Almost a year ago, a reader named Emily wrote with a great tip about finding good deals from local college students. I lost her e-mail until recently, but that's okay. Her advice is perfect for this time of year. Here's what she says:
If you happen to live around a university, the end of the semester (especially the end of the spring semester and during the summer) is the absolute best time to get great deals on pretty nice stuff. Lots of college students are leaving and trying to dump everything — kitchenware, furniture, electronics — and, in my experience, it's not as trashed as you'd think. There are very high-quality items among the frenzy, especially if you're near a university that has a wealthy student body.
Last week I bought a hand mixer in perfect condition for $5 that retails for $20. The student had bought it but it was never used. Last year I got a $70 high-quality knife set for $10. I've seen full- and queen-size beds with nary a stain on the mattresses nor a spring broken selling for $50. Check the local Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or look for a Daily Jolt website for the college nearby.
If you can keep up with the massive amount of listings, you can find amazing deals.
This rings true with my own experience. When I was a resident assistant, I had to go through all of the rooms and storage areas at the end of the year. There was always tons of stuff left behind. A lot of it was trash, but much of it was perfectly usable. And I had friends who sold lots of stuff (even cars!) for cheap just so they could get rid of it.
Do you have a money-saving tip? Send it in!