College Life with EG: Part 14

School Supply Shopping (Part 1)

Welcome back to another college Life with EG! Two weeks in a row, I know, we’re getting a little crazy! As I was doing my homework this week, I realized how much I rely on my different school supplies. I only like to write with my favorite pens, and I will only highlight with specific highlighters. Along with that, I realized how much I LOVE my notebooks, and I want to share all that with you. Let me just say, school nsupply shopping is my favorite time of the year. For many of you, it may be the holidays, but for me, it’s school supply season. Which, by the way, I like to do at least by early August or all the good selection will be gone. Now, college shopping is not nearly as fun as ell,etary school. I loved when they gave you an exact list of supplies, and you went to the store and just got to cross of that list. As you move on, it is not that simple. There is never an exact list, and you have so many classes that you want different things for. Sometimes one class is very specific about having a three ring binder, but in some classes, you may be on your own. Trust me, that can be super stressful! How do you know if you should get a notebook and a folder, or just a notebook? Or should you get a three ring binder? Who knows!? Well, I am here to help you out a little bit and give you the insight on the BEST (and affordable) brands! I with lead you through the steps of getting school supplies, what you need based on your “readiness preference,” and how to organize after. I will be breaking this up into two posts because I have a LOT to talk about 🙂

Steps to Getting School Supplies

  1. Take inventory of what you have (so you don’t get way more than you need)
    • If it was reasonable, I would get a new notebook for every subject, every year. However, that gets costly and it’s pretty wasteful. Chances are you only use up half of a notebook (or less) in a year, and you can reuse them the next year. If that is the case, write down your inventory including the colors (I always like to have my folders match my notebooks). Also, write down all pens, pencils, binders, or anything else you already.
  2. Look at your classes and determine if there are any specific supplies you need
    • Along with the supplies I suggest below, you want to make sure you get any specific supplies your teachers request. A math class will probably need a calculator, and Spanish usually takes a three ring binder, for example. Hopefully your teacher sends out an email of what you need before you go shopping!
  3. Set a budget
    • You can seriously spend 100s of dollars school supply shopping. To ensure you don’t do that, set a budget for yourself (you do not have to get the fancy binders by any means). If you aren’t into school supplies like I am, go for the 25 cent binders and save the money for something more exciting to you:) You can put this into one big budget, or set up categories. For example, maybe you want to spend $5 on notebooks, $10 on pens, etc, or you just want to spend a max of $50 on everything. Also, if you already have enough pencils at home, you can save the money and use what you already have! I love to get new stuff all the time, but again, I have come to the conclusion that probably isn’t reasonable.
  4. Set out for the store and be prepared for it to take a while
    • What I mean is… plan out a bit of time. If you want the PERFECT school supplies, you will want to ponder a little bit. You don’t have to go through each row 10 times like I do, but maybe 2 or 3. I prefer Walmart because it usually has the best selection for the best price. Plus, there are Walmarts ALL over. Otherwise, you could go to a place like Staples or Office Depot, but you will be spending a lot more!

Next up… what to buy! In the section I will have three categories… the bare minimum you need to do you schoolwork, the “average,” and how to go above and beyond. By no means feel obligated to do the third one because it truly is “extra”… if you will. If you love school as much as I do, you may want to try it out. \

What to Buy

The Minimal Supplies

The minimal supplies is all you need to get you through your basic classes. Here is what I came up with…

  • Pens and pencils: you always needs pencils (to erase mistakes in your work) and pens (so you can write in different colors). This is all you need for writing supplies, however. If you do not want to buy many things, skip the highlighters. Instead, use your pens to circle and underline. Make sure you have at least one red and black pen, but I would shoot for blue and green as well. As you go from class to class, you can keep these in your pockets or your hands.
  • Notebooks: you can choose to get multiple subject notebooks or a single subject notebook for each class. If you don’t want to carry around a lot of stuff, get a five subject notebook. That should keep you covered for every subject, unless you have more than five classes. In that case, buy two three subject if you have 6 classes or a five subject and a two subject if you have seven. If you are going this route, make sure you are not going to write TOO much. The multiple subject notebooks come with less pages per subject. If you have a class you know will fill up your binder, you may want to get a one subject for it (P.S. I have never filled up an entire notebook for one class).
  • Calculator: only if you have a math class
  • There are some essential items for certain classes, such as rulers or protractors. If you know you will need that stuff, I would recommend one of the kits with all of those supplies. Otherwise, you can wait until class starts to confirm what you need.

The “average” supplies

These are the supplies I would recommend to most people. You want to have everything you need for school, but not be WAY over the top. Unlike me, you may not want a million school supplies, but you still want to make sure you’re set for success. Well, here it goes…

  • Pens, pencils, and highlighters: make sure you have all the pencils you need for class. If you buy a bulk pack (which I would recommend), leave a few pencils in your pencil case and the rest at home until you need them. Trust me, you will lose pencils (or people will steal them, so sad!). For pens, I would recommend at least four (blue, black, red, and green), but you could even go for an 8 pack to be completely prepared. Sometimes I like to double up on the basic colors because I know I will lose them. Then, just a couple colors of highlighters for highlighting definitions and main topics should work.
  • Pencil case: if you are going to have quite a few pens and pencils, you will definitely want a case to carry them!
  • Notebooks for each class: this is totally up to you on how you want to organize these. If you like to have one full notebook per class, then do so. Otherwise, you can buy the multiple subject ones. I recommend getting one notebook for each class, then reusing them the next year.
  • Folders for each class: I like to have folders because they can hold all the loose papers teachers just LOVE to hand out. Now, some notebooks do have folders in them but I find that my paper always gets wrinkled in there.
  • Calculator: only if you have a math class
  • There are some essential items for certain classes, such as rulers or protractors. If you know you will need that stuff, I would recommend one of the kits with all of those supplies. Otherwise, you can wait until class starts to confirm what you need.


As always,

with love,


One thought on “College Life with EG: Part 14

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