It’s getting to be that time of year again. You need new school supplies, but the money – oh the money. Here’s how to save it and still get everything you need for your college student.
Don’t wait until the last second to get all of the stuff you need. Things like bedding, towels, curtains, dishes, lamps, clocks, and microwaves go on sale at different times of the year. If you wait and buy everything all at once, you’ll pay more than you otherwise would. College students tend not to be the best long-term planners in the world, but here’s your chance to think ahead and get what you need without paying full price.
Make a list for the year, and then shop all seasons, scoring deals on stuff you know you’ll need.
Get It on Sale
Watch local flyers for school supplies sales. Black Friday and Boxing Day sales tend to be easy wins, but seasonal sales are also great for picking up school supplies at a discount. For example, summertime is when people tend to cook outside on the grill. Can you get a deal on a microwave during the hot months?
Watch for coupons too!
Ask For Help
Don’t be afraid to ask other people for help. If you have family that has been to school, or you have friends that are graduating, maybe they can give you their old desk or maybe a foldout bed. Bedding, toiletries, and towels – even dishes – can be picked up second-hand from generous friends and family especially since they tend to be expensive items when purchased new.
You don’t necessarily have to worry about getting matching sets at this point. The important things are to have clean plates, utensils and towels.
Never Buy New
This is something a lot of college students get roped into, sometimes without really realizing it until it’s too late. Buying anything new is typically a bad idea…especially books. For starters, college supplies tend to be disposable items.
If you go to your campus college store, they are going to have a mix of new and used books, for example. Always see if you can get a used book. What will you do with a new one after you pass your class? Nothing. It’s better to buy used and then give it to a friend or sell it back to the store.
Don’t be afraid to search thrift stores and garage sales too!
Scope out Your New Dorm
If you have the option, take a tape measure into your new dorm room before you actually move in. That way, you can measure your space and only buy what will fit. There’s no sense in buying a lot of furniture if you’ve nowhere to put it.
Buy a Mac
Apple tends to offer excellent deals for college students, and its products have a strong reputation for lasting years beyond their official “expiration” date.
Get a Scholarship
If you can get a scholarship, by all means get on that. There are tons of them out there for weird hobbies, special characteristics, athleticism, and even artistic abilities. The money you get through a scholarship can be used towards books, tuition, or other educational expenses.
Robert Briley has sent his children to college and understands the costs involved. An avid blogger, he likes to share what has worked in his family with others starting down the same road. You can find his informative posts on various blog sites and websites online.
Photo Credit: Flickr via Creative Commons
Do you have any other tips for buying stuff for your college student?