Back To School | College Gear Savings!


It’s that time of year when we are all getting kids back to school and college!!!  As a mom of 4 I have already been through the college prep three times already.  My latest stint was last month, my son plays football so we transported him to South Dakota a month ago already for football camp and weight training!


Here are just a few of the Must Have items that I know my kids wanted and actually USED during their stints at college life.  Most of the lists you will find from schools are crazy long and crazy expensive.    Here are a few of the basics, all links head to Amazon to help you find some deals that are going on during their back to school savings sales!  (yeah, if you buy something on Amazon through one of the following links I may make a few cents, hey it helps pay for the blog!)


  • A laptop. Make sure it’s light and make sure you don’t spend a ton because it’s bound to be dropped, stolen or just abused.  You want it to be able to last 4 years (or maybe 5, depending on your students major) but don’t invest in top of the line unless you have money to blow out the window!  This year my son paid for his laptop, because truthfully we couldn’t afford a new one for him.  He chose the 13 inch MacBook Air, which if you pick up at an Apple store you will be paying about a grand for.  BUT they will get a student discount.  You can pick it up on Amazon though for roughly $930 – $950.Other great picks if you aren’t an Apple product fan is the Dell XPS 13 inch or the Asus Zenbook UX305
  • A GOOD backpack.  One that’s going to last a semester full of crap and heavy books…ok well and to transport beer and drinks inconspicuously as well!  The backpacks available now are not like we used to have, they have become TSA compliant (good for the kid who travels abroad or across the country for a weekend visit home!) offer dual beverage holders, built-in organizers and more.  Check out Amazon’s backpack department, the list is endless!  Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on quality…it will be worth it in the end!
  • Mini-Fridge.  Unless your kid’s roommate is already bringing it, you’re going to need on to save on the old food bill.   There are about 20 different models of mini-fridge’s available on the market, don’t worry about freezer space, they aren’t going to use it anyway (none will hold a frozen pizza, and those frozen meals…well you don’t want them eating that crap anyway), except to blow up soda’s when they forget they are in the freezer to get cold quickly.  What you do want to worry about is interior space.  How much room is there for fresh fruits, veggies, beer, lunch meat, cheese, beer, leftover pizza, 3 week old leftover pizza and beer.  Did I mention beer?  The  Dandby  4.4-cubic-foot fridge offers space for all your drinks and leftovers…oh and beer! But there are plenty of other models out there as well…remember don’t always go cheap on appliance purchases…you don’t want to have to buy another one.
  • POWER STRIPS.  make sure you pick up a couple…and make sure they are long and offer USB ports as well for charging devices.  Most college dorm rooms only have 2-4 outlets in each so you will need to maximize outlets for TV’s, DVD players, desk lamps, fans, phones, video game consoles and laptops.  My suggestion, pick up at least 2…maybe 3 but don’t piggy back them and let your kid know not to do it either, if you do the surge protectors become ineffective and are a HUGE fire hazard!
  • CHEAP Printer. Some colleges let students print for free, some do not.  Make sure you check out what it costs to replace those ink cartridges for the printer you choose, sometimes they defeat the purpose of saving a few bucks on the printer!!!
  • Umbrella  Unless your campus has underground tunnels (Go University of Minneapolis!!) your kid WILL need an umbrella regardless of how badass they think they are.  Trust me.
  • Shower Caddy  Yep, sharing bathroom facilities is no fun…but having all of your bathroom products in one handy little shower caddy does help!  Even my boys say it was a blessing not to have to look for their stuff in the morning when they were hung over from the night before.  Bonus!  You’ll also be happy to know that it works for a beer caddy as well!
  • Organizational Totes.  We purchased two nice sized totes for our kids to hold staples…dry food in one , cleaning supplies like clorox wipes, paper toweling, kleenex, windex in the other.  Grab 2 more if you have a clothes hound so they can stack them in the bottom of their closet, because you know all of your diva’s shoes and accessories are NOT going to fit otherwise!  Have a girl with a ton of jewelry?  Those over the door shoe organizers are a god send, my daughter used the clear plastic ones for school and had rows of different things in them, including school supplies like pens and sticky notes!
  • Hanging Supplies   You can’t just pound a nail into the concrete walls of your dorm room and these products are great for further organizing and decorating dorm rooms.  They keep crap up off the floor too!  (Well if your kid uses them anyway)  Pick up some Hooks, poster strips  and even two-sided tape to make life in a box a little easier and a lot more organized!
  • Laundry Bag  Unless your kid has an apartment there won’t be much room for a clothes basket, and they can shove a lot more into a laundry bag than a basket anyway….to bring home…and beg mom to wash for them on the weekends.  Don’t forget to throw a couple bucks (about $20) a month in quarters or on to their school ID just for laundry facilities….and ship them laundry soap directly, they all love a care package from home!!!
  • EATING UTENSILS  Don’t forget to buy a cheap set of silverware (or send a few of your own from home if you have extras) and cheap plastic plates.  Gladware or Ziplock containers are great for nuking leftovers and hiding science experiments in as well…so if they throw them out you won’t have to worry about losing a good bowl from your Tuppeware collection!

Yes, those are the basics of dorm life, well besides beer, pizza and all nighters.  They can get by with two sheet sets, a pillow and a blanket or comforter.  They will WANT more than they NEED, and that’s OK, but just remember….you’re gonna have to help move it all, numerous times throughout their college career.  See if you can try to minimize all that work and heavy lifting from the very first year!




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