(Caroline's been taking over pretty much the whole house this summer with all her college stuff. Our older son Jackson came home a few days ago and was like MOM. I NEVER HAD THAT MUCH STUFF. Um…. truth! She received these Lands' End Towels as a gift and they're her favorites by far.)
My daughter Caroline is finishing up her summer-college-shopping spree, and goodness, I've decided that clearly girls cost a whole lot of money! After sending Jackson off to college a few years ago I realized this is an entirely different experience (anyone else get that?), but Caroline worked hard over the last year to earn some cash for “extra” things above and beyond the absolute college necessities she'd need.
Here are a few fun things she's splurged on (and loved!) for school so far:
Mesh Shower Caddy – $9
Cow Slippers – $15
These were totally a silly splurge, but Caroline's in a really old dorm so we're hoping these will make those floors feel a little less grimey!
40 Piece All Purpose Tool Kit – $20
We're figuring this will come in handy when putting everything together on campus in a few weeks.
Shower Shoes – $14
Furniture Risers – $19
Pillow Top Mattress Pad – $45
Honeywell Tabletop Fan – under $17
Caroline's dorm doesn't have air conditioning, so that fan will come in handy!
Looking for ideas on what you should expect to pay for college dorm supplies? Here's what we found!
College Dorm List Best Prices!
My friend Jamie got a brochure from her son's college with certain college dorm list essentials at “great prices” with free shipping. It was TOTALLY tempting to just buy their “premium all-inclusive dorm room package” and call it a day…..
But here's the thing…
The $300 “all-inclusive” package they were offering was really NOT all you need for a dorm room (not even CLOSE guys). And besides that – you could get MUCH better deals on what they were offering just by shopping around. It got me thinking about what ARE the best prices for some of these dorm essentials?
Here are 12 popular college dorm list items at their BEST prices!
1 . Twin Comforter – $25
Macy's often has3-pc as low as $25, and Walmart consistently has a few options as low as $15. Even Amazon is super reasonable on these!
Make sure to sign-up here for Amazon Prime Student and get a FREE 6-Month Trial Subscription!
2 . XL Twin Sheet Set – around $30
Try Kohl's for their Whimsical Printed Sheets. Walmart also has several cute prints for as low as $10
You might not be getting 1800 threadcount sheets, but since these won't be the kind of sheets your kid will use as an adult (unless he's sleeping in a Twin XL bed) – there's no use in investing big money in them now.
3 . Desk Lamp – $12
So of course you can pay upwards of $50 for a desk lamp that comes with a place for your paper clips and a phone usb charger and clips to your bunk bed – BUT you really only need to spend about $6.88 at Walmart for a lamp. 🙂
4 . Shower Caddy – $10
You can pick up a plastic shower tote for $1 at the Dollar Tree, or closer to $3 at the other Dollar Stores. If you want a fancier easy-dry hanging tote – Amazon has some for around $7!
5 . Reading Pillow – $35
Target has a a few different plush backrest pillows for $14.99 – everyday price!
6 . Microwave – $50
Keep an eye out for sales right around dorm time at Walmart and Target. Also ask around – there may be lots of folks with a small microwave they're getting rid of as they upgrade!
7 . Bed Pillows
Get a few from Amazon, or save even more by waiting for a deal at Kohl's (most weekends they offer the best prices and their Kohl's Mystery code, so purchase on the weekend to save the most!)
8. Bath Towels – $3
Kohl's regularly has their Big One pillows and their Big One Bath Towels on sale for about $3 (after coupon code). And of course – you can always pick up very inexpensive hand towels and washcloths in a multipack at Dollar General.
If you want fancier pillows ~ my husband's cousins sent Caroline this set from Lands' End and the quality is amazing!
9 . Memory Foam Mattress Topper – $23
Skip the Egg Crate and get a great layer of comfort and support for your kids' bed with a memory foam/gel mattress topper. This 2″ Lucid topper is a surprising steal at $23
10 . Mattress Pad – $16
For a decent mattress pad, you don't need to spend more than $16 at Amazon.
11 . Mini Fridge – $60
For a smaller mini fridge (1.7 c ft as opposed to 3.2 cu ft.) you shouldn't expect to pay more than $70 at Walmart or $89, like this one at Target. For the bigger 3.2 cu ft size – prepare to pay about $109
12 . 4×6 Area Rug – $48
Get a rug somewhere between 3×5 and 4×6 for under $50. These might be handy if your child's heading to an older dorm as a quick way to freshen up cold concrete floors without spending too much!
I'd love to hear what you think – as well as some of your tips for getting other popular dorm room items on the cheap! Please leave a comment and share your tips below 🙂
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Someone gave me an “ICE Pack” (In Case of Emergency) for graduation. It was a small box filled with BandAids, travel size bottles of advil, tylenol, pepto, tums, burn cream, triple antibiotic ointment, an Ace wrap, and a few other things. By the end of the first semester my whole floor called me “Nurse Betty” because so many people had dipped into my little ICE pack. Someone even hung a sign on my door “In case of emergency, see Nurse Betty”
Ha ~ love that Megan! 🙂 Such a great gift!
Amy Standifer says
I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who has a room that’s been taken over by college supplies! My daughter wants to raise her bed high enough to fit her desk and dresser under it to create more space.
We purchased metal bed extenders that are 3.15”x3.15”x23.5” on Amazon (they are much more solid that they look). We will sit her bed on top of 4 – half cinder blocks that are an 8”x8” cube, we purchased at Home Depot for $1.35 each and spray painted them black to match the color of the extenders. This will raise her bed to about 55” total.
Bed Bath and Beyond also has a College Pass for students that is basically a 20% off coupon that is continuous until 9/21/21. We got lots of great deals…I was able to get a colored mini Keurig for $45.
Target was where we got her plates, bowls and cups for $.50 each.
Kohl’s for towels at $3 each.
Marshall’s for some cute Rae Dunn decor.
Etsy for color themed pictures (printed for free on Shutterfly-only paid for shipping) for a wall collage and personalized door hanger.
Amazon for decor, storage bins, and other miscellaneous items.
We’ve done a lot of shopping around to compare prices and find sales to get the lowest prices possible.
Oh, and thanks to you, Laurie, I was able to grab my daughter the pair of Hunter boots that she wanted from Nordstrom Rack for 60% off instead of her paying the full amount.
Will the linked mattress topper work on Twin XL? Thanks for all the tips : )
Hi Ruth ~ the memory foam topper is for a Twin (not Twin XL), so it would be a little short on the XL ~ but you can probably find one specifically for a Twin XL on Amazon! 🙂
I have bought the Umbra Little Black Dress jewelry organizer for many a high school grad heading to the dorms. It takes the space of 1 dress in the closet, but holds all the jewelry they could possibly bring for under $20.
Here’s an Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005OQFLM2/
Thanks so much for the tip Heidi! 🙂
I was gifted the black and pink toolset when I went to college 10 years ago. It was the only toolset we owned when we got married, helped put together 3 homes and 2 nurseries for our children before we finally bit the bullet and started purchasing better quality tools. The best graduation present I received, hands down!
Wow ~ love that Jayci! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!
My daughter was lucky to be in a relatively new dorm that had a shared bathroom between 2 rooms. So we found an over the toilet organizer at ALDI that came in very handy for the girls’ bathroom “essentials.” It wasn’t super sturdy, but it served it’s purpose. I also found a storage cube that turned out to be very handy for extra storage as well as extra seating when friends came to study.