Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Evils of College Shopping

My best word of advise for you if you are shopping for dorm needs--Do NOT walk into a Bed, Bath & Beyond!!!

I was in one of those stores two weekends ago, trying to find a new scrubby brush with a long handle for use in the shower/tub.
I use to use Dollar Tree versions except they started stocking ones with thinner handles that bend and snap if you apply pressure.
So after exhausting all my other options, my search led to a BBB store.....armed with a 20% off coupon of course. ;-)

Anyway, I digress......

Sure, they have these cool printouts of checklists for college shopping and if you go online, you can print out a checklist specific to your school.
But that is just their evil ploy to take over your bank account!

I warn you, if you get dragged into filling your college needs at BB&B, you may end up looking like this once you get to school......

Having brought waaaay more than you "need" and having to stuff half of it back into your minivan or truck to take back home.

College dorm shopping shouldn't have to bankrupt you....not that the school hasn't already taken all your money and lots of future earnings because of the student loans you had to cosign.

Next time you go into one of these stores, picture the sales clerks there like this.....

Or this.....

Of course, they can also look like this instead.....young and innocent......

But don't you be fooled!
Think of that store and it's minions as evil trolls who's job it is to separate you from your money!!
Because after all, that IS their job.

On my outing to BB&B I observed many pairs of women......consisting of an older women and a teen girl, otherwise known as mother and daughter pairs.....entering the store.
They walked into  BBB, with the "deer in the headlights" looks on their faces.

When the sales clerks roaming the store saw a pair like this, it was the telltale sign that they were college shopping.  They would immediately pounce of the pair in their sights and lead them into a frenzy of color-coordinated shopping of sheets, comforters, pillows, wall décor, bath towels, wastebaskets, lamps, etc.  And all of it was hideously overpriced in my estimation.  I bet none of them got out of that store spending less than $500.

I just shook my head and eventually had to look was such a gruesome sight.

So if you have college dorm needs, just say NO to Bed, Bath & Beyond!
But if you must enter into this foul den of color coordinated malevolence, please, I beseech you! least take a discount coupon, preferably one of those oversized blue ones they are forever mailing you.

Then buy only the bare needs(after you've researched and not found it cheaper at another den of retail evil)and leave immediately!

And better yet, do NOT take a teenager with you or, EVEN WORSE, give the teen your credit card and let them run the BB&B sales clerk gauntlet alone! 
Best case scenario, have your college student give you their preferences on a list and you go do battle alone.
If you have to make a color or style decision, use your phone to Skype them, or better yet just buy the basic model with the lower price tag and tell your teen to live with it or go pay for it themselves!

Your wallet will thank you.  8-)))



  1. I don't know how you could afford to pay for college and shop at BBB! It would have to be one or the other here.

  2. Those stores are so bloody expensive. Parents who give teens credit cards are carazy! That is a skill to be learned once they are earning their own living, not on Mommy and Daddy's dime.

  3. My daughter insisted on EVERYTHING being matchy-matchy, color-coordinated. She did not take him with her because she picked up things over weeks as she found them. She even bought him new pillows.

    My best friend at the time (no longer a friend at all) was absolutely horrified my daughter picked out everything. She did not consult him on anything. My ex-best friend thought that was oh-so wrong, that the child should be in on the choosing. Of course, this friend would have allowed the child to have the most expensive of anything. .

    My head was spinning and I was not even in the midst of this flurry. I did use my swag bucks to buy him two sets of sheets and a fan, all shipped to daughter's house. Of course, I sent him a huge flat rate box with free school supplies. No, I did not try color coordinating anything.

    I asked exbf if he got all new color coordinated sheets and things when he went to college. He said he recalled buying nothing new, and probably just took sheets from home. I know I did. I only remember getting a new iron and ironing board because the two girls there would not let me use theirs because I might break it. ??? I lived in a three bedroom house, two girls in two rooms and a dorm mother in the other.

    My grandson did not take a tv to school. When they all got to school, daughter's ex commented that he did not have a tv. Daughter and ex came in different cars. G-son said, "Oh, that's okay. I can watch on my laptop I don't really need a tv." His father and daughter's bf went to WM and bought him a tv!!! The kid is not high maintenance at all.

