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Student Stationery & Gifts

Stationery often isn’t top of your shopping list and it’s not the most exciting thing to be spending your student loan on, but let’s be honest: it’s an essential. Thankfully there are lots of ways to stock up on discounted stationery supplies through Student Discount Squirrel retailers, so you needn’t spend any more of your cash on it all than you need to.

Indeed gifts, when received, are fantastic, but being a skint student unfortunately doesn’t remove you the responsibility of buying presents for loved ones on big occasions – which can be more hassle than happy shopping experience when you’re buying to a strict budget and don’t really have the time between essays (and well, maybe occasionally parties) to search the shops for the perfect thoughtful items. Thankfully, gift retailers too often offer a decent student discount and with the Student Discount Squirrel guides and tips, you’ll be able to navigate gift-giving in a way that’s budget but considerate and easy but well-considered. Read on for Student Discount Squirrel’s top stationery and gift buying tips…

Student Stationery: The Essentials

  • OK, so university pretty much dictates that your educational career isn’t sparked by the purchase of a shiny pencil case the way that it used to be when you were at school, but you will still need some stationery for lectures and working… and hey, admit it, there’s still that spark of excitement when you take new books and pens out of their wrappers!
  • Realistically, most of your work will be done on a laptop (unless you’re taking a very hands-on subject that involves majority practical work) and whilst it may primarily be typing and Googling you’re doing on it, you do need something of a decent standard that you can rely upon. Do your research and ensure that whatever you have will last you throughout your university tenure. Many retailers have sales events on over the summer months for students, so take advantage of these and don’t be afraid to use price comparisons to get trusted retailers to lower theirs – think ‘never knowingly undersold’.
  • Aside from a decent laptop, it’s also worth investing in a decent bag to carry around your laptop and other stationery. The actual stationery you’ll need will just be basic: pens, pencils, A4 notepads and highlighters. If you’re a calendar/planner person, a decent Filofax type product can also be a good idea, but ensure you have a digital back-up just in case it goes walk about. Post-it notes can make good revision prompts, and it’s always handy to carry around a memory stick.

Student Gifts: Buying For Others

Juggling student finances isn’t always easy and yet somehow despite having known the birthdays and occasion dates for our family friends, these things always manage to catch you out and get you scrabbling for cash and ideas sharpish! Thankfully, many retailers selling gifts offer student discounts, even when the goods you’re buying aren’t necessarily for students at all. However, it does give you the opportunity to buy gifts that you may before not have been able to afford. Of course, in an ideal world you’d have unlimited time and budget to pick out a thoughtful gift, but hey, life gets in the way sometimes. Instead, some gifts can seem thoughtful but suit many:

  • Hotel Chocolat do a whole range of chocolate products including boxes of chocolates expertly shaped so they can fit through a letterbox – ideal for sending presents to loved ones, even if they’re not about for the postman every day.
  • Not On The High Street is a fantastic marketplace for a variety of small businesses, so you can ‘shop small’ and yet still know you’ll get great service. Those with a taste for the untraditional will love gifts from NOTHS, and many are customisable. One of their best sellers is postal gift subscriptions, so why not give the gift of food, drink, crafts or treats direct to their door over a number of months?
  • Moonpig sell a lot more than just greetings card, and now also stock gifts that can be personalised too. Gifts can be dispatched straight to the recipient and make a welcome change from bog standard bunches of flowers!
  • If you’re after a real bargain and are looking to gift an experience over an item, Wowcher is the perfect present haven! Wherever you are in the UK, you can search for local meals out, beauty treatments, day trips or adventures in the vicinity of the recipient and buy them a voucher to go and eat/do/enjoy their experience whenever convenient for them.

Student Gifts: What To Buy A Student

  • Gift vouchers for meals and drinks out make for a welcome treat for those who have spent weeks on end eating beans on toast, fast food snacks and cheap SU bar drinks. Similarly, gift vouchers for home furnishing stores allow students to decorate their rooms/flats to their own taste when usually they’re constrained by supermarket ‘basic’ ranges of furnishings.
  • Every student needs a robust rucksack (preferably big enough to hold a laptop) to use around a campus, and some decent shoes that they can’t wear out (but taste is subjective, so a voucher for a shoe store may be more appropriate than an actual pair of shoes!).
  • Whilst it may not be considered a traditional ‘gift’ as such, textbooks are a major expenditure for many university students and not something they can often buy discounted or second-hand, as editions and research reports and findings change all the time. Ask your student if you covering the cost of a couple of their textbooks would help – and it will free up cash for them to spend on other things, as they like. Exciting? No. Thoughtful? Yes!


We’ve come to the end of our guide to gifts and stationery for students. We’ve listed all the retailers that students can get a discount at so you can click through and see how to make those savings. We’ve also discussed student stationery and gifts in general. such as what stationery essentials are for students, how students can save when buying amazing gifts and even a guide on what presents to buy other students. We hope you’ve enjoyed all our tips and they should save you some cash too.

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ What is difference between stationary and stationery?

We love this questions. Stationary is when you are stopped and not moving. Stationery is items such as pens, pencils, paper and folders etc which you find in shops like Rymans and WHSmiths.

✅ What is the best stationery brand?

It’s difficult to say what is the best stationery brand as it is very subjective. Staedtler, Muji and Typo are 3 great brands of stationery which we really like.

✅ What is the best gift for students?

Some of the best gift ideas for students include laptops, books, coffee makers, backpacks, mobile phones, tablets, stationery, kitchen appliances, electricals and fashion gift cards.

✅ What are some cheap gift ideas?

Food or drink makes some great gift ideas. Why not bake their favourite cookies or cakes? Get a mason jar and fill with their favourite sweets. Or a box of chocolates.