Sunday, July 7, 2013

How to shop for a dorm room on a budget!


Dorm room shopping can get out of hand-and out of your wallet-quickly if you don't keep a tight handle on what you need & how much it is. For the coming school year, I've set myself a strict budget of $200 & I'll show you how I do it & where I shop to get maximum savings!

First step-make a budget
I use Excel to map out a budget-I write a list of everything I need, and what the approximate price is going to be. Then I add it up at the bottom using AutoSum so when I actually buy things, I can enter their price and the sum will change to accommodate it.

Second step-do some price comparisons
Yes, that comforter from Target may be really cute, but you may be able to find something similar for a cheaper price at another store. For example, the trashcan with a lid that I was going to buy for my bathroom would have been $11.97 at Walmart, but I waited to go to Five Below where I found a smaller one for $5.

Third step-shop clearance aisles
You never know what kind of a good deal you'll find in the clearance pile! I've picked up many a notebook or pack of pens on clearance for less than a dollar.

Fourth step-use coupons
No, I don't mean clip them out (unless you need food & cleaning supplies) because you won't find coupons in the Sunday paper for the general merchandise you need in a dorm room. Instead, here's my number one saving tip-sign up for store emails/coupon programs. These are my most used:

-Bed Bath & Beyond-if you sign up for emails, they'll give you a 20% off one item coupon! Total score if you need to buy a fan, ottoman, chair, etc.
-Meijer-if you sign up for mPerks, they occasionally have coupons for 15% off a general merchandise product. A little goes a long way if you have to buy a microwave!
-Ulta-they'll often have coupons for "$3.50 off a $10 purchase" or $20% off an item" on their homepage, which you can use to stock up on shampoo, makeup remover, cotton balls, etc.
-Target-once the dorm room stock hits the shelves, Target has online coupons that they'll often use to post savings on lamps, comforter sets, etc.

Fifth step-stick to your budget
It's really easy to justify an extra $5 poster, but when you do that three or four times, your balance adds up. Print out your budget & take it with you to remind you to only buy things you've allotted for!

Here's a list of the stores that I mainly shop at for good deals:
Five Below
Dollar General
Walmart (online there's fantastic deals on appliances)
Amazon (do bulk orders of $25 or over so you can get free shipping!)

So what do you think? What are your tips for budget shopping? Share them in the comments!

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  1. Hello! lovely layout to your blog. I'm not a big spender but maybe if I was more organised with how I spent I could save money. I'm big on discount codes! :-) lovely post, wish there were more coupons in the uk x

    1. Thank you! Discount codes are awesome-especially if there's a sale!


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