Don't Waste Your Money On These School Supplies

Pumpkin Spice Lattes, colorful leaves, flannels, and apple picking are just some of the things that describe the fall season but let's not forget about brand new school supplies - new notebooks, pens, flashcards, and more. That’s right, fall is not just PSL season but also back-to-school season. You may find yourself overwhelmed with B2S deals. These deals make everything seem like a necessary and smart purchase. Of course, I need five notebooks, especially when I’m buying four and get the fifth for free! And those gel pens, they’re too cute to pass on. But once you reach the register and the cashier totals your items, you may find yourself spending more than you originally intended. At that moment, you ask yourself, “Are all these items really a MUST-HAVE?”

Here is a list of some school supply items that you may want to give a second thought to before purchasing:

New Pens


If you’re not that particular about the types of pens you use, then don’t waste money on buying pens ($12.70). Why? Because free pens are one of the best things about college. I can guarantee you will be offered a free pen from student organization and company tabling events that will happen around your campus, especially at the beginning of the semester.

New Backpack


Backpacks can be quite pricey ( $55$55, for example). One of the qualities consumers look for in a backpack is durability. So, if your backpack from the previous semester is working fine, then don’t waste money on buying a new backpack.




While flashcards are a great study tool, they can be another expense ($8.19). Remember that you can also make FREE online flashcards. Sites such a quizlet offer an interactive free flashcard tool. Similar to regular flashcards, you can take them with you on the go via your smartphone by downloading their smartphone app.


In the day and age of modern technology, fancy TI-84 Plus calculators ($99) don’t seem like a necessity unless your major really requires one. Most classes requiring a calculator will be okay with a basic functioning calculator ($16.99).

Even then, be sure to check with your professor whether or not calculators are actually allowed on exams or a necessity for class.



First of all, binders are a GREAT way to organize material. But if you are really on a tight budget, then skip the binder ($9.49). Binders are bulky and can be cumbersome to carry around. Instead of binders, try to use folders to organize your study materials.



A mini stapler in your backpack may seem useful in emergency situations like if you’re running late for class and need to hand in a paper before class starts. But a mini stapler is another expense ($13.16) that can be spared. Instead, use the staplers that libraries, student centers, and printing centers let students use for free.

Flash Drive

Instead of using a flash drive, try using a program that auto-saves your assignment and can be accessed anywhere. Free storage programs such as OneDrive and DropBox can be pretty useful in saving your important assignments as well as save you a pretty penny ($19).

Hole Punch


A hole punch is a great resource for punching holes in your papers to put into your binder. But as mentioned previously, binders can be a cost that can be spared. If you aren’t using binders to organize your notes, then don’t waste money on a hole punch ($12). Like staplers, hole punches are available to use for free in libraries, student centers, and printing centers.


Now, let’s tally up how much money you’ve saved by not purchasing these school supplies. Let’s imagine ourselves back amidst the aisles of shoppers and the cashier rings you up. But this time, it’s a total of how much you DIDN’T spend. Pens (12.70) + Backpack ($55) + Flashcards ($8.19) + Calculator ($16.99) + Binder ($9.49)+Stapler ($13.16) + Flash Drive ($19) + Hole Punch ($12). Wow……. A whole whopping $146.53!

Perhaps this will encourage you to keep a sharp mind and a sharp eye when making purchases during your back-to-school shopping!