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    Dec 12, 2014

    How To Spend Less Than $1000 For All Of Your College Tech And Kitchen Needs

    The struggle can get pretty real when you're trying to budget your college spending money, but you don't always have to break the bank to live well in school.

    1. A Do-Everything Laptop: Acer Aspire E5-571-588M

    What It Costs: $400 (Adorama)

    Why It's Good: No matter how little money you're trying to spend on a laptop, you definitely need one that can power you through long lectures with a comfortable keyboard and good battery life while also being fast and bright enough to entertain you when it's just you, the Netflix, and Google Chrome on a Friday night. The Acer Aspire E5-571-588M offers all of these things with a fast Intel Core i5 processor for all your work, and a large 15.5-inch HD screen for your videos and Skype chats while weighing just 5.5 pounds. It's a well-rounded computer that perfectly fits a hectic college life.

    2. A Microwave To Get You Through Anything: Hamilton Beach Microwave

    What It Costs: $44 (Wal-Mart)

    Why It's Good: There will always be those days where you're simply too busy or too tired to go out of your doom room to get food, making a microwave and instant noodles your best friend. The 0.7-cubic feet microwave from Hamilton Beach has just enough room to fit your regular meals, and comes with 700 watts of cooking power plus a timer so you can heat just about anything up and know when it's time to feast. Whether it's Bagel Bites, those cups of Easy Mac n' Cheese, or heating up water just to boil it for a pot or coffee, this microwave can deliver you to all of the simple pleasures you just need sometimes.

    3. A Smartphone For All Of Your Work And Play: iPhone 5s

    What It Costs: $99 with a two-year contract, available on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon

    Why It's Good: The iPhone is still the easiest phone to use, and Apple now offers over 1 million apps featuring useful productivity tools like Microsoft Word, addictive games like Candy Crush Saga, and of course, social networks like Instagram and Facebook. Even if the iPhone 5s is last year's model, it's still fast enough to run your favorite apps, has a great camera that is just as good as a point-and-shoot, and comes with a fingerprint sensor that makes unlocking your phone safe and easy. And if something is wrong, you can simply take your iPhone to the nearest Apple Store or call Apple up for great customer support. Simply put, it's second-to-none when it comes to reliability, and let's face it: you could always use less reasons to worry.

    4. A Mini-Fridge For Many Store Runs: Igloo 2.8-Cubic Feet Refrigerator

    What It Costs: $99 (Wal-Mart)

    Why It's Good: As much as you want to, you can't get by on a college budget ordering takeout and going to McDonalds every night. One of your most important hangouts will eventually become the grocery store, and you're going to need a mini-fridge to put that food unless you have a thing for stale bread and spoiled bananas. Igloo's 2.8-cubic feet refrigerator has three roomy shelves which is perfect for your eggs, butter, fruits, packaged meat and more, plus a door basket and ice cube tray for your 2-liter bottles of Coke, cans of Red Bull, and any alcohol you may have "accidentally" forgotten about. It's also great for hoarding all the leftovers you may have taken from a party or "borrowed" from someone else's room, and consumes a small amount of energy so you aren't receiving any warnings from the RA. Simply put, this is the mini-fridge to help keep everything ready for all of your major hunger.

    5. A Printer That Prints Papers And All Of Your Pictures: Epson XP-310

    What It Costs: $59 (Amazon)

    Why It's Good: The term "paper" (and for that matter, the term "term paper") brings out an anger and stress in college students that can't be matched by many other aspects of college life. Unfortunately, there is no avoiding them and having go to the computer lab to print papers can become a serious hassle. Epson's XP-310 printer is a god-send: It's compact, wireless, easy-to-setup, prints pages fast, and can even print colorful photos so you can start on your wall collage. Ink for the printer is also affordable, as you have the choice to replace only the color you need or buy combo cartridges. With a compact size of 15 by 11 inches, it fits almost anywhere and reminds you that good things do come in small packages sometimes.

