i made my first couple scrapbooks using 8.5x11 inch paper and page protectors left over from school supplies and a binder also purchased on sale. Now is a good time to stock up if you think you want to stick with that size with back to school sales going on everywhere. I think it's a great way to start and i think it's quite a bit cheaper. Less paper space, less supplies. You can also stock up on little embellishments like brads, paper clips, binder clips, etc. Even date stamps stuff like that.