Shopping for your first apartment is difficult, no doubt about it. Even more complicated is when you have roommates to share the spending with. At first, it sounds like a good deal, until you start deciding what to buy. Thus, the opportunity to employ the following solutions:
- Coming from a hyper-organized, excel-loving, control-freak: create a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet with the following headings:
- Location (kitchen, bathroom, common room)
- Person Bringing
2. Once you create this spreadsheet, get together as a group via video chat or in person and filter through what each person already has and is able to bring in order to cut costs. If someone “signs up” for the frying pan, highlight the rest of the cells in that column on the spreadsheet and fill them with a solid color (I chose black).
3. On your second filter, decide what the most important things on your list are (such as silverware and table settings) and highlight those rows in a different color like yellow.
4. Once your list is complete, begin your research. I would recommend starting with dishes and silverware. Target.com is a great place to start. There you can filter your results by price and brand.
- In my experience, one of the most reliable brands is Corelle. Corelle’s dinner ware sets are microwave safe, sturdy (not broken as easily as your Mother’s fine China!) and affordable. For example, when sorted from highest to lowest price, Corelle’s highest price as July 11th, 2010 is $79.99. Let’s say you have 8 roommates…that equals approximately $8/person for a 16 piece dinnerware set!
- Another reliable brand is Target Home. Yes it is not Oneida or Lenox like I enjoy at my home, it is quite fine for a temporary college apartment. It is good quality and does not break student’s bank accounts. For a special of $60 I purchased 8 place settings along with an added bonus of 5 serving utensils; for my apartment of 6, it only cost us $10 each.
For additional super saving shopping experiences I recommend:
- Bed Bath and Beyond
- AC Moore (Where I got a 5-piece bake ware set for a super special sale price of $10 from a regular of $30!)