Things You Didn’t Know You Needed for College

Vinegar: To clean out your coffee maker (and almost anything else)

Tupperware and Ziplock bags: So you can get a little extra food at the dining hall for when you’re ravenously hungry after the dining hall is closed but too poor to order pizza

A regular mug: Sure you’re going to need travel mugs, but don’t forget a nice oversize mug for when you’re studying in your room and just need a LOT of coffee (doubles as a bowl for chicken noodle soup when you’re sick)

Thermometer: You can get them for like $2, and that way you can skip an unnecessary trip to the health center to be told that “it’s just a virus”

A list of medications and doses you take: For that time that you run out and have to go to the urgent care place so they can write you a script to hold you over until you can get one from your regular doctor

Insurance card: SO YOU CAN GET YOUR FLU SHOT (Please get a flu shot)

Business Attire: It could be the difference between getting a B+ or an A on a presentation

Fancy clothes: You will inevitably go to a semi formal or fancy dinner with your organization/club/major/sorority/fraternity

An Extra Laptop Charger: If you have a PC, it’s like $10, Mac’s are more, but it is so nice to have one charger that sits at your desk, and another that goes wherever you and your laptop go.

Extra Earbuds: You will lose them and have to buy a pair of crappy ones from the library vending machine (and proceed to NEVER lose the crappy ones)

Extra Phone Charger: same deal as the laptop charger, doesn’t cost that much, but makes life easier when your credit card got stolen and your phone is about to die

Generic Magic Eraser: I’m a fan of the dollar store variety, but seriously the easiest way to avoid getting fines when you move out of your dorm, they literally clean any and everything

Reusable Grocery Bags: stronger than your average plastic bag, and folds (er…crumbles up) nicely and can hold all your important treasures wherever you go, especially for trips to and from home

Calculator: Check what math class(es) you’re going to need to take, most likely you’ll need your handy-dandy TI-84 calculator that carried you through High school.

Water Bottle with a Filter: I’m not usually picky about my water, but the water that came from my dorm was just gross; Switching to a Brita bottle was worth it.

Inclement Weather Wear: Umbrella, Rain coat, Rain boots, Snow boots, Scarves, Gloves, Hats. You walk a lot and will need to be prepared for whatever mother nature throws at you

Peanut Butter: For when you have no other food and are too lazy to leave your room (hey, no judgement, it happens)

Gatorade Powder: For that time when you come down with the flu BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T GET A FLU SHOT, it will help replace your electrolytes.

Alarm Clock(s): not just any alarm clock, you need something that will wake you up without fail so that you don’t end up being that person running across the quad in bare feet to your final exam (it’s not just the movies, it is real life). I am presently woken up by this bad boy: Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock

Office Supplies: I feel like there are a lot of things you forget to bring – a 3-hole punch, a stapler, paperclips, scissors etc. If you’re in doubt about an office supply, just bring it, you never know when you might need a brad or a flower shaped paper clip.

Slippers: So that you don’t have to put on a whole pair of shoes just so you can go to the vending machine down the hall (or in my case to the class you have in the building next door.

Any other suggestions?






Chick-Fil-A! How I love eating there – but no, not every day! And there are ways of making it a little cheaper!

1.) Buy the Cow calendar. Every year CFA (Chick-Fil-A) sells cute calendars in November and December that come with a freebie each month of the following year. This month the freebie is a one of their yummy salads. You can buy more than 1 calendar but you need a different e-mail address for each one. Each calendar is $6 but well worth it.

2.) Facebook and Texting. Find out if the CFA near you has a Facebook account or if they do text messaging. The CFA at Fair Oaks mall sends a text every Tuesday morning offering something free. All you have to do is text CFAFOM to 411247. Several CFA’s are offering free meals to military and their dependents on May 21 – they’ve put it on Facebook!

3.) Cow Appreciation Day! Each year on the 2nd Friday in July CFA has Cow Appreciation Day. If you go into a CFA dressed like a cow (think white t-shirt with black cow patches, black shorts and a tail) you get a meal of your choice. Yes, I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at different CFA’s that day with friends and family. And, last but not least, my favorite…
4.) First 100! What an awesome marketing plan! 52 free meals! When a store opens they have what they call the first 100 – the first 100 people to go into the store. The day before it opens at 6am they have a raffle for all the people over the age of 18 gathered there (can be as few as a 100 or as many as 450). If picked, those people must stay in the parking lot for the next 24 hours – after they go back to their cars and get their tents, sleeping bags, chairs, recliners, awnings and anything else they can’t live without for 24 hours. (And you’d better have raingear because I can’t tell you how many times it has rained on us and you have to stay outside!) Then for the next 24 hours CFA feeds them breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. They also provide games (with prizes) and a DJ for entertainment. The next morning they give you a CFA t-shirt and have you walk through the restaurant and you are given a card good for 52 number 1 meals at CFA.

We check the CFA website frequently to find out when there are openings and only travel to those that are within a 2 hour radius. And we have met people who have been to 30, 50 and over 90 openings. So we haven’t been to many – but always have fun when we go. The next one in the greater DC area is going to be in Baltimore on May 28. Feel free to join us!


Thrift Stores

That was so exciting to have people read my blog and even make comments! I even had people come up to me and ask questions about what I had posted!

So, for my local friends, thrift stores are a fabulous way to get clothing and other items cheap – not as cheap as yard sales but usually much faster as you can go in and buy what you need and not wait for a Saturday to come. This past week I went to one of my favorite thrift stores. B-Thrifty is located on the corner of 123 (Ox Road) and US1 in Woodbridge. But, why is it my favorite? The prices are low, they have great selection and every couple of weeks they send me a text telling me that everything in the store is 50% off (you have to be a B-Thrifty member). In fact, I got a text today. So, sign up the first time you visit. But, be warned – there are no dressing rooms. So if you want to try clothing on, wear a tank top under your clothes and close fitting shorts. Then, once you’ve found some great clothes, mosey on over to a mirror, strip off your outer layer and start trying on your finds!

Some other good thrift stores in the area are the Salvation Army, conveniently located across the street from B-Thrifty (and next door to Aldi). They do have a dressing room but the prices are higher. There is also a Goodwill in Fairfax on Main Street (in the strip mall between Fair City Mall and Ace’s). Again, their prices are higher but they have a dressing room. Also, all clothes of the same category have the same price so the originally $10 Wal-Mart shirt will have the same price as the $50 designer shirt – $4.99. Besides, I still think 50% off a $2.99 shirt is the best thrift store deal (B-Thrifty)!

Lastly, I would be remiss to not mention Unique off Gallows Road and 50 (my GPS can’t find it so I always plug in Five Guys which is right next door). My husband loves it when I go there because I try to drop off a load of items to be discarded at their Vietnam Vets collection point immediately to the right of the store before I go in and shop! Every Monday they have 25% off everything. If you get a VIP card you can also get 25% off on Thursdays. But the best days are holiday Mondays when everything is 50% off. But, those are crazy busy days there! And like B-Thrifty, they do not have changing rooms so be prepared to step around people trying on clothes in the aisles. I once saw a woman holding up a towel for her husband so he could try on a pair of jeans!

You never know what treasures you will find when you walk into a thrift store!