25 Affordable Items to Help You Win Fall Semester

25 Affordable Items Fall 2016

Fall semester is quickly approaching, and because of that fact, some shopping is in order. You might want to buy everything you see, but unfortunately, for the most of us, we can’t shell out thousands for our shopping sprees. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t buy a few of the essential, and a few non essentials while we’re at it. We have come up with a list of 20 affordable items that will help you win at fall semester.

Cyber Clean Compound

Cyber Clean Home and Office Compound

Have you ever looked at your phone or keyboard, and gotten a little grossed out by the dust and dirt hidden in the tiny crevices? Or do you just want a fun solution to cleaning your tech equipment? Well you are in luck with Cyber Clean. Cyber Clean is a cleaning compound that looks and feels like goop. Think of it like play dough that actually cleans stuff, too! Due to its goopy nature, it is able to clean those hard to reach spots on your equipment. It can clean the keys on your keyboard, the tiny divots in your cell phone, and pretty much any other electronic device you can think of.
The compound is so gentle, it can be used with your most sensitive tech equipment. The best and most economical part, is that Cyber Clean is reusable. That means you won’t have to constantly buy those expensive wipes. You can use the Cyber Clean until it turns color.


Sleep Headphones

Are you the kind of person who needs to listen to music or rain sounds to fall asleep? Are your current headphones just too uncomfortable to fall asleep? Sleep heaphones are the solution. They are the perfect solution to bulky headphones which prevent sleep, and finicky earbuds that constantly fall out or break. They were designed to help people sleep without the use of prescription drugs or other more costly measures. You can be sure they are safe for you and your family, because they were developed by a physician with safety and effectiveness in mind.
These headphones will help you win at the fall semester for sure. If you plan to sleep in a dorm or college apartment with a roommate, these headphones will prevent you from annoying your roommates. Instead, you can focus on becoming friends, instead of a horror story they will tell in the future. Also, if you have a domestic partner or spouse, this product will allow them to get a good night’s sleep. They won’t be bothered by your your frog or thunderstorm sounds, and they can continue to focus on the important stuff to get angry about, like fighting over which way the toilet paper goes.


Waterproof Shower Notepad

First of all, It’s just super exciting that Waterproof Shower Notepads actually exist. Everyone has their best ideas in the shower. Now, you don’t have to wait until you’re out of the shower to write them down. It would be a terrible shame to have a life changing idea, only to forgot the important details once you’ve dried off. These Waterproof Notepads will have you win at fall semester and beyond. You will most certainly wow your guests, and dazzle some friends. Everyone will think you’re so cool for having them. In fact, it will definitely give people the impression that your ideas are too good to wait even one minute, which is probably true anyway.
If you are a writer by nature, love poetry, or perhaps an artist, this notepad is essential. Imagine the stories you could tell if some of your best works were written or sketched in the shower. Even if you use this notepad for silly purposes, it will be worth the money. Think of all the silly messages and pictures you can write in the shower for everyone to see. You can have several hours of purposeful work or just plain old fun with the waterproof notepad.


Cell Phone Night Light

Sometimes you just need a little light.
Maybe you need to pull an all-nighter but your spouse or roommate are trying to sleep. Maybe you need a little ambient light for reading or having friends over. Maybe you want a cool little gadget to show off to your friends. Maybe you’re just scared of the dark! Whatever the reason, you should definitely try the
Cell Phone Night Light.
If you really want to win at fall semester, then this is the item for you. If you bring this light out with you for a night out on the town, think about all the people that will come up to you and ask questions. It is quite the conversation starter. The Cell Phone Night Light might be more than just a device to help you read, it can be an instant friend maker. Well, at least it will take a little bit of the work out of starting a conversation anyway.


