Written by: Kaylie Dieterle
Many college students could be described as having champagne taste on a beer bottle budget. Between the costs of text books, food, housing, and general living expenses, money seems to disappear rapidly. This leaves little spare cash to spend on leisure expenses like clothes and entertainment. Shopping at thrift stores can be the perfect solution to this problem.
Jacksonville, Florida has hundreds of thrift stores, filled with clothing, housing accessories, electronics, and pretty much anything else that anyone could ever need. Although these stores aren’t necessarily a college student’s first thought as to where to shop, it’s surprising how much unique and useful things can be found at very low prices. ” As a college student, I’m on a really tight budget which makes it difficult to keep up with my desire for new clothes,” said UNF junior, Julie Henderson, “But thrift stores allow me to add new things to my wardrobe without having to spend a lot of money.”
By shopping at thrift stores, which is often referred to as “thrifting”, college students can cut out wasting their money by splurging on a new outfit. “The vintage style is in right now, and that can be found all over thrift stores,” said Henderson. Retail stores are trying to recreate the vintage look in their clothes and sell them at high prices, but it’s not necessary to waste money on the expensive replicas when you can get the real thing for a fraction of the price at local thrift stores.
These vintage shops can be more than just a wardrobe refresher, they can also spark up the decor of a college student’s living environment. “I furnished majority of my room through thrifting,” said Taylor Mak, a college student and thrift store shopper. According to Mak, by purchasing old furniture, frames, and lamps, and then revamping them with spray paint and fabrics, a room can be superbly decorated at a very reasonable price.
A good place to start checking out thrift stores is in Five Points, located in Riverside. They typically have a nice selection of gently worn clothes and large amounts of jewelry. Beach boulevard is also lined with thrift stores that are especially good if looking for house decor. Goodwill and flea markets also offer a wide variety of useful knick knacks.
Thrifting doesn’t have to be a tedious task, but can be looked at as more of a hobby. “There’s a thrill that comes with thrifting,” said Mak, “like when you find something you know is no where else, or when you know your getting a really good deal.” This satisfaction is more than the typical feeling of buying something from a retail store for a ridiculous price.
While reflecting on her thrifting purchases, Mak added, “There’s always a story behind every item you buy at the thrift store. The mystery of not knowing where it’s been or who previously owned it just adds to the satisfaction and excitement of a good find.”