What's in YOUR purse?

Inspired by this link: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=325719 I feel compelled to ask what some of the odder items ladies carry around in their purses (or gentlemen in their wallets). I know that my own purse becomes the repository for an astonishing number of odd and yet potentially useful items. A current census includes:

Two paperback novels
One MP3 player
One UBS cable
One roll of duct tape
Two pounds of smoked salmon
A NYC bus/subway/train schedule
9.88 cents in change
One twenty dollar bill
Driver’s license
Credit card/debit cards
Building access pass
Bic lighter
14 coupons
4 tampons (in plastic wrappers)
One string of cheap plastic beads
One cell phone
Four AAA batteries
Some drugs (OTC cold and headache remedies)
One bottle of water
One disposable camera
Two packs of gum
One checkbook
Two small packages of Oreo cookies
One box of raisins
Three pens (two blue and a black)
One pair of scissors
One winter glove.
Small assorted variety of pieces of paper (receipts, post-its with helpful reminders, etc).

Yes, my purse is quite large, thank you.

Other than the realization I probably need to clean out my purse, it occurs to me that the vast majority of those items were placed and maintained in my purse on purpose.

So, what’s in your wallet?

My Man Purse, otherwise known as a New York Times canvas tote bag, has:

sugar-free hard candy
book I’m reading
reading glasses in case

Spare pads of checks
Insulin injector
Digital camera
SCA Award token I’m going to make into a necklace
fingernail clippers
nail file
spare lanyard for my sword
9 pennies
spare key for my car
SCA membership & auth cards
keyring with an LED flashlight on it
spare memory card for camera
screwdrive for my glasses

Nail clippers
Nail file
12 inch ruler
Registration sticker for my car (Got to remember to put that on soon!)
Glasses prescription for my daughter (Hey, I’ve been looking for that!)
Old check stubs
Electric bill
Copy of an e-mail I need to talk to Mom about
Two pens
Cell phone
Bottle of calcium, bottle of ibuprofen
Makeup (I don’t usually carry it, but I was running late today)
Feminine hygiene products
Coupon file
Tiny scissors
Two pounds of smoked salmon*
Alcohol prep pads
Sewing kit
Migraine medication
Tube of lotion
Clear nail polish (for stocking runs)

*No. :slight_smile:

Wallet, containing checkbook, cash, credit cards, library card, insurance card, driver’s license
Car key
Cell phone
Lip balm
Breath mints
Pack of cigarettes
Two lighters, one that works and one that doesn’t
Book of matches
Tampon (in plastic wrapper)
Bottle of 45 SPF sunblock
Bottle of hand sanitizer
Leather pouch with work keys, spare car key
Key ring with keys to my dad’s house and a bunch of other keys (I wonder if he misses them or knows what they’re for?)
Packet of tissues
Old prescription bottle now containing three Advil and a Zyban
Assorted receipts and pieces of paper with phone numbers/names of books I want to read jotted on them
My husband’s wallet (I wonder if he knows it’s in there. It has been since Saturday.)

The real question is: how are all your backs holding up? :eek:

In my pretty, gold Coach purse I have:

My wallet I bought at the outlet mall last weekend, which has: Driver’s License, two credit cards, ATM card, Kaiser card, AAA card, a picture of my friend who is in the Airforce, and $9 (what? I spent all my money on the damn purse! :smiley: )

My Mac Viva Glam V lipstick (the top one) <-- Pretty color and the money goes to AIDS research.

Ye olde cell phone

And llaves.

Sometimes I carry a hair brush, but I feel it clutters things too much. And may I say- I bow in your purse-filled greatness!

I carry a giant black leather purse.

Inside, you’ll find:


– Book (I bought the purse because it could hold a large hardback)

– wallet

– wadded reciepts, cellophane, and other assorted trash

– pack of smokes and about a dozen un-findable lighters

– candy for my husband

– dog treats

– large calendar from United Way (for appointments)

– packet of tissues which I can never find when needed

– bottle of lavendar spray

I’m not currently so much a purse person as a messenger-bag-to-carry-my-crapload-of-stuff person. Currently in it:
Wallet, with my debit card, two library cards (two different public libraries), health insurance card, ACLU card, license, teeny-tiny pocket copy of the Constitution, and far too little money.

Two steno pads and a small ‘normal’ notebook. (one for class, one for work, one for me)

Assorted pens and pencils

MP3 player with headphones

Public speaking textbook


One emergency fruit leather


Train pass

Bunch other crap, mostly crumbled-up papers.

Since it was my thread inspiring this, I’ll jump in.

It’s a backpack style combination laptop case and, uh…backpack that functions as my briefcase.


Toshiba laptop
Logitech wireless mouse
Charger cords for: laptop, both cell phones, digital camera
Olympus digital camera
File folder with take-home work
Expandable file with selling old home, buying new home papers.
2 blue Uni-Ball Signo pens that I hope to Og don’t leak
1 bottle of Advil caplets
an old band-aid
1 bottle of coated aspirin
blood glucose testing kit
my work keys
squeezy, stress relieving yellow school bus
tube of hand lotion (**Bath & Body ** Works Warm Vanilla Sugar)
contact lens solution
Spare Tampon in case I’m asked. (well, not really, just wanted to see who was paying attention)

Holy Crap!

I don’t carry stuff. I carry very tiny purses.

