How to Shop for University on a Budget

Happy woman doing online shopping at home

It’s no secret that university is expensive. In addition to tuition, you’ll need to pay for books, school supplies, housing, food, and all the things you use on a daily basis. To ensure you still have spending money left over when you arrive at university, here are a few things you can do to save money when shopping for school.

1. Write a Shopping List

You’ll always end up buying more than you need if you go shopping without a list. Your school may have provided you with a checklist of things to purchase, but there will likely be some unnecessary items on the list. Think carefully about what you need by considering what you already own and perhaps talking to friends who are already at university. It’s also worth coordinating with roommates to ensure you bring all the essentials without doubling up.

2. Shop During Sales

The thought of going off to university is exciting, and you may want to start preparing as soon as possible. However, it makes sense to wait until the back-to-school sales begin. You’ll be able to pick up many items you need for a lower price during this time, including stationery, notebooks, clothing, and even electronics.

3. Look for Student Discounts

Stores and brands offering products that students need frequently offer student discounts. Always ask if any products have a special price for students to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

4. Avoid Products Aimed at Students

Even though you’ll be looking for stores that offer student discounts, you should often avoid products that are specifically aimed at students, as you’ll likely be paying a premium. There’s nothing special about bedding, a desk lamp, or a throw rug marketed toward university students compared to regular products.

5. Consider Durability

It can be tempting to purchase the cheapest options you can find, but if this means a product will have a shorter lifespan, you’ll ultimately end up spending more. Try to find a balance between quality and cost.

6. Make Your Own Apartment Decorations

You’ll want to make your apartment feel like home, but there’s no need to buy fancy decorations. In fact, homemade alternatives could give your apartment more of a unique flair. For instance, you could make picture frames for photos, artwork for the walls, or a DIY jewelry organizer.

7. Borrow Instead of Buying

Whenever possible, rent instead of buying. This is a great option for anything you may not need after you graduate, including textbooks and small appliances like a microwave. Not only will you save money, you’ll have less to transport when you move.

A key way to save money is to search for more affordable rooms for rent. Oshawa students can find comfortable housing within walking distance of Durham College and Ontario Tech University at 17Hundred. The apartments are fully furnished and the rent is all inclusive, meaning there’s no need to worry about budgeting for furniture, utilities, and WiFi. Book a video tour to see our student housing for yourself.