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How to Save Money on College Supplies: Top 10 Tips for Freshman Parents

How to Save Money on College Supplies: Top 10 Tips for Freshman Parents

Switching from high school to college is a life-changing event for freshmen, as well as their parents. Most parents are well prepared for the tuition and fees for their children, but they may not ever consider the potential cost for the college supplies, especially when the kid needs to travel far from parents. In order to help freshman parents to get fully prepared for their kids’ upcoming college life, we select twelve most important tips to help parents budget their cost in advance and avoid paying high prices on the supplies at last minute.

1. Figure out exactly where your freshman will be living in advance.

This is the first homework that parents should do because you need to understand how it is like of the dorm in order to purchase the supplies. If possible, this should be done one year ahead.

2. Visit the campus and apartment.

Take a tour to the campus and apartment building yourself and visit the exact room that your freshman will live in. If the room is not available, visit a room that has the same structure to get some rough idea.

3. Take measurements of the dorm.

To buy the supplies just in the right size, you’d better measure the space first. The places you should measure include bed, desk and closet. Carefully write down the dimensions so that you don’t have waste money on supplies with inappropriate size.

4. Hold a gift-giving shower.

This is a similar idea compared with a housewarming shower. You can hold a gift-giving shower for your kid half year ahead before he/she starts the school.

5. Ask family members or friends for suggestions and ideas.

You can invite other family members and friends, in better case, those who have children in college, to give your some firsthand ideas and suggestions about what you need for a college freshman.

6. Don’t hurry to buy textbooks.

You don’t need buy textbook for your freshman in advance—actually it’s better if you wait until first several classes. In this way, you can make sure that your freshman is not going to drop this class and you will not waste money.

 7. Let the student ask around for used textbooks.

Get your freshman to ask around the dorm and read the bulletin boards and see if students are selling the textbooks that your kid needs.

 8. Shop online or in thrift stores for books.

Visit websites to see if particular textbooks are on a sale. Also, go and visit local thrift stores in university town to find out less expensive textbooks.

9. Purchase supplies when they are in discount.

You don’t need to wait until last minute to purchase the bedding, containers, office organizers, desk lamp, pens and pencils or any other necessities. You are recommended to buy them any time throughout the year when they are on discount, at your local thrift stores or at a garage sale. Use coupons can save you more combining with the discounts.

 10. Keep an eye on item giveaways.

Look for people who are sending out supplies for free or selling them on very low prices. You can also find such information online or on your local newspaper.

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