By Sarah Meedel
With having to spend money on tuition, books, rent, car payments, credit card payments and food, who has the funds to go on a shopping spree at the mall? Unless a magic genie starts granting wishes randomly, chances are most members of the UNO student population do not have $500 lying around.
How about $30 instead? That much is not impossible to find. Ever consider shopping at a thrift or second-hand store? It is possible to spend $30 and leave a thrift store with as many items as one would leave a mall spending $500.
The Omaha area has quite a bit to offer to for those looking to make dollars go the extra mile. Whether in need of clothes, shoes, furniture, decorative items or other odds and ends, thrift stores can provide these items for a low and reasonable price.
Most people have heard of Goodwill and The Salvation Army stores; many have probably even donated unwanted items to them. But few realize what treasures are hiding within their walls. Clothing of every size and style fill dozens of racks. Clothes can start as low as 75 cents for a shirt. At the Goodwill on 114th St., a three-piece pin-stripe suit can be purchased for $12.
Clothes rarely run any higher than $20. Most items show little or no wear.
On occasion, a shopper might find items that still have the original tags on them.
A small selection of furniture is available at The Salvation Army and the Goodwill. Instead of lurking in neighborhoods, waiting for someone to pitch perfectly good furniture out with the rest of the trash, try checking out a second-hand store. It is not going to be free but it will not drain the savings account, either. Prices of couches, chairs and tables run around $30-$70.
A chain of stores similar to Goodwill and The Salvation Army are Thrift Town, Thrift Village and Thrift World. The stores are spread out through various parts of town. They have decent amounts of vintage clothing along with everyday clothes. Special discounts are offered throughout the week, depending on a particular item or the color of a tag. For example, clothing marked with blue tags will be buy one, get one half off one day a week.
For those who must simply have designer names on their clothes but do not have the cash, there is an alternative to spending a month’s worth of grocery money on clothes. Name Brand Clothing on 84th and Grover streets offers name brands for cheap. When a season is over or a store cannot get rid of items, they send it to NBC. Brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Liz Claiborne, GAP and Express are commonly seen in the store. Formal dresses can be found for $15. Sometimes items are slightly disfigured but the flaws are nothing a little elbow grease cannot fix. NBC also has various bedding from department stores, along with multiple shelves of shoes. Used CDs can even be found there.
If students are looking for items a bit more vintage, they should try Weird Wild Things on Dodge Street, directly across from the Dundee Theatre. The store offers a wide selection of clothing from all eras. Brightly colored go-go mini-dresses, patterned shirts with huge lapels and ’80s logo-printed T-shirts are just a few examples. The prices are a little higher than the average thrift store ($7-14 per average item) but the convenience of not having to dig through racks to find a certain style can be worth it. The store also offers a small room of older, well-kept furniture.
Another store specializing in vintage items is Retro Recycle in the Old Market. The store is a bit higher priced, but usually still cheaper than buying new. Furniture items can be found on the upper level and clothing and accessories are in the basement. Retro offers items from multiple eras, giving the store a nice atmosphere.
Whether looking to spice up a wardrobe or a home, taking the time to browse through a few second-hand shops can be beneficial. After all, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.