I know that I've only had my room assignment for a few days, but I've already started going crazy buying stuff for my dorm room... and there's one big thing I've noticed: it REALLY adds up. So here are a few tips I am going to try to use to minimize the cost of dorm room stuff. Also, I feel like if I write them down, I will be more likely to stick to my rules. Here is what I'm going to try:
1. Make a Master List: Going in to a store like Walmart or Target, where there are already college displays, can be a huge drain on the wallet. Although they have good prices on things, it is so easy to buy stuff I don't need when I'm distracted by how cute everything looks. So I made a 'Master List' of all of the things I need for my dorm room. I've separated it in to a few sections, like Bath Stuff (shower caddy, towels, extra pairs of flip flops, etc). Having my list stops me from buying stuff in the college display just because it's in the college display.
2. Use Coupons: I know that it feels kind of silly to clip coupons, but it's really a valid way of saving money. For example, I knew I wanted to go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond because they had a few items I wanted on sale. In the mail, I received their flyer, which came with a $5 of $15. I knew I was definitely going to spend that much, so I brought the flyer with me. I also signed up on their website to receive emails with coupons. That got me a coupon for 20% off one item. For bigger items, a coupon like that is a great way to save money. I ended up saving over $9 on my trip, and that's $9 that I can spend when I'm at school on something way more fun than a shower caddy!
3. Compare Fliers: I get a TON of fliers in the mail, almost every day. They make it really easy to see where I should go for what items. The Bed, Bath, and Beyond flier had a dorm sized trash can for $5.99, but in the Target flier I found one for $2.50 and they looked identical. It might mean I have to make more trips to different stores, but the savings really add up.
These are just a few things I have noticed so far. I still have a lot of shopping to do! However, that's on hold for the next few days. The day after tomorrow, I am headed up to Vermont for my pre-orientation weekend, SOAR! I'm so psyched about it, I can't wait. I will be in Vermont from Wednesday until Sunday, so I get to spend a decent chunk of time on campus, talking to my adviser, registering for classes, and making new friends. Wish me luck!