As college students, we all know the struggles of a tight budget. Between the high cost of books, food, transportation, tuition, and strange fees that come out of nowhere, it’s difficult to scrounge up the money for practical purchases. That’s why dollar stores can be a college student’s best friend. My dollar store hauls have solved so many mild inconveniences, I can’t imagine life without them! To make things a little easier for you, below are 10 dollar store items you didn’t know you needed! Happy shopping!
1. USB-Powered Desk Fan
This little thing has helped me maintain a comfortable temperature while I’m watching Netflix—I mean, studying at my desk. Sometimes a large fan makes the room too cold, and then when you turn it off, the room gets too hot… My tiny fan provides a happy medium between the two!
2. Mini Oven Mitt
Have you ever burned your hand on a steaming hot bowl of Mac & Cheese in the microwave? I know I have. Well, now you don’t have to insulate your hands with layers of paper towels to grab things out of the microwave! This mini oven mitt will do it for you.
3. Step Stool
If you’re short, like I am, getting onto a high dorm bed can be a body-twisting quasi-gymnastic struggle. To avoid this, I use my step stool to hop into bed at night. Additionally, I also use it to sit in front of the mirror when I apply makeup, and even as an extra seat when I have friends over!
4. Microwave Cover
The truth is, sometimes food is going to bubble over and explode a little in the microwave. It happens. You can stop these messes with a cover, which will prevent splatters within the microwave.
5. Divided Storage Containers
I use divided storage containers so that small supplies like thumbtacks, paperclips, binder clips, SD cards, and thumb drives won’t be a haphazard mess in the junk drawer! It’s nice to have small things in their own little compartments so you know exactly where they are.
6. Cord Wrappers
Students on the go know that their devices aren’t going to last them the full day. Many of us carry around a tangle of different wires in our bags to make sure we aren’t caught at the end of the day with a dead device. Many dollar stores offer clever ways to keep your cords separate and to keep you from fumbling with a messy plethora of chargers.
7. Dish Rack
It’s nice to have somewhere to place your dishes after you wash them, instead of having to awkwardly stack them next to the sink and have cold slimy puddles form on the counter top, and possibly the floor. If you don’t have a communal kitchen and have to wash your dishes in the bathroom sink, like I have to, a tiny compact dish rack can be a saving grace.
8. Washi Tape
Dorm rooms are often full of harsh angles, hard lines, matching pressed-wood furniture, and purposely dark carpeting to hide the horrors of years of unmentionable stains. Most, if not all colleges won’t allow you to do anything permanent to change the room’s decor, but luckily, dollar stores offer a temporary fix: washi tape! Washi tape can add a cheerful and colorful touch to walls and school supplies.
9. Collapsible Clothes Hamper
You probably already have a hamper for your laundry (well, I hope you do). Many college students only have one, and they use it for placing both dirty clothes that needs to be washed, and clean clothes from the dryer. Personally, I don’t like having to put my clean clothes in a container that practically incubates all the bacteria from my dirty clothes, so I have a separate clean clothes collapsible hamper for dryer retrieval.
10. Multiple Slack Hangers
Let’s face it: dorm closets are tiny. Multiple slack hangers can help you maximize the limited space in your closet and give you more room for things like sweaters and coats (since winter is approaching fast).