Thrift Store Shopping Tips: 13 Helpful Hints


13 Thrift Store Shopping Tips

Somehow or another I kept missing my Saturday morning yard sale runs this summer – but I made up for it with thrift store trips!  I love shopping the thrift store and one of the BEST times to save big bucks at the Goodwill is coming right up (Halloween costumes!)

Looking for some thrift store shopping tips?  Here are our 13 favorite:

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Top 10 Things You Need for College Dorm Life



Going off to college is really exciting, and a little overwhelming – to help prepare you for the transition, here are the Top 10 Things you Need for College Dorm Life.

Of course, there are oodles more you could bring along that would help you get comfortable, or be nice to have around (like bean bag chairs and dusting spray) – but in my experience, really long lists make for really great panic attacks.  Plus – we think college is expensive enough without getting too crazy on dorm decor.

Start with this list for the basics, and build as you settle in.  And remember – you may hit the jackpot with a crazy-prepared room mate who’ll come bearing all sorts of room furnishings, so hold off on any big purchases until you meet :)


Courtesy of UrbanOutfitters

1. Cute (& Comfortable) Bedding

Dorm rooms are small, and the bed is one of the few pieces of furniture in there.  It’ll serve double duty as a place to crash AND a couch, so make sure to maximize it as a design statement, a hiding places for your mess, and a retreat from the world.  You’ll want to bring:

  • Mattress topper - Either Eggcrate or a memory foam topper for those used and abused mattresses
  • Comforter & Sheet Sets - Remember to get the Twin XL size 
  • Bed Pillows – Besides the regular pillow, snag a Bedrest Pillow or throw pillows to prop you up
  • Bed Risers – if you plan to store things under your bed these bed risers give you extra room
  • Dust Ruffle – to hide all the stuff that’s stashed underneath

2. Rug

Some dorms have carpet, but if they do, do you really want to walk on it in bare feet?  Ew, no.

An area rug gives you a cleaner, more comfortable place to lounge and watch tv or hang out.  You may want to wait and see if your roommate has brought a rug before you spend much money on one.  Of course, where there’s a rug there’s a vacuum – so borrow your mom’s dust buster or urge the parents to upgrade so you can have the full-size vacuum from home.

3. Desk Lamp

Sure there’s overhead lighting – but it’s pretty harsh.  You’re going to spend a lot of time hitting the books and a desk lamp that’s more soothing on the eyes is a must. Plus, that way you and your roommate can study at different times without keeping each other awake.

Choose a table lamp style for a more cozy vibe.



4. Mini Fridge

A mini fridge is a great way to save money on food while you’re in college.  Not having to go out for every meal means big savings over time – but Ramen can’t sustain you forever.  Keep inexpensive meal supplies in your fridge like milk (for cereal), fruit, lunchmeat and cheese, eggs, leftovers, etc…

Wait til you move in, to see if your roomate bought one to share – and also check to see if you’re allowed to have one.

5. Power Strip

You MUST have a surge protector or power strip for your dorm room. This is one of those things you don’t think about until move-in day and then you have to send your dad out to Walgreens to spend $30 on one.  You’re definitely going to need a power strip to make room for all those chargers, computer cords, desk lamps, refrigerator, etc….

6. Dishes

Most dorms have a community kitchen where students can experimentally cook pasta to their hearts’ content…. so don’t forget the dishes!  My husband tells me how he started college without any dishes and found himself one night contemplating reheating his Chinese leftovers on the rotating microwave dish.  (ugh!)   So make sure to grab an inexpensive, but microwaveable set of dishes that includes:

  • Plate, Bowl, Cup and Coffee Mug for in-room dining (Cereal, sandwiches, etc..)
  • Pot & Small Skillet for those home cooked meals down in the community kitchen (Think Spaghetti, eggs, grilled cheese, etc…)
  • Manual Can Opener
  • Spatula, Serving Spoon, & utensils
  • Dishwashing supplies (Scrubber, towel, soap)


7. Coffee Maker

A coffee maker is a must for college students.  In my opinion, it’s better to skip the Keurig and go for the traditional pot variety so that it can do double duty as a hot water maker (for Ramen Noodles), hot tea, hot cocoa, etc… (This is another one you’ll need to check to see if it’s allowed)  Plus – a normal coffee pot will only run you $10 – $20.

