Furthering Your Education and Cash: How To Save on College Supplies

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College Supplies

Furthering your education can be a great way to enhance your future, but it comes at a cost. You probably expect tuition, living expenses, and dining plans to add up. Back-to-school supplies can also amount to a shocking sum. Luckily, there are some savvy tips to help you save some cash on a variety of supplies.

Get a Free Laptop

You may be able to save hundreds of dollars on your computer. Many online colleges offer students free laptops to have or borrow for the duration of their studies. Low-income families may also be eligible for a free laptop through local libraries or foundations such as Computers with Causes and National Cristina Foundation. 

Purchase an Affordable Laptop

If you don’t qualify for any of the free computer programs, you can still save money. Used or refurbished products on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace cost a fraction of the price. Planning can also help you get better deals on new electronics. Black Friday and Christmas sales often heavily discount laptops.

Visit a Library

Visiting the book store at your university can quickly add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars. You may be able to forgo the fees by checking out a few libraries. Not only do most campuses have multiple libraries for students, but you can also apply for a card at the local public branch. However, make sure you check the availability of books in advance if you use this method.

Determine Necessities

Before you get swept up shopping for supplies, you should take time to determine necessities. Many universities release book and supply lists early. Even though the lists may specify which items are required and which are suggestions, it’s smart to wait to shop until you attend your first class. You may find you don’t need many of the items.

Check the Dollar Store

Some items are worth spending more money on, while others aren’t. The dollar store can be the perfect place to purchase affordable basic supplies. The back-to-school section usually has notebooks, folders, binders, pens, and pencils for just one dollar. You can also pick up a variety of items to help keep your work area organized.

Talk to Upperclassmen

Upperclassmen are an invaluable resource at college, especially if they are in the same major as you. You should take the time to connect with them. Older students may be able to share knowledge about ways they have saved money and what supplies they used. Additionally, you may be able to borrow or purchase old textbooks from your friends.

Print on Campus

College coursework is often submitted digitally, but there will still be times when you need to print hard copies. While it may be more convenient to print from your apartment or dorm, you can opt to use campus libraries and computer labs. Most universities offer students a set amount of free prints. That means you won’t need a personal printer, paper, or ink.

Some college expenses are more difficult to cut back on than others. These tips give you more flexibility with the costs of your back-to-College Supplies.

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