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How This Money-Savvy Grad Saved Big on College Shopping

Gabby Carter of @growingwithgabby is a pro at helping people (and herself!) save thousands of dollars by earning scholarships––and she applies the same money know-how when preparing to return to campus. Read on to see why Walmart is her go-to destination for college shopping on any budget.

Gabby Carter relaxing in a dorm room

To say that Gabby Carter is an overachiever would be an understatement. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Princeton. She founded Our Health Matters (OHM), a non-profit organization that caters to personal, professional, and mental health while centering Black women. She is a seven-figure scholarship winner who helps students across the globe earn multi-figure scholarships and even launched her own scholarships amounting to over $10,000. But Gabby's money sense extends beyond her scholarship savvy. "I've always been incredibly resourceful, from diligently researching topics of interest to copiously searching for the best deals before purchasing back-to-school items," she says.

Victrola record player on a bookshelf

That's why she shops for her college essentials at Walmart: No tradeoffs between getting what she wants and her budget. "One of the main benefits includes being able to start off the year with more disposable income. The more I save by shopping for my daily essentials at Walmart, the more money I have to invest in myself and adventures that I love."

While Gabby has graduated, she's still got plenty of sage wisdom on how Walmart helped her save on college shopping without sacrificing style. "Each year, it felt like a new chance to reinvent myself and my space without having to break the bank." She also recommends that students keep track of what they buy so they don't purchase things twice; sign up for free loyalty programs and student-saving platforms to get exclusive student discounts at favorite retailers; and last but not least, prioritize dorm decor as much as dorm essentials. "Your room is your safe haven. Decorate it in a way that reflects your authentic self."

These are Gabby's picks for an enjoyable––and affordable––school year.

"It is imperative to have a good laptop that's dependable and durable," says Gabby. This lightweight, highly portable laptop offers speedy performance and enhanced security features.

At just $34.85, this cube organizer is as good as it gets when it comes to blending clean design with everyday function. "It's essential to maximize space, especially in small spaces like a dorm," says Gabby. 

Decorating the dorm just got more exciting than ever. This organizer bin makes putting away clothes that much prettier.

On the topic clean space = clear mind––Gabby loves this set because it elevates her bathroom by making her essentials look more cohesive and organized.

It's cushy, it's cozy, and it's foldable. "A saucer chair is great for guests in your room. I'm a big reader, so I'd put this chair in my reading nook to relax and read," says Gabby.

One of the best ways to save? Skipping that daily cup of joe from the coffee shop. Gabby agrees, "I, like many other students and professionals, need a little help waking up in the morning. Having a coffee machine saves so much time, money, and energy, since I don't have to buy overpriced coffee anymore."

"One thing I wished I'd had in college is a TV. They are great for entertainment, but also efficient since they can act as another monitor while I'm working," says Gabby.

Bed sets are a must have! Can amplify your room, and enhance your sleep experience which is important to feeling ready to take on the day.

Waffles, anyone? (Or French toast or hashbrowns or pancakes?) This petite and lightweight space saver is perfect for small dorm kitchens. It's the gift that keeps giving delicious breakfasts each day.

"I love the flexibility of being able to play music from vintage disk, bluetooth device, and non-bluetooth device. It's also a great vibrant piece of room decor," says Gabby.

This cordless, portable, and convenient blender is a game changer for students. "I love smoothies," says Gabby, "but I'm often dissuaded from making them because of how time consuming it can be in the morning. This portable version is great and will allow me to get my necessary energy in to start my day."

"I have so many different tasks and goals, but this calendar board helps me keep everything in mind and feel less overwhelmed," says Gabby. This dry erase board and calendar combo is the most effective and affordable way to manage a busy schedule.

Get everything you need for college for less at or at your local store. 

All product prices are accurate at the time of article publishing.