Shop smart in Champaign

There are a variety of options for students looking to get their holiday shopping done early while still in C-U.

Some students will drive over to Market Place Mall or a chain store on Prospect, such as Target to snag their holiday purchases.

Rachel Winter, junior in LAS, said she plans on buying food for her friends for the holidays as a low-price gift option. She said she will do some holiday shopping at World Market while home over Thanksgving break.

Johanna Castelli, junior in LAS, said she usually buys Victoria’s Secret gift cards for her friends for the holidays because they are easy and great gifts.

Gift certificates are practical holiday gift options for college students to give to their friends because they are unisex and can usually be purchased for any dollar amount. This can vary from a $5 Starbucks card to a $30 Best Buy gift certificate.

Other students will choose to stay on campus or patronize local stores such as B. Lime: A Green Store, 12 E. Washington St. It has been open in downtown Champaign for the past year, and is Central Illinos’ first eco-boutique, according to their Web site.

B.Lime, voted Buzz Magazine’s best green business, carries eco-friendly products that are fair-trade, organic or made of recylced materials, said Wendi Lindsay, co-owner.

She said they sell over 50 products, many of which would make great holiday gifts. Useful itmes include rain barrels and biodegrabale plates, while fun gifts range from non-toxic soy candles to stainless steel water bottles, Lindsay said. They also carry organic cotton tee shirts for both men and women, she added.

Lindsay said they haven’t hit a holiday rush yet, but they will be getting more products in soon.

“We’re going to be bringing in a lot of things for the holidays that are at a low price point,” Lindsay said.

She said these items will include stocking stuffers such as organic lip gloss and recycled wool scarves.

“We’ve been open for one year and the whole mission of our store is to get people to think differently about their purchases,” she said.

She added people should try to be more eco-friendly by basing their purchase decisions on what will preserve resources.

Urban Outfitters, 507 E. Green St., in Champaign, has become a popular shopping destination for both male and female students since their opening in Fall 2008. Much of their merchandise, including drinking paraphernalia, housewares and vintage-inspired clothing is designed for a young demographic. A gift from Urban can range from a $5 nail polish to a $50 sweater depending on how much you want to spend. Many of their accessories, such as sunglasses for both men and women, are trendy and affordable. Seasonal gifts include holiday ornaments and Christams lights. They also carry inexpensive novelty gifts for under $10 that are perfect for a “secret santa” exchange or grab bag, such as printed socks and humorous books.

“The coffee table books they have like Post Secret are good holiday gifts,” said Ashleigh Hamrick, senior in LAS. “I usually wait unti I’m home for the holidays to do my shopping because I’m a last minute kind of person.”