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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

Being the fashionably broke person that I am, I have learned the art of popping tags with only $20 in my pocket (or even less) when I first came to college. Luckily, Gainesville has no shortage of second-hand shops for collegiettes™ to find amazing pieces on a small budget. Here are just a few tips and tricks to start your thrifting adventures and find killer deals that’ll make Macklemore proud: 


I think one of the most important tips to know when thrifting is: keep an open mind. I’ve found some of my best pieces by just walking into a store with no idea what I wanted. When you go thrifting, you don’t have the luxury of a regular store where you’ll almost always find certain pieces, so don’t go in expecting to find that perfect pair of designer jeans or a heavily discounted leather jacket every time you go. Most of the fun comes from the treasure hunt.

Another great tip that’s often overlooked is: don’t limit yourself to the women’s section. You may be overlooking some of the best items by avoiding the men’s section — you can easily recreate the boyfriend or oversized trends with some of the pieces you’ll find there. If oversized clothing is not your thing, you also have the chance to tailor what you find to something that suits your style much better, which brings me to my final tip.

Don’t let the size and cut of an item you like immediately turn you away. Another great thing about thrifting is that it allows you to be creative. If something is too big, you can always tailor it or cut it up to create something new, like high-waisted shorts from a pair of old jeans. Let your thrifted purchases be inspiration for a whole new outfit that fits your style.

Here are some of my favorite thrift stores that are conveniently close to campus for all your on-a-budget shopping needs:  

Goodwill Welcome to the Forever 21 of thrift stores. With such a large selection of color-coordinated clothes, it can be a little hard to decide where to start, but that’s exactly what makes Goodwill the perfect place for new thrifters. You’ll be sure to find something among the endless racks of clothes, whether it’s that only-worn-once designer jacket or an eye-catching vintage piece. There are two Goodwill locations in Gainesville: 3520 SW 34th St., and 2624 NW 13th St.

Family Treasures Thrift Shop This place may be small, but it has a big heart. The clean, organized layout makes it easy for you to find what you’re looking for, and although it doesn’t carry as many clothes as other local thrift shops, this is the place to find the truly vintage piece. Plus, the shop always has some type of deal or special to lower the price of your already-discounted purchases. You can find Family Treasures at 710 N. Main St.  

Haven Hospice Attic This resale store is run by the community-based nonprofit organization Haven Hospice, which supports community members who suffer from life-limiting illnesses. It has a large inventory of clothes and accessories, and it also sells larger items such as furniture, housewares, and books. The Attic is located at 300 NW 8th Ave.

Sandy’s Savvy Chic Resale Boutique Sandy’s is a little different because it is a consignment store. Unlike thrift stores that get most of their inventory from donations, Sandy’s allows customers to sell their trendy, gently used clothes to the store. Because of this, items are a little pricier, but it’s worth the highly discounted name-brand items you come across. A Juicy Couture clutch for just $30? Please and thank you. Visit Sandy’s at 4148 NW 13th St.

Happy thrifting, collegiettes™!

Cara oversees Her Campus Media's community department and serves as strategic lead for the expansion, development and management of all HCM communities, including the Her Campus Chapter Network, InfluenceHer Collective, College Fashionista, Spoon University, Campus Trendsetters, alumni and high school. She works closely with company leadership to develop new community-related sales offerings and the Integrated Marketing team to support all community-focused client marketing programs from end to end. Cara has experience working with high-profile talent, such as Jessica Alba, Andrew Yang, Amber Tamblyn, Aja Naomi King, Troian Bellisario, Jessica Marie Garcia, Nico Tortorella, Nastia Liukin, Rebecca Minkoff, Cecile Richards and Samantha Power, as well as brands like Coca-Cola, L'Oréal Paris, The New York Times, HBO, Uber, H&M and more. Having been a part of the HC family since 2011, Cara served as Campus Correspondent of the HC chapter at the University of Florida where she studied journalism, women’s studies and leadership. A New Yorker turned Floridian, Cara has a Friends quote for any situation. You can usually find her with her friends and family at the beach, a concert or live sports event or binge-watching Grey's Anatomy or Sons of Anarchy. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @thecararose.