For years parents have been accustomed to back-to-school shopping that consisted of buying notebooks, pencils, new shoes and a backpack. But when it’s time to send your child off to college, the list grows exponentially. You’re shopping for furnishings for a dorm room or apartment – everything from kitchen appliances and bedding to desks and bath towels.
Parents are suddenly thinking that second-grade school supply list of glue sticks and pencil boxes wasn’t so bad after all.
According to the annual National Retail Federation survey, college students will spend almost $950 in back-to-school shopping – and that doesn’t account for college tuition, textbooks and meals.
In addition to electronics, college students are shopping for clothing, shoes and accessories; dorm/apartment furnishings; and basic supplies like notebooks and backpacks. With college tuition costs inching up each year, parents and students are looking for ways to save on their back-to-school shopping.
One way to keep costs down is by shopping for gently-used items at Palmetto Goodwill, which has multiple locations around the Charleston region. Each store is filled with items perfect for dorm rooms and college apartments.
Here are just a few money-saving options perfect for college students.
1. Stock the Kitchen
Shop for kitchen supplies and small appliances such as pots and pans, toasters, blenders and coffee makers. Get creative with your dishes by mixing and matching fun plates, bowls and coffee mugs. Who says you must have a matching set?
2. Inexpensive Furniture
While dorm rooms often come with some furniture, students moving off campus to an apartment or sharing a house will likely need a couch, chairs, a desk and other items to make the space comfortable. Goodwill has a wide selection of gently-used furniture, rugs and fun furnishings. Plus, parents are less worried about late-night pizza stains on a couch that’s not brand new.
3. Home Décor
Make your space your own with artwork, lamps or knickknacks found at Goodwill. There’s always an eclectic mix of home décor, photos and paintings that can add a pop of color or a splash of whimsy to any space – even a shared bedroom.
4. A Treasure Trove for College Students
Every day, people donate gently used – and often brand-new – clothing, accessories and shoes to local Goodwill locations. It’s a treasure trove for college students looking for inexpensive clothing and vintage items so they can express their own tastes. It’s a great way to experiment with your style without spending a lot of money.
Environmentally-conscious families will appreciate how much they can reuse versus buying all new items for the start of the school year.
Not only are parents and students saving big, they’re also helping their neighbors right here at home. When you shop at Goodwill, more than 90 cents of every dollar generated in the stores is returned to the community through mission services like job training and employment service opportunities.
So, this summer, shop Goodwill for college necessities and impart important life lessons of being frugal, recycling and giving back.
Palmetto Goodwill has several locations throughout the Charleston area. Find the location that’s right for you at PalmettoGoodwill.org/shop/