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Thrift & Vintage Stores – Ideal for a college budget!

Often constrained by the PVTA route, it’s tough to find fresh places to shop around the Pioneer Valley and surrounding areas. The Village Commons is quirky and fun, but limited if you’re not a bride or old lady of South Hadley. Let’s face it, we’re not located in the hippest town in the area – hence the irresistible urge to venture out into the world in order to do what we do best…shop.

Salvation Army (Hadley): Located right on Route 116 near the Hampshire Mall, the Salvation Army is always sure to be an adventure. My best advice would be to avoid Halloweekend or the week prior, since this is the time when it is most likely to be picked over by college students like ourselves looking for inexpensive costume materials. But in my experience, this particular store is pretty great – I always find fun things and wind up with a gigantic bag of clothes for only around $10. No shame if you wear some things once, or never at all! Weird sweatshirts, prom dresses,…swimsuits, flannels, furniture – they have it all! My personal favorites were the matching Le Tigre rain jackets a friend and I emerged with and now sport around campus together when the rain starts falling.

Sid Vintage (Northampton): On Main Street, Sid Vintage is a bit more selective with what it offers than your run of the mill thrift store, but you are bound to come across some quality finds here. However, unlike the standardized pricing at Salvation Army and Goodwill, you pay the item’s worth – even if still far less than the original price. It’s basically a thrift store minus all of the crap you don’t want – and you pay for the selection service which provides you with these unique gems.

Goodwill (Chicopee & Northampton): The Northampton store is better than the Chicopee one – very similar to Salvo, and this is certainly one of their better stores! Actually, the NoHo Goodwill might win for organization – things are super easy to find and you are bound to emerge with something neat.

Roz’s Place (Northampton): Fun and quirky, but “vintage” in this case is not synonymous for “thrift” – expect a moderate price hike for the finder’s fee. A cool place to check out!



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