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Topic: need advice for cheap college supplies

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Subject: need advice for cheap college supplies
Date Posted: 3/16/2009 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2008
Posts: 258
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Anyone know where or how I can get really cheap school supplies?

Date Posted: 3/16/2009 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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what sort of supplies?

when I was in college, I reused my notebooks until they were actually full, and there was a surplus stationery store in town where I could buy folders/random necessary items. 

Date Posted: 3/16/2009 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2008
Posts: 258
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notebooks, pens, pencils. ect. Just the basic stuff

Also is there any specific type that I need to have or can any thing work.

i'm going to the community college and im really nervous that im not going to get the right stuff. lol. my friends just laugh at me and tell me not to worry that ill figure it out as i go but being this is my first semister i would like to be slightly prepared.

Date Posted: 3/16/2009 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2009
Posts: 11
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hey i'm in college now too. check out the local dollar stores and stores such as office depot or staple.the college bookstore may help since you're a student.hope that helps!

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 7:35 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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It's college.  No one cares what notebooks you use (or if you even take notes) or how you organize yourself, so get whatever supplies you want. I usually had a folder and a notebook for each class. 

Stores like Target, Walmart, etc. have very low school supply prices in the summer time. 

In my experience, supplies at college bookstores are expensive, and I wouldn't buy stuff there. 

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,204
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It won't really help this coming year, but it's the after-school-starts-rush that you want to hit. Basically, once everyone goes back, the stores have to get rid of stuff and it's marked down to like 10 notebooks for $1, etc. So you can go this time and stock up for the rest of the semesters ahead of you. I agree with not getting it from the college bookstore. Although a nice, thick, hard covered notebook with your school's logo embossed in gold leaf is really neat, paying $3.50 for one single notebook is not! Stores like Target are your best bet, but I would suggest purchasing only a little of what you will need to get you through the first month or so, then waiting for those sales.

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 763
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I remember Staples always had great school supplies really cheap (10 cents a notebook, a pack of pens for 50 cents...etc)  But that might only be during the summer :/

Date Posted: 3/18/2009 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2008
Posts: 258
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thanks everyone. I got some notebook filler paper and will be getting some binders. I also got a ton of lead pencils


niffir - ,
Date Posted: 3/18/2009 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
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When the semester is ending, you can clean up on school supplies and furniture if you don't mind taking stuff from the trash.  Just go around the dorms and neighborhoods where college kids tend to live.  There will be stuff piled up at the curb in the rush to get out of town at the end of the semester.  You can find more paper, pens, etc. than you can use, plus furniture, clothes, and lots of other things.


ETA: You don't even have to go through "dirty" trash to get this stuff.  Lots of it will be out at the curb loose or in open boxes.

Last Edited on: 3/18/09 3:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/21/2009 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 4,505
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That's a good idea niffir!  I need to do that this year to stock up on supplies for our homeschool!



Date Posted: 3/23/2009 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2008
Posts: 258
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That really is a good idea. I think my mom would do that for my sister. I dont drive and the nearest college town is a bit too far to walk but I will most certanly tell my mom

Date Posted: 3/23/2009 8:06 AM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2009
Posts: 91
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Spring 09 Term my daughters finanicial aid did stretch far enough to cover the full cost of her books which were est. to cost about $700 for the term.  Since she found this out in December there was time for her to bargin shop for books.  Between Half.com, eBay.com and Amazon.com she was able to obtain all the books she needed and only had to get the lab kits from the school book store. The savings was close to $300. Now it did take a bit more time to collect the books so this may make it difficult for some people to do this, but, becase she was able to track everything down via alternatives to the school bookstore she didn't have to drop a class to have money for books for the rest of her classes.  


Date Posted: 3/23/2009 9:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 180
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Do you have a goodwill where you are? Or a Salvation Army. Or if you can wait until a month or so before college check at Walgreens and/ or Walmart and buy them when they are cheap. I get pencils for like .10 and paper for like 3-4 for less than a dollar. So I buy a lot when I can.

Date Posted: 3/24/2009 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2008
Posts: 258
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Last Edited on: 12/13/09 1:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Bonnie (LoveNE) - ,
Subject: supplies
Date Posted: 3/25/2009 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2007
Posts: 5,982
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Michelle if you are still looking I have two kids in college and bought all my supplies dirt cheap at the before school sales in summer. You have to go store to store (staples,walmart,target) but it's worth it. I have some left over and I'd be glad to send some if it will help. PM me and let me know...Good luck and study hard!   Bonnie

Date Posted: 3/25/2009 11:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2008
Posts: 1,362
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Also, next summer, if you live in a decent sized town, check out the back to school ads, find out what's on sale at each place, then take all your ads to Wal-Mart.  They will ad match just about anything.  I got Expo markers for $1.99 a pack, paper for 15 cents, and the like.  As a teacher, I have to be really careful how much I spend, since it's my own money.  I just took my list into Wal-Mart and ad matched my heart out.  Just make sure you go shopping at a time that's not too busy, since people get angry at you if they have to wait (I used to work at Wal-Mart too).  Good luck, normally your professors will tell you what you need, I know I tell my students what they need when I hand out my syllabus. 

