College tuition already costs an arm and a leg. Plus, every year prices seem to rise. So why should back-to-school shopping cost another bucket of money? Good news: it doesn’t have to, even if you need a computer, furniture, clothes, textbooks, and supplies. The key, of course, is keeping it cheap. Here are 6 ways to spend less while back-to-school shopping:
1. Make a budget
Decide how much you can spend before you decide what you want to buy — and always remember to never spend more than you have.
2. Buy what you need, not what you want
Once you have a budget, it’s much easier to distinguish between things you need and things you want. For example, you probably need a computer in order to type papers, complete assignments online, use the Internet, and more. But you probably want an iPad, as well. They weigh less and may be useful in class if you want to take notes electronically. But resist the urge to get both. Stick with the computer.
3. Buy or rent your textbooks online
Why pay bookstore prices when you can buy or rent millions of titles from thousands of sellers online — all while saving up to 90% off everything? ValoreBooks, our sister-company, makes it easy to find the new, used, or rental textbooks you need at prices you can actually afford. Better yet, when the semester is over, you can sell those books back for more money. That makes it easy to recoup more of your money at the end of every semester.
4. Shop after Labor Day
Good things come to those who wait. In your case, discounts. This is especially true of clothing, as retailers are looking to unload what they didn’t sell during the back-to-school season.
5. Use your student ID
Your college student ID entitles you to all kinds of discounts in life and on the web. Check out this list of where you can save money on technology, food, clothes, and more!
6. Buy used
Things like furniture are going to get banged up anyway, so why not buy used from the get-go? That way you can save money. Check garage sales, second-hand stores, Craigslist, and even your local Goodwill.