Becoming Debt Free in 2009

May 14, 2009

New Challenge

Filed under: School Expenses — ambercouric @ 9:49 am

I have a new challenge and could use some input and advice from all of you.  Especially, those of you who use coupons and those who are super deal shoppers.

Here’s the deal.   Ashby and Kennedy will be away next school year.  This year Ashby was close enough he could come home on a Saturday and pick up anything he needed.  Next year both will be too far to come home except for holidays.    So, I need to have them completely stocked at the beginning of school and take everything on move-in day.  I know that they could buy toothpaste or whatever when they run out but I would prefer to have that stuff ready (bought cheaply) so they don’t have to use their limited funds to buy these items for themselves.

In addition to buying the toiletries there is a ton of other items like linens, mini fridges, etc. that have to be purchased.

Kennedy, my wonderful, organized, detailed son typed a list of all the items needed for the year.  He included everything from computer to ten pair of socks each.   Kennedy will also need a coat for cold snowy weather.

The grand total of the items Kennedy thinks are NEEDS – $3,595.00.

I am hoping to get everything including the computer for about $2,000.  So, I need to find the best deals on everything from mattress pads to clothes hampers to ties (both boys will attend schools where formal wear is required several times a year).

Here is a partial list of needs:

  • Trash cans
  • Desk Lamp
  • Towels /Washcloths
  • Sheets
  • Comforter
  • Blankets
  • Mattress Pads
  • Mini Fridge
  • Storage containers
  • Hampers

Clothing Items

  • Socks
  • t-shirts
  • athletic shorts
  • shorts
  • shirts
  • jeans
  • dress shirts
  • dress pants
  • shower shoes
  • tennis shoes
  • dress shoes
  • belts
  • heavy coat
  • light coat
  • sweat pants /shirts
  • ties
  • sport coat

Personal Care

  • toothpaste
  • tooth brushes
  • soap
  • shampoo
  • deodorant
  • shampoo
  • clippers
  • contacts
  • allergy meds
  • Tylenol
  • razors

Of course there are a million things I have forgotten.  Somethings will only need to be purchased for Kennedy and some both will need.



  1. Most of the personal care items you will be able to accumulate over the summer from sales at the various drug stores.

    However for some of the other purchase create a graduation gift registry that will allow family members and friends to help offset the costs of sending a child away.

    I had plenty of relatives give me my sheets, towels, articles of clothing when I went away to college the first time. In lieu of cash, many of the items are less than twenty dollars if shopped frugally.

    Also if there are colleges in your area go when the students are leaving the dorm they leave behind tv’s, fridges, dvd’s because they often don’t have someone to help schlep all the things back home.

    I know they are boys but add a rug to the list as well.

    When my friend’s son graduated I did the same thing as my relatives did so long ago. I bought him a set of sheets made of t-shirt material.

    Comment by Converting A Spendthrift — May 14, 2009 @ 10:38 am

  2. You can pick up a lot of the personal care items on sale at local stores, CVS, Target, Wal Mart, K-Mart, contacts, maybe one of those on-line stores> Try freecycle or craigs list for the dorm room items. I just posted some of our extra office supplies on craigs list (we consolidated two offices) for mere pennies of what they originally cost (lamps, desk, blotters and yes trash cans). We just want to get rid of them and if we can get a little spare cash, great. If you lived in the southern New England area, I’d arrange a pick up!

    Start looking now at local consigment and thrift shops for decent young mens clothes. I know a lot of people are shopping at these types of stores, but make it a part of you routine to stop into a few stores on a regular basis and scour the inventory. Also go through each childs wadrobe and closets and see if they have enough of what they need in the drawers and make up a clothes shopping list if you need to get new. Tell friends and family members that you are looking for various items and are wiling to pay a small fee if the items are in good condition. It’s that 6 degrees of seperation thing, you never know who may know someone who is looking to get rid of that mini fridge…..Hey, you may even get it for free! I’ve gotten some stuff I’ve needed just by asking.

    The good thing is Kennedy has prepared this list NOW so you have a couple months to start your shopping and looking.

    Good luck!

    Comment by bouncing back betty — May 14, 2009 @ 11:55 am

  3. When it comes to things like trash cans, storage bins, desk lamps, etc. Freecycle is your friend, as long as you don’t need matching ones. You may even be able to get some of your bigger items, like the mini-fridge, off Freecycle. At any rate, it never hurts to ask.

    If there is a Tuesday Morning in your area, you might find out when they get their stock in and check for linens. You’ll pay about as much as you would at Wal-Mart, but you get much nicer stuff, and sometimes they even have stuff marked down cheaper.

    Comment by Cat — May 14, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

  4. May I suggest for some of the furniture room stuff, Ikea, if you have one near you. And of course Target, who always specializes in back to school stuff around this time of year.

    Comment by cheryl — May 15, 2009 @ 8:55 am

  5. Wouldn’t you already have linens around the house? We accumulate too many sheets, comforters, etc. and I would think that since they have been living at home a long time, you might have some of that in your closets.

    Comment by 444 — May 15, 2009 @ 11:12 am

  6. You might check out MoneyMate Kate for some great tips. She is like the rebate/coupon Queen. lol!

    Kids are expensive, huh?

    Comment by Money Funk — May 15, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

  7. for the personal care items – start doing the drugstore (cvs, walgreens) deals now… if you catch all of the ones with ‘free’ stuff, they should both be set for those items with little or none money. Good luck!!!

    Comment by jpkittie — May 16, 2009 @ 7:08 am

  8. Ditto what JPkittie said – pick a drugstore and get going. Depending on where you live (e.g. not Manhattan), most of them will stock quite a few of the things on the first part of your list. As for the personal care items, the only things you will actually need to pay for are clippers and contacts.

    As for clothing, I swear if I lived near one, I’d be working the Kohl’s system. They often have a “Kohls Bucks” deal on the go, whereby you spend $50 and get 10 Kohl’s Bucks for a future purchase. And from what I could see, they’re one of the few store cards that might be worth the bother of getting. Sign up onlin and you’ll get a $5 coupon for anything, no minimum purchase.

    If your sons use Zyrtec for their allergies and you live near a Rite Aid, let me know and I’ll talk you through a great way to get 2 bottles of 45ct for free or better. That’s probably the best system for you to work because it’s pretty easy to stop or take a long break without your store credit bucks/rewards expiring.

    Comment by moneymatekate — May 18, 2009 @ 7:14 pm

  9. Kudos to the teen for putting together the list for a jumping off point!

    I have done a lot of shopping on shipping is next to nothing (and sometimes nothing) and you can get brand name clothes and household items cheap. Just be sure to review the feedback/comments section. People are pretty honest and accurate on the feedback I think (i.e. scratchy sheets, flimsy built material, etc). Good luck!

    Comment by ksugrad94 — May 30, 2009 @ 7:54 pm

  10. plastic and storage bins are both great, if i want a more durable storage bins then i would opt for steel storage bins `.:

    Comment by Towel Rails — November 18, 2010 @ 4:27 am

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