We can all agree that back to school season can be the most exciting, but the most stressful time of the year. There's so much on your list of things that you need/desperately want for your dorm or apartment, and then you look at your bank account and cry internally. Yep, that's me each and every year without fail. Thankfully, there are ways and strategies to college shopping for when you're on a budget and you don't want to break the bank. I have a lot of unprepared friends that have yet to start their year, so I've gathered inspiration from my college shopping experience this year, so here are the best and cheapest stores to shop for furniture, decor, supplies, and more.

1. Amazon

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What better way to college shop than from the comfort of your own home? This year I bought loads of cute things for my apartment at low prices, including plant hangers, a comforter, a shower curtain, and even a couch cover for my dog, all at very affordable prices. I even found a wifi router for $17! My strategy would be going to stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond and Target to get an idea of what I wanted. Then, I would go on Amazon and see which exact or similar items I could get at a cheaper price. I ended up saving a lot of money by shopping smart! (Don't forget, Prime members get free two-day shipping)

2. Bed, Bath & Beyond

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BB&B is by far the holy grail for college shopping. If you choose to do so, you can get all of the things you need from this store alone, and you can find necessities for your place at low prices! As an added bonus, you can receive coupons in the mail for $10 off or 20% off your entire purchase about once a month. The best part is that the coupons never actually expire, as the store employees also want to help you save your money!

3. Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s

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I included these three stores in the same point because they all have one thing in common: everything there is dirt cheap! You can find so many cute clothes, furniture, shelves, and more for the lowest prices you will ever see. I found a very nice, imported shelf unit for just under $40. Be sure to visit all three to widen your scope and find the best deals to save money!

4. Walmart

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It would be ridiculous of me not to include Walmart on this list. Here, you can buy literally anything you need for the lowest prices. I did all my last minute, I-totally-forgot-about-these-things, shopping and I am very happy that I did. A welcome mat for $4? A shower liner for $6?? Lightbulbs for $1 each?!? Seriously, I am amazed at the prices I see every time I visit Walmart.

5. Craigslist, Facebook, Neighborhood Yard Sales

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Sometimes the best (and cheapest) furniture you can find is in your neighborhood! Lots of people (especially homeowners) are always looking to get rid of some old furniture that's still in pretty good shape, so you can find lots of options online or out in your area. For safety reasons, be sure to bring a friend with you when meeting someone on the internet!

Just by visiting these places, you'll get all of the things you need for college and still have money left over. I was able to completely furnish my apartment as well as my life, and my wallet definitely thanked me for it. Have fun, and good luck with the upcoming school year students!