is always a good place to start. Write the lowest price you found next to the item on your list. That way, you'll have more options, especially if you find yourself coming dangerously close to the limits of your...
Pack a bag or purse the night before that include your list, a map, a water bottle, some snacks, some emergency cash, a credit card and ATM card, a cell phone or coins for a pay phone or a phone card, and a positive attitude! It is better to be more prepared than to be left in an unsafe/undesirable situation. Also, keep in mind that you might not be able to bring your tote into the store, so make sure you keep valuables (money, phone card, etc.) in a safe, next-to-body layer. This will additionally help prevent theft.
If you are purchasing many items, inquire ahead of time about locker rentals at the mall. You don't want to slog around like a luggage-laden wanderer at an airport.