    I would have sent towels and washcloths from home, but she had to coordinate once again. Using a rebate, I bought him towels from WM and mailed for free. It was just madness!

    Even though he chose nothing and was not consulted on most things, he liked everything.

  4. I just completed dorm shopping for my oldest. I've got to say, I have spent hardly anything on these kids other than the necessities for their activities and school (swim team, marching band, drama, choir, model u.n., youth in gov't, academic teams, etc.). We never went on huge expensive vacations, usually visited family since many live at the beach, never had big babtism/confirmation parties, or big birthday parties, never had sweet 16 parties, never bought them laptops, or pricey phones (pay as you go is the best). They each had one bike their whole lives and one I got for free from the lady that used watch them.

    Both my girls worked very hard in everything they did and made it to the top tiers in all activities including grades.

    I saved, and saved, and saved, and saved, and budgeted for this moment in their lives and personally, I think with everything they've accomplished, if they want matchy matchy, they can have it. I used coupons, and got a good deal through the university on sheets, towels, comforter etc. guaranteed to last till she graduates. But I did do the BBB trip. Up until the mattress topper purchase (had to get another coupon and buy that separately) I had only spent about $325.

    My kids aren't spoiled by any means but at this point I believe they deserve the best I can reasonably give them. In fact I just replaced her sneakers college girl's had since 9th grade and dropped another $110 because because she has flat feet and starts band camp on the 16th which is a 7 day, 8am to 11pm grind. Worth every penny.

  5. Personally I don't know how that store stays in business as i don't ever go in there unless I have to, it is just too expensive and I think they have crappy sales.

  6. lol! Got it! Maddy is getting her things together again and a LOT less shopping than last year. She's learned the value of a buck and is being extrEMELY frugal this year.

  7. I think my manager would trade sons with you... hers doesn't care one bit about anything being bought. She's the one that has to make all decisions and all lists. He just wants to leave with a pack of shorts, tshirts, and his laptop. Guess every extreme is equally irritating and expensive.

  8. OMG, this is so true! LOL. We only bought a few items from BBB, we did purchase her bedding from the college itself. It was actually more cost effective. The only thing left is a printer, which we will get on sale and with coupons.

  9. These days, most colleges tell incoming freshmen to LEAVE IT AT HOME! I've seen the move-in horrors, helped transport the stuff (both ways, same day), and just shook my head in despair. Who needs a dorm room with one little path to each bed?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHA New TV series: Hoarders: The College Tour!

    Peace <3

  10. We ended up getting the bedding from BBB because we were unable to find twin comforters we liked (feel is important to my son, not looks!) anywhere else. I got my first coordinating bedding set for my dorm room when I went away and wanted to do the same for my kids. I had a very hard time keeping a straight face though as the salesperson walked me through the many layers of things we "needed" for the dorm bed. Then we bought sheets and a comforter (he picked the clearance one--good kid!) and left.

  11. Then there's the lovely option of having your child live at home while attending the local university. Actually it wasn't that bad. But a year later after school is finished...and...she's... still at home:p

    1. Jane,
      My daughter was shocked her son wanted to, had to, must move away to school. I told her she needed to start training the girl right away, getting her used to the idea she is not spending that kind of money, just grants and no debt, live at home. She assured me she had that in mind.

  12. I rarely go to BBB and always with a coupons. That store has gorgeous stuff, but I don't need any of it. LOL!

  13. So so true. I entered BBB a few months ago after moving. I visited several other stores but couldn't find the perfect shower curtain. It was actually my first time in BBB, ad I've been living under a rock! We spent four years living in a small town in the middle of the country extremely far from civilization. Prior to that, who knows . Anyway, I was intrigued by the beautiful colors and patterns. I did visit with the intention to also purchase a specific wooden dish drainer that my Aunt has. I finally found a shower curtain and yes I had a teenager in tow. $32 later for a shower curtain, I felt a little ashamed and once hung, I really thought the said colors and pattern seemed a bit loud. No more BBC . NOT to mention, the gentleman of the home was shocked that I'd paid such a price.


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