Moldable Glue

Unfortunately things break. Replacing items every time they break can be both annoying and expensive. We have a solution for you:
moldable glue.
Moldable glue is perfect for practically anything that needs fixing. It can be used to bond items together, seal, and even cushion. One of the best things about this items is that it really works. You don’t have to be an engineer or handy person to make the product useful. It was designed with everyday uses for a variety of users.
This product is so easy to use that most people wouldn’t have any trouble using it straight out of the package. The moldable glue feels like Play-Doh when it is fresh, so that it’s pliable to use. However, once it’s dried, it turns hard and rubbery. This product is an easy, fun, and effective way to fix the broken items in your life, without totally demolishing your bank account.



With the start of the new semester comes tests, assignments, and extra responsibilities. That basically translates into added stress. One of the best mechanisms out there to deal with stress, is a nice cup of calming tea. Set aside a little time everyday to enjoy a few cups of tea. Right now, it’s hot all over the country, so make some iced tea to cool you down and refresh you while you try to get calm. As the fall semester progresses, it is going to get chillier and chillier. That’s when you will want to cozy up with a warm mug of tea. There are tons of flavors out there to satisfy any pallet.
We like teas from the company Teamotions. The company was actually founded to help others cope with stress and loss. One of the founders lost two children shortly after they were born, and was stricken with grief. She found that one of the few things that brought her comfort was taking some relaxation time with a cup of tea. The founders came up with teas that are specially formulated to help relieve stress. With the use of adaptogen herbs, they have the perfect blend for both taste and benefits. All of the teas that are used are made to optimize immune function, fight stress, and reduce illness. The use high quality organic flavorings that are sure to provide solace on those stressful fall semester nights.


Coffee Maker

Fall is quickly approaching. With it comes football, hoodies, and pumpkin Spice everything. It’s also the start of fall semester. The fall semester is a time where you will need every ounce of energy you can get. That is where coffee becomes quite handy. Coffee. The nectar of the gods. Well, really the juice from roasted beans. However you think of it, coffee has been known to save the day during many late night study sessions.
To survive and win the fall semester you need a pretty awesome and affordable coffee maker. Find a coffee maker that has a timer, automatic shut offs, and that fits neatly into your budget. You don’t have to have a machine worth a few hundred to make a decent cup of coffee. Just something that suites your needs. We recommend looking at this coffee maker from Hamilton Beach. It has everything a college student and working person could ever need. It even allows you to choose a brewing method, and has a space to fill a mug for a single use. This is the perfect machine for someone on the go. Now, just don’t forget to add pumpkin spice creamers, when the occasion calls.


An Awesome Planner

Life can get confusing and overbooked at times. Invest in an awesome planner to help you relieve some of that mind clutter. With a decent planner, you will remember deadlines for classes, birthday parties, and every other even planned throughout the year. Try to find a planner that fits your needs, but also is stylish. You want a planner that shows off your personality a bit.
We highly recommend looking at the LifePLanner. It’s a mega planner that will help you stay organized and in control. LifePlanners allow you to view daily, weekly, and monthly agendas, so that you can closely monitor the needs in your life. They are also completely customization. You can add your own designs, colors, photos, and even your name. This planner will definitely help you win fall semester.


Band-Aid Blister Cushions for Fingers and Feet

Unfortunately, blisters and wounds happen. It isn’t fun or glamorous, but it’s a fact of life. As a college student you might have to walk all over college campuses. Even if you are are getting your degree online, local colleges and universities are a great place to meet people for study groups and to make friends. Also, they are great places to use resources such as libraries and computer rooms. So, all of that extra walking can add up to some gnarly blisters.
Protect yourself with Band-Aid Cushions for Fingers and Feet when you are having a little bit of trouble. They help alleviate pain and reduce the symptoms of blisters immediately. Getting these band-aids will help you and your limbs win at the fall semester. You will get more relief, therefore you will also be more productive. It might not be a fun purchase, but it’s a necessary one.


Index Cards

That’s right, the boring, old index card can help you win at fall semester.
Listen, jus buy a pack of index cards. Amazon has lots of options.
Index cards can be a lifesaver – reminders, notes to classmates, paper airplanes, or even an impromptu phone stand.
Mostly, we recommend index cards for memorization-heavy classes. Anatomy & physiology, organic chemistry, foreign languages, and many other core classes have their foundation in memorization of details. If you don’t feel like learning advanced memorization techniques, flashcards are a tried and true way to help you remember a surprising amount of detail, and index cards are the perfect thing for you to write your own custom flashcards and carry them with you while you prepare for your next big test. Lunch break? Flashcards. Waiting for a friend? Flashcards.
Index cards, when used as a learning tool, can truly help you win at fall semester.