8. Shower Set

If you’re lucky enough to score a suite, you’ll also need a shower curtain and bathmat, as well as a couple sink top accessories.

9. Wall Decor

Decorate the depressing walls with some pieces of flair, just remember, you need to be able to take it off easily when you move out.  Here are some ideas beyond just posters:

  • A Peel & Stick Dry Erase Board is the easiest choice – it can go right over your headboard and peel right off when it’s time to move rooms
  • Command Hooks are also great for things like hanging up your headphones, purse, hat, necklaces, etc…
  • Plants make things feel more homey – a couple that won’t die on you are the Jade plant, the Aloe plant and the Spider Plant
  • Mirrors to bring in more light and check your dark, under eye circles ;)



10. Laundry Supplies

Pick a laundry basket that won’t take up much room and is lightweight enough to haul up and down the stairs.  These pop-up hampers are great, and inexpensive.  If you’ve put risers under your bed, you may be able to slide a shallow laundry basket under there and hide it completely!  Other than that, you’ll want:

  • Detergent and Dryer Sheets
  • Tons of quarters (FYI – a stack of quarters fits great into a Mini M&M’s container!)
  • Febreze – for the times you go awhile between laundry days, or your roommate does…


NOTE: You may be noticing that I’ve left off television and alarm clock.  Well – these days it seems like laptops serve pretty well as TV’s and Cell Phones have taken the place of alarm clocks – so why add to the expense if you don’t have to?  But if you DO decide to get a tv – that’s another one you’ll definitely want to wait on until you see if your roommate saved you the hassle.

Ways to Save at Kohl’s | 13 Secret Shopping Tricks!

Ways to Save at Kohl’s


Kohl’s is a great place to shop for bargains if you know what to look for, and here are several ways to save at Kohl’s that you may not know about!  Check out these 13 “secrets” for how to save when shopping at Kohl’s.

1) Join Kohl’s Loyalty Program for FREE $5 Coupons

Before you make any purchases at Kohl’s, you’ll want to join the Yes2You Rewards Program so that your shopping can earn you money!  Simply put, for every $100 you spend at Kohl’s, you’ll earn a $5 Rewards code.  Just sign up here to start racking up points ($1 = 1 Point) as well as get some fun $5 coupons in your inbox.


Yes2Mondays are awesome.  Each Monday, Kohl’s sends out an email entitled Yes2Monday (search your inbox for it easily) that includes a special offer.  Once in awhile it’s a coupon for $5 off $5 Purchase, which means you can get something for FREE if you choose!  Other times it’s an offer to earn double the bonus points.


2) Stack up to 4 Coupon Codes


If you didn’t already know this, prepare to have your mind blown. You can stack up to *4* Kohl’s Coupon Codes together one purchase!  Find all the current coupon codes that are available in Kohl’s Today’s Deals section and then decide the best way to stack them to save the most money.  You can stack up to *4* of the following discounts: [Read more...]

How to Save on Your Next Trip to Disney

how to save at disney

How to Save Money on Your Next Disney Trip 

It doesn’t matter if you’re heading to Disneyland or Disney World, it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg! But wait, it doesn’t have to. Use these tips to save big on your next Disney trip! We went to Disney World two years ago, and my kids are still asking to go back. They said it’s their favorite family vacation. [Read more...]

Easter Clearance Items: What You Should Look For


Easter Clearance Items on

Easter Clearance Items … What to Look For!

Walmart and Target have marked down their Easter Clearance to 50% OFF – and it’s a great time to snag goodies for next year!

Wondering what Easter clearance items you should look for? Start by setting a little money aside so that next year you’ll be stocked up. Luckily, there are many ways to save by taking advantage of after Easter sales!

For example, if your child doesn’t already have a good basket you can reuse every year after Easter then it’s time to buy a durable one. If you’ve had your eyes on one of the baskets with a fancy monogrammed liner, now is the time to consider purchasing it. Speaking of baskets, this is also a great time to stock up on things like grass, Easter eggs, and basket fillers for next year! [Read more...]