A nonThanksgiving post:
I am currently in a certification program at a local, community college to change careers. Luckily, tuition (so cheap compared to what an academic college costs) includes all of my textbooks. That said, I still needed school supplies. At the end of every school year, I would go through all 4 of my children's used school supplies and set aside items that could still be used, recycling as much as possible of the supplies in very rough shape.Before even considering a new purchase, I checked the box we have.
Pictured is a notebook/organizing system I put together with what we had on hand. Old, clear vinyl 3 ring binder (love these for their light weight) had an unused floppy diskette label put over someone's name. A used but in great shape, 2 pocket blue folder was added to corral Powerpoint handouts. A washed and stored, gallon baggie (actually given to me from a farmer who sold me produce in it) had a wide strip of clear, packing tape put equidistant over the left side seam. I them lined up a piece of 3 hole punched paper on top, and using a hand held hole punch, turned this into a storage pouch for my flashcards(a course requirement). This reinforced baggie helped me to avoid buying a large, zippered pencil pouch (even though I'd probably buy one at the dollar store). The flashcard stock is actually new, larger 4 x 6 cards that I had, I just cut them in 1/2, write on them using old markers. They are rubber banded using bands that originally were wrapped around produce from the Farmer's market (think carrots, beets, chard etc).
Finally, paper from used spiral notebooks was retrieved for my use. Cost for this: $0.