The Bedford Handbook

The Bedford Handbook is an indispensable resource for anyone in college, especially those who will be writing more research papers than average.
It covers the MLA style of writing and citation which is standard in college, versus the APA style you may have learned in High School.
This book will come in handy as many professors want to see appropriately-styled MLA work before giving full credit on an assignment, with poor styling often causing you to lose points. The MLA standard is non-intuitive, especially when it comes to citations from various sources, so make sure you have some sort of resource nearby to sort it out properly. The Bedford Handbook will help you win fall semester by giving you the resources to do your best work.
Before purchasing this book, make sure your college adheres to the MLA standard.


Sriracha 2 Go Pack

Who doesn’t love Sriracha? That awesome hot sauce that goes on just about anything can now go with you.
Are you eating fast food between work and home while you run to get to your online class? Maybe you’re eating cafeteria food at work or at school and just get sick of the same, bland flavors.
Grab a Sriracha 2 Go Sriracha Lover’s pack. You get a branded mug, a small bottle of Sriracha, and some packets of the same. The pièce de résistance, however, are the two small key ring bottles meant to hold your Sriracha while you’re on the go!
Pop out your bottle of awesome sauce when friends are around to wow them, then pass the goodness around. Not only will having the best hot sauce on earth in your pocket at all times help you win, these kits make a great gift for the Sriracha lovers in your life.


Portable Dancing Water Speakers

These portable, rechargeable bluetooth dancing water speakers will be a hit at any small gathering.
Charge them up, take them with you, and pair them to a phone to belt out sound and light with a “dancing water bubble effect built right into the speakers. They’ll be the center of attention at any small dorm party, camping trip, or even a night time beach outing.
No get-together is the same without some music, and music is always better accompanied by cool lights. Grab these great little speakers to bring some life and color anywhere you go.


Dry Erase Wall Decals

Dry erase boards are so last year. Now there are dry erase decals!
These stick-able, reusable decals will adhere to a door, a wall, a window, or a desk without mounting hardware or sticky pads that leave residue behind. They’re styled to look like notebook paper but act as a regular whiteboard to help you track your daily to-do list, notes between family members or roommates, or announcement boards on the outside of your door.
Sticking one to your desk means you’ll barely notice it’s there compared to a regular whiteboard, and it can serve endless functions so you can stop leaving post-it notes everywhere.
They come in a three-pack, so you’ll have enough for all of your daily needs. You can also find dry erase decals that display world maps and much more.


Cereal To Go Containers

No matter what happens, when you’re taking classes you always feel like you’re on the run. Whether you work while taking online classes or have some traditional classes at your local college, you may not have time in the morning to sit down and eat breakfast.
But remember: a good breakfast can help you win at fall semester, and these Cereal To Go containers can help you bring breakfast with you and keep it cold until you can take a break and enjoy it.
This two-pack of containers holds your cereal, granola, or other dry ingredient separate from your wet ingredient, while the bottom cup has a freezable gel inside that will keep your (almond?) milk cold and fresh for a couple of hours while you find a place to sit and eat between classes, work, commuting, or rounds of ultimate frisbee.


Battery Pack

A student is a person on the go. Online classes are often as demanding as in-person, and your phone or tablet may not make it through that last webinar before the battery runs out. What will you do?
Well, you’re a smart college student who plans ahead and you picked up this awesome battery pack. The Aukey 10,000 mAh battery pack supports Quick Charge, so if your phone has the feature this thing will top up the battery fast. It even holds enough juice to top up an iPhone 6s four times.
Any battery pack will work, but a student on the go, who lives and dies by their tablet or smartphone, would do well to have a little foresight and grab something with some oomph.


