How to Cut Costs on Your College Dorm Room Shopping

College is expensive.  We know that already.  One of the many things that you need to spend on is your living expenses.  If you are an incoming freshman, you’ll be needing a lot of dorm supplies and the costs will definitely eat a big chunk out of your College Funds.  While most dorms come with the basics like bed, mattress, desk, chair and the like, you still need to supply the rest and make it your own personal space.  After all, you’re going to call that your home for the next four years.

Here are some of my helpful tips on how you can furnish a dorm room on a budget:

Consult the university.

Before you even start making your list of “Things to Buy,” make sure to check with the university first.  Every college dorm has its own rules and restrictions when it comes to decorations or appliances to use.  Some colleges also allow their students to rent a few common dorm appliances so by checking in with them, you’ll be able to know which ones you really need to buy.

Share costs with roommates.

Whether you are already friends with your roommate or a stranger that you can connect with before moving in, it would be better if you plan out together on what big purchases you can split, or which appliances you can share together.  You can also coordinate which appliance/s each one will provide and just share.  For example, you bring the iron and ironing board while your roommate will provide the air purifier.  This would save you both loads – not just money but also space.

Shop at home first.

Do you really need to buy some new hangers, beddings or desk lamp if you already have one at home?  I’m sure you have some extra essentials just lying around collecting dust in your house.  Other option would be shopping at your other family member’s home too.  Hey, everyone has things they aren’t using.  Grandma might just have a bunch of extra plates… or maybe you have a cousin who just graduated from Uni.  Don’t worry, there’s no shame in bringing hand-me-downs when money is a concern.

Take advantage of Back to School Sales and Discounts.

Check in stores or online for Back to School deals to save you loads of cash in your College Shopping.

Shop in garage sales, thrift stores or Craigslist.

These places are like treasure troves.  I’m sure you’ll be able to score some great deals and good finds that you can upcycle… if you are lucky, you might just find some brand new items!


No need to buy expensive decorations when you can do it yourself.  Check out Pinterest for some cool and easy DIY projects for your dorm room.

Remember, college isn’t about material things but the experience and learning that you will gain from it.  Make it the best 4 years ever!  I hope that this article helped.  Good luck!

About Toni Marie

Toni is a regular contributing author on Guest Money Blog. In addition to writing about money topics, she also likes to write about relationships and health.
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