It’s the time of the year! Students are back to school. But, with the progression of technology, buying school supplies has become more difficult and complicated. Aside from the basic supplies, there are textbooks and dormitory essentials to purchase. All of these costs can accrue to a huge chunk of change for a parent or student who is already burdened with costly tuition fee and board.

Fortunately, there are some ways to save money on school supplies.

List down all the things you need. When planning a budget for the first year, jot down all the things needed school, including pens, pencils, sticky notes, notebooks, electronic storage media (flash drive, memory card, or external hard drive), and reference books. Once you have the list, distinguish the items you have to spend and where you can save.

More or less, you will need the same items you used in high school when it comes to academic classes. Check the course specifications for any speciality supplies. For instance, Math majors may need to buy a scientific calculator. Refrain from buying supplies at the university bookstore unless it is an emergency as all prices tend to be higher there. It is also practical to buy in bulk in big box or supply chain stores. Most items can be used for several semesters.

Majority of students lament purchasing the books relative to their course because it is very expensive. That is understandable. However, they have no choice but to buy it, anyway. Upon getting the reading list for your chosen course, start book hunting. Do not purchase books at the campus bookstore. Again, the items there are very expensive. Search for books online. is a useful search tool for cheaper textbooks. Or, look for second-hand books, go to The site sells discounted used textbooks. If you do not want to buy textbooks at all, you can rent the books (or eTextbooks). Try Amazon, or Barnes & Noble. You can also talk to your professors and administrators. They may give suggestions or tips on how to save, especially if the books are pricey.

Most dormitory rooms are barely furnished. If you are staying (or planning to stay) in a dormitory, you definitely need to purchase furniture. Check Ikea’s back to college blog for ideas. Target sells various back to school products. But before hitting the stores, if you will share a room with another person, ask him or her if he or she is willing to split the cost of items. Check also and to save even more money.

Of course, you need a computer for doing homeworks, projects, term papers, and the like. Aside from textbooks, you will spend a lot of money on a computer. Groupon and Newegg are both great resources for bargains. You can even purchase a computer for as low as $200. Differentiate between your child’s real computer needs and your wants by looking at what their course needs. Remember, not every student needs a high-end computer or laptop.