Dorm Life 101: Handy Appliances for a Healthier Student

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎10-01-2012 10:49 PM - last edited on ‎07-14-2016 09:58 AM by Geek Squad Agent (5,813 Views)

Dorm Fridge


Ranging in size from 1.2-3.0 cubic feet of storage space, a dorm fridge is considered a “must have” by most college student. These small refrigerators can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 and come in a variety of configurations, so it’s best to shop around to make sure the fridge works with your students eating habits. Appliances can come in a surprising array of colors — so be careful not to pick a fridge the color of your student’s archrival school. Some dorm fridges even come with a keyed lock to help your student keep his snacks safe!


Having healthy ingredients on hand for late night meals helps your student avoid the temptation of ordering a pizza or stocking up at the vending machines — and can also help them save money. Couple a fridge with a gift card to the local grocery store so your student can stock up on fruit, veggies and healthy drinks.


Features to consider


  • Unit Height and Width
  • Refrigerator & Freezer Capacity
  • Adjustable Thermostat
  • Compressor — Noise and Coolant Type


  • Gift Cards for Groceries
  • Plastic Storage Containers
  • Power Strip/Surge Protector
  • Protection/Replacement Plan




Another must-have for dorm life is a mini-microwave. Small, inexpensive microwaves come in a variety of colors and range in price from $60 – $100. Most feature pre-programmed, one-touch settings to make cooking and reheating a no-brainer. Be aware that very small microwaves may have limited space on the interior for dishes and cookware.


Coordinate the microwave color and dimensions with the mini-fridge, throw in some microwave-safe cooking utensils and you will be doing all you can to keep your student healthy and happy.


Features to consider


  • Unit Height and Width
  • Pre-Programmed One-Touch Settings
  • Wattage/Energy Output
  • Turntable


  • Microwavable Dishware
  • Cookbook
  • Green Works Clorox Cleaning Wipes
  • Ziplock Bags


Electric Grill


Having a delicious, fresh cooked meal doesn’t require a stove anymore – a good electric grill is often all a person needs. Ranging in price from $20 – $200, electric grills give students the option of ‘home cooked’ over ‘food service.’ A basic grill has a cooking surface of about 9′, a wipe-clean non-stick surface, and can be easily stored away in a Rubbermaid container under the bed. Some electric grills feature adjustable temperature and cooking time settings, flat or angled cooking surfaces, removable and interchangeable cooking plates and allow for cooking meats, grilling vegetables, baking pastas, and making waffles, pancakes, and muffins.


Features to consider


  • Unit Height and Width
  • Removable Plates
  • Temperature Control Settings
  • Cooking Time Control Settings


  • Spatula, Knife, Fork and Other Grill Untensils
  • Cookbook
  • Green Works Clorox Cleaning Wipes
  • Ziplock Bags


Electric Tea Kettle


Last, but not least, there’s the ever-popular electric tea kettle. There’s few better ways to keep your student warm on those cold nights than giving them an inexpensive kettle ($20 – $40) they can use to make a hot cup of coca, tea, or coffee made fresh in his or her room. And let’s not forget Ramen noodles – the standard late night snack for most college students.


Electric kettles boil water faster than microwaves and use less electricity. Safety features on most models currently available include automatic shut off, stay cool handle, and spill resistant lids. Some electric tea kettles whistle when the liquid is ready, have on-off power control switches, and a water level indicator to let you know how much is left in the pot.


Features to consider


  • Corded or Cordless
  • Liquid Volume
  • Power Controls
  • Water Level Indicator


  • Hot Chocolate, Tea, Instant Coffee
  • Jell-O, Ramen Noodles
  • Mugs for Soup and Hot Beverages


Before shipping the appliance off to the dorm, be aware of your product’s manufacturer warranty. Most products come with a limited One to Three year warranty. Dorm life can be kind of tough on devices, so it may be a good idea to consider a replacement or service plan for more expensive/higher end items. You will definitely want to include a surge protector with any appliances you give your students. Finally, each university has different rules governing what kinds of cooking appliances are (and are not) allowed in dorm rooms. Check with your student’s school to be sure they can use the appliances you are considering in their room.

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