Bargain Hunt Early for College Living: 7 Ways to Save

Start Early

rossStarting early will give you more options. Be sure to write a list of things you need and set a budget for it.

You’ll likely want to buy some items new like your bed linens and towels, and heading to your local Ross or Marshalls might be a good option.

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Don’t Buy New

college4People at this time of the year usually clean out their attics and basements -- they probably have a ton of items for a very reasonable price.

These same people will begin to peddle their wares via Craigslist and eBay, and at weekend garage sales. You can even check a popular app called Yardsale to find people nearby who are selling used items such as electronics and furniture.

Checking out your local thrift store or Goodwill is also a frugal option when searching for appliances such as a used microwave or coffee maker.

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Ask Family/Friends

college888Chances are that you know someone that recently graduated from college. Get the word out now that you are in need of specific big ticket items such as appliances, shelving and storage items, luggage, etc. You may be surprised to find out just how much people are willing to help.

You can score some really nice items that are just sitting in storage in other people’s homes without spending a fortune. Ask early before someone else has a chance to get what they need.

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Buy Quality

college999If you have to buy new, buy quality items you can repurpose later. There is a large market in selling to college kids and a lot of the stuff is cheap but won’t last four years.

Look for quality stuff at a reasonable price when investing in bigger ticket items like furniture, storage, and travel luggage. If you have to keep replacing cheap products, you’ll end up wasting money unnecessarily.

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Scout College Move Outs


If you live close enough to a college town, find out when students will be moving out of their dorms and apartments. Many students leave their stuff behind when they have graduated for good.

You can pick up the local newspaper or view the classified online to see what it up for grabs. Being in the right place at the right time can net you some quality items for dirt cheap.

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Save With Goals in Mind


Even if your child isn’t going to college for another few years, you can still start now. Earmarking saving goals that can go towards living essentials and “wants” will make it easier to have the cash available when you find good deals along the way.

Even a few dollars with every paycheck or depositing your birthday money regularly into a savings account can make a big impact when you are ready to leave home for the first time.

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Make Your Dorm at Home

college12While some kids cannot wait another second to get out from under their parents thumb, it may make more financial sense to stay close to home while still getting a quality education.

You may find a more affordable but still high-quality education at a local community college or through online learning technologies.

You can reduce your college costs exponentially by living at home for the first two years of your college life or through its entirety.

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