College student savings: Getting the most out of back to school deals

School suppliesGetting back into the groove of a new semester means ensuring you’ve got all the technology you need, all the dorm and living essentials and enough school supplies to stock a small office cabinet. But, those costs can add up quickly if you’re not careful. Read on for ways to stretch your college student budget and get the most out of back to school deals!

First things first: Take inventory

Don’t run out and hit the office supply store just because its almost school time. First, check what goods you already have leftover from the previous year and make a list of what you’ll still need. Things to keep in mind when doing inventory:

  • Taking a math class this year? You’ll want to have a good calculator on hand and your professor may suggest a recommended model. But, don’t go out and buy a brand new one if its not essential!
  • Have a lot of half-used notebooks? Tear out the used pages (to keep or toss) and use what’s left before stocking up on more.
  • Re-use binders and page dividers by clearing out old notes and worksheets.
  • Test old highlighters and pens to cut down on the amount you need to buy. If you’re a mechanical pencil fan, check what size you need before shopping so you’re not wasting money buying the wrong size.
  • If you’ll have an apartment, don’t forget to check what household supplies you need and which ones you can borrow. Ask family and older friends if they have any kitchen supplies they want to get rid of before you add it to your shopping list.

Taking inventory on these things will help you save loads of cash throughout the year.

Back to school deals

If you start making a list now, you can track what sales are available, making sure to get the best of the best! Currently, Target is offering coupons on:

    • Post-It Notes ($1 off a $2 purchase)
    • Select binders ($1.50 off)
    • $1 off PaperMate writing instruments
    • Lexar flash drives (10 percent off)

Downloading the Target Coupon Printer will enable you to have access to their weekly sales all year round! You’ll want to check out their Back to College coupon section, too! This week, you’ll find plenty of deals on Jansport backpacks, Chefmate kitchen tools sets and Room Essentials lamps.

This week at Staples, you’ll find dozens of sales including:

    • 100 pack Staples 3×5 white ruled index cards $0.01 (with an additional $5 min. purchase)
    • 5 pack Sharpie highlights $0.50
    • Staples graph-ruled notebook $2.00
    • Staples Accel 1-subject ruled notebook, 100 pages $2.00
    • 24 pack BIC mechanical pencils $4.00

Signing up for store-specific email notifications will help to keep you in the loop on weekly deals.

Must-haves for the college student

If you’re in the market for a new computer or tablet, be sure to check online discounts.  Qualified Apple shoppers (new and returning college students, parents buying for a college student, or faculty or staff from any grade level) who purchase a new Mac from now until September 21 will receive a $100 gift card that can be used on apps, books, music or movies. Shopping for an iPad? You’ll get a $50 gift card!

Dell is currently offering their Inspiron 15 laptop for a special student discounted price of $399. You’ll also want to check out their wireless all-in-one printers that are currently priced at $84.99. Good tip: check with your new roomie and see if they have a printer already that you two can share! Agree to split costs of paper and ink to really save a bundle! Dell is also offering a student-only deal: Buy a PC, get an Xbox 360. Not into Xbox? Choose the $200 gift card instead and use it to stock up on software or accessories for your new system. Check their website for all conditions.

Once you’re all stocked up on supplies and gear for the new school year, enjoy the last sweet weeks of summer!

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