One of our brand ambassadors from Miami University of Ohio has written a guest blog post on tips and tricks for college students to save money when back-to-school shopping! Do any of these tips help you?
College is already a pretty penny with its many expenses. Between paying for food, clothing, rent, etc., the last thing you want is to fall victim to over-priced back-to-school items. Don't fear. You don't have to break the bank while shopping to get ready to head back to school. These tips will allow you to get all of you essential items while remaining mindful of your spending (and saving!).
1. Re-purpose Old Binders
There is no need to buy new binders every semester. Instead, take out those old BIO 101 notes and reuse that binder! Print out covers that allow you to differentiate between your classes. There are many online resources that allow you to even create customizable binder covers.
2. Print Pictures Online
Don't waste your money buying an over-priced Friends or Breakfast at Tiffany's poster at a campus sale or the nearest store that sells posters. Decorate your room with pictures of your friends and family. Websites like Groove Book will let you print 100 photos for a low price that you can hang on your walls. If you want to get creative, you can arrange them into a shape or cut the pictures to spell out one of your favorite quotes!
3. Invest in a re-useable water bottle and travel mug
Buying water bottles and vanilla lattes each day adds up and takes away from that precious bank account of yours. A reusable water bottle and travel coffee mug allows you to save money by filling up your beverages at home. These items pay for themselves in just a few uses. You can still stay hydrated and get your caffeine fix without going to Starbucks every morning!
4. Figure out what you ACTUALLY need
Check with your dorm to see the kind of furniture that it comes furnished with. If your dorm has a lamp and trash bin included, then it probably isn't necessary for you to purchase those items as well. If you're living in an on or off campus house/apartment, often times previous tenants will leave behind furniture that they cannot take with them. That is an awesome plus! It is also important to recognize the size of your living arrangements, because you don't want to purchase items that won't fit!
5. Buy school supplies online!
It seems like a no-brainer to buy pens, notebooks and calculators at a large store that offers tons in way of school supplies. However, it is actually often cheaper to buy these items online. Many online retailers have back to school specials or will offer free shipping. You can even have these items shipped to your dorm or apartment at college so it is one less item to pack!
6. Buy Digital Textbooks
Digital textbooks should be a given considering us millennials are such a tech-savvy generation. Not only do you save money, but you also do not have to carry a heavy textbook all across campus. On top of that, you do not have to wait in long lines at the bookstore! There are plenty of eTextbook vendors out there, but make sure you find one that offers you an awesome eReading experience (I use RedShelf!).
7. Clean out your closet
Before you buy new clothes for the fall season, clean out your closet! Figure out what you are going to take back to school with you and what you just don't want anymore. C'mon, there has got to be some shirts or pants in that closet of yours that you have not worn in a year but just have a hard time letting go of: LET IT GO! In fact, sell any unwanted items at a local consignment shop or online. Be sure that the clothing is in good condition, though! You never know what might make you some money! Then of course, you can use this cash to buy your new clothes. Wink wink.