The Economista: Bulk-Buy Now, Save Later

IMG_6359Welcome to The Economista! Brought to you by your first-year blogger/new best friend Karine Liu, The Economista is a blog for the budget-conscious Brunonian! Check back here each week for the tips and tricks that’ll have you rolling in your own sea of green out on the Main Green in no time!

Ah, November. The month that’s chock full of midterms, papers, and the creeping suspicion that finals are actually happening in the not so distant future. Perhaps what you’ve also noticed about this lovely time of year is that this is when the warehouse of supplies that you came to Brown with has suddenly begun to disappear (unless you were one of the lucky ducks whose parents showered them with love as well as multiple trips off-campus this past Family Weekend). And while the CVS on Thayer certainly is handy, its prices can certainly make you wonder if necessities really are necessities (hint: if it’s hygiene-related, the answer is yes).

But have no fear: between the convenience of ZipCar and Brown’s free access to RIPTA as well as the tons of free ride codes from Uber and Lyft, a trip to your nearest bargain prices hub is more than possible! And so you won’t be facepalming later, wondering how you could possibly forget to buy that one thing, here’s a complete list of the unusually useful things to bulk up on and save major cash:

  1. Paper towels

I don’t think it takes an expert to say that dorm rooms get messy. From spilling your strawberry lemonade from Andrews Commons to actually wiping down your desk (I do everything at my desk and it HAS to be wiped down weekly), paper towels are a staple of a college student’s arsenal. Buying them in bulk will prep you thoroughly for any of the problems that life will inevitably choose to spill on you.

  1. Cereal

Now, while I am a huge fan of the Blue Room’s daily breakfast selection that usually includes more muffins than I ever thought possible to bake, suffice it to say that there are days when getting up from your room and walking to Faunce is just too much effort. Cereal is to your rescue: imagine breakfast being made in about five seconds some five steps from your bed. That’s room service.

  1. Plastic plates/cups/utensils

Even living with a sink in my room (#hotelandrews), I still hate doing dishes. And if the scrubbing, the hot water, and the pruny hands afterwards aren’t enough to convince you that plastic dinnerware is important, consider if half your hall comes over for a little shindig with food. Yeah. Clean-up is much easier throwing everything into a trash bag than having a huge Mount Everest of dishes to clean later.

  1. Trash bags

That being said, being able to throw everything into a trash bag necessitates a trash bag. Pick up a hundred and garbage is a thing of the past. As long as you remember to take it out, that is.

  1. Tissues

With the winter season approaching, it’ll start to seem like more people are sick than aren’t. And your having tissues with you 24/7 not only will win you points with strangers, but also will protect you from their germs (ie sneezing into a tissue rather than on you). Plus, who knows when you’ll get sick yourself? Having a running nose and not a tissue to blow it makes you a sniffler: do not be a sniffler.

  1. Rubber bands

For bounding things together. Also great for closing cereal bags, as to avoid any more roommates in the form of critters from moving in.

  1. Vitamins

With a diet consisting of a fair amount of French fries, vitamins are what keep my hair from falling out. Buying them in bulk (and in the gummy form, because they’re just like fruit snacks) sends you on your way to a life of health and happiness (as long as you exercise too).

So that concludes the list! With these necessities at the ready, you’ll be saving yourself major cash and making your life (and your dormmates’s, probably) just so much easier, especially when finals do actually come around! Until next time!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for any topics you’d like to see covered by The Economista, email me at! See you next week!


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