May 31, 2020

Nifty thrifting shopping solutions for broke students

Shopping is a fantastic way to spend a Saturday, but there’s only one problem: shopping costs money, something college kids are generally known to be lacking. An easy solution? Go thrifting! 

While thrifting, you get to try on and take home lots of cute clothes, and the prices are way more affordable. What’s not to love?

Low on cash and clothes? Thrifting creates a budget and eco-friendly solution.


Locations: various in Columbus

Goodwill is probably the most well-known thrift store chain in the nation. The store in Whitehall is only 10 minutes away from Capital; before you go blow your money at Target, consider stopping at Goodwill, where prices are famously low. 

Clothing selection is reliant entirely on donations, which means that it varies tremendously. 

Although it’s hit-or-miss whether you’ll find anything you can’t live without on your first visit, there is typically a good stock of the basics at Goodwill.

Extras: The corporation is entirely non-profit, and one of their focuses is to create careers for disadvantaged individuals.

Ohio Thrift

Locations: various in Columbus

Ohio Thrift is known for its massive selection of clothes, shoes, purses, housewares, and pretty much anything else you could ever want. 

Thrifting has grown in popularity partly because reusing clothes is an eco-friendly shopping option.

The store in Upper Arlington is vast, and about 20 minutes away from Cap, so be sure to plan your visit when you’re not on a tight schedule — you’re going to want to allow plenty of time to explore here. 

There are clothes in every color, in every style, and for every season, and the prices are reasonable; generally, everything is $5 or less.

Extras: Ohio Thrift recycles old clothes as rags, a program that reduces waste and benefits communities. Also, the Upper Arlington store is right beside a T.J. Maxx, which, although it isn’t a thrift store, it’s still reasonably priced.

Volunteers of America

Locations: various in Columbus

Volunteers of America is a non-profit thrift store similar to Goodwill. One is located on Broad Street, about five minutes from campus, for another shopping quick-fix. 

Clothing selection is again reliant on donations, and varies accordingly, but the prices are low and the store offers sales frequently. 

Volunteers of America is a good option for furniture shopping; if you’re looking to furnish a new apartment, you can probably find a sturdy piece with only a few dings.

Extras: Each year, Volunteers of America sponsors “Operation Backpack,” which provides school supplies to over 5,000 children!

Out of the Closet

Location: High Street

Out of the Closet is one of the trendiest Columbus area thrift stores. The clothing is good quality and features several brand names, although there isn’t the quantity of other stores, due to quick turnover rates. 

Prices are slightly more expensive, but the store offers a 10 percent discount if you skip the plastic bag. There is also a good selection of gently used housewares, furniture, and electronics.

Extras: Out of the Closet provides free condoms, offers free HIV testing, and all of the store’s profits go to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.


Location: online

Although grabbing your friends and spending the day thrifting is enjoyable, sometimes you’d like to be able to shop without leaving your futon. At, you can! 

Thrift shopping online has some inherent difficulties, but the site works to alleviate them. You can filter your size preferences, so you won’t be faced with the tragedy of seeing an adorable shirt and then realizing that it’s two sizes too small. 

The prices on ThredUp are moderately expensive (typically in the $10-$15 range), and there is a shipping fee, although the site offers promotional free shipping occasionally.

Extras: ThredUp offers Rescue Boxes — a large number of clothes sold together for one low price.

  • Emily is a sophomore English literature major at Capital, and a reporter and distribution manager for the Chimes. When she's not carting papers around campus, Emily enjoys watching Jeopardy, bothering her cats, and eating mac and cheese.

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