Subject: College/school supplies
Date Posted: 3/28/2009 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 2
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My daughter started college this past fall and did a couple semesters of joint enrollment at the local college. Check the used booksellers on Amazon - we got several good deals that way. Also, most colleges have ways of contacting other students about used books - find out what arrangements your school/students have made. Finally, I just got a great deal on a used textbook on Powells.com - and I found a coupon for free shipping (no minimum) on dealcoupon.com Good luck!!
Date Posted: 3/29/2009 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2008
Posts: 258
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Hey everyone. Thank you all for your help and advice. I am going for my placement testing on the 18th and that will tell me what classes I'm starting out in. I looked at the college web site and found their book store I almost passed out when I saw that the typical price for a used book for my area of study was $150-$200. I can't believe that they would charge that much for a used book. I have been advised to check out several online web sites and a girl that I work with told me that for my more basic classes if she has the books she would lend them or sell them to me. I will keep everyone posted on whats going on and let you know where I got my best deals.

I went to staples the other day with my mother-in-law when they had deals on tablets,pens,pencils ect. They limited it to 2 per item so my MIL payed for half and I payed her back. But I got 6 boxes of pens 12 legal pads and 4 packs of pencils and only spent $15 in all. Normally it would have cost me about $40 to buy these items.

Date Posted: 4/14/2009 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2008
Posts: 258
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Date Posted: 4/15/2009 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2008
Posts: 626
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Niffir that is a great idea!  It reminds me of all the stuff (not just school supplies) that people used to get rid of at my college.  During the last few weeks of the semester, the univeristy would bring in these huge garbage containers for kids to throw things away.  You would be shocked at how many futons, chairs, furniture!, etc. that students were throwing away.  It was really sad.

My roommates and I loaded up on those fold-up sports chairs you can buy... they were in LIKE-NEW condition!

If you know students with access to campuses... that actually wouldn't be a bad place to head...

Date Posted: 4/16/2009 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2005
Posts: 4,577
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Check out bestBookbuys.com to compare textbook prices to find the cheapest one.  if you use half.com though make sure that an extended shipping time won't really affect your grade.  And find out if you can use an earlier edition.  I did that this semester and saved a bundle

For supplies I'd say...dollar tree, back to school stock up sale, other discount stores, good will and one not mentioned....freecycle. Offices are always giving away school supplies on freecycle here.


Subject: Dont worry!
Date Posted: 6/12/2009 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2009
Posts: 17
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I used to go to a community college. It doesnt matter what supplies you have and if it needs to be specific, then your teachers will let you know.  Walmart usually has 10 cent notebooks and packs of pens for 50 cent. Target is similar. When not in the peak season, go to doller tree. I figured out that some of my supplies I could have gotten there, they just didnt have them in the Doller Tree at the Time. I usually use notebooks to take notes in and would get a folder for each class. Other than that, a binder and loose paper takes up too much room.  I will usually get my books from Amazon.com. Even though I work at a bookstore and get a gret discount, amazon is still cheaper.

When you get to know some other students it really helps to sell books through them or buy from them. It will be cheaper than buying at other places and I would recommend never buying from the bookstore. And don't sell back to them either, sell your books back on amazon.  If you need any other info, please let me know.

Subject: Buying textbooks
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 13
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Enter the textbook isbn numbers into www.isbndb.com and they'll show you the lowest prices from eBay, Half.com, and dozens of online bookstores. I picked up on of my $34 English books for $2 on eBay. Ask the professors if older editions of the textbooks will work; they're usually cheaper. Good luck!

Date Posted: 6/21/2009 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 229
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Some people really don't like mechanical pencils, but I found them much more convenient while in college - I did not have to worry about finding a pencil sharpener or missing notes because I was up sharpening my pencil. I usually found packs of them at Wal Mart or Meijer for cheap, and they seem to last longer than regular lead pencils (since you don't waste part of the pencil while you sharpen it).

If you end up thinking you need some type of supply that is not paper/pencil/folder, maybe you can ask for it for a birthday or another holiday.

Date Posted: 6/22/2009 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2009
Posts: 13
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I would just wait until class starts, really. My first year at college I went nuts with getting supplies-- now I just use a single notebook, a few cheap  folders, and a mechanical pencil.