Published On: Sat, Aug 9th, 2014

10 items to take out of your college shopping cart

By: Kristen Altus

It’s no secret – college is expensive. Not only is tuition a hassle, but fees begin to add up, too. Then you’ll want to spend money on new clothes, kegs of beer, and furnishes for the dorm or apartment.  Before the new school year begins, there may be a few items you’re tempted to buy. But in truth, you’re better off without them.

1. Iron and ironing board


While it may seem like it’s worthy of your purchase, don’t let it fool you. There most likely won’t be room in your dorm or apartment for the iron and the ironing board. Plus, there probably won’t be a convenient electricity outlet for it. If you really need to get the wrinkles out of your linens, hang the clothes up in the bathroom while you shower. The steam will do the rest.

2. A lock box

lock box

Colleges say it’s a necessity, but seriously… it’s not. Why spend $50 on a lock box when you can get a normal lock for $5 and place it on a drawer? Your passport, credit card, license, and whatever else may have sentimental value won’t get stolen in a locked drawer. But if you intend on avoiding any paranoia, buy a lock box.

3. Open-face lamps


Open-face lamps are a serious fire hazard. They can and will set anything aflame. Students buy them and quickly realize that the school won’t even allow the lamps in the dorms. Save some money and don’t purchase an open-face lamp. Buy one that has a lampshade.

4. A printer


Most colleges are making the transition into the “digital age.” Because of that, professors are more likely to accept assignments and essays paperlessly via email. There’s no need for a printer these days. Even if you get that one traditional professor who insists he’s never had to “reboot a pencil,” the school will probably have a printing facility, just in case of an emergency.

5. A microwave


A microwave is a waste of effort and money. The RA will take it away the second you’ve got it all set up.

6. Expensive bedding


It may look pretty on move-in day when you make the bed, but friends will most likely destroy the setup by recklessly eating and drinking on it recurrently. A student won’t use the same set once they graduate, so it’s better to spend less now and more later.

7.  New textbooks


$200 per new textbook? No thanks. Buying used textbooks can take off 90% of the original price and save you tons of money. And if carrying around all that weight doesn’t sound appealing, online textbooks are another great option. Using a Kindle or Nook can be a great way to keep all your textbooks minus worrying about the price and the condition of the book.

8. New clothes


It’s known as “The Freshman 15,” and rightfully so. Research has shown that in a student’s first year of college, they typically gain fifteen pounds from binge eating at the dining hall. Even though it feels strange not buying new clothes for a new school year, it’s better to “weight” it out.

9. An iPad


A $500 laptop will handle school tasks much better than a $500 iPad. If in doubt, a smartphone will do everything a tablet can do.

10. A mini-fridge

mini fridge

It’s hard to think of any college student that will do their own grocery shopping, and because of that, there’s no need for a mini-fridge! Even if you did buy one, you’d buy some milk and remember it three months later. If there’s ever a real need for a fridge, dorms usually have a communal fridge on each floor.

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