Multi-Purpose Cooking Utensil

Alton Brown doesn’t allow unitaskers in his kitchen, and neither should you. With the start of the fall semester quickly approaching, you will need to have a multipurpose cooking utensil to get you through the months ahead. While eating out or ordering prepared food every night can be a tasty splurge, it can also add up very quickly. Most people would blow their monthly food budget in the span of a few nights. So, find foods that you like to cook that are cheap and easy to prepare, and buy a reasonably priced cooking utensil.
We recommend looking at this 5-in-1 cooking utensil This tool can be used as a slotted spoon, turner, for cutting, as a solid spoon, and even a spatula. Having this multipurpose utensil will save you both time and money. You won’t have to search mindlessly through your drawers to find the perfect utensil for your task, with this device, you can cut down the amount of utensils you have to own. That will definitely cut down on cost as well.


D Ring Binders & Accessories

This one is much more utilitarian than it is fun, but it’s a great way to keep your notes organized if you prefer paper notes to a laptop, especially if you’re taking classes on-campus.
What we’ll be doing is making sure your notes are always organized and never jumbled or in the wrong notebook. This will help come test time: you’ll know exactly which notes to study and exactly where they are. If your friend missed last Wednesday’s class, you’ll know exactly which notes to grab and be able to remove them to copy quickly.
First, grab some D-Ring binders (to keep your paper from tearing) – one for each class plus an extra for carrying around, explained below. Also grab some page dividers.
Next, fill the D-Ring binder with loose-leaf paper and the dividers, marked for each class. Mark each of the other, smaller binders with their class names. These stay in your room unless you’re taking one out to study from.
Take *only* the paper binder to class. When taking notes, mark the top of each page with the class’s name, the date, and page “1 of X and so on (fill in “X when you know how many pages you wrote that day). When finished with that class, move the notes into the proper divider.
When your day is over, take your notebook home and clip the notes into their appropriate binders.
This process is better and faster than regular notebooks, and it only takes a few extra seconds to date and number your pages to save you hours of headaches at test time. Best of all, you’ll never lose a single 5-subject notebook with your whole semester’s notes in it!


Yoga Ball

But I don’t even practice yoga! We hear you, and that’s not why we’re recommending getting a yoga ball. Even if you do yoga, a quality, burst-proof yoga ball has another life as a comfortable, inexpensive, ergonomic desk chair.
This anti-burst yoga ball comes in two sizes, one for unfer 5’10, one for over that. It supports up to 2,000 pounds of pressure so should take whatever you can throw at it. Even if you puncture it by rolling over something sharp, it is designed to slowly release air rather than popping and dropping you on your tailbone.
A yoga ball is cheaper than a regular office chair, good for your core, and helps alleviate many of the symptoms of sitting by keeping you balancing and in motion.
If you want to go even fancier, Gaiam has a balance ball chair complete with rolling casters. It provides similar levels of ergonomics while offering the rolling mobility of an office chair.
Happy sitting!


Clip-on Phone Holder

If you’re a multi-tasker, you may like to have some distraction when you are working on an assignment. Your phone is the perfect device to put on a movie without taking your entire attention away from tomorrow’s research report, but laying it on the desk doesn’t really help. Putting it on a little phone stand doesn’t work, either. You’d like it to be up high, near your computer screen for easy viewing.
Enter the Flexible Desktop Cell Phone Holder. It has a clip to hold it to the edge of a desk while you work, a table while you prepare dinner, or a bedside stand so you can fall asleep to your tenth viewing of the Season 6 finale of Game of Thrones. Those dragons, huh?
The flexible support allows you to position your phone how you’d like, while reaching high enough to see it without craning your neck.
If you need to display a tablet, you can check out the FlexPro Clamp. It’s bigger and tougher to hold a heavier tablet, but still flexible in its positioning to give you just the right angle to view while leaving your hands free to work.


