Back to school shopping adds up, especially when trying to make a dorm room feel as homey as possible. By taking advantage of every inch of room and staying organized (and of course caffeinated), your school year will surely start on the right foot. Use the following ten deals to cut back on shopping expenses and transform your dorm from meek to chic.
1. Futons, a college essential, save space in crammed dorms. Use it as a couch or a bed for friends to crash on. Target's black sofa bed for $100 takes up half the space that a normal sized futon does, making it a perfect fit for college dorms. It's simple, modern look matches any style. Well worth it, especially since Target gives 10% off to customers who spend $100 on college gear.
2. Adhesive hooks that stick onto the walls help expand limited closet room. Unlike nails, these sticky hooks won't put holes in the wall that could later result in fines. Use them to hang accessories such as ties, purses or jewelry. With these coupons, save $1 on hooks at 3M's Command Brand.
3. Bright colors help cheer up crammed, dull dorms. Walmart's Mainstays reversible comforter comes in shades of pinks and blues. The reversible aspect allows college kids to switch up their room for a change mid semester when the studying gets tedious. The best part lies in the price. The covers only cost $16 for a twin and $24 for a queen.
4. Walmart takes first place on bedding deals. Buy a Mainstays microfiber sheet set, which includes the fitted and flat sheets and one pillowcase for a $7 twin set. A queen or full size costs $16 and includes the sheets and two pillowcases. The sets come in gray, blue and pink.
5. Keep your school stress level down by staying organized this year. Start with your closet. Hanging shelves from Ikea only cost $3 a pop and provide four slots to stash your clothing, accessories, books or shoes. Hang a few side by side for a make-shift dresser.
6. There's a reason that Ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese are considered college food. Because most dorm rooms come without kitchens, microwaves add a whole new variety of late night snacks and meals when you get tired of the cafeteria food. Right now, Sears' Proctor Silex microwave is on sale for $40.
7. Late night cram sessions are bound to cut into hours of sleep, but make every precious second count by transforming a stiff, dorm bed into a comfortable snooze spot with a mattress pad. Macy's bedding sale brings a $40 to $70 Charter Club pad down to $18. The price remains the same despite the size of the bed so go ahead and make your dorm bed a little more like home.
8. Buy some plush towels to combat the stark, community bathrooms. At Macy's, save over 50% on the Ralph Lauren basic towel collection. Choose from six different rich colors including white, green, beige, navy, pink and off white. Washcloths cost $2, hand towels go for $4 and bath towels are currently knocked down from $14 to $6.
9. In a situation where an extra few square feet means squeezing in your guitar or a couple more pairs of shoes, imagine what you could stash under your bed if it were six inches taller. The Container Store has currently knocked $3 off of its set bed risers. Each pack now sells for $10 a pop.
10. Many students agree that the number one college must-have is caffeine. Save on daily cups of Starbucks by brewing your own at home. Kmart's current coffee clearance puts out a few makers for cheap. Buy the simple Proctor Silex 12 cup coffee maker for only $13. If you're strapped for space, consider purchasing a smaller machine. Kmart also sells the tiny Mr. Coffee four-cup maker that will set you back $18. For a jolt of caffeine, go for an espresso machine such as the Mr. Coffee four shot steam espresso machine. Espresso machines' prices jump a little higher than coffee makers so Kmart's Mr. Coffee version goes for $33.
If you're living off campus, but are also looking to spruce up your room, think about purchasing a new mattress from Ikea. The furniture store sells a variety of sizes and styles including both spring and foam beds. Try heading to a store near you where the workers will work with you personally to find a bed that best fits your needs. Ikea currently offers free mattress removal when you have a new one delivered through August 29.
Back-to-school 2010 cool list: 10 must-have chic dorm furnishing bargains