Many thrift stores and flea markets offer used furniture for lower price than new pieces sold at larger stores. 

Deciding on new furniture and decorations to fill an unfurnished apartment or home can be a daunting task for any student living in their own space for the first time. Purchasing essentials such as mattresses, storage space, toiletries and cookware can make costs add up fast when buying brand new, so investing in resold items is a cheap and sustainable solution. 

Before going on a shopping frenzy at some local thrift stores, there are a couple of key tips to keep in mind. It is important to move in and get a feel for your new home before making a list of furniture you would like. Preparation such as measuring walls and countertops, agreeing on a layout and aesthetic with any roommates and budgeting will result in a stress-reduced trip. 

Understanding which items you would like to purchase second hand versus new from the store can vary from sanitary to quality reasons. Items such as towels, light bulbs or electronics may be something you want to have been previously unused and could be considered their own investments.

Located on Glenstone Avenue, Thrift Haven is a large space that has a lot of cooking supplies, blankets, pillows and desks that vary in price range. The store regularly updates its catalog and accepts both cash and card. Dollar Tree is located next door to Thrift Haven, so items including cleaning supplies, toilet paper and shower sponges can be purchased at a low price in one trip.

Bin Crazy is a rotating bin store located at 1749 S. Campbell Ave., where new items are switched out onto the floor at the top of each hour. Listed on the Bin Crazy website, prices and selection vary based on the day, with $2 Tuesdays being the lowest and $10 Fridays being the highest per item. This location is a cash-only store. Next door, the Red Salvation Army has affordable house pieces such as carpets, couches and coffee machines. 

For furniture that requires repair or restoration, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a non-profit home improvement store that holds recycled materials and do-it-yourself supplies. This store also sells donated dressers, mattresses and hardware tools at a fraction of the retail price. According to the ReStore website, these items are updated daily, and all the proceeds go towards supporting homeowners in achieving “strength and stability” in their spaces.

Missouri State’s Springfield campus has a Safe Exchange Zone available for students meeting up with sellers for Facebook Marketplace and Craiglist exchanges. Located at 636 E. Elm St. on the south side of police station, this parking space is monitored 24/7 and has a surveillance camera and an emergency phone available. If someone intends on meeting at this location, call 417-836-5509 to notify the police station in advance.


Follow Alyssa Farrar on Twitter, @oblivilyss 

Subscribe to The Standard’s free weekly newsletter here.