Headed back to campus? Navigating those back-to-school purchases can be overwhelming, but Jarred DiPaola and his dorm mates have it all figured out. Jarred DiPaola) "Microwaveable food is delicious, so I recommend a microwave and mini-fridge, especially a mini-fridge with a freezer in it." Consumer Reports tests hundreds of appliances and can help. Celia Lehrman) "It's nice to have some of the comforts of home with you when you're on your own." A mini-fridge is a must. However, Consumer Reports has found that some compact fridges have trouble keeping their cool. But not this 220-dollar Frigidaire. It's got a decent-sized freezer, too. And then there's that must-have jolt of caffeine first thing in the morning. How about a coffee pod machine? This Nescafé Dolce Gusto from DeLonghi for 130 dollars is top-rated. "This machine was quick to brew that all important first cup, and pods are easier. There are no messy coffee grounds to clean up." And its compact size is a real "perk" for small spaces. And this one's a little outside the box -- a breakfast sandwich maker for hunger attacks, whenever they hit. Consumer Reports' Bernie Deitrick checked out this 30-dollar Sandwich Maker from Hamilton Beach. All you do is build your ingredients, press a button, and minutes later … a nice egg sandwich. Bernie Deitrick "It's really convenient. It's a little slower than using a stove, but it makes a great breakfast sandwich." Getting these small appliances can help get you set up like Jarred, so going away to college doesn't mean giving up all the comforts of home. ."
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