5 Budget-Friendly Places To Buy College Dorm Essentials

College dorm essentials can get SO expensive. It’s heavily marketed by different stores and brands (like Bed, Bath, and Beyond) that create shopping lists for you, and a ton of incoming freshmen accidentally fall for those higher prices! If you’re willing to put in a little more work (more digging and making your own dorm shopping list), you’ll find yourself saving a ton of money. This post is about 5 budget-friendly places where you can buy your college dorm essentials.

budget friendly places to buy dorm essentials pinterest image

Here are 5 budget-friendly places to buy your college dorm essentials:

1. Ross

Ross Stores, Inc. logo

When it comes to rugs, bed sets, bathroom supplies, and closet hangers, this is your place to go.

Here, I picked up a little rolling tray rack, shoe rack, drying rack–all kinds of racks! It does take some patience because every store has a different inventory, but the prices here are SO much better than your Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I’d say the prices even compete with Amazon!


I recommend checking out a local Ross store first, to pick up what you can. Their prices are usually the best out of the rest of the stores I’ve listed.

2. Marshalls/TJMaxx

TJMaxx and Marshalls logo as college dorm essential shopping place

My absolute favorite collection of stores. I like to think of them as a slightly fancier Ross. You’ll find pretty nice brands at a VERY good price. It also does take some digging, but you should be able to find pretty good items here!

I recommend toiletries (I get all my shampoo, body wash, etc. here!), handbags/backpacks, bathroom supplies, clothing (athletic wear!), and bed sets!

3. Costco Wholesale

Costco logo as college dorm essential place

Yes. The famous Costco. Need I say more?

Options for dorms are slightly limited here, but you should be able to find hangers, laundry baskets, and school supplies at a very good price here.

4. Amazon

Amazon is the winner of convenience. I recommend Amazon for college dorm essentials that you won’t necessarily need right away, such as your lamp or room decor.

Their prices are great, but I recommend checking out Ross or Marshalls first, if you can. In my experience, Amazon can be slightly more expensive.

You can easily store everything in your cart before you move in, and click “buy” once you’re on campus. Your stuff will come straight to you!

There’s also a 6-month free trial of Amazon Prime for students! You just have to register with your student email.

5. Daiso

Daiso Japan logo as college dorm essential option

OKAY. This one is hugely dependent on your school’s location, or where you live. Daiso is a Japanese dollar store, where almost everything (in the U.S.) is $1.50.

If you’ve got a Daiso near you, I highly recommend it for the smaller dorm necessities. They have almost everything at only $1.50. I got laundry bags and eyebrow razors here, and my best friend picked up a great makeup mirror. Everything they have is also just super cute!

Try to purchase items made in Korea or Japan. Slightly higher quality than the ones made in China, in my experience!

Related: 15 College Essentials That I Couldn’t Live Without

I hope you’ve found this brief list helpful. Remember, you don’t have to spend all that much for your college dorm essentials. There are definitely great options out there, though they just take a little more time to find. Depending on your location, second-hand stores and thrift stores are also great places to pick up some dorm supplies. This, of course, is heavily based on where your school is located! With the 5 stores I listed above, I was still able to get great quality items at prices that didn’t break my wallet.

Related: 9 Things You Have To Know Before College

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