More back-to-school 2010 fashion cool: Dorm appliances on the cheap

During the K-5 years, back-to-school shopping means crayons, pencils, pens, new folders, notebooks and pretty much anything with bright colors in the "school supplies" aisle. In college, things get complicated as the shopping experience branches out to other departments at the local big-box store. That's doubly true for students moving into the dorms.

New sheets, clothes, desk lamps -- you need to furnish a tiny room. But the list also includes appliances to help the cooking, cleaning and general living process go smoothly. Here are a few suggestions of what to keep in mind while shopping for a recent graduate.

The tiny kitchen


Dorm life, unless you get lucky, means adjusting to miniature versions of everything. The beds are smaller, there isn't as much closet space, and, needless to say, you're sharing all of those smaller things with other people. So, unsurprisingly, it means that you're going to need a tiny kitchen.

Of course, the essential appliance is the tiny refrigerator. The mini fridge is an appliance that can really put a dent in the wallet. However, there are a couple of notable and cheap options for $90. Amazon offers a fairly standard Haier stainless steel refrigerator and freezer. But for a bit more flair on the fridge, Target stocks the Emerson compact fridge, which has a dry erase board on the door.