Flash Drive

There’s never enough hours in a day, or gigabytes on your phone or computer. Worse, transferring those many files between work and home, or home and school, or your computer and your friend’s…too difficult.
Everyone needs a flash drive nowadays. You probably already have one. But you might not have one like this. That is a 128GB Samsung Drive Duo. It has two USB ports: one for your laptop and one for your Micro-USB capable smartphone. And, in case Apple users feel left out, there are lightning-compatible flash drives for iPhone, too.
With that flash drive, you can transfer files to and from any computer or phone, so you can download PDFs or notes for school on one and transfer them to the other for bigger reading or portable reading, respectively.
With 128GB of storage, you can also keep movies on there and play them wherever you are without filling up your phone’s internal storage.
If you don’t have one, a flash drive is an important tool. If you do, you might want to consider upgrading.



A Chromecast is a great addition for the student on the go. You can display your phone screen to any TV to give a presentation or share a website or video with a group.
Chromecast is a great entertainment tool to help you unwind between study sessions. You can use it to play your favorite android games, displayed on a big screen. There are even party games designed specifically to work with chromecast.
You can host movie nights without having to lug around a laptop – just stream the movie from your phone! It works with youtube videos, too. You can even use a chromecast to turn a TV into a giant picture frame with a slideshow. Show off your summer break or study abroad photos to make your friends jealous.
It’s only $35 and will help you win at fall semester, since unwinding is as important as working hard.



A good, organized backpack is the key to transporting your classroom-in-a-laptop (or tablet) wherever you go. You need a rugged backpack that looks good, has good organization options, and doesn’t break the bank like so many backpacks can.
The Herschel Supply Co. Little America Backpack has great retro style, comes in a number of colors, and costs only $99.99 (at the time of writing).
This backpack does it all with durable materials, lots of storage, and a laptop pocket that holds laptops up to 15 inches.
Another option for people who want serious laptop protection – but don’t mind a little more barebones style – is the Thule Paramount Daypack. It has a separate, padded laptop compartment with edge protection and a high visibility interior to help keep all of your cables and accessories organized while moving around. The Thule backpack is just under $99, so you’ll still be within budget.


Mechanical Pencil

Let’s turn to writing instruments for the last two points. You’ll be doing a lot of writing, why not make it a pleasure?
First off is something that you probably left behind in grade school: a mechanical pencil. But we’re not talking about the brittle, disposable Paper Mate clicky pencils, but an advanced mechanical pencil that will make your writing experience a better one.
At under $4.00 at the time of writing, the Uni-Ball KuruToga Mechanical Pencil is a very inexpensive start for a very advanced pencil. It automatically rotates the lead when you advance it to help keep the point sharp and your lines crisp. It also comes with extra dark pencil leads for clear writing.
If you’re taking technical drafting, art, or engineering courses, you want to go a little more expensive. The rOtring Rapid Pro Mechanical Pencil is a bullet-proof choice. Its metal body is nearly impervious to damage, its lead sleeve prevents lead breaks, and it has a built-in sharpener under the push button cap.
Either way, getting away from the standard #2 pencils will serve you well. Except when your luddite community college uses Scantron. Ugh.


Fountain Pen

You may want to win at fall semester, but how can you win without being fancy?
A ballpoint pen is a barbaric writing instrument, with roller balls or gel pens being slightly better. What beats them all? The traditional fountain pen.
Last on our list, but certainly not least, is the not-so-humble fountain pen. Fountain pens have had a bit of a resurgence in the last few years, with an explosion of brands and price points. While fountain pens can be a little fussy to use, they exude character and charm while becoming a hobby. Cleaning and refilling can even be a bit of a soothing ritual for the right person.
The features of a decent fountain pen include smooth writing action, a wide variety of ink colors along with changing colors at each refill, and longevity with the nib adjusting to your writing style over time and just getting better with proper care. It’s a piece of art and personality tailored to you.
An inexpensive, standard starter pen is the Pilot Metropolitan. At $15, it’s a good pen that will last as long as you want it to, and comes in a range of colors. Make sure to grab a bottle of ink or some sample colors while you’re there. If you follow our binder guide above, you’ll probably want a fine tip to help avoid the ink bleeding through standard notebook paper.

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