13 College Dorm Shopping Tips To Save You Money

Sooner or later you're going to approach the time for college dorm shopping. In doing this you will discover that it's EXPENSIVE, and hard to afford the items you want! These tips will save you money, and help you prioritize what you truly need on your list!

It’s finally summer, which means days spent laying around in the sun are over. As the days go on, the temperature will drop, and we’ll find ourselves preparing for the fall – AKA college season. As we slip into our college hoodies and sip on our hot cappuccinos, all of us are thinking about what college has in store for us. I don’t know about most people, but I know myself that I’ve had some late nights saving Pinterest articles on my college board. This involves laying around and designing the perfect dorm in my head. For some of us, it’s a new and exciting experience, which may lead us to go overboard. However, these tips will make sure you have the dorm of your dreams without breaking the bank! So sit back, take a bite of whatever snack you have next to you, and dive in. Here are the best college dorm shopping tips!

1.  Needs over wants

Yes, I know, we all want a dorm that’s right out of the latest Teen Vogue edition. However, most of us don’t have that much dough to spare when college dorm shopping. So making a list of all the things we really need first, helps. For example, I’m sure you won’t be able to do without some bedding and toiletries. Using that list as a foundation gives you the necessary budget you need to be able to start creating your perfect dorm.

College dorm shopping list

2. Technology can save the day

Most of us tend to spend a lot of time on our phones, sometimes not even knowing what the heck we’re doing. Well, there’s technology out there that keeps check on your favorite expensive items while you’re shopping, and lets you know if the price is lower on other sites. PriceBlink, is a price comparison web browser add-on that stays hidden most of the time, but alerts you if they find those same gorgeous bed sheets you want on another site at a lower price. UniDays is another brilliant app that lets you get student discounts of up to 50% off on a lot of famous sites. Register with your valid student ID and you’re all set!

3. Make sure you know exactly what you don’t need

Usually, all this excitement of a new dorm, new roommates, and a new life gets to our head and we tend to splurge while college dorm shopping (well, at least I do). The first thing you should do is go on your college’s housing and residential website and check the type of room you will be living in. You don’t need a bed riser for a dorm that comes with bunk beds, or a caddy if you don’t have a community shower. Knowing what you need, and what you don’t need, is essential to living an economical four years in college.

4. Keep an eye out

Since most stores will be reaching out to you soon, dragging you into the beautiful land of college dorm merchandise, try not to be fazed by all the sparkle. As much as you want to add that pineapple lamp to your cart, look out for all the coupons, deals and freebies that companies will be spluttering out. These deals can really help you save up for something as expensive as college textbooks. Companies will send offers and coupons via email, text or carrier pigeons, so keep that bird house well stocked!

5. Not all that shines is gold

Even if that glistening glass stationary organizer would look perfect on your desk, take a second and think. Do you really need that? By the looks of it, will it last four years? Some of us have bought beautiful things that have lasted half the time it should have. Things that looks great and cost a pretty penny but have a short lifetime are something you do not want to buy

6. Sharing is caring

Some colleges do provide necessities like a mini fridge or a microwave but some don’t. They can be pretty expensive and you end up sharing them with your roommate, so why not share the cost too! Split the microwave (not literally please) in half or that mini fridge to store all those drinks for a hot day and you’ll be much happier.

This is one of the best college dorm shopping ideas!

7. Don’t buy what you already have

Are you in your room right now? If so, look around. What are the things you could pack in a box and actually use in college? Spot a few things? Well if the answer to that question was yes, you’re already saving. Strip your room of all those fairy lights and hang them up in your dorm and you’ll start saving a lot of bucks. Every dollar counts, which is why this one of the best college dorm shopping tips!

This is one of the best college dorm shopping ideas!

8. DIY’s are your best friend

Spending a rainy day at home and googling useful dorm hacks or DIY’s could be a fun indoor activity. Use things around the house, ask a friend to help and make a date out of it. It’s a win- win, you get your own creation of cheap dorm merchandise and you had fun.

This is one of the best college dorm shopping ideas!

9. Use college shopping lists

Since a lot of us are moving into a dorm for the first time, using a little help doesn’t hurt. Ask another college student about their advice, mistakes and their survival stories. Google up college lists with the basic necessities and make that your goal.

10. “I’m gonna rock some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket”

Well, blast ‘thrift shop’ by Macklemore and walk into your nearest Dollar store. Trust me, the hidden gems that could be uncovered there would leave most of us with our jaws open. So, what are you waiting for? Put them shades on, grab your bag and walk out of that door.

11. Welcome week is a savior

I know you’re proud of the school you got into, we all are. However, please do not spend fifty dollars worth on merchandise that has your school logo on it, just to decorate your dorm and show your school spirit. Trust me, the welcome week will have your arms full of college merchandise, and it’s all for free! Free bottles and dorm decorations will all sport your school colors and logo.

12. Keeping it in the family

Maybe your elder brother or sister has already gotten into college and has a few things they are willing to hand down to you for your first year. Don’t be ashamed to ask. The money saved here make this one of the best college dorm shopping tips, and can really add up to some really cool stuff down the road!

13. Buy off season

Buying all those dorm essentials right before college starts is a total rip off because that’s when companies catch you at your most desperate moments. Buy some stuff you need after college starts or way before the semester begins to get a lot of discounts.

What do you think of these college dorm shopping tips? Let us know in the comment section below!

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own

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