With the current uncertainty of the economy, many students heading back to school are searching for different ways to stretch their dollars.According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, Back-to-College spending will drop from $641.56 per person last year, to $599.38 this year.
The survey also said that many college students are adapting to the current economic environment by moving back home with their parents.
ASU student Kat Randall said that she and her husband have moved back in with her parents for a few months to save money that they were previously spending on rent.
Randall also said she budget shops, and that she has been doing it for so long that hunting for deals just comes naturally now.
“Garage sales are a great place to find decor or every day items, and you can always use the line ‘I’m a poor college student’ when trying to haggle,” Randall said.
When it comes to back-to-school fashion, Randall said she loves the store Last Chance in Phoenix.
Last Chance is a discount store where Nordstrom sends all of their damaged, used, or returned merchandise, and marks it down significantly.
“Although many great deals can be found at garage sales and thrift stores, if you have your heart set on brand name items, go to Last Chance. Their shoe selection is great, I found a pair of new UGGS boots for forty dollars,” Randall said.
She explained that she could never go back to paying retail after finding so many great discounts.
“I grew to love the hunt, and now I’m addicted,” Randall said.
Another student said that he has begun shopping at dollar stores for a lot of his grocery items.
“Dollar Tree doesn’t have everything I need, but I get about half of my grocery shopping done there. They always have beef jerky, and in regular grocery stores it’s about four dollars,” said communications major Ricky Cordova.
99 Cent Only stores also have an impressive selection of produce, a refrigerated dairy section, and well known food products.
Many students are also trying to save money on gas, and find online shopping both helpful and efficient.
The National Retail survey stated that, “As comparison shopping becomes more popular among consumers looking for the best deals and gas prices continue to rise, 24.8 percent of back-to-school shoppers will buy online, compared to 21.4 percent last year.”
Many students find deals from online stores such as Ebay, Craigslist, Amazon and Etsy.
Etsy is a website where users can buy and sell items ranging from ceramics to homemade baked goods.
Randall explained that one-of-a-kind art pieces can be found on www.etsy.com as well as acessories and other items.
“My favorite Etsy finds so far have been jewelry because you can find items under ten dollars,” Randall said.
Also, students working within a budget can find textbooks at discounted prices on Amazon.com.