Shop Early, Pack Less & Save More

It really bugs me when I see students paying full price for back to school essentials. It bugs me even more knowing that money can be used towards other expenses like tuition or books. August is the time to do all your back to school shopping. Within this month, many retail stores will have crazy promotions where prices are incredibly low. Staples & Office Max never disappoint with their under a dollar or quarter deal. Remember to stock up for the spring semester because prices spike back up once school is in session. I recalled my freshmen year, students scrambling at the book store & closest Staples to get any notebook they could find. At this rate the prices range from 4 to 10 dollars for one item when they could have gotten it for way less. Pick up an agenda or planner.

When shopping bring cash & look for deals. Tax Free Weekend for Massachusetts is 08/16 & 08/17, which is perfect timing to purchase laptops, TVs, & other electronics. Keep your eyes open for other student saving deals. Carry your high school or college ID when shopping & ask stores if they offer student discounts. Most store offer some sort of deals like with Apple, after purchasing select products they will issue you an ITunes gift card. Never hurt to ask. Be on the lookout for coupons too & don’t worry you don’t have to be pro like those on the TLC channel. When entering the stores, look out for the booklets of coupons for additional saving. Sunday papers always have coupons as well as the internet. Try coupons.com or go to the website of your favorite brands & they might have coupon listed. Don’t feel like printing or clipping coupon, then check to see if you can get them sent to your phone through email or a text message.

Save some more money & add a personal touch to your room by creating your own DIY (Do It Yourself) dorm décor. Print & put up pictures of love ones & friends you hold close to your heart. When decorating your dorm differentiate the space between work & play. Give the room a homey feeling but don’t’ clutter the workspace. Create your own poster or consider sticking sticky notes of motivating & inspiring quote around your work area & even in unexpected places like your closet or window as a reminder. My favorite sticky note to keep pushing me was & still is “dollar & a dream”.

When packing for college pack light because the more you pack, the more you carry & the more you unpack. Luckily for me I always stayed on the lower levels & had many siblings to help move in. If this is your first time living on campus start by seeing what you can take from home like your TV & medications. Every year students spend thousands of dollars on back to school shopping & toss out most of the stuff at the end of the year. Every year as students move out, there are many mint condition items being thrown away. This goes to show how student waste money every year. Even I, myself would donated anything I didn’t want, need, or felt like carrying. If I couldn’t find a place to put it, I would just throw it out. It became a hassle to try to pack especially when I am ready to leave school & start summer. But as the years went on I learned to pack less, buy only what I need which allowed me to saved more money for tuition & adventure time with friends.

If possible try to avoid the retails checklist because it will make you spend more than you need. Instead use that as a reference. Don’t feel obligated to purchase every item on the list, that’s how the stores get you. Before shopping take time out & do a little research about the size of your dorm, prohibit items, & your list of items you use daily. Most bed will need sheets to fit TWIN XL. Keep in mind most dorm rooms are small so don’t get too much stuff & expect it to all fit. I also made a PDF checklist of the items I found really useful when I was dorm. Again use this as a reference. Other than that have fun shopping. Click on link below.

Dorm Shopping & Packing Checklist

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