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Monday, July 25, 2016

Let's Talk Shopping for College

So, you're going to college.  Maybe you are going away to college or you're living at home going to community college or a local college or university.  Today we're talking about the stuff you will need whether you are staying at home or living in a dorm.  Yes, it's time to talk school supplies.

In previous years your mom (or you with your mom) did the school supply shopping, perhaps following a list provided by your school (yeah, some schools even do this in high school).  This time, you're on your own, but some stuff is obvious - paper, pencils, notebooks, planner, etc.  But do you know where to get the best prices on that stuff?  Never fear, a couple of thrifty bloggers (not me!) have done the homework for you.  Check out this printable Back to School shopping list from Simplemost.  They have already done the price comparisons and show you which store gives you the cheapest price on the kinds of school supplies.  Passion for Savings has price lists and an app to help you find the best prices.

Computers weren't available for classes when I was in college, but those of you lucky enough to go off to college this year with a laptop, probably don't need much in the way of school supplies.  However, you definitely need something safe to carry that laptop AND a backup for the stuff you put on that laptop.  I would suggest keeping your stuff in the Cloud, or if you have items too big (like digital textbooks) try a small hard drive.  That way, a mishap that damages your laptop doesn't mean you loose all of your class notes and papers.  As far as storage, a lot of companies are making backpacks and messenger bags with special padded areas for electronics.  USE THEM.  Better yet, buy a good padded sleeve and keep it in your back pack or messenger bag.  If you want more choices and styles, check out the selection on Etsy.  Just search for laptop case or sleeve or bag and you'll find plenty of choices.  Don't be cheap on this item.  The same goes for backpacks or messenger bags.  Unlike high school, you might be carrying around more books this year, so make sure your bag is up for the task. 

Ready for the digital age?  Consider renting or buying your textbooks in digital format.  You can find a list of 12 different places that rent or sell digital textbooks in this article from The Digital Reader.  In addition, there are a wealth of apps you can use to organize your study.  Check out this great infographic from Elearninginfographics.  You can also check out this great list of websites for college students from CollegeInfoGeek.  In fact, anything from CollegeInfoGeek or its YouTube site is great or follow Thomas Frank on Pinterest.  

These are just a few places you can get information about shopping for college.  Tomorrow we'll talk about shopping for that dorm room and starting learning about dorm room organization.