Donna’s Deals: 7 College Shopping Tips

College dorm room
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Last week, we gave you ways to save money on back-to-school shopping but this week we are focusing on college students. Whether you have a first-time college student or returning student, these hacks we found at Grown & Flown can save you time and money.

1.Shop when your student is interested –  If you choose to shop in the store or online. Find a time when your student is ready to shop, otherwise it becomes a stressful situation.

2.Things have changed – When referring back to your own college experience, things have dramatically changed. If you forget something, you can order it online and have it shipped to your student.

3.Be a smart shopper -Coupons and discounts are your best friends. Have your student give Bed Bath & Beyond their email address for special offers as you get 20% off a single purchase when you sign up but then are added to their database for the 20% off entire purchase coupon. The average family spends almost $1,000 outfitting their kids for college, and many spend more.

4.Use the checklist the college has sent you and look it over carefully – It is unlikely that your teen needs every item on their list and it may be the case that you already have some of the things they need at home. Use the college’s list as a jumping off point to create your individual list, tailored to your kid.

5.Find out your teen’s laundry situation before committing to a laundry bag – . Are the machines in their dorms or across campus? They may prefer laundry baskets that slide under their beds and out of the way. Others find a traditional bag suits them better. The options are endless.

6.Get them set up with their own personal pharmacy –  Don’t buy pre-made first aid kits, again, generic, and they ignore what your kid needs. Buy a small plastic box and, with your teen, gather together the items they will want at school. It is a great chance to talk about what medications to use when and what symptoms require a visit to the health center. Most freshmen get sick, some get sick often. This will happen at 2 am and they, and you, will be glad you were prepared.

7.Don’t forget about electronics – It’s easy to focus on sheets and towels. Electronics are some of the biggest expenses and it is an ever-changing market. It’s recommended to buy a long phone charging cord (outlets can be few and far between) and a surge protector with USB ports. Other items you might consider include a virtual assistant, either Amazon Echo or Google Home, or a charging tower (handy for a desk’s top), headphones (to block out noisy roommates and keep from sharing their music with the hall) and, finally, some students say they use their phones so much during the day and night, that a small external battery is a big help.