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The beginning of the new school year always presents itself with a bunch of problems. Do you have enough money to pay the tuition? What classes should you take? How will you eat when your new dorm room doesn't even have a kitchen?
Sure you can use the campus dining hall, but having food available in your bedroom is a luxury that you'll surely miss. Luckily—and if the college allows it—there are plenty of small appliances that you can fit in the dorm that not only open up your eating options, but don't take up much space.
The mini fridge is a dorm room staple that stores sodas, leftovers, and other parts of the college student diet. Something like this can be useful even in an apartment that you share with fellow students—keeping your food separate from potential poachers. There are plenty of deals on refrigerators for back to school, including this Frigidaire compact model on sale at Best Buy for $149 with free shipping. Its 4.4 cubic foot capacity is larger than others on the market, but it can store tall soda bottles and other hard-to-fit products.
Sure you can rent a mini refrigerator from most colleges, along with a microwave, or you can get your own that you can take around from room to room. Walmart offers a number of value bundles that include a compact fridge and a small microwave perfect for small spaces. One example is this Igloo 3.2 cubic foot refrigerator and freezer, which comes with a Galanz microwave, and is on sale for $119 with free shipping.
There are plenty of standalone options for microwaves as well, such as this Oster 1.1 cubic foot model with a turntable on sale at Walmart (which has a number of deals on mini fridges and microwaves perfect for back-to-school). This deal prices it at $59 with free shipping or free in-store pickup.
Another appreciated small appliance is the toaster, which is usually too small to be much of a hinderance and can help make breakfast items. You can also find them for pretty cheap online, including this Cuisinart compact 2-slice toaster that has slots wide enough for bagels. It's on sale at Amazon for $29 with free shipping—down from $55. You can save even more money with this list of toasters that cost less than $25.
A cup of coffee is the easy way to stay awake during either those early classes or late-night study sessions. You can wait in line at the local café or make your own, even in a tiny dorm. The Cuisinart 12-cup programmable coffeemaker on sale at Amazon for $77 with free shipping is one way to make a large fresh pot before class. You can program it with the 24-hour advance brew start and auto shutoff.
It's not until you have to go on your first job or internship interview that you realize the importance of owning an iron. There's nothing like freshly-pressed clothes to make you look clean and professional. Newegg includes this DeLonghi steam iron in their back-to-school sale, which features a bunch of small appliances and other irons. It's currently available for $49 with free shipping.