How to Shop for University Affordably


Paying for tuition and housing is already expensive. On top of that, you need supplies like textbooks, stationery, and items for your student apartment. To make sure you stay within your budget, follow these tips to shop for university affordably.

1. Buy Only What You Need

Before you start shopping, make a list of what you need. This will prevent you from making any impulse purchases that are a waste of money. Your university may have provided you with a list of what to buy, but it’s worth assessing each of the items in turn to determine if you do need everything. If you have siblings or friends who are already attending university, talk to them — they may tell you that some of the items on the list your school provided are unnecessary. You should also reach out to your roommates to prevent multiple people all bringing something you could share, such as a coffee maker or vacuum cleaner.

2. Use What You Have

Another way to limit your purchases is to consider what you already have. Bringing bedding, organizers, and storage solutions from home could save you a large amount of money. Plus, you may be able to decorate your apartment with things you already have, such as by creating artwork for your walls by using photos you’ve taken.

3. Take Advantage of Student Discounts

Many stores offer student discounts year round; plus, there are back-to-school sales to take advantage of. Student discounts often make expensive items like laptops considerably more affordable. If a store doesn’t advertise a student discount, always ask — just to make sure.

4. Avoid Student-Specific Items

Some stores sell products specifically for students. Be aware that these items tend to have a higher price tag, even though the product is virtually the same as the regular version. This is particularly common with decor, bedding, and furniture.

5. Purchase from One Place

Once you’ve found a store selling products at a good price (ideally with a student discount), do most of your shopping there. This will make it easier to calculate exactly how much you’re spending. As an added bonus, you’ll save on gas and will feel less exhausted by the whole ordeal.

6. Look for Quality Items

It can be tempting to purchase the cheapest items you find, but this could end up costing you more in the long run. Look for high-quality items that will last several semesters — ideally, they’ll last your entire time at university or even beyond. If you have younger siblings who will be attending university after you graduate, you may even be able to hand down some of your belongings to them.

7. Borrow Instead of Buying

You can also benefit from hand-me-downs yourself. Borrow from people who have already finished university or use rental services to spend less on items you won’t need after you graduate. You can rent all sorts of useful things, including textbooks, small appliances, and technology.

You’ll also save money during your time at university if you find an affordable student rental. Oshawa students can receive their own bedroom in a comfortable suite at Foundry Simcoe. To help you save even more money, all our apartments come fully furnished, rent includes high-speed internet, and you’ll have a washer and dryer in your unit. Apply now to take advantage of our lowest rates of the year.

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