08/12/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Economic Downturn Sends Dorm Room Decorators Back To Basics

Among the many daunting challenges facing Shira Rosenthal as she enters freshman year at the University of Maryland is this conundrum: Which trash can to buy?

There is one from Pottery Barn spinoff PBteen that costs $29 and is painted in pastel colors and emblazoned with catchy eco-slogans like "Think Green." Then there is the plain white wastebasket from Target for just $4 -- less than the cost of a gallon of gas. Rosenthal went with the latter.

"I went with less expensive products that might not be as 'attractive,' if you know what I mean, but that work perfectly fine," the 18-year-old from Brookeville said. "I felt that things like this weren't worth spending so much money on."

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