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Paid PostJul 25, 2016

12 Products Every Off-Campus Student Should Buy

Welcome to Adulthood 101.

1. A slow cooker

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Fix yourself a meal that isn't cereal. Get a slow cooker, throw a bunch of ingredients in it, and leave it on low heat for a few hours. Not only will you have delicious, homemade food for literal days, you'll also save a ton by not buying microwavable meals.

2. A reliable set of pots and pans

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Of course, you can't live by slow cooker alone, so pick up a good set of pots and pans while you're at it. A cast-iron skillet from a thrift store will last a lifetime, but stainless-steel cookware is good too and can be found new at reasonable prices.

3. Renters insurance

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While it's possible your landlord may not require it, renters insurance is definitely something you want to look into. Not only does it cover damages to all of the large purchases you're now making, it's by and large ridiculously cheap too. No excuse!

4. A fire extinguisher

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Here's another thing your landlord may not necessarily provide: a fire extinguisher. Do your research to determine which type you should get and learn how it works. You'll also be very glad you had renters insurance should you have to use one!

5. A toolbox with actual tools inside

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From assembling furniture to installing blinds to hanging up wall art, you're gonna need more than that L-shaped hex key to make it all happen. Pick up a tool set secondhand. The tools themselves don't need to be pristine, they just need to work.

6. Jumper cables

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If you're driving to campus every day, it's probably best that your car start every time. If it doesn't, though — say, on a cold morning — you'll be a little less bummed if you have a pair of jumper cables handy, along with an understanding of how to use them.

7. A vacuum that thoroughly sucks

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They're loud and annoying, but you'll be glad you have one the next time someone decides to eat in the living room without a plate. Also, you don't need a bagless vacuum. Many technicians themselves opt for the less expensive bagged models.

8. A place for your spare car keys

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If you live with any group of people long enough, someone's bound to lock their keys in their car. Which is fine. It happens. But helping each other is much easier when people actually know where their other keys are. You do have spare keys, don't you?

9. An emergency fund

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Whether your parents set you up with one or not, it's never too late to open a savings account and start building an emergency fund. Set aside a little bit each month for those unexpected expenses like, oh, an early lease termination. Hey, it's an example!

10. A dedicated recycling bin

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Sure, it's not exactly exciting, but you and your roommates will likely produce quite a few glass bottles and crumpled cans over the length of your lease. Get a real plastic bin so you're not tossing your recyclables into a soggy cardboard box year-round.

11. A heavy shower curtain liner

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Wanna really impress people? Get both a shower curtain and a heavy mildew-resistant liner. The weight will prevent it from blowing in while you shower, and the coating could help when your roommate refuses to use the shower cleaner spray.

12. More than one towel (and extra bedsheets)

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Be honest: When was the last time you changed your sheets? Or if a guest stayed overnight, could you offer them a clean towel? If you answered no to either of these questions, consider stocking up — if not for your sake, then for everyone else's.

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