I just took inventory:

My cell phone. (Sanyo MM-7400, currently sporting a pastel pink faceplate.)
A small credit card sized lip gloss palette. (Urban Decay’s XXX shine a-go-go.)
One brown hair clip/barette.
My checkbook. (Black with Charlie Brown on the cover.)
3 credit cards, 5 business cards, my driver’s license, my organ donor card, 2 Blue Shield of California PPO insurance cards, and a ‘Be nice to me I gave blood’ sticker stating my next donation date (Sept. 08th.)
My last paystub.
My inhaler (Albuterol.)
2 bottles of eyedrops (Patanol and Flarex.)
A grape Tootsie Pop.
20 cents. (A dime and ten pennies.)
A small swatch of cloth to clean my glasses.
A pen.

That’s actually a lot. I usually don’t have my checkbook, since it takes up a lot of space. I don’t use a wallet any longer for the same reason. Whenever my husband and I go out, I just take my bank card and my license and give them to him to hold in his wallet. I hate carrying things around.

My car, on the other hand, is another story. It is essentially on huge purse.

Mobile Phone
Blood glucose monitoring kit
office keys
house keys
A DVD from Amazon that arrived at the office today
2 pens
a pencil
a pack of tissues
lip balm
small mirror
pencil lead
usb stick
pack of sugar free sweets
dextrose tablets
mini mars bars
eye drops.

Well, I sometimes carry a larger purse. So this is my general “medium purse” content:

  • bus pass
  • assorted hair implements (bobby pins, clips, headband)
  • travel curling iron/flat iron (butane powered)
  • current book-of-the-moment
  • glasses case (regular and sunglasses)
  • small makeup bag (coverup, mascara, eyelashes curler, lipgloss, two or three eyeshadows)
  • notepad
  • pen
  • cell phone (currently not activated, but can be used for 911, and has my address book in it)
  • folding travel hairbrush
  • small bottle of skin lotion
  • two keychains (work and home) attached to a carabine
  • wallet
  • small bottle of ibuprofen
  • comb
  • pocket-sized container of sanitary hand wipes
  • nail file

If I have a bigger purse I might carry more than one book, and then there’s more room to put in my lunch (and sometimes supper) as have a day job, and a part-time job three or four evenings a week.

For the record the smoked salmon I brought in as a treat for the people in my office - I got it up in Alaska last week while on vacation :slight_smile:

My purse was selected to be of a size that I may carry at all times (if necessary) one bottle of water, my lunch, and at least one hardcover book. I don’t often actually carry a hardcover book, preferring paperback for their lesser expense and decreased weight, but a girl likes to have the option! Also my public library does not have many paperbacks for loan.

I have no idea where the duct tape came from, but I’ve needed it at least a half dozen times. It’s amazing how often you need tape.

Since my OP I’ve found my fiance’s headphones, my last paystub, a very lovely silver ring I thought I’d lost, a hairclip and a pocket watch.

I carry a backpack.

Yes, I’m a geek, why do you ask?

I only carry useful things… a dozen pens and pencils… chapstick… bits of paper… nail clippers… tweezers… eyeglass screwdriver… calculator… umbrella… half-remembered reminder notes… notes for writing… some spare change… a broken ruler… oh, and Emergency Dice.

In case an emergency game of D&D breaks out, of course.

I said I was a geek.

From memory, since I’m not up to cleaning it out right now:

Big “girlie” wallet that has a checkbook. (I carry a man’s wallet in my back pocket so I don’t have to dig out the other one, or carry around a big ass purse all the time. And my cellphone is in the front pocket.)

Glucose testing kit.

2 glasses cases.

Paperback book. (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.)


emery board

loose change

various papers, including printed directions and recipes


Prescription bottle




Baggie of wet wipes.

Address book
I think that’s it. I need a bigger purse.

I don’t let crap build up in my purse, but I do carry around some less-than-usual usefull stuff.

Wallet (the usual contents)
Pony bands
Small hairbrush
Almost used-up lipsticks that I’ve already bought replacements for, for refreshing if necessary
Painkiller (Aleve, usually)
Granola bar
Small prayer book with Grace After Meals, and afternoon and evening prayers
School ID
Cart key for supermarket shopping carts
Swiss Army Knife
Bus schedule
Train schedule
Thermacare heatwrap (for bad cramps - I need it maybe once a year, but I need it then)

Not the usual stuff, but the junk of the moment - a bill I need to mail off, a dry cleaning receipt, and the card with my upcoming dental appointment on it.

Pikachu keychain with housekey and laundry key on the ring
Full, unused bottle of percocet (prescribed)
My aspirator
Lip balm from Bath & Body Works: Frosted Waterberry, and a tube of lipgloss from B&B: Warm Vanilla Sugar
Hand lotion from Bath & Body Works: Pearberry
An Esthero CD
A CD with songs from the Japanese Card Captor Sakura (Groovy Love Song HARE HARERUYA!)
A Megumi Hayashibara CD
A discreet orange case with three tampons inside
Four star-shaped hair clips
One large… er… *steel * hair clip, I think. It’s not pewter, but it’s big, dark silvery, and heavy. Has a nice leaf design on it.
My dollar-store tortoiseshell sunglasses
One of my cats’ toy mice (one of them snuck in there, I’m sure)
A leftover pack of diodes, a DPDT slide switch, 2 packs of ceramic capacitators, 10 pF and 50 pF
A gum wrapper
A reciept from IKEA
My watch
A book of stamps

From someone who has Warm Vanilla Sugar hand lotion, that’s to be expected. :wink:


Hm, I haven’t inventoried my “man purse” (which I simply call my pouch) in a while…

several issues of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine
iPod remote/ear buds
loose change
personal checkbook
several disposable fountain pens
a ballpoint pen
a gel pen (yeah, I have a pen obsession)
a small notebook
a tube of polyhedral dice (you never know when a role-playing game might break out)
a reminder card for my next haircut
my cellphone
my asthma inhaler
assorted receipts
and a Togo’s frequent eater card