    6. A Slow Cooker That Makes Easy Delicious Food: Crock-Pot SCR300SS 3-Quart

    What It Costs: $16 (Crock-Pot Website)

    Why It's Good: Honey Balsamic Pork Roast. Thai Peanut Chicken. Creamy Tortellini Soup. If any of those meals sound delicious to you and sound more complex that anything you've ever cooked, fear not. They all can be easily made with the Crock-Pot SCR300SS slow cooker, and the pot's 3-quart size can make 2-4 servings giving you multiple meals with the right ingredients. A Crock-Pot is especially useful for when you have little time to cook, as you can simply place your ingredients in the pot, let it cook at a safe temperature while you're at class the whole day, and come home to a warm meal at night. It's like having Mom's homemade cooking right there with you, which can bring comfort to even the most stressful of days.

    7. A Big, Beautiful TV With Built-In Netflix And More: Samsung UN24H4500 24-Inch Smart LED TV

    What It Costs: $188 (Amazon)

    Why It's Good: Sometimes, you just want to watch that new episode of New Girl or The Big Bang Theory on a full-sized screen over trying to watch it on your phone or laptop. Samsung's UN24H4500 24-Inch Smart LED TV offers a big LED screen that gives off a colorful, detailed picture whether you're enjoying a movie or doing some intense gaming, and comes with a built-in stand to hold it steady. And because it's a Samsung Smart TV, it comes with dozens of built-in apps like Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu Plus so you don't need to buy an Apple TV or Roku to access your favorite movie and TV show services. It's an awesome TV that doesn't even need cable to entertain you, and its good size can even win you a few new friends when someone wants to watch something without the hassle of going out.

    8. A Coffee Maker To Fuel Your Late Nights Studying: Mr. Coffee TF5GTF 4-Cup Coffeemaker

    What It Costs: $15 (Mr. Coffee Website)

    Why It's Good: We used to think our parents were crazy for drinking so much coffee when we lived at home, only for us to figure out how important coffee is when we need to stay up all night studying in college. Going to Starbucks every single time you need your caffeine fix can take a toll on your wallet, so investing in a coffee maker is a good idea. The Mr. Coffee TF5GTF Switch Coffeemaker is inexpensive, easy-to-use and clean, and can make you four cups worth of coffee if you need the energy. It also includes a pause feature that allows you to pour a cup coffee even when it's still brewing, and includes a window that can show you how much water is left in its tanks before you need to refill them. And if you're still heartbroken over not going to Starbucks, there are also many tutorials for making Carmel Macchiatos or an Iced Tea Lemonade with a coffee maker. Nothing will make you feel more-grown up and ready to take on the world.

    9. A Surge Protector to Power Everything: Belkin 12 Outlet Surge Protector

    What It Costs: $20 (Amazon)

    Why It's Good: We've put eight things on this list up to this point, and you're likely going to need more than those four outlets in your dorm room's wall to plug everything in. It's important that you get a good surge protector with lots of space for everything you have, and Belkin's 12-outlet surge protector provides all of that. The surge protector also includes a big 8-foot cord with an angled plug so you can put it anywhere without having to awkwardly bend your arm and a lifetime warranty plus a $300,000 equipment warranty. Basically, if you stuff breaks, you get a new surge protector and new stuff. With so many outlets in a great package, you can even feel good about sharing the surge protector with your roommate.

    10. A Toaster For Breakfast On The Go: T-fal 8746002 2-Slice Toaster

    What It Costs: $25 (Wal-Mart)

    Why It's Good: Sometimes you're left with no choice for breakfast but to heat up two pieces of bread, smear some jam on them, and go to class. But using a junk toaster can burn your bread and even burn you if it has narrow slots and and a lever that doesn't pop things out all the way. The T-fal 8746002 includes two extra-wide spaces for even toasting, a high-lift lever to remove bread easily, and 6 levels so you can choose whether you want light toast or a crunchy bite. It also has a great bagel function so you can even quickly make the king of breakfast breads and take it to go. The fast paced life of a college morning doesn't have to be so bad after all.

    Grand total: $965. Congratulations! That extra money can be used for anything you like, just don't let those expensive books get to it first.