There are several places to shop on a budget, especially when you're on a college budget. I was once a college student, and I know how difficult it can be to invest in important necessities while at the same time trying to balance out your checkbook. As a college student, you will definitely experience times where you're completely struggling to make ends meet. However, I'll share with you the places to shop on a budget—whether that's for clothes, house appliances, or groceries.
1. Dollar Tree
The Dollar Tree should become your best friend. It was definitely mine throughout college, and even to this day is one of the places to shop on a budget. This store is perfect for finding $1 toiletries, school supplies, and cleaning products. What's even more exciting is that Dollar Tree is expanding its frozen food and packaged goods sections. Some of the produce that you'll find is mainly generic brands in smaller quantities. However, a 4-cart of eggs, a frozen dinner, a loaf of bread, a gallon of water, and a pack of ice-cream cups make for a reasonable grocery list.
2. Big Lots
Everything at Big Lots is great for a college student looking to spend cheap. This store sells affordable bedroom collections, furniture, and office equipment. For instance, working desks are marked down as low as $50.00 and miniature bookcases priced at $20.00. Not only do they sell home essentials, but they also have vend clothing apparel, electronics, and grocery products. Big Lots is known for great clearances and deals, so you won't be disappointed shopping at this discount retailer.
3. Plato's Closet
This buy-back shop sells some of the trendiest hand-me-down apparel for the teen to 20-something crowd. From American Eagle to Forever 21, Plato's Closet has it all. I personally enjoy shopping at this store because I can find the top brands for a cheaper price. Plus, they have a good selection of shoes and gently used jeans. When you're on a budget and need to find an inexpensive store for school shopping, don't even think about going to the mall. All the stores you're looking for is consolidated into one at Plato's Closet.
The Ross motto is “Dress for Less,” and you'll literally be doing just that. Sometimes prices on shirts and other clothing are marked at $5.00. Ross usually has a lot of sales as well, which you can never go wrong with. On their website they have posted a detailed list providing some of the best tips on how to bargain shop at their store. While the store builds its reputation on stylish affordable clothes, they also have a selection of home décor. This would be a great place to start if you're thinking about styling your dorm room.
We cannot and shall not ever forget about Target. This retail giant has everything. The great thing about Target is that that they make sure to provide a great customer experience. Everything is organized and always fully stocked. Besides that, Target goes the extra mile to make sure you save money by matching prices to a local competitor's offer. A little thing called a REDcard—a Target credit or debit card—also gives customers 5 percent off each time they make a purchase online or in-store.
6. Yard Sales
Yard sales are great for finding reasonable furniture and home appliances. Some older items may not be in the best condition; but if they work, then they're worth buying. The great thing about yard sales is that you get to put your bucks to good use by bargain shopping and at the same time, help the vendor who needs to make an extra few dollars. Although yard sales are more prevalent during the spring and warmer seasons, you can still find a few taking place in the fall.
7. Secondhand Shops
Don't you dare think pass by Goodwill without checking it out first. Secondhand shops are some of the best shops to find clothes, kitchen equipment, antique electronics, and inexpensive furniture. If you're interested in thrift shopping or embarking on a journey of bargain hunting, then this is one of those places to start. Salvation Army and other independent secondhand shops are just as beneficial. You never know. You might just find some unique vintage pieces.
So, there you go ladies. These were some of my favorite stores to shop at when I was looking to keep a little extra money in my pocket. Where are some other places you shop at when you're on a budget? Are any of these low-priced places your go-to store?