Savory homemade food, twinkling lights, family time and most importantly- presents. Although the holiday seasons aren’t “about presents,” this is a large part of many people’s traditions and is a form of appreciation for those you love. I love giving gifts to others, but shopping for the perfect gift on a college budget can be difficult. Working around these difficulties and being an avid shopper myself, I’ve found some of the most affordable places in Tallahassee to buy quality gifts fit for your loved ones.
Walking into Marshall’s is like walking into a shopping mall- but with everything in one place, and in your price range. Marshall’s is the perfect place to buy gifts because it is affordable, has a wide variety of products, and often designer items with sale prices. If you have the confidence to buy shoes for someone else, they have many trendy and quality shoes, that are all at reasonable prices. But if you’re feeling a little less sure about what to get someone, they have the classic safety choices- candles, bath/spa products, seasonal items, journals, etc. They also sell fuzzy socks infused with lavender and any other spa product you can imagine. I recently bought my sister’s birthday present here, filling her gift box with fuzzy socks, trendy belts, and NARS lipsticks- all which I found at Marshall’s for discounted prices. When shopping for myself, I’ve also found designer purses for less than $100, so depending on how much you want to spend there is something great at every price range. Even the men’s section has brand name sweatpants, tech items Despite who you’re shopping for, I can practically guarantee that Marshall’s will have the perfect gift- just have some patience to look through this large store.
When you think of Urban, over-priced t-shirts and $100 sweatpants may come to mind. But when looking past this and really looking around Urban, you will find it is one of the best places to buy gifts. They have unique jewelry pieces, such as zodiac sign necklaces, big dangly earrings, and necklaces with charms dangling from them. If you’re not looking for jewelry, I’m also a big fan of their body mists and lotions. My favorite perfume, in particular, is the coconut-scented one called Lait De Coco. This perfume is $18 and considering how amazing it smells, and the size of it, this is a great deal. Don’t forget to look through the sale section though, when shopping for a fashion-forward friend, they have plenty of unique and trendy dresses and clothing in their sale rack. Urban practically has a section of items made for gifting to others.
Taking a walk down Gaines Street and through Railroad Square, there are lots of vintage stores that carry authentic FSU items and other interesting knick-knacks. If you’re shopping for an FSU fan, this is a great place to find cheap and vintage shirts and jackets. I love looking around Railroad Square because many of the items are locally made or unique to Tallahassee. Here you can also find beautiful artwork and hand-made jewelry that you won’t find anywhere else. When shopping around Railroad Square, you can find something at every price range that will make for the perfect gift. Be sure to look around here for a one-of-a-kind gift that is either FSU related or locally made.
I never have really considered gift-shopping at Victoria’s Secret, until recently stopping by and finding my older sister’s birthday present here. Often during the holiday season, Victoria’s Secret has huge sales on everything from bath products to sleepwear, and everything in between. I stopped by on a day without any sales and decided to browse through the sale section. Upon looking, I found trendy and great quality pajama sets and workout clothes. Since many people do not shop for pj’s for themselves, I figured this would make for the perfect gift. I was able to find a set with cheetah-print pants and a cute tank top to gift my sister. Best of all, they were marked down so I ended up spending $20 for a full gift. If you want to do your shopping before hectic holiday sales, be sure to look through Victoria’s Secret sale section for affordable and trendy clothes to gift your loved ones.
Many people may not think to look through Trader Joes when shopping for Christmas presents, but this is the perfect place to shop for the foodie or baker in your life. Trader Joes has seasonal baking mixes for cakes, muffins, and even pancakes. Their packaging is always aesthetically appealing, and their food quality is even better, so don’t skip on Trader Joe’s when looking for gifts. Here, you will also find beautiful bouquets of fresh flowers that you can pair with a wrapped up cookie mix for your favorite home-made chef. Trader Joes also sells seasonal cookies that come in cute packaging that can be perfect for someone with a sweet-tooth who doesn’t have time to bake. When you’re out doing holiday shopping, be sure to look around Trader Joes for an affordable and unique gift to put under someone’s tree.
A fairly new addition to the Governor’s Square Mall, Copper Closet is a small boutique with items priced for college students. They sell everything from key chains, to Florida necklaces, to gameday apparel, regular clothing, and even shoes. Copper Closet is one of my favorite places to shop for jewelry because they sell trendy and unique pieces at a cheap price. Copper Closet is similar to the chain-store Francesca’s, but I find that their items are more aimed towards college students. Especially if you’re shopping for someone who doesn’t live in Tallahassee, this is a great place to find jewelry and clothes you won’t find anywhere else. Their prices make it easy to bundle necklaces together or to add a cute pair of sandals to someone’s gift. When shopping for the holidays with a college-student budget, Copper Closet is one of the best places in Tallahassee to find gifts!
Shopping for Christmas presents in college can be stressful and expensive unless you know the right places to look. Try expanding your horizons and looking around Railroad Square, Copper Closet, Marshall’s and other places to find unique and affordable gifts for your loved ones. Use these suggestions to save some money this holiday season and still find quality gifts!
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Senior at FSU.