Electronics for Back to School

Electronic items can be a big part of your budget, and being a college student, I am sure your funds are limited. I have included some basic tips on how to decide which items to purchase, purchasing options, and a checklist that includes some of the basic electronic equipment you may need for school.


Take an inventory of what you already have at home and put those items in a box or lay them out on the table so that you can easily see what supplies you already own.

Make a checklist of all of the items you will need and decide what items you are going to purchase now and which will be purchased upon arrival at school. Set a timeline for what needs to be purchase and by what date so that you won’t end up running around at the last minute trying to buy everything.

Before you buy anything, especially the high-ticket items, check with the dorm to get a list of prohibited items so that you don’t spend money on something only to find out that you can’t keep it in your room.

You may also want to check with your roommate(s) to compare lists and find out what they will be bringing with them to school. You don’t want to go out and spend money on a microwave if you roommate already has one. Although, before you decide that you are going to use their stuff, you want to make sure they don’t have a problem with sharing. If you know the person you are going to share a room with, it will be easy to coordinate who will be bring what to school.

If you are going away to college, it might be easier to purchase the larger items like microwave, vacuum, etc., once you are at school. If you decide to purchase the items at school, make sure there is a store nearby where you can purchase everything. Check online for stores in the area, or get a list from the school.

The best tip I have for finding deals is to visit the website of the store(s) where you may want to shop and sign up for their email list. Many stores will notify when they are having a sale, and some may even include a coupon that you can use online or in the store.


Amazon.com has a wide range of products for your dorm or apartment. They offer many of the top brands of Computers as well as Kitchen Essentials. Buying online and shipping to school means that you won’t have to pack the items or transport them to school. Also, your purchase may qualify for Free Super Saver Shipping.

Mass-Market Stores like Wal-mart and Target carry a variety of electronics and housewares.

For comparison shopping, check prices at Costco, Best Buy, OfficeMax, and Staples. Also visit Linens N Things and Bed Bath & Beyond for housewares and kitchen electronics.

Remember to check stores for sales and special offers on products for dorm rooms and back to school.

*Before going to the store, be sure to check the website for information about sales and discounts. Some stores will offer coupons on their website that you can print and take to the store or use when you purchase products online.


Computer Equipment/Supplies

  • Laptop or Desktop Computer
  • USB Flash Drive or Portable Hard Drive
  • Printer
  • Surge Protector

Everyday Items

  • Cell Phone
  • iPod or MP3 Player
  • Digital Recorder
  • Calculator
  • Alarm Clock / Clock Radio
  • Television
  • DVD Player
  • Digital Camera
  • Telephone Answering Machine
  • Extension Cords
  • Vacuum
  • Iron or Steamer

Kitchen Electronics

  • Microwave
  • Toaster Oven
  • Compact Refrigerator
  • Coffee Maker
  • Electric Kettle
  • Hot Plate