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Back to School Shopping List for College Students

Updated on December 9, 2015
College Necessities: Books and Pizza!
College Necessities: Books and Pizza! | Source

Must-Haves for College Students Going Back to School

I know college students. I have been a college student. Okay, I’ve been a college student more than once. In all my years wandering around a college campus, living in the dormitory, living in an apartment with friends or a house with my family, I know as much as anyone what college students need. There are certain things that college students just can’t live without. At least, they think they can’t—and perhaps they shouldn’t.

There are the boring things like paper and binders, calculators and pens. Then there are the fun and more expensive items that college students just have to have. They just have to. And if money can be saved in the process, that's even better.

Used Textbooks

Okay, books aren’t the most fun item. But, in order to stay in college and enjoy the fun (because college certainly can be fun!), a college student has to have the textbooks. Besides the campus bookstore, there are cheaper options for book buying.

Sites like Chegg and Amazon sell used textbooks. Students can also look on bulletin boards across campus to buy used texts from other students. I have found these books to go for much cheaper than the used text books that are resold in the university’s bookstore. If they only look, students can save a lot of money on books.

Slippers or tennis shoes? You decide!
Slippers or tennis shoes? You decide! | Source

Comfortable Shoes

After years of traipsing on hard, cement sidewalks, up and down stairs, sometimes hurrying, practically jogging for ten minutes to catch my next class across campus, I believe in college students investing in comfortable shoes. My campus was hilly (though beautiful!), so walking uphill with 3-inch heels was not an option.

Flip-flops and slippers will work for the pool and the dorm, and the occasional formal presentation may require some dressy shoes, but for most days, those feet need comfort. Tennis shoes, walking, or running shoes are the way to go. Comfortable clothes should go along with those comfy shoes.


Most college students love electronics. A TV for the apartment, a mini-fridge for the dorm room, a laptop to carry to the library or local coffee shop. It's good to get a computer bag to go with that computer. Some students, depending on their classes or major, may need a printer or special software programs. Electronics are even more of a must now than they were twenty--or even ten--years ago!

Indoor and Outdoor Furniture Items

Even if a student just lives in a furnished dorm room, there may still be a need for a little personalization of the space. What about a special desk chair or a comfortable bean bag? What about the practical need for bookshelves if the dorm doesn’t provide them?

For those moving into an apartment, living room, kitchen, and bedroom furniture is a must. For lucky students who have a patio or yard, and the budget allows, they often invest in patio furniture and barbecue needs such as gas or charcoal grills. What college student doesn’t want to get together with friends? Entertaining on the back patio is a favorite pastime of many college students!

College Shopping List
flip flops
house shoes
tennis shoes
comfy sweatshirt
patio furniture
charcoal grill
desk chair
big TV
tv stand
Just a few of the needs on the list of a college student

Pizza and college students go together!

Yes, pizza, lots of pizza! My freshman roommate and I used to order pizza almost every Sunday night. How fun—what freedom!—to have someone bring you a hot, tasty pizza of your choice. Of course, we always used coupons when we could. On a college campus, pizza coupons are usually readily available.

Save online on college necessities!

Through AnyCodes, you can find coupons for all of your back to school needs for college. Start building that wardrobe of comfortable clothing and shoes. Although Debenhams is based in the UK, they ship to over 40 countries, including the U.S. The site has money-saving discounts, and even has coupons for pizza!


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    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 14 months ago from Arkansas, USA

      I don't know, Ivan. They don't have the tag anymore. But if you do a Google search for Sneaker Slippers, you'll see a bunch. I see them on eBay, too--different kinds and colors. Good luck!

    • profile image

      IVAN DZIADOWICZ 14 months ago


    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Monica, I'm not sure what you're meaning there, but it's always good to be organized and ready!

    • profile image

      Monica Christina Knights 3 years ago

      Planner organization tips time as my next week as on aways

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Ashlynn, I got those particular slippers at a garage sale. I looked on eBay for "tennis shoe slippers," and I see a lot there. I'm not sure if you can find the exact same pair, but perhaps something similar. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Ashlynn 4 years ago

      Where can I purchase a pair of those slippers?

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Much thanks, ElleBee!

    • profile image

      ElleBee 5 years ago

      Great list! And good explanations of the item as well

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Hunter, thanks for sharing the link with your daughter. That is so cool about the DISH remote access app. I had no idea about that. Awesome!!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      random--Especially the pizza! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      teaches--I ate so much pizza in college!!!! :-)

    • profile image

      Hunter 5 years ago

      This is a great article with a lot of great tips; thank you for posting Victoria! I thought my daughter might find a few of these suggestions useful, so I just sent her the link. There is something else I am sending her a Nexus 7 tablet loaded with the DISH Remote Access app. She knows that I work for DISH and she came to me asking if I knew a better way then cable to get TV service in her dorm. They won’t let her install a DISH so I gave her the next best thing… the use of my DISH. She can use the DISH app to watch her favorite channels AND DVR recordings right from our DVR at home. I think that is a better option for her then getting cable service and this way she can take it to any dorm and share with her friends.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I love how you've broken this down with great suggestions for the bare essentials. Awesome resource for all college students!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      A great hub for those last minute college needs that you might forget are important. Love your list and it does include all the needed items. Can't forget the pizza because it does get you through those tough study times. Voted up.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      psych--Thanks! Don't forget the pizza!!!!! :-) Thanks for reading.

    • psych534 profile image

      psych534 5 years ago from Metamora

      I am going to college in the spring the list helped to know what to get. Thanks

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      lord--Aw, Jessy's girl! LOL. Loved that. Thanks for coming by!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, carter! I appreciate your visit!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      This took me back to 1982, when I was taking Mechanical engineering, back then Jessy's girl was my song, and my style of wearing jeans. This hub is a frugal one indeed! Great tips for our young generations! Way to go!

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Oh Vic, I'm not a student anymore, and I don't have kid's at college anymore but I really miss the start of each term and the preparation that goes with it when i worked in schools...just had to comment...great article, helpful & useful & all of that...lots of votes...cheers

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Ruchira. Just thinking about what I would want! :-)

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      This is a very thorough list, vicki.

      Totally agree on it!

